Man, Alan Snyder’s a slippery son of a gun, isn’t he? The only person with whom his BS doesn’t fly — and the only one who can pull a fast one on him (probably) — is Helena Goldwin. Heck, he might even have a long game going with her, too, for all we know. Snyder’s said time and time again that he always keeps his promises, but we know better than that from his days as the Bloc’s Proxy, when he played judge, jury, and executioner to folks just because he could.
Snyder’s endgame has always been survival, of course, but he does seem to have an honest fondness for the Bowman family. With them, he seems to always actually come through on his word, even when he doesn’t have to. He could’ve left Will hanging by the wayside when Snyder was dishonorably ejected from his post in the first season instead of handing him the promised pass out of the city; he certainly could’ve left Bram to die with the rest in the labor yard, especially after Bram double-crossed him; and, yes, he could’ve easily convinced Maddie to flip on Nolan Burgess and left her to rot in a cell somewhere anyway. But he didn’t, and he didn’t, and he didn’t again. As for whether he’ll help keep her son Hudson safe, well, he’s three for three with this group so far, so the chances are high that he will.
So, why is he all of a sudden so loyal to the Bowmans? Certainly there’s some self-interest at play here because that’s just how Snyder operates, but does he see something we don’t about their chances of getting out of dodge before the sun has set on the Los Angeles Bloc? Maybe so.
But from where they’re sitting, the odds of success are getting pretty slim… unless there’s a reason they keep surviving all these drone encounters, that is.
Let’s walk through what went down on the penultimate episode of Colony‘s second season.
This week, we get a rare glimpse at the halcyon days when Eric Broussard’s biggest fear was his conscience eating away at him for not reporting on his mission gone south. After the botched battle that he shared with Noah’s contact over in the other bloc, he’s asked to sign some paperwork indicating that he and his men were fired upon first before they creamed a crew of civilians, and all he has to do to make it home in one piece is sign on the dotted line of his feigned testimony about the event. He’s hesitant at first, feeling what Burke might call “honor and duty” to the truth, but it doesn’t take much pressure for him to bend and affix his John Hancock to the phony report and be on his way from the desert once and for all.
Chances are, he expected that locale to be the biggest obstacle of his lifetime, but now he’s stuck underground while the city above him has turned into an alien-controlled hellscape where he’s high on the Global Authority’s most wanted list. There’s an Alanis Morissette lyric in there somewhere.
Broussard, Will, and Katie all have their eyes on the prize, which is to escape this place before the countdown ticks too close to D-Day, but Noah’s not going to take them anywhere until she gets her hands on that gauntlet the red hands stole from Hennessy. So, they try a semi-diplomatic approach at first.
Bram reluctantly shares what he knows about the bouncer at the club where he first met Karen, Frankie Bloom’s mother. This is his chance to play with the big kids, if only temporarily, they tell him. Once he reveals what he knows, Broussard and Will take it from there and lean on the bouncer to arrange a meeting between themselves and Karen.
She doesn’t come alone, of course, but the rendezvous happens without any bloodshed by either party as Karen tells them, in her way, “Thanks but no thanks.” She’s not interested in working with any of these stinkin’ collaborator types, whether they could make an actual difference in this effort or not. Her decision to decline for the sake of her principles here is probably the reason for the episode’s title, “Seppuku,” as it’s a samurai practice, more commonly known as “harakiri,” whereby the warriors disembowel themselves rather than live with dishonor — the dishonor being an alliance with the collaborative Resistance.
Even though it’s not as easy as saying “pretty please” to get their stolen items back, Morgan is able to put a digital bug tail on Karen’s team and follow them back to their new hideaway: a theater. That’s something Broussard knows all about, given his own run-ins with Hennessy, so he feels comfortable enough storming the fort, so to speak, although he knows it could be a costly endeavor for them.
Before they’ll agree to set off on what very well could be a suicide mission, though, they need to know why it is that this equipment is so essential to Noah’s team’s mission. That’s when she reveals that they’ve captured a real live Rap and just need that one piece of technology to intercept their communications, and boom. Sky’s the limit, quite literally speaking.
