Colony: Ronin
February 21, 2018 8:52 PM - Season 2, Episode 13 - Subscribe

A revelation about the fate of the colony forces the Bowman family to make an impossible choice as the entire bloc is scheduled for rendition to the factory. (Season Finale)

Today's recap is brought to you by the word 'incredulous' - I N C, R E D, U L, O U S - 'incredulous'

* glitchy sideways video and audio feed * Will and Katie show up briefly - Katie has her hand up in seeming greeting * glitch * an armed soldier throws a burlap sack on the video feed
* The Grey Hat soldier removes the bag, the feed is brought into an armoured vehicle with armed soldiers, "The host unit. Doesn't look like it got beat up too bad. But it's unresponsive."
* The feed is from a RAP, missing the gauntlet control unit
* In an impromptu clean room;
Dr. Noto: "What happens if this doesn't work?"
Dr. Lester: "They'll probably nuke us from orbit."
* Lester opens the RAP helmet and removes a complicated metal sphere and transfers it into a different RAP, which activates

* On an overpass Alan watches with a Red Helmet officer as three more Blackjack units in armoured cars roll into LA Bloc
* Homeland HQ is abuzz with frantic activity, Alan dodges into obsequious Dan's office;
Dan: "The Governor General hasn't brought you up to speed?"
Alan: "Lets pretend she hadn't."
* The Bloc is being evacuated to San Fernando on false pretenses
* Dan smugly thinks he knows more than Alan, that the real reason is the search for the still missing and possibly useless gauntlet - and that the entire Bloc is moving
* Alan, snark in hand, confronts Helena; Helena confesses: "You were in such a good mood, I didn't want to ruin it."
* There are 'hardline' and 'moderate' aliens, the hardliners won
* Helena is holding on well considering Total Rendition is in six hours time
* Alan: "Would it be crass at this point in the conversation to ask what this all means for me?"
* Helena is being reassigned to Global Authority in Europe, is planning on bringing Alan with her as part of her staff
* Alan asks about his daughter, "She can't come with us. But I put her name on the exemption list - myself." "Th.. thank you."

* Katie and Will break into Hennessey HQ, Will tries to contact 'Den Mother' over the radio, Will tries another frequency that Katie has and encounters a numbers station, eventually starts writing down numbers
* At Broussard HQ, Broussard and Morgan load up as Will and Katie return; a unit of Blackjacks followed them straight from Hennessey's
* Katie rouses the kids, everyone takes positions; Katie gives Bram a pistol and a hard stare, "You don't let them take your brother and sister."
* The BJs starts the party with a flashbang grenade, keeps them coming
* Morgan is shot, Will tells Katie to grab the kids
* BJs try to capture Will with a taser, Broussard comes in with a pistol, Will and Broussard double team the last one
* Everyone's just kind of standing around, Broussard mourns Morgan

* Katie knocks on Carl's suburban house's front door, says she has no other options and that he should say no; "I'll put on some tea."
* Broussard, Will, and Katie strategize
* Will suggests contacting Alan Snyder to offer the gauntlet, Broussard disagrees, Will suggests pragmatism

* Maddy rudely cuts lineups leading to a Greatest Day church and is stopped by a GD Elder, "I'm Maddy Kenner." "Oh. We know who you are... you can wait in line with the others.", Maddy storms off to the back of the line
* The Elder pronounces that everyone is being relocated to San Fernando Bloc, a Red Helmet officer instructs people to board the schoolbuses rolling in - immediately
* Maddy smells a ruse, looks for a way out but is herded onto a bus
* Evacuation Center announcer: "Please maintain order as you enter the evacuation center, and have your identification cards ready for surrender. New documents will be issued to you at your final destination. Food and water rations are available for distribution once you have been processed."
* Maddy passes time in the super crowded center reading the bible, a lonely woman makes worried small talk gambit, Maddy misses her son but believes him to be "safe"
* Maddy breaks and tries to make a run for it, "Wrong way" "I made a mistake." "Back off"<shove> "I shouldn't be here."
* Maddy is struck down by the Red Helmet

