Colony: “Sierra Maestra” (S3, E3 review)

Again with the guns … meet-and-greets had really gone downhill, friendliness-wise, in the apocalypse (image via Spoiler TV (c) USA Network)



Depending on your level of Biblical literacy – as a pastor’s kid, mine is ridiculously high though rarely lived-out these days – you may or may not be aware of a pithy little statement that Jesus made once in reference to unity and its devilment by split priorities:

“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3: 5)

Essentially, some 2000 years before the Rapps came to use as for fascistic target practice, Jesus was predicting what might happen to any group who can’t decide what their purpose and stick to it with singular focus, and it must be added, humanity too.

For as Will (John Holloway) and Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) Bowman are discovering at the Resistance Hilton in the Woods – not the real name but there is some serious apocalyptic glamping going on there – if you take out the humanity from any situation, you end with something that looks suspiciously like, oh I don’t know, a colony.

It’s a point made by someone who should know, Alan Snyder (Peter Jacobson) who pulls Will aside at one point to point out the number of disquieting similarities between the resistance camp run by Andrew McGregor (Graham McTavish) where everyone is doing a great impression of being watched all the time – let’s face it, they probably are – and the colonies, a similarity so acute that the old Proxy of the L.A. Bloc can wait to get the hell of Seattle-ain Dodge.

Truth be told, Will is of the same mindset but with Katie determined to meet the Rapp squirreled away in one of the off-limit huts – contrary to previous speculation, both mine and others, the Rapp or Click as the Resistance up north terms our new unwelcome alien overlords – and equally on giving Gracie (Isabella Crovetti-Cramp) and Charlie (Jacob Buster) some semblance of a normal life (the camp has a school so hurrah for learning!)


Making the cover of Alien Resistance Monthly was another ticked item off the bucket list for Broussard (image via Spoiler TV (c) USA Network)


It’s a lovely aspiration, well the second one anyway, and you can well understand as a mother that she wants the best she can give her kids even in weirdly abnormal apocalyptic conditions, but if it means some unsettling deal with the resistance devil to make it happen, and trust me, everyone looks scared or ill-at-ease which is never a good sign, then you have to wonder if it’s worth it.

One thing Katie is questioning is why they are being treated like semi-criminals with an armed guard when they are the ones who schlepped the gauntlet all the way from L.A. and know enough about battling the Rapps in an urban setting to fill a book … which, as it turns out, is what McGregor got her to do in an exercise book.

It’s less about Katie having an inflated sense of her own self-importance than wondering why the Resistance are treating like schlubbs off the street who know nothing and are of suspect motivation and intent.

This clashing disconnect between expectations and reality is symptomatic of what can happen in situations where the enemy is monolithic and known but those opposing it, while theoretically united in purpose, diverge on exactly what needs to be done to combat the threat confronting them.

Syria is a case in point.

Everyone in the opposition agrees that Assad needs to be unseated but no one can agree on how precisely how that should be achieved, leading to the shambolic quagmire that is Syria 2018 and the recent gains that Assad has made to reunify the country and cement his grip on power.

Much the same could happen on earth if the Resistance doesn’t get their act together, and especially if they see the only way forward is to ape the Rapps’ fascists style of governance.

Sure there needs to be discipline and a tight ship run and all that, but trade too much of what makes us human away and we end up becoming the very thing we oppose.

Although, even if unity was a realistic option, and it’s not looking too good right now, the big, and I mean BIG revelations when the Rapp finally did speak mean that the question might be – who unifies with who?

There’s no doubt that the patsies of the Global Authority are being played by the Rapps with a whole host of promises no one has any intention of keeping, but the revelation that there are big, badder aliens on the way, a race so powerful the Rapps fear them, makes you wonder if my enemy’s enemy is my friend, or just, alas, another enemy.


Rather cleverly, and knowing there was a market for diversionary pop in a resistance-heavy age, Broussard parlayed his cover boy fame into a three-piece band, Staring Moodily Into Space, whose first album cover was a posturing triumph (image via Spoiler TV (c) USA Network)


Frankly, with the Rapps having the credibility of used car salespeople mixed with real estate professionals, no one is sure if they can trust the scattered-English mutterings of the robotic Rapp – yep they look all Terminator-ish with not a biological bone or piece of flesh to their name (it was kinda cool to see them at last) – with its tales of a great galactic battle coming to a beleaguered blue planet near you.

Certainly it expands the landscape of the series spectacularly, something which Falling Skies attempted with considerably less success and power-politics insight – one thing that must be said for Colony is that its writing is never less than insightful, sophisticated and illuminating on the best and worst of the human condition under duress – and opens a whole world of narrative possibilities.

It also explains what Broussard (Tory Kittles) and Amy Leonard aka Dispatch (Peyton List) saw as they emerged from their pharmacy shopping – a group of beyond-the-wall survivors agreed to give the twosome a lift north in exchange for getting medicine from a heavily alien-fortified zone from which only Broussard and Amy got out alive – with a bright glowing dome spreading out before them, its lit-up brilliance only matching by the piercing decibels it emitted.

Neither could stick around because of the piercing racket to see what it was, but it adds credence to the fact that Earth is less a conquest for conquest’s sake than an army base replete with “resources” aka people, being rapidly transformed into a fortification against the aliens whose ship was first sighted in episode one of the third season.

Something is definitely up, and there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye – the question is what can humanity, the primitives in this equation against the towering might of two warring alien races, do even if the entire gamut of truth is revealed to them?

Precious little you might think, and while a fairytale ending might be nice where the aliens are beaten and the human collaborators receive their just desserts, I suspect that a show as clever and expertly-written as Colony, which tells it like it is rather than the way we’d all like it to be, won’t let them play out so cleanly.

In fact, given the fissures in the Resistance, and humanity as a whole, and the inability of anyone yet to substantiate if anything the Rapp said is true (in all fairness they really haven’t had the time), the battle is a long way from over, and I have a feeling Colony, brutally and engagingly realistic to the hilt, is not going to make it an easy ride for anyone, human or otherwise.

  • Coming up in Colony … “Hospitium” asks, and honestly a fair question given the possible blurring of human and alien loyalties, and within each camp, who are the allies and who are the enemies?



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