Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Revolution 1.02: "Chained Heat"

“Did good? I killed two men today. Maybe that’s not a big deal for you. Maybe it’s another Monday for you, but it’s not for me. We shouldn’t have to do this.”
- Charlie

This week we start off five days after the blackout. The Mathesons are preparing to leave town and head to the country where there is plenty of food and water. Rachel (Charlie’s mom) makes her promise to always look after Danny and to never let go of his hand. As they head out (kids in a wagon pulled by Ben) you get the feeling things have already started to fall apart. Back in the present, Charlie is reminiscing about the past when Maggie snaps her out of it. Before long they find Miles dueling one of Monroe’s bounty hunters. Miles is on the verge of killing the guy when Charlie begs him not to. With a gripe about Charlie being a pain in the ass after only one day, he and Aaron lock the guy in a box car. Unbeknownst to the gang, Nate is following along behind them. Their next stop is Pontiac, Illinois. Miles is looking for a woman named Nora Clayton. He needs her help if they’re going to take on Monroe and survive. Unfortunately, Charlie’s goodwill comes back to bite them all in the ass. The guy she made Miles spare is back and arrests Miles. And Revolution wouldn’t be complete without some sword-fighting baddassery by Mr. Billy Burke. He takes out most of the guys before our group manages to escape again. He does find out that Nora is locked up in a work camp. I don’t know whether to be horrified that forced labor camps have returned in this post-apocalyptic future. 

We briefly visit Captain Neville, his boys and Danny as they continue to make their way to General Monroe. As they’re on the road, they hear gunshots and find a guy who has just killed a deer. Owning guns is illegal in the Monroe Republic (unless you’re militia) and so Captain Neville shoots the guy. He’s none-too-pleased to find out the guy was a rebel (evidenced by him having an American Flag in his house). So he tells his men to burn the whole property. A little while later, they have a funeral for the soldier the guy managed to shoot (Neville gives him some kind of stuff that just lets him drift off quickly) and Danny is kind of appalled at the drastic change in behavior. I have to say I didn’t really appreciate the range of emotion and character Giancarlo Esposito can play until now.

Meanwhile, Miles is rather pissed at getting caught and decides it is in the group’s best interest to split up and he’ll meet them in Lowell, Indiana in two weeks. He’s going to liberate Nora from the work camp. Charlie is upset. I guess she thinks he’s abandoning her or something. So that night, she sneaks off after him, leaving Maggie and Aaron alone and panicked in the morning. We also get a glimpse of how quickly General Monroe himself can vassilate temperament wise. One of his men is interrogating a rebel and at first Monroe is nice to him, promising to return him to his family if he cooperates. The rebel refuses and in the blink of an eye Monroe slits his throat. He does have a look of slight regret in his eyes as he’s doing it.

Charlie is off tromping through the forest after Miles the next morning and she takes a tumble down a ravine sort of thing. It looks like she’s hurt her ankle. Nate’s followed her and when he goes to take a look at it, she fakes him out and slaps cuffs on him, chaining him to a metal post. And in kind of an awesome moment, she leaves him there. Back at camp, Maggie explains why she can’t join in Aaron’s optimism that they’ll see Charlie again. She’s kept an old iPhone in her pack because it contains the only pictures she has of her children. Aaron then reveals that he thinks they should worry about Miles and Charlie after they investigate the pendant Ben gave Aaron before he died. Apparently Ben told him to find a woman named Grace (the woman that briefly gave Danny respite and an inhaler). So they set off in search of her. We get a bit of a fake out near the end of the episode. Grace is working on the computer and hears a knock at the door. We’re led to believe it’s Aaron and Maggie until a man shows up. Clearly Grace is not pleased to see this guy because she locks the door and races back up to the attic to log back on. She manages to get a message sent that says “Randall is here” before he bursts in with a Taser. And he’s got a pendant of his own. So obviously, not everyone who has access to the pendant/power is a good guy.

Charlie finally manages to catch up with Miles and they spot Nora in a chain gang, pulling an old helicopter. Charlie’s pretty appalled when one of the prisoners (most of whom are there for not paying their taxes) falls down and gets shot when he can’t stand up again. Charlie and Miles wait until nightfall and successfully get Nora out. But she’s not happy to see Miles. She purposely got arrested to steal a sniper rifle. And the Mathesons have messed up her plan. So now they need a new one. Unfortunately, the device she puts together (she’s kind of an explosives guru) has to be used within a foot of the target. Miles will be shot on sight simply because of who he is and so will Nora. Charlie volunteers for the job but Miles is skeptical. He doesn’t think she can actually go through with killing someone. We get another flashback where Rachel and the kids are waiting for Ben to retrieve some supplies from his office. A strange shows up and threatens to kill Charlie if they don’t hand over all their food. They seem to acquiesce until someone shoots him. We think it’s Ben (he’s the only initially holding the gun) but it turns out to be Rachel. Charlie remembers this as she’s confronting the warden and I guess it was enough to give her the courage she needs to pull of the plan. In the end, Charlie kills a second guy while Miles and Nora take out the rest. Nora reminds me a little of Ana Luica from Lost. Nora is a little worse for wear at the end of the fighting. While she’s bandaging herself up, Miles sees she has an American Flag tattoo. She’s in the resistance, too.

At the very end, we visit Monroe’s stronghold again and in Lost-esque fashion, we’re treated to an episode ending twist. He’s come to visit one of his other prisoners. Contrary to what the audience (and Charlie) were led to believe, Rachel si not in fact dead. She’s alive and living in confined luxury. Monroe has come to give her the news about Ben and Danny. It seems he’s been holding her hostage for information about Ben and the blackout. Seeing Rachel alive makes me wonder if Ben knew and what all of the implications are. It seriously needs to be next week already.

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