Colony Season 2 Episode 4 Review: Panopticon

at .

The full scope of the watchful gaze Big Brother has upon the world has been revealed.

Nobody is safe, there is no privacy. Nobody is immune, and Colony Season 2 Episode 4 feels more relevant than ever.

The real world has been screaming for a re-read of 1984, and after this hour, it's a must. Anything to find some solace from the pain I'm suffering beside the incredible performance offered by Kathleen Rose Perkins as she brought to live the last days of Jennifer McMahon.

Toby Hess Joins Colony Season 2 Episode 4

The big picture came into play as Helena traveled around the world to answer for the state of affairs in Los Angeles. 

In her role as Governor General, all of the good and bad lands at her feet. The Los Angeles bloc was under threat of "total rendition." Now I don't know what that means in these circumstances, but it can't be good.

When you're talking about terror suspects, it means sending them to a country where you can torture them instead of where you have them, so while I doubt rendition mean annihilation, it's doubtful Helena would be the only one to suffer.

But if she's being pressured, then that pressure is being sent down the line. Who knows, Dan might not even be an asshole.

All of that pressure, though, is what really turned the light onto Jennifer and allowed Kathleen Rose Perkins to shine. 

Checking on Charlie - Colony Season 2 Episode 4

Despite the fact that we were witnessing so much of what was happening in the Bowmans household, it was all being done through Jennifer's eyes. The setup, the pacing and ultimate outcome were magnificent.

Absolutely gut wrenching, but masterful storytelling.

By allowing Jennifer into the Bowman's house, she joined their family. It was something she hadn't been a part of in a very long time.

She watched as they absorbed the enormity of having Charlie back home and imagined what it must have been like for him to be the year he was missing. 

And let's face it, Charlie is cute as hell, whip smart and probably knows more about what's going on with the world as it's come to be than the rest of his family. Jennifer's bird's eye view was enlightening on many levels.

Charlie: Did you pick this house because of the oranges?
Will: That's one of the reasons.
Charlie: How'd you get this house?
Will: The people who lived here were on vacation when the arrival happened. We're safe here.
Charlie: No we're not.

Jacob Buster shared the stage with Perkins during the hour, as he made it clear he could hold his own against the veterans of the series. 

Charlie was instantly my favorite Bowman, and given the time we've shared with the kid, that's no easy feat. When Buster says acts, I believe him. I can't wait to see what's next for Charlie and his old-before-his-time world view.

Yet as worldly as he seems, when Charlie looked back, he wanted to grasp on to what he lost, as well.

Changing his hair back to how it was when he was still a normal member of the family felt like the right move for him.

Haircut - Colony Season 2 Episode 4

There were so many different emotions and thoughts that Jennifer must have been going through as she watched and listened to the Bowmans, but the look on her face as she watched Katie cut Charlie's hair was my favorite.

Not only did she seem to recognize the warmth of the moment, but by the end of the hour the meaning became deeper.

It represented what she would never have with the man she loved and why she held her ground and never gave in to the superiors trying to beat her down.

I was really surprised that Will wasn't more careful about the surveillance of his house. Surely he knew Homeland watched the every move of the LA citizens. 

Somebody is Watching Me - Colony Season 2 Episode 4

Part of me recalls Snyder telling him when Will first got the job that he had the cameras either turned off or removed, but I could be making that up. Given the fact he walked out of his job without a word, why wouldn't he be suspect?

I also don't recall a moment when Jennifer was introduced to the cameras with shock. If she knew, then certainly he must know, as well. 

Maybe it was the excitement of the moment and the desire to share information about what had happened with the couple in the recent past that made Katie and Will forget to be mindful of their conversations. 

If they hadn't been watched, Will wouldn't have come off as so callous when talking about Jennifer as she worked every move she had to keep his family safe.

Katie: She's the only reason I'm here. Maybe we trust her.
Will: No. We can't. Jennifer's got a good heart, but she's weak. It won't take that much to break her. She doesn't have the experience or training for this kind of thing.
Katie: If she sells us out, we all go to the factory. Gracie, Charlie...
Will: I worked her before, I can work her again. As long as she thinks we're friends, I can keep her from saying anything. I can handle her.

