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Revolution - 1x08 The Ties That Bind - Recap/Speculation

This weeks Revolution let’s us take a closer look at Nora Clayton. Our gang is in Freeport, 2900 miles away from Philadelphia, where they nearly get captured by the dreaded Stausser and his men sent by Monroe to retrieve Miles and Aaron’s pendent. They had an opportunity to escape, but Nora hears her name being shouted and that they have her sister, Mia. When she looks around she sees they have her sister, Mia, hanging in the middle of an open space. Miles forces Aaron to give him the pendant, as he prepares to turn himself in, but luckily it all serves as a distraction while Nora makes her great explosions! They are able to free Mia and make an escape. 

 Originally the plan was to use the bridge at Freeport, but clearly being a trap, and Miles fearing Strausser, knows that they are going to have to forget about their straight shot to Philly, and try another bridge possibly the one 100 miles out of the way in Morgantown. Mia, who wants Nora to come back to Texas with her, claiming she has found there father, is unsuccessful in her pursuits, and tells them she knows a guy with a ferry and she’ll take them to him. 

 Other parts of the episode deal with Captain Neville, who’s son Jason (Nate), has been detained and beaten for asking the stable boy questions about Strausser‘s location, is being sent seemingly to fight or go on an exhibition against another government in the California area called the California Common Wealth. Neville tries to reason with Bass, pleading that most militia who fight there come back dead, but Bass explains it’s either go to California or be executed for treason. At home Neville’s wife offers a solution, as their house made, Rose, found out Faber's son was apart of the rebel forces. Julia later also expresses concerns over Bass’ leadership, as she feels he has not been the same since Miles left the militia. She feels her husband would be a much better leader. She hopes Tom can use the information to give him leverage with Jason. 

 In the mean time our gang after shaking off Strausser, comes to the place where the ferry is suppose to be, finding the man who owns the ferry dead. Again Mia stresses that Nora come with her to Texas, because she finally found their father. Nora explains that she made a promise to Miles and to Charlie and that she can’t just break her promises, but Charlie, over hearing, leads her to tell Nora to go with her sister. -That she could be with her dad again, even for a moment, she would. Nora accepts and decides to go with Mia. She passionately kisses Miles goodbye with the implication that they’ll see each other again, despite Miles doubts. 

 After walking a little ways away they walk right into Strausser and his men. Mia opens her hands to reveal she stole the pendent from Aaron and hands to Strausser. Nora extremely perplexed just keeps asking Mia, “What did you do?” Strausser responds and says, “She freed you.” Mia tells Nora that she still bounty hunts, but recently for the Militia. She made a deal which included getting the pendant and leading Miles into a trap. Nora extremely mad asks if she really found their dad and Mia says no., but insists that it’s safer in Texas that no one is hunting them there, but Nora declines and leaves Mia behind to go help save Miles, Charlie, and Aaron! 

 Soon the gang comes under attack, Aaron notices his pendant is gone, and Miles steps out to face Strausser and turn himself in. The two have an interesting conversation about Stuasser’s past, being in a rubber room, and being sociopath, while Strausser insists that maybe there was something wrong with the world and not him, but the Monroe Militia has been “a healthy outlet” for him! Miles gun out of ammunition forces Starusser and Miles to fight. Nora, killing most of Strausser men is able to get to Charlie and Aaron and soon after Miles is able to escape with them only to come to a dead end, as the four of them are forced to jump off a steep cliff into the river! 

 Later Neville confronts Monroe and gives him the information he received. Monroe had not only killed John’s son, but also brutally killed John Faber. -But Neville still has to ask for the favor, before Monroe gives it to him, -but he does give it to him. Allowing Jason to be kept here where he can be closely watched. Starusser too eventually goes to Philly and hands Monroe the pendant. Monroe then takes it to Rachel who is working on some kind of generator or amplifier! The last scenes however shows us Randall and Grace. He tells Grace that he won’t hurt her, but she needs to something. In some underground facility Flynn has electricity and a map that shows when the pendants have been moving, and so he can monitor them! Concerned about the one in Monroe’s hands, he tells Grace she has to go and do something about it!!!! 

 My Quick Review
 Two weeks in a row we have had pretty good episodes! The execution of plots where well thought out and logical. The acting only gets better! The flash backs are being better placed and are doing a much better job with fleshing out the characters. And we’re getting a nice set of reoccurring guest actors. The mythology keeps moving too and one can feel a sort of crescendo coming with these next couple of episodes, which is when we begin our 4 month hiatus begins! Ack! 

 What’s great though is the continuous exploration of what family really is. In this episode we see that “blood” only takes you so far, when Nora seems to be character that most viewers would consider is trying to do the right thing. And given what we have come to know about Nora in some ways, just like her sister, is that sometimes she makes less than rational decisions. I think Nora wants to do right by other people and not only care for herself. I think she wants to better her relationship with Miles. She is someone that sees the good in him. 

