Colony: Eleven.Thirteen
March 12, 2017 2:24 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Will's an FBI agent with some strange feelings about his partner. Katie's a bar owner with a strange encounter with a recently-repatriated customer. Alan works in education and has a strange meeting with textbook reps. Broussard gets a strange phone call about where and when he's supposed to be somewhere.

Every arc'd story like this needs an origin episode and here's where things start getting really interesting. We know a lot more about the Wall, our heroes, their family and how things went down on the day of the Arrival.

Definitely one of the stronger episodes of this show, and depicts the stresses placed on ordinary people in extraordinary situations.
posted by Thistledown (13 comments total)
 
There were so many good elements in the first season except the central conceit of the competent ex-cop(?) essentially going on a suicide mission to find his older son, leaving his wife and ill child kinda in the lurch, potentially. Actually now that I begin to think about it there were many plot points all over the place, quisling pseudo-government hunting revolutionaries, but what were they rebelling against? Have not looked at this episode yet, it'll be interesting if the threads get pulled together in a reasonable way.
posted by sammyo at 2:39 PM on March 12, 2017


I'm watching this as it airs, so I'll want to be a little brief to avoid spoilers.

I do remember this being a really strong pilot episode. I'm also still pretty hooked on S2, and do recommend it to anybody who enjoyed S1. I feel like they're still doing a pretty good job with the whole deal, and I'm even hopeful that the show might resolve in a remotely satisfactory way.
posted by mordax at 3:42 PM on March 12, 2017


..not pilot, premiere.

*facepalms*

Pardon, brain fried, long weekend.
posted by mordax at 5:19 PM on March 12, 2017


Getting a lot of light shed on the Raps/Hosts was of significant interest to me. Given the level of coordination it takes to get all this stuff together, it makes me wonder just how long and how complicit world governments were in the whole thing.
posted by Thistledown at 9:12 AM on March 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


I like Alan's backstory, and the idea that Alan is not unique in being pulled out of obscurity to help with overthrowing the world's governments. It's​ like a delightful revenge of the middle managers. Also a twist on what we usually get out of Hollywood, wherein the conspiracy is run by the ludicrously hyperqualified and the best of the best. The best of the best just got wiped out by the nobodies.
posted by selenized at 2:35 PM on March 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


I've been watching it as it airs, and the second season is solid (just finishing s02e08).

Agreed! selenized, I didn't expect much from the Alan character last season but the twist backstory presented here and the continued character development in S2 has been a pleasant surprise.

I really liked the pre-invasion pastiche in this episode opener, and the actual invasion was pretty cool. Didn't buy the "joins" between the prefab walls, though.

Will going rogue on the rest of his family (and his job, and hence round about to his family again) to try to find one of his children... I guess character development and conflict generating for tv show reasons.

I kinda want to give the show props - telling a story about the extreme widening of the wealth divide cloaked in a metaphor of the 'ruling class' and 'the ruled.' Throw in a little randomness vs. wining the lottery of having been born of the 'right' parents (and here, being 'lucky' to be 'chosen' by the aliens).
posted by porpoise at 7:10 PM on March 13, 2017


I'm loving this show so far. The pacing keeps you coming back for more, with almost no filler. One of those very tightly scripted shows where even some minute early detail comes back into play later in a very cohesive way. Like early seasons of The Shield or even iZombie.

The Red Hand is certainly a very fast moving plot point. I was definitely not prepared for that one scene in episode 7. I can't wait to see how this season wraps up.
posted by numaner at 1:20 PM on March 17, 2017


According to Forbes, season 2 drops on Netflix on January 11th.
posted by porpoise at 5:03 PM on January 3


It's back on Netflix and so am I.

Really enjoyed this first episode, though I was a little disoriented off the top - it took me a bit to clue into the fact we were in a flashback, though Sawyer having a clean shave should have been a cue.

