Colony: Panopticon
January 23, 2018 11:47 AM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Katie and Will catch up. Charlie's home but not safe. Jennifer performs under pressure. Unbeknownst to them all, the Preliminary Global Authority considers "total rendition" for the Los Angeles bloc.

Well, Charlie is shaping up to be the fly in the ointment of what I assume is Will's plan to returns to work, lay low, and just go along - Charlie is going to cause problems for the family, I think. But it's interesting the contrast between Charlie and Gracie - Gracie is all in on the Greatest Day and the vision being sold; Charlie is the exact opposite, a stark realist about what is going on and that they aren't safe.

What exactly has Will done with his life to deserve both Devon and now Jennifer dying while trying to help him? He won't even know what "weak" Jennifer did.

"Panopticon" is an interesting choice of title; while the family at the core of show finally has understanding of each other and their actions, there's some things here that go unknown and unseen: Jennifer's decision; Helena's plea for the bloc in front of the Interim Global Authority.
posted by nubs (11 comments total)
I may have to limit how much binging I do with this show; it's fairly grim thus far this season.
posted by nubs at 11:48 AM on January 23, 2018

There's no way the authority isn't surveilling Jennifer, especially in her office, and she can't expect not to be surveilled, especially after having that fact pointed out to her by Bob.
posted by porpoise at 8:24 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

* Helena freshens up in an antiquey communal restroom overlookings the Alps, swaps out one lapel pin (Authority?) for another
* There a gigantic ~96 storey Rap building plonked in the middle of a sleepy alpine town
* Helena introduces herself as the newly appointed Governor General, a Host/Rap has been abducted while in the LA Block, shit flows downhill
* The council votes on whether to "total rendition" LA Block, Helena drops her now backless Authority pin (?), vote is no
* Global Authority agents are already operating in LA Block

* Katie overdoes it reconnecting with Charlie
* Charlie has a hard time reintegrating
* Will finds out that Bram is in custody, is devastated, still manages to catch Katie up

* Jennifer is seeing, hearing, and recording all of this from her office desk, quickly locks down her workstation when summoned to meet Dan
* Dan bears down on Jennifer, puts her on notice
* Jennifer talks to Betty, perhaps trying to id a possible Patsy
* She returns to her office to find Bob Burke, Dan's "trusted agent," going through her computer, "I welcome the review. Order and duty."
* Bob does a friendly grilling of Jennifer, vows to keep investigating
* Jennifer resumes surveiling the Bowmans
* Someone knocks on Jennifer's door, she quickly shuts down and locks her workstation, Bob brings her to the basement via the freight elevators and into the data processing bullpen, is grilled by Bob again

* Katie mentions to Charlie how much he's grown, Charlie shows in more ways than one, then trauma adaptation behaviours at breakfast and beyond
* Will tries to dad Charlie's trauma away
* Will and Katie fight, Jennifer now has Will's confession of murdering Coyle (?) in cold blood on tape
* Lindsey visits the Bowmans, Gracie is excited, Charlie sees through Lindsey and leads Gracie away
* Will and Katie talk relationship
* Charlie contemplates cutting his hair, wanting "to be how it was," Katie offers to cut it for him, they bond over Lindsey hate

* Katie confesses to Will of giving aid to Jennifer
* Katie was expecting SWAT when Will came home with Charlie, Katie is team Jennifer, Will is "No we can't (trust her). Jennifer's got a good heart but she's weak. It won't take much to break her. She doesn't have the experience or training for this kind of thing... I've worked her before, I can work her again... I can handle her."
* Jennifer is listening in again
* She storms out of her office without securing her workstation and into Dan's office, almost narcs out Will Bowman... who is back from Santa Monica. And would be a great asset to the office!, lies about her source to Dan
* Dan demotes her to the general surveillance pool that Bob showed her

