‘Revolution’ S1E19 Recap: Tower Time

Last night’s Revolution found the entire cast converging on the mysterious tower, which turned out to be less of a skyscraper and more of an underground bunker. The show’s been building up to this tower for so long that I expected the pay-off would be halfway decent, but, silly me, I forgot this is Revolution and my (very) half-hearted hopes were dashed by a duo of useless flashbacks, several weak attempts at character development and emotional resonance, a surprising amount of blood and gore, and the seeds of a revolt against Monroe.

Anyway, let’s get started.

The episode picked up immediately where the last ended: Rachel was in Monroe’s tent preparing to pull the pin on a grenade and kill both of them. Since Rachel is one of the only semi-interesting characters on this show (plus, hello, Elizabeth Mitchell), I wasn’t really expecting her to succeed on this suicide mission. At the last minute, Rachel was knocked to the ground and the grenade was wrestled away from her by one of Monroe’s soldiers; he tossed the grenade away, and it exploded uselessly away from the tent.

Meanwhile, Miles and crew were preparing to storm the tower, with five people against an army. Good plan already, Miles. Once at the tower, they found Aaron and learned Monroe had pulled Rachel into the tower with him. Rachel, who didn’t have the security clearance to open the tower’s doors, didn’t understand why the door had opened for her. In answer, we were shown a shot of men watching the group from a room filled with monitors. The tower inhabitants grabbed their guns in preparation to greet Monroe, Rachel and the others.

After showing Monroe satellites within the tower that would allow Monroe to spy on or kill anyone he so desired to, Flynn mentioned that, to properly operate the satellites’ powers, they’d have to visit level 12. Rachel immediately admonished Flynn, and Monroe knew Flynn was telling the truth. So, naturally, Monroe ordered Flynn to take him to level 12.

A surprise met the group on the elevator: the tower inhabitants opened the elevator’s doors and began to shoot everyone inside. Rachel managed to escape and find a bunker for safety, but before she could shut the doors, Monroe pushed his way inside with her. Rachel attempted to stab Monroe with a pair of scissors, but he knocked them away and demanded answers. Rachel refused to give them.

Miles and co. managed to get inside the tower with the help of Aaron and his journal. However, Jason and Tom were left behind to fight off Monroe’s men. Miles ordered Jason to shut the door on them, and the two ended up being captured by Monroe’s men.

In a flashback that occurred a week before the blackout, we saw Rachel arguing with Ben. He told her they needed to get through the week, and Rachel agreed, but said afterwards they should take a break from each other. I still have no idea why this particular flashback was included in the episode. Why did we need to know Rachel and Ben weren’t getting along pre-blackout? Who knows. And who even cares, really.

Miles and co. reached the tower level where Monroe’s men had been slaughtered. Some tower inhabitants found them and began to shoot. The crew managed to escape, stumbling across a room filled with monkeys in cages before climbing to safety through a grate in the wall.

Back in the bunker, Monroe attempted to smash open a glass case holding weapons while Rachel passively watched. After again refusing to help Monroe, Rachel admitted that she did indeed have answers to all of his questions, but she wanted him dead for murdering her son. After attempting to make excuses (for example, he wasn’t responsible for her son’s death because he wasn’t there), Monroe confessed to Rachel that he had a son, as well. Then, he admitted, “I know exactly how much blood is on my hands.” Revolution can’t seem to decide whether they want us to hate or pity Monroe; every time he does something halfway decent, he proceeds to do something monstrously awful. He’s not even morally ambiguous, just paranoid and irrational.

In another flashback, this one four months post-blackout, we see Ben trying to communicate with someone via his computer as Rachel returns home from fetching supplies. Having seen dead bodies lying in the street and a starving boy Charlie’s age, Rachel breaks down from guilt. She tells Ben she doesn’t know if she can live with what they’ve done, but Ben tells her none of that matters now, and the only thing that matters is their children. Um, great advice Ben. Who gives a damn about the thousands you killed so you could shut the power down? But this flashback wasn’t about Ben’s careless advice, it was an attempt to tie Rachel to Monroe. Both had blood on their hands, though Rachel seems to be handling it better now than Monroe. He’s simply killing more people, while she’s trying to right her past wrongs by getting rid of Monroe and turning the power back on. Anyway, the flashback ended with Grace responding to Ben.

After finding an empty armory, Miles and co. found themselves once again under fire. Rachel saw them on a monitor in the bunker. Monroe leaped on this chance to negotiate with Rachel. He promised to save her daughter if Rachel gave him access to the weapons. As Charlie is trapped beneath a shelf and about to be killed, Monroe shoots the tower inhabitant aiming his gun at her and saves her. Then, Monroe has the audacity to ask for a thank you for saving her! Oh, Monroe. Rachel grabs her daughter and Aaron, and the trio attempt to escape only to round a corner and run straight into more guns.

After saving Miles and Nora, Monroe aims a gun at Miles and demands they finish their feud once and for all. The episode leaves them aiming their guns at one another.

Rachel, Charlie and Aaron are led to tower inhabitants’ hideout, where Grace and some guy Rachel used to know named Dan are living. According to Dan, the group’s been guarding level 12 since the blackout because it’s too dangerous and powerful for anyone to get their hands on. He then burns the journal with the notes for turning the power back on, despite Rachel and Aaron’s frantic protests. According to Grace, turning the power on will result in two possible outcomes: one, the lights are back, or two, the world will be set on fire. Okay, whatever Revolution. Obviously you need a reason to delay turning on the power to keep the show going, but really? The world itself might burn? This reveal was stupid and not at all shocking, and the stakes in this world still seem relatively low, especially with the show’s main villain turning into a whimpering, paranoid fool.

Lastly, Jason and Tom spent the episode teaming up to get inside the head of the militia soldier guarding them. Unsurprisingly, they succeeded. Monroe was killing his best men, after all, and, as Tom said, he was no longer the man he used to be. The solider freed them and told them at least 12 men were on their side. Maybe this revolt will succeed in Monroe’s death? I hope so. I’d like to see Tom as head villain.

So, all in all, a fairly lackluster episode. Maybe next week’s episode will be better (Ha! Don’t count on it).

 

Rating: 6/10

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