That was foretold in the previews, but it still hurt to hear him say it. His family owes their lives to that weak woman without training. 

When you're fighting day by day for your very survival and the world has completely upended, whether you went to college for art or martial arts, or whether you worked for a dating site or a military site has no bearing.

It's about your character, your heart and your inner strength. 

Will and Katie couldn't even trust each other, but from what I recall, Jennifer never gave Will a reason to speak about her the way he did to Katie.

Jennifer: Will Bowman.
Dan: What about him?
Jennifer: He's back...

It just wasn't in Jennifer's nature to rat out Will. She had a hard enough time trying to "use" Katie as a source. That was about as far as she would have been able to go, because she's as genuine as they come.

Were Will's words to harsh that they drove her to her final action? I think it was a combination of that, and the incessant pounding of those around her wondering why she was alone.

Jennifer was alone because the arrival took her life from her. She was left with nothing. Was she supposed to make new family and friends in the last year of fight or flight?

Weak - Colony Season 2 Episode 4

Jennifer made the best of her final minutes on the job, watching more of the family while she deleted as much damning evidence as she could. She cried watching Gracie comfort Charlie at night.

She was saving the Bowmans so they could have all of the things she never would. She understood what they had been fighting for, each in their own way. She saw how far the were willing to go for that family, and did her part to ensure they stayed together.

Even so, I still held out hope that she'd stick around and work with Will again, maybe call him out on his behavior over some strong scotch.

Why didn't he trust her? Was training really all that in his eyes?

Happier Times - Colony Season 2 Episode 4
Pills - Colony Season 2 Episode 4

I can't imagine a world in which cell phones and videos of your family are contraband. Jennifer pulled out what was left of the life she lost and with it, a magical potion that would take her someplace else.

Did I ever expect Colony to make me sob? No, not exactly, But the series has always been able to move me and make me think about what this all means. 

It saddens me to think Will will never know how wrong he was about Jennifer. He'll never realize the only way they'll win the war is if people put their faith in each other, even if they think their differences may outweigh their similarities.

For once, it was Katie who was willing to take the chance, to trust Jennifer and give her the benefit of the doubt. After all, if not for Jennifer, Will may have arrived home to an empty house.

Their positions have changed, and despite their desires to be completely honest with one another, this new twist will test them once again. With Katie wanting to find hope and Will cynical, who knows what their future holds?

Big Brother - Colony Season 2 Episode 4

Jennifer certainly didn't know what her future held, but she wasn't tossing her moral compass out the window to please people who were under the same pressure she felt herself. She drew a line she wouldn't cross.

If she felt the pressure might get to her, she took herself out of the equation. It wasn't a weak choice, either. It was the only move she had left.

Thankfully, Big Brother took a break and missed their opportunity make sure she stayed to pay the price for her transgressions.

Creator Ryan Condal and Wes Tooke wrote this episode, and Condal mentioned on Twitter he'd wanted to write it for a long time. I thank him for not writing it sooner, because the more time with Perkins, the better.

I'll really miss her magnetic presence on Colony, as I don't expect there will be a last minute save of my girl Jennifer unless the reason the seat at the databank is empty is because they double as a rescue squad. 

Alright...I'll hold out hope for that, but I won't hold my breath.

What did you think of this "Panopticon"? Kathleen Rose Perkins was phenomenal. Nope that's not a question. What's next for the Bowmans? Is Charlie your favorite Bowman now, too?

Remember, you can watch Colony online if you need to see more.

Panopticon Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
  • 5.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.3 / 5.0 (33 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Colony Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Charlie: Did you pick this house because of the oranges?
Will: That's one of the reasons.
Charlie: How'd you get this house?
Will: The people who lived here were on vacation when the arrival happened. We're safe here.
Charlie: No we're not.

Katie: You know about the labor camps?
Charlie: Sure.
Katie: What have you heard?
Charlie: Bram's gonna have to change.