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Revolution - 1x09 Kashmir - Recap/Speculation



This week's Revolution starts with our gang 12 miles out from Philadelphia, comes onto a rebel base camp and pleads to make a deal: rebel assistance for General Bass Monroe's head on a platter. It takes the rebels some brute interrogation and convincing, but do agree to go along with it.  


Miles decides the best way is to go through the old subway system, but soon enough Charlie finds herself standing on a landmine! Nora has some experience in disarming them and offers to stay behind to help Charlie get off. Both Nora and Charlie encourage the others to keep going and get away from the bomb. The other rebel members do, but Miles and Aaron both refuse to leave Charlie and Nora behind.

Nora explains that although she thinks she has deactivated the the landmine, that she can't be sure, because in many cases, the militia put another one right underneath! She tells Charlie to step off the plate and then they all have to run away from it as fast as they can. 

Charlie steps off the mine and they run! Big explosions erupt behind them. Charlie and Miles fall to ground, as Miles tries to shield Charlie from some of the rubble. They soon catch up with the others and continue on there way.


Aaron becomes a little acquainted with a young arrow shooter rebel named Ashley. He engages in conversation about her age and asks if she really knows what she is fighting for. -That if being 19, she can even remember what the United States was. She admits she didn't, but she knew her father came to the U.S. from Syria to make a better life. A life about freedom and liberty and that she fights for him, for his dream. She in turn questions Aaron by asking him why he's fighting against Monroe. Startled, Aaron really for the first time realizes that is what he is doing.

Soon after Miles swears he sees a militia scout escaping through a service door, only to discover that no one was there and that the door is a closet. Aaron, notices that the torches aren't burning really strong. He believes the blast from the mine had sealed them into the subway and they were running out of air, causing Miles to hallucinate. 

It doesn't take long before Nora follows suit when they have to wade through some water. She starts screaming imagining an alligator had grabbed a hold of her leg and was trying to drag her under the water!  The entrance Miles was hoping for had been sealed off, and they are forced to keep looking for another way out. 

Miles then imagines finding a door into Bass Monroe's office where Monroe locks the door behind them and they come face to face. Monroe candidly offers himself as a hallucination and plays the role of antagonist in Miles mind to point out the truth that Miles fears this face off, because there's a chance that he could choose another go around with Monroe, and leave all the others behind, most likely to die.

Charlie hears Miles talking to Monroe and explains how deeply she needs him. That he can't loose sight now. That he has to keep himself together. Aaron then keeps seeing his wife, Priscilla  following him and much like Miles experience with Bass, Priscilla antagonizes him and makes him feel guilty about his decision to leave her behind, but also the fact that he is able to be strong for Charlie, almost suggesting he has deep romantic feelings for her...

Soon seeing the torches becoming brighter again, they are find an actual service door. The one rebel leader tries to open it, but doesn't, so Miles offers to try. Miles is able to get the door open, but not with out being the rebel leader being directly behind him. He quickly gets through, shoots a few of his former rebels dead, and rigs the door closed behind them, while pulling out his gun towards Miles. He reveals his true identity, a man once declarative by Miles, who had been in deep cover for two years and plans to bring Miles alive to Monroe. The two start walking away from the service door when Aaron is able to get through and knock the pipe that was keeping the door shut free. Ashley marches forward first and is killed, but Charlie right behind her is able to get a clear shot, but he also shoots at the same time, as both of them appear to be hit. The Militia member is instantly killed, but Charlie just grazed by his bullet, hits her head on the wall and falls onto the stairs.

Charlie then also has a hallucination of sorts, but is in a very comfortable place, back home, sleeping on the couch, and waking to her father, Ben. Charlie at first only mildly argues with him that he is dead, so is Maggie, and that Danny was taken, but she's nearly convinced that all of that was a dream, as Ben suggests she continues to lie down for a bit. -But Charlie can hear Miles voice calling her and she knows that her adventure and losses are real. She realizes that she cannot stay here. She tells her father she loves him that she is sorry, but she must go. Charlie awakes to Miles above her.

After three hours of rest they decide to head out and face their fears...

