A Brave New World
S1 episode 2 Aired on January 21, 2016

Warning: Major Spoilers Within

Settling Into the New Gig

With the episode “A Brave New World," the impact of Will’s job comes to light in a number of ways -- one of which is sitting in the Bowmans’ driveway. With great power comes great wheels, and a spiffy late-model Cadillac signifies the beginning of Will’s new career and the potential perks that accompany it.

At the Transitional Authority Headquarters, Will learns that bureaucracy is alive and well in post-Arrival Los Angeles, and despite his storied career as a war hero and special agent, he’s low on the T.A. totem poll. At the top is Phyllis (seriously, how perfect is Kathy Baker?), who Will suspects is ex-CIA based on her pragmatism and strategic wherewithal. Will also meets Jennifer (Kathleen Rose Perkins), the expert in charge of mining big data to find clues about the Resistance. In a funny exchange between them, Will realizes that he’s not Jennifer’s boss as he had assumed — and also that he’s not anybody's boss.

Taking down Geronimo, the leader of the Insurgency, is Will’s ultimate goal -- but first he must find Andrew Hines, the bomber behind the Santa Monica Exclusion Zone explosion. Partnering with Beau (Carl Weathers!), Will takes on his first case -- and immediately shows why he’s the best guy for the job. In a scene that highlights Will’s quick wit and brute force, Hines’ ill-fated escape is the first win for Team Will. With this kind of success rate, he’s sure to make a deal soon to see Charlie.

Helping Carlos From Both Sides

In an RV behind the ATCO garage, Carlos’ wife Lucia and their son Mateo experience firsthand the terror of the Redhats while watching Carlos’ arrest from a hidden compartment. It’s a bittersweet alignment of the stars, as Will happens upon his friend at the T.A. jail and tries to convince Phyllis that Carlos should stay in the Colony as an informant. Sadly, she doesn’t go for it.

And while Carlos feels betrayed because Will has kept his law enforcement past a secret, Will’s actions prove that he is the best friend you could ever hope for. He and Katie get Carlos’ family to safety, and Will holds up the busses en route to the Factory so he can give Carlos the piece of mind that Lucia and Mateo are okay. How the Bowmans help Carlos is a one complex example of the couple’s opposing philosophies to achieve the same outcome. For Will, scoring points with Phyllis gets him some extra time on Carlos’ bus. For Katie, the matter needs to be dealt with underground, with help from other members of the Resistance.

Understanding Everyone’s Motivations

There’s a telling scene in “A Brave New World” when Maddie works a shift at a swanky Green Zone party. She bumps into George, an old friend, who sweeps her off her feet and into his bedroom. It doesn’t take long for Maddie to realize that George is only interested in her as a booty call. Maddie turns down his suggestion to keep things “discreet” and leaves his mansion with wine and coffee. Who wouldn’t have grabbed the goody box and stormed out after that?

For Katie, the driving force behind joining the Resistance comes into focus during her conversation with Quayle (Paul Guilfoyle). She says to him, “I’m doing this for my family. When this is over -- however it ends -- I will not be one of those mothers who has to look her children in the eye and tell them that she did nothing.’” She also tells Will that they are living in a moment when they have to do anything they can for the people they love.

Quayle’s motivations are more tactical in nature. If he can score some intel from Katie about Will's operation, it will throw the Redhats off the scent of the Resistance. That would mean more chances for the Insurgency to affect meaningful change -- and maybe even uncover a secret that could end the Occupation for good. Quayle’s plan to off another cell of insurgents before they can talk to authorities is successful and Will realizes that there’s a leak in his team. He still has no idea it’s his wife.

Glimpsing the Factory

The episode begins with Carlos’ living nightmare and ends with an equally horrifying reality. Finally, we see some of what it means to go to the Factory. Evocative of the selection process by SS doctors during the Holocaust who would examine Jewish prisoners coming into the labor camps, the Factory’s processing is scary and humiliating.

Carlos and the other captives are sent to be sanitized where they are stripped down mentally and literally. The group -- old, young, men, women -- proceed into the chamber with fear, and exit donning surgical garb for whatever horror comes next.