How long can Will and Katie Bowman work on opposite sides before they have to make choices that could destroy their marriage forever? This is the pivotal question on this week’s episode of USA’s new sci-fi drama Colony, titled “98 Seconds.” Over the course of the episode, both Will and Katie are consumed by internal conflicts regarding their recent choices. For Will, he continues to be caught between his duties as a Collaborator and his sense of right and wrong. He’s suspended in an interesting state of helplessness from the very beginning; as the episode opens, he watches yet another family torn apart by the Occupation and finds himself desperate to help but unable to do anything. More so, when he returns home, he stumbles on a much more troubling implosion: that of his wife’s nervous breakdown after her recent foray with the Resistance, which he also is unable to understand since he has no idea that she is involved with them.
However, it is Katie’s struggle that is the most fascinating aspect of this episode, as she comes face to face with realities about the Resistance that she can never un-see. It makes me wonder if she held previous, romantic notions of what it meant to be a rebel under the Occupation before she saw the bloodshed and the casualties. Regardless, it’s apparent that Katie hasn’t been an active participant in the Resistance for long. In a particularly memorable scene, one of her compatriots, Rachel (Kim Rhodes), urges Katie to trust that the more experienced members of the group will lead Katie through her first assignment without a hitch. Rachel relates Katie’s need to surrender her control to losing one’s virginity–a fact that makes this scene even more poignant, given that it’s followed by Katie’s breakdown in her bathroom, in which she desperately tries to clean the blood off of her hands in shame before ultimately seeking physical comfort in the arms of her husband.
In addition, this episode highlights the strain that Katie’s double life is putting on their marriage. I found it interesting that, in the last episode, Katie never had to pry information out of Will; he offered it willingly, just as he does in this episode, because he considers Katie to be his one and only confidante. Little does he know, Katie is using that trust to undermine the Collaboration and potentially put their entire family in jeopardy. Furthermore, Will quickly becomes aware of the fact that Katie is beginning to recede into herself, to trust him less and not open up to him in the same way that he does with her. By the end of the episode, Katie’s internal conflict reaches a crescendo, as Broussard (Tory Kittles) and Quayle (Paul Guilfoyle) give her an ultimatum: either she has to make Will into an asset for the cause or the Resistance will eliminate him. Naturally, this causes her to panic and to doubt not only her decisions but her husband’s as well.
How this all will play out in future episodes is unclear. At this point, nothing has actually changed: Will is still working for the Occupation with no idea that Katie is working for the Resistance, and the two of them are doing everything in their power to cling to any snippet of normalcy that they can get their hands on–for example, the Yonk. However, it’s not long before even that safe haven gets disrupted by the fragile reality in which they are living. When Proxy Governor Snyder (Peter Jacobson) makes an appearance on opening night and declares that the Yonk “is critical to the Transitional Authority’s long-term plans” and that they are keeping it under surveillance, everything comes crashing down for Katie. Whether she likes it or not, she and Will are caught between the demands of the Occupation and the Resistance, and their survival hinges on how well she is able to navigate her dual roles. Will she try to turn her husband into a double agent for the Resistance? It’s possible. It’s more likely, though, that she will continue to play the role herself out of fear of putting her husband and family in any more danger. Either way, I doubt that the Bowmans will escape without consequences. Let’s just hope that Charlie doesn’t have to pay them.
The next episode of Colony airs on February 4 at 10:00 pm ET on USA.