First, a bit of business. Do you recall in the first episode of this season, Aaron asked Rachel about all the “crazy things” that they’ve seen since The Tower? He mentioned starlings, but there were no more references in that direction in episodes two or three. I’ve found more about them – and maybe you have, too, if you’ve been following Aaron’s Journal at nbc.com/revolution.
The journal, written with Aaron’s bemused, sarcastic, disbelieving tone, gives details about some small events not given a lot of screen time (entries are short, but well worth reading). About the starlings, his resurrection last week and other “crazy things,” Aaron says: “So who do I have to thank for this little miracle? God? Nope. A million quadrillion little tiny robots. It’s the only explanation, even if it isn’t much of one. Something or someone used them to bring me back. And as weird as it is to say, I can accept that. With all the craziness I’ve seen since The Tower – a flock of starlings flying in a perfect quadrilateral, cicadas buzzing in harmony – something ain’t right. I don’t know what that means, but it’s the only raft of logic I’ve got left to cling to.”
Also on the Revolution site are short videos of cast and crew discussing the most recent episode. This is the video from last week’s episode.
A Twisted Love Story
This week’s theme is protecting the ones you love, whether they want it or not. And in most cases, they don’t.
At the end of last week’s episode, we saw Miles being dragged into a room where a woman on a bed was receiving a blood transfusion. The woman is Titus’ wife Jessica,who is in kidney failure. Titus is using unwilling donors to replace her blood with fresh 0- blood “for as long as she needs.” But she doesn’t look too happy about it. As they strap Miles in, Titus tells him, “Before you go, I want to thank you, for both of us.” But Miles is rescued by Rachel and Porter. Miles says to take Jessica with them, “if you want Willoughby to last through the night.” Titus, hearing gunfire, realizes his wife is gone.
At the Savannah Refugee Camp in the Georgia Federation, Neville tells Jason, “We’re in. We’re working for the Patriots. We cut all ties to who we were, use our aliases, bleed red white and blue until we climb to the top and kill them all … for your mother,” and he burns a picture of wife. After serving food in the chow line, they enter the Patriot’s tent, but are beat unconscious immediately.
In Willoughby – Cynthia questions what Aaron has told her about the nanotechnology. “It wasn’t a miracle, it wasn’t God giving me a poke. I’m not Harry Potter. I’m an agnostic Jew from Minnesota,” he says. Rachel & Miles return, and Miles is stunned to see Aaron alive. Titus’ group of clansman approach the town. “You can’t just hide from a clan like this,” Miles tells one of the men on the wall. They’re at a standoff. Miles tells Titus, “You and I are going to have a little chat.” Titus says that his wife is a fragile, porcelain doll, and has always needed his protection, and he insists that he needs to see her. Miles says he’ll show her, then they’ll talk. The big guard from the last episode grabs Titus, and says he needs to calm down. “We are paying you to scare this town, not gut them,” he tells Titus. “Then our deal is off, “ Titus says. “Who the hell are you? The US government? Please. You’re just a bunch of plague rats off the boat from Cuba. I want my wife, or I bleed those people alive, each and every one. We clear?” Whatever the arrangement had been between Titus and the “Patriots,” the capture of Titus’ wife is a deal-breaker.
Charlie and Adam, the bounty hunter, are looking for Monroe. Adam tells Charlie that the US government wants Monroe in exchange for his captured father, and he can’t let Charlie kill Monroe.
Willoughby – Porter tends Miles’ broken hand. A deputy questions Miles’ telling him how to handle Titus – “What are you, the town drunk?” Miles has been going by “Stu” in Willoughby, believing (rightly) that letting his real identity out could be harmful. Rachel talks with Jessica — she doesn’t want to be returned to Titus. “When I got sick, I thought, I’m finally free. But even then, he wouldn’t let me go. He chained me to the bed. He killed people for me. He’ll never let me go.” When Rachel tells Miles that they can’t return Jessica to Titus, Miles says he can’t fight with the broken hand, so how else is he going to protect Rachel other than returning Jessica? They show Jessica to Titus, and Miles goes to talk with him. He bargains for the lives of the Willoughby citizens, saying that he’ll give himself up once everyone is out safely. But Rachel finds that Jessica has just slit her wrists, and Jessica dies.
In Savannah – Jason wakes up, and pulls a gun from one of the guards. Tom tells him to give the gun back — “We’re not being mugged, we’re being vetted.” The guard tells him, “You can’t blame us; after all, we want to know everything about you.” And he does — he knows Neville’s and Jason’s real names, and that they worked for Monroe.
