Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Revolution Season 1, Episode 12: Ghosts

Danny and the other dead during the attack are being buried while everyone looks on in grief. Charlie looks on, stony faced and when Rachel tries to take hold of her hand, she pulls away.

Nora reports to Commander Ramsay that scouts from the other camps confirm no further helicopter sightings. He praises Danny – and Nora makes sure he does call him Danny, not just the boy. Commander Ramsay believes it’s time for business as usual which Miles calls “Losing.” The rebellion isn’t have any affect, it’s an annoyance to Monroe. Unless it does a lot more damage, it’s not going to make a difference.

How’s he going to do that? By joining the Rebellion. And first thing he needs is his own soldiers and officers from the militia – the ones who backed him up when he first tried to assassinate Monroe. Starting with someone called Jim Hudson. Great so long as Miles can a) find him and b) not be killed by him. Miles can manage the first part – 50%’s not too bad, right?

The next day Miles saddles up – and Rachel wishes he would hang around a little longer – not for her of course, but for Charlie. But Miles is having an angst moment – he’s made nothing better.

Charlie and the others go on to another rebel base and that night Nicholas takes Charlie on a raid against some nearby militia troops. Rachel begs her not to but Charlie has to do something and shuts down her mother again.

Aaron goes through their things and takes out 2 power pendants. This is detected by creepy Randal for Monroe, who can track them when they’re turned on – and he turns them on remotely. Grace taught him how. Monroe objects to Randal’s disrespectful tone but Randal says he can hand Monroe a continent with the pendants, more amplifiers and scientists like John.

Miles and Nora are riding looking for this Jim Hudson – and Miles is doing the “I’m sad and tortured but am too damn manly to admit it” thing and snaps at Nora when she tries to get him to talk. Unfortunately one of the people  at the camps saw him and tell the militia where Mile’s going and why. He gets killed by the militia for his trouble showing that he’s a fool and the militia’s not exactly intelligent when it comes to maintaining sources.

Interlude for another scene of Rachel trying to get through to Charlie and Charlie showing how big and tough she is now since she’s blood spattered and keeps brushing her own mother off. Miles and Nora arrive in Culpepper, the next stage in looking for Jim Hudson, the locals don’t seem to know him but the library – in the dystopian world there aren’t a lot of libraries – catches Miles’s eye and he finds Jim Hudson inside, under a false name of Henry Beamis. And he has a wife, Sophie. “Henry” makes noises of them leaving soon to his wife but when Miles is stubborn about it, he meets Nora and Miles privately

And draws a gun on Miles. Jim isn’t happy with Miles – he got Miles into Monroe’s bedroom, all he had to do was pull the trigger, instead he left – and left them high and dry. But Miles says he wants another go.

Another Charlie interlude, where Charlie shows how big and tough she is by treating her own wounds and, again, ignoring Rachel. Rachel says enough, she can’t stand the idea of losing her as well with Charlie going out fighting all the time – Charlie rejects that it’s her decision and when Rachel involves motherhood, Charlie asks since when – since she hasn’t been there for Charlie or Danny. Rachel slaps her. Charlie leaves while Rachel stammers apologies. Emotions are interrupted when Rachel realises the pendants are on. Aaron assures her they do that sometimes, but as one of their creators Rachel know that no, they don’t. The alarm goes off and a line of Humvees and trucks are approaching – Monroe has power again.

Back in Culpepper, Jim doesn’t like Monroe but can’t become the warrior he was – he’s a husband now, he’s making something good. Miles counters that his wife doesn’t even know Jim’s name and he can’t wash that much blood off his hands

At the rebel camp everyone runs but Charlie notices her mother is missing – she and Aaron run back in and find her pouring chemicals in a bowl to destroy the pendants – she knows Randal is tracking them and every pendant Miles gets is another war machine – and more dead kids. As Randal arrives with a pendant around his neck to track them, Aaron tells Rachel she can’t destroy them, they tried. Rachel calmly unplugs them, showing that they’re flash drives, and drops the drives into acid, dissolving them. Randal finds them and is not happy.

Flashback time – a year before the blackout: when soldiers arrived at Randal’s door to tell him and his wife that their son, a soldier, had been killed in action.

Rachel, Aaron and Charlie play cat and mouse with the soldiers, trying to escape the base while Rachel tells them about Randal, assistant secretary for the DoD and her boss (nice moment of dystopia with Charlie not knowing what the DoD is) and Aaron’s horror that she was building a weapon. Which is when Randal gets a megaphone to tell them that he’s there for Rachel, not the pendants.

