Welcome back post-apoc fans to this week’s recap of NBC’s Revolution! In this week’s episode, we discover just how the militia came to be the way it is, how Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural, Grimm) can do no wrong and how, sometimes, Marvin Gaye can be the sweetest thing in the world. “No Quarter” picks up on our entrepid heroes on their way to meet the rebellion when a clash with the militia brings out some interesting information about the past. But no more hints and teasing, let’s jump right in.
The episode starts right back up after the events of “Chained Heat” with Nora, Miles and Charlie going to deliver their pilfered sniper rifle to the rebellion. Miles doesn’t get why Nora is so dedicated to the rebellion and wants her to keep the rifle, but Nora is resolute. They make it to a rebel base in an old restaurant and meet Nicholas, the rebel leader, whose close relationship with Nora makes Miles super jealous. Miles keeps his and Charlie’s identities a secret (best aliases ever!) and tries to insist that they should leave quickly. The rebels, however, have a bad turn and get hit by a militia trap. Charlie ends up holding a kid while he dies while Nicholas explains that one of their guys is missing. Miles tells the rebels they have to leave fast.
Not far away, the missing rebel is on his knees in front of Jeremy, the commanding officer of the militia. Jeremy waxes poetic about how difficult it is to find real bullets anymore while playing a one-sided game of Russian roulette with the rebel, who gives up the location. Jeremy executes him and relays his orders to his men: there will be no survivors.
Somewhere on the road, Captain Neville is reading a book (Iacocca: An Autobiography). A soldier starts to torment Danny – seems that the soldier’s best friend was the one that Danny killed with his crossbow during the altercation that killed Danny’s dad. The only thing keeping the soldier from killing Danny is Captain Neville’s watchful eye and the fact that Monroe wants him alive.
Back at the rebel base, Miles wants Nora and Charlie to leave with him since he knows the militia is coming to slaughter the rebels. When Nora won’t leave, Charlie breaks the deadlock by saying they’ll stay and help the rebels escape.
Meanwhile, Blackout Detectives Aaron and Maggie get to the house of the mysterious Grace. Too bad they’re too late – the door is open and the place is empty. When they search the house, Maggie finds a picture of Grace with two children while Aaron discovers a CD player with headphones sitting on a table, fresh as can be. They get up to the attic and find the place a shambles. Aaron freaks out with glee when he finds the broken parts of a computer, confirming his suspicions that Grace had power. He is determined to figure out how.
At the rebel camp, Charlie helps a kid with a broken arm while Miles continues to be super jealous of Nicholas. Nora explains that she joined the rebels for a guy, but not Nicholas – he’s a priest. The rebels are just about ready to leave when suddenly the militia bombards the entire building with bullets, trapping the rebels inside. The kid Charlie was helping dies and Miles orders the sniper rifle to the rooftop to hold off the troops. Meanwhile he and Nicholas go downstairs in the restaurant where he explains that the rebels will need to “Shawshank” their way out – they need to build a tunnel. Up top, Trevor the rebel rips into the militia with that incredibly powerful Marine Corp M-40A sniper rifle and Jeremy orders his men to dig in behind cover. Jeremy sends out man after man in an effort to make Trevor waste his ammo.
As the sun sets, the siege continues. Nora and Charlie bond over booby-trapping the front door and Nora explains what she meant by joining the rebellion for a guy. It seems that after she and Miles split as a couple, she and the guy she was with were attacked by drunken militia. Nora showed off her badass side by fighting them off, but she was five months pregnant and lost the child. She joined the rebels to make that loss mean something and so her next child (should she have one) could be born in the United States.
Back at Captain Neville’s camp, Danny gets woken up by the soldier who has it out for him. The guy explains that his buddy’s name was Templeton and he’s going to have to tell that guy’s wife that he got payback. He then beats the unholy tar out of Danny with a sack of something heavy.
At the rebel base, things are getting dire. Trevor is down to one bullet and the tunnel collapses. Charlie, Nora, Miles, and Nicholas try to figure out what to do when Trevor fires the last bullet and the militia advance on the building. Charlie wants to stand and fight, which Miles thinks is suicidal. When Charlie criticizes her father for the same mentality and calls him a coward, Miles explodes at her – which is mirrored by the explosion upstairs as the tripwire is set off and the militia bust in. The fighting gets intense as Miles, Nora and Charlie try to save the rebels. Jeremy ends up fighting Miles, who grabs Jeremy and drags him into the back room with the survivors. The plan is to trade Jeremy back to his troops in exchange for their freedom. Jeremy is surprised to see Miles and rats him out in the episode’s big reveal. “This is Miles Matheson,” Jeremy says, “commanding general of the militia, damn founding father of the Monroe Republic, second only to Sebastian Monroe himself. He taught me everything I know.” Cue WeepyCharlie being all weepy. Nicholas wants to kill Miles but Miles just wants everyone to keep on track about escaping because, you know, they still have a hostage situation.
As dawn comes, the militia starts busting down the door. Nicholas wants everyone to charge out, which is pretty much suicide. Miles instead has a counter offer – he’ll give himself up if everyone else gets to live. Jeremy agrees with the condition that they throw in the sniper rifle. Miles is taken away and Charlie asks Nicholas to help but the priest refuses, calling Miles a war criminal.
Meanwhile, back at Captain Neville’s camp, Danny gets another visit from his soldier friend. This time, he fakes an asthma attack to get the soldier close. He nearly chokes the guy to death but lets him go at the last second, then looks up to find Captain Neville watching him inscrutably. (Or maybe that’s Neville’s “Why Am I In This Episode Again?” face, who knows.)
