Colony “Gateway” Season Finale Review: Family Matters

Colony - Season 1

On the slam-bang season finale of the first season of “Colony,” things came to a head with matters in the LA Bloc- family or otherwise- in “Gateway.” As Will (Josh Holloway) scrambled to try and keep his family intact, ironically his wife, Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) was on the polar end of the equation, somewhat unwittingly making actions that would ultimately drive them apart.

One of my favorite things about the first season of the show was how willing it was to take risks in terms of the characters, particularly in eliminating those you might expect to stick around- even if they were name actors. Of course, what would you expect from one of the masterminds behind the much-beloved and heavily debated series of our era, “Lost,” which practically wrote the book on killing off characters, liked or otherwise. (With apologies to Joss Whedon, naturally, who was doing that sort of thing long before “Lost” was a glimmer in Carlton Cuse’s mind’s eye.)

The cast of “Colony” was a thing to behold, featuring some of the finest names in character acting royalty, at least TV-wise. Take a gander at the list: In addition to Holloway (“Lost”) and Callies (“The Walking Dead”), there was also Peter Jacobson (“House”), Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”), Amanda Righetti (“The Mentalist”), Paul Guilfoyle (“CSI”), Kathryn Morris (“Cold Case”), Kathleen Rose Perkins (“Episodes”), Kathy Baker (“Medium”), Ally Walker (“Profiler”), Adam Busch (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Felix Solis (“The Good Wife”), Jacob Vargas (“Sons of Anarchy”), Charlie Bewley (“Nashville”), Erin Way (“Alphas”), Kim Rhodes (“Supernatural”), and Gonzalo Menendez (“The Event”).

Colony - Season 1

Not to mention a late-in-the-game turn from- be still my heart- none other than Thora Birch, of “American Beauty” and “Ghost World” fame. Not sure where she’s been all this time, but it was nice seeing her again, that’s for sure. I just hope she has a bigger role next season, assuming she’ll be returning for the second go-round. Oh, and lest I forget, there was also Carl Weathers- mother-freaking Apollo Creed himself!- as Will’s oft-beleaguered partner.

A good half or so of these either didn’t make it to the end of the season or were given dubious fates, with Vargas’ character, Carlos, even shipped off to the so-called “Factory,” which wasn’t Warhol’s famed studio of the same name, believe me you, but rather an off-planet location where most were set to what amounted to slave labor, doing…well, I’m not entirely sure about that one as of yet. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I assume that the “Factory” went beyond being a mere prison planet. Maybe the people behind “The 100” can shed some light, lol.

Colony - Season 1

Speaking of which, along with the sight from the window of the “Factory,” as Carlos stared longingly at his home planet, there were some indelible sights and sounds throughout the season as well: the various shots of the walled-in city, aka Donald Trump’s wet dream; that scene in which the Asian population paid tribute to their fallen with flying lanterns sent up into the air, as drones buzzed about, trying to make heads or tails of it all; the silenced Resistance hung on the streets as a warning to those who would try and rock the boat; Morris, a long way from “Cold Case,” sitting mildly by, observing her husband (Pasdar) have sex with her assistant (Righetti) right in front of her; and plenty more where that came from.

Sounds-wise, I really dug the scenes in which an amped-up group of Redhats were driving into a siege to the sound of Deftones, little knowing the real threat was in the car with them and the especially the one where Jacobson’s Proxy character tracked his daughter down to a hippie commune-like crash pad, scored to- what else?- none other than Geronimo Jackson’s “Dharma Lady”– an clever nod to Cuse’s “Lost” days that I’m sure fans of that show got a real kick out of. I really enjoyed the soundtrack of this show immensely, notably the ironically celebratory use of Zydeco music in Katie’s bar, The Yonk, and the song that served as a backdrop to the final scenes, Exitmusic’s “The Cold.” Granted, there wasn’t that much of it, but I appreciated what music there was.

Colony - Season 1

Overall, this was a pretty solid season, once you got the gist of what was going on, not that it was nearly as complicated as, say, the aforementioned “Lost,” which was actually a relief. Basically, it boiled down to a collective of aliens taking over the planet, sanctioning the titular colonies in various places to contain the population, using certain key people to police them, while elevating others to particular lines of work based on their backgrounds, which they apparently had a virtual “Rolodex” of to draw from to figure out what suited each person best.

This set-up a certain hierarchy of the haves and the have-nots that clearly was meant to serve as a metaphor for the current state of affairs, especially in the US, as the 1% continues to rule the roost over the remaining 99%. Only here, it was the aliens the US had to answer to, no matter how high their ranking, in terms of society.

