Sunday, April 7, 2013

Revolution 1.12: "Ghosts"

“You either let the grief define you, or you learn from it.”

“Ghosts” was very much a transition episode of “Revolution.” I guess last week’s episode and this one combined sort of form a two-part transition between what the show thought it was going to be in the first half of the season, and what it thinks it’s going to be now. The mission to save Danny was futile, and the focus is now turning to a larger war to defeat Monroe. Most of the rebel crew are still in “Annapolis” in this one. I put it in quotes because it is nothing like the place where I am as I write this. The only thing they got right is that I think I heard a coyote in one night scene, and believe it or not, we have coyotes here in Annapolis. Yeah, I was surprised to learn that one, too, thanks to a warning e-mail from my apartment complex management. We most certainly don’t have trees draped in Spanish moss, and we have a lot more water. When the legislature isn’t in session, Annapolis is pretty much a sleepy coastal tourist town. Emphasis on the coastal.

The episode begins in the aftermath of last episode’s big battle. The Mathesons and the rebels are burying Danny, and the Mathesons are understandably out of sorts. What really stood out to me about this early scene was that Rachel tries to hold Charlie’s hand, but Charlie pulls away. Clearly there’s a lot of damage to repair there. Miles is pissed that the rebels seem content to just be a minor nuisance to Monroe. Miles wants to think bigger. He thinks that to do that, he needs help from some of his old lieutenants from his militia days who also turned against Monroe. The one in particular he wants to recruit to train the rebels is named Jim (played by Malik Yoba, aka Bill from “Alphas). Miles and Jim didn’t part of good terms, to say the least, but Miles wants to try and recruit him anyway. Miles gest some intel that Jim is hunkered down in a small town in Virginia, so that is where he and Nora head.

Meanwhile, the folks who stay behind in Annapolis (holed up in what appears to be a hardware secure residential treatment center) have their own issues to deal with. Randall and Monroe have officially teamed up. Randall promises he can get his team back together to build as many amplifiers as Monroe needs. Randall needs Rachel’s knowledge to do this though, so he gets together a strike team and heads for Annapolis, where they attack the facility where the rebels are stationed. At the facility, Rachel and Charlie’s relationship continues to be shaky, with Rachel disapproving of Charlie continuing to go out on missions with the rebels, especially when Charlie injures her shoulder. Lucky for the rebels, they have a little warning of the coming attack thanks to Rachel keeping an eye on the pendants. Randall had pinged the pendants to see where they were, and that made them light up.

Meanwhile, Miles and Nora arrive in Culpepper, Virginia to find something rather unexpected. Jim has tried to start a new life as the town librarian named Henry. He is also married, and his wife doesn’t know about his former life as a militiaman. Needless to say, Miles and Nora have quite a difficult time convincing him to join the rebel cause. He pretty much wants nothing to do with it, because he doesn’t want to jeopardize his relationship with his wife. It turns out, however, that Jim isn’t really going to have much of a choice. As Miles and Nora are on their way out of town, they see that the local Militia commander is sending a strike team to Culpepper. The truth is that the team is supposed to capture Miles (somebody told the commander that he saw Miles), but Miles and Nora don’t know that. They don’t know if the team is after them or after Jim or all of the above.

Back in Annapolis, Rachel has noticed the glowing pendants, and she wants to destroy them. A good idea, although really it’s too late. She pours a cocktail of different types of powerful acids in a basin, and as Aaron watches, she pulls the pendants apart and drops the flash drives inside into the acid. Aaron is really, really starting to wonder what made the power go out now. He’s also pretty shocked to learn that Rachel once worked for the Department of Defense. We viewers get a little extra background information in the form of some Randall-centric flashbacks throughout the episode. We learn that Randall’s son dying in Afghanistan was really the trigger for Randall going a bit off the deep end. The project Rachel had been working on (taking out the power as a precursor to a military invasion) was just supposed to be tested on a really limited scale, but Randall demands that they use it full-scale right away. He doesn’t want any more American soldiers to die. I appreciate that the creative team tried to create a motivation, although I think it still stretches plausibility a touch.

Anyway, when Miles and Nora see the strike team heading for Culpepper, they backtrack and warn Jim. His wife hears the conversation, so she has to be told about his background. She watches from the library window in horror as the strike team arrives, and Miles, Nora, and Jim start slaughtering them with their swords. I thought it was pretty badass, really. The militia commander sees her looking through the window and has an idea about how to make the battle turn in his favor. He goes into the library and tries to find Jim’s wife. Meanwhile, outside, the battle rages on. Eventually, Miles, Nora, and Jim have managed to kill the entire strike team (which I think stretches credibility just a touch), but the realize that the commander isn’t there. Jim gets into the library and kills the commander just as the commander is about to kill Jim’s wife. She doesn’t really appreciate the gesture, though. She leaves Jim, because he’s not the man she thought he was.

In Annapolis, Randall sees that the pendants have been destroyed, and he gets on the facility’s PA system to announce that he doesn’t really care about the pendants. He wants Rachel. Rachel, Charlie, and Aaron manage to admirably avoid capture for a little while, and Charlie manages to get herself a machine gun. Guess that’s slightly more effective than the bow and arrow she had been using! I’m sure Katniss Everdeen would take a machine gun if she could get one, too. Anyway, Randall captures Rachel, but when he gets her outside and starts trying to get her into a Hummer, Charlie and her machine gun save the day. She mows down a bunch of the strike team, and she, Rachel, and Aaron all run away and make it to the rendezvous point. At the end of the episode, we see that Rachel and Charlie’s relationship may be beginning to heal.

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