The Odd, Unfinished Quayle Saga in 'Colony' Episode 8 Is Why We Watch This Show

A unexpected knee-jerk reaction in the USA series throws the entire plot into disorder.


The following article contains spoilers.

Colony’s tell-but-not-show ethos takes a cathartic turn for the strange on its eighth episode, and solidifies exactly what makes this show feel at turns lackluster and elsewhere oddly compelling. Paul Guilfoyle’s shifty insurgent boss character Quayle meets his end in a fit of protective rage from Will before we fully understand what’s behind the eyes. We are supposed to buy his explanation to Will on some level yet we always feel there’s a catch in the plan: Does this violent leader really want only freedom? Did he kill so mercilessly for a cause he didn’t really believe could prevail? He tells stories to Broussard with real empathy, and vacillates between condemning Katie and speaking reverently about her to Will.

Then his death, before we can get more answers, is brutal, unnecessary, and unexpected. It’s possibly a step back from everything Will was attempting to achieve by collaborating — that is, regaining contact with his son, lost in the Santa Monica bloc (it’s still kind of funny to say out loud). But Quayle is a threat to his wife, or just talking about her a wrong way, and we see, truly, how important his family is to him by just the look in his eyes.

What else does he have to live for? The show has done its best to convince us that’s his work in recent episodes. But while he may believe he’s doing a service for humankind by preventing the insurgents from angering the visitors in the sky — and thus bringing, presumably, widespread destruction — ultimately, it’s all a way of establishing a separate peace. In the world of Colony, people are ultimately just fighting for their own humanity — for a bit of elbow room, and respite from the oppressive forces outside their own four walls. Inside, after all, these houses appear to be completely normal.

And yet, Will’s act seems like a first step toward his downfall. As Beau (Carl Weathers) puts it, it will only be a matter of time before Snyder figures out that something is amiss with their story of what happened in the government safe house. And if someone alludes to the possibility of something happening on this show, it usually comes to pass, in one way or another. At home, Will has decided to play it nice for now, as if to preserve the veneer of stability he holds so dear. But if his story about the death of Quayle is tenuous, his ability to hold his ground with Katie is at least 10 times more so.

The truth about Quayle goes to his grave with him, but the rest of the secrets that are the mortar of this show are about to rear their ugly heads, and manifest into complete disorder and destruction.