Revolution Watch: Episode 12 - Ghosts
After losing Danny at the end of last week’s episode of Revolution, things were looking up for the group. Well, not really for them, but for the viewers. Unfortunately, things did not get better.
A Death In The Family
It’s no surprise that I’ve never liked Danny as I often state that the whole storyline to find him kept the show from doing anything interesting with itself as it stayed small in scope, all the while making fun of his hair that worsened with each week. But even I would have enjoyed a whole episode that would have dealt with the aftermath of Charlie’s little brother dying. Instead, it was handled rather poorly.
For starters, the group should not have been split up; instead, have a storyline inside the group with flashbacks to fill in gaps of information and fill out the world if a story during the present timeline couldn’t build a full episode. The episode should have focused on character building and relationships to bring the audience back in after the long winter break, especially now that we’ve got Rachel back. But as it was structured, after Miles got the alcohol out of his system the burden to carry the grief belonged to Rachel and Charlie.
A Range of Emotions
To balance out Rachel’s rather emotional, albeit understandable, response to her son’s death with some poorly written crying scenes of blame and a need for forgiveness, Charlie chose to turn it all off. She went the feel no pain route, throwing herself into dangerous situations to get away from her thoughts, though it could have been just to get away from her mom and her need to become a family again.
Charlie is rightfully angry at Rachel for being gone all these years when her family needed her, coming back when it is far too late to rectify the situation, but in the end she is still her mom. So when Randall comes a’ calling, Charlie’s warrior mode goes to Xena levels as she takes on a group of militia soldiers. Less “Ayiyiyiyiyiyi” and flipping, more taking on bad odds without fear, including the one highlight of the episode in which she stabs a man in the chest with an arrow as he comes around the corner. She then shoots her way out of this dilemma, saving Aaron and her mother, who was emulating The Walking Dead’s Carl by running off on her own every chance she got.
After all this mental toughness, Charlie finally lets the emotions in and breaks down and cries with her mother, but this was somehow an anticlimactic moment. After putting on the tough front, the writing should have taken this further and devoted more time to this scene because it was building throughout the episode, where Charlie could really just be mad and vent at her mom, while still slipping into being a child who needs her mommy. She really just needed a scene where she could let it all out, but she didn’t quite get it.
Miles chooses alcohol to help him deal with Danny’s death, funneling his emotions into a pool of anger to fuel his mission. And what is that, you ask? To kill Monroe, of course! It didn’t work years ago when he first left the militia, and it didn’t work at the end of the first half of the season, but maybe third time will be the charm for this cyclical story of Miles’ life.
In order to build a better chance to take the man out, Miles decides that he needs to form a force of his own with the men who helped him once before from within the militia, starting with Jim Hudson. After some searching, Miles and Nora find him in the library of the town Culpeper, going under a different name as he started a new life for himself. Billy Burke gives his worst performance yet, and whether the actor or the writing is to blame, his self-deprecation and knowledge that you cannot run from who you are is not enough to convince Hudson to join the cause.
Lucky for Miles, a kill squad comes into town and forces Hudson to deal with his past in order to protect his present, and he, Nora, and Miles “surround” the group of militia soldiers. This would have been the perfect moment to have the town band together as a force greater than just the smaller numbers we are used to, but Revolution continues to keep its scale small. In the end it doesn’t really matter, though, because their rebel blades are enough to take out the enemy who stupidly took on Miles in extremely tight shots of close combat when they could have easily mowed them down with their guns. Some soldiers could have gotten caught in the crossfire, but the results would have been better for them in the end. Their leader wasn’t even strong enough to take out Hudson’s wife, as her angry husband hacks him up way past the time of death.
Rachel has yet to be a fount of information when it comes to filling in questions, supplying even more thanks to her actions with the pendants. She’s finally going to talk about The Tower next week, but I need someone to sit down with me and explain that stupid pendant! Starting with where the heck they got two more from, because I missed that. But what I really want to know is what are on the jump drives that are within every pendant. Rachel ends up destroying both to keep Randall from getting them, which means that each memory card must hold different information because Randall already has his own glowing like a miniature Iron Man arc reactor hanging from his neck. What this information is, your guess is as good as mine. Maybe each holds a portion of the data needed to turn the power back on, which is why Randall says that he doesn’t need the drives as long as he has Rachel, but I’m really just reaching with that.
Flipping The Switch
Remember when we would only see Randall’s shoes? I want to go to there. Now that we’ve seen his face and he’s becoming a full flesh and blood character, the mystique and ominous aura that surrounded him wherever he went and darkened anyone’s face whenever even thinking his name is no more. He’s just a self-important man who got hurt and destroyed the world to bring it to the level of darkness his mood was calling home.
That’s right, we learn that in flashbacks the whole reason the lights went off was because Randall’s son was killed in Afghanistan, pushing Randall’s point of view to the “war is bad” way of things. It’s not like the lack of power has stopped the killing on the smaller scale, but as Rachel is briefly back in his possession he lets on that his evil plan’s end game is to have the few raise to heights back with power, with the unworthy left out in the cold because giving power back to everyone would just bring back the same problems from before. Personally, this revelation was all kinds of disappointing for me as it didn’t really feel like we learned anything of relevance, ending with the results of creating yet another weak villain, somehow managing to go a peg below Monroe.
Revolution continues to disappoint as it refuses to really delve into a deeper mythology of the blackout. These surface level stories aren’t getting the job done in peaking interest as the scale of the show remains small, but hopefully things will change now that Rachel says she’s willing to open up about everything she knows.
So what did you think of this episode of Revolution? Were you as disappointed as I was? Did you think Neville should have tried a little harder to feign sadness about the death of his son in front of Monroe? Did Charlie really think that knocking that cart over in front of the door would really accomplish anything? Did you think it was weird that Jim Hudson didn’t really fight for the life he had built with his wife after she saw who he really was? Tell me your thoughts on this episode in the comments below!
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