Another week has gone by and you know what that means. We're back in the tall grass with Charlie, Miles, Nora, Aaron and Maggie as they navigate a creepy as heck abandoned amusement park full of crazy pooches on episode four of Revolution, “Plague Dogs.” This week we say goodbye to a show regular, see how creepy Monroe can be about eye-fondling Charlie's mom, and how many times Miles can try to leave in one hour. Let's get to the highlights!
We start out with Charlie running for her life (but what else is new) from a militia soldier. This time, however, the soldier is being lead into a trap by our entrepid Danny-hunters, who want information about Captain Neville's whereabouts. Miles is apparently so scary that the very mention of his name makes the militia guy drop all his information: Captain Neville is only a day ahead of them. As they take off after Neville, Charlie tries to get Miles to tell her about his past and the horrible things he's done. When she won't leave it alone, Miles explodes at her that he doesn't owe her anything and storms off.
Meanwhile in Lowell, Maggie and Aaron are waiting up for Charlie and Miles. Aaron tells Maggie not to tell the others about the pendant just before Charlie, Miles and Nora show up. They have a tearful reunion and head off together after Danny. Night falls, however, and as they enter a town, they are confronted by a pack of BIG dogs. They take off and lose the dogs by jumping a fence, but Aaron is bitten on the leg and Maggie shoots and kills one of the dogs.
Cutting over to Monroe headquarters, Rachel Matheson is deeply engrossed in her reading when Monroe comes calling again. He starts asking her about how her husband Ben knew about the blackout. Though Rachel insists that Ben was an algebra teacher, Monroe knows better—he was with Miles when Ben called him just moments before the blackout. Monroe steps out of the room and sends in one of his men with all kinds of sharp and nasty impliments—time for torture! Rachel, typically stone-faced, looks nonplussed. Ho hum, torture, then I'll get back to my reading.
Back on the move, Charlie keeps watch but gets the feeling that they're being watched – and of course they are. Nora takes Miles aside to give him a thrashing over exploding at Charlie earlier, and Miles says that they won't have to worry about it any more since he's planning on leaving. Nora accuses him of commitment and intimacy issues and Miles denies that any of this is his fault. When he turns around, Charlie of course is right there and he storms away. Cue WeepyCharlie trying to restrain tears. Off in the distance, they hear the dogs again and run for it. They burst through a fence and find themselves confronted with a creepy abandoned amusement park. As they get into the amusement park, the dogs cuddle up with Charlie's stalker, a grizzled creepy-eyed older guy with a knife.
On the road with Captain Neville, Danny warns the militia that a bad storm is coming. Though the soldiers don't believe it, Neville does and as morning dawns, it turns out Danny was right. Neville's column takes refuge in an abandoned barn. As they struggle to tie everything down, Danny gets left alone long enough to get his hands on a pointy bit of something to pick his handcuffs with. As the storm goes crazy, Danny manages to get his cuffs off and spooks one of the horses to cover his escape out a window. He looks to be home free when Captain Neville tackles him outside in the field, only both of them have bigger problems as a tornado bears down overhead. Neville drags Danny into a storm cellar under the barn for safety.
Our heroes continue through the amusement park when Miles realizes they're being followed. He doubles back and discovers their stalker is none other than No Name! The two beat the tar out of each other when Charlie intervenes. They take No Name prisoner rather than killing him to interrogate him about Captain Neville and the militia. Maggie confronts Miles about his past and that he's planning to leave. She points out that Miles should stay with Charlie, not to protect her, but to be “saved” by her. She tells Miles about her time after the blackout, how she walked all the way from Seattle across the country to the east coast to find a boat back to England. When she realized that it would be impossible to get home, she wandered until she found a lake she liked, poured a cup of poison, and prepared to end her life. That's when Ben Matheson found her and took her home. It was the love of Ben and his kids that saved Maggie, and she believes that same relationship could “save” Miles too.