* Snyder gets out of his SUV, a Red Helmet officer has a call from 'Homeland Anti-Terrorism Tip Line' asking for him specifically
* Alan takes the call, Will gives Alan a contact; calling from a payphone across the street Alan is offered the gauntlet in exchange for relocation
* Alan is amused, sets up a meet

* Alan diplomatically approaches a huddle of BJs and greets Commander Vos, innocently wonders if IGA is still interested in the gauntlet, "I deal in information"
Vos: "And I deal in absolutes."
* A self-confessed selfish Alan is offered a promise that "(he'll) never want for anything again"

* Alan meets Will at an underpass, Broussard comes out in his rear and Alan flips out, "You said we were doing this alone." "I told you to come alone. He's here to prove I'm serious."
* Alan wants to join the Resistance, Will in incredulous, Alan shares the news of Total Rendition
* Alan casually blames Broussard, choking up "I know you might not believe it, but I do have a conscience. After spending the day watching the rats all flee the sinking ship, I decided.. I just don't want to be a rat.. Anymore." <blink><blink><puppydogeyes>

* Will brings the news home to an incredulous Katie, Broussard doesn't like the situation one bit
* The three bicker, Carl passes on a robocall informing everyone that the Bloc is being evacuated and to report to evacuation centers
* Katie tells the kids Mom&Dad have something they need to do, Bram acts like a big brother
* Broussard decides to stay in the Bloc but gives Katie the gauntlet box, appropriate farewells are made

* A Red Helmet SUV hurridly arrives at an underground parkade to Alan waiting uncomfortably, Alan's RH officer gets out "Are you all right, sir?"
* Will and Katie surround the RHs, an extremely sheepish Alan admits his complicity, the RHs surrender and strip

* The Bowmans and Carl leave via the backdoor as suburban residents are herded to evacuation centers, Carl's having the time of his life to be involved in The Game again but decides to stay
* The Bowmans, gauntlet box in hand, meet Alan and a SUV; Bram: "Him? No. No way. I'm not going with him.", Charlie is skeptical
* Alan introduces himself to Charlie and treats him like an adult - Charlie's cool with this, Gracie remembers Alan making breakfast for them but that she doesn't like eggs in general, Alan's charm is dialed up to 12
* Katie and Will put on Red Helmet uniforms

* At a checkpoint out, Alan pretends to be escorting the Bowman kids to a 'youth camp,' shows his papers, "Her orders.", the SUV is let past to the next checkpoint
* Alan does his schtick again, plays a 'fellow footsoldier' card, the Red Helmet Sergent remains suspicious, Alan's papers are taken away to be inspected, and an annoying alarm sounds intermittently to rattle nerves in general
* Katie and Will start losing their cool, Alan chills them
* The RH Sgt. asks everyone to step out of the vehicle, they comply
* Sgt. points to Bram and asks his name, "Alex." "Alex what?" "Sullivan." "Show me your ID." "I don't have it."
* A RH soldier found the gauntlet box, shows the Sgt., Alan: "It's the Governor General's business, not yours."
* Sgt. starts opening the box, Will takes off his red helmet and balaclava, draws on the Sgt.
* A very highly uneven Mexican Standoff ensues, Katie also doffs helmet and balaclava
* Will: "You all know who we are, so you know how desperate we must be to try this. They didn't tell you what's happening, did they? Why they doubled up the shifts this morning. Or told you to seal the gateway and hold it no matter what you hear... That's their cover story. What's really happening is Total Rendition. The RAPs are going to send the whole block to the Factory. All of us. Me. My wife, my kids. You. And all of your families..."
* Sgt. is incredulous; Alan provides corroboration, Will fact checks - hey, call up San Fernando, if there really was an evac to there, they'd be the first to know, right?
* Sgt. gets a soldier to do so, does so, there's no response; Will: "It's because they're lying to you. They don't want you to know what's happened... Are you willing to bet your life on it? And your family's?"
* Alan: "We're all inmates in the saaame prison. They take what they need and then we're.. disposable."
* Will tries some eyebrow (and helmet hair) power, Sgt. doesn't fall for it, calmly restates for Will and Katie to drop their weapons
* Will is solid, Katie wavers, Alan is wide eyed (and oddly very long fingered and large handed)
* Katie lowers her rifle, plays the soldier card: "We've made different choices, but we made them for the same reasons. Don't do this. Please."
* Will slowly starts lowers his rifle
* Sgt. has a long think, pistol dipping - "Go." "Let them through." //slow sad piano music//
* The gang re-enter the SUV (where's the gauntlet box?) and heads out
* The gang are incredulous

