Colony: “Hospitium” (S3, E4 review)

“It’s a trap!” The words of Admiral Ackbar came back to haunt Broussard in a junk yard and he did not get nostalgic (image via SpoilerTv (c) USA Network)

 

  • SPOILERS AHEAD … AND DICTATORS ALIEN AND TERRESTRIAL …

If the oft-blighted annals of human history have taught us anything, it’s that humanity is often its own worst enemy.

Quite the cliche you might think but as Colony demonstrated with its usual incisive aplomb this week, it’s a cliche for a very good reason.

Exhibit A in the Who’s the Bigger Threat competition is Andrew McGregor (Graham McTavish), leader of the Seattle resistance camp who has shown a marked proclivity for the kind of no-questions-asked, no-opposition-allowed authoritarian leadership style of Earth’s new alien overlords.

Given the threat posed by the RAPs or Clicks or the Weird Robotic Creatures Who May or May Not be Telling the Truth – let’s go with “may” since spaceships that don’t belong to them keep crashing in fields and paddocks, rather bolstering their claim that a bigger, badder enemy is on the way … or at least an enemy – you could maybe forgive that.

Bram: Who are we fighting?
Katie: Same enemy we’ve always been fighting. The real war isn’t against the RAPs or whatever was in that capsule. It’s against ourselves.

But if history has shown us anything else, and I think we can all agree the history lessons are innumerable, it’s that unity imposed from above never really sticks – not only do people resent being told what to think but there’s no real ownership of the fight being waged.

Granted, some leadership isn’t necessary but there is leadership and then there’s Stalin/Hitler/Kim Jong Un, and generally it’s the former, where people are brought on the journey rather than being told what to pack and where to go, that goes nicely.

McGregor, who see in flashback getting intel from a government agent (Hiro Kanagawa) on the movement of huge packets of data on the dark web – further proof of how well planned the duplicity of humanity’s alien collaborative cohort was and how far and long it extended.

This is one conspiracy that’s actually right on the money, and McGregor, a typical issues blogger with passion and one-eyed zealotry – great for awareness-building, really bad for sustained, productive leadership – has got all his galactic invader ducks well and truly in a row (hey Pop Funko, great product line idea – yeah, you can think me later).

 

Lordy those aliens fight dirty, thought the wronged man, who still managed to be dirtier still once he got a taste of power (image via SpoilerTv (c) USA Network)

 

Just how well arranged they are is brought scarily home when the FBI, clearly part of the alien club, brings him in for “questioning”, discrediting him by the devilishly simply technique of seeding his online profile with all kind of child pornographic material.

It’s a low nasty blow that in one fell swoop takes away any credence he had as an alien invasion whistleblower and which leaves the poor unsuspecting masses of Earth oblivious to the doom about to descend upon them.

It’s a scary demonstration of power being wielded by a duplicitous elite, and whatever you view of conspiracy theory bloggers/whistle blowers etc, it brings home that, aliens or not, we are once mouse click away these days from being destroyed by anyone.

As a commentary on the way in which our online activities can be both friend and foe, blessing and curse, its devastatingly revelatory, but as way of explaining why McGregor is the way he is now, dictatorial inclinations and all, its a damn fine piece of narrative momentum.

In the here and now, where Will and Katie Bowman (Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies) and possibly Vincent (Waleed Zuaiter) are squaring up against a now-willful demagogic McGregor, who is no longer interested in the truth, but controlling the narrative and burnishing his now zealously-guarded credibility, its a key piece of insight.

Clearly coming up against the might of the alien Vichy elite, which cost him not just his megaphone role as informer of humanity but his wife and kids and job, has understandably shaken him mightily, and all that matters now is shoring up his position as a leader whatever the cost to effectively battling the aliens.

The great tragedy of his circling of credibility wagons, aided and abetted by a stalwart group of supporters who want to believe that a huge bomb sent into the Seattle colony (where, Katie points out, innocent people live) is all that’s needed to see of the aliens, is that McGregor has forsaken his previous quest for the truth, even in the face of the Bowman’s mountainous pile of incontrovertible evidence.

Sure, we don’t know if the RAP or Click is telling the whole truth but we do know there are other aliens hot on their tale, thanks to both the Bowmans and a brief scene at the Global Authority in a recent episode, and that The Factory, built by the “human resources” (gives a whole sickening twist on that piece of corporate jargon now doesn’t it?) the aliens came to Earth for, was constructed for defensive purposes.

Insightful stuff, and you’d think kinda important in the grand scheme of alien-fighting things.

Alas, McGregor, having convinced Vincent the Bowmans are double agents – Snyder (Peter Jacobson) fleeing the camp to alert his Global Authority pals really didn’t help disabuse anyone of this spurious, trumped-up charge – is back in the hot seat again and the fight against humanity is looking a lot less substantial and strong that it did just one episode ago.

Aliens 140,000, humanity -60 billion.

 

Katie Bowman is not impressed … aliens and tinpot human dictators everywhere should quake in their boots (image via SpoilerTv (c) USA Network)

 

One man who hasn’t given up the fight is Broussard (Tory Kittles) who is continuing his way up the west coast from the L.A. Bloc with Amy (Peyton List).

Now first things first – those of you planning an alien apocalyptic holiday to San Francisco, abandon hope of great shots of The Golden Gate Bridge now; the aliens have thrown one of their goddamned big thick silver walls, now with added drones, right through the centre of it.

Yup, photo opportunity gone.

That great touristing travesty aside, nothing, not even being almost shot to bits in an automotive junkyard hiding a resistance cell of one, or having to cross a freezing cold lake (although full cheers for that shirtless of Kittles, Colony producers; those pecs alone would convince me to follow him into battle), or doubting each other’s rebellious credentials, is enough to stop them heading north to McGregor’s Stalin-esque “idyll” in the forest.

All that tenacity and steps – can you imagine their Fitbits? Off the chart step counts people! – gets them to the camp eventually only to find the place deserted.

Does that mean there’s a time difference between what happened with Will and Kate, and what’s been happening to Broussard and Amy? Is it like Dunkirk where seemingly simultaneous events were actually taking place hours or days apart?

Whatever the reason, the camp is empty, and brutalised, and no one, certainly not camp outcasts Will and Katie and Snyder, nor commandant McGregor, are to be seen, leaving a great big question mark hanging over a group of people who are way more in peril from each other than they’ve ever been from the RAPs, proving once again that when history repeats, and it does with a vengeance, it goes full pedal to the metal with no apologies to anyone.

  • Up ahead in Colony … “End of the Road” and proof once again that humanity’s worst enemy lies a lot closer than we think …

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