We're saved from more awkward Miles/Maggie bonding time by more attack dogs. Everyone runs for an old diner to hide, but Maggie doesn't make it. Creepy Eyes has her and stabs her in the thigh. The others find her and drag her inside, but she's bleeding out from a torn artery. Creepy Eyes attacked her for killing his dog, now they're even. Nora and Miles go out through a vent to try and find Creepy Eyes while Charlie apologizes to Maggie for being difficult growing up and refuses to leave her.
Meanwhile, Neville and Danny are trapped in the cellar together. When Neville says he likes Danny because he reminds Neville of his own son, Danny won't have any of it. In his eyes, Neville is an evil murderer. Neville tries to explain that people did bad things after the blackout, and when Danny points out that his father remained a good man during that time, Neville concedes that Matheson might have been a better man. The storm outside finally gets quiet, to which Neville shouts, “Amen!” Then the roof falls in on his head.
At the diner, Maggie tells Charlie that she's going to die if they don't stitch up her artery. When Charlie goes to get the supplies from the counter, she's dragged into the kitchen by Creepy Eyes! When Miles and Nora get back, Miles releases No Name to help him track down Creepy Eyes while Nora stays to help Aaron do surgery to save Maggie.
Back in the barn, Danny was miraculously missed by the falling ceiling but Captain Neville is pinned down. Danny wants to leave Neville behind but Neville asks him what his dead father would think about him leaving Neville to die. That's enough to get Danny to free Neville just as a giant piece of ceiling crushes the place where he'd been trapped. Of course Neville just recaptures Danny immediately, but at least Danny did a good deed.
Creepy Eyes meanwhile has taken Charlie down underneath the rollercoaster and tied her to a chair with a crossbow pointed at her head. He tells her a sob story about how he had a daughter Lila and how looters attacked her and stole their supplies. He blames her death from tetanus on the looters and uses that as an excuse for hurting people. When he starts to creep on Charlie, asking her to stay with him and she panics, he says she's just like everyone else and ties a string to the trigger of the crossbow. Should anyone try to open the door, that'll be the end of her. Then he goes to take care of Miles and No Name, who kill him pretty handily, then head for Charlie. With her mouth duct-taped, she can't warn them not to open the door, so she tips her chair over just enough so the crossbow bolt misses her head by inches. Miles and No Name free her and they head back for the diner, using Creepy Eyes' dog whistle to call off the dogs.
Unfortunately, Aaron's impromptu surgery didn't get the job done – Maggie has lost too much blood. Charlie begs her not to die but she's already fading fast. She asks for her phone and Aaron hands it to her, along with a battered copy of The Wizard of Oz (see: Flashback section for details). As she fades away, she sees herself reading the book to her children, as they wave goodbye to Dorothy and her vision goes white. Maggie dies and Charlie falls apart in Miles' arms. Charlie cries that “everybody leaves her” and Miles promises to stay.
Meanwhile in Monroe headquarters, Rachel seems none the worse for wear for her torture when Monroe comes back. He accuses her of being so cold that she didn't care about her children at all when she left them behind. He warns that Danny is almost there and once he arrives, she'll tell him what she knows then or else bad things will happen. Rachel hides her tears well but the cold veneer she's held up is shaken. Too bad Monroe's too busy playing with her hair to notice.
The flashback epidemic must be spreading because this week not one but three characters decided to flashback their way through the episode. Charlie only had a tiny flashback, which showed the day her mother left. Her mother said she was going off for supplies for “a few months” which Ben seemed to understand was going to be more than that. Charlie tried to be strong but as her mother walked off without looking back, she breaks down crying.
Rachel had a similar flashback later in the episode from her own perspective when Monroe accuses her of not caring about her children. As she walks away from her family, she is clearly holding back tears. But where is Rachel going? The episode closes on a flashback of Rachel arriving at a militia camp where she surrenders herself for capture. The man who captures her? Miles. She asks him to promise that she'll see her children again as she's being put into handcuffs, but Miles walks away. More secrets for Miles! Wait until Charlie finds out.
