We’re slowly starting to see the return of the elements that made this show so interesting last year. In this season’s best outing so far, Miles and Monroe reunite – reluctantly, but you can see something of the chemistry that drew them together, and then forced them apart. And we’re starting to understand Aaron’s many issues a little more. Everyone in this show is a complicated person, with many different motivations and problems. This week, we watch several different groups of enemies become allies – wary, unconvinced and untrusting, but needing each other.
Can the Rangers Help?
In Willoughby: Monroe and Charlie watch the town from a rooftop, and see the US flag flying in the square. Charlie wants to rush in, but Monroe wants to wait and scope it out. They see men on horses coming in.
Truman is shown the guys who burst into flames. “They just lit up – like a match,” he’s told. Aaron asks Miles, “Were you at a railroad or something last night? You jumped a chain link fence, they pulled guns on you, then they burst into flames.” Miles asks how he knows. “Because I saw it.” “You saw it? You were nowhere near it.” “I saw it, and I’m pretty sure I did it.” Rachel says Aaron thinks it’s the nanotech, but is skeptical. The guys on horses enter town. Miles tells Rachel, “Those are the Texas Rangers.” The lead Ranger is John Franklin Fry (guest star Jim Beaver), Secretary of the Interior of the Great Nation of Texas. He says to Truman, “You are an armed force on our sovereign soil. You have a good reason why I shouldn’t cut you down where you stand?” Truman says they saved the town from the Andover clan, and is just looking for chance to explain. Miles knows Fry – “I sorta tried to kill him. Hope he’s over it now, because he’s our best shot at starting a war with the Patriots.”
Truman talks to Fry. Fry says he’s leaving next morning, but will talk to the General. Truman says that’s all he can ask. When Fry leaves, Truman tells the guard, “While they’re here, open the gates. Stop the patrols. And whoever got into that train yard last night, find them before they talk to Texas.” Fry and Miles meet. “What the hell are you doing here? I could have you executed on the spot,” he says to Miles. Miles says “War is hell. But you have bigger problems right now.” “They’re just good neighbors, helping out a town that needs it. They’ll move back north soon as it’s all over,” Fry tells Miles, but he’s not completely convinced of the Patriots’ trustworthiness. Miles says, “You know that’s complete and utter crap. Whoever they are, John, they’re not America. They’re dangerous. They sicced the Andovers on us. They dropped the bombs. They’re invading. Texas is an 800 lb gorilla in a Stetson.” Fry needs proof they’re lying, and Miles says he can get that for him. “But the Patriots have eyes and ears everywhere, you have to come alone.”
Getting the Gang Back Together
Charlie greets Miles. She tells him that Patriots want Rachel. Miles is glad she’s back, because they’re in trouble. She says she came back to save their asses. Charlie takes him to meet Monroe. C & M – tells her R missed her. “Try to go easy on her.” “Now you need to promise me not to explode or go crazy.” They see Monroe. “What did you do to her?” “I saved her life.” M tells Charlie to come on. “Hey!,” says Monroe. “I just walked halfway down the map to help you. With those US guys here, looks like you need it.” “I don’t need your help,” Miles answers. “I should kill you.” “That’s right, but you never seem to be able to pull the trigger.” Miles tells him, “You want to help me? Go away.” But Monroe wants payback for nuking Philly, and says the best way to get it is Monroe and Miles, together. “I’m asking for a truce.”
Aaron is at home. Flashback to meeting Cynthia, shortly after they came to Willoughby. He is applying to be a teacher, but Cynthia –at their first meeting — doesn’t want to hire him. She says he smells like liquor. “That’s a nonstarter. Just as important, in the last 20 minutes, you haven’t smiled once.” Aaron tells her, “You don’t know me, I get it, but I haven’t had a lot to smile about in the last month. But if I don’t have something, I’ll probably lose it. Not in front of the kids – that would be very unprofessional. Please. I need a job. I need this job.” She asks him, “Do you think you could learn to smile?”
In town, Cynthia tells Rachel that Aaron packed and left. “You have to find him. Aaron told me about your insane little machines. Something happened to him. He’s seeing things, he’s scared, and he’s out there.” Flashback to five months ago. Cynthia gives Aaron a chattering teeth toy – “You needed one. It’s a smile, dumbass. You’re smiling.” “That’s because you’re stupid,” Aaron laughs. She introduces Aaron to her husband Carl. He’s intimidating and scary.
