For me, this was an action-packed episode that still managed to hit some satisfying emotional climaxes. The theme of family was carried throughout the episode. Both Jason (JD Pardo) and Charlie (Spiridakos) find their parents wanting. Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) being driven by revenge for Danny even when her living daughter begs her to stop, shows how destructive revenge can be. I felt this nicely paralleled the similar storyline in Supernatural when John sacrifices his relationship with his living sons in order to devote his entire life to exacting revenge for his wife’s death. It’s also a great scene for Spiridakos, in which Charlie really does come into her own.
It’s always a joy to watch the many faces of Giancarlo Esposito at work, but his best scene is when Neville finally has Monroe in his power. It’s a great piece of writing too. The scene harkens back to Neville’s backstory from before the blackout when he was a browbeaten insurance salesman. He towers over the captured Monroe and tells him exactly what’s been wrong with his performance – and he’s not wrong, Monroe has been “deranged.” Most tellingly, the first thing he says is “there’s been a change in management,” making the obvious connection to his corporate job before the blackout. He points out to Monroe that they have different leadership styles: “You frighten. I inspire.” This is a common management technique that continues the analogy to a corporate culture. Neville also points out that Monroe has “an erotic fixation” on Miles. This is also a shout out to Supernatural as the brothers have been told by one of their enemies that they are “erotically co-dependent.” It’s a nice parallel to reinforce the brotherly bond between Miles and Monroe.
Aaron finally gets to have his moment as he's the one to turn the power on. We learn that Ben may have actively been seeking him out, in fact. Orth is able to infuse his performance with a lot of the comic relief without resulting in Aaron simply being either a joke or a caricature. Hopefully, the writers will continue to do justice to the character.
What did you think of the season finale? I thought it did a really good job of closing off much of the first season mystery while opening up lots of possibilities for season two. I will say that I thought having the President still alive and hiding in Cuba was a little on the nose. It was recently revealed that Ben Edlund and Rockne O’Bannon will both be coming on board for season two, and both have strong personalities that should serve to shape season two. Let me know your thought and feelings about the finale in the comments below. I hope as well that you will come back in a couple of weeks to read my season end review as well.