Revolution’s fifth episode of its second half of the season chose a title that played on a double meaning pertinent to the journeys of all its characters. While it was obvious “Home” referred first and foremost to the childhood home of Miles and Monroe, it also seemed to refer to the underlying theme of all our characters searching for home – and for the acceptance of a family.
While the show has taken almost every opportunity since its return to shove answers and questions at us, mythology took a backseat as “Home” played more towards emotional character issues, concentrating on moving the plot forward. For most of the season, it’s Rachel and Miles who have been plagued by this instance of belonging thanks to their past actions. But it’s now Monroe’s turn to be haunted by his past, and as I’ve mentioned a number of times, I think David Lyons is one of the most compelling actors the show has to offer. I’ve not been shy about my desire to see him do more, and thus was pleased to see him take center stage.
The Miles/Monroe relationship has become such a crux of Revolution’s story that I always wondered if there was more to their history than simple sibling-like rivalry. At least part or all of that “more” was revealed tonight in the form of childhood sweetheart Emma (Annie Wersching), who, although engaged and committed to Miles, would up fathering a child with Monroe one night by accident. To be honest, from the moment that Emma brought up she had a son, I had a suspicion that it was going to be Monroe’s – still, it was a fun addition and since my unfounded prediction has been that Miles is actually Charlie’s biological father due to whatever happened between Miles and Rachel, I’d be interested in seeing the parallel dynamic that could come out between both friends ending up as fathers in a world where they’re marred by violence and sordid pasts. (Speaking of Charlie, she’s really grown, hasn’t she? As an actress, Spiridakos has grown leaps and bounds, and subsequently it’s hard to look at the war-hardened teenager and remember that the girl who boasted she could kill Monroe in cold blood was once scared of harming another human being. I can’t imagine that all of this sits okay with Miles, who is slowly watching his niece turn into a blood-thirsty killing machine in the wake of losses that have helped her harden her heart, similar to what probably happened to her mother.)
Up until now, our backstory on Monroe has been largely defined by his relationship with Miles. “Home” – which brought both Monroe and Miles back to their roots of their hometown – is the first time in a long time that we’re allowed a sneak peek into the life of Monroe pre-Militia. And although his relationship with Miles was notably present, the hour felt like a window into Monroe’s personal life in a more private way than we’ve previously seen. Lyons did fantastic work in this episode, from his clearly touched emotions upon seeing the flowers on the graves of his parents, to his nostalgic feelings at seeing Emma for the first time in years, to his cold detachment when he sentences the entire town to die – something that not even pleas from his past life sweetheart could stop. It’s interesting to note that while Miles recognizes his transgressions and attempts to apologize for them, for better or for worse, Monroe has accepted himself as the person he’s turned into – a general, a leader, and a killer. He seemingly has no qualms about the way he’s choosing to represent himself (he also doesn’t bother to stop the beatings of an innocent villager despite Emma’s protests) and goes so far as to cruelly tell Emma that she can’t see the best in him – because that person no longer exists.
After threatening Miles with both the death of Emma and destruction of his hometown, devastation comes to pass as Captain Dixon (Joe Knezevich) takes Emma out in an attempt to assassinate Monroe. While perhaps a bit predictable (especially in the wake of her comment to Monroe about her child), Emma’s death provided some nice emotional moments for both Lyons and Burke, as well as some added fuel to a conflict that I feel is building towards an intense showdown. We’re aware of the basis of the volatile relationship between Miles and Monroe, and we know how far they’ll go to attempt to eradicate each other. But what’s the best way to truly push someone forward in their quest for vengeance? Make it personal. And with Emma’s death weighing heavily on both friends, this is one war that is definitely personal. As the famous saying goes, “you can’t go home again,” and perhaps, for Miles and Monroe, that’s truer than anything we saw during this hour.
It’s also a sentiment apparently true of former Captain Neville, who a few weeks ago was seen fleeting the Monroe Republic with Julia in fear of what Monroe might do if he found out he was lying. If I spent half the episode wondering about the state of Neville, who has been conspicuously absent since his departure, I spent the other half being extremely surprised at the turn of events that led to Neville joining up with Governor Foster’s forces – and Miles. How will the group react to an ally that, at one time, was their one true enemy? From the previews, I’m guessing not well, but I’m also guessing that Monroe won’t exactly be happy about this development. Talk about personal! (And talk about flashback – when Neville turned around in the doorway, suit and all, all my mind saw was Gus Fring.)
As Rachel and Aaron continued their trek to the Tower (with a stop this week in the Plains Nations, reminiscent of a Tahiti beach town), they too came across a surprise face from the past – Aaron’s wife Priscilla (Maureen Sebastian), whom we last saw in the woods after Aaron abandoned her. Upon reuniting, Aaron is shocked to see that she’s with a “new” man, Steve, who she claims is her new husband. But it’s all a ruse – Steve is simply a bounty hunter, and Aaron uses his newfound kick-ass skills to rescue Priscilla, a nice full circle to the fact that he initially left thinking he was too meek to be of any real help. Aaron and Priscilla reuniting not only gave Zak Orth a chance to do something else rather than be a sidekick (finally!), it also provided a sense of closure for this particular storyline and helped tie together the entire “home” theme. I thought the talk between Aaron and Rachel was genuinely interesting, with Rachel noting that “you think everything will be okay, that you’ll just apologize and it’ll be better. But it won’t.” Whether or not she’s talking about Ben or Miles here (we’ll assume Ben but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Miles), it makes us wonder just how much Rachel really screwed up her life during and before the blackout. If the writers can keep catering to Elizabeth Mitchell’s award winning facial expressions, we could have the potential for one of the best storylines on the show.
Never failing to be consistent with the caliber of his acting, I always enjoy seeing Mark Pellegrino pop up and it was fun to see him resume his role as Jeremy Baker. Here’s to hoping we see him again before the end of the season.I like that the writers aren’t holding back the fact that we get to see all these parts of the world post-blackout and how people are surviving in different types of towns.Perhaps it’s just me, but I still remain confused on the relationship between Rachel and Aaron. We’re to assume that given the fact Charlie thought her mother was dead for years, Rachel had little to no contact with her family after she left them. It’s possible Rachel knew Aaron before the blackout, when she was working on her experiments - though it would have to be early enough that Aaron wasn’t married yet, since this episode makes it quite clear that Rachel has never met Priscilla before.
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