Nora and Miles are disappointed by Jim’s no (Miles moping a bit) when they see the Militia arrive – a kill squad there for Hudson, Miles or both. They head back to see Jim and warn him. Jim blames them for leading them here and Miles wants to fight them off. Jim protests he has a wife and people he cares about and Miles angrily says men like them can’t have that – they’ll just get them hurt or killed – he knows (was Miles really that invested in Danny? Or is there more we don’t know). He says they’re killers, that’s all they are. And Sophie overhears Miles call Jim, Jim not Henry.

At Monroe capital, Neville wants to know why he has been sidelined and isn’t on the mission to retrieve Rachel, but Monroe gives Neville’s “bereavement” as the reason. Neville doesn’t trust Randal since he’s so new to them.

Which is time for another flashback, 1 month before the Blackout, with Randal saying they’re deploying the weapon in 4 weeks despite Rachel saying it’s too dangerous, they haven’t tested it enough. Randal will hear no argument.

Cat and mouse continues and Rachel takes a break for some parent angst about failing Charlie. Emotions interrupted by troops finding them and now it’s running and fighting time. Charlie with her crossbow and arrows manages to take out 2 soldiers and grab one of their guns (yes she has become rather more capable and ruthless but still has a troubled moment over the last corpse)

The militia killsquad arrives in Culpepper to find the streets deserted. Jim greets them in the centre of town. Miles steps out of the woods behind them when the commander asks where he is. He warns the captain to surrender, they have him surrounded – something the captain doesn’t believe and orders them handcuffed (better to have them shot but then we wouldn’t get all the fancy sword play). Jim turns pulls a sword and Miles starts slicing and dicing with his bared blades – Nora attacks from behind. Well, there may be only 3 of them, but he’s right, they did have the militia surrounded. Jim is distracted in the fight and sees Sophie, in a window, watching in horror. The captain notices and heads her way.

At the abandoned rebel camp, Charlie hands Aaron a gun but they’ve been separated from Rachel – and she is captured by Randal and his soldiers. Rachel agrees to turn the power back on but not working with Monroe. Randal doesn’t want to put the power back on – it was abused by too many people, he wants to put the power in the hands of the few (those who will definitely abuse it) and make a better world. As they leave the facility though, Charlie opens fire on them, hitting several soldiers and giving Rachel chance to run and the three of them chance to escape.

At Culpepper the dream team slaughter the rest extras while the captain breaks into the library. He finds Sophie and draws his sword to kill her – when Jim attacks him from behind and hacks him into teeny tiny little pieces. While saved, Sophie looks a little disturbed.

Militia body clean up time. And Jim tries to explain things to Sophie – who leaves without listening after asking if anything is true. Jim tells Miles that he’s ruined his life, again – but he will go with him, what other choice does he have (run away somewhere else? Just saying).

To the camp where everyone meets up again (rendezvous point) and Charlie and Rachel have a bonding moment. Charlie apologises to Rachel and explains how for so long (10 episodes) her sole goal was to get Danny back – and now she can’t.

Randal has another flashback to the night of the Blackout and them deploying the weapon in Kabul, telling them to use the weapon while holding his dead son’s dogtags.

Aaron sits down while Charlie is asleep to talk to Rachel, he wants to know what’s going on. She’s reluctant but he appeals to their old friendship, him, Rachel and Ben, and she says ok and starts to tell him about the tower.

Ok, while big-tough Charlie is really getting on my last nerve, my very last nerve indeed, and I want something to eat her I can’t entirely condemn her here and not just for a “everyone grieves differently” reason. While her behaviour towards Rachel makes throttling seem tempting, there is a point to her resenting Rachel coming back and assuming a motherhood role after years of absence. Even if that absence was beyond Rachel’s control, she has been away from, as far as we can tell, many years and most of Danny’s life and at least a significant proportion of Charlie’s.

I did quite like Aaron constantly assuming some kind of expertise about the pendants and every step Rachel quietly showing him just how little he knows and that, as the pendant’s creator, she knows far more than him.

I like to have some motivation for my bad guys, but, really I don’t think it was necessary to try and make Randal sympathetic. He wanted to make a weapon to secure power and now, in a new world, he wants to ensure only a select group keep power. He works for the DoD, this does not need a dead child to give him this mindset – or the DoD would have to have grief therapy Thursdays every other week.

While I like the addition of Jim and increasing the diversity of the show, I also can’t look past the fact Miles has swooped in, utterly destroyed his life (AGAIN) and dragged him off to deal with Miles’s problems. You got a life here, Jim? Tough, white guy got a problem, drop everything and move out – and be thankful Sophie survived because there was at least an 80% chance of her dying to give you a revenge motive.