* Lindsey continues to indoctrinate Grace, who can't remember that #2 is "Hard Work," Charlie sets a small fire off in the kitchen
* The smoke detector fails to issue an alarm, Will inspects and discovers a bug (Jennifer is not watching, for once, as she's having a meeting with Bob)
* Katie and Will have a shower, Katie thinks Will's being all sexy, Will informs Katie of the bug and that there are surely more
* Jennifer logs back into her workstation, deletes all the important Bowman recordings, as file contents disappear (but not the filenames), she sees a touching episode of Gracie caring about her bigger brother
* Jennifer goes home, opens a stashed bottle of wine and a stashed cellphone, and watches an old video recording of her and a man
* Many sleeping pills (presumably) are consumed
posted by porpoise at 8:48 PM on January 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Will's confession of murdering Coyle (?) in cold blood

the former leader of the Resistance that Broussard worked under, right? That's Quayle.
posted by numaner at 8:15 AM on January 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Man I remember thinking how rough this episode was on Jennifer. Like, her job, and possibly her life, is on the line. She's trying to get any resource at all and then a former mentor basically calls her weak. Then she actually loses the will to rat him out and then getting demoted. Like, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Charlie was a riot. I like that kid.
posted by numaner at 8:17 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I thought Jennifer's arc was fascinating, because from Will's point of view, she is "weak" as far as intelligence/counter-intelligence work goes; it's not her training or her skillset - but she could have been good at it, I think. But she basically shows off her strength to keep Will's secret even at the cost of (what I am assuming is) her life; I took the ending to mean she was going to drink her wine & pop her pills until she was gone - hence the empty chair in the data centre, showing the end of her life playing to a room that isn't going to notice. And Will won't ever know that her last acts were to protect him and his family, as well as vouch for him.
posted by nubs at 9:35 AM on January 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yeah, Jennifer's arc was tragic - obsessively watching Will return to his family, the connection and closeness of said family and in the end is left with no-one, no job, and no self respect (both hearing Will's negative assessment of her and also unable to rat out Will).

While Will will blithely continue without realizing/understanding (despite Katie being team Jennifer) how much Jennifer (used to) respect him and how much risk she put herself in to help the Bowmans.

I'm kinda sorta slightly annoyed with the Charlie character - yes, yay trauma adaptation behaviours! but... he's also in a privileged enough situation (now) where those adaptations are only slightly maladaptive. They also seem to be a constant thing, although we do see triggered behaviours.

While looking something up, found out that Colony moved from LA to Vancouver for Season 3; I wonder if the plots going to change enough that most of the work is done on soundstage or outside in a non-LA environment.

Toby Huss (Bob)! I'm finishing up watching 'Halt and Catch Fire' and have been impressed with this actor. Excellent job of remixing competence, charisma, and ruthlessness
posted by porpoise at 10:30 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm kinda sorta slightly annoyed with the Charlie character - yes, yay trauma adaptation behaviours! but... he's also in a privileged enough situation (now) where those adaptations are only slightly maladaptive.

For the moment, yes: slightly maladaptive. But for a family that needs to keep heads down and noses clean, Charlie is now a potential source of trouble; he's the inverse of Gracie. Gracie is potential trouble because she's swallowing the Kool-Aid and so might someday become an informer on the family; Charlie, in defending himself and resisting every attempt at control is the new rebel in the house.
posted by nubs at 3:10 PM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ah, good point.

Charlie sticks out as different/troublemaker (Lindsey must suspect). Will is definitely a person of interest (left the FBI, known to have crossed the wall twice). Bram's in detention. Jennifer knows that Katie is resistance affiliated (but Katie's still under the radar since Jennifer exuented stage left).

A family of troublemakers.
posted by porpoise at 4:38 PM on January 24, 2018

So, what was the point of all that business with Helena's pin? Why does she change her pin at the Authority UN Meeting? Why is it significant that her old pin gets left behind?

Long shot hope: the empty chair at the surveillance desk is meant to signify that somebody noticed Jennifer was about to commit suicide and ran off to tell Bob about it so he can stop it. I mean, probably not, but I feel like it'd be interesting to watch her come back from this low point somehow. Bob obviously knows everything, and maybe this was just a test to see how tough she really is, which she passed by choosing not to rat out the Bowmans. Or something.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:23 PM on January 28, 2018

I had no idea about the pin the first time I saw it, I had no additional insight the second time.

What I *think* she might have been doing was exchanging her old position with the new Governor General pin. No idea what 'accidentally' dropping the un-backed former pin was all about.

Unfortunately, I think the empty surveillance desk was just a recursive trill. Jennifer was supposed to occupy the position that surveils Jennifer swallowing pills.
posted by porpoise at 8:14 PM on January 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

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