Anyways, some questions answered about what happened the night the Hosts arrived in terms of how they achieved their takeover. I'm left wondering if Alan was picked up because they couldn't find everyone on the sanctuary lists and so they had some alternates.
posted by nubs at 8:32 PM on January 15


s02e01 Recap

* Pre-invasion, just another typical morning at the Bowman's
* Establishing shot before breaking to title card shows LA pre-invasion; a phalanx of discs (UFOs) fly out of the glare the cloud-masked sun


* Will has been preoccupied with Devon, his partner at the FBI, whom Will thinks might have gotten her hands dirty, who stops by to pick up Will for work
* At second breakfast at a cafe, Will presses Devon on her great financial situation, drops that he's aware of her relationship with the Armenians, Devon is indignant
* They both get calls to show up to work immediately; a lot of high profile people have just disapeared
* Will and Devon are sent to check up on one of them; arriving at his mansion, they find it broken into, so they break into it some more to discover a corpse and the VIP (Lawes) hiding in his panic room
* Lawes is "on a list" of people who are to be sequestered by the government in the event of a major catastrophe, to basically reinvent civilization/ reboot society
* The FBI station is in absolute chaos; increasing disappearances of "on a list" people, Will calls Katie to tell her to gather the family and round up the wagons and hunker down at the Yonk



* Alan is visited at work by textbook salesmen, who reveal that they are actually recruiting agents from 'The Institute for Global Advancement'
* They let him know that they know that he's a very capable embezzler, and therefor the perfect candidate for the job, "All you have to do is say yes." "To what exactly?" "To meeting our client."
* Arriving at a remote location, is ushered into a building with disposable biocontainment retrofitting and ensuited and shown into a refrigerated shipping container
* A humanoid in a survival suit emerges dramatically from the light at the other end of the container
* Cut to Alan, stunned, being offered The Job in the back of a SUV
* Alan bursts into his ex-wife's house, warns her to leave the city and "go to her mother's (in the country[side])"
* The ensuited goons sequester Alan's daughter, Alan explicitly tells them to exclude the ex


* Katie and Charlie's Google Maps/GPS fritzes out hard, but Charlie gets to school and Katie to The Yonk
* Broussard returns home after long absence (deployed), reunited with his sister and mom, who is in the end stages of kidney failure
* Broussard visits Katie at work, shares a drink
* Katie exposits some character (was in Navy, keeps the bar as a sense of self, is more than just a mother)
* Broussard exposits some character
* Broussard gives Katie his contact info written on a napkin
* Katie gets a frantic call from Will, calls her sister Madeline to get them to go down to The Yonk - Bob, Madeline's husband, is currently on a flight enroute to somewhere


* The power at the FBI station goes down
* Katie with Gracie, driving to gather the other kids, is involved in an universal traffic collision as all cars (and mobile phones) suddenly fail (an EMP event)


* Katie gathers Bram from his highschool, making plans to get Charlie, inadvertently scares Gracie
* Will arrives at an unpowered The Yonk to find Katie, with Gracie and Bram but no Charlie; Will takes the mountain bike to go retrieve him
* Meanwhile there is panic in the streets with things like super fast super maneuverable super substantial drones all zipping around
* Fear, tears, and candles are the theme in the basement of The Yonk


* Broussard returns home, raids his responsibly very safe gun safe for his go bag and some very utilitarian gear
* Heads to a Veterans of Foreign Wars legion hall (? is that the word for it in the US?), to find scores of like-outfitted and like-trained and (on the surface) like-minded men also heading there and settling in
* Broussard warns a friend that being here is stupid, suggests dispersing the capable, and aruptedly leaves
* The VFW Legion Hall is destroyed by a KB weapon
* Broussard returns home, performs CPR on his mom, to no avail


* Alan, obviously accepting the mantle of (a) Proxy, meets Helena the Governor General's Chief of Staff, "It's a brave new world, Alan, and you're about to be the most powerful man in Hollywood."
* Alan's rictus of a conflicted smile is priceless

* Will bikes between a network of stalled cars and milling people, to witness a superdrone blow up part of an office building
* Enormous slabs of segmented metal alloy descends from space on controlled deceleration trajectories and self-assemble with one another to wall off sectors of the city, and are apparently powered once assembled


** Post Invasion

** Katie meets Bram, who has been detained by redhelmets in a "No contact!" guarded interview room
** "You stay strong, you stay smart." Bram is, like, oh fuck.