The biggest flashbacks this episode however were the incredible foreshadowing bits of Maggie's past. First we see Maggie in Seattle talking to her children on Skype just before the lights go out. They're begging for a bedtime story from the Wizard of Oz when the blackout hits. Next we see Maggie in Buffalo, New York talking to a fisherman about passage into the Atlantic back to England. She walked all the way from Seattle to be told that nobody is going that far any longer and she's trapped in America. Next flashback happens while she's explaining how Ben and his family “saved her,” giving little flashbacks of her walking the country. Ben comes to find her by the lake and invites her back to his cook fire just before she's going to commit suicide. The last scene with Maggie and her children, as she is dying, may be less of a flashback then a hallucination from the blood loss. As she reads the Wizard of Oz to them, she and her children wave goodbye as she exits the series forever.
And so we start off by saying goodbye to Doctor Maggie, our resident British apocalypse step-mom. It wasn't hard to see it coming – Maggie wasn't even listed on the official NBC site as a character and seemed to be less and less important as time went on. Yet I will say that her exit story was interesting and the writers gave her a great emotional scene with Miles that foreshadowed her ending. The moments when we saw just what Maggie tried to do to get home to her family were touching. The show also proved it's willingness to kill off characters, which I can't say is a bad thing.
I will also say kudos to the great use of dogs as a plot device to get the character's moving this week and to Creepy Eyes being appropriately creepy. Aaron's choice to keep the secret of the necklace from everyone intrigued me. For a guy who is so scared of everythingit's kind of a brave choice. And speaking of secrets, finding out that Miles knows that Rachel is alive sets up some seriously interesting scenes for the future. And of course, we come to Captain Neville. How can I not prize some of his wonderful spouting about how bad things were after the blackout? If there were more scenes with him, I'd be happier, but his “Amen” with the roof falling on his head was priceless.
What Didn't Work:
For a pivotal episode, a lot of things didn't work this week. How many times can we watch invented moments between Captain Neville and Danny to give them something to do while the other storyline is going on? The whole idea of Danny saving Neville was super contrived and even Esposito's acting chops couldn't save the scene. Equally loose was the interrogation scene for Rachel Matheson. Could she have looked a little dirtier after supposedly being put to the thumbscrews by a torturer? Elizabeth Mitchell looked fresh as a daisy. And maybe it's a tiny thing, but Creepy Eyes' story about his daughter made no sense. The looters came and hurt her, but then she died of tetanus? It was so unclear and all over the place.
The emotional weight of the episode also fell very flat this week. The entire issue of loss and saying goodbye was so heavily foreshadowed that Maggie's death became too obvious. By the time she was stabbed, I knew from her flashbacks and conversations with Miles that she wasn't going to make it. It didn't help that Miles' fight with Charlie. which started his “abandonment” plot, felt over the top too. Charlie seems to alternately weep her way through any emotional scene or get bossy and loud, with very little setting in between, which killed any real power those scenes could have had. It's also problematic that every scene seems to make Charlie seem more bratty, whiny, or demanding as she swings from one stereotypical teenage emotion to another. When Maggie dies, the entire death has to be about Charlie as she cries, “Please don't leave me.” A woman is dead and it still has to be all about fragile Charlie. This does not a series heroine make.
Oh, and No Name is back. That's about all I can say about him.
What I'm Looking Forward To:
1) Catching up with Danny so Captain Neville and Miles can beat each other up finally.
2) Finding out how Aaron keeps up with everyone else and whether he will tell everyone what he discovered about the necklace, Grace, and power being available. And where did Randall take her? (Of course his name is Randall. Another reference to The Stand character Randall Flagg? Who knows. He's creepy enough.
3) Will Miles tell Charlie her mother is alive? Will Monroe and Rachel finally make out already? When will Rachel get face time with her daughter again?
Favorite Quote of the Episode:
“Funny thing is, I used to be a dog person. I loved 'em. I had a King Charles Cavalier. They called them the lapdog of kings. His name was Zoe. Sometimes he wore a sweater.” - Aaron
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.