* Will drives the SUV through uninhabited main thoroughfares, everyone is introspective
* A couple of airplane-sized drones hover near the SUV, then continue on into the Bloc

* Maddy is killing time again in the evacuation center
* Grey Helmets are the guards
* A line of Red Helmets are marched in, hands on their helmets
* Someone breaks, sounds of full automatic riflePDW fire, many RH fall, GH are doing the firing, the remaining RH continue to be herded
* Maddy drops her bible
* "Evacuees" kind of slowly and numbly mill away from that

* Helena and Vos are on a bridge in the hills overlooking LA Block, an increasing number of large RAP aerial vehicles approach the Bloc //reverby string heavy slow orchestral music that **swells**//
* Maddy and the other 'evacuees' pass through, in slo mo, a sliding loading bay door into ... a vaguely latin-esque sad alto solo song
* Evacuees stare at awe upwards into the camera

* The Bowmans keep driving, Katie twins her hand in Wills; Alan's gaze falls towards it and has a hard quiet sad
* Bram has a wild side-eye at Alan, Alan returns the stare, Bram looks away, Alan counts a win
* Alan surveys the other Bowman kids, reaches into his pocket and turns on a small clicker, has another sad
posted by porpoise (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
JEBUS the promo for S3 is horrible and misleading.

Filming for S3 in Vancouver, BC just wrapped up (or will in a few days).

Damn. Sarah Wayne Callies lucked out doing only a transient (Lori Grimes) role on The Walking Dead, and then got the job for Katie Bowman. This won't last as long, but it's hella more dignified.

Er, this intreview is kind of stupid, though.
posted by porpoise at 10:43 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yay for the finale.

Lots of interesting revelations but not a whole lot of plot development, except that now we have our set-up for next season: the Bowmans and Snyder are outside the Colony, which has been, like, totally renditioned, man. The Numbers Station is obviously going to play a role in getting the Bowmans to link up with Noa's resistance faction and their conscientiously-objecting RAP. Which is a cool idea that doesn't get played around with enough, in my opinion. I like the idea that the RAPs have factions.

My personal long-shot hope for next season is that Maddy sticks around and we get to see her perspective on the Factory. The show has previously teased us with that scene of Carlos on the Moon, but now with Maddy and the teacher there as well, they've got plenty to do with that setting, right? Especially now that we know a little more about the nature of the RAPs themselves as well.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:14 AM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm particularly disappointed in Alan, though, if the show is being straight with us.
posted by porpoise at 7:19 AM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

yeah I was hoping Alan and the Black Jacks were a fake out he was doing. But I guess to him survival is always first.
posted by numaner at 11:44 AM on February 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

My personal long-shot hope for next season is that Maddy sticks around and we get to see her perspective on the Factory. The show has previously teased us with that scene of Carlos on the Moon, but now with Maddy and the teacher there as well, they've got plenty to do with that setting, right?

I too am hoping for some Factory stuff, but my thinking is different: Maddie is there. So is Nolan. So is Nolan’s former wife. Drama bonaza!
posted by nubs at 2:47 PM on February 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ok, so the RAP at the beginning was the one “killed” and returned to the Authority at the end of last season, right? Because I read one recap from someone who thought it must be the RAP that defected, which makes no sense to me, since we see Katie and Will.
posted by nubs at 9:49 AM on February 24, 2018

Oh, yeah, it's definitely the same RAP that the Apis cell blew up in the subway. (Which doesn't rule out the possibility that it later defected or was already a defector, but we have no reason to think that it's the defector at this point.)
posted by tobascodagama at 1:46 PM on February 24, 2018

Agreed that it doesn't make sense for the RAP in this episode to be the defector - the DefectorRAP already defected and is currently outside of the walls and with Nao's cell, its implied though that DefectorRAP got away either without a gauntlet comm or their gauntlet comm got damaged.

