So that’s who Nate is! Five episodes into this first (and unlikely last, if recent ratings are any indication) season of Revolution we’re finally given a reason to care about the character formerly known as “Nate.” Because now he’s Jason, and Jason happens to be the son of Giancarlo Esposito‘s Tom Neville and Neville’s just introduced wife, played by Kim Raver. The web of interconnectedness is almost too much to bear right now, especially on a show that killed one of its main characters last week, but I’m confident these relationships and personal histories will all begin to make sense. I mean they have to!
But first: sword fights and stabbings and botched train explosions, in no particular order.
There are worse series you could emulate than Lost. Say what you will about its wacky later seasons — the show remained, for the most part, grounded in character unlike even many non-fantastical shows on television. One of the ways it accomplished this was by focusing an episode (or series of episodes) on one particular character. And Revolution did just that tonight with its look at Neville’s pre-Blackout life. Back then the man was…well, more a guy, a nerdy guy, and exactly the type who would be fired from his bank job for “being too kind.” He was no more assertive at home, either, too quick to back down his neighbors played their music too loud. What Tom Neville needed was an uber-masculine punch to the gut. And he got it with the Blackout!
Fast forward six years late to a time when Neville is beating the s**t out of floppy-haired Danny and lecturing him on fighting etiquette. This is our TOM OF THE PRESENT, a no-nonsense soldier of extreme prejudice who would steal the lunch money from his former self if he got the chance. What happened to his wife and kid? (Hold on, we’ll find out soon.) Over the course of the episode we see more and more just how ill-prepared Tom was for this massive world change, and the very significant ways in which it set him on his path today.
Back at Team Rebel Alliance, Charlie and Nora paid their respects to the recently deceased Maggie while Miles insensitively urged they keep moving. “Crying’s not gonna help!” he said with almost cartoonish disregard. Is there a chance he’ll learn to be more empathetic over the course of his time with his estranged niece? We can’t possibly know for sure.
TRAIN. Miles and Co. hear the sound of a train (“That’s gas powered, right?” I brilliantly ask myself) which brings our divergent threads together: Charlie, Miles, and Aaron attempt to find Danny before Neville can escort him, via train, to Philadelphia and Sebastian Monroe. Oh, and Nora’s kind of itching to literally blow the whole thing up.
Or let’s clarify: Resistance member Nora, utterly dedicated to the cause of militia destruction, has determined that in her grasp is the chance to take out several key members of the Monroe Militia. To that end she finds her way to another Resistance member, Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson, who might help her build a bomb and TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS. She finds the man at his printing press, churning out copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Because people of the future are just as keen on reading children’s literature as they are today? I KID.
Neville and Charlie finally cross paths, the former tuning almost immediately to the fact that he’s speaking to Danny’s sister. But before you can say KNIFE FIGHT, Miles has intervened and knocks Charlie to safety. If someone is going to die tonight, he seems to suggest, it’s going to be at the end of my multi-purpose sword. Miles asks about Danny. Neville replies, “So that’s what I’m gonna do, Miles? Spread my legs and show you everything?” Cool analogy, Neville!
Another flashback tells us that shortly after the Blackout hit, Neville was forced to step out of his “nice guy” role and into one of protector, and defender. When his neighbor breaks into the house he shares with his wife and son, Neville struggles to fight… but then overpowers the intruder. And sort of bludgeons him to death. NO MORE MR. NICE GUY, INDEED, NEVILLE.
Because Revolution is, for better or worse, the kind of show that clearly delineates its current HIGH STAKES PLOT ISSUE before each commercial break, we’re soon left with the following scenario: Danny is on the train to Philadelphia with Neville, Nora and Hutch have placed a bomb disguised as kindling near the fuel room, and Miles and Charlie ride to a) save the former, and b) disarm the latter. Sounds pretty clear-cut to me!
Luckily for our heroes, the train appears to be run exclusively by Neville and 1-2 other Monroe lackeys. Miles is able to find and toss away the bomb (which does explode!) while Charlie almost frees her brother. Before she can, though, she’s bested by Neville… and thrown from the train by Nate. Who, again, we come to learn is NEVILLE’S SON. The scales have dropped from our eyes and it all makes sense now.
Wrapping up: Miles apologizes for not “being the uncle he once was” but promises he can try again after they walk to Philly and he kills his best friend, Sebastian “Bas” (nope!) Monroe. In a truly Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring-esque ending, Charlie rallies her remaining troops to continue the search for Danny. Things are bad, it’s true! But dammit if they won’t continue their mission and find Danny after all. It’s what Samwise would have wanted.
…OH, and Rachel (Charlie and Danny’s mom, currently being held captive by Monroe) reveals to her captor that the key to restoring the power has something to do with the pendants/USB flash drives that we saw momentarily power the farmhouse a few weeks ago. In true video game fashion, there are TWELVE of them… and all must be found in order to unlock the mystery. Looks like we’ve got the rest of the season — and maybe the series — mapped out for us!
[Image Credit: NBC]