Colony: “Lazarus” (S3, E8 review)

Staring … that’s what will see the Hosts off home, wagging their robotic tails behind them … yep, STARING (image via Spoiler TV (c) USA Network)

 

  • SPOILERS AHEAD … AS WELL AS DUPLICITY, ARROGANCE AND SOME UNNERVINGLY OPAQUE AGENDAS

So how’s that whole Seattle as the promised land of post-grief/current-grief/no one is talking about the grief living going there Bowmans? I mean Daltons? Ah whatever the hell you’re calling yourself today.

Not so great, I’d wager.

The itsy-bitsy fissures that began to appear for Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) last week when she still in her “tapping the heels of ruby red shoes and reciting ‘There’s no place like Seattle!'” phase turned into great big, unmissable, yawning chasms this week when it turned out that lots of people who were supposedly going to new idyllic life in public housing in the model colony were in fact heading to the lesser know Portland Colony.

Hadn’t heard of it? Missed the flyer for this alien apocalyptic gem as it fluttered down from a drone flying overhead?

I’m not surprised – no one at Refugees Make Great Labourers and/or Soylent Green where Katie works acted like they were aware of it, with Katie’s supervisor  Michelle (Nicki Micheaux) almost blowing a gasket when she told her far-too-many-questions underling not to probe any further.

It’s not clear if Michelle knows stuff, or DOESN’T want to know stuff – figuratively putting the fingers in your ears and yelling “Lalala!!” at high volume seems to be popular to spend your time in Everett Kynes’ (Wayne Brady) idyll of humanity in a sea of alien barbarity – but the message is clear that Seattle is hands down the best thing since slice bread and dammit you’ll keep telling yourself that OK?

Alas, after tagging along on a bus with a sweet old man and seeing where they were headed – hint: NOT Seattle’s empty public housing – Katie realises something is amiss in a Colony which it is rumoured is playing a key role in the development of a biological weapon of some kind, and she is seriously unnerved … and seriously can you blame her?

 

Katie, similarly convinced off the efficacy of sharing as an alien-vanquishing tactic, couldn’t stop it, even at home (image via Spoiler TV (c) USA Network)

 

That particular piece of intelligence comes courtesy of Broussard (Tory Kittles), who along with the ever-suspicious Amy Leonard (Peyton List), is now a resident of Seattle in all its north-western glory.

In fact, thanks to Amy’s that there doctoring skills, he’s in a lovely wooden house on a nice street, perfect for viewing the teflon-coloured, Stepford Wives-esque end of the world which is coming either at the hand of the Hosts or their enemies or the human collaborators who still believe their future has a rosy intergalactic glow.

Once a rebel always a rebel and before you can say “Is that my ration of food or are you just happy to see me?” he’s already plotting to steal information off a key Colony operative, a man who spends his days driving from building to building on very Secret Squirrel business.

Aware that the Colony may look pretty, and honestly they have a VERY nice lawn care regimen; sooooo green and lush, but is deep down rotten to the core, Broussard is determine to get to the truth, and co-opts Will (Josh Holloway) to help him out.

Wasting no time holding a housewarming party or getting to know the neighbours – let’s be fair Broussard is not a people person, not for that matter, an alien one either – the one star of the LA Colony resistance hatches a plan to steal documents, kidnap the operative and get some more intel, the kind that will have katie no doubt sitting in a fetal position before you can say Bram (Alex Neustaedter) wants to take Gracie (Isabella Crovetti-Cramp) to live in his own apartment in a nicer part of town (not sure there is such a thing dude, just saying).

Alas the best laid plans of mice, men and irascible resistance fighters goes to shit when Will, who has perfected his Brooding Face to a remarkably impressive degree, spots … Snyder (Peter Jacobson)!

Yep, say it like Jerry said “Newman!” in Seinfeld, and you have some idea of how pleased Will, who quite reasonably holds the GA “hero” responsible for his son Charlie’s (Jacob Buster) death out in the forest, is to see his former “friend”.

 

Snyder thought he could stare right back but nah, it doesn’t work that way (image via Spoiler TV (c) USA Network)

 

So pleased in fact that he ditches Amy, who rushes to warn Broussard is wigging out but not in time to stop the plan going royally to crap – but at last they get the briefcase full of documents and weird, bullet-repelling silvery material which is not, as Amy “cleverly” observed, of human origin; hmm, well who could it be from then? Thinking, thinking … – and rushes to see Snyder, who’s on a tour of the Colony with Kynes, setting off from a wharf to view the Outlier facility out on a nearby island.

An earlier scene shows that the place is crawling with humans in stasis in pods – well they would be crawling if they could actually think, feel or move – but to what end? And what kind of deals is Kynes doing with the Hosts who have given him technology such as food replication tech that they haven’t even shared with the GA?

No one’s sure and Snyder, who may be working for humanity’s good, his own or the GA’s, or a murky combination of all three, is as suspicious as Katie and Will, who are still not talking, even when she admits to him that she can see that all finger-in-ears-and-lalalaing stuff may not have been as worthwhile as she first thought.

Quite what’s going on is the central mystery here, but the bigger issue, and one handled with admirable restraint by Colony‘s writers who seem to have a grasp of how subtle and un-histrionic grief can be, is the corrosive way the loss of someone desperately important and much-loved can be on a family.

Will and Katie aren’t talking, Bram joined the equivalent of the Stasi – they talk nice but you just know they aren’t – Gracie feels isolated and only listened to by her brother, with the entire family trapped in a spider’s web of threat that looked, until recently, like a lavish five star hotel.

As an nuanced exploration of how grief corrodes and distorts relationships if you let it, and warps good judgement into a very Devil-ish bargain, “Lazarus” is impressive, showing us that even in the midst of the very worst of times, things can sadly get a whole lot worse, and there’s no real way back or forward.

Or at least there appears not to be, which is a problem when you have a Colony administrator like Kynes plotting all kind of alien collaborative fun, and humanity, as ever, right in the cross hairs.

  • Next on Colony in “The Big Empty” … the proverbial hits the fan and any semblance of idyll goes with it …

 

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