The bad news is they’re heavily outnumbered. Broussard’s group is five strong, and not all of them are fully trained in the art of war at that, while Karen’s got dozens of guys lined up to do her deathly bidding at the drop of a hat. Or a hand, as the case may be. The good news is that Broussard and Will are tactical forces on the field, whereas Karen’s crew is pretty much just a ragtag team of amateurs who’ve bought into her whole “to liberty” political aesthetic. That’s enough to get them arming up and shipping out to the red hands’ hot spot, and, yes, it’s a brutal massacre indeed.
Noah’s strength and know-how is impressive as they wipe out guard after guard to get to the hiding spot for the gauntlet, but she’s clipped twice in quick succession along the way and succumbs to her injuries. On the battlefield, the mantra may be no (wo)man left behind, but Katie and Morgan have no choice but to cut and run before they’re taken out by the swarm of Karen’s soldiers, too. Meanwhile, Will and Broussard provide cover for the ladies to escape, but they’re also eventually outmatched. Broussard sends Will ahead and promises to catch up, but they both know it’s unlikely he’ll survive if he stays, so Broussard reminds Will that he has a family to live for and to go.
It seems like the end for Broussard, even to him, as the masses of Karen’s men catch up to him on the rooftop, so he launches a drone signaling device and prepares for the worst. This is the futuristic version of a suicide pill, no doubt about it. Without a blink, a trio of drones show up to gun down all the humans in sight, namely Karen’s men, but even though he’s fully visible to them, the drones flit away without harming Broussard or even signaling for Homeland or the IGA to come scoop him up.
He’s thought dead until he shows up and relays his unlikely survival story, which leads Will and Katie to believe he must be on the same list that Will was in the blackjacks’ car. Why else would they both be spared by alien tech that’s designed to murder them on the spot like that? This just got very interesting and also kind of confusing, no?
They’ve got the gauntlet back, but the pilot’s dead, so now what?
Meanwhile, Helena and Snyder pick up where they left off with their plans to undermine Alcala. He starts by playing softball with Bennett, who begrudgingly reveals that Nolan Burgess’ computer file was downloaded and what was on it.
After that he pays a visit to Nolan himself. Nolan’s just been instructed, again, by Alcala to do away with troublemaker Maddie, and, after bedding her one last time (to make sure we know that’s all he thought of her, despite “protecting” Hudson by sending him to fancy camp for VIP kids), he turns her over to the Authority. She’s expected to make a full confession of the fact that she alone was to blame for Katie’s bad behavior with the file, and he’ll be free and clear to keep on with his Greatest Day indoctrination routine. What a creep.
He tries to court Nolan to Team Helena through traditional methods at first — threatening Homeland will come down hard on his family if not. But Nolan’s already dealt with that matter, in his mind, so he dismisses Snyder without taking the bait.
That’s when Snyder comes up with a back-up plan. He returns to Bennett’s office for an update on Maddie’s whereabouts and uses his newfound privilege not only to pay a visit to her in the interrogation space Will was taken to before, but to shed her of her binds and tear her forced confession into bits. It’s worthless, he asserts.
Maddie knows that his sudden promise to help her is selfish in origin, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t still help her… and, more importantly, Hudson. All she has to do is point the finger back at Nolan, and why wouldn’t she? The man just used and betrayed her without a second thought. And here we might’ve gone on thinking there was a shred of substance to his affection for her after she basically agreed to sacrifice her sister for him before. Done and done.
Snyder triumphantly returns to Burgess’ house and surprises him with an offer to collaborate with Helena against Alcala and be pushed for his position as a reward. Now that’s a carrot Burgess is willing to chase.
But Helena’s got her own deal running, and it’s bigger than both of these fellas. She meets with Alcala and loosely informs him of Nolan’s true ambitions, which is enough to sway his own loyalty to her corner. For appearance’s sake, it’s worth it for her to keep a proxy in his place rather than replace the position yet again, so with that, Nolan’s scooped by the Global Authority and shot off into space, and Snyder and Helena are both just delighted to see him go.
As it turns out, though, all their hard work spent politicking was for naught because the IGA has decided to give Los Angeles the “total rendition” treatment anyway.
In other words, that countdown everyone’s been worried about? Well, it just went into hyper speed, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it at this point except to run. But where? And will Snyder keep his promise to protect Maddie and her son and, by extension, the Bowmans and their friends, too?