Now, the problem with beanplating something like television is that there's no guarantee that the writers are clever or even have a coherent background written.

Some speculation:

1) The Greatest Day has nothing to do with the RAPs.

I suspect that TGD is a purely human construct as a way to fool the 'elites' into thinking they're elites and giving them some 'secret society' to LARP. TGD was developed for the (un/)witting human catspaws not only to instill loyalty to the real human elites and to give the catspaws status in an artificial hierarchy, but also to give them an excuse to do bad things (re: Burgess saying that he believes TGD insofar as if it weren't true, he'd have to confront himself as a monster).

The 'body snatcher' vibe that I (and some others) got might just be trope bleedover... but I'll come back around to this in the last (3rd) point.

2) Will/Charlie/Broussard not getting splatterated by drones.

We now know that there is a hardliner faction - currently in control - a moderate faction, and at least one defector.

My suspicion is that the moderate faction is trying to help human resistances under-the-table, for example, they can control low-level stuff without the hardliners noticing from 30,000 feet. Helping human resistances might be the only way the moderates can affect their motivations - whatever those happen to be - they are against the decisions that the hardliners have been making.

The existence of DefectorRAP suggests that empathy/sympathy/ethics is not unattainable by (individual) RAPs.

3) The show has been extremely coy about revealing the RAPs motivation(s) - it took until the season 2 finale to reveal (although it has been hinted at already) that RAPs are (likely) more mechanical than biological (if biological at all).

Linsdey's lessons (if my above surmises are correct - not vetted nor cared about by the RAPs) include information on the number of habitable worlds in the galaxy (lots). So why bother invading Earth and enslaving the local sentients?

Natural resource extraction via interstellar travel is absurd. The RAPs have plenty of energy (and materials) - as demonstrated by interstellar (hell, even inter-planetary travel at those speeds) travel and dropping all those walls.

With material resources and energy and the technology level to build (autonomous*) drones, it makes no sense to have (human) slaves (labourers on the moon Factory) - unless creativity or intelligence is required for the task(s), but this doesn't make sense because humans sent to the Factory are just troublemakers and not particularly skilled or endowed.

*autonomous; when Broussard's team pulled in a drone, if it was manned RAPped, wouldn't that have been noticed pretty darn quick - but, yeah, there are systemic problems with the depiction of drones, but robotic labour or even automated factories make more sense than unskilled meatbag slaves

This also goes back to why Will/Charlie/Broussard were protected - for whatever reason, it's not because the RAPs want their specific bodies/minds because they (other than Broussard) could have been extraordinarily renditioned at any time. The other possible explanations are a little absurd, like needing "fresh" bodies and whoever has dibs on Will "isn't ready yet" or something.

Yet nevertheless humans are rounded up and transported for some reason. There's nothing indicating that the RAPs would have any qualms about eradicating humans in situ - it's entirely conceivable that the RAPs would be able to control communication and no other humans would be the wiser. Yes, shortwave has been shown to be employed by resistance types and shortwave can travel halfway across the world, but it seems like television/internet/information-about-other-places is pretty tightly locked down.

So *maybe* rounding up humans and exterminating them out of sight so as to avoid worldwide panic is a possibility, but that doesn't explain why invade Earth in the first place.

But, there are those 'pods' which are used to transport living human bodies. Who's chosen to be en-podded seems a little haphazard (some random rebel who happened to be the last to die and was capture-able).

So - if there's a coherent backstory, it suggests that it might be something like RAPs need living human bodies for some reason despite being shown as (mostly) mechanical. So maybe it's a double bluff and RAPs just want human bodies.

The other scenario that I can come up with are that RAPs are "artificial/machine intelligences" that us meatbags are unable to comprehend (or replace ineffable machine intelligence with ineffable religion).

Anyone think of any other possible scenarios, if even just to rule out?
posted by porpoise at 5:16 PM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think that's the best anyone can do with the material we have.

