Revolution's mid-season finale, "Nobody's Fault But Mine", left us with a Kripke-worthy cliffhanger, and
I'm pretty ticked off we have to wait four months to find out what comes next. I'm really hoping that the powers that be take a chance and give the show an early pick up because it would seem even crueller than that cliffhanger to keep the cast and crew wondering until well into May if they wait to see what the ratings are like in the spring.
"Nobody's Fault But Mine" was written by Monica Owusu-Breen and Matt Pitts, both of whom have already written episodes, and directed by Frederick E. O. Toye who is well-known from other Bad Robot projects like Lost, Alias, and Fringe. I felt this was a tightly paced episode, packed with a lot of pay off for viewers. Owusu-Breen wrote the other episode "No Quarter" that featured Jeremy and also showed Miles and Bass on the road after the blackout. Having her write more of their backstory and the climactic reunion between the two was a good choice. Pitts also wrote "The Children's Crusade" which suffered from some plot inconsistencies but did feature some excellent backstory on Rachel, and as Rachel was again a featured character in this episode, he was a good choice here too. There were a number of really outstanding performances in the episode and some great action sequences.
I'm hoping that we are going to see more of Mark Pellegrino as Jeremy Baker in the second half of the
season. He had only a few scenes here but was his usual under-stated best. He's obviously been vying for Monroe's attention and affection as a replacement for Miles and after tonight's episode, it looks like he might be stepping in to become Monroe's new best friend. I was sad to see Rachel kill Will Strausser. David Meunier was deliciously psychopathic and particularly creepy talking about Charlie in tonight's episode - he'll be very much missed.
I've never been a huge fan of Kim Raver, but I am adoring her in Revolution. Once again, she had very
little to do in tonight's episode, but she was brilliant as Miles held Julia hostage, and she tells him "I'm not
the beg for your life type." There aren't enough strong women on television, and even though I am sure she is going to be more Lady Macbeth strong than Mother Teresa strong, I think she's going to become the woman we love to hate. It's going to be interesting to see what she says to Neville in light of his capitulating to Miles' demands. I'm thinking she's not going to be very happy with him. Giancarlo Esposito also had some excellent scenes in tonight's episode. His faceoff with Miles was terrific as we watched his conflict over saving Julia and retaining her respect and his clearly hating to be made to submit. I also loved him in the scene with Aaron. His alternating between fanboying over having the wizard of Google, who'd appeared on so many of Wired's covers, and his ongoing bitterness towards someone who represented the management that had belittled him and bullied him is a great performance. Interestingly, Miles orders Neville to bring him Charlie and Danny, but not Nora and Aaron, who he does bring. It's been pointed out to me that it was just stupid for Miles not to kill Neville and Julia. However, I think it's a mark of how far Miles has come. He's not the ruthless killer he was and that may come back to bite him.
This episode sees Rachel finally reunited with both her children. It's interesting that she doesn't
actually hug either one. She tries to explain herself to Charlie who simply cuts her off and tells her to
essentially get a grip because they have more important things to do... like escape. Rachel remarks that Charlie has grown up and Charlie replies that "It's been a long trip." That remark clearly refers to the entire time Rachel's been gone, not just the time it's taken to get to Philadelphia. It was curious that Rachel was afraid that Miles had hurt Charlie, but there is obviously a lot going on between Miles and Rachel that we have yet to find out about. Miles is also obviously stunned to learn that Rachel is still alive, and there is clearly a lot that they would like to say to each other when Miles shows up to save her and she slaps him. It's unfortunate that they didn't take the time spent staring at each other to grab the pendant out of the amplifier though.
