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The Colony – Week 4: To Have and Have Not

Week 4 of The Colony on the Discovery Channel was full of felonies; we’ll get to those in a bit. Notwithstanding the crimes, the deluge and subsequent floods wrought Mother Nature, this episode focuses a good bit closer to home for all of us.

Episode Four was all about Food.

We love it, we need it, we take it for granted. Last nights show clearly highlighted what happens to a human being, and the Colony as a whole, when they can’t just run to the cupboard or the refrigerator once the first hunger pangs strike. No grocery store. No drive up windows. No relief from your tortured, growling stomach. To quote Becka, “All I think about is food. I’m so hungry and food is constantly on my mind.”

What would you do? What would you do if you had children to focus on as well. It left me wondering if the producers will introduce a young boy or girl into the show’s mix. It’s one thing to be hungry and quite another to have a child staring up at you crying, “I’m Hungry.”

Our survivors tap Jim, with only three days of food supplies remaining, along with Michel and Amber, venture out on the five-mile hike to the bayou.  Michel led the trio in a short prayer, showing the importance of faith and gratitude in any survival effort.  After a few hours effort, and only a small turtle to show for it, they started back. They returned with only one turtle to add to the food supply, and a pile of wreckage from a downed small plane they stumbled across.

Once again, hunger clouds the judgment of the Colonists, when they greet the returning hunters with dismay over their lack of foraged food. Ignoring the obvious and useful boon of an airplane engine, multiple airplane parts, even a parachute. Their ravenous appetites now obscuring all they see.

Episode 4 reminded the Colonists of both triumph and tragedy. The torrential down pour lifted all their spirits with a long and welcomed natural shower. Stripping to their skivvies, bathing and playing in the rain was a true relief from both the filth and fatigue of nearly 2 weeks without running water. In what can only be described as a classic George move, he plays the sole nudist, using the rain to wash his underwear. Unfortunately, the rain brought with it a flooded canal. When they returned to inspect the bridge/fishing platform, the rising waters had taken the wooden construction and all of their remaining fishing hooks with it.

Our brave Colonists come to grips with another cliché; there is strength in numbers. The group decides that Amber and Michel are not a threat to the original group and invite them to join forces around the clock. The two “outsiders” will now move themselves and their gear inside the main house enforcing the group camaraderie while also shrinking the footprint they ultimately need to defend.

As night falls, and sleep sets in over the Colony, Jim is awakened immediately and rallies the group to the smell of smoke the sight of a wall of flames engulfing an adjacent building. Not just any building, in that just 24 hours earlier, Amber and Michel called the abandoned house “home.”

Now, back to our felonies.

JIm Armistead, 42, a carpenter from Bethel Island, California.

Outsiders, under the cover of darkness, torch the building. The arson clearly rocks the Colonists as they are once again reminded of the multifaceted face of any survival situation. Off the grid doesn’t mean out of reach from those marauding forces that will attack you and loot your supplies.

To add insult to injury, while they watch the devastating flames rip through the building, an intruder, dressed in covert black commits a criminal trespass using the light of the fire to see and pillage all that he likes. As the Colonists argue as to how to respond to the attack, precious time and supplies are stolen. I watched, wondering aloud, when will they finally craft an effective security plan?

Amidst the arguing about responding to the outside attack, half the Colonists want to remain defensively inside their house while the others call for offensive action, Reno finally exits alone in pursuit of the robber. Truthfully, I was a bit surprised that he was smart enough to craft the design and gather the implements from available refuge to build a wind turbine, yet not smart enough to take a partner with him. The Colonists are intelligent enough to create bio-fuel out of rotting pig carcasses but miss the obvious rule of never leaving the area without someone to watch your back? Going it alone would set a very dangerous precedent.

Then, the final crime of episode 4, and hopefully final straw for the Colonists plays out graphically before us. Becka, “too hungry” to sit still, sets out on her own to forage for food, armed only with her wit.  Within minutes she is violently attacked, tackled, and abducted by 3 male outsiders. They secure her hands with heavy-duty wire ties and place a cloth bag over her head as she screams, to no avail, for help.

Are her opportunistic abductors thieves, rapists, cannibals? In a real situation, who would know? As the episode closes, we learn that she is, at the very least a pawn in a survival chess match. Becka was kidnapped for ransom; she can be swapped for food, fuel and other supplies.

The moral standards and emotional connections of the group will be tested next week, as we saw from the preview trailer.  They are almost out of food, but will be forced to choose between their life-giving supplies and the return of their friend. When it comes to supplies, they don’t have very deep to dig. Even so, can you ever win when you negotiate with kidnappers?

The outside is closing in on our survivors!

Brian Brawdy is a former New York Police Officer turned survival expert/political analyst. He is a frequent contributor to Off The Grid News, the co-Host of Off The Grid News Radio and the editor of
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