Colony recap: 'Sublimation'
Will and Charlie face the wall
The political paralleling between Colony and the current American landscape has been a rich source of dread since the beginning, but the timing of this week’s episode, which puts so much focus on transcending “The Wall,” is a bit spooky, no? Anyway.
The Resistance is gaining in size and severity in the Los Angeles Bloc. As a mass of ordinary citizens line up to join the Department of Homeland Security’s squadrons of Red Hats — not just out of some sense of fealty to their new government, but a mercy cry for more of those rations that have become so scarce — the facility is blown to smithereens. Gunmen then arrive to finish off those outside of the building with the message, “You collaborate, you die.”
What started out as a Resistance made up of rogue radio jockeys spouting a hope for peace and poster makers flooding the sidewalks with imagery of non-compliance has now escalated into full-on bloodshed. Broussard himself once “collaborated,” and so did Will, for the sake of posterity, but it looks like that game has run its course where this Resistance is concerned.
The pressure on Homeland Security to get their city under control intensifies, as operatives from on high descend on the department to clean up the mess themselves. Jennifer’s boss places the blame for this rebellion — and the ego burn he’s experiencing from being superseded so early on the job — squarely on her shoulders. She did run data for a dating site instead of a real governmental operation, after all, so what could she possibly know about this job? The mansplaining factor here is on full-tilt tonight.
Jennifer’s got one card up her sleeve to prove she’s useful, though, and that’s Katie. Katie’s on her own mini-mission to expose Gracie to other, more traditional forms of faith before her “teacher” Lindsay absolutely destroys the girl with indoctrination of this Greatest Day nonsense. Katie’s pretty much given up on Maddie, who’s so far gone now that she’s picking out locales for their next big worship center, but Katie still needs to make nice with her sister so she can take care of Gracie if and when Katie’s made to pay for her sins against the government. With Will still gone, who else can look after her?
There’s a glimmer of hope for Gracie yet since she’s not only responsive to the stories shared by her mother — who knew Katie was such a scholar of faith — but she wants to stay planted right here at home instead of going full-time at the Green Zone.
At first, Jennifer tries to play fair with Katie, saying that she doesn’t actually want to be the one responsible for her being shipped off to the Factory away from her kids, but she needs something to take back to her boss, or it’s her head on the proverbial guillotine here. Katie offers her a morsel — there’s an actual bug in the form of a robot bee floating around their offices that the Resistance has been tapping into — but it’s not enough. Jennifer’s boss wants Broussard and nothing less.
It’s not something Katie can give her, though, even if she says she’d do anything to save her family right now. Last week, when she refused to turn Broussard over, her motives were questionable, but this time she does her best to convince Jennifer (and us, probably) that she actually doesn’t know how to contact the man and that she’s not just pretending here. Jennifer warns that it’ll be Katie who suffers the wrath of her withholding, but Katie doesn’t budge. She gives Jennifer the green light to turn her in instead, promising that she will not hold it against her at all if and when she does.
They have a brief back-and-forth over who has cost more innocent lives with her actions, and although the conversation is short, it is a valuable subject for dissecting. By ordering so many civilian captures for The Man (make that, The Alien?), Jennifer unquestionably has blood on her hands. But Katie’s participation in the Resistance which killed a “host” inspired the drones to go ham on the city, so she’s complicit in devastation as well. What’s worse? It’s all so very bad.
What Katie doesn’t know, though, is that her family is receiving special treatment outside of the wall in two verrrry different ways just as she’s basically handing herself over to Homeland.
NEXT: Scaling the wall …
After slaying Solomon, Will safely returns to Devin’s house, where she and Charlie have just bonded over their gnarly battle wound scars. Will still doesn’t have his transit pass, so they’ll have to come up with a Plan B to get himself and Charlie back to the Los Angeles Bloc. Devin wants to go with them, too, because she’s going to be persona non grata in the Santa Monica Bloc thanks to Will’s assassination of Solomon.
It’s Charlie who comes up with the idea of tapping a coyote to cross the wall, and luckily, Devin knows a guy. She offers up her home, which is stocked with supplies and ordinary amenities that aren’t common here anymore, so coyote Chuck agrees to use his drone to make a rappelling rope on a “low” (a 150-foot climb) section of the wall for them to cross over.
Kudos to Charlie for being completely brave about the whole thing — “it’s just a wall,” he says — but we get an inkling that he’s still just a confused kid here, despite his toughened exterior, when he tremulously asks his dad why he didn’t come back for him the day this all began. Will can’t answer the kid, even though he does have a perfectly legitimate explanation for his delay in getting to him. But the moment is more about respecting Charlie’s torturous experiences during his stay in Santa Monica than Will making himself feel better about it anyway, so maybe it’s best he did skirt the long-winded justification option here.
Eventually, they make it to the wall and start their ascent with two of Chuck’s pals in tow. It’s slow going, and Charlie almost loses his cool (and clip) halfway up, but the real trouble comes when a drone shows up and starts blasting them to bits. Chuck’s no-name tag-alongs are first to go, of course, because they were only here to be easy pickings anyway. But then Devin’s liquified as well (a sight that’s probably the source of the episode title, “Sublimation,” by the way), which makes the scene seem even more grave than it already did. For some reason, though, the drone stops at Will and Charlie. It’s not clear who’s responsible for this moment of mercy, but my hunch is that it’s Jennifer, who ordered the ceasefire from afar here. Maybe she knows that by helping Will return, it might ease some of the stress on her at the office.
NEXT: A new alliance emerges …
Meanwhile, Bram’s still at the labor camp, being roughed up by a bully who steals his boots. His new lady friend encourages him to step up and confront his tormentor at the loading dock, but that doesn’t go well for him. Officer Redbeard is happy to sit back and watch the assault unfold, but former Proxy Snyder steps in with a taser to subdue the situation.
His interference is about more than just showing Bram some mercy out of respect for his former alliance with his dad; he wants Bram to be his eyes and ears in the camp because he can sense that there’s a resistance brewing from the barracks. He’s had experience with this sort of thing, after all, during his tenure in the Los Angeles Bloc.
Snyder has apparently noticed a pattern with the fights that break out between the prisoners — they always happen at the loading dock. He suspects that they’re being orchestrated as a distraction for the guards so that their comrades can slyly break away with some of the goods behind their backs.
Bram agrees to the deal while happily dining on the fancy steak dinner Snyder’s provided him, but knowing his history, he might just be positioning himself as a double-crosser, too. Like his mother, he was also tantalized by the smooth-talking Geronimo early on in the show, and it certainly looks like his one ally in the camp is involved in all of this, since she’s the one who encouraged his second battle beating before sneaking off the scene before. They’ve already been discussing Bram’s trip under the wall in secret — he tells Snyder he didn’t see anything there, but who knows if that’s true or not. Will Bram align with Snyder and his ambitions to return to run the Los Angeles Bloc again in earnest, or will he use this new position of pseudo-power to aid the prison rebels? Unclear.
Also unclear is what’s going to become of Katie now that she’s given Jennifer her blessing to turn her in, especially once Will returns home safely with Charlie. It’s been a year since Katie has seen her son, so she’s probably going to be a lot less gung-ho about going away than she was two minutes before their reunion. Will Charlie’s sudden reappearance in her life be the motivation she needs to turn over Broussard? Or does she really not know where the guy is? Will Jennifer just drop all plans to turn Katie in now that Will’s back to answer for himself to the new head honcho?
One thing’s for certain: The Resistance is getting stronger, and the Bowmans are all going to have some decisions to make as to where their loyalties really lie.