** A dirty, tired, pissed off Will wakes up in an alley in 'The Santa Monica Bloc' with a picture of Charlie in his fist
** Approaches some tough looking dudes chilling in chairs around a fire, "I'm looking for a boy, 12 years old..."
** The name "Solomon" riles up the dudes chilling, Will gets a shank in the shoulder and a beatdown
** In the middle of the night, Will pays a visit to Devon's house, who's home and greets him by cocking a shotgun;
** Will: "I need your help."
posted by porpoise at 9:40 PM on January 16


I first-watched this only a few months after finishing season 1, and the prequel sequence was awesome. Re-watching (and recap-ing) this 9 months after season 2 was a bit weird; the framework of season 2 bled into a little of season 1 (which I don't remember as well).

If I was to do a fanedit, I'd be inclined to suggest having the pre-invasion this episode cut as a s00e00 open for s01e01, who's open was a privileged but otherwise "normal" "typical morning at the Bowman's" - only there's grief for a child/sibling, razor wire topped fences, and Will engaged in unskilled employment completely incongruous with the comfort of his living situation. But I'm ambivalent about that.

This episode had a *lot* jammed into it; I'm not sure it (sufficiently) works as a standalone introduction to a series, but as a s2 premier with everything from s1 to draw from, it worked well.
posted by porpoise at 9:58 PM on January 16


nubs - I'm left wondering if Alan was picked up because they couldn't find everyone on the sanctuary lists and so they had some alternates.

I'm not sure that The Institute was trying to recruit people on the to-be-sequestered list. The Institute people were early (low level) agents of the Raps looking for turncoats/ frontmen/ puppets; Alan has a great profile for the role (ethically pliant, cares only for self and family, doesn't have slavish respect for rules/ laws/ regulations/ norms/ ethics, actually competent, ambitious but with a limited- but not too limited- risk/benefit ratio hardline).

The "on list" people are all potential (competent) enemies of the Raps - the Raps just wanted to take them out to avoid future headache (or the equivalent for the Raps). Though, the show is denigrating government- and committee- based decisions; the kinds of people on the sequestration list are mostly going to not work effectively due to a combination of ego, Dunning-Kruger silo-ization (aka engineer's disease), lack of respect of/for a chain of command - and the list leaves out the most important people; the support and bottom-up QA. The people on the sequestered list are all going to die of food poisoning or a flooded septic tank or a trashcan fire caused carbon monoxide poisoning or something within months, if not weeks (without the professional babysitters that is 'support staff').
posted by porpoise at 10:15 PM on January 16


The ensuited goons sequester Alan's daughter, Alan explicitly tells them to exclude the ex

It was also pretty explicit that he could only pick one person to come with him into sequester, and so he took his daughter. But it is also good character building for Alan - he's a grifter and a scam artist, but he still cares enough about his ex-wife to try to give her advice to flee, and to make sure he gets his daughter somewhere safe. He's not a good guy, but he's not entirely bad either...like every character on the show is or has become, they are compromised in some way. Alan started out as that; I like it thematically because I think one of the good things this show does is demonstrate how hard it is to live/work/care for each other inside an authoritarian regime, that you wind up ceding power and control in lots of little and big ways in that attempt.

I'm not sure that The Institute was trying to recruit people on the to-be-sequestered list.

I felt very unclear on that, because obviously the Institute had full access to the list and I can see some of the types described as being quite susceptible to the message the Raps appear to be sending and the idea that they would be special pieces in whatever world the Raps are building. But not all of them, certainly. It was the fact that people on the list were disappearing rather than just being found dead that made me wonder if there was some attempt at recruitment going on.
posted by nubs at 12:18 PM on January 17


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