By Andrea Towers
March 17, 2016 at 05:53 PM EDT
Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network
  • TV Show

It hasn’t been an easy road for the Bowmans.

The formerly idealistic couple of Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Will (Josh Holloway) have spent most of the inaugural season of Colony navigating a relationship while being on different sides of opposing forces: the collaborators (where Will is working in exchange for intel about his missing son) and the resistance (where Katie has chosen to stake her loyalty). While last week’s intense episode saw the reveal of Katie’s secret to Will, Thursday’s finale will deal with the action-packed aftermath of that emotional blowout — and by the end of the hour, viewers will find themselves wondering how the heck they’re going to wait for the show’s return.

“Will isn’t mad that Katie’s in the Resistance. I think if anything, he’s proud of her, and he wishes he could do it too,” Callies tells EW. “But the problem is she’s been lying to him. Ryan [Condal] and Carlton [Cuse] talk about the first season in terms of an affair, and it’s not the sex that ends the marriage in the affair, it’s the lying — the lying is constant, and the biggest danger of it is what it does to the person who’s doing the lying. You become more suspicious of other people when you yourself are not telling the truth, and that starts to erode trust. And without trust, there’s nothing there.” According to Callies, that trust is the biggest thing Katie and Will have lost at this point in the story. “Katie has always known Will as a man who does the right thing, and she really profoundly feels like he is not doing the right thing right now,” she says. “Will and Katie are kind of at the point of realizing love is not actually all you need.”

Over the course of the season, viewers have watched Katie evolve from a person who was hesitant to get involved in a fight, to one who quickly learned what it means to dedicate herself to a cause. “It’s such a fine line, the distinction between freedom fighters and terrorists,” says Callies. “Katie just sort of jumped into this thing with both feet without really looking at what was under her, and I think the evolution is really interesting, because I think she starts with the resistance because she wants to be a solider. She doesn’t want to lead. She wants someone to tell her what to do and how to do it, so that she can quiet that thing inside of her that’s going, ‘Your kids cannot grow up in this.’ And it’s so easy to say things like, ‘It’s better to die standing than on your knees.’ ” As Callies’ character has learned, however, romanticizing a cause and being involved in one are two entirely different things. “I think what starts to happen at the end of the season and in the finale is that she finally starts to see her own ideologies, her own actions and her own leadership,” she says. “And that’s a massive transition, to get to a point where you’ve been betrayed by the leaders of your cell and formed a new cell, but you’ve formed a new cell with the man that you want to follow, and in the course of an operation you’re forced to take the reins.”

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Will taking the reins involve getting her sister Maddie (Amanda Righetti) into the fray, given that Maddie has been nudging her way back into the coveted “Green Zone” and could possibly be an asset to Katie’s cause? “They’re sisters that I don’t think were particularly close before the invasion. I think they were close growing up, and then Maddie went high dollar and Katie married an army guy, and their lives kind of went in different directions,” says Callies. “But now they’ve got that sense of responsibility to one another again, and yet Maddie is neck deep in this occupation. I think Katie loves her sister so much, but Maddie is a survivor who has no qualms about collaborating, and Maddie can be the only one who can offer her sister protection. I think there’s room for another dynamic for people who love each other so much but have enormously different philosophical approaches to that thing.”

With all that said, what does Callies hope to see from her character next season? “I’d be really interested in exploring nonviolence resistance,” she teases. “I realized I’ve been equating the resistance with armed resistance, and it never once occurred to me in this entire set of conversations to talk about nonviolent resistance. Carlton and Ryan’s response was that a lot of season 2 is going to revolve around ideology.”

As for the future of Will and Katie?

“I’d love eventually for Will and Katie to be on the same side … maybe in season 3,” Callies says with a laugh. “Because he’s got all the tactical stuff and I think what Katie is finding — Rachel says to Katie that one of the things that Katie brings to the table as a member of the resistance is that she keeps Broussard away from the edge. And I would love to see an exploration of Katie’s identity as somebody who can inspire other people. Katie’s never going to be the biggest badass around … I would love for her specific strengths to be the strengths of convincing people that courage is ultimately a more human choice than fear. That would be a really exciting way to see her go.”

The season finale of Colony airs Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on USA.

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