Welcome back, Revolutionaries! We’re deep into the second part of season one this week with episode 12, “Ghosts”—and though the ratings may be slipping, the episodes continue to impress. This week Our Heroes venture into the heart of the rebellion to deal with their losses and find new purpose. There is mother-daughter bonding, new and scary allies, and some damn good sword-fighting. So let’s just jump right into this week’s recap as we ask ourselves: how many people can Miles Matheson kill in one episode?
The episode begins with Our Heroes burying Danny. He died a hero, says the resistance leadership. They want to get back to the business of messing with Monroe’s empire, but Miles tells them the only way to put Monroe down is to let him help them. In order to do that, he’s going to need his old buddies from way back when he tried (and chickened out of) murdering Monroe. He heads to a town called Culpepper with Nora to find his old friend, Jim Hudson. It also seems that Charlie’s having some trouble coping with her brother’s death and is intent on going out on missions and being tough so she doesn’t have to grieve. Rachel tries to stop her by playing the part of the overprotective, overcompensating mother.
Aaron meanwhile decides to take out the two Power Pendants (such a better name) and leave them lying around when suddenly they activate. Why, might you ask? Because the scary Randall Flynn has activated their tracking and is using Monroe’s forces to go after them! Flynn talks smack with Monroe and promises him everything he wants to take over the continent, then heads out to pay Our Heroes a visit.
On the road, Nora tries to get Miles to open up and gets zilch but the grumpy cold shoulder. Meanwhile a guy runs off and betrays their destination to the militia. Culpepper is a thriving little Stepford-esque community (which even has a library!) There, they find Jim Hudson—only he’s renamed himself Henry and married a woman named Sophie, who has no idea her husband used to be a badass killer for Miles. Hudson pulls a gun on Miles and tells him to leave. He’s not interested in any fighting.
Back at Echo Base inside an old hospital, Rachel finds Charlie injured and forbids her from going out on further missions. She plays the mom card once more and Charlie snaps at her about never being there for her or Danny and Rachel slaps her across the face! Score one for parenting skills there, Rachel. Charlie takes off and Aaron enters. Rachel spots the pendants glowing and realizes what that means—Randall is coming—just as the siren, triggered by an approaching truck, goes off. The rebels take off from Echo Base just as Randall and his forces arrive. Rachel, however, won’t leave. She is intent on destroying the necklaces before Randall can continue to use them to track them down. Aaron is amazed to find that both are USB flash drives, which Rachel dumps in chemicals to destroy. The tracker Randall is following fritzes out and he orders the building surrounded. It turns out he’s not there for the pendants—he wants Rachel and her giant brain to take back to his hideout! Rachel reveals that Randall used to be the assistant director for the Department of Defense and Randall has some flashbacks (which we’ll talk about shortly).
Back in Culpepper, Miles and Nora discover that the militia followed them and go back to warn Jim. When the militia rolls into town, Hudson walks out into the open street and Miles follows with Nora sneaking up behind the troops. Soon, the fight is on! Sophie watches her husband transform from mild-mannered librarian to a blade-wielding killer. They slaughter the militia but the damage is done—Sophie has seen the truth about her hubby and wants nothing more to do with him. Jim says he’s going with Miles since he has nothing left in Culpepper.
Back at rebel basecamp, Rachel gets separated from Charlie and Aaron and runs right smack into Randall. He takes her hostage and devotes a few minutes to monologue, telling us his dastardly plan. The man doesn’t want to turn the power back on completely—he wants to play kingmaker, putting Monroe in power to protect the world from messing itself up again. As they get outside, Charlie and Aaron manage to rescue Rachel and they take off into the woods. Our Heroes all meet up and Miles looks on as Charlie and Rachel reconcile. But Aaron wants to know more from Rachel about what’s going on. Finally, Rachel agrees to tell Aaron everything. She says that there is this place called The Tower…and that’s where the episode ends.
