Get current on all the action with our season-to-date recap!
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Tonight’s episode begins with Charlie Company stealing a wagon from some members of the Monroe Militia. Nora is not doing well after being stabbed by Hutch last week. Miles says they are hours away from help. Aaron, the former Google millionaire, keeps saying everything is going to be fine. Charlie scoffs at him.
Flashback to the night of the blackout and Aaron is in a limo celebrating his anniversary with his wife. The power goes out, their limo stops, and they get hit by a runaway truck. Aaron has been an underdeveloped character so far, but I like him a lot. I am glad that it appears we are going to get an ep that explores him a bit more.
We get to check in with Monroe at his base in Philadelphia. Danny is brought to him. Monroe apologizes for Danny’s father being killed and says Capt. Neville will be punished for that. Monroe mentions that Danny looks like his mother. Danny, who still does not know his mother is alive, seems surprised. The guards take Danny away as Monroe says, “Remember, you are my guest here.” Somehow, I suspect that being Monroe’s guest will not be all that much fun.
Monroe and Capt. Neville are talking. Monroe has no plans to punish Neville. Instead, he offers him a promotion to head up intelligence and interrogations. Neville seems pleased that he will be able to stay close to home and his wife. This will obviously mean that Neville will get to interrogate, and probably torture, Danny.
The episode begins with Capt. Neville engaged in an improvised boxing match with his men. He is whupping up on them and challenges Danny. Danny, surprisingly, gets in a good shot or two, but Neville ends up taking him out fairly easily. I wonder when Danny’s asthma is going to be a storyline again.
Flashback time and we get to see Capt. Neville in his past life as an insurance adjuster. He was too nice in granting a claim and his boss fires him. I suspect that life is better for Neville since the power went out.
Back to present day and Charlie Company has buried Maggie. Miles shows little sympathy. “It is just a body in the ground.” He wants to move on and catch up to Neville and Danny. As they walk through the woods… A whistle! Charlie does not know what it is, because she has never heard a steam whistle before, but it is a train.
Finally! A train! Electricity may be dead, but steam power lives!! For those of you who have not been reading the comments-section each week, plenty of fans who “love to hate” “Revolution” have been wondering why there were no steam powered engines on the show. I mean, it is not like the inner workings of a steam engine were lost when the power went out. There are many books that talk about it at length. So, why did it take Monroe and everyone else 15 years to build one? It makes no sense… but that is what we love about “Revolution”… I think.
Anyone worried about how long “Revolution” would last can rest easy at this point. This past week, NBC picked up the show for a full season. The assurance that the show will last at least a year may give the producers and writers the confidence to do some bold things with the story, as they don’t have to worry about week-to-week ratings quite as much as other new shows.
Of course, those week-to-week ratings have been really strong thus far so they probably were not worrying anyway. Also working in “Revolution’s” favor is what’s known as the Live+7 ratings. Those are ratings for shows with DVR viewing included. It turns out Revolution is the most watched show on TV in terms of people watching on DVRs in the days following its broadcast. The show adds almost 50% more viewers when “time-shifted” watchers are included. So, not only is “Revolution” kicking “Hawaii 5-0″ and “Castle’s” butts on Monday nights, it is doing a heck of a job from Tuesday-Sunday as well. Somewhere in Hollywood, NBC executives are sipping champagne and trying not to act giddy.
And, with that ratings report behind us, we go to episode number 4.
Previously on “Revolution” – The lights went out, cities and governments collapsed, and well-armed militias took over the world. We also found out that Uncle Miles was the founder of the Monroe Militia.
Tonight’s episode begins with Charlie running from a militia guard. Turns out it is just a trap as Miles jumps the guard and asks about Captain Neville, the guy who is holding Danny. Miles convinces the guard to talk by saying, “I’m Miles Matheson and all the stories you’ve head are true.” The guard looks worried and tells them that Capt. Neville is a day away.
Flashback time and we get to see Maggie talking to her kids over some kind of holographic Skype on steroids. Pretty cool technology! She is telling them to go to sleep and the power goes out. It is the night of the big blackout and Maggie is never going to see her kids again.
