Sunday, June 9, 2013

Revolution 1.20: "The Dark Tower"

“When you burn down the old, new things grow.”

And so we finish another season of network television. “Revolution” had its season finale this week, and I’ll admit it was a little underwhelming. There was also a character death that just plain pissed me off, but I’ll talk about that more later. This episode in general pretty much just picks up where the last one left off and chronicles the continuing struggle at the Tower. Neville and Randall turn out to be the evilest of all evils, and Randall in particular sets up something very bad that is going to have to be resolved very quickly next season if the characters aren’t going to be facing a post-apocalypse apocalypse. Randall is one messed up dude, that’s for sure. The episode really isn’t anything gamechanging, because I’m sure that the event at the end of it will be resolved smoothly early next season. That’s just TV rules, really. I don’t see the creative team of “Revolution” being quite as daring as the “Fringe” crew and changing the paradigm of the show. Heck, even the “Fringe” team didn’t change their paradigm until season 3.

Anyway, this episode picks up right where the last one left off. Miles and Monroe are fighting, but neither of them gets the better of the other (to be expected). Instead, they get flushed out of the Tower. Fighting led into a sewer, and yep, Miles and Monroe got swept away while Nora, who was also in the vicinity, managed to hang on and remain in the tower. The fight continues on the shore of the waterway where the Tower spit them out, and it doesn’t stop until interrupted by a little harmless sniper fire. This episode does do a decent job at delving further into the Miles/Monroe friendship, as we get a flashback to 10 years after the blackout. Miles and Monroe are having a meal at a restaurant and reminiscing when a bomb goes off and Miles is knocked unconscious. This turns out to have been the coming out party for the Rebels. Miles wakes up in Monroe’s headquarters, and Monroe tells him all about it. He also tells him that he had the perpetrator and his family killed. See? Monroe going crazy homicidal isn’t a new thing.

Back inside the Tower, Randall appears to still be in the Bunker of Undisclosed Location. He takes a photo of George W. Bush off the wall and smashes it (which I found highly amusing), and takes a key card out of the back. This card will come into play later. Elsewhere Rachel and Grace are discussing the potential consequences of turning the power back on. It turns out that the situation isn’t quite as dire as Grace made it out to be. There would only be a “set the world on fire” situation if there was some sort of malfunction in the nanobots. If they work right, the power should return with no problem. Rachel thinks that the potential of stopping the hardships they’ve all already experienced outweighs the potential risk of turning the power back on. Grace and the other Tower guardians doesn’t see it that way, though. Their leader warns Rachel that if she tries to go to Level 12, they’ll kill her.

Back outside the Tower, Neville is continuing his sudden rise to power. He kills the remaining high ranking Militia officer and rushes to make it look like self-defense. Jason hears the gunshots and rushes to the scene, and while he doesn’t really do anything about it (shocker), it doesn’t seem like he entirely buys the self-defense story. Now that he has control of the Militia, Neville wants to blow the door off the Tower and take control of that, too. Jason doesn’t like that idea, either. There’s lots of discussion about whether turning on the power would be too much of an advantage for any one Republic to handle, and there are accusations about loyalty. Again, shocker, Jason eventually agrees to help his father as long as Charlie and Rachel aren’t harmed. They can’t implement the plan just yet, though, because Monroe has been spotted.

Even though Grace is the first one who went with the “set the world on fire” rhetoric, Rachel for some reason thinks she is the person to appeal to for help. Rachel talks to Grace about when Danny was born premature and had to spend time in the NICU, and she talks about how hard she had to fight for Danny and how she’s still fighting. Since Grace also lost a child, Rachel thinks this appeal for help might stand a chance. It doesn’t work, though, so Rachel goes to Plan B. She chloroforms Grace and steals her key card. Aaron, meanwhile, is still learning about the Tower’s computers. When he designed the operating system, he built a backdoor for himself that only he knew about (hello fellow Bad Robot show “Person of Interest”). He thinks that someone else might have discovered the backdoor and used it to create the malfunction that turned off all the power.

Outside the Tower, Miles and Monroe take a break from their fight to hash it out bromance style, which was really a kind of funny undercurrent to what would otherwise be a very serious situation. Monroe’s feelings were apparently really hurt by Miles leaving the Militia and trying to kill him. Poor baby. It turns out that the reason Miles soured on Monroe and the Militia was because Monroe killed the children of the person responsible for the bombing that we saw in the flashbacks. Monroe counters that many of the especially twisted things he’s done have been for Miles’ benefit more than the Republic’s. Before the renewal of the bromance can be complete, the always hapless Monroe is captured by his own Militia and taken to the new Commander. Neville, of course. Monroe tries to intimidate Neville, but to say it is ineffective would be an understatement. Neville calls Monroe “borderline deranged” and (probably correctly) calls him on having an obsession with Miles. Neville is telling Monroe all about his plan to put him on trial when he’s interrupted by Jason reporting that the Militia has finally been able to blow a hole in the Tower door.

Inside the Tower, Nora and Rachel have their own heart to heart. Nora tells Rachel that Miles loves Rachel and always has, which to me, is kind of bullshit. Or if it’s true, is just kind of sad. Nora is a heck of a lot more interesting than Rachel. Rachel just sucks the energy out of a room. Anyway, the plan to get to Level 12 resumes, but the Tower folks run interference. Nora sets off a bomb to work as a trap, but she gets severely injured in the process. Charlie wants to take Nora to the infirmary to try to patch up the huge gaping wound, but Rachel wants to just leave Nora behind and go for the tower. So much for sisterly bonding. Charlie calls Rachel on loving Danny more than her and asks her to save Nora to prove her wrong. Rachel is incapable of showing any decency, so she and Aaron head for Level 12, leaving Charlie with Nora. Meanwhile, also in the Tower, Neville and his crew capture Grace and force her to take them to Level 12.

Outside the tower, Miles and Monroe are left in the tent, and it’s time to cement the bromance restoration. Miles tells Monroe that he couldn’t kill him because they’re brothers, then he unties Monroe. Monroe runs off, providing a distraction that allows Miles to reenter the tower. Miles finds Nora and Charlie, and he is horrified both at Nora’s injury and that Rachel left them. Nora tries to get Miles to go help Rachel, but proving Nora’s opinion about who Miles loves wrong, Miles refuses to leave Nora. He carries Nora to the infirmary, but by the time they get there, it’s too late, and Nora is dead. It’s an unfortunate choice for the one death of the season finale, really. Nora had a lot of potential.

Rachel and Aaron arrive on Level 12 to find Neville and his crew, and Charlie and Miles are not far behind them. The inevitable firefight ensues, Grace disappears, and Rachel, Miles, Charlie, and Aaron enter the main computer area of Level 12. Aaron sits down at a terminal and gets to work. Aaron succeeds in shutting the tower down, and we see a montage of the power coming back on all around the world. Just as it seems like things are going right for once, Randall emerges from hiding. He locks everyone out of the control room and starts sending out some ICBMs. That can’t possibly end well. One is going to Philadelphia (bastard!) and one to Atlanta. Randall spouts off some crap about having to destroy the world to rebuild it before killing himself. All hope might not be lost, though. Apparently the President has been hiding out in GITMO all these years and is emerging from hiding to actually do something.

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