I can’t lie; I haven’t been the biggest fan of Revolution. The writing’s been generally lackluster, the characters are fairly underdeveloped, and the entire show is often peppered with weak clichés. But, I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s episode. By returning Miles and Monroe to their hometown, the writer’s struck a perfect balance of action and emotional resonance, and they gave us a genuinely great twist ending, too! Nicely done, Revolution.
The episode opened after a battle between Miles’s new army and some of Monroe’s militia. Miles’s army had easily won, and the news clearly had Monroe scared. After all, Miles and Monroe once began with a small army and turned it into the giant Monroe militia; Miles knows very well how to lead. Monroe realizes he has to kill Miles immediately, so he drags his crew (including Mark Pellegrino, er, Jeremy, who has apparentally replaced Tom as Monroe’s main man) via helicopter to his and Miles’s old hometown with a plan to draw Miles in.
Meanwhile, Aaron and Rachel arrive at their destination (I can’t remember where it is, sorry), and, rather than allow Aaron to help translate the map to the tower, Juliet sends him to fetch supplies. Aaron spots the wife he abandoned, Priscilla, in the town, but quickly loses her in the crowd.
Back at the rebel camp, Miles approaches Charlie while she’s playing with their newly-acquired militia guns. Miles attempts to tell Charlie how well she fought during the previous day’s battle, but Charlie, angry, shuts him down and straight-up asks Miles what he had done to her mother. Before he can answer, Miles receives a message from Monroe via a militia man, which must be recited privately to Miles. Monroe tells Miles to meet him in their old hometown by dawn, or he’ll kill everyone himself, starting with someone named Emma.
Que flashback: Teenaged Miles is discussing his army enlistment with his girlfriend, Emma.
During present day, adult Emma approaches Monroe. We see a quick flashback of Monroe watching Miles and Emma kiss with obvious jealousy on his face. When Miles isn’t looking, Emma meets Monroe’s gaze head-on. Interesting. Back to the present, Monroe attempts to lie to Emma about the militia’s invasion of their town, claiming they’re protecting everyone from a terrorist threat, but Emma easily sees through his bullshit because they’re “old friends.” The facade is broken, and we (and Emma) see a man being beaten to death for refusing to obey militia orders, and Emma is taken away to the town hall where the rest of the town is being held hostage.
At rebel camp, Charlie walks in on Nora and some other rebels beating the captured militia soldier. Miles has disappeared, and they’re trying to figure out where he’s gone. We next see them stopping beside a lake for a water break, and, after Nora reassures Charlie that Miles will be fine, Charlie admits that she already knows this, and she’s tracking Miles down to make sure he actually kills Monroe this time. I’m loving badass Charlie, but she’s turning into a cold-hearted solider pretty quickly. But, I guess this makes sense. After all, she’s lost most of her family and has Miles for a role model.
Anyway, Monroe visits his parents’ graves and discovers someone has recently put flowers on them. We get another flashback: Miles has fallen asleep on the couch. Emma joins Monroe in the kitchen, and he grabs her hand.
After hours of searching for Priscilla, Aaron finally finds her in a restaurant and hovers creepily for a moment before saying her name. Her response is a bit awkward: “Oh. Aaron. Hi.” Priscilla introduces Aaron to her new husband, Steve, and shoots down Aaron’s request to talk privately. Not surprising, seeing as he once abandoned her. As Aaron and Rachel leave, the camera pans down to reveal Steve training a gun on Priscilla. Sorry, but yawn. Aaron’s always been the weakest character, in my opinion, and I never particularly liked the stuff with his wife, because I felt he didn’t have a good enough reason for abandoning her in the first place. A cowardly, and stupid, move (especially for someone with two PhD’s under his belt). Despite Rachel’s insistence, Aaron refuses to leave town. He sensed something was off with Priscilla.
Moving on, Emma confronts Monroe about the man the militia killed and begs for Monroe to let her and the townspeople go. She reminds Monroe that he loved her once and she loved him (Flashback: the pair kissing in the kitchen while Miles remains asleep on the couch). Monroe receives word that Miles has arrived, but, before leaving Emma, he asks if she’s been putting flowers on his parents’ graves (Yes.) and confesses that he wants to be the person Emma remembers, kisses Emma, and then informs her that the man she remembers is dead before ordering the townspeople to be locked in the town hall basement and burned alive. Smooth, Monroe.