In the meantime the rest of the episode dealt with Rachel, as Captain Neville brings Captain Burke to Rachel, as a means for Neville to ascertain feelings about what Rachel is working on. She explains to them both that the machinery is an amplifier, as she demonstrates that the pendants are very limited in their wireless range, and will not be able to operate larger scales objects, like tanks, without boosting the range. Clearly she didn't convince Neville that this was the truth and so Bass brings back Bradley again and explains how much more cooperative he has been and that he is hear to see if what Rachel says is true. He says that she is lying and that the amplifier is actually a bomb! Although Rachel insists that the other scientist is lying. Monroe directly tells her she and her son are dead, because he doesn't need her anymore. Rachel swipes a screwdriver turns around and plunges it into Bradley's stomach area. She turns around to face Monroe and coolly says, "Now you need me."

My Quick Review:
This week's episode is by far my favorite of the series thus far! Not only was one of my favorite bands, Led Zeppelin and their Celebration Day tied into the episode, but this episode used other kinds of reality, such as hallucinations, to get into the head spaces of the characters and clarify some parts of their identity to us.  

The hallucinations when compared to each other I find pretty interesting and full of juxtapositions. Miles' starts out very similar to both Nora and Aaron's in the sense that he experiences something alive and moving within the subway space itself, as his first hallucination is a militia scout. Curiously, it terns out that the Rebel leader was militia and also looking for a service door. It almost implies foreshadowing and that Miles might of instinctively known, hadn't it been for the lack of oxygen leading to distrust his own judgement. His later hallucination is more like Charlie's in the sense that he comes to view another space out side of the subway. A space familiar and of his past in Monroe's office. There Monroe openly acts as his conscience antagonist, spelling out the truth for Miles that there is a part of Miles that is untrustworthy, as there is a part of him who knows and fears falling back in line with Monroe, which would lead to turning his back on everyone else.

Aaron's hallucination is like Nora's and Miles' first hallucinations, as his is confined to subway, but mostly like Miles second hallucination, in that the figure of Pricilla acts also as an antagonist and rips Aaron's choices apart, but may reveal to us that Aaron may very well have feelings for Charlie.

Nora's also confined to the subway, uniquely doesn't feature a confrontation or exchange with a person, but rather an alligator.  There are a few things that could mean. On one hand it might suggest that Nora is the one most in denial about her personal issues, as she couldn't even give her problems a face or a name, which is very strange considering she was just face to face with her sister Mia, or maybe it represents that she has so many problems that it isn't just about any one person, place, or thing. On the other hand I could see the writers using it as a foreshadowing technique, where the idea is that they don't want us to know what is coming, but to tell us that someone or something IS coming (Nora's father perhaps). Curiously it may also tie back to "The Plague Dogs", as Maggie was bit in the leg by a dog seems to be a direct parallel and maybe is implying death!? Of course I wouldn't rule out actually seeing an alligator either. Ultimately it could just be that Nora has a fear of alligators  but I like to think the character is deeper than that and the audience is just being kept in the dark intentionally.

When it gets down to it, Charlie's experience is the most different. First of all she doesn't hallucinate when she is walking through the subway, but rather closer to outside. And all though she shares an exchange with another person, like Miles and Aaron, her's is not antagonistic. Hers takes her to another place, again like Miles, but unlike the rest isn't fearful or directly confrontational, but warm and peaceful. In fact thinking back to other episodes like "Forged Heat", "No Quarter", and "The Plague Dogs" I had often thought there were situations presented where Charlie came off as a type of spiritual healer, as she eased the pain and comforted those, including Maggie, right before they passed on. Additionally I had noticed, with Led Zeppelin on the brain, that after Charlie was nearly killed by the bullet, she had hit her head and fallen onto a stairway where the light from outside shown down upon her. I was instantly reminded of the song "Stairway to Heaven". IMO I feel that her experience is meant to be more than a hallucination, but rather she was able to tap into a divine/heavenly/spiritual plane, and/or reality of sorts, "home", where she could communicate with her father and more properly say goodbye to him. To support this idea I also would like to look back at Maggie's death too. When she was dying she was 'flashing back' and remembering what might be one of the most important times in Maggie's life, when she was reading The Wizard of Oz to her kids. Maggie, although initially in pain from the wound,  really seemed to die in peace, because she was no longer in the corporeal, but rather experiencing visions of happiness. Lastly Charlie's experience differs, because she has to be the one to play the antagonist, as she has to tell Ben the truth and pull away from him. All in all whatever one wants to make of her experience, I think it's hard to deny that her vision points out just how different she is, and how important of a role she has to play.

