Colony 2×16: Is it too late for a game of Stratego?


Brian Thompson's Debut.

Finally, some real mythology. Every other conspiracy-centered episode to this point has been a mere prologue. “Colony” takes place on a grander scale and with more at stake than anything we’ve seen before it.

Great though it is, it’s not quite flawless from beginning to end. The opening monologue we get from Mulder doesn’t sound like a dying declaration. Or, I should say, it sounds like the dying declaration of a frustrated writer, not a snarky F.B.I. agent who’s freezing to death on one hand and being killed by a fast-acting virus on the other. It’s moments like these when I can “see” the script; writers are coming through louder than the story.

But that unnatural bit is over quickly and our adrenaline starts flowing as we see Scully race into an unknown medical facility, frantic to save her partner. Will she be successful? How does she know what’s wrong with him? What’s this about a virus?

The virus plot line should sound familiar. It was first introduced in “The Erlenmeyer Flask” (1×23) and alluded to more vaguely in the oft forgotten “Red Museum” (2×10). Here’s what we know: There is a shadow government with access to alien DNA. Using this DNA, they’ve created bacteria that are being used as a carrier for a virus. This virus is being used as a form of gene therapy; it modifies the genetic structure of human DNA, making it alien.

Confusing, yes? Why don’t they just inject people with the virus itself? Well, by hiding a virus within bacteria scientists can more easily control both the behavior of the virus and also the body’s response to the virus by tricking it into thinking it’s bacteria so that the immune system doesn’t rebel. The DNA of specific cells in the body can be strategically targeted.

The science lesson is free.

So last we left off, the shadow government was experimenting with the virus using different means of delivery on test subjects in the general population. We knew they could clone alien DNA, but now we find out they can clone people. Or are they people? Whoever they are they’re systematically being exterminated.

Meet Mr. Alien Bounty Hunter: The Arnold Schwarzenegger of The X-Files.

Truth is, he’s so awesomely cold that I find myself rooting for him rather than the clones. But more about my twisted psychology later. He also kills innocent Agent Weiss for which Mulder and Scully are quickly blamed. Of course, that only lights a fire further under Mulder who’s been contacted covertly by the clones. He doesn’t know they’re behind it, or what they are. But he’s vulnerable and gullible so he’s easy prey for the wiles of…

Samantha Mulder. At least, that’s who she wants Mulder to believe she is. There’ll be more on that next episode. For now it’s enough that we finally meet the (entire?) Mulder family in all its dour glory. No wonder the man is a loner.

Since this is the first of a two-part episode, we’re mostly left with questions. Is it really Samantha? Who are these clones? Are they aliens or hybrids? What’s the real reason they’re being killed? Whose idea was it to bring back the Cold War rumor of Russian spies implanted among us?

Conclusion:

It’s Salt meets The Twilight Zone.

I’m starting to think that Mulder’s not a quick study. Scully tells him that Agent Chappell wasn’t trustworthy, just like she warned him Deep Throat was lying in “E.B.E.” (1×16). When will he learn to trust her first and figure out why later? If he had, she probably wouldn’t have ended up trapped in a motel room with Mulder’s evil doppelganger.

But, oh, that wouldn’t do. I just love this cliffhanger. Scully’s looking at a face that she trusts without question, and we watch in horror as she realizes she can’t trust this man at all. And when he shuts the door behind him… Like I said, LOVE. If I have one criticism, and it’s a very minor one, I rather wish the Samantha character hadn’t stressed for the audience that the Bounty Hunter could can change his identity to appear as someone Scully trusts. It kinda ruins the surprise. We already know he can shapeshift. We grasp the possibilities.

And what about the Mulder Family reunion? Is Mulder relieved to see Samantha again? Happy? I think he’s just shell-shocked. He doesn’t know what to think or feel after all this time, all his searching. Truthfully, she’s a stranger. She tells him something closer to the truth than Agent Chappell/Mr. Bounty Man, but it’s still a lie. She hugs him and then she begs him. It’s pure emotional manipulation. Everyone’s out to use Mulder except for Scully. The man needs to learn that lesson tout suite.

A

Questions:

The clones disintegrate the way the experimental hybrids did in “The Erlenmeyer Flask.” The Bounty Hunter bleeds green as well. Would it be safe to assume that whatever alien DNA that’s being used to create the clones is shared by the Bounty Hunter? Maybe it’s their shared DNA that allows the clones to recognize him.

Assuming for a moment that Agent Chappell is telling a true story, what would be so evil about killing the Gregors if they’re in this country to kill American citizens?

Comments:

Last time we saw Scully look out through the blinds like that she ended up “ascending to the stars.” A portent maybe?

There’s a moving fetus in a bag. Oh, X-Files, you have no limits, do you?

We just witnessed the first and only Mulder/Scully fight of Season 2. At least I’m pretty sure it is…

Best Quotes:

Scully: I’ve got a bad feeling about this case, Mulder.
Mulder: What do you mean?
Scully: Well, nothing about it makes sense. We’ve got three deaths of identical victims, no bodies, a virtual non-suspect…
Mulder: Sounds just like an X-File.

——————

Scully: How are you feeling?
Mulder: Like I should have used the crosswalk.

——————

Scully: Our friend from the CIA is about as unbelievable as his story, as is everything about this case. I mean, whatever happened to “Trust no one”, Mulder?
Mulder: Oh, I changed it to “Trust everyone”. I didn’t tell you?

——————

Scully: Well, Skinner’s going to want to know why you didn’t file the report. What are you going to say?
Mulder: Just the truth. I got hit by a car.

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5 responses to “Colony 2×16: Is it too late for a game of Stratego?

  1. So lately a game I play is where I try and guess what quote you’ll use to go with the episode title. For Colony I thought for sure it would be “I changed it to “Trust everyone”. I didn’t tell you?” because that line made me laugh so hard.

    To no avail!

    Additionally: Fetus-in-a-bag was awesome, especially when you consider that the poor little dude had been crushed under-heel by the Alien Bounty Hunter.

    I really loved how proactive Scully was in her investigation, and as you said the cliffhanger is amazing. I’m going to immediately watch End Game now; I hope it doesn’t disappoint after the amazing setup of Colony!

    • OMW, I should have used that one!!

      Thankfully, End Game doesn’t disappoint. Though I did notice for the first time last night that the ending feels a little tacked on. That’s alright though. Enjoy!

  2. This is definitely the first mythology episode that I really enjoyed. And I don’t even enjoy mythology episodes that much. A true cliffhanger!

  3. Mulder and Scully also fight in Anasazi. I only know that because I watched it again last night 😀

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