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Revolution - 1x13 "The Song Remians The Same" - Overview & Speculation

Hello Revolutionaries! Sorry for the late post. It's just been one of those weeks!!

First, you know how sometimes you watch an episode of a favorite TV show and then there are things that don't sink in until after a few days to a week have passed? I definitely had one of those moments after last weeks episode.

 Last week I touched on “Ghosts” title and meaning. I had been struck at how a library and hospital had been used as interior scenes, as the hospital in particular I found incredibly ironic when thinking about the younger existence of Danny. I also touched on Mile's love interests. The possibility of Charlie being Miles daughter, but also my fears about Nora's future given her hallucination sequence in “Kashmir”. What didn't dawn on me till late however, is thinking about these things in terms of Maggie.

I have seen so many comments against the Miles and Rachel possibility, but yet there really was no discussion of Ben's possible betrayal to Rachel by accepting Maggie, which I think biasly interesting! What I found when thinking about her (Maggie) is how well the character was used to string together the latest events.

The irony (much like this nearly useless hospital) that Maggie was DOCTOR (It's the “pro” side of technology), but also the way Charlie initially treats her in Pilot is near identical to how she has been treating Rachel. She point blank had told Maggie that she wasn't her mother, but Maggie insisted that she needed to help get Danny back for Ben's sake, as Maggie proves herself motherly, but it's all furthered by the fact that it took this invasion in the former hospital scene to bring Rachel and Charlie closer together and because looking at this all from Charlies perspective, one of the “The Stand” flashbacks points out that Charlie was already acting as mother figure towards Danny, even before the black out, as she was the one who helped him breath. Additionally thinking about Nora and her hallucination sequence (“Kashmir”). Her metaphoric alligator biting her leg is a parallel back to Maggie's actual death, as she died to wound being bit in the leg (c. artery) by a [plagued] Dog. In both cases we have an animal biting a leg. Obviously I don't know for certain if this means Nora will die, or just be severely injured, but in any case all these things solidify the writing from the Pilot to where ever we are going.

So anyways, now that I got that off my chest lets begin talking about this week's episode, "The Song Remains The Same".

This weeks episode begins with a three way conversation in Monroe's office between Randall, Bass, and Tom. Tom and Randall take a few verbal shots at each other, while Bass plays the mediator and sends Tom on an important mission.

The majority of the episode features Captain Neville, as Giancarlo Esposito does an incredible job at displaying the many sides of his character, especially a very rare side during a scene where he sits shotgun in a Hum V while a militia members drives and they listen to Lionel Richie, as Neville delights, and for one of the first times, looks genuinely pleasant. One wouldn't know that there is such a ruthless master manipulator inside.

Ultimately the rebels have a network of scouts keeping an eye out on the roads in the area and are aware that a Hum V is traveling through. Tom's musical escapade is suddenly cut short when an explosive hits the vehicle and he groggily escapes the destruction only to be greeted by Charlie and some of the gang. "You.", Charlie says as she looks down at him.

They take Tom back there base camp, where Rachel expresses her deep concern that Neville needs to be killed for what he has done. Miles and Charlie strongly disagree, as Miles plans on torturing him to get information he needs.

In the means other rebels have shown up which now includes Jason. He explains to Charlie that knowing his father has been captured is why he came and wants to have a chance to speak with him, but Miles cuts their conversation short and says absolutely not.

Rachel then attempts to murder Tom herself, as she brings Tom some food. Charlie catches her as she hits smacks Neville across the head with the food tray!! Charlie and Rachel then get into it, as Rachel tries to justify her need for revenge and that ultimately Tom is a guy who will find away to escape. It's best to kill him way they have the chance, but Charlie insists in taking the moral high code that they at least need to get information first.

Miles interrogates him as well, revealing to the audience that Tom was carrying 30 lbs of loose diamonds to try and trade for something, but Tom tries to turn the emotional table on him by making Miles think about his recent loss of Danny, trying to get Miles to over do it, but it doesn't work.

