“Colony” 1.8 Review: “In From the Cold”
“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” This is what Helena tells Proxy Governor Snyder in the eighth episode of USA’s mesmerizing sci-fi drama Colony—and kudos, Colony writers, for once again alluding to a classic dystopian novel in this show—and it definitely sets the tone for everything that unravels in “In from the Cold.” The episode opens with us finally getting a glimpse into that furtive Factory that instills so much fear into the populace. Although we only get to spend about five minutes there, we manage to learn quite a bit. For starters, Carlos is alive (Yay!) but his living conditions couldn’t be worse. Because, you see, in this factory, people are forced to work until they drop and if they display any kind of sickness or weakness, they are carted away to an undisclosed destination, presumably to be eliminated. Rather than attempt to put up a fight, the captives here are resigned to their fate, watching solemnly as one of their compatriots is seized without lifting a finger to stop it. However, Carlos hasn’t given up hope of one day returning home. The last thing that we learn before the camera cuts away is that the Factory is not on Earth; it’s actually on the moon, although we don’t find out this little piece of information until later.
The majority of this episode is focused on more domestic conflicts, namely the ones occurring within the Bowman household and within the Resistance itself. After discovering that book among Broussard’s possessions, Will is now certain that his wife is part of the Resistance. Nevertheless, he keeps his suspicions close to his chest, letting only a few barbed hints pass his lips to indicate that he knows. Nevertheless, Katie continues to behave as if her secret is safe. Apparently, she’s not the only Bowman who excels at subterfuge.
Outside of the Bowman family, things aren’t looking good for the Resistance or the Occupation, at least in the Los Angeles Bloc. With Broussard on the run, the Resistance is scrambling to figure out their next move. In a shocking twist, Quayle (Paul Quilfoyle), the leader of the Resistance, comes to Will to make a deal: he will keep Katie’s involvement in the Resistance a secret and give up Broussard if Will and Snyder agree to secure him an all-access pass out of the Bloc. Naturally, Will accepts.
Meanwhile, Snyder finds his authority under scrutiny once again. Helena informs him that the Chief Minister of the Pacific Coast is coming to their Colony in order to evaluate Snyder’s performance. The reason for this: unlike the other Governors, Snyder refuses to use fear to maintain order. “I don’t think order comes from fear,” Snyder asserts. “I think it comes from giving people a decent quality of life.” Helena remains unconvinced and leaves Snyder feeling very, very nervous.
Although I know that the intention of this conversation was to paint Snyder as a “good guy at heart,” I can’t help but feel like this is just another ruse on Snyder’s part. After all, Snyder is the type of person that would willfully break a deal with someone and condemn them to death if it made him look good (which he did in the episode, Geronimo). When push comes to shove, Snyder isn’t much different than Quayle; his first priority will always be his own survival and his own prestige, which makes the people surrounding him expendable. Furthermore, the idea that Snyder isn’t using scare tactics to control the populace is laughable. Those belligerent Red Hats that manhandle, beat and sometimes execute citizens in the streets aren’t doing so on their own; Snyder is the one holding their marionette strings, and it’s important that nobody forgets that.
Anyway, Snyder is on edge, Will is on edge and the Resistance is on edge, which adds up to a series of explosive situations. With a finesse that I honestly didn’t expect, Will feeds his wife enough information to not only lure her into a false sense of security but also lure Broussard out of hiding. While Katie and Broussard think that they are orchestrating another kidnapping attempt of a Transitional Authority official, what they are actually settin is a trap set for Broussard and the other members of the Resistance. By the time that Katie realizes that they’ve been had, it’s too late; the Red Hats descend, and although Broussard and Katie manage to escape unscathed, many others, including Rachel and her sons, are ruthlessly mowed down.
I should’ve been more prepared for the sheer brutality of this scene, but I wasn’t. Under the Occupation, there is no such thing as a peaceful surrender, and involvement in the Resistance is a death sentence of the highest order. Still, I was shocked and devastated by Rachel’s death, not only because Kim Rhodes is such a fantastic actress and I’m sad to see her go but also because her character served as such a foil for Katie’s. Like Katie, Rachel was also a mother involved in the Resistance, but unlike Katie, she chose to be honest with her family and even allow them to be a part of it, too. As a result, they paid the ultimate price. So, is the show trying to imply that Katie’s way is the right way? That honesty leads to ruin while deceitfulness ensures survival? For all intent and purposes, it appears that the show is doing exactly that. In this new world, there is no room for integrity; the only way to survive is through duplicity, a lesson that continues to be drilled into both Katie and Will’s heads.
Will snapping at the end of the episode and taking out Quayle and those Red Hats was also something that I didn’t see coming. I think he did this for several reasons; while the most pressing was keeping his wife’s secret and his family safe, I also think that he was tired of being lied to and took out his frustrations on Quayle. Moreover, I think he saw eliminating Quayle as a way to cut off the head of the beast, so to speak. With their leader gone, the Resistance would scatter, which might please Snyder enough that he’d finally deliver on his promise to get Charlie back. Sadly, Snyder is far from pleased about this development; he’s infuriated—so infuriated that he takes away that liberties that he had previously granted to Will, which leads me to believe that we will see an altercation between Will and Snyder in future episodes.
All in all, I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of the Resistance. Like a phoenix, I predict that it will rise from the ashes, perhaps with Katie at the helm this time. I could totally see that happening because Rachel’s death appeared to solidify rather than dissipate her conviction to the cause. However, I’m curious as to whether or not we’ll get to see more of the Factory before season’s end. Is it on the moon, as Bram and his friend hypothesized? And what exactly are they doing up there? Will we get all the answers that we’re craving by the season finale? Somehow, I doubt it—but that’s what makes this show such a pleasure to watch.
New episodes of Colony air on Thursday nights at 10:00 pm ET/PT on USA.