Back at snoozeville, Aaron stumbles upon Priscilla being thrown in the back of a truck by her “husband” Steve, who informs Aaron that Priscilla is a fugitive and tells him to leave. Aaron begins to leave, but reconsiders and attacks the man. Priscilla knocks the man unconscious with a pipe.
While the town hall burns, Miles and the militia engage in a shoot-out. Miles is shot in the leg. As Monroe watches, Miles runs into the town hall to save the townspeople, but, as everyone attempts to leave the burning building, the militia begin shooting. Miles is briefly reunited with Emma before he prepares to apparentally sacrfice himself, but, before he can act, the militia men are shot by Nora and Charlie and the other rebels.
Everyone in the town hall clears out and another shoot-out begins. Monroe brings the gunfire to a halt by grabbing Emma and holding a gun to her head, then yelling for Miles to surrender. Miles refuses to shoot Monroe because he’ll hit Emma. When the other rebels protest, Miles insists he’ll kill anyone who shoots himself. Miles yells to Monroe to kill Emma because he doesn’t care about her, but Monroe easily calls his bluff (Miles was willing to turn himself in to save her, so he obviously cared for her). Emma begs Monroe to spare her life because she wants to see her son again, who is also Monroe’s son (Flashback: Monroe and Emma are sleeping together. A bit of an unnecessary flashback, but Revolution likes to make sure we thoroughly understand everything they are telling us). This news brings Monroe up short (he even tears up!), and he asks Emma where their son is, but before she can tell him, one of the rebels shoots. Emma is killed, but Monroe is only injured. Without hesitation, Miles turns on the man (Dixon) and shoots him dead. Yikes. A pretty brutal move, especially as Miles is our “hero” figure. Great leadership move, killing your own men. Very Monroe-like. Anyway, Monroe, still crying over Emma, is dragged away and escapes in his helicopter.
After Monroe leaves, Charlie confesses to Nora that, if Dixon hadn’t shot Emma, she would have. And she means it. We learn Miles and Emma had been engaged, and now Miles has seen how Monroe is willing to fight, and he’s ready to fight ugly, too.
Back to Aaron, who is getting the truth out of Priscilla. Steve was a bounty hunter tracking Priscilla because she’s wanted by the Monroe militia. Apparentally, Priscilla has an eleven-year-old daughter, and, when a militia soldier tried to hurt her daughter, Priscilla stabbed him to death. Aaron apologizes to Priscilla for leaving her because he thought he’d get her killed, but Priscilla informs Aaron that everyone he left her with died. She forgives him anyway, because everything turned out okay. Though Aaron asks her to come with him and Rachel, Priscilla refuses. Her family’s waiting for her in Texas, and the two part ways. I know Aaron’s reunion with his (ex)wife was supposed to be emotional and everything, but I honestly found myself bored by the entire exchange. How convenient for him to find her and so easily earn her forgiveness. Boring. The Monroe/Emma/Miles stuff, on the other hand, was much, much better. I loved that the two former best friends had once been in love with the same woman, and I loved how she brought out the humanity in Monroe that we so rarely see, as well as the darker side of Miles. And I do enjoy the Charlie/Miles relationship and how Charlie’s turning into a stronger, tougher person because of it. Also, giving Monroe a son is an excellent plotpoint. The man has no emotional ties to anyone anymore, with Emma dead and Miles an enemy, so a son will definitely further humanize the man and (possibly) give him a weakness.
And, lastly, we return to the Georgia federation, where President Redhead (whose name I cannot remember, nor care to look up) excuses Miles for killing his own man because the man couldn’t handle Miles, or something. Cold. The man she chooses to send in Dixon’s place, however, is none other than Tom Neville! Yay! I’m pretty excited for a Miles-Tom team-up, which will undoubtedly be ripe with tension and underlying hatred.
So, all in all, this was a pretty solid episode of Revolution. Withhe exception of Aaron, the character development was pretty impressive and genuinely engaging, and I found myself interested with Monroe’s internal struggles for perhaps the first time thus far in the series.