The USA Network drama’s co-creator explains the “life and death consequences” of the show’s most recent episode.
[Warning: this story contains spoilers for season two, episode three of USA Network’s Colony.]
With the notable exception of Will Bowman’s (Josh Holloway) eldest son, Colony hasn’t taken many prisoners in its second season.
The USA Network series from Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal opened its second season with a first-hand look at how powerful alien invaders conquered Los Angeles in a matter of hours, providing visual bedrock for the show’s premise as it played out in season one. Through that episode, viewers met a few new faces, including Devon (Carolyn Michelle Smith), Will’s old partner at the FBI who was willing to bend some rules for her own personal gain. Separated during the initial invasion, Will and Devon reunited at the end of the season two premiere, moving past their differences and once again working together toward a common goal: save Will’s son Charlie (Jacob Buster) and get out of the Santa Monica Bloc alive.
By the time of the third episode of the season, Will and Devon had successfully regained custody over Charlie. It was then onto phase two of their mission, though even Snake Plissken would have a difficult time escaping from this particular LA. Will and his companions hired a guide to help them scale an unsupervised section of the massive wall separating Santa Monica from the greater Los Angeles Bloc, and just as it seemed like they were nearing the end of the climb, disaster struck: a drone descended from the skies and decimated the guide with a single burst of alien gunfire. There was no time to even process Will, Charlie and Devon’s next best move before Devon became the next victim, turned into nothing more than a gooey bloodstain on the wall in an awful instant.
Devon’s death is a surprising development for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its jarringly violent nature. Even more importantly, Devon was emerging as a new main character, someone capable of filling the role of Will’s tough-as-nails work spouse following season one staple Carl Weathers’ exit from the series. According to Cuse, however, this exact bait-and-switch was all part of Devon’s design from the beginning.
“Ryan and I felt like that would be a really unexpected reversal, that this character is getting the traditional introduction you would give to a character who’s going to have a substantial presence in the show,” Cuse tells THR. “Before she was ever cast and before anything else, our concept was that Devon would seem to be emerging as a new regular character, and then, in a surprising fashion, she would get wiped out.”
Indeed, “wiped out” sums it up nicely, given how very little of Devon remains after her death. Cuse adds that killing Devon wasn’t just for shock factor, either, or to illustrate how ruthless Colony is willing to act toward its cast of characters. It also served to highlight a fundamental nature of the Hosts and their level of control over the situation, he says. “We wanted to make sure the audience understood that there are real life and death consequences to trying to move in and out of these blocs,” he says. “We didn’t want it to seem like it wasn’t actually that difficult to get from one bloc to another. It’s really hard. There are serious consequences if you try and you fail.”
It’s an important lesson to keep in mind, given some of what viewers already know about the Host technology. For instance, in the season premiere, the great wall separating the Los Angeles blocs was revealed to actually be a network of spaceships. If Will ever gets any bright ideas about hijacking a flying piece of the wall, he would be wise to remember his near-death experience in Thursday’s episode.
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