Colony: Tamam Shud
February 12, 2018 5:20 PM - Season 2, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Will and Katie attempt to make contact with a new arrival in the bloc. Bob has some questions for the Bowman family.

* Noa works on a a two seater prop plane, while Darin expresses doubts, "This plane has no electronics. They won't see us coming." "Yeah, but that's - see, that's just a theory." ... "What about the drones?" "We'll come out of the sun and we'll bail out before they can spot us."
* Shot of the plane flying over the wall; everything outside is gutted and decayed
* Two people are watering plants in their backyard from the in ground pool, hears the prop plane
* Two drones zip up and shoots the plane down; Noa drops into the pool a the end of a fast parachute, starts running
* Sirens start going off in the distance

* Will and Bob are sent to investigate, Red Helmets cut a dead Darin down from a tree
* Bob probes Will on Katie and Madeline's relationship, Will pushes back
* A radio is discovered, Will mentions bagging it up for 'the blackjacks,' sends his helper off and surreptitiously scrambles the settings

* The LA council have a meeting, reveals a growing resistance movement outside the walls, Helena drops the term IGA (International Global Authority?), isn't pleased, sends Dan out to recover the missing pilot

* The Bowman's IGA supplied safehouse is a definite downgrade from their last house, the kids are bored
* Will and Katie go for a drive, Will talks the subversive talk (including having memorized the frequency the radio was set to) in a company car
* Katie's worried Emmett (the kid Will let escape from the safehouse) might spill, Will reminds her their own kids are protected by them staying in cover

* Broussard takes Katie to meet with Hennessey at the movie theater again; Broussard realizes Hennessey has had his throat cut, they make a quick exit
* Broussard and Katie risk breaking into Hennessy HQ looking for the gauntlet, finds a shortwave radio
* Upon contact with 'Den Mother' the day's code is requested (likely a book cipher; the reference is handwritten on a wall calendar, but there are lots of books)
* Without the code, Den Mother requests that all outlets shift to signal two immediately
* Katie and Broussard hunker down in an abandoned office to rendevous with Will, who's late

* Will looks up Gavin, a tech repair guy, asks for a military grade radio with VINSON encryption; Gavin balks, Will lies, Gavin complies
* Will sends an unencyrpted signal to the frequency he memorized, claiming to be a friend, Gavin starts quietly panicking

* Bob bursts into Dan's office: "Bowman is working for the resistance."
* Dan is skeptical until Bob informs him of Kate and Madeline's relationship, surveillance record of their conversation about Burgess' downloaded files
* Dan becomes less skeptical, reminds Bob that Burgess is a powerful person (proxy's right-hand man) but gives Bob head to entrap Will to get to Broussard
* Bob's a little pissed off
* Bob consults Albert Kim, who surmise that Will and Kate know they are under surveillance, Albert brings up the files that Jennifer had deleted, Bob tasks him on recovering the data
* Bob works on Emmett, who gives up Katie
* Bob does some mental arithmatic and connects Katie to Broussard and the dead host, shares this nugget (with surveillance evidence) with Dan

* Red Helmets raid the Bowman's IGA supplied safehouse, apprehend the Bowman kids
* Bob has Will under active surveillance, Dan relaxes the rules of engagement to include for capturing Katie
* Will's shadow blows it, Will walks away from the rendevous and into a coffee shop
* Katie calls the shop's landline, asks for an Alex Graham, Will picks up
* It takes surprisingly long ("another 45 seconds") for Bob's team to patch into the landline call
* Impatient, Dan authorizes Bob to take Will in, Will tells Katie to take the kids and run
* Katie asks Broussard if he will help with her kids, "Of course."
* "Did you know I was internal affairs, before the Arrival?" - Bob has Will, cuffed, in a gutted storefront while Dan looks on - "It turned out that my old job made me a perfect fit for this new world."
* Bob's good
* Dan steps and dangles the Bowman kids, plays good cop; Will tries to take advantage of Dan's precarious desperation
* Will makes a VINSON encrypted call, pretends to be working with Hennessey
* The receiver is the pilot, who apparently didn't get the word to switch to 'Signal Two,' sets up a meet

