Anyone starting to watch USA Network’s show Colony after missing the first few episodes might not realize that the unseen overlords probably have an extraterrestrial origin. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Spoilers ahead.

Aside from Bram’s scenes with one of his teachers discussing what’s happening in the sky there hasn’t been much in the last few episodes about who was behind the Arrival (you can almost hear people say the word capitalized). I assume it’s aliens but it could just as easily be the Nazis returning from their hidden Moonbase or the North Koreans. One of the few things we know is that they seem to have some superior technology such as the drone in the top image.

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But much like how The Walking Dead really isn’t about zombies Colony really isn’t about aliens (or whatever they are). The show is about how people (or more specifically Americans) react to an occupation.

At one end of the spectrum you have those who go all in with the occupiers like Proxy Snyder, the man running the Los Angeles Block. At the other end you have the Resistance as embodied by people such as Katie Bowman who has stated she “will not be one of those mothers who has to look her children in the eye and tell them that she did nothing.”

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Of course there is a lot of gray in between. For example:

  • Kate believes in her cause but she’s horrified when she realizes that her Resistance omelette requires breaking some eggs like Phyllis (and Phyllis’ husband) and a very real threat to Katie’s husband Will.
  • Speaking of Phyllis (RIP), she worked for the Transitional Authority because she believed the Hosts can’t be overthrown and wanted to prevent things from getting worse.
  • Will’s co-worker Jennifer lost her fiance in a Resistance bombing right after the Arrival so she’s motivated to fight the terrorists (one man’s Resistance fighter is someone else’s terrorist).
  • Katie’s sister Madde is technically not a collaborator but she has a job in the Green Zone working for one so that she can get insulin for her diabetic son.

The majority of Angelenos seem to be just trying to get by. They may listen to Geronimo’s pirate radio broadcasts but aren’t actively resisting the occupation. If the better jobs involve working for the Transitional Authority or in the the Green Zone then it’s understandable that people will do them even if they don’t agree with the occupiers.

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We’re only halfway through the first season and Colony has already been given a second one. So the identity of the the Raps or Hosts (which term you use depends on your point of view) will probably come up at some point. I’ve watched enough shows to have low expectations for the eventual reveal. But they are not really what the show is about so a disappointing reveal may not be a big deal.