Later, Jason sneaks in to see Tom and they have a heart to heart or fake to fake about their relationship, only for Tom to try and get Jason to help him escape by explaining to Jason that Julie is going to be in danger. Jason frees his father, but insists that he goes with him and this leads Tom to reveal where he was going, which ultimately was tactic that Jason played very well.

It really was nice to see more of Jason in the episode and see that so far he stands for something true, but that he does have some of the skills that his father has and that makes him a more interesting character to watch.

With the whereabouts about's of a warehouse where some exchange was to occur, Charlie sets out with  Miles and Nora. What they find and bring back are schematics for nuclear bomb materials!

Earlier in the episode we also get  our first physical explanation from Rachel, Aaron, and a notebook on what caused the black out. It's these virus-sized particles like nanobots that could be programmed and allegedly have two current functions: Absorb the electricity and reproduce! The reveal takes me back to other things I have thought about during the first part of the season.

During episode flashbacks with people post blackout and even the way we see how blood thirsty some of Monroe's militia are, I had thought (going along with Stephen King's The Stand references) that there might have been a virus that actually physiologically changed humanity. I think it's more likely a possibility now since we now know that people are breathing more and more of these things in. It could then also possibly have different effects on different people. If that is the case, then perhaps this particle is playing to a second kind of "God Particle" and perhaps it could explain Charlie's capabilities, six sense, and connection to the after life/NDE!

One problem or curiosity presented from this information, is  what happens when there is no electricity left to absorb or how is it that we can breath in these particles and potentially not breathe in the ones we would have from the electromagnetic field? -Are they then also absorbing electricity from the sun (photons)? On one hand this might lead to plots where the characters might have to do something about them. On the other, if the sun doesn't play into it, then they writers might make a more spiritual statement as a supernatural phenomena in defying physics, suggesting that this "experience" is some kind f higher road for humanity where physics no longer matters, just the journey of the soul. Of course maybe there's a way we could just adapt???

Other scenes in the episode featured Tom escaping by being able to get that pin-like thing from the dirt to unlock himself, while he makes a backwards confession to God by telling Nora's friend that he wants a clean slate before dying, which it's more that he wants a clean slate after killing the two rebels. The scene was riveting and well choreographed!

Ultimately the episode points out the idea that there are still truths in lies or ploys, as Tom runs home to get is wife before it's too late.I have always thought of Tom as an interesting character, because despite being this ruthless killer starting the series perhaps on the wrong side, I do believe that he wants to stand for "something", but that Tom's problem is that he doesn't really know what that is yet, as one that was often picked on in what almost seems like another reality, has an opportunity to be the one picking on, and prove he's an almost infallible survivor.

In the end Rachel realizes now with this threat of a nuclear threat that Rachel must go to the tower like Aaron originally suggested, even though she didn't want to leave Charlie behind again. The others will have to go to Georgia to try an intervene with the parts Randall and the Monroe Republic need there. And it becomes clearer now that Miles and Rachel do have a past, which is more and more looking like a daughter between them, as Rachel tells Miles, 'he can't be the same man as before'. --That he has to take better care of Charlie, then he took care of her.

This is where themes of our episode title (another Led Zeppelin reference) comes into play. The idea of 'the  song remains the same' is that both that history repeats itself, as Rachel says goodbye and sets out to leave again, but also that the characters are all moving forward, as this is all we (humanity) can ever do and the continuous traveling themes goes along with 'a rock n roll' lifestyle. The title might also relate to ideas that humanities problems are "universal".

Additionally I would like to touch on Rachel's goodbye which seemed finalized  like she was going to the tower to never return. Given with what I said in the opening statement about Nora, I feel this is a red herring to put the focus of death on Rachel, as Nora has been sidelined for a few episodes now, which would make something happening to her more of jolt/surprise. Given the reference Stephen King's Dark Tower, it should also be noted that his work expresses the idea that the tower isn't the end of everything, but more like the center of the expansion of everything.

That's it for this week! Anything you guys want to discuss, sound off in the comments below!