The militia column marches back towards Monroe’s camp with Miles in tow. Jeremy sidles up to asks if it’s true that Miles knows about why the lights went out. He also explains that Monroe has been obsessed and much different since Miles left – it’s clear he’s worried. The column approaches a bridge when they hit a tripwire trap – Nora and Charlie to the rescue! They get Miles away and race to the end of the bridge. Charlie drops a bag as she runs and lights an arrow on fire to blow up the bag—and the bridge—from a distance. The three take off, separated from the militia by one very badly mangled bridge. Walking into the woods, Miles tells Charlie that he expects her to believe he’s a monster. When she says she believes there’s a part of him that’s still good, he tells her she’s wrong.
Back at Grace’s house, Aaron is super frustrated by his inability to fix the computer. He and Maggie sit down in the parlor while Aaron explains that the world going to hell is like fifth grade all over again for him – a world full of playground bullies that leave him weak. That’s why he’s obsessed with getting the light’s back on. Just then, the Blackout Necklace begins to glow and the CD player begins to play music. Aaron gets to listen to “Heard It Through The Grapevine” for the first time in fifteen years while Maggie pulls out her phone and gets a glimpse of her children’s faces for the first time since the lights went out. Then the power goes out once more, leaving them with more questions than before. So ends the episode.
It seems flashbacks are contagious, because this week it’s Miles and not Charlie who spends half the episode thinking about post-blackout events. We see Miles and Monroe at Parris Island Marine Base waiting for orders after the blackout. Miles, however, wants to go find his family and Monroe leaves with him, calling Miles “his family.” On the road they discover a couple that’s been murdered for their supplies. Miles is sickened by the whole thing, pointing out that things are going to hell so fast and nobody can fix it. They later come upon a pair of men beating another man off the road. Monroe wants nothing to do with it but Miles interferes. He pulls a gun on the thugs, who beg for their lives. Miles chooses to execute them for what they’ve done, to Monroe’s astonishment. Miles believes someone has to do something, or else there will be nothing left. They pick up the guy they’ve saved, and (big reveal number two) it’s Jeremy! So that’s where they know him from.
Okay, before I say anything else, I’m giving a great big shout-out to the writers for Miles’ choice of aliases. “I’m Stu Redman and this is Frannie.” Thank you so much for a Stephen King The Stand reference, guys. It shows you know what genre you’re working in and made me love Miles even more. So thanks for that.
This week’s episode built on the model of action, action, and more action and proved why this is really the Miles Matheson show. Billy Burke’s performance as Miles continues to be one of the reasons to stick with Revolution and his character has a lot of layers that make him integral to the plot without making him just an annoying plot device. Equally interesting is his relationship with Nora, who broke out as a really interesting character this week with the integration of the miscarriage into her backstory. It’s refreshing to see a female character being built beyond just the love interest trope, and this was a new way to show her emotional depth. And in terms of well built-in character ties, it was great to see the character of Jeremy woven into Miles’ backstory the way he was. Mark Pellegrino is such a fantastic actor and plays bad guys so well, it’s a pleasure to see him as the grizzled old student come back to fight his mentor. I’ll also sing the praises of Aaron as the engaging, rational science head of the Blackout Detectives, keeping the metaplot story going in the background while he spouts his reactions to the apocalypse. His story about bullies on the playground and the analogy to the world they’re living in was so well done. His emotional honesty as a character continues to make me so happy.
What Didn’t Work:
Unfortunately, Charlie is zero for three when it comes to being an engaging character. She hasn’t really broken out of her cry or react in wide-eyed disbelief mode for the last few episodes, and alternates that with being woodenly badass on command. I’m glad to see we didn’t have to deal with the mysterious No Name this episode, but I’m sure that’s not going to last. Also, Maggie seems to have been relegated to a two dimensional cardboard cut-out for most of the episode. She serves only to respond to Aaron at this point while he tries to figure out what’s going on. Her one shining moment (when she got to see her children on the iPhone) was so brief that it was hard to tell why she’s around at all. The same problem seems to be going on for the amazing Captain Neville and The Lost Plot Hook of Danny. The writers seem to be doing everything they can to drag out Danny’s rescue, but the whole thing is a waste of Giancarlo Esposito’s talent. I can only hope they utilize him more in the future.
1) Randall totally kidnapped Grace, of course. Now he has her necklace. Maybe he’s gotta catch ’em all?
2) The baby Nora lost was Miles’ child. That’s why she left him, and he doesn’t know.
3) Jeremy will turn against Monroe too in the long run. He’s made it clear that he’s concerned about Monroe’s obsession with getting the lights back on. I can’t see him sitting still for a continued spin into madness.
What I’m Looking Forward To:
1) More Mark Pelligrino! This show keeps bringing on great new people in tiny roles, but Jeremy seems to be a character that will be sticking around.
2) Reuniting Aaron and Maggie with the rest of the crew would be nice. It was great to see him and Maggie go off on the little discovery trek to Grace’s but I want Aaron’s snarky butt back with the rest of the storyline.
3) I can’t stress this one enough – more Giancarlo Esposito. You know, with lines. He is such a powerful character and a powerful actor that they’re wasting him reading books in a field all day.
Favorite Quote of the Episode:
“The kid was like the Mozart of wedgies.” – Aaron, about the bully in fifth grade
“This is so dramatic. You guys remember One Life To Live?” – Jeremy, tied to a chair.
Stay tuned next time for the ongoing post-apoc adventures of our merry band as we discover who might not make it next week in “Plague Dogs”!
Check out this map found by Revolution-Show.com of what the U.S. looks like in the Revolution World. Do you live in the Monroe Republic?
Shoshana Kessock is a comics fan, photographer, game developer, LARPer and all around geek girl. She’s the creator of Phoenix Outlaw Productions and ReImaginedReality.com.