Colony recap: 'Free Radicals'
Wowie oh wow, what an episode. We’re barely over the halfway mark for this season, and things are already starting to pay off in explosive new ways. It’s becoming increasingly clear that everyone in the Los Angeles Bloc and beyond is in a fight-or-die situation — even if fighting still means dying — because a lack of resistance is what’s futile right now. Even the most “honor and duty”-allegiant sheeps of this system might have to raise an eyebrow at these new developments.
The episode begins by introducing us to two new people: a woman named Frankie Broom and her no-name guy friend, who celebrate the start of their big day with a romp in the sack and a toast “to liberty.” This is a tradition of the rebels, apparently. He’s tasked with a suicide mission to backpack-bomb the green zone, but he gets cold feet once he sees that it’s all nice, helpful people (and children!) in line for their rations and tries to walk away. He might’ve made it further if not for the K-9 unit and redhats going crazy over him exiting the line, so his device goes off anyway, killing himself and who knows how many others. Frankie’s disappointed that he didn’t reach “the target” — the lineup of redhats at the entrance, probably — but they’ve still managed to make a point here that the Resistance is still very much alive.
Unfortunately for Frankie, her face is splattered all over Homeland intel associated with the man who carried out her mission, so now Will and Burke are tasked with shaking down her family to find her hideout. And Will needs to deliver results, or else his job is in question; he’s not living up to the “illustrious Detective Bowman” reputation that preceded his return to the Bloc, apparently. Burke’s also got questions as to his whereabouts the day before, when he was helping out BB, but Will blithely brushes him off. It won’t do much to strengthen his relationship with his new partner, sure, but his kiss it attitude at least buys him some more time.
They first hit up Frankie’s aunt and uncle’s house, where their hosts give them tea and put on what Burke calls “cheap theatrics” about their belief that if their niece was caught up in something illegal, gee golly, well, they sure hope she gets caught soon, mister. Only Burke and Will both know they don’t really feel that way. Will’s ready to walk away — “they’re nervous as cats, but they don’t know anything,” he reasons — but Burke’s got a better (read: worse) idea. He’s had a few redhats round up their grandkids as leverage to make these people talk. Will thinks this maneuver is too cruel, but it works.
Burke’s professional mantra is, “We stand on the line between order and chaos. Start making compromises and we’re all on the path to anarchy.” If only he knew how fruitless his work really is at the end of the day. Anyway.
Will and Burke lead the entire department to Frankie’s rebel hideaway house and are met with a litany of bullets and explosions at the door. They’re ultimately able to stifle the commotion and line up the house’s occupants (well, most of them anyway) for questioning. Burke lords over these people with his pistol like he’s Negan in the The Walking Dead‘s big “eeny meeny miny moe” scene and starts executing them one by one until he’s left with just Frankie. The sight of this slaughter is just too much for Will to endure, despite the fact that he killed a few of these people himself in the process of entering the house (and was even saved by Burke’s bullet when one particularly gnarly dude took half a clip to the chest and kept coming after him). He goes back inside to find one confused straggler, and he waves the kid on to run away. Clearly, his heart is just not in this thing right now.
Will’s even more bothered by the “interrogation” scene that ensues back at the department, as Burke’s team has strapped Frankie to an electric chair that is giving her a mild heart attack. He tries to run interference once she seemingly passes out, but by freeing her of her handcuffs, he accidentally enables her to sneak a suicide pill out of the skin of her foot, and Frankie takes herself out rather than reveal the names of the people she’s been recruiting all these rebels for. Whoops.
This makes their bossman very displeased, and he calls their partnership “an unmitigated disaster.” Burke offers to align with a new partner to fix the problem, but it’s not just Will’s job on the line anymore. If we thought Burke was a beast before, he’s probably about to make his former techniques look like the kid-glove treatment, and Will is definitely not ready for what’s about to commence between them.
NEXT: Mya makes a sacrifice…
“One of us”
Turns out, having Bram on the pseudo-inside with Snyder was exactly the thing the labor yard resistance needed to carry out their long-gestating plan.
He and Mya engage in the de facto game day activity by copulating in a crate while others outside play lookout, and she tells him it’s go time upon retrieving Snyder’s access card. They’ve managed to flip a redhat, who’ll distract Snyder during his next meeting with Bram, which will buy him time to steal the card.
This all goes off without a hitch — even when Bram is caught standing behind Snyder’s desk after lifting the card from his drawer, he plays it off as though he was just checking out Snyder’s calendar to show him the exact date the rebels are planning an escape attempt. This also serves as an orchestrated distraction because when a couple of the boys do make way for the fence as expected, Snyder and his team are all occupied trying to stop them, which gives Bram and Mya a window to escape.
