It’s time for “Colony” to head back to beginning.

For the Bowmans, life in Los Angeles turned from normal to dystopic in less than a year, flirting with apocalyptic in the process. As Season 2 begins (Jan. 12), “Colony” presses the rewind button — giving fans a look at the interstellar incursion that ripped Will’s (Josh Holloway) family asunder almost a year before the show’s premiere.

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Much like Robert Rodat’s “Falling Skies,” Carlton Cuse’s “Colony” skipped over the standard run-and-gun tropes of invasion horror, opting instead to open on a world adjusting to the new normal: While Will, Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies), and two of their children landed in a world where palm-lined streets feigned normalcy in the shadow of their bloc’s walls, young Charlie (Jacob Buster) found himself in a very different world.

We still know very little of the youth’s year on the streets of Santa Monica, but — based on a brief glimpse life near the pier — Charlie certainly received the short end of the stick. Now that Will is closer than ever to finding his middle child, the writers will work to fill in those gaps.

“The first episode will touch on how the arrival happened. It sets up where Charlie is and how he got there, and how Will’s going to find him,” actress Amanda Righetti (Maddie) told reporters at San Diego Comic-Con. “That’s kind of the opening of the season.”

The statement falls in line with Cuse’s cryptic teasers for the premiere. Unwilling to reveal the nature of a possible time jump, the EP has worked hard to keep the season’s initial moments under wraps: “We are definitely moving forward in time… That’s such a non-answer,” Cused joked. “Let’s just say, we’ll be moving around a little in time, that’s a better answer. Still mysterious, but slightly more direct.”

Does this mean the premiere will toss us into flashback territory? If Cuse is aiming for symmetry, we’re willing to bet it will. The start of the Arrival promo so closely mirrors the initial moments of Season 1 it would be a shame not to capitalize on that callback.

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When the show returns, the Bowmans are scattered to the winds: Will’s in the Santa Monica bloc, Bram (Alex Neustaedter) is facing down a cadre of Red Hats underground, Katie is sitting in an empty home — and Maddie, Hudson (Cooper J. Friedman), and Gracie (Isabella Crovetti-Cramp) have found asylum in the Green Zone. Threats are hiding around every corner, some even have a habit of busting down the front door, and everyone from Snyder (Peter Jacobson) to Broussard (Tory Kittles) will have to examine their allegiances as life in the bloc takes a turn for the worse.

“Colony” returns Thursday, Jan. 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA (who also provide a livestream at http://www.usanetwork.com/videos/live).

Posted by:Vanessa Frith

Entertainment journalist. Bylines at @nerdophiles, @ThreeIfBySpace & @EnStars.