I especially like the idea that TGD is a purely human invention. It both makes sense and fits with the evidence ("clued in" collaborators like Helena and Snyder seem to hold it in some contempt).
posted by tobascodagama at 5:29 PM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Moderates and Devin, Red Hands (and Alan and the Blackjacks)

1) Devon

That she was splatted suggests that the "files" aren't updated in realtime. Will is known to be resistance to the moderates over time and someRAP possibly snuck in Will (and other useful resistance humans) into a "do not kill" file.

Same with Will - moderateRAP surveillance is better than Homeland has (or Homeland has been manipulated by moderates to not see Broussard, ie., assign a known sympathetic Jennifer to surveil the Bowmans and also block Bowman streams from the general surveillance pool) and snuck him onto the list at some point.

Devon has only recently sided with Will and moderates haven't noticed nor updated her status/ slipped her into the protected list. Devon hasn't been very resist-ey nor particularly high handed. She's just been crab-bucketing and hustling to get by.

2) Red Hands

Their resistance ultimately gave the hardliners ammunition to go Total Rendition on LA Bloc, yes.

So, maybe, moderates aren't inclined to help them but might be ok with not hindering them - or maybe they miscalculated and/or the hardliners just needed an excuse, any excuse.

Broussard called in the drones with the gauntlet comm - that possibly could override any "noting to see here" signals that the moderates have been feeding the drones.

The odd thing here is that the drones don't tell Homeland that Broussard was there - Alan had to infer that by the presence of the gauntlet comm that Broussard did not have the presence of mind to take with. Again, maybe this is moderate intervention.

But this is complicated by whether the moderates know or care that the RH have the gauntlet. I'm also not convinced that the RAPs really care about the gauntlet qua preventing humans from learning tech and/or pride (losing something to stupid meatbags).

Also, as nubs mentioned last ep; it wouldn't be surprising if the important part of the gauntlet was the drone caller that Broussard left behind.

Another matter is that - we haven't seen the gauntlet since it was put into the box. The tunnel guards almost open it but Will chose that moment to reveal himself.

Which also makes me think that Alan set it all up for the Bowmans to escape - his personal guards knew about it and willingly donated their uniforms to Katie and Will, the tunnel Sgt knew about it and knew to make it seem hard but had orders to let them all go regardless.

But if this was the case - then the Blackjacks played Alan hard*, knowing that the gauntlet is a useless red herring but finding more resistance cells is the main play (and safe to release the now useless gauntlet).

In retrospect, though, Bram's instincts are good to distrust Alan even though Alan pulled him out of the labour camp at the last second and seemingly kept his word - but Alan did really impress the fuck out of Bram that Alan's willing to do anything to survive.

*re: "you'll never want for anything again" - I mean... c'mon.
posted by porpoise at 6:04 PM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

replace "Same with Will" with "Same with Broussard"

and add something about Alan being played is rather uncharacteristic
posted by porpoise at 6:10 PM on February 25, 2018

Which also makes me think that Alan set it all up for the Bowmans to escape - his personal guards knew about it and willingly donated their uniforms to Katie and Will, the tunnel Sgt knew about it and knew to make it seem hard but had orders to let them all go regardless.

I'll buy that. The tunnel scene plays a little weird unless it's all theater for the benefit of the Bowmans.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:35 PM on February 25, 2018

it wouldn't be surprising if the important part of the gauntlet was the drone caller that Broussard left behind.

Ah... but Alan now has a communication device of some type. Would be typical of alien/ machine intelligence to allow him to be given a general purpose communicator which is essentially identical to a gauntlet comm with all of its capabilities - just perhaps software locked that the defectorRAP is able to overcome or a plot point to overcome for an episode or two.

The tunnel scene plays a little weird unless it's all theater

Yeah, thinking about that some more - the tunnel guards were red helmets. We know there are black helmets (Blackjack fodder troops) but there are also Grey Helmets (IGA fodder troops? anyway, the ones who retrieved the damaged RAP). I wonder how hard the tunnel red helmets had to be lied to, or if they were higher-grade/ more compromised human troops pretending to be mere red helmets.

