Continuing its dark road – as it has all season – this week’s Revolution picks up with our character’s current perilous situations: Monroe, Aaron and Cynthia in hiding after being attacked, and Miles, Charlie and Rachel dealing with both Aaron’s disappearance and the knowledge of the fact that Gene is a traitor. I really love the path that’s being chosen for Stephen Collins’ character – it demonstrates that the show is adding people that it cares about fleshing out, as opposed to just throwing random guest actors and additions into the mix because it might help the story along. To that end, I’m very glad that we didn’t end up killing Gene when the opportunity presented itself during the hour – again, it would have been the easy way out to give the “villain” a bit of a redeeming storyline and off him, but Revolution seems to be staying true to its commitment to be a drama driven by character and story.
Charlie spies on Truman (Stephen Culp’s) speech to the towngoers, where he essentially blames Miles for the town’s bombing and implicates Aaron as being a danger – Gene then gets up and corroborates the story, though he does issue a plea for the safety of his family, which allows us to sympathize with him just a little bit. For all his bad decisions, this is a man who landed himself in a less than ideal situation all because he wanted to help the people he loved – sound a little like another character we know?
Indeed, the issue of forgiveness – and trust – was a large theme of the hour, with Charlie and Rachel having a conversation centered on both attributes. I’ve been saying for awhile that Charlie, with all her bravado and rash decisions, may not be all that much different from Rachel when it comes to making sacrifices for the people that you love – but the conversation tonight made it seem clear that while Charlie has made some questionable choices so far this season, she still very much retains a sense of sympathy. Rachel seemed to realize this as well, admitting that Charlie was a better person than she was, because whereas Rachel couldn’t let go of her hate, Charlie still sought out the good in people. There may be hope for the last remaining Matheson child, yet! I truly love all these mother/daughter interactions, mostly because they give Elizabeth Mitchell so much to play with emotionally.
In a rather surprising move, Gene also seemed to take the “redemptive” road, becoming forthright in explaining his reasons for siding with the Patriots to his family. (Last week, we learned that in order to abate the grief of his dead wife a few years ago, he made a deal that would allow him to obtain medicine that would help the people in his town.) Later, he willingly gave himself up in an attempt to give his family and Miles a chance to escape when Truman and his men cornered the group after they tried to take out Horn with an explosive. Despite the fact that Rachel’s anger was enough to cause her to almost kill her own father, her good side – perhaps the side softened by Charlie’s resolve – showed through when she elected to attempt to save him at the end of the episode. I love the continued exploration of Rachel’s morally grey personality, and I hope it continues to get explored through this plotline.
The backstory on Horn was unexpected – though I figured that we would get some intel sooner rather than later, but I didn’t think we would be introduced to his past so quickly. (It makes me wonder for the state of his character – Zeljko Ivanek elevates the whole show and is just so good at being creepy, I almost never want him to leave.) It did make for an interesting connection to why Horn was obsessed with Aaron’s powers, however – originally, I thought it was because of the fact he wanted to use them to win the growing war. As it turns out, Horn was traumatized as a child by his mother’s death. His father forced him to pray for miracles, but when Horn’s mother died, he realized miracles just didn’t exist – medical science did. Enter Aaron, who apparently has the ability to not only heal himself but also to come back from the dead – as Horn notes, “a real life Lazarus.” We continue to learn, in a very LOST-like twist, that Horn is suffering from a brain tumor that will, eventually, kill him – in the absence of medicine, he’s hoping to exploit Aaron’s powers to save himself. I found it interesting that the show chose to go the route of making Horn’s motives more personal – again, it speaks to the fact that Revolution seems to be really trying to really explore its characters and develop them, rather than give them one-note personalities.
Elsewhere, the show finally moved forward on the Jason/Neville/Allenford storyline in a big way. Neville found his way to Justine’s husband, Roger, in North Carolina, and leveraged the capture of his wife in order to get into the commander’s good graces. Last week, Neville all but told Justine he should, in the words of Walter White, “tread lightly” and this week proved that while Neville may be quiet and trustworthy, his biggest tricks come from his skill to work underneath the radar. He manages to convince Roger to shoot his wife, in order to save his own reputation and give himself an in to work up to the ranks of power. Though Jason is still suffering from the aftereffects of his brainwashing, it’s a good storyline overall – we’re giving JD Pardo and Giancarlo Esposito something to do that doesn’t involve standing around and shooting guns, or being second in commands. I have to wonder how this is eventually going to match up to what’s going on in Willoughby, but I’m assuming the show is building to that climax in anticipation of a mid-season finale or a mid-season premiere.
- Is Cynthia a goner? She was stabbed in the last shot of the hour, but off screen deaths don’t seem to be Revolution‘s thing, Aaron also seemed like he had conjured up enough emotional stress to burn everyone around her. I suppose we’ll find out next week – it would be a shame if they offed her so easily, especially after we finally got a meatier storyline when she realized Aaron was the one who had (accidentally) killed her ex-husband.
- I was really thinking that with Rachel’s feelings towards Gene, we would be heading towards another predictable Charlie/Rachel divide where Charlie would (again) turn on her mom, and I was pleased to see that wasn’t the case. While I think there’s a lot to work out in their relationship, I’d rather see them continue to work through conflicts as opposed to having the same tired arguments over and over again.
- I want to learn more about Roger Allenford and the disconnect between him and his wife that so obviously led to him being easily manipulated by Neville. I assume most of it had to do with their son, Max, who Justine had mentioned being involved in the reprogramming center, but the conversation seemed extremely cryptic and involved and I’d be curious to know how the show is going to explore it.
- It seems as though Monroe is on his own again after abandoning Aaron and Cynthia. Bold move on his part, but how will that play into the continuing storyline? (His killing scenes, though – what a bad ass!)
What did you think of the episode?