Colony Recap: Beware Blue Tigers


Season 1 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating *****
Colony - Season 1
Tory Kittles as Broussard. Photo: Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network

Nothing gets teen hormones raging like hazelnut-blend coffee. And man, would Beau be jealous that Bram and Pia got their hands on some gourmet beans in an abandoned food-distro unit. Not just because they’re apparently an aphrodisiac, but on account of he and Will gulping down expired instant swill to make it through each day of banging down Geronimo’s doors. Still, I doubt Beau would be shocked to learn better brew can be had. As Jennifer observes later in the episode, “We’re in a world that’s all secrets and lies.” The best you can do is to bury yourself in work and play your part.

That decision proves fatal for poor Luis Ortega, a career character actor who lost half of his family during the Arrival and gets busted for embodying the voice of Geronimo on pirate-radio dispatches. His only hope for evading the Factory lies in an offer from Proxy Snyder: If he dutifully assumes the role of Geronimo for a televised trial, he’ll be rewarded with freedom and a better quality of life. Essentially, it’s a witness-protection scenario for the accused.

More significantly, and inevitably, it’s a load of crap. Snyder gets his “win” — appointing himself judge and jury in a sensational bit of courtroom theater that propagandizes his authoritarian screed — and literally hangs Ortega out to dry in a Wayward Pinesstyle public execution. Too cold, Snyder. Too cold.

Generally speaking, bargains should be best avoided in post-Arrival Los Angeles. That certainly goes for Will, who’s realizing he may never get Charlie back as Snyder promised. It may also apply to Bram’s creepy teacher Mr. Carson, who assures Bram that if he helps snag a telescope lens, they’ll finally peek behind the curtain at these dastardly Hosts. Did I mention Mr. Carson is creepy? Bram, however, is impressionable and looking for something to believe in. After all, that’s why 18-year-old Shawn Miller (Julian de la Celle) was helping transport Geronimo’s radio scripts through the reservoir into the flats. And that’s why his teen buddies were putting themselves at risk to vandalize city walls with Geronimo posters.

As it turns out (and as expected), there is no single personification of Geronimo. In a bit of wholly appropriate satire, Geronimo is the brainchild of a millennial ad executive and his graphic-artist friend. It’s a nod to the fluidity of modern insurgency and a real thorn in the side of Snyder — hence his canny manipulation of Ortega to regain a bit of authorship over what’s being prophesied to the public.

Snyder is also desperate to make good with his boss, intense bureaucrat Helena (Ally Walker), who demanded not to be embarrassed in front of the Governor General, apparently a figure in the Hosts’ upper echelon. (Everyone’s got to answer to someone.) It’s politics as usual in new L.A., though not so different than life before the Arrival, which should hopefully make it easier for Will to navigate his way through this duplicitous maze. Dude’s got real issues on his hands, now that Jennifer (good showing, Kathleen Rose Perkins!) has hipped him to Katie’s clandestine behavior. After witnessing Phyllis’s crime scene and watching Snyder make a mockery of jurisprudence — not to mention feeling like he’ll never be reunited with Charlie by playing within the system — it seems like Will is starting to see the light. But it’s still unlikely he’d approve of Katie’s haste, let alone the human cost and the implications of her deceit in their marriage.

Maybe Agents Bowman and McMahon have the right idea: Pour yourself a whiskey, and make it a double.

“Geronimo” is, even for Colony, a spectacularly cynical hour of television. It primes us for the battle that’s about to rage. Not only did Snyder successfully reclaim the Green Zone rebels’ leftist message for his own tyrannical purposes, but Quayle and Broussard have in turn used Snyder’s propaganda to incite their army, who were sufficiently spooked after Will’s armory raid. It can be difficult to ascertain where, exactly, co-creator/writer Ryan Condal’s political beliefs fall when he’s rendering such complex global issues onto a hyperlocalized, Western dystopian canvas. But five episodes in, the show has proven it’s got some guts — even when Red Hats aren’t brutally assaulting school teachers, children, and neighborhood moms with alarming regularity.

It’s got a message of its own, too, which will become that much clearer when the dust settles after next week’s all-out war.

Apart From All That:

  • Hello, Perd Hapley! (Or, in this instance, Jay Jackson as Hank the newscaster.)
  • Do those “You Are Geronimo” posters share a designer with Flying Dog brewery?
  • It’s only a matter of time until aspiring Green Zone rappers boast about hailing from “the GZ.”
  • Looks like someone’s a Joseph Conrad fan.
  • Josh Holloway makes a great “well, shit” face.
  • Baseball caps, sunglasses … what disguises won’t Katie think of next?
  • I’ll just say it: I’m not sure Sarah Wayne Callies is the show’s strongest asset.
  • With Geronimo unmasked, the biggest mystery is why the hell no people live on the other side of the wall. That, and whatever that no-good Liz is up to.

Colony Recap: Beware Blue Tigers