Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Revolution 1.16: "The Love Boat"

“Monroe is a rabid dog and he's only getting worse. I'm gonna put him down.”

This episode of “Revolution,” despite its cheesy as hell title, featured some very interesting character dynamics. We’ve got Tom Neville returning to the mix (not really a spoiler thanks to his appearance at the end of the last episode) and making everybody in the Georgia/Rebel camp kind of spin out of control. We’ve got Rachel and Aaron continuing their journey towards the Tower and finding themselves in a heaping helping of trouble. Their plot lets us see a bit more of the Plains Nation, and believe me, it’s not a pretty sight at all. I’d stay far, far away from the Plains Nation if I were in the show’s universe. There’s supposed to be romances blossoming among all this chaos (hence the title), but I don’t really see it giving all the romance-related craziness that has happened on the show thus far. Is there no one Miles won’t sleep with, for instance? I was mostly glad to see Neville put back in his place by the end of the episode. He’s a sadistic bastard, and I hate to see him win. Miles makes a jab about how his wins on the battlefield trump Neville’s pride, and it’s a completely perfect smackdown.

The setup to the East Coast part of this episode is that the Georgia Federation has learned that a doctor is making anthrax for the Monroe Republic. His name is Dr. Stephen Camp, and he’s played by Timothy Busfield, a member of the Aaron Sorkin stable of actors best known as reporter Danny Concannon on “The West Wing.” The team is going to take a steam boat towards the Monroe Republic/Georgia Federation line to pick up the good Doctor before he can actually develop a biological weapon for Monroe. Before the team can leave on their mission, though, they get a nasty surprise. Neville is going along for the ride, ostensibly to keep Miles in line. He’s trying to pick right back up where he left off in the Monroe Republic, being bossy and condescending with a sadistic streak. The fact that Jason is on the boat as well definitely creates some extra tension. Neville makes it very clear that the only reason he is working for Georgia is because Jason turned rebel and made it impossible for Neville to stay in the Monroe Republic.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned in the intro, Rachel and Aaron are still in the Plains Nation, making their way towards the Tower. Does this sound like a “Lost” plot, or what? It’s “Through the Looking Glass” (where the Losties had to get to the radio tower) all over again! Anyway, they’re making their way through a section of the Plains Nation that is even more remote than what we saw last week, and they’re running out of food. Rachel tries to barter for some food with the local tribe, but they aren’t having any of it. Their leader says that if he gives them food, he won’t have any food to feed his kids. That’s rugged American individual for you. No thought to working with Rachel to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement, just “I got mine and screw you.” Rachel and Aaron are kind of shocked by the harshness. The Monroe Republic might be screwed up and under the thumb of an increasingly crazy dictator, but people at least seem to be willing to help each other out.

Things are not going well back on the East Coast, either. As the ship steams towards the Georgia/Monroe border, tensions between Neville and the rest of the crew continue to boil. It turns out that the Georgia folks snagged Dr. Camp, and they also took his family members and put them on a different boat. The idea is to threaten Dr. Camp with harm to his family unless he starts developing Anthrax for Georgia. It isn’t enough that he just stops developing the weapon for the Monroe Republic, he’s got to give Georgia the upper hand, too. Neville insists on it. Charlie and Nora both are horrified to find out what has happened to Dr. Camp and his family, and they protest because they didn’t join up with the rebels to do things that are just as horrible as what Monroe does. Miles is kind of indifferent. He’s not happy that he has to be “that person” again, but he’s kind of resigned to it. He knows Neville can make his life hell with President Foster, and he also wants some sort of revenge on Monroe for what happened to Emma in the last episode, so he’s willing to go with it, much to Charlie’s and Nora’s chagrin.

Back in the Plains Nation, the tribe leader confronts Rachel and Aaron about stealing some food. Rachel apologizes and again emphasizes that they have no provisions at all, but the leader doesn’t care. He says there is only one punishment in the Plains Nation, and that is death. This reminded me of that horrid first season episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” where some of the crew are on a planet with those rules, and Wesley accidentally disregards a “keep off the grass” sign. You know, the one where Wesley says “I’m with Starfleet. We don’t lie.” Yeah. That one. Anyway, Rachel kills the leader, then Rachel and Aaron try to do a Monty Python and the Holy Grail and run away, but that plan backfires when Rachel takes a nasty fall and suffers a compound fracture to the leg. Since we’re in a post-apocalyptic world, and one of the worse of sections of the world at that, Rachel is in big trouble.

Aaron takes her to an abandon trailer to try and recover, but Rachel begs him to just leave her and keep going towards the Tower. At one point, they have to fight off a few members of the tribe who find them in the trailer, but it seems to bring them closer. Rachel keeps begging Aaron to just leave her, but Aaron refuses. I guess he would feel especially terrible if he made the same mistake (abandoning a woman) twice, and I don’t really blame him. Even if it does put the whole mission in jeopardy. In one last ditch effort to get Aaron to leave already, Rachel shows him Jill’s notebook about the Tower. An article about one of Aaron’s computer programming achievements is paper clipped in Jill’s notebook, so Rachel figures Aaron probably is capable of fixing the Tower. Aaron is not quite sure what to make of all this, but he’s not happy about it.

Anyway, back on the East Coast, Charlie, Jason, and Nora have had enough of the kidnapping, so they lock Miles in one cell on the ship and Neville in another. In an instance of epic bad timing, a Monroe Republic boat pulls up beside them to do an inspection. A crazy melee ensues where Neville is of course able to pick the lock of his cell. Eventually, Miles, Nora, Charlie, and Jason are able to get away on one boat while Neville is still on the other fighting the Monroe Militia. They then let Dr. Camp and his family go free. Back in Atlanta, Miles gloats to Neville that President Foster probably cares more about the battles Miles has been winning than she does about Neville’s wounded pride, so he’s not too worried about the consequences for what went down. And Miles really does have a point there. And, in keeping with the title of the episode, Nora rewards Miles for acting like a human being again with some sexy times.

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