Full spoilers in the review below.
Is this an episode of Revolution so compelling that I longed for it to continue well past the sixty-minute mark? After you've checked my temperature and examined me for alien mind control devices (watch those roving fingers!) it's time to accept that this show has arrived. Like the massive ship Spaceball 1, Revolution took it's sweet time moseying into orbit, but the outcome is worthy the time invested. So very much has happened to the faithful crew of the S.S. Blackout this week. Where should we begin?
This being Mania, let's start with Rachel, who has become Wolverine (or X-23 if you prefer your mutants lithe) through the magic of modern technology. Instructing Aaron on how to reprogram the Danny capsule from "sustain failing lungs" to "Wolvie berserker healing factor" promises us that these energy stealing nanites can do so much more. How grievous an injury will they allow Rachel to sustain while still surviving? Can they be programmed to grant other abilities like strength or flight? If they're currently programmed to repair muscle and bone, will they function like steroids, allowing her to become stronger than normal people? It seems as though she may have lucked out on their power source, since they steal it from the air around themselves soshe won't be required to eat a whole cow every time she heals from massive trauma ala Bloodshot.
Rachel is quite morally cold in her dealings with the sick boy and his father. Notice that I didn't say she was wrong, only that she's showing psychotic levels of disaffection. She was correct in her actions though; if they'd failed to save the boy with the broken ribs, it is entirely like the overly religious townsfolk would have murdered them in some vicious fashion. I'd have done the same thing in her situation.
On the battlefront, Monroe has moved on to drone strikes. As with all the other implausibilities, we're asked to let slide the number of pendants required for this scenario to occur (minimum two, probably three). The strike practically wipes out the Georgia-Rebel combined force, which seems odd since I was under the impression that there were far more men involved in these conflicts. The casualties are severe enough that the Georgian president is considering surrender as an option. It begs the question of just how many soldiers each sided possesses, or is it simply a matter of recognizing that they have no defense against further high tech strikes?
Confirmed: Monroe is a vicious, paranoid dictator who rules with an iron first. Miles knows it, all the citizens of the Monroe Republic know it, the whole audience knows it, and now Bass himself has finally been clued in. Of course, he had to have his very last friend executed to come to the conclusion everyone else already had. Jeremy Baker was a true friend, sticking to Monroe even after everyone else left the mad man. His point was well made, but then most are that cost a man his life. I kind of liked Baker, but life expectancy at the top of the food chain under Monroe isn't that long in wake of Miles' departure.
Miles chose Charlie over Nora, fueling the speculative fire of those who believe she may be his daughter instead of Ben's. It's still possible that Miles holds his promise to Rachel in high regard or that he is now possessed of enhanced familial drive, but the prevailing Vegas odds believe them to be father/daughter. I feel like that's too obvious at this point; like Kripke would serve us finer foodstuffs than that- but I could be wrong. Even stranger, I'm not sure which truth I would prefer to be the correct one.
The tender moment between Jason and Charlie serves more than just appeasing the young romance craving crowd. That knowing look from Neville wasn't a happy-for-his/son acknowledgement. It was a master manipulator weighing options. Don't be fooled by Neville's refusal to leave his sone behind to die alone on a battlefield. This doesn't equate to a repaired and health father-son relationship. Tom will likely lean on Jason's naiveté as an in to further his own goals. Hopefully this signals a return to a more nuanced Tom Neville, which was so very entertaining and engaging early on before degrading into snarling, one note villainy.
With only three episodes left this season, I expect one of them to falter as a heavy expositional setup while the other two soar tremendously. I could be (and hope) that I'm wrong. The next three episodes of Revolution are can't miss TV on the strength of the impending bombshell reveals alone. Hopefully they parley the sheer entertainment from these past two weeks into even more great content.
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Wednesday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.