But yeah, unless it was terrible writing (which isn't outside of possibility), the tunnel scene was utter BS unless the guards were all in on it.

re: Damaged RAP

The human scientists seemed super leary of doing the "transplant" - ie., "they'll nuke us from orbit" (if we screw up).

Not sure what's going on there - they seem legit, why not send the recovered RAP on for the RAPs to resuscitate. If they were anti-RAP, what's the fear - that the rehabilitated RAP will call down a strike which would kill itself too?

The only way it makes sense is if the human scientists wanted to make amends and restore a damaged RAP into a new body (where did they get that from?! - another dead RAP or did the RAPs send down a stock replacement body) and hope that the damaged RAP isn't too pissed off and that they will be pissed off if the transfer was botched?

The alternative is that the RAPs are truly ineffable machine intelligences that are fickle yet individually malevolent and petty.
posted by porpoise at 7:26 PM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

The human scientists seemed super leary of doing the "transplant" - ie., "they'll nuke us from orbit" (if we screw up).

Not sure what's going on there - they seem legit, why not send the recovered RAP on for the RAPs to resuscitate.

Wasn't there huge time pressure to find the RAP body at the end of S1? Maybe there is something about needing to do the transfer within X number of hours or else the control unit/memory unit/whatever the hell that sphere was becomes too corrupt to transfer, and they had to do it there rather than send the RAP on?

So - if there's a coherent backstory, it suggests that it might be something like RAPs need living human bodies for some reason despite being shown as (mostly) mechanical. So maybe it's a double bluff and RAPs just want human bodies.

I've been trying to piece together something coherent as a theory, and my wild speculation at this point is that the RAPs need humans for some particular off-planet task that we haven't seen yet. This would explain why supplies are being collected and sent; they need appropriate supplies for whatever off-world human task is being performed. Given the skillsets of those we've seen getting em-podded - the other Resistance guy appeared to have some technical skills around weapons; Broussard and Will are both former special forces - I'm wondering if the RAPs aren't engaged in a larger war and that Earth & humanity are just a supply base for "recruiting" more troops. But it feels really weak to me, the only real basis I have for it is what appears to be the common theme in the people we've seen targeted for pods, and I would need to see the other people (i think there were some familiar faces) who popped up on the screen as Broussard was looking through it in the blackjack jeep.

Or the RAPs are just servants of something larger that does need human bodies.

But they could be heading in any one of a bunch of different directions; everything is vague enough to keep a lot of different possibilities open.
posted by nubs at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

apparently Wayne Brady has a recurring role in season 3! i can't imagine who he would be given his typical roles.
posted by numaner at 10:47 AM on February 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a RAP?
posted by tobascodagama at 11:44 AM on February 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, I forgot that there was a blink-and-miss it moment in the previous ep when Maddy asks Alan if the camp where Hudson was sent...

M: "The greatest day. All the promises they made. Is it real?"
A: "No."
M: "And my son? Is there really a camp?"
A: "That's real. And he'll be trained for what's coming. I'm sorry you picked the wrong guy."

So Alan knows about the pods, about people being em-podded, and apparently what's going on in 'protective camp.'

So, probably not body snatchers - but nubs has a great idea about RAPs using humans as soldiers in a broader interstellar war (a common enough trope in scifi; lots of reasons why robot soldiers aren't desirable).

Now - is Alan's daughter being sent to the same fate?
posted by porpoise at 6:22 PM on February 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Just realized that Season 3 started. There've been a couple of episodes already.

Do we want to wait for the entire season to hit Netflix, later in the year probably around Fall/Winter, before discussing?
posted by porpoise at 7:42 PM on May 21, 2018

aahh i did not realize it started! go ahead and post the episodes. I'll catch up when I can. I just realized I've been missing Into the Badlands since April!
posted by numaner at 1:01 PM on May 22, 2018

Yes do! I'll catch up at some point, likely when Netflix gets the season or something else happens.
posted by nubs at 1:21 PM on May 22, 2018

You can watch the episodes on USA's site, but you need a cable provider account to sign into. I use my ex-roommate's ^_^
posted by numaner at 8:23 AM on May 23, 2018

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