Colony: Season 2
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Colony: Season 2

Political based dystopian have always retained a considerable degree of popularity among the fans of science fiction. While there are indubitably many contributing reasons for this persistent acceptance, one that deserves inclusion is the fact that has contributed a substantial amount of interest is most generations have gone beyond mere dissatisfaction with their government with an open animosity. Considering the current sociopolitical environment, there is little wonder that a television series concerned with a draconian extraterrestrial species systematically dismantling the freedoms and liberties the people of the United States have enjoyed for so long. The television series that stands out as a brilliantly crafted example of this specific sub-genre comes from a growing source of compelling entertainment, Basic Cable, specifically the ‘USA Network.' Their series, ‘Colony,' has rapidly risen to the position the epitome of its category. At this point, it appears that most of the truly effective themes have been revisited ad nausea. The veracity of this observation may be beyond definitive proof, but subjectively it is worth considering in the context of individual projects such as this show.

Science fiction writers have always used extraterrestrials instead of naming harsh governments. Their respect for the intelligence of the audience to look past the deliberately gossamer façade the invading aliens to properly draw the intended conclusions infused by the author. The show uses a single family to provide a point of point of view narratives each one elucidating a different aspect of the effect of the extraterrestrial occupation has made of the people. A member of the resistance and collaborator reside under the same roof with a close relation a part of the human elite that directly interacts with our new overlords. The first season of the series performed exceedingly well. It succinctly established the principle player, the foundation of the contextual rules and the all-important details of the situation carefully to shroud a substantial portion in mystery. This last objective was expertly accomplished in a twofold fashion. First keep certain details away from all by a very select few. Next, assign the protection of complete anonymity to certain elements of the motives, abilities, physiology and psychological characteristics of the invaders from beyond the star. Much of this is achieved naturally, keeping the characters just as in the dark as the viewers. By isolating the viewers to such an extent, a distinctive inclusion of mystery centered on the series. Every episode drops clues that must be evaluated a to their reliability as another piece to the overall puzzle.

The previous season left off with several taut cliffhangers. Will Bowman (Josh Holloway), had made a deal with the local governor, Alan Snyder (Peter Jacobson), had held the prestigious and influential position of the Proxy Governor of the Los Angeles Bloc. Because of the setbacks inflicted by the resistance he was demoted to the lower, nearly humiliating position of manager for a shipping depot run by captured citizens reduced to dispensable slave labor. Unlike most people with even a modicum of authority Snyder is a secret supporter of the resistance. The eldest Bowman son, Bram (Alex Neustaedter), who was captured to leave the bloc through an unguarded service tunnel. Such an offense typically is an express ticket to ‘The Factory,' a mysterious facility that many are sent but ever return. It is suspected that the extraterrestrials Hosts, derogatorily called ‘Raps’ due to their similarities to Raptors, have been using humans as subjects in a eugenic program to remove deleterious genetic the first season they were unseen, except for a brief glimpse. The resistance came into a position of the corpse of one and had been diligently examining it for clues to psychology and potential, exploitable weakness. This permits the story line to expand an intimate consideration of the resistance and the development of some factions within the organization considerably. Some want a full out violent war while other favor a guerilla style campaign.

Wife and mother Katie Bowman (Sarah Wayne Calles) is on a tenuous tightrope desperately trying to reconcile several crucial yet seemingly mutually exclusive responsibilities. Katie is an active member of the resistance that much to her horror has participated in excursions resulting the loss of human lives. Her superiors try to reconcile it point out the victims were only ‘Red Hat,' the military police arm of the puppet government. They are called that due the red hats and helmets that are part of their uniform. Some of her information derived from comments of her husband, Will. Besides her middle child running away, landing in a labor camp, her youngest son has also left home, Charlie (Jacob Buster) has managed to leave the ‘security ‘of the bloc to the lawless area outside the blocs. On ‘Arrival Day’ the first thing the aliens accomplished was to drop sections of an interlocking wall to isolate metropolitan areas. Watching this in a flashback audience member will inevitably consider how this would be a dream come true for a recently elected national leader.

The usual striation demonstrated with the informal development of castes. Some of the population remain in a somewhat middle-class lifestyle while others are pushed out to the Red Zone beyond the bloc walls. Those with the financial or political power deemed useful by the Hosts incorporated into the Transitional Authority, a cult like a cabal of powerful insiders directly in communication with the hosts. An example is Nolan Burgess (Adrian Pasdar), his wife, Charlotte (Kathryn Morris), has an elite job as a cultural director in the Green Zone. She hires Maddie (Amanda Righetti), the younger sister of Katie. In many respects, this provides the potential for another source of information crucial to the efforts of the resistance. The moral quagmire initially plaguing Katie has escalated into a shroud of escalating doom. Katie is completely dedicated to the cause of ridding the planet of the invading Raptors, but it frequently comes down to placing her family in danger. With her two sons lost in the inhospitable Red Zone compelling Will to take a leave from his job as an FBI agent ostensibly coopted into the police force controlled by the Raptors.

In this season, the loving family embodied by the Bowman’s has been split by distance and desperation, the secret held by Katie is revealed when Will discovers his wife is part of the resistance cell he has been pursuing was his spouse. The reality of their respective circumstances as Katie is inexorably pulled into more dangerous assignments forcing her to commit acts of violence she never imaged could do. Will’s return to the job finds him under greater scrutiny than ever before. His new superior is a zealot for the Proxy government myopically focused on rooting out potential traitors in their ranks as well as the upper echelon of the resistance. He partners Will work with an agent who suspects Will, particularly because of his unscheduled time away in the Red Zone. His previous partner, Jennifer McMahon (Kathleen Rose Perkins), who is demoted to a surveillance clerk working in a room filled with monitoring stations intercepting, recording and analyzing the citizens of the bloc. When she stumbles across a forbidden truth, she is terminated with extreme prejudice. Even the children are subjected to indoctrination and monitoring, Since Will is a member of the proxy government their young daughter, Gracie (Isabella Crovetti), is provided with a tutor for home schooling. The tutor, Lindsey (Erin Way), is an energetic and diminutive blonde in her thirties. The most important part of the curriculum is teaching Gracie about the great benefits the aliens have brought while converting then to the religion of the Hosts, in that religion, they are all anticipating the day prophesized to end all conflict. When the resistance extrapolates the population declines, they realized that day is when humanity becomes extinct.

Aliens invading Earth has been a favorite theme for a very long time including such classics as ‘V,' ‘Falling Skies,' and for those old enough to remember, ‘The Invaders.' Fortunately for fans of this genre ‘Colony’ is undoubtedly one of the best, helping to redefine this category of entertainment. The presence of special effects is de rigueur not just for science fiction but to most types of entertainment. One of the aspects of ‘Colony’ is that the showrunner is sufficiently confident in his talent and the cast and crew that they allow the story to stand on its merits. The first season treated the Hosts as McGuffins, more important to the viewers than within the context of the narrative. The briefest glimpse of the extraterrestrial overlords is expanded upon in this season although never to the point of dominating the scene. That shifted the onus to the human characters allowing them to form stronger connections with the audience. The core themes holding the series together include an examination of a reasonably happy family during an unprecedented alien invasion. On a grander scale, students of history can explore the repeat of a familiar cycle, conquerors with exceptionally advanced technology overwhelming and destroy civilization. Point by point comparisons is possible juxtaposing ‘Colony’ to the Spanish invasion of the Mayans.

Posted 07/27/2017

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