Yikes on bikes, Colony. Not only is the Bowman family more separated than ever — even with the successful location of Charlie (and his hilariously bad wig) — it’s becoming increasingly clear the entire “occupation” is grounded by some religious fanaticism about “The Greatest Day” that’s reached much farther than just Gracie’s weirdo tutor. As it turns out, there’s nothing scarier than a group of alien-worshipping zealots.
All those Green Zone-ites might be doing the hosts’ bidding out of self-interest — and there’s certainly plenty of that to go around, especially when the alternative to cooperation is death or, perhaps worse, an indeterminate sentence in the Factory — but they also seem to buy whatever message those aliens have been transmitting for so many decades. In turn, the hosts might just want human slaves en masse, but they’ve wrapped that garbage sandwich in nice enough packaging for everyone to swallow … Even Maddie, now.
Let’s take it from the top.
There’s a reason those Men in Black seemed so prepared for the coming occupation when they introduced Snyder to a host to court him to their team — the U.S. government has been receiving transmissions from them ever since we started sending men to the moon in 1969. How or why they laid dibs on our old satellite rock is still unclear, but we do know their first beacon and communications came along right around when mankind was off making giant leaps.
Instead of taking it as a warning or cause for mass panacea, though, the powers that be decided to simply decipher the mathematical message and wave hello back. And so, here we are. Good call on playing nice, fellas! That wasn’t at all stupid.
Daily life has since become quite hellish for everyone outside of the Green Zone; those terrible drones patrol the streets, the red hats are as depraved as ever, and food rations are running out before everyone can get a fair share. And it’s about to get a whole lot worse if Jennifer’s new boss has anything to say about it. Proxy Snyder might’ve been sickening at times, but he acted out of sheer self-preservation with everything he did … which is something everyone else we know is starting to understand all too well.
NEXT: Katie gets an ultimatum …
Jennifer’s basically warned that if she doesn’t deliver Broussard to her new, admittedly impatient boss, she’s toast. She let Will slither through the gates with Snyder’s blessing, and she has no earthly idea how Beau managed to sneak out, either. Like (mostly) everyone else, Jennifer’s obviously got some kind of sob story that humanizes her — a broken pic of her man and their dog tells a thousand words — but her back is against the wall, so right now she’s all business.
It turns out she’s the one running video surveillance on Katie’s house; we don’t know if this all started before or after Will admitted his wife was the leak, but it doesn’t really matter. She tells Katie what she knows about her and offers her silence in exchange for Broussard. As powerless as Katie is right now — her batting the eyelashes routine does nothing to impress Nolan Burgess, and even a bottle of liquor only gets her minor details from a red hat — she’s still not willing to budge when it comes to her resistance pal.
Is she telling the truth that she doesn’t know where he is or how to contact him? Or is Katie truly that committed to keeping this man’s mission going, even as her own children are at risk?
Speaking of which, Bram’s alive and well as he can be under the thumb of a bearded labor yard foreman/officer. He’s quicker on the stick than he seemed — and more ruthless, at that. After his teacher/partner-in-crime is beaten and relegated back to the transport bus, presumably with a one-way ticket to the Factory, he betrays no concern over his buddy’s fate. Instead, he makes up a backstory about being 20 years old and working on a demo construction crew. It’s good enough to keep him in the labor camp just outside the wall … instead of shot into space to live out his days as an alien slave (and not the Princess Leia kind, by the way). Oh, and bonus! There’s a cute girl whom he gets to ogle in her skivvies and whisper to about how he got through the wall.
Nolan takes credit for getting Bram there, of course, because he wants to keep Maddie in his corner (and bed, probably), and the pointed stare Snyder gives Bram does make it seem like his fortune here was by design. But while Nolan’s spouting off about how he needs to “play the game” to keep appearances where the occupation is concerned, he sure does seem to love it when Maddie gets confirmed as one of them and sees some ethereal vision of her new place in the Greatest Day plan that makes her feel all gooey and existential about this whole thing.
Let’s just say, little Gracie isn’t the only one in the family drinking the Kool-Aid right now.
NEXT: Charlie Charlie Challenge …
On the other side of the wall, Will and Devin have found a common bond in their willingness to do whatever it takes to survive this thing. Turns out the Santa Monica Bloc is even more corrupt than Los Angeles — it’s run by warlords like Solomon, who abuse children into fear-based loyalty and earn their right to stay by way of turning over poor preschool teachers to the occupation for enslavement. Will might not have been completely sold on his wife’s participation in the rebellion in his own Bloc, but now he’s wondering why these people don’t just stand up to their oppressors. That change of heart is going to come in handy soon, trust.
Devin gets Will a meeting with Solomon by tracking down one of their targets and turning her in — this place is savage — and Solomon leads him to Charlie without too much of a fight, with Will’s transit pass as a fair trade. As expected, though, Solomon and this year on the mean streets has changed Charlie. He doesn’t want to be in his father’s keep because he’s afraid Solomon will hurt him, his friends, and/or his dad. Will might’ve promised Solomon, “If I get to see my boy, I’d be grateful to you for the rest of my life.” But as soon as he sees the scars of torture on his own son’s legs, that gratitude is gone.
Will has an old-fashioned Second Amendment solution for Solomon and takes him out along with his entire crew. As bad as these boys might be, they’ve got nothing on the tactical training and might that Will developed on his old job. He quickly realizes, though, that by killing them all he’s basically re-orphaned all the other children Solomon enslaved. He offers to bring them back with him, but they skitter away, panicked. Oh, and where’d that transit pass go?
So, yeah, the Bowman family is a hot mess right now. It’s hard to determine who’s in worse shape, really. Gracie’s tiny mind has been twisted by her wackadoodle tutor and, to Katie’s endless credit, she treats that fascination with kitten gloves to try to get her daughter to see reason. Is it enough to bring the girl back to the level? Is there even a level to get to anymore?
Will, on the other hand, handles Charlie’s victimization the only way he knows how — with vengeance — but that’s not going to do much to mend the boy’s mental wounds here. And from the looks of this landscape, there aren’t many child psychologists with open books to help him deal with his inevitable issues right now, either.