Randall Flynn’s Flashbacks:
Apparently this week it’s Flynn Theater as we get a look at Randall Flynn, pre-Blackout. Flynn and his wife get a visit from an army rep and learn that their son Edward was killed in combat in Afghanistan. This sets Flynn on the road to Rachel and Ben, hoping to turn their work into a weapon. He pushes them go faster with the project, and later in the flashback is seen ordering a virus’ to be released, then telling his people (who look scared to death) to activate the virus. It seems he’ll stop at nothing to make the world a safer place.
What Worked This Week:
We’re still moving full steam ahead with the new ’kill Monroe’ plot, and Our Heroes have certainly embedded themselves with the rebels. This is a great way to keep the plot moving, which I’m glad about. And it’s a return to our roots: watching Miles chop up things with a sword, which was one thing that made this show great from the first part of the season (before they rediscovered rocket launchers). I’m pleased as hell to see them expanding the cast with the introduction of Jim Hudson as a character, but only time will tell if he will be more than just a background bit player.
The biggest win for this week is the mother-daughter conflict/bonding between Rachel and Charlie. In the Smack Heard Round the World, Rachel exhibited the fact that she’s not the perfect mother, which helps to continue making her character feel very real and authentic. Their relationship also helps make Charlie less hollow as a character, and I look forward to seeing what this new Tough Girl Charlie brings to the team, besides the targeted teen demographic.
Another win for this week goes to the development of Aaron’s plot, finally, even though it was tiny. Aaron is starving for a place on the team and his focus on getting Rachel to open up has finally paid off, so perhaps Aaron can now become relevant again?
What Didn’t Work This Week:
Oh, Nora. Not only have you basically disappeared from the plot despite the heavy focus on rebel activity, but you’re so going to get replaced in Miles’ love life. The heavy overtones hinting at Rachel and Miles getting together has driven Nora to the fringes of any relevance in the plot whatsoever. When she does appear—desperately trying to get Miles to open up or, you know, use her as anything but a backup sword fighter—she seems lost in the shuffle of The Miles Matheson and Rachel Show which has become the backbone of the plot progression. This is a serious loss, as Nora could be an interesting foil for Rachel, but only if the writers continue trying to build up her depth and give her, you know, some lines.
Equally disappointing was the absence of Neville and Jason this episode and the woodenness of the Jim Hudson character. I hope he’ll expand a little if he’s going to be a part of the mainstay characters, but given that they still have yet to bring Jason Neville up to more than just a placeholder character, I’m not expecting much.
1) I’m still stuck on the whole Miles-is-Charlie’s-dad thing, but I’m more interested in seeing Miles and Rachel finally get over all this moon-eyes they’re making at one another and face their attraction.
2) Rachel is hiding so much, it’s hard to theorize about what her final part in everything going to hell really was. But I feel like she either made a mistake or purposefully sabotaged things—looking forward to a big reveal when she tries to get the power back on.
3) Apparently, the governor of California in this world is Governor Affleck. Would that be Ben? I love this little bit and I’m excited to hear more about it, but it could just be a throwaway.
Things I Can’t Wait To See:
1) Miles and Rachel finally getting together. The Kiss Heard Round the Rebellion: when’s it going to happen?
2) Finally getting a look at what Randall’s doing in the Tower! Rachel is letting information out so slowly, I’m dying to see how the power comes back on from there.
3) Monroe is going to find out that Neville is lying to him about Jason—it’s only a matter of time. When that happens, I’m expecting Neville will need a place to go. Can the man turn rebel, or will he keep Javert-ing himself after Our Heroes despite his son’s obvious defection to the other side? It will be like father, like son if Neville comes over to the good guys side, but he’s also seriously unstable. We’ll just have to see if it happens!
“Most people don’t have the power to give you a continent.”—Flynn to Monroe, on why he can get away with talking smack to the head of the Republic
“I’m fighting for your stupid rebels, what else do you want from me?”—Petulant Miles, when Nora tried to get him to open up and talk.
“So what are you now? Conan the librarian?”—Miles to Jim Hudson, on his extreme profession change.
That’s all for now as we wait for next week and more information on this mysterious Tower. Tune in as we check out episode 13 of Revolution!
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.