Monroe Wants to Help
Monroe clocks Adam, and pulls a gun on Charlie. “Charlie, trust me. You’re going to want to see this.” He shows her a sheet from Adam’s cart that says he – Monroe – is wanted alive. Having talked to Adam, she’s not surprised; but when Monroe pull out another that says Rachel is wanted, she realizes that Adam has been feeding her a line. He admits it; Monroe goes to kill him, but Charlie stops him. Monroe says, “I’m guessing Miles is with your mom. You’re going to go warn him, and I’m coming with you.” He shows her the eye symbol on the poster, and says Flynn had a ring with same symbol. “Your family could use my help.” “You think they want your help?” Charlie asks. “No, but they need it,” Monroe answers. But Charlie refuses, and says that if Monroe will have to shoot her if he wants to follow her.
Willoughby is clearing out. “So we have to leave our homes?” Miles is asked. Rachel tells him that Jessica is dead. “Tell no one. Act like everything’s fine,” Miles tells her. He tells Aaron to grab Cynthia and get out as fast as he can. Aaron tells her to get on wagon and get out, that he was brought back to protect her. Titus’ man enters Porter’s house, and finds the dead Jessica.
In Savannah, Neville is interrogated. They tell him they know he’s disloyal and conniving. “I’m supposed to believe you want to help us?” they ask him. Neville confesses, “I don’t care about you. I don’t care about the US. I know who dropped those bombs – I know who killed my wife. Sebastian Monroe did, and I want revenge. Take a good hard look. Am I lying now?” The guard says “Yes” –and pulls a gun. But Secretary Oliver enters. “We’ll keep you close,” she says, “but if you should try to hurt us… Let him go.”
In Willoughby, barrels are dragged out as Plan B. Miles tells Rachel to leave with the wagons, but Rachel says she’s not going. “I went though too much to save you. How about we protect each other?” As the wagons head out, the townspeople are massacred. Rachel and Miles head for the barrels and blow them up. Aaron tries to get everyone into an old gas station. Titus finds Jessica’s body. The government guy grabs Titus. “You should have listened to me, Titus.” Miles fights left handed, and Rachel picks up a sword, but is shot with an arrow. Miles is beaten but as he is about to be killed, machine guns fire, the bad guys are all killed, and uniformed US government soldiers enter. The US flag is raised in front of courthouse.
Nothing’s What It Seems
There’s no safety anywhere in the Revolution world – even when our group thinks they’re relatively safe, such as in Willoughby, their lives can turn on a dime. But relationships – good and bad – are fragile, and those that we believe can protect us can’t. Miles’ feelings for Rachel are intense, and not necessarily what Miles wants, as he knows that he’ll be on the front lines and doesn’t have the luxury of love – or the ability to take care of her. Aaron is separated from Cynthia – she left on an earlier wagon because he believed that was the best way to protect her. Jessica doesn’t want to be protected by Titus, and is so afraid of being given back to him that she kills herself rather than let that happen. And finally, we see something happening between Charlie and Monroe, although she’d just as likely kill anyone who suggests it.
Who are these Patriots, and what do they want? Series creator Eric Kripke recently spoke with zap2it.com, and said, “Obviously we’re Americans — I’m a proud American — and we’re taking a lot of the patriotic iconography of the United States and we’re twisting it into something ominous and malevolent. … You’ve got to stop and really take a gut check and think seriously about what moves we’re making and what we wanted to do. “The important point to make … was this idea that they’re all the more hateful for draping themselves in something pure. They take these symbols that have such honorable origins and use them for their own selfish impulses.”
Season Beginning Jumpy, Disjointed – Can We Continue to Love Revolution?
The reach of this group seems to be enormous – not only in Savannah, but apparently reaching far into the country. Why did they develop a relationship with Titus? Who- or what – are they looking for?
I’m still not crazy about the short, country-hopping scenes. It’s difficult to keep story lines straight when scenes last for a minute or less, then hop to someone and somewhere else. And the interesting effects of the nanotechnology seem, at least after these first three episodes, to have been briefly raised, then dropped. I know that most of Revolution’s viewers won’t take advantage of the website’s extra content, and may be confused and put off by subjects that aren’t fully explained.
Last week, producers said that there would be a “flashback in every episode,” and in the advance screening copy I viewed for episode two, there were two flashbacks – but only one ended up in the final broadcast version (the scene in the Tower as Aaron frantically tried to stop the bombs). The other flashback scene, which showed our group laying in a field immediately after that event, but not knowing how they got there, was cut from the final version (and in the cut scene, Grace, one of Ben and Rachel’s fellow scientists, made a brief return). This was an intriguing scene – it showed more of the state Rachel was in when they finally got to Willoughby and her father, nearly catatonic with grief and guilt.
Revolution is attempting to do too much too quickly. The storyline is still exciting and interesting, but fractured and over-ambitious. Online website content doesn’t substitute for developing ideas within the broadcast episodes. I hope they’ll get back to a more cohesive story, or they may find that viewers’ heads are spinning too quickly to keep up.