We’ve had Ricky and Lucy, Sonny and Cher, Ike and Tina. In Episode 5 of The Colony the dynamic between two of the youngest Colonists, Reno and Becka, steals the show.
Though all of the Colonists were violated with the abduction of Becka–Amber calls it “a serious emotional blow to the Colony”–her kidnapping rocks Reno the most. Perhaps it’s a big brother complex, or maybe a family protector issue. Either way it seems to register deepest in Reno. He is the first to organize the response to the outsider demands and also assumes the role of negotiator in Becka’s release.
Balanced between the footage of her confinement in a jail-like cell on one hand and her violent and forcible removal from the compound, which is replayed at least a ½ a dozen times, you begin to wonder if her captors will eventually return her or is she gone for good? Their demands for fuel and medical supplies to gain her release are on everyone’s mind. The Colonists have so little left to give and it is about to get much worse.
Perhaps to take their minds off of Becka, the colonists immerse themselves in the construction and erecting of a windmill. It’s not the best-looking creation ever, but it is most certainly a crafty one. Using scavenged parts from the downed airplane, a couple of vehicles, tons of wood and scrap the survivors work together to build a workable windmill. Before the show ends, they have light. The importance of off the grid power can’t ever be understated and I couldn’t help applauding their inventiveness and determination.
In an almost chain-your-guard-dog-in-the-back-yard-to-keep-him-away-from-people moment, Jim confesses on camera that his “confrontational style” is a bit too much perhaps. You sense that his fellow survivors have reprimanded him for being too gung ho when it comes to physically confronting outside attackers. He sits at a second story window acting as a lookout.
Ironically, security is still a secondary thought. They talk about it, plan for it, hope for it one day and yet even though Michel always has his machete at the ready, they are as vulnerable as any group could be.
The English word vulnerable comes from an ancient Latin term meaning “to wound.” As the episode unfolds, you begin to realize that the survivors are being attacked on two fronts, that they fear being wounded by outside forces yet are almost ignorantly unaware of their own self inflicted wounds. As Sally complains of a total breakdown in communication, the stage is set for Becka and her kidnappers to return. The countdown is on.
From just off camera you catch a quick glimpse of what appears to be a pickup truck moving slowly, yet purposefully towards the compound. Jim takes his stick and bangs an alarm from his second story perch. It all goes down hill from there.
There are three males in the truck, a driver, the muscle–maliciously holding a tied and blindfolded Becka in the rear bed and the negotiator. You realize, instantly, that the bad guys are in complete control. For all of his bravado, Reno is reduced to a shy stock clerk simply filling the demands and shopping cart of an irate shopper.
As soon as the felons grab the gas and medical supplies, they holler for more. Now they want canned food and other supplies. Becka screams out and is instantly manhandled and muzzled by her assailant. Reno Caves.
As he orders the Colonists to bring more food, he plays directly into the hands of the captors. They bark for more, more, more as the disorganized and shell-shocked survivors scurry about. When Reno calls out for “two bags of tuna fish” to be added to a half a dozen cans of food and condensed milk, the captors seem satiated, at least for now. Becka is unceremoniously dumped on the ground and her captors drive away.
Reno is the first to greet a furious and apparently ungrateful Becka. In a Naomi Campbell type moment, the spoiled, aspiring model goes off on a rant and rage, flipping the finger at her escaping abductors and berating Reno for giving up all their food in the barter for her return. Seemingly forgetting that her stomach, and her refusal to follow a buddy system got her into this mess in the first place, you sense that if she had a cell phone, she would throw it at somebody. Her temper tantrum continues.
As she walks back into the compound, she is sent directly to quarantine for the next 12 hours, as has been the practice anytime one of them comes in contact with outsiders. It seems that the arms-length reception she receives upon her homecoming is for more than just simple infectious disease mitigation.
The group decides that Becka will need company in her overnight seclusion and sends Reno to stay with her. An odd move really, considering that if she is found to be contaminated with the virus, Reno has now been sacrificed as well.
Becka looks into the camera and defiantly offers “My freedom has been stripped away because I made myself vulnerable.” She seems to have little clue how she is now spreading that vulnerability throughout the Colony.
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 BrianBrawdy.com