Reviews

REVOLUTION: “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”

For ten episodes, Revolution has lured us into its post-apocalyptic world with the help of sword fights, emotional family moments, betrayal, and reunions – among other things. Given the build-up that we’ve been getting for the past few episodes, its fall finale (and the last episode until the show returns in late March) was expected to deliver on a pretty large scale – and for the most part, it succeeded, thanks to some intriguing back stories and a focus on some of the show’s more interesting characters.

In “Kashmir,” we were teased with the reunion between Miles and Monroe, a confrontation between the two best friends that turned out to be a hallucination setting the stage for this week. The real reunion – complete with sword fight and a shoot out – was much more intense and emotional, and Burke and Lyons gave some of the best performances of the season in a scene that involved Monroe asking Miles to rejoin the Militia and his “family” while Miles rejects him, making a choice to stay with the family that he’s (rather grudgingly) come to care for. There’s obviously more to Miles’ past that we’ll hopefully explore, such as his relationship and history with Rachel – which, as we saw tonight, is certainly more complicated than we were first led to believe. But I enjoyed the fact that we got some substantial back story on Monroe, as we know villains are usually turned nasty because of something that has affected them in their past. In Monroe’s case, we found out that two years before the blackout, he was on the verge of suicide thanks to a car accident that claimed the life of family – and that he was saved by Miles’ friendship, a loyalty that went both ways when the two joined up with the Militia and Miles got himself wounded some years later. (The story on this also begs to be explored, but I think there’s a lot of the early stages of the Milita that we need background on.)

Monroe attempted to taunt Miles by telling him he would revert to his own ways as soon as he was back in the throes of the Militia. While Miles may not have reacted the way that his friend predicted, he certainly had no qualms slipping back into his old skin – as demonstrated with his threatening of Julia, using her as leverage to get Neville to trade his wife for Nora and Aaron. Julia seemed to surrender easily to her hostage situation, just as Charlie was willing to sacrifice herself so that her mother could avoid finishing the amplifier and in both cases, the softer sides of family loyalty prevailed with Neville agreeing to Miles’ trade and Rachel agreeing to Monroe’s requests. I have no doubt that Neville will eventually follow up on his threat to Miles (“I will one day kill you for this”) and putting such a conflict between Neville and Miles? Something that could have interesting consequences down the line, especially if Julia is still trying to coax Neville into possibly overthrowing Monroe.

“Nobody’s Fault But Mine” effectively tied up most of the season’s remaining storylines, as our two groups finally merged in Philadelphia. Danny was rescued, the Matheson family was reunited, Miles and Monroe faced off for the first time in ages and by the end of the hour, the two previously captive members of the Matheson family had joined up with our band of travelers. This development is something that I’m excited to explore when the show returns from its hiatus – with everyone in their “rightful place,” certain relationships have overstayed their welcome and hopefully, adding Rachel and Danny to the mix will help recharge the dynamics of the group as we can now have our characters do more than just play out same plot lines each week (I, for one, am all about more mother-daughter bonding, and I think it would be interesting to see Rachel’s reactions to Miles and Nora given their history.) I’m happy to see the show finally putting Elizabeth Mitchell in a position where she gets to do more than sit in a four walled room (having her finally get into action last week with the stabbing of Jaafe and then again this week with the stabbing of Strausser), and her sudden involvement within the core group was a welcome, if not long overdue, surprise.

In an episode that primarily focused on the adults, the children (as much as they were vital to parts of the story) became less of a focus – and in the capable acting hands of Lyons, Mitchell and Esposito, the show seemed to elevate itself to a level where everyone delivered, no matter how much they were on screen. But it was  Mitchell’s talent that stood out above the rest, and kudos to the show for finally realizing it was time to bring one of its best assets to the forefront. Since the beginning of the series, I’ve been excited to see the reunion between Charlie and Rachel and even with Charlie’s expected wariness and Rachel’s hesitancy, I was not disappointed in the way the scene played out. It’s no question that Mitchell really does raise the bar with whoever she’s sharing a scene with (as evidenced by her interactions with Monroe, Charlie, Miles and Strausser) and I am hopeful that Rachel being broken out of confinement means that the show plans to give us much, much more of the character when it returns.

Final Thoughts:

  • We confirmed tonight that Miles really did have no idea that Rachel has been alive all this time, as he looked just as shocked as everyone else when the two finally came face to face. So what happened in those elusive years between when Rachel gave herself over to the Militia, and when Monroe and Miles went their separate ways?
  • What happened to Grace? Last we saw, she was being held captive under the control of the Department of Defense, and we know she was originally working with Ben and Rachel – so what else does she know that we’re not aware of yet?
  • We’ve assumed that Monroe and the Milita want to launch a cavalry that will destroy most of the world, but we’ve yet to figure out exactly why Monroe wants power so badly. And now that the Milita leader has some, how will that affect him?
  • I was happy to see the return of Mark Pellegrino’s character, if only for brief moments – and I hope they find a way to build him in to the second half of the season, especially since we seem to have lost most of our “Big Bads” of the Milita at this point (Monroe and Neville aside.)

What did you think of Revolution’s fall finale? Were you satisfied with the cliffhanger? What are you hoping to see when the show comes back in March?

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