There are plenty of reasons to be excited about USA’s new series Colony. It’s their biggest series launch since the stellar Mr. Robot. It stars Josh Holloway from Lost and Sarah Wayne Callies from The Walking Dead. (Though Wayne Callies’ character of Lori was rightfully hated on The Walking Dead, the actress was never the problem). It’s also co-created and produced by Carlton Cuse, the man behind such TV successes as Bates Motel, The Returned and Lost.
It’s a quite pedigree and in the pilot Colony lives up to expectations. It’s moody, intriguing and full of exciting developments. The best thing about Colony in its first episode is that there are a number of plot twists. All of them are unexpected and completely earned.
Opening On a Plot Twist
The Sullivan’s seem like your average suburban family but there’s a plot twist! The entire world is under alien invasion. An invasion that the Sullivan’s have been directly affected by because their middle son has become separated from them during the arrival of the aliens. The aliens have built a colony in Hollywood that is surrounded by a large wall in the city. The Sullivan’s are on the outside and their son is presumably on the inside.
The patriarch of the family, Will, tries to smuggle himself into the colony. He does makes it inside the wall, but he truck that is carrying him is attacked by the Insurgents, a group of terrorist rebels fighting against the invaders. The truck explodes killing several people but Will survives. Will is captured by the guards who are working with the aliens and is imprisoned.
Katie On a Mission
Outside the colony, Will’s wife, Katie, remains ignorant of her husband’s fate. Katie is looking for insulin for her nephew because her sister’s supply is running out. Katie goes to some black market that is making insulin. The trade almost goes through until Katie sees the insulin and realizes it is garbage. Katie takes back the bottle of alcohol she was willing to trade by gunpoint and leaves the market unscathed. (In one scene, Sarah Wayne Callies’ character is already more capable and interesting than Lori was on The Walking Dead.)
Once Katie gets home, she is unnerved to learn that Will is missing. Katie runs out despite the curfew arriving for the humans, trying to find information about Will. It is an unnerving sequence and a surprisingly effective one because it is very much manipulated. Katie very narrowly avoids capture by the guards several times and logically she should be caught at one point.
Josh Holloway and EPs on Why Colony Is About More Than Fighting Aliens >>>
The Second Plot Twist
Will is a lot more trouble though. The guards, colloquially known as Red Hats, let him out of his prison. The Red Hats take Will to their human leader called Proxy Snyder. Here’s where the second plot twist of the episode enters. Will Sullivan is not Will Sullivan. He’s actually Will Bowman and he’s former Special Forces. This is significant because Proxy Snyder knows and wants to use Will’s skills. Will is forced into tracking down the Insurgency for Snyder and the aliens. Will reluctantly agrees to the offer but he really doesn’t have a choice.
The Red Hats take Will back to his home where his family is much relieved to see him. Will spins an unconvincing story for the majority of the family about how he got into fender bender and the Red Hats picked him up. It’s clear no one really believes him. In the privacy of their bedroom, after some sexy time, Will tells Katie everything.
Deal with the Devil Over Bacon
Katie is repulsed by Will becoming a “collaborator.” She storms out of the room much to Will’s frustration. Apparently, at some point in the night she comes back because Will and Katie wake up the next morning in bed to the smell of bacon.
They wander into their kitchen to find Proxy Snyder cooking them breakfast. It’s probably the whole breaking and entering thing but Snyder makes even this wholesome activity seem super creepy. Snyder offers the Bowmans more details on their new partnership with the aliens.
The Bowmans will be allowed to open their old bar and their children will get better education. Snyder doesn’t promise the return of their missing child immediately but offers it as a reward if the Bowmans work long enough with them. Snyder tells the family that the aliens’ visit is only temporary,until they get what they want. Snyder doesn’t tell the fam what the aliens are looking for. but it’s just as unclear if he knows himself.
The Final Plot Twist (For Now)
This is more than enough to build a series on, but Colony has one more plot twist in store. This is the big one too. When Katie leaves the meeting with Snyder, she goes to a location that has many doors with people guarding it. She eventually ends up in shady looking shed with a bunch of shady looking individuals.
Katie tells the group that they now have a member on the inside. It’s her. That’s right, Katie is a member of the Insurgency (apparently unbeknownst to Will). Katie informs the Insurgency that Will has been tasked with finding them. The implication is clear, he won’t finish his mission.
Colony airs Thursdays at 10pm on USA
(Image courtesy of USA)