Charlie and Danny's reunion is touching, but again, I was struck by the fact that they both essentially
ignore Rachel. Danny marvels that his sister has come for him, and she tells him again that "Of course I came. It's my job to look out for you." The bond between these two siblings is a mirror image to the bond between the two brothers in Kripke's last show, Supernatural. Again and again, the older brother tells the younger that it's his job to look out for him until eventually the younger steps up to say it's his job to look out for his brother too. The co-dependence of the brothers becomes problematic, but they are really the only family they have. Revolution, on the other hand, provides a larger family pool for the siblings to draw on. In a nice parallel to the Julia/Neville/Miles scene, Strausser threatens to shoot either Charlie or Danny if Rachel doesn't agree to fix the power amplifier. Charlie, like Julia, tells Rachel not to do it, but she also steps up to offer herself as the sacrificial lamb. Here's a strong woman in the making that we can look up to. Charlie has really grown on me in the last few episodes and I found myself grinning along with her as she escapes with Miles at the end. Tracy Spiridakos gives a nicely restrained performance in this episode, really showing how much Charlie has, in fact, grown during this journey.
The flashbacks in the episode are all of Miles and Bass, setting us up for the big showdown between the two almost-brothers. The first flashback show Monroe and Miles pinned down in a firefight 5 years after the blackout. They are joking about ammunition getting short and that it's soon going to be rationed and they'll end up having to use swords like pirates. Ironic given their fight at the end of the episode, of course. Miles is shot, and while we don't see how this episode plays out, it seems that Monroe refuses to leave Miles even when he is ready to sacrifice himself so Monroe can escape. Yet another instance in this episode where one "family" member attempts to sacrifice themself for another. The next flashback shows Miles saving Monroe's life when Monroe, drunk and despairing over the death of his family, is about to commit suicide. We learn that Monroe, and likely Miles too, did two tours in Iraq. He is a war hero, but no doubt, also has suffered trauma from those experiences. Miles insists that he and Monroe have been brothers their whole lives, since they were kids. I'm really curious to find out more about what Miles relationship was like with Ben. Were they estranged for some reason? Did their parents pit them against each other? Consider Miles to be the bad seed, maybe and Ben the golden boy? Regardless, the final flashback actually shows Miles and Monroe as kids, creating the militia insignia out of a stylized "M" that stood for both their names. I can't wait to find out what turned Miles against Monroe.
The big standoff between Miles and Monroe really didn't disappoint. In an episode that had more than its share of great performances, David Lyons stood out above the rest. The scene in the graveyard was nothing short of stunning, and while you know we are supposed to hate Monroe as the bad guy, it's impossible not to feel sympathy for someone in so much pain, so much loneliness and despair. He was likewise terrific in the standoff scene as he tries to win Miles back. Bass pleads with Miles that he is more his family than Rachel or the kids. That it's always just been the two of them. He tells Miles, "We look out for each other
even when one of us screws up." Again, I found myself seeing shades of the brothers from Supernatural. Just as Miles feared last week, Bass asks him to come back to the Militia because "it was better. Simpler with you here." Miles appears to struggle with the offer, but I think that was more for dramatic effect than him really considering it. In the end, he apologizes for not having killed Monroe the first time, saying "You're not the same person. You're not family. I have a family. You're nothing to me." No other words could have hurt Monroe more deeply. Of course, that's assuming that he isn't actually insane.
It was inevitable that nothing less personal than a fist fight would do for the two to begin their
confrontation, but the sword fight that followed was excellent. While I appreciated the nice shadow work and cuts, I often find myself wanting far fewer cuts in fight scenes that are that nicely executed. But maybe that's just me.
In the end, our entire intrepid group manages to escape from the power plant and I found myself grinning
stupidly as Miles appears out of the smoke and tells Charlie to get going already. It was a nice nod to have Aaron play a significant role in getting them out by having to use the flint to ignite the bomb - harking back to his not being able to start a fire that way after the blackout.
Our final shot is of a helicopter appearing over the wall, powering up its machine guns as it faces our
little group in an open field. Any thoughts on how they're going to get out of this jam? What did you think of the fall finale? What about this half of the season? Will you be back in March? I know I will be!