Will and Katie struggle to keep the family together
Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network
S2 E1
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The first season of Colony dropped us right into the thick of “the occupation” and never bothered to explain how things got from Point A (normal, modern society) to Point B (cities dominated and even encapsulated by alien “hosts,” with pre-selected humans helping them to the point of running an extreme police state on their behalf).

The result of that mayhem immediacy was that while the reality of these characters was just as terrifying as the onslaught of decimation drones and outright riddance of the First Amendment and our other inalienable (ha!) civil liberties should be, we simply had no idea what in the world was going on at any given time. It was all the more terrifying for that confusion, of course, but it looks like season 2 is going to finally, mercifully fill in a few important blank spots in our understanding of this — as Helena so despicably described it — “brave new world.”

The premiere episode opens with a callback to pilot’s first scene — only this time, it’s Katie breaking eggs, and there are plenty to share amongst the family. That nutritional bounty is thanks to a flashback to the halcyon days when Will’s biggest worry was whether his FBI partner Devin was getting a little too cozy with some local Armenian baddies. And look! Charlie was still well and with the family and musing about fun kid things, like who’s on deck to pitch at the next major league match-up.

Meanwhile, future-Proxy Alan Snyder is mired with divorce drama and taking his shabby desk as the Stanford provost when he gets a visit from the Men in Black. That’s not what they call themselves, of course, but their suit game is basically the same. They tell Snyder he’s been put on some algorithmic list by the Institute for Global Advancement and that if he’s willing to meet their client, his whole career will enjoy an unexpected uptick. If those promises of posterity aren’t enough to convince him, they’ve also got a little blackmail stuffed up their spiffy sleeves — Snyder here has apparently been embezzling money from a foundation for years. Now he’s listening.

NEXT: The beginning of the end

Snyder agrees to their request and is taken to a remote hideaway with a refrigerated chamber. He has to wear earphones to communicate with the “host” he meets, who looks an awful lot like the “VIP” who was killed in last season’s rebel explosion attack — is it too early to say all aliens look alike in this show? We don’t get to hear the alien’s pitch to Snyder or what their exact plans for him entail, but it must’ve been serious enough to get his noodle wiggling because he jumps on the opportunity to have his daughter (forcibly) evacuated with him, with the ex-wife-to-be left to linger in that house she wanted so badly. Ouch.

Before the you-know-what can really hit the fan, Will and Devin have one more stare-fight over her potential authority abuse and corruption before being sent on a mission to scout out one of seven VIPs who’s gone missing overnight. Among the disappeared? Major military officers, central intelligence officials, and some engineers. One of these things is not quite like the others, so when they find their particular target — an engineer who had the sense to make himself a panic room to hide in when the would-be kidnappers came and murdered his housekeeper — they have to ask. Why the engineers? Well, he tells them, he was on a list of those who were meant to be sequestered in the event of a world-ending event. It doesn’t exactly explain why he had a target on his head in this instance, but it certainly proves he was worth more than just some airplane blueprints.

Will and Devin take him back to the department, and the place is pure chaos. Devin wisely makes a break from the city because she can sniff major trouble ahead — and besides, this isn’t even her department — but Will’s got a family to think of first. He calls on Katie to round up the kiddos and Maddie and Hudson (poor Rob’s on a flight during all of this, RIP). Katie’s just finished having a nice chat with our friend Broussard at the bar; he was freshly back from the East Coast on an unexpected visit for reasons we don’t get to know. She manages to grab Gracie first, and on the way to snag Bram from school, all electricity goes out. Charlie’s been dropped off 10 miles away, so without a car…?

Will tries to make it out to him on a mountain bike, but that’s when the giant wall starts to unfold and plant itself right before him, encircling and entrapping the city of Los Angeles. Despite all the horrors we’ve seen on this show so far, it’s still a jaw-dropping and terrible sight.

Also deeply unnerving is the moment when Broussard’s endless sense of dread comes into good use. He dutifully reports to the VFW, armed and ready, as he has been instructed to do by … someone. But once he realizes there’s no real plan or direction in place, he finds that categorically suspicious. “We just put every real operator in the city under one roof,” he tells an old friend, whose arrogance about how prepared they are for trouble lands him in a pile of rubble once the aliens level the place in one shot.

NEXT: Back to the future

We flash-forward to present time and get to see what’s become of Will and Katie since the events of season 1 transpired — obviously, it’s not good news. Will has indeed made it past the wall to the Santa Monica Bloc, but he’s having no luck finding Charlie. In fact, he gets stabbed in the arm just for asking to speak with his rumored boss, Solomon. Luckily for him, he’s able to locate his estranged partner Devin to ask for her help. Judging by her face, she’s still not quite over their strained parting the day all this madness started, but something tells me she’ll let it slide and do the right thing for the man whose back she spent half a decade covering for the Feds.

Oh … and Bram’s in custody, and he ain’t getting out, even with Maddie’s new boy toy helping the family via an in with the new Proxy. One unanswered question from the first season was what exactly has been going on at that Factory on the moon, and if Bram’s heading that way, we’re probably about to find out. Will he and Carlos team up to form some kind of sweet moon-rebel squad? Or will Carlos punish the kid for the sins of his father? We’ll find out.

Overall, the season opener certainly sets the tone for just how fast and furiously this all went down. What started out as a normal, scrambled-eggs-and-coffee kind of morning quickly deteriorated into utter chaos and destroyed more than just the electricity grid. We’re still only one layer deeper into the onion of how society devolved into accepting and yielding to this otherworldly control, but lo, we’re at least starting to get somewhere on that track.

Meanwhile, the future looks just as bleak as the past, if Katie and Will’s brief look-ahead is any indication. If Will can rescue Charlie, there’s no way he’ll still be that sweet, ballcap-wearing kid they last saw; whatever Bram’s about to endure at the hands of these literally inhuman authority figures is going to be similarly devastating. As for Gracie, well, she’s in with the in-crowd now, so to speak — she’s basically living with Maddie and her Green Zone guy — so is she going to flip altogether? It’s almost bittersweet to get to see the Bowman Five in their original state because, if this new season premiere is any indication, that serene scene will never return to them again.

So … yeah. Sweet dreams, everybody!

We wrote a react for this episode, which means we’ll just be checking in occasionally, but if this is a show you’d like to read about each week, please let us know! You can email chat@ew.com with your feedback and suggestions.

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