Sunday, June 2, 2013

Revolution 1.19: "Children of Men"

“The only thing wrong with the Monroe Republic is Monroe himself.”

“Children of Men” was definitely a set-up episode for next week’s season finale of “Revolution.” All the characters are now reunited (and in some cases, subsequently split apart again, but at least they’re all in the same ZIP code now), and some cliffhangers are set up, but really, nothing all that substantial happens. We’ve got all the pieces in place for whatever craziness is set to go down on Monday night’s season finale, but the process of getting there didn’t really make for the most compelling television. On the positive side, I do appreciate that we’re getting big answers so soon (presumably) in the show’s run. There will be no last minute glowy cave resolution to “Revolution.” Our characters are at the Tower right now and seem poised to learn quite a lot there next week and next season. We already have some idea of what caused the power to go out, and it would make sense that having everyone at the Tower would be a way to reveal more details about that process and what it will take to turn the power back on.

This episode ends exactly where the last one left off, with Rachel entering Monroe’s tent near the Tower and pulling out the grenade. The whole thing doesn’t exactly play out as Rachel hoped. Right after Rachel pulls the pin, she is tackled by a Monroe Militiaman, and the grenade gets tossed out of the tent. The grenade explodes, but it doesn’t do any real damage. Rachel is captured now, though, and Monroe intends to use her to understand the Tower. It’s not in his best interest for everyone to have power again, after all, since then they will be able to counter his pendant-powered weapons. The entourage heads for the entrance to the Tower, where Randall is very surprised when his handprint doesn’t open the door. Rachel, instead, is able to get past the handprint recognition security, quite to the surprise of Monroe and Randall.

Meanwhile, Miles and his crew approach Colorado and land the helicopter a few miles from the Tower (I guess they don’t want to alert the Monroe Militia to their presence just yet). They then head towards Monroe’s camp, where Neville makes a pretty unwelcome crack about Miles’ concern for Rachel’s wellbeing. I really prefer Miles with Nora and wish the creative team would ditch the whole Miles and Rachel have a past angle. It’s just squicky. Neville then finds Aaron watching the Tower and sneaks up behind him. Aaron’s frightened reaction is pretty darn amusing, especially because it’s clear that Neville is having fun messing with him. Some new folks inside the Tower have closed the Tower door behind Randall, Monroe, and Rachel, so at first it looks a little doubtful that Monroe and crew will be able to stop whatever is about to happen. Aaron and his notebook, however, think they know how to get into the facility.

Inside the Tower, Randall gives Monroe a mini-tour of the place. He shows Monroe a bank of monitors and talks about how important the Tower was the U.S. military back in the day. It doesn’t just affect the world’s power. Apparently it has the capability to spy on or kill anyone in the world at just the push of the button. Scary stuff. They have to get to Level 12 of the facility to make that happen, though. Unfortunately for Monroe, the elevator stops at Level 11. When the doors open, they are all attacked by the same people who closed the door on them earlier. These folks have some seriously high powered weapons, so Monroe and his crew have quite the fight on their hands. Monroe, however, spots Rachel trying to run down a side hallway, and he follows her into a bunker-like room.

Outside the Tower, Neville destroys the power source for Monroe’s camp as the rest of the crew start fighting their way towards the Tower door. Aaron uses the notebook to start typing in an override code, but it’s taking too long considering the fire they’re all under. Jason has to join his father in trying to hold off the militia. Aaron is finally successful, and everybody near the door manages to get into the tower. Then, however, they are forced to close the door again to keep the militia out, locking out Neville and Jason. Charlie, for one, is not happy about this at all since she’s still mooning over Jason. I’m not really sure what she sees in him, really.

We get two interesting Rachel flashbacks in this episode. The first is a week before the blackout, where Rachel and Ben are talking about whether or not they should go through with the Tower launch. Ben thinks they should, and Rachel thinks they shouldn’t. Basically, Ben thinks it’s too late to turn back. Rachel’s response is that once the immediate danger has passed, they should separate. We can see from the second flashback, though, that the separation didn’t exactly occur right away. Ben is using one of the pendants to power up an old school computer. He sends out a message on the computer to find out who from their team is still around. Before any response, Rachel returns home and describes the deplorable conditions people are living in. She thinks they’re responsible for all the destitution brought about in the post-apocalyptic scenario. Before Ben can really respond, there’s a message on the computer from Grace.

In the present day, Rachel and Monroe are having a bit in a confrontation in what turns out to be the Vice President’s “undisclosed location” bunker. Rachel is being generally unhelpful to Monroe. She says she doesn’t know who was responsible for the Level 11 attack, and she refuses to divulge any information about the Tower. Monroe wants Rachel to help him unlock some weapons in the bunker, and he goes on a rant about how Rachel probably doesn’t really want to commit suicide. Rachel says she would of course like to see Charlie again, but he won’t help Monroe because he killed her son. She doesn’t believe him when he tries to deny any responsibility. When Monroe mentions that he does have a son out there somewhere, Rachel’s opinion of him starts to soften a bit. Meanwhile, Miles and crew find the Level 11 carnage and come under fire themselves. Rachel sees this on a monitor, and Monroe finally has his in by promising to save Charlie.

Meanwhile, outside the Tower, Neville and Jason are in Monroe Militia custody. Two officers who have known Neville and Jason for a long time stop by to visit. The officers want to know how to get into the tower, but Neville just gives them a lecture about how it’s kind of pathetic that they’re the highest ranking officers left. He makes a point of mentioning that Monroe seems to have been killing all his top advisors lately. Later, Neville speaks with just one of the officers, again emphasizing Monroe’s recent paranoia. Neville and Jason both work to convince the officer that Neville would make a better leader (ewww) and that the time is ripe for rebellion. The officer agrees and says there are twelve other men who will help. He then sets Neville and Jason free and tells them to kill the other officer.

Just before she is killed while pinned under a shelf, Monroe makes good on his word and saves Charlie by killing the guy who is about to kill her. Rachel takes Charlie and Aaron in another direction, right into the path of three attackers, while Miles and Monroe find each other and face off, guns drawn. Rachel is taken to a room full of the Level 11 attackers, and she is very surprised to find former teammates Grace and Dan among them. They were left at the Tower when the blackout happened, and they have taken it as their mission to prevent anyone from ever reaching Level 12. Dan prepares to burn Jane’s diary, because they want no record left of how to turn on the power. Grace explains that if the power is turned back on, the world could be set on fire. And that’s where we leave off before tomorrow’s season finale- it could be interesting, or it could be just as plodding as this episode. We will see.

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