* Gracie is frightened, context shifts, reveals is worried about Lindsey; Bram tries being a good big brother
* Two pistol shots ring out outside
* Katie and Broussard assault the IGA supplied safehouse with pistols
* The kids see everything
* Katie and Broussard take the kids to Broussard HQ
* Katie tries treating Bram like an adult, Bram has resistance feelings, Katie turns on the mom prerogative and shuts him down

* Will is in an ambiguous situation where Dan kind of trusts him but Bob certainly doesn't
* Will reveals he sniffed out his shadow in seconds, counsels pulling back undercover Red Helmets from the meet, Dan accedes
* Will requires contact with his kids before proceding, now knows they've been rescued
* Dan: "We have a sniper on you.", sends Will on his way
* Dan and Bob now know it was Katie and Broussard
* Dan insists the meet go as planned, Bob walks up to Will to shut it down, Will: "Something's changed. You've lost your leverage."
* Will breaks his soda bottle, shivs Bob in the stomach, runs
* Caught at a dead end, Will is saved by Noa, they both take off
* Will make it to Broussard HQ - Noa wants a meet at a neutral site
* Noa's a competent operator, introduces herself, provides a bona fide story from a friend of Broussard's from back in the shit
* "I'm here because the real war is about to begin. And that thing you stole? That's going to help us win it."

* Helena is pissed, Proxy Alcala is surprisingly chill - knowing Helena's going to take the fall, not him
* Alcala makes a power play, gears spin within Helena's head; after Alcala leaves: "Get me Alan Snyder."
posted by porpoise (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The IGA is the body Helena spoke to earlier in the season: the name was in German, and my quick use of Google translate lead me to believe that the first word would be either "preliminary" or "interim," so I'm guessing the show is going with Interim Global Authority.

I'm quite happy the show didn't spin out Will's double life any longer; it was pretty untenable and the hoops they would have to jump through to keep us believing he could be jackboot by day, freedom fighter by night would be...well, unbelievable. The show moves fast to resolve situations that other shows would drag out for a season.

Looking forward to seeing what Helena and Snyder cook up. I'm struggling with understanding the larger political landscape now...Helena is the Governor-General of XXXX and has the Proxies of places like LA and Santa Monica under her, while she reports to the IGA - but where does this whole Greatest Day crap come from? Like, Helena is obviously not a fan, so why is it being pushed so hard and by whom? I get the utility of it - indoctrinate the sheep into compliance for extermination or transfer to a labour camp, but I can't see who is behind it.
posted by nubs at 7:41 PM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

I assume The Greatest Day is specifically Rap-driven, based on the weird experience Maddie had during her induction.

I was also grateful to see Will's double life dropped - that lasted about as long as it possibly could have, even with everything breaking his way. I also appreciated that Bob never fell for any of it. (Bob was a good opponent for Will.)

I really liked Noa here.
posted by mordax at 7:50 PM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Bob's a great character, and I'm a big Toby Huss fan. Definitely an extreme example of lawful neutral (of some variety).

At this point, 'Greatest Day' could be anything from an 'opiate' prop to the central reason why the Raps chose Earth to invade. There have only been insinuation of body-possession thus far. No?
posted by porpoise at 9:12 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Remember earlier this season when a guy flew a very-"digital" quadcopter drone over the wall?

Anyway, agreed with everybody else here that Will leaving the Occupation was a necessary and overdue occurrence. I think I would have preferred the show that allowed him to live the double-life longer, because I actually found that part of the premise more interesting (I guess I should start watching The Americans to get my fix of that), but Will's days in the Occupation were numbered as soon as he left the LA Bloc.

And I do have to give the show some props for resisting the urge to spend a whole season with Will in Santa Monica and Katie in LA.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:47 AM on February 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Remember earlier this season when a guy flew a very-"digital" quadcopter drone over the wall?

I thought of that too, but wasn't there a throwaway line about that section of the wall not having sensors or something?

Episode title is a reference (I assume) to the Tamam Shud case, which I'm guessing is a reference to the fact that Hennessy was found murdered by causes unknown (though if it isn't the Red Hand, I'll be shocked) and then the indecipherable code left behind, leaving no contact with the group outside the wall.
posted by nubs at 8:16 AM on February 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

ah yeah I forgot about the coyote's drone. i guess technically it didn't cross the wall, just got to the top of one side.

