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Colony postmortem: Ryan Condal on what to expect in season 2

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Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from “Gateway,” Thursday’s season finale of Colony. Read at your own risk! Recap here.

After 10 episodes of Colony, we know a few things: The Hosts exist (and they’re not the aliens we would’ve thought… or are they?) There is some sort of life beyond the wall of the Santa Monica Gateway, though we’re not quite sure what kind of life that is, yet. The elusive Factory is on the moon. And Proxy Snyder isn’t the only one who has political stake. 

“We wanted to leave the audience with this feeling at the end of the season that, hopefully everyone liked and enjoyed it, but regardless of what you thought of it, you know that season 2 necessarily has to be a different story,” executive producer Ryan Condal told EW. “Season 2 is obviously not going to be about Katie secretly being in the resistance and hiding it from Will.” Read on for more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Okay. We saw the Hosts! But we didn’t learn a lot about them, so I can only assume this is going to be explored next season, right?

RYAN CONDAL: We had to accomplish a lot of things this year in what was really nine episodes, because the pilot was really a concept episode. We’re trying to immerse everyone in the world, introduce them to the characters, have them really work through this very character-driven story of resistance and occupation…so a lot of the science-fiction stuff, the bigger mythology world stuff — it’s all in there, but it’s been seasoning. We feel like now that we’ve really established the world and the characters that are going to occupy it, next year, with 13 episodes, we can really get into the underlying mythology. This is meant to a reward to the audience. It’s meant to be the appetizer for the main course that’s yet to come.

What can you tease about where we leave Bram being caught in the tunnel? Obviously, he’s not in the best situation…

Bram’s in trouble! [Laughs.] Bram was edging around this idea of resistance all year long. The dramatic irony of getting get under the wall was, he has not realized — and Will has not realized — that this has been set up by his father’s good police work. And the last thing Will would’ve expected to catch was his son. But we’ll see what happens next season. This is a real world where there are consequences for your actions. Just because your last name is Bowman, as we’ve seen through many parts of the finale, that does not make you bulletproof in the story. And his story in season 2 is that he has to reap the consequences of his actions.

You really played your cards well with the character of Maddie (Amanda Righetti), who by the end of the episode seems to have become a real power player. What can you tease about where we’ll find her next season? Maybe the right hand woman of the “new” Snyder?

The idea that Maddie was part of this world, the “green zone” before the Arrival, and then had that stripped away from her. She was broken down to nothing and forced to live in her sister’s backyard and to need things from her for the first time in her life, and the story this season was a slow ascent back into this world of power and influence, and seeing how she’s very savvy and navigating, unlike somebody like her sister. And this is not a superhero, this is the Game of Thrones element of this world. As we’ve seen, she’s ambitious, but that ambition hasn’t seen itself satiated just yet.

And what about that last shot of Jennifer (Kathleen Rose Perkins), staring at Phyllis’ empty chair in the Homeland Security office? With Will MIA and Beau gone, it seems only natural she might be getting a promotion…

I think that remains to be seen as an overarching question. [Laughs.] Whenever you cast a guest star, you’re basically taking a flyer and seeing who works with the show, and who serves a real purpose on the show. The writers are all fascinated with Jennifer, so I will say confidently that you will say Jennifer again next year.

Will and Katie really got put through the ringer this year as both a family and individuals. Was the intention always to have them end up physically apart by the season’s end?

We really wanted to tell the story of an otherwise happy and loving marriage that had been driven apart and pulled apart by extraordinary events. The only real outcome for this part of the story, at least, was to drive them apart. And we saw them driven apart emotionally and psychologically at the end of episode 9, and we saw them physically pulled apart at the end of episode 10.

You’re already hard at work on breaking stories for season 2, so what can you tease about what viewers can hope to see when you return?

We want to explore Will and Katie and the Charlie situation, and explore them in a satisfying way. Charlie’s absence is what catalyzed the action this year, compounded with Will and Katie’s relationship. Will and Katie will be back on screen together again, and I’ll tease maybe sooner than you might think, but maybe not the way you might think. I’m a writer who is into thematic storytelling, and we really want to tell this story next year about how it’s human nature to react with violence. This is the escalating nature of the situation, and you’re going to see a much darker world in Los Angeles next year from both the occupation and the resistance. You’re going to see new people come to power, and we’re really interested in telling a story about a world that is suddenly much more paranoid than it was in the last shot of the episode. 

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