Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sami on Colony 1.1

Colony airs at 10pm on USA Thursday nights.

Okay, there's another cool new show on the block, guys,

The first episode is a little slow at first. It starts out looking normal, with a family getting ready for the day's work, and then there's this cool shift--the normal mechanics work is actually handing and moving alien power generators. The typical wifely home-life is actually working for the resistance in secret.

Will (must not call him Sawyer) then forges papers to go from one part of the city to another against the rules to find his son, and that's when things get interesting. See, the city of LA is divided up into these huge walled segments, it's implied the walls went up quickly, and they don't look like cement or something. They're also watched by flying alien drones and human collaborators called Redhats. 

And they're the focus of resistance attacks.

Will is the only survivor of one of those bombings, and it makes him noticeable; to get out of being punished, he's recruited by the governor to try to bring down the resistance he doesn't know his wife is a part of. They woo him with all these luxuries that no one can get anymore--like bacon*--while threatening his family if he refuses, so he has to say yes.

Meanwhile, Katie, the wife and mother of this family, has her own story going. She's trying to barter for insulin for her sister's family, and gets super tough when they try to swindle her--but also learns that dogs can be used to home-brew your own insulin, so maybe she'll have a new cottage industry now? 

And she's nervously involved with the resistance, though she didn't know about the bombing that almost kills her husband and makes him visible to the powers that be, and when Will is recruited, she offers them the opportunity to use her as a double agent. Which should be more than ripe for story-fodder!

This first episode, like I said, is slow. It's from some of the people who made Lost, so it's not answering any questions, like, at all, and I know that bothered some people. It also feels a little like typecasting for Sarah Wayne Callies since she's once again in an apocalypse (of sorts) with a husband that went missing, a kid who isn't in the house where he should be, and up to something sneaky. But it's also setting up a lot of story, and since we have ten episodes this season, we should have enough space to really get into the details of this story, without getting bogged down in wheel-spinning like mystery-based long-series can get.**

Here's what we have so far:
  • Mysterious aliens*** that we have yet to see anything but the drones and that one space ship**** launch from took over and walled off the humans.
  • When they did, they made cars almost obsolete, so everyone rides bikes, and I wonder if that means they're trying to save us?
  • Everything is rationed and work is regulated.
  • People can't leave their districts without forging their papers, but there seems to be a big underground in forged papers and human-smuggling, and it's not that hard when someone else isn't trying to blow you up.
  • Will and Katie have a middle kid who was somewhere else when the walls went up and they don't know what happened to him since. He just had his twelfth birthday.
  • The resistance is incredibly vague--they're illegal, but do they want to free the humans or are they just rejecting the aliens? Do the aliens want nefarious things, or are they just misunderstood?
  • The other two kids haven't had much story of their own yet, but they're going to be between the resistance and the collaborators now that their parents are each on one side, so they've probably got something coming up.
  • There's a little bit of a Falling Skies vibe, but less obviously scifi and more creeping and subtle, so far.
Hopefully, now that things are set up, we can get things moving on the story! If Mr Robot is any indication on how USA is doing their high-concept shows now, we can probably expect things to keep being different than we think they are, and for the ten episodes to get super rich and complicated with story--which is exactly how an invasion-or-colonization story should be!

What did you guys think about the first episode of Colony? Share here in the comments, or come talk to me on Twitter!

*I maintain that bacon would be like gold in the apocalypse.
**Cough - everything after the first season of Lost by these same people - cough.
***Probably aliens.
****Probably a spaceship, or some other sort of transportation-event.
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