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Review: On “Colony”, This “Brave New World” Comes with Complications

 

As it turns out, working for the Occupation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be–at least, that’s the lesson that Will (Josh Holloway) learns in the second episode of USA’s new show Colony, appropriately titled “Brave New World”. Sure, it comes with shiny new cars, private tutors and all-access badges, but it also comes with heartache, betrayal and disappointment. On Will’s first day on the job, he tries and fails to save his friend Carlos from being sent to the Factory, whose only crime is being an unwitting accomplice to Will’s theft of the fuel cells. In many ways, the scenes between Will and Carlos are the most emotionally wrenching of the entire episode. Watching Will struggle to accept the fact that his new position wouldn’t allow him to protect the people that he cares about, and Carlos’s resignation regarding his fate, is difficult. I can only hope that Carlos’s part of the story isn’t over.

Moreover, I’m also intrigued as to how Will’s wavering faith in his choices will affect his storyline later on. Will’s new boss Phyllis (Kathy Baker) certainly seems adamant that it’s the only option available to them. When Will asks her how she can live with working for the Occupation, she responds: “By focusing on the big picture. Have people already forgotten The Arrival? Every defense mechanism in this city was wiped out within 8 hours. Do you really think a handful of guerrillas is going to make a difference? All they’re going to do is take more innocent lives and ensure that conditions in this block are much worse.”

Will’s new partner Beau (Carl Weathers) also seems to have accepted the Occupation as the lesser of two evils, but he isn’t as enthused about it as some of the others are, a fact that Phyllis points out. It makes me wonder where Beau’s true allegiance lies, something that I anticipate us finding out in the upcoming episodes.

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Of course, Will isn’t the only one who is taught a valuable lesson regarding their position in this new society; Will’s wife Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) also has to come to terms with certain truths about her decision to be a spy for the Resistance. For starters, she discovers that the Resistance isn’t as unified as she first thought. Like so many other movements, they splintered along the lines of ideology, with one group parting ways from the larger group. As a result, the entire Resistance is at risk. In order to protect it, Katie has to carefully pry her husband for knowledge about the Occupation’s plans without alerting his suspicions. I’m curious as to how long she’ll be able to keep up this charade before Will finally becomes wise to it, and how the inevitable fall-out is going to affect their relationship.

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In addition to adding depth to Will and Katie’s respective storylines, this episode also exposes more of the realities of this new society. Like the previous episode, we witness the Red Hats abducting people without regard for human life, and we see how strained the food rationing system is. What’s new is that we get a glimpse into the class system that has erupted in the wake of The Arrival. When Katie’s sister Maddie (Amanda Righetti) runs into an old flame at an event that she’s catering, she tries to rekindle their relationship only to be informed that such a relationship could threaten his position, since she is from a lower class. It’s a rude awakening for her and one that I suspect will affect her character in future episodes.

Despite giving us a few more insights into this new world, this episode leaves much of the mystery still intact. Who are the Occupiers? What happened during the Arrival? How were the Occupiers able to debilitate the city’s defenses so easily? What is the Factory? What happens to the people who are sent there? Who is Geronimo? And, more importantly, what do the Occupiers want? All of these questions need answers–how soon we will get these answers is anyone’s guess.

The next episode of Colony airs on January 28 at 10:00 pm EST on the USA network.

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  1. Awesome review, and great questions. I Think as it goes on we will learn more bit by bit. Love the intrigue and seperate choices a family makes to reach the same goal.

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