Before diving into our review of last night’s episode, “No Quarter”, I’d first like to offer an apology for the staggering lack of interest I showed last week in learning characters’ names. Rather than write “Maggie” and “Aaron,” as I learned tonight are characters we’ve been following, I opted for the demeaning “Hurley” and “British Chick.” (Not to mention “Katniss,” “Han Solo,” and “Gus Fring,” none of which are demeaning but you get my point.) I suppose I was building a case for Revolution as the ultimate Star Wars/Lost/Hunger Games mash-up jam (and those phony names, frankly, make as much sense as “Captain Neville”), but it’s poor journalistic form to not just be serious for a little bit.
…then again, it’s so hard when your plotting IS Star Wars and everyone is SWORDFIGHTING and asthma is a MAJOR PLOT POINT. What do you want us to do, Revolution? Nod approvingly? I’m sorry, but that’s not what the Internet (Zak Orth/Aaron can tell you all about it while at the same time dramatizing his bullied past) was built for.
Charlie, Miles, and Nora make their way to the Rebel camp for which Nora had stolen the sniper rifle. But can the latter two do it without flirtatious bickering? Of course not! It’s revealed that the two of them used to date. Seriously. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether they’ll get back together amidst some drama-fraught chaos halfway through the season, but of course that’s going to happen. Even Miles’ casual “this is what being a Rebel gets you” remark to a dying soldier isn’t enough to ruin him in Nora’s eyes. He’s just the scruffy-looking nerf-herder of her dreams.
While Charlie’s romantic journey fails to advance (the militiaman formerly known as Nate is nowhere to be found this episode), she finds herself dealing more and more with insane levels of post-Apocalyptic violence. Nearby militia, led by Jacob from Lost (his name here is “Jeremy”), have surrounded the Bennigan’s the Rebels are holed up in and begin their assault. But in an actually strong storytelling moment, last week’s sniper rifle focus pays off handsomely for the Rebels — it’s the unequivocal tide-turner for them, mowing down Militia and providing constant base protection (at least until the bullets run out). What was once one of the more cumbersome weapon options in Goldeneye 007 becomes an indispensable friend in the post-power world!
“Revolution‘s moments of military strategy are fascinating,” I can hear you saying, “but what about my favorite characters like The Brother, and Google Boy (Aaron)? What wacky s**t did they get up to this week?” Let’s find out!
—Danny has been enjoying something of a cushy prisoner’s life under Captain Neville. But another soldier, played by the womanizer captain from Pan Am, DON’T CARE. Upset that Danny murdered his friend, the soldier vows to make Danny’s life hell. Later on, though, asthmatic Danny uses his condition as a ruse to grab and choke out the impostor. Clever girl! Danny, like his sister, is growing HARDENED by this unmerciful new world order.
—Aaron and Maggie rummage through Grace the possibly-dead-but-definitely-tazered farm woman’s house, discovering the makings of an old computer and somehow unlocking, briefly, the USB power source bequeathed Aaron by Charlie’s dad. And we ask ourselves: Is the USB key TRIGGERED BY EMOTION? Can we add Ghostbusters II to the expanding list of Revolution‘s cultural forebears? (Probably. Definitely.) It’s a powerful human moment that underscores just what was lost in the Blackout — music and modern photography, for starters. And more importantly, one that makes us three FOR three on episodes ending on something to do with electricity. You guys read my last recap!
Back to the militia siege of Bennigan’s. Recognizing that their sniper only has a limited number of bullets and that it’s one thing for Miles to sword fight 40 people, but quite another to sword fight 50 people, the Rebels opt instead for a “Shawshank’d” approach — trying to dig their way out of the restaurant, past Jeremy and his men. There’s soon no need for this when Jeremy et al overtake the base, but it seemed like an… idea at the time.
Anyway, it’s when Jeremy is captured by Miles that everything really spirals out of control. Turns out Miles is not just Bella Swan’s dad, or a massive Harrison Ford fan. He’s also — wait for it — the former Commanding General of the Monroe Militia, “second only to Sebastian Monroe.” Dude made this world, or at least Illinois, exactly as dangerous as it is today. Suffice it to say that everyone in the room is pissed, including a priest, and suddenly Miles’ quirks don’t seem as appealing when you consider that he “murdered fathers and sons.” (He is basically the Tony Soprano of network mainstream sci-fi.) But soon Miles volunteers his life in exchange for those of his Rebel friends, who accept pretty readily. “Christ forgives; I don’t” offers the priest who, Blackout or not, just seems terrible at his job.
BUT as Jeremy escorts his old boss toward the nearest Monroe Militia camp (maybe it’s at an old Cheesecake Factory?), the Rebels use their cunning and homemade explosives to sew confusion/death amongst the soldiers. Miles escapes. And because archery is THE sport of 2012, Charlie caps the rescue effort with a flaming arrow directed at a bag of explosives. BOOM! The bridge everyone had been fighting up blows up and, just like that, is never crossed again. Jeremy and the rest of his still-alive men just wait on the other side, looking t.o.ed.
At this point our good guys are split into two factions (Aaron and Maggie; Miles, Charlie, and Nora) with two distinct goals: 1) Find out what happened to the power and get it back on and 2) Save Danny. Call me insensitive to asthmatics, but it’s hard to feel the dramatic stakes of the latter. The former on the other hand, as clumsily as it’s been handled thus far, is why I — why anyone will keep watching the show. It’s interesting! And if it takes guest turns from every actor to have ever appeared on Lost to get there, well, so it goes. As long as they spent those 15 post-Blackout years perfecting their sword fighting technique like everyone else, they should be fine.
[Image Credit: NBC]