Colony - Season 1

Actually, to be honest, they never did quite verify that it was aliens, per se. All we really know is that there is a group in control that everyone has to answer to, like it or not, and only certain people have direct access to them, with the higher-ups delegating certain responsibilities to certain people and passing down orders strictly on a need-to-know basis, with much of the population not knowing what the hell was going on, beyond the fact that someone was in charge and that it all started with the so-called “Arrival.”

However, given all the impressive tech on display and the general power they wield, it’s safe to say that whoever it really is aren’t really looking to make friends with us. So, alien or not, it ain’t E.T. we’re dealing with, regardless. I guess we’ll have to wait until next season for more details, but thankfully, there will be one.

Colony - Season 1

Another cool facet of the show, which we saw come to a head on the finale, was the essential set-up of the main characters, as the show cleverly posited them against one another, with most everyone just doing their best to come out on top, or at the very least, make the best of unfortunate circumstances. More often than not, everyone was out for themselves, even if it was counterproductive to their own people, as we saw most overtly in the relationship between Will and Katie.

As frustrating as it was at times to see Callies stuck playing yet another character that makes dubious choices in life, I think I kind of get it. After all, what would you rather play as an actor: a squeaky-clean, by-the-book “good guy” or someone who only works in shades of grey? Callies is certainly cornering the market on characters that typically refuse to play by the rules, even at the expense of their own well-being. Obviously, that’s her wheelhouse, and as much as it might anger the fanboys and girls out there at times, it’s clearly by choice at this point, after having played three such characters in a row on TV. (The other being her character on “Prison Break,” which will reportedly be back soon, with Callies reprising her role in the reboot.)

Colony - Season 1

As annoying as it could be at times, there’s no denying there was drama to be mined from pitting a husband and wife against one another, even as they essentially wanted the same thing- to effect change in a positive way and to reunite their family accordingly, notably long-lost son Charlie, who Will finally came one step closer to finding in the end, as he headed into Santa Monica to track him down, which we already know is a step in the right direction, as we caught our first glimpse of the boy in person in the finale.

Ironically, all of this on both their ends only served to drive all concerned that much further apart, as Katie’s efforts left her completely alone in the city, with Will off to another city altogether and her remaining daughter in the so-called “Green Zone” with her sister (Righetti) and her son- along with, unbeknownst to Katie, team player Lindsey (Erin Way), who we know is actively trying to indoctrinate Katie’s daughter, Grace (Isabella Crovetti-Cramp, “Joy”) into whatever religion or what have you that the aliens follow. Making matters even worse, her other son, Bram (Alexander Neustaedter, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) was apprehended by the authorities trying to cross over into the neighboring city. Whoops!

Colony - Season 1

Well, you can’t say her husband didn’t try to warn her. But I guess you reap what you sow. As much as I feel bad for her to a certain extent, she did make her bed in all this and unlike Will, she actually had a choice in the matter. Too bad she chose the wrong path…or did she? I mean, there are no absolutes in a world torn asunder like this one, really. It’s all relative, when you get down to it.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the actor who, for me, was the show’s most valuable player: Tory Kittles. Despite a name that sounds like an entrée for pets, the “True Detective” and “Sons of Anarchy” vet was the show’s undeniable total bad-ass, killing people left and right without reservation, even if they didn’t have it coming. No shades of grey here, to be sure. Well, beyond honoring Katie’s wishes not to kill her husband, despite having ample opportunity to do so on more than a few occasions. Kittles was definitely the breakout star of this show, IMHO.

Colony - Season 1

So, all in all, a solid first season, with some genuine surprises and intriguing moral issues that made one wonder what they’d do in the same situation. If you had the chance, would you become a “Green Zone” person or would you refuse to compromise your values and suffer the consequences of living like a rat in a cage? In this scenario, was there even much difference? There were no easy answers given, because there are none.

I, for one, look forward to another season, and it will be interesting to see how things progress from here, what with everyone in the Bowman family so scattered. Will Will find Charlie? Even if he does, how will he reunite with the rest of his family? Will Katie even be allowed to see her daughter, much less her apprehended son? Will those in charge of the Bloc she lives in discover Katie was part of the Resistance, or will McMahon (Perkins) continue to keep her secret? Who will be the new Proxy? What will become of Madeline and her son? Or Grace, for that matter? Lots of questions to contend with and lots to look forward to next season. Can’t wait!

Colony - Season 1

So, what did you think of the first season of “Colony”? Will you be watching, come next season? Who was your favorite character? How about your least favorite? Was there a scene you also loved that I didn’t mention? How about one you hated? Did Katie’s actions also frustrate you? What elements of this world should the show focus on in the next season? What would you like to see happen next season? Sound off down below and see you next season!