Review: Why was ‘Colony’s Eleven Thirteen’ so important?

‘Colony’s’ season premiere the 50-odd minute flashback Eleven Thirteen was strangely one of the most efficient ways of moving the story further. We saw a glimpse the day of the invasion and the lives of the main characters leading up to it without seeing a lot of extraneous details. What would be extraneous? The formation of the resistance. We already knew from season one’s arc of catching Quayle who they are, so seeing Quayle for the resistance wasn’t needed. While it would have been interesting to see how the Red Hats were put together, we didn’t need to see that either. Truthfully we didn’t need to see any of it, but what we did see was what was important to the story moving forward. we saw two things: who the characters were in the pre-apocalypse world and clues to the conspiracy.

First, what insights did we get about the characters? What we saw of Will and Snyder was just a reinforcement about who we already knew they were. Will’s answer to his dilemma with Devon and his assumptions about her just reiterate that he has more loyalty to people than he does to institutions or to ideals. Will has guilt, but he’s not an ideologue. Snyder was and still is a tricky confidence man. In season one we saw his governing style as a combination of motivational speaker and academic. Pre-invasion he’s an embezzler and has been for sometime without getting caught. It just reinforces that he is a man with limited morals but the ability to easily think outside the box in getting what he wants done. Their characterization has not changed dramatically and I doubt the audiences opinion of them has much either.

What was new was the flashbacks about Broussard. He’s been a supporting character who’s screen time and background have mostly been as the occupation’s boogeyman and not as a person. We knew he’s an ex-CIA hitman and the most dangerous single person on the show but that’s it. Eleven Thirteen managed to make him even more dangerous than he already was while humanizing him. Right before the invasion he’s lost any purpose in life. He tells Katie that he never found answers to his life in killing people for the government or private sector. Fighting a totalitarian regime is probably the most involved he’s ever been in his life. The invasion gave him purpose, something that it didn’t for Will, Katie or anyone else. Broussard has nothing to lose and everything to gain. There is no way to buy out or reason with someone who does something because it gives their life meaning. The resistance is not going to stop with him in charge.

Characterization, however, doesn’t move the plot forward in a show like ‘Colony.’ What moved the plot along was what we saw about the conspiracy. We already knew some of what we saw. We knew the conspiracy was killing people they deemed as threats before the actual invasion. We knew that Snyder had actually met the aliens and we knew the high levels of the new government were picked in advance. We didn’t know the time frame. Eleven Thirteen took place over one day with the arrival happening at the end. Alan Snyder, the 2nd most high ranking government official we’ve met was only hired that very day and that’s when he met the aliens. It seems very rushed and that he wasn’t important nor was his position. Clearly, the higher ups knew for much longer and there must be a lot more higher ups. The people who were collaborators before Eleven Thirteen are our Big Bads and now we have a little more information on them.

I didn’t know what to expect for the start of season 2. I was nervous, several shows I enjoyed the first season lost my interest at the start of season 2. ‘Colony,’ however, created an interesting out of the box premiere that left me excited for what was to come next. Eleven Thirteen was well written and has me hyped for the next few episodes.

Conlan Murphy
Conlan Murphy
A semi-existant Scotts-American weeb and sci-fi fanboy living in Kansas, I’m capable of both random and complicated thoughts about the world and it’s people, mostly uselessly random. Hoping to provide an interesting progressive perspective. An avid rare pair shipper and Shinji Ikari Defense Squad commando in training.