I think Will's double life actually ended as soon as Snyder was out and all the new people came in. The mass total surveillance thing was new to him, and the old way of detecting was no longer needed, hence Bob succeeding. It was only by luck for the Bowmans that Jennifer deleted all that stuff.

Also how badass was Broussard and Katie rescuing the children? I love how she guns down the last guy (actually I can't remember who killed him) and the kids are like "HOLY SHIT MOM". Further evidence of what we said a couple of episodes back about how useless redhats are.
posted by numaner at 8:19 AM on February 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm of the belief that pretty much everyone at least somewhat sympathetic on the show has been working the best they can to shield themselves and as many others as they can from the RAPs (I've been watching with the subtitles on for a bit, and that is how it is always written - all caps - which makes me think it's a acronym for something (Remote Access Prions? Rapid Apt Prestidigitation? Religious Avian Punks? Rabid Ass Predators?) rather than a shortening of a proper name). Anyways:

-Maddie - ingratiates herself however she can to protect her son
-Will - collaborates with Snyder and the Authority to keep his family safe
-Katie - joins the Resistance, at first to fight back, and then out of need to protect her family
-Snyder - uses his position to curry favor and protect himself and his daughter along with whoever else he deems useful
-Broussard - works to protect the remaining members of his cell
-Helena - uses her position to try to protect the bloc as much as possible - she doesn't like the Greatest Day, wants people to trust the civilian authorities (trust in humans, not in RAPs). Which might extend to some systematic methods of trying to ensure that the RedHats are somewhat inept...or it might just be that the RedHats can only recruit from the most desparate people in the bloc, who may not be the best soldiers. Still...they can't defend a fixed position against two people with pistols. Where's the drone support? There are apparently thousands upon thousands of them sleeping in the walls.
posted by nubs at 8:32 AM on February 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Hey, so, weird question.

I watched the first couple episodes of this and I'm intrigued but - does the show ever explicitly state the nature of the over arching conflict and the reason the world is the way the that it is?

I think I would like the show, I just don't want to be drip fed bits and pieces about Why Things Are you know?
posted by Tevin at 9:03 AM on February 14, 2018

Not a weird question at all; I think we’ve all be burned/frustrated by shows like this.

The basic situation is that the RAPs, an alien force/group has come to earth and taken over - virtually overnight. They’ve grouped the remnants of humanity into geographic blocs, which are controlled in an authoritarian manner.

The show (from my perspective) is more concerned with the question of how people find ways to survive in the presence of an authoritarian regime than answering why this has happened, though that is part of it. To its credit, the show doesn’t spin out situations or problems for any longer than necessary, but the answers to the larger “why” and “how” are slower in coming - though I don’t have the sense I did with shows like Lost, that when the answers come, they will be unsatisfying or incoherent.
posted by nubs at 9:12 AM on February 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

It's a Carlton Cuse joint, so drip-feeding the "mythology" is the name of the game. This show does a better job than a lot of others at not stringing out plot stuff longer than necessary, but at the end of season two we still don't know what the RAPs really are (though we have some clues) or what they want with humanity.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:16 AM on February 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

though I don’t have the sense I did with shows like Lost, that when the answers come, they will be unsatisfying or incoherent.

It's funny: I love this show, but I do believe the big picture's going to be nonsense, if we see it at all.

I don't mind, though. Indeed, I think not knowing is part of the atmosphere of the show: part of the deal is that no human character is really in control of their own life anymore. All of them are stuck reacting to this fascist external force, scrabbling desperately for both survival and answers. I think if we knew more, it would undercut the show's tension because we would have a different perspective on it ourselves. We could more adequately judge their reactions instead of feeling for them.

This bothered the shit out of me on Lost, but there's one huge difference: there's no magic. The RAPs have advanced technology, but plainly operate under various constraints: they don't know everything, they can't do everything. On paper, it's clear they can be understood and even beaten in limited scenarios. I have yet to walk away from an episode going 'that made zero sense' (I've said stuff like 'that was implausible' or 'the writing could be tighter,' but never just tempted to rant about how stupid something was).

Basically, if you want to watch 'people surviving in an action-flavored sci fi dystopia,' go for it. If you really want to know what the RAPs are, I'd pass.
posted by mordax at 11:39 AM on February 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

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