We begin with Miles, Charlie, and Nora on their way to deliver a rifle to the rebels. Miles can’t believe Nora backs these rebels. Nora questions whether Miles is really just afraid to take on Monroe.
Flashback to 8 weeks after the blackout and Miles is trying to get back to his family in Chicago. Monroe, who was just another lowly military guy back then, insists that he is going with Miles.
In the present, Miles and Nora arrive at the rebel “base,” which is just an abandoned restaurant (looks like a combination of TGI Fridays, Bennigan’s, and Houliahan’s… that’s the scariest sight yet on this show!). Miles introduces himself as “Stu Redmond” and says Charlie’s name is “Frannie.” The rebels are suffering. They ran into an ambush this morning and really took a beating. Miles says they need to leave soon because the militia could be coming.
As Miles predicted, the militia are questioning a captured rebel. Their leader is Mark Pellegrino who played “Jacob” on Lost. JJ Abrams has put several of his Lost alums on this show, like Elizabeth Mitchell. “Jacob” was the ultimate good guy. This time, Pellegrino is the exact opposite. He plays a torturous game of Russian Roulette with the captured rebel, trying to figure out where the rebel base is located. The captive gives up the base’s location, but Pellegrino kills him anyway. There are few characters of nuance on Revolution. Almost everyone is either pure of heart and good or just plain evil. Sigh, I guess they think the audience is too simplistic to handle anything more complicated than that.
Episode recap courtesy of Jason Evans @ WSJ.com: There was joy at 30 Rockefeller Plaza a week ago when “Revolution” debuted to great ratings. 11.7 million people tuned in a week ago, making it NBC’s highest rated drama in years. But, the joy was tempered with a dose of reality. The last time NBC had a show debut like this was “The Bionic Woman” in 2007. More than 13 million people watched that show its first week but “The Bionic Woman” bled viewers every week after the debut and only lasted 8 episodes. So, while the pilot ratings were great for “Revolution,” what NBC really wants to see is how many people come back in week 2.
And that takes us to tonight’s episode.
Previously on “Revolution” – the power went out and the world went to hell in a handbasket.
The episode starts with scenes 1 week after the blackout, 15 years ago from the show’s present. Elizabeth Mitchell is back on the show as Charlie’s supposedly dead mother, Rachel. I continue to think she will show up alive at some point. Mom/Rachel makes Charlie promise to never stop protecting her little brother Danny.
Flash forward 15 years and Miles is engaged in a sword fight with a bounty hunter who wants to take Miles back to General Monroe. The bounty hunter looks familiar to me… hey, that’s C. Thomas Howell! Miles wins and locks C. Thomas away, but you can be certain he will show up again soon.
Miles, Charlie, Aaron, and Maggie go to a rough-looking village. Miles is looking for some woman named Norah. Before he can find her, C. Thomas shows up again. But, instead of a fight, C. Thomas has some henchmen grab Charlie, Aaron, and Maggie. Miles agrees to go with the bounty hunter in exchange for his family being set free.
By Lisa Macklem: Revolution is the new show I’ve been waiting for with the most anticipation this fall. I’m going to admit up front that I’m a diehard Eric Kripke fan. I love what he did for the long arc on Supernatural, so when I heard he was teaming up with JJ Abrams, I was pretty much sold, sight unseen. I have to confess, I’ve been a big fan of almost every one of Abrams projects too. Sometimes having high expectations, however, can lead to disappointment, but in the case of Revolution, I got exactly what I was hoping for and more.
There were some nice shout outs to fans of Supernatural. Two guys driving down the highway in a muscle car with AC/DC blasting in the first five minutes had me smiling. The story begins with family members dying and others going on a quest to reunite with missing family members. Planes crashing shortly after that had me thinking of Lost. In fact, in short order we were 15 years into the story, and the pace barely slowed for the entire hour. We meet our main characters Miles, Charlie, Danny, Maggie, Aaron, and Neville quickly. Charlie and Danny lose both their mother Rachel and father Ben, Miles brother, in the first ten minutes. In fact, we only see Rachel in the opening scene during the power outage.