The Song Remains The Same - Another Led Zeppelin song title making it the 6th direct song title reference, as there might be an allusion to 'A Stairway In Heaven' in "Kashmir", which would then make this really the 7th reference. Most songs presented so far are also featured on "The Houses of the Holy" album possibly playing to Revolution's spiritual and family themes. Note: Jason and Miles both point that everyone is a killer and/or that there are no good people. Charlie's intervention to stop Rachel from seeking revenge might relate to long term themes about "taking the moral high ground."

The Dark Tower - Stephen King continues to be referenced with this "Power Tower"!

All Night Long (All Night) - A hit single from Lionel Richie's 1983 album, "Can't Slow Down". 
The song itself might be ironic, as one could associate with Revolution's Blackout, being a night that ended the world, -a permanent state of lightlessness (electricity). Additionally even though the song is heard in a scene featuring Tom Neville during a scene of carelessness (one theme of the song), it might not just relate to his relationship with his wife and their son Jason, but possibly Miles and Rachel being Charlie's parents, as the song is really about a reckless/careless night of love making (which can be how we create children...) We have a very passionate kiss scene between Miles and Rachel in the episode and comments about Miles needing to take care of Charlie...

The Bad Robot Factor:
During the episode "The Stand" I was reminded of LOST episode "Left Behind" and again I see rather similar, but yet juxtaposed situations from one scene from LOST's "Left Behind" episode with two scenes in this episode of Revolution.

In the LOST episode Juliet is to bring Kate, who's been taken captive in handcuffs placed in the former Dharmaville game room, something to eat (a sandwich), but Kate, much like Tom, makes a play and attacks Juliet, who surprising is able to flip Kate back onto the ground.

The juxtapositions are that Juliet was actually being nice with no ill-intent by bringing her captive food (something Juliet did often in seasons 2 and 3), while Rachel very ill intentionally brings food as a cover to kill Tom. Additionally Kate is like Tom in attempting to escape (as even something like picking locks is a well known Kate skill), but in this case Tom is successful, while Kate in that case isn't, but it does remind us, give us a similitude that Kate, like Tom, is a great escapist, manipulator, murderer, and a survivor (although I would argue that Tom is far more ruthless/delusional).

Note: Tom is the name of Kate's first love and childhood friend Tom Brennan who tragically died in a car accident while helping Kate.

Another contrast is that often Lost had these interrogation scenes, and especially scenes with Locke dealing with Ben, Ben like Tom is able to turn the tables in attempts to get under their integrator's skin, as he tried to do with Miles, but failed. One time in Lost thinking of season 4 episode "Eggtown", Ben gets under Locke's skin and John throws a tray of food against the wall. It's ironic since Rachel uses a food tray to hit Tom with.

"I'm Going To Kill..."

--And, also because Danny may parallel Boone, Rachel had said in revenge that she is going to kill Tom Neville. After Boone died, Shannon said the same thing about John Locke ("The Greater Good"). (And after thinking Sayid, Benard, and Jin where killed, Jack also expresses a wish to kill Benjamin Linus.)

Notebooks (and/or manifestos) are also another iconic items that appears in Bad Robot works. (Ex Lost-Danial Faraday, Fringe-September, Alias-Rambaldi, Fringe-William Bell, ect)

One mild thing from Fringe, which I had mentioned briefly in the Pilot recap (and in comments before the show ever aired.) I had guessed, having just watched Fringe season 4 finale "Brave New World", that there might be something in particular absorbing the electricity, as this is what Olivia Dunham was being used for as part as of William Bell's plan to literally start over with a one and only third new reality---with no tech, only perfected dinos! The episode also mentioned nanobot technology in order to help this process. (Image tie-back Mr. X as William Bell with nanobot tech. Two images from two separate episodes, "Brave New World" & "LSD" combined in this photo)

It's unclear yet if these virus particles created to to absorb electricity have a physiological effect on humans and/or if they can be used to direct the electricity elsewhere, but it's something to think about, as Fringe's final season parallels and juxtaposed Revolution's first by sharing rather similar themes. And in terms of perhaps characters eventually having certain abilities

Came Back to edit, because it also dawned on me that we also have subject matter parallels too with Miles and Diamonds (which like helicopters and trip to The Radio TOWER) plays to things introduced/relating to Lost's fourth season.

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