Other mentions should go out to Rachel also! We finally see her make two rather gutsy moves with first the bomb and second the stabbing of her former colleague! It's that type of gumption that makes characters exciting. I have to say I miss seeing Jason and Danny, but feel glad that the writers have taken the time to hold off a bit on whatever their stories are going to be, because it's something to look forward to when we come back four months from now, after next week's episode!!


References:
Led Zeppelin: A late 1960's and 1970's English classic rock band infusing bits of folk & blues into their style, along with often poetic and spiritual lyrics, and is probably considered musically a big part of 1960's and 1970's drug culture. Our episode title this week is "Kashmir", a well known Led Zeppelin song about traveling down a road with a very straight destination that seemingly doesn't end, while constantly be illuminated in moments, where nothing is really as it seems. The song, which was one of two Led Zeppelin songs featured in the episode (the other being"Since I've Been Loving You"), perfectly matches this straight shot in subway on the way to Monroe where the characters hallucinate and some truth about whom they really are, or what they're afraid of is exposed to the audience, showing us vulnerabilities that make these characters really human. Additionally episode 1x03 was titled, "No Quarter" which is also a tile of another Led Zeppelin Song. IMO being a big fan, I feel good that NBC, J.J. Abrams, and Eric Kripke were able to use Led Zeppelin and become apart of Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day! It's one band that seems to have survived the generational gap making it really a perfect fit in matching and promoting Revolution's generational themes.

The Bad Robot Factor:
One direct reference was with Captain Burke. Elizabeth Mitchel played Dr. Juliet Burke on Lost and of course Billy Burke plays Miles Matheson on Revolution.

Bad Robot often finds ways to creatively look deeper into our characters by presenting other forms of characters and/or alternate realities. Whether it be parallel universes, two periods in time within or with out a time line or time lines, pocket universes, dreams, visions, polymorphic beings or technology, hallucinations, conscience mind sharing, or various kinds of astral projection, they tend to like to explore comparative reality to empirically and/or spiritually explore and convey identity.

In this case the "subway" played very much to the sub conscience and is something I just love. 


The subway was also once used in similar fashion on "Felicity" in an episode that should have been titled, 'Strangers on a Train', but was in fact titled, "The Depths". The season 2 episode featured Julie Emerick mad at Felicity for engaging and perusing Ben Covington by playing this horrible mean-lyric song she titled, "Felicity" on her guitar at open mic night. The two end up trapped in a subway car, as the power goes out, only for Julie and Felicity to share their stories to strangers while stuck several ours underground, all while the strangers judge them and more importantly, makes either of them question if they were ever friends at all. The episode then shares a few things such as music, the power going out, the subway, enlightenment, and two freinemmies confronting each other. Notably in season one episode "Spooked", Alana and Noel dressed up as Subway (the sandwich company) employees. It's kind of interesting when you think about how "Felicity" ends with the idea that Noel couldn't accept that Felicity might have time traveled and suggest she be confined for mental health issues, where Ben believes her and comes to rescue her, proving he has faith in her, regardless of the situation. Felicity ends back in the future, but it's left to the viewer to wonder if Megan's spell actually let her time travel back, or if it was all a mysterious fever dream, except that Alana was alive at the very end, suggesting we are left in a third iteration of Felicity's original time line!


Lastly Landmines have also made appearances in Alcatraz ("Paxton Petty") and Alias ("The Passage Pt. 2") -In Alias not so coincidentally,  Sydney, Jack, and Irina are walking through landmines in Kashmir!



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