Say what you will about Revolution — that its characters are thinly sketched, that any world-building consistently takes the least interesting turn, that for a world without power (and therefore metal refineries) there are still a shocking number of bullets 15 years later — but one thing you can’t say, at least not in this post-Danny era, is that it’s moving slowly. Far from it! In five 2013 episodes we’ve moved farther than in the previous ten combined, adding new characters and histories in the process. It would be a stretch to call them good, necessarily, but a willingness to KEEP MOVING is always refreshing. Compare Revolution to, say The Walking Dead, which functions at snail speed.
So to have an episode open with flashbacks to a battle we didn’t even see is actually, in its own way, kind of cool. Miles, Charlie, Nora, and Jim have offered their talents to the Georgia Federation, and Miles has quickly found himself once more in a high-ranking leadership position. Who are they fighting? Why, Monroe’s militia. Upset over this recent loss — and the ongoing bad blood with his former brother-in-arms — Monroe orders Miles be killed one way or another. And the way he’s going to do it? Lure the guy to their mutual hometown, and threaten the life of some babe they both loved. Might this be the episode we finally get to see Monroe and Miles’ high school reunion?!? Here’s hoping!
Flashbacks, as always with this show, fill in the bare minimum: Miles and Monroe grew up together in this same unidentified small town, both in love with the same girl-next-door, Emma. She was with Miles, but she, like, got with Monroe — at least once, and definitely behind Miles’ back. Love triangles! Flashforward 20+ years later and the blood is just as bad, maybe more so, when Miles and Monroe both show up to town.
Here’s the flip of that “at least this show moves fast!” argument — in the span of 42 minutes we’re introduced to this woman, an emotional key to Monroe, only to have her torn from us (and earth) forever. That’s not good for business, Kripke! Sort of amazing that Monroe’s buddy Jim has stayed around as long as he has (3 episodes) considering that track record.
And that’s to say nothing of the inherent confusion I feel over Monroe’s homecoming. He was attempting, ostensibly, to lure Miles to him. Which worked. But why burn down the bulk of your town? Why kill former friends and neighbors, aside from “image maintenance”? Half the military operations on this show make absolutely zero sense, more there to fuel skirmishes than suggest anyone knows what he or she is doing.
Eventually, the rebel/Atlanta cavalry having descended, Monroe takes Emma hostage. “I don’t want to die!” she says, which makes a lot of sense. She throws a wildcard into the mix: Monroe had given her a son, a son he never knew about. He’s caught totally off-guard. And I am, too — even with restrictive parents, how could this have not come up in the fifteen+ years since they got together? Like I said earlier about these flashbacks, more questions than answers.
A Georgian officer assigned to watch over Miles decides to take a shot on Monroe, which wounds him…and killis Emma, OOPS. Miles in turn shoots the officer guy down. Another firefight, because you can’t have too many of those! Monroe gets away. Scarred, shaken, but alive. Aware now that he has a son. Miles, in turn, is probably more convinced than ever that he needs to kill his former BFF. But who knows. Character motivations are as finicky as those power pendants.
While all that stuff went down, Rachel and Aaron got sidetracked as they started through the Plains nation. The cause? Aaron’s wife, Priscilla, who he keeps seeing around the marketplace they’ve found. You remember her, right? Pretty, loving, Aaron ditched her out of fear that he couldn’t provide for her? Yes, THAT one. He tracks her to a bar, where he awkwardly calls her name. Almost in a daze, she turns. “Oh……Aaron. Hi.” (And I think to myself maybe this will not be the finest reunion in the world!) “Ummm…what are you doing here?” Then the kicker: she introduces her husband, Steve. Calls Aaron her…old friend. Oh God. A “take care of yourself” and then — Rachel all but drags him our of the bar. As stupid as Aaron’s story has been now for the, well, duration of the show? This might actually be the most emotionally wrenching plot turn we’ve seen all season.
…that is, until it’s revealed that Aaron’s wife was being held at gunpoint by her “husband.” What a cop-out! That could have been an authentic storyline to explore, totally not needing the lame “this is what’s really going on!” melodrama we just got. Oh well. Finally Aaron gets the chance to be the hero when he confronts this “Steve” character and learns he’s delivering her to the Monroe Militia. And he’s going to wuss out again, but…NO. A courage overtakes him unlike any he’s know before. He punches, hard. Then gets punched, hard. Then his wife saves him. All in all a pretty solid showing for Aaron!
One final conversation with Priscilla reveals the real real truth: she is in fact married, and has an 11-year-old daughter who is decidedly not Aaron’s. And she needs to get to Texas. Bye, Aaron! Let this be a lesson to you as you continue to navigate this brutal pseudo-apocalyptic landscape! So Aaron gets some resolution (however painful), Monroe opens the door to a new mission (find his son), and everyone else continues on with their thumbs up their butts, not totally sure what to do next but confident it will involve at least swords and probably AK-47s. See you next week!
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