I wasn’t sure if I was going to give this a shot. My wife and I watch Suits, but USA dramas don’t normally catch my attention. But Mr. Robot’s incredible first season extended a lot of leeway for me and future USA dramas, so let’s see how this goes. Oh, and at least two of us will be talking about the new season of Mr. Robot a lot later this year.
Much like TNT’s Falling Skies, USA’s new show Colony begins its story sometime after some sort of (presumably) other-worldly invasion to which our main characters are already acclimated.
Here’s what we know.
-You have the Hosts (the occupying force), the Collaborators (the Hosts’ human partners who are empowered to carry out the Hosts’ plans on the ground via a very oppressive military state) and the Resistance (a group of humans who are secretly planning to overthrow the Collaborators and the Hosts).
-Cities are separated by massive walls. Well, at least Los Angeles and Santa Monica are separated by a massive wall. Is it safe to assume this is true globally? Transportation is so highly controlled between cities that it is restricted to only to necessary supply deliveries and drivers from one side of the wall must be replaced by drivers from the other side.
-Speaking of transportation, there are no motorized vehicles allowed except for those that make supply deliveries, or other crucially essential functions. The general citizery must walk or use bicycles.
-Distribution of food and medical supplies is also very tightly controlled, which leads to black market bartering (and also makes you freak the eff out when you accidentally drop an egg on the floor).
Our central characters are Will (Josh Holloway) and Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) Sullivan. They have two sons and a daughter. However, one of their sons was isolated in Santa Monica after the arrival of the Hosts and the wall was put up. Will, behind Katie’s back, concocts a plan to smuggle himself into Santa Monica to find his missing son. He’s *thisclose* to passing the checkpoint at the wall, hidden in the trailer of a big rig, when a Resistance-planted explosive puts an immediate stop to that plan.
Will, apparently the only survivor of the explosion, is arrested and later taken to weaselly Collaborator (or, officially, “Proxy Governor”) Alan Snyder (Peter Jacobson). Gov. Snyder has uncovered that the Sullivan family has been living under a fake identity...the family’s last name is actually Bowman. Will Bowman, pre-occupation, was an FBI agent and Army Ranger who was really good at tracking and hunting fugitives. He and his family have somehow managed until now to keep this information secret. Regardless, Snyder now wants to utilize this talent to track and hunt members of the Resistance. Accept (and remain loyal), you just might get your son back. Refuse, and your whole family will be sentenced to slave labor at The Factory. Not exactly the most enviable of positions: effectively, collaborate or die. The possibility of reuniting of with their lost son is the end that justifies the means. And so, that’s that...
No, wait. One little detail. Unbeknownst to Will, Katie is actually a full-fledged member of the Resistance, and now Will is unknowingly a Resistance double-agent. This reveal automatically makes the show a must-see, not just because of the inevitable tension that will arise between husband and wife, but because Callies gets to shine in a role that is not completely useless, like Lori Grimes. Business is about to pick up.
As Ebert said about Hayden Christensen in his review of Episode III, "to call Carrie's acting 'wooden' is an insult to puppets everywhere." Bo will win, no doubt. I have been a true Carrie fan, but he really is outshining her at this point.