They take their precious box — which, as many predicted, is another homemade bomb — to the storage room Snyder showed Nolan before, and this time, all those rocket-shaped life rafts are lying out in the open, ready for departure. Not only that, but they’re no longer empty. They have people — or what looks like people — hooked up to breathing tanks and sleeping. Mya wrenches one open, and when the woman inside falls out, she begins “drowning” in the open air. Are these the aliens? Do they really just look like us here? Or have the hosts transformed ordinary humans into themselves? Unclear.
We don’t get to find out much else in that moment, though, because Officer Jenkins, a.k.a. Redbeard, comes in, and Mya sends Bram away with a pocket knife to deal with him. The little shiv is nothing compared to Redbeard’s infamous baton, of course, so Bram is gamely handled without much effort on Redbeard’s part, but aha! Redbeard was followed by one of the rebels and is knocked out from behind, while Bram is sent to rejoin the ranks before he gets discovered missing and blows their cover altogether.
Snyder figures out that someone’s missing — Mya — but is glad to have subdued this mini-resistance effort without much interference in the day’s VIP shipment plans. As the ship takes off, all seems well and fine until BOOM. The thing explodes, spectacularly, mid air, giving the entire Los Angeles Bloc a signal that the rebellion is working. Mya was on that ship, too, of course, which makes her a hero. Bram’s friend warns that there are going to be consequences and says that he hopes Bram is “as strong as she was.” But when it’s lights out at the camp and Bram starts crying, it’s clear he’s in over his head here, despite what Mya said about seeing something special in him the first time they met.
Will Snyder know it was Bram who helped make this moment possible? Does Snyder even matter anymore? Surely, this is going to cost him big time. He’s already on thin ice with the Authority, so the fact that his wards managed to detonate an alien ship has to be the death knell for his career now, right? And is Bram’s commuted sentence about to change?
NEXT: Katie takes a stand…
“Two years, three months, and nine days”
Will might be in a precarious position at work, but when it comes to his kids, he’s always willing to take a few risks. Now that he knows he can’t access the labor yard file at Homeland, he has to agree to Katie realigning with the Resistance to have their tech gurus take a look. She swears it’s only for the sake of Bram, but we know better than that now, don’t we?
She goes to Broussard’s bunker and asks them to dig into the file and find out about Bram’s situation. In trade, they can use the rest of the information on it as they see fit. Broussard agrees, in his way, and sends her away. (P.S.: Turns out the Eckhart escape attempt was a false alarm because he’s still very much down there right now.)
Meanwhile, Maddie is fielding questions about the download because, it turns out, the Authority monitors this kind of thing. Nolan’s been asked about why someone lifted a file from his office computer, and even though Maddie knows exactly who did it, she plays it off. There were a dozen people at their house that night, so how should she know who went into his office? After they’re done filming a PSA for their Greatest Day church, though, she confronts Katie at her home and is met with shrugged shoulders from her sister. Katie denies having done it, even though they both know very well that she did, so Maddie kindly advises her to hire back the blessed tutor Lindsay before she draws too much attention to herself.
Katie, after seeing Maddie and Nolan’s commercial calling for those who seek “knowledge, community, and spiritual peace” to join their institution, is clearly frightened by his sister’s stunning allegiance to this group. Even so, she heads to the church and asks Lindsay to come back, even playing nice as Lindsay promises she’s there to offer her some much-needed spiritual guidance, too. “Faith is about struggle,” Lindsay says with her saccharine smile. “I see how hard you’ve been struggling with your new reality.” Katie thanks her for being this window of light for her family and, in the process, probably dies a little on the inside.
Broussard links up with the audio tech who’s been evaluating his sound file and finds out some disturbing information. This clip more or less matches what NASA heard during the Apollo 10 mission so many decades before, and there’s a pattern to both files. It’s a countdown, you see, and the first one counted down to the arrival, so what’s this new sound counting down to? Yikeeees.
Broussard tells Katie that Bram’s got six months left on his prison sentence and will be released back to the Bloc then to get the good news out first. Then he reveals the grimmer bit of his discovery, which is that the Bloc is not a “colony” but a death camp, and this audio countdown indicates the day when there’ll be no more Angelenos left standing.
After Will fails to wrangle in Charlie, who’s already annoying Lindsay again with his constant ball-to-the-wall throwing outside, he goes ham on a makeshift punching bag outside. He meets with Katie at the Yonk and confides that he can’t keep up appearances at work anymore. But that’s when she drops the bomb on him about the tick-tock clock that is their colony, revealing that they’ve got exactly two years, three months, and nine days ’til Los Angeles is no more. She’s going to have to go back to full-throttle alignment with the Resistance because Broussard needs help and an extinction event is nigh. He agrees, saying that the new plan is to get out of the Bloc once and for all as a family to survive this thing.
In other words, he’s gonna have to suck it up at work and help lead Homeland astray from the real Resistance while she pulls strings from the inside, as they both bide their time ’til Bram’s released. If he’s ever released, that is.