Colony postmortem: Ryan Condal on Will's decision in In From the Cold
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from “In From The Cold,” Tuesday’s episode of Colony. Read at your own risk! Recap here.
Yes, that happened on Colony. While everyone was double- and triple-crossing each other in an every-man-for-himself-type situation, Will Bowman (Josh Holloway) shot and killed Resistance leader Quayle (Paul Guilfoyle). Not to be outdone, Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) experienced a personal loss that made her even more willing to commit to a cause she was ready to give up. And with Will now fully aware of his wife’s secret, the stakes have never been higher.
“This season is largely about consequences for choices made, and this story is just another part of that,” executive producer Ryan Condal tells EW. “We’ve seen Katie had to make terrible choices to back up her ideology or to save her family and now we’ve seen Will have to do it in order to protect his wife. There definitely will be consequences for the family and Will, and particularly their relationship.” Read on for more, including Condal’s thoughts on the decision to finally reveal one of the season’s biggest mysteries.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve been teasing “The Factory” since the first episode, but until now, we haven’t gotten much information about it, much less seen it. What was the decision behind waiting until three episodes before the end of the season for the reveal?
RYAN CONDAL: For us, the show is first and foremost a character experience. So waiting this long and finally showing The Factory was because one of the characters we hopefully care about from the pilot of episode was Carlos, Will’s best friend, who was the collateral damage of Will’s decision to try to rescue Charlie. Carlos and Will’s situation was meant to show that Will would have been sent off there as well if he didn’t have the particular set of skills that Snyder was looking for. It just shows you there are two worlds in the occupied world of Colony: There are people that are of use to the occupation, and people that are not, and those people basically get a life sentence. We did want to revisit Carlos to see where he was, and also satisfy the audience in some way and show that, yes, The Factory does exist and the big reveal for us is the fact that it’s not on Earth.
Was the decision to have Will shoot Quayle something you had planned from the start?
The story of Quayle in episode 8 was the long culmination of the story of Katie getting involved in the Resistance and having this romantic notion of what that means, and realizing it’s not the Resistance the way it was in Terminator. There are bad people in the Resistance, too, and Quayle saw the writing on the wall and saw a chance to get out. And he took it. And Will, being the pragmatist that he is, saw that he had to take action to protect his wife. We kind of conceived that idea of Will killing Quayle to save Katie very early on in the story breaking process. We’ve seen Will have to act as a Collaborator and have to make some bad choices to protect the family, but we hadn’t seen him do anything really dark like that and make this snap decision. And did he go into the room with the plan to do that, or did Quayle’s speech inspire him to do it? What actually is the thinking behind all that?
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We’ve been seeing Katie and Will’s relationship strain itself more and more with each episode, and now with Will finding out about Katie’s secret life and having shot Quayle, we seem to have hit the breaking point. How are Will’s actions going to affect his marriage?
Those who were paying attention realize that Will totally found out at the end of episode 7, staring at the book. We weren’t going to give you the scene where Will says to Beau, ”You’re not going to believe what my wife did today!” It’s going to be an internal realization. And now, what is Will going to do with it? And we intentionally started the Will and Katie story with another one of these family meals, just like the whole story started, but it’s just the icy pall that’s over the meal. And you realize that Will knows that she’s in the Resistance, but hasn’t told her that he knows, and what’s he up to? Is he going to use her? What kind of angle is he taking? At the end, we know that you might not agree with the decision she made, but you know as a viewer she’s very smart, and the smart viewers are wondering in that scene, “Did Will just tell Katie that he knows and does she understand what the information is that he’s transferring to her?” And that was intended as the cliffhanger going into episode 9.
In relation to that, what can you tease about the Will and Katie story as we head towards the last two episodes?
Thematically, we always set out to portray the Will and Katie dynamic with the central question of, When does Will find out his wife is Resistance? And we played it not just as secrets and lies, but as sort of as an infidelity story. So if you look at episode 8 as a culmination of this story, we watched one person be idealistically unfaithful in a relationship and wondering if her husband is going to find out if she’s stepped out of the oath or the code between a married couple. And we’ve seen her do that, and then we’ve seen Will find out his wife is being unfaithful to him and he’s gone through all the compulsions of trying to explain it away or convince himself that it’s not happening, so that’s what you’re seeing.