Danny, we learn, has asthma and this is a very powerful device for driving home the full ramifications of what being without power might be like. It’s easy to take modern medicine for granted, but for these people a simple asthma attack becomes very much a life or death situation. Luckily, Maggie has medical training, but the precariousness of their existence is obvious.
Not everyone has adapted to this new world. Aaron was formerly a successful employee of Google, yet here he is almost useless. Charlie accuses him of being afraid of bees – he’s allergic; there’s a difference! And in another shout out to Supernatural, Aaron bemoans the fact that with $80 million in the bank, he’d trade it all for a roll of toilet paper. In theSupernatural episode “The End”, Chuck advises a character in a post-apocolyptic world to hoard toilet paper. It just so happens that Chuck was played by Rob Benedict who was also on Abrams’ Felicity. Catching all the inside shout outs looks to be a great part of the series.
The story quickly becomes a quest for Charlie to reunite with her estranged uncle Miles to rescue her brother Danny from the militia that is being headed by her uncle’s former partner. One might have anticipated that these plot elements alone would be teased out for the entire season, but we quickly find ourselves in Chicago with a family reunion of sorts. We also learn by the end of the episode that the necklace Ben entrusts Aaron with as he’s dying is somehow connected to a mysterious woman who has a similar necklace and access to power! And wasn’t there a necklace of some importance in Supernatural too? While there are lots of mysteries opened up in the pilot, we also get a satisfying number of answers.
The show promises to have lots of satisfying action of all kinds. The massive fight between Miles and the militia that come to take him away is masterfully shot and executed. There is much to look forward to in this world where only the militia have guns and even they don’t seem to have that many. I see lots of sword fights and hand to hand fight scenes coming up and hopefully, this episode has simply set the standard. The special effects are top quality – the eerie shots of all things mechanical covered in encroaching greenery and half submerged buildings are very realistic. Jon Favreau brings his considerable big-screen directing talents to the pilot to very, very good effect. I can’t wait to see what next week’s episode will bring us! I do know that Kripke will keep this story on track. Viewers will need to pay attention to details because there will be clues left along the way that will be seamlessly woven in, and I’m betting we’ll get a great pay off by the end of the season!
Episode recap courtesy of Jason Evans @TVFilmTalk - Before I even start the plot recap, it is worth noting the Hollywood heavy hitters behind NBC’s new post-apocalyptic series “Revolution.” It was created and written by Eric Kripke, who created and ran “Supernatural.” Among the many Executive Producers is JJ Abrams of “Lost.” Some say “Revolution” might be a successor to “Lost” for fans wanting a show with a mysterious story line. “The Revolution” pilot was directed by Jon Favreau, one of the top directors in Hollywood who did both of the Iron Man films.
So, with all that pedigree, the potential is certainly there for something special… or at least watchable. Let’s see how it went.
(Note: I am doing a really detailed recap because there may be folks out there who missed the pilot and what to know what the show is about.)
We begin in Chicago in the home of a very typical family. The little boy and girl are watching cartoons. Mom, Elizabeth Mitchell of sci-fi staples “Lost” and “V,” is talking on the phone. Suddenly, Dad comes bursting through the front door. He has a big cartoon of supplies in his hands. “We need more water… we don’t have much time,” he says. She looks worried. “Ben,” she replies,” it’s happening, isn’t it?”
Cut to Ben’s brother, Miles, driving in a car at night with his buddy. Ben calls Miles’ cell phone and says, “Listen to me. It’s all going to turn off and it’s not going to come back on…” The phone call breaks up and Miles’ car starts shutting down. Ben is downloading something from his computer to a flash drive, the download just barely completes before EVERYTHING GOES DARK. By everything I mean lights, cars, phones, TVs, you name it. There is a great shot of the lights of cars on a highway slowly turning out. We then get a really chilling image as we see airplanes falling out of the sky and crashing to the ground in fireballs. Pull back to see the entire planet slowly go dark. The episode is less than 3 minutes over and I can already tell that Jon Favreau had a lot of fun directing this!