Charlie, Miles and Monroe are at the empty train yard. Miles says it was filled with prisoners yesterday, but Monroe says they’ll still get the proof they need for Fry. “Let’s get this clear. This isn’t Butch and Sundance. You’re nothing but a dark pit, and I spent too many years trying to climb out,” Miles says to Monroe. The Army is watching them.
Aaron – Shades of ‘Carrie’ ?
Rachel finds Aaron, and he says he’s not coming back. “Upset doesn’t touch it. I killed those guys by thinking. I felt this flash of anger, and then they caught fire. I can’t take this.” He says it isn’t the first time this has happened. Another flashback – Aaron sees Carl in a car screwing some other girl. Carl hits him, and tells him if he tells Cynthia, Carl will kill him. We see fireflies, Aaron is angry, and a fire starts in the car. Carl and the girl burn up in the car. He tells Rachel about it, but he had never told Cynthia, and says he had thought it was caused by a lantern, but now knows better. “What if I do something like that to Cynthia?” Rachel tells him to come home. As they walk, Aaron passes out, and has visions of Miles and Monroe.
Patriots’ Plot Thickens
In Savannah – people are shoving to get on a wagon. “You can only board the wagon if you have a voucher. There will be more slots available soon.” Secretary Allenford tells Neville that they’ve built a new camp, and that’s where the wagon is going. She’s been ordered to DC, and tells Neville he’s coming with. “I’m glad I have your trust,” he tells her. She says, “You don’t have my trust. You have my orders. We leave in an hour.” On their way, they come across another cart with soldiers. Neville is rightly suspicious, gunfire breaks out, and Allenford is shot. Neville says the bullet has to come out, but she stops him. “This would be a very bad time not to trust me,” and asks what that incident was about. She tells him that the earlier wagons were taking only the healthy young people to a reprogramming center. “Which, I assume, is as cheery as it sounds,” Neville says. She says you can’t imagine anything worse- that they’re using drugs to reprogram people. She says she protested, and this was their answer. Neville turns to leave. “Looks like I hitched my start to the wrong wagon. Good luck, lady. I’m looking to be a patriot, not a fugitive.” She says that Jason is being held at the reprogramming center, and Allenford says she’ll take him there if he gets her out of this.
One Ranger, No Ranger
Monroe, Miles and Charlie are shot at. “I guess it is Butch and Sundance.” In the fight, Miles finds the guy who broke his hand. “You! I owe you for this.” Miles knocks him out, says he’s the proof for Fry. They bring him to the meeting location. Monroe says, “You’ve gotta admit back there, that was kind of fun.” Rachel and Aaron enter, led there by Aaron’s vision. She grabs a gun, and pulls it on Monroe. Miles tells her to stop, and Charlie steps out. “I brought him.” Miles takes gun from Rachel, says he’s supposed to be alone for the meeting, so everybody needs to hide. Aaron, Charlie and Rachel go upstairs. Aaron says to Miles, “So. Monroe. That’s quite a twist.” Aaron hugs Charlie, and says “I’m so happy to see you. I mean, in person.” Charlie tells Rachel that when she first saw Monroe, she tried to kill him. Rachel says, “But you didn’t. Are you really that stupid?” “For coming back here, yeah, I think I am.” Fry enters. Miles takes him to the soldier, who has killed himself with a cyanide tooth. Fry says he can tell the General that he doesn’t like the Patriots, but he’ll sign the treaty anyway. Monroe kills Fry. “All we have to now is frame the Patriots for this, and you’ll have your war,” he says to Miles. “Texas is going to go nuts. That is what you wanted, isn’t it?”
The Patriot’s intentions are even murkier – reprogramming centers? What are people being programmed for? And will Allenford be a liability for Neville’s campaign to bring the Patriots down, as she seems to be out of favor with her bosses? What’s in DC – anything? Or was it a ruse to get her out in the open and bring her down? Where is Jason? Will Neville find him before he’s reprogrammed?
Will Miles be able to work with Monroe? Will they reconcile their past? Can Rachel and Charlie work with Monroe, after his role in Danny and Ben’s deaths?
And – what the hell is happening to Aaron? Why just him and not the others who were in the Tower with him, if that has anything to do with his visions and psychic flameouts? What else can he do? I find Aaron to be one of the most interesting characters in this show – he certainly has most of the best lines. Don’t forget to read Aaron’s journal every week – in this week’s entry, he says that he’d much rather have the superpower of being able run impossibly fast, so he can collect the full run of “Y: The Last Man” comic series (“seems like the comics were the first thing to go when people ran out of toilet paper post-blackout”). I’d just be happy if Aaron has the superpower to keep from getting killed.