 Really, “The Children’s Crusade” was a nice launching pad into Nora’s back story, as we continue to see a theme of children raising children in this brave new world. I can only speculate that Charlie being so understanding of this situation is also going to turn on it’s head when she learns the truth that her mother is alive. I can see Charlie struggling with her mother’s identity and the reasons Rachel did what she did, in addition to the fact that Miles may know things about Rachel, (like the meeting they had when Rachel left her husband and children) that Miles kept something like this from her a secret. (and could be a juxtaposition to Nora lying to Mia about her mother’s death.). It will be interesting to see how this family deals with the choices that lie ahead and if they will remain loyal to each other or not? 

 I also like our story line with Tom, Julia, and Jason. This is the first episode where I can more honestly say, I feel for Neville. Giancarlo Esposito continues to shine in this complicated role, where although villainous, there are elements of a very human character, who one can hardly blame for some of his choices, despite still have some major problems. -But Julia too is becoming a more intriguing character. In this episode she seems to be the one doing the pushing for Neville, striving for him to achieve some great status. To me it is unclear what Julia’s real motives are, but she definitely gave me an untrustworthy feeling , very opposite to her first appearance back in “No Quarter”. I worry for Tom and Jason, because I think staying put in Philadelphia is Bass Monroe’s way of saying, “check mate.” I ultimately hope to see Tom make some unselfish choice when it comes to his son, Danny, and/or Charlie. I think there is a part of him who believes he has been doing the right things, but another part that is starting to realize that he has become the kind of person he might have once hated. 

 The Bad Robot Factor: 
One direct parallel immediately came to mind when in the flashback a man enters Nora and Mia’s bedroom, as they hide under the bed. A very similar flashback exists in Lost in relation to James “Sawyer” Ford, when his father came home one night very angry, because he found out his wife (James’ mother) had an affair with Anthony Cooper, whom was in alias as “Sawyer”. James mother tells him to hide under the bed. James witnesses the sounds of his father killing his mother and then coming his bed room, sitting on his bed and shooting himself. It really is a juxtaposition, as we don’t hear gunshots, there are two children whom are girls, and we don’t know for sure who had, or how Nora and Mia’s mother was killed, but because of the similarity, it could be that the man that entered their bed room was their father, and perhaps he was involved in killing their mother?! Additionally for James this event is what sets him to become a confidence man, and become like the man he feels is responsible for the death of his parents. 

Mia in her own way gave off a little bit of an Anna Lucia Cortez vibe with certain personality traits and profession of being a bounty hunter, as bounty hunter is like a law enforcement official gone rogue, but really it’s both Nora and Mia together that might be reminiscent to Ana Lucia, because they are both struggling, but Nora, even more so than Charlie, was/is in a motherly role, which could also parallel them to Ana Lucia’s relationship with her mother, since Ana’s story derives from that relationship. 

Ana Lucia: When I tell you to do something you do it. I say "move", you move. I say "stop", you stop. I say "jump", what do you say? 
Sawyer:  You first. 

A few cliff-riffs can be made with Lost and Fringe, as Miles, Nora, Charlie, and Aaron jump over a cliff into a body of water. In Lost - Sawyer and Kate in “Whatever the Case May Be“ and “The End“. Fringe - Olivia Liberty Island escape in “Olivia”.  Additionally there is a time in Lost where Hugo is also lead to the edge of cliff, but is saved by Libby.

Revolution’s Julia Neville (Kim Raver) is very reminiscent to Alias psychologist Dr. Judy Barnett (Patricia Wettig) There is something not only in appearance, but in the actresses dialect and demeanor that are similar.  

Rose, and variations of it,  is a reoccurring name. Lost - Rose Nadler and Santa Rosa. Fringe - Rose Brothers and Rosencrantz, Alias - “The Rose”. 

Julia and variations are also reoccurring names: 
Felicity - Julie Emrick. 
Alias - Julian Sark, Julia Thorn. 
Lost - Juliet Burke, Julian Carlson. 

And lastly, although I have mentioned this before, I feel some elements of Alcatraz spilled over into Revolution. Besides the more obvious Madsen to Matheson family saga name coincidence, we now know these medallions are made out of something super strong. In Alcatraz before it was cancelled, we just had started learning that some of the inmates, including Tommy Madsen, had been infused with “colloidal silver”, a type of liquid metal alloy that gave Tommy longevity with VERY fast healing properties with other possible super strength or immortal abilities, but in the season 1 finale we finally have the “keys” (which we could say the 12 pendants are like keys that unlock something all together), to unlock a mysterious door. Behind it we find a man, a scientist named Mr. K, and world map that can track the inmates through the metal alloy in their bodies! It is very similar concept in being able to track down the medallions! Both of these places and maps look like “secret control rooms”.

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