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Revolution 2.17 "Why We Fight" Review: The Stupid Selfish Thing

     Revolution’s last episode, “Why We Fight,” was written by Rockne S O’Bannon and directed by Frederick EO Toye. Both should now be familiar to viewers. Toye’s direction is excellent, and there were a few things I wanted to point out for special mention.

     I loved the focus on the shadows of Miles as Miles (Billy Burke) kills his way into town. I also liked the shot that had us either seeing through bars when we had Miles and Gene’s (Stephen Collins) point of view or when we were looking at them – a nice reflection of how trapped they are and are about to be. Toye also does a great job letting his actors tell the story with their facial expressions and body language. For instance, in the opening scene Monroe (David Lyons) tells Miles ‘I told you so’ with merely a look as they see Doyle (Christopher Cousins) arrive at their former hideout.

     As the episode title indicates, many of the characters explain why they are fighting in this episode. In almost every case the answer comes back to family in one way or another. Monroe fights to regain his republic for Connor (Mat Vairo). Connor fights for Monroe. Miles tells Gene that he’s fighting to keep Gene’s daughter and granddaughter safe. Gene wants to save everybody. Duncan’s men fight initially to avenge her death. Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) fights because she can, and it’s better than just lying down and giving up. When she presses Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) on why she fights, Rachel tells Charlie that she fights so that Charlie won’t have to turn into her. Tom (Giancarlo Esposito) is clearly fighting to save Julia (Kim Raver).

    The episode opens with Gene insisting that they can still win the townspeople to their side. Rather than let Charlie or Rachel go with him on his fool’s errand, Miles insists that he accompanies Gene. Gene goes to Marion (Reiko Aylesworth), who runs the bar and who turns out to be an old flame of Gene’s. Gene manages to create a seed of doubt in her. As it turns out, she is now engaged to Truman (Steven Culp).

    Meanwhile back at the camp, the group see a fire on the horizon and go to investigate. Major plot hole here – why did none of the Patriots come to investigate? Regardless, the fire turns out to be the aftermath of a battle between Patriots and Duncan’s vigilantes. Scanlon (Billy Lush) who is in charge is happy to turn over command to Monroe, and the entire group are happy to follow Monroe’s lead to keep killing Patriots. They attack the Patriots’ training camp. Rachel is not happy, but Charlie goes along because, as she tells Rachel, her men are going.

    Tom meanwhile has been attempting to get Truman to poison Doyle by pouring his own verbal poison in Truman’s ears. Tom keeps flattering Truman, but Truman fails to act, if he even ever intended to, and Tom is taken captive by Doyle who now plans to kill Tom and send back to Washington to have Julia killed, and use Jason (JD Pardo) for whatever he wants to.

    The raid on the camp comes just at the right time for Tom and just at the wrong time for Miles. The raid stops Doyle from throttling Tom and allows Tom to get the upper hand and kill Doyle. Unfortunately, the timing back in town results in Marion distrusting the rebels who’ve just killed many of her friends, and she reveals Miles and Gene to Truman. Gene is shot, but Miles manages to get them back to camp.

    The episode concludes with a member of Monroe’s new army decoding a message which says the Patriots are planning on taking down the Texas government and killing their President.

    There were several scenes that really made an impact in this episode. We see Connor’s reaction to Monroe and Charlie as they fight at the camp. He seems to at least somewhat admire Charlie’s abilities, but he seems uncomfortable with Monroe’s emotionless killing of downed soldiers. I had to wonder if he left Nunez, thinking things would be better or less brutal with Monroe. Did he think he was trading up from a psycho only to find he is still working with one? I also had to wonder given what we saw of Nunez, why was Connor surprised by the brutality of the fight.

    I loved the scene between Tom and Doyle as Tom taunts Doyle. It really does demonstrate that while Tom may do things in a sneaky under-handed way, he is no longer the coward we met in the flashbacks. He really has nothing to gain by just sticking the verbal knife into Doyle and twisting it. Esposito once again delivers an amazing performance and Cousins really delivers back as he lays out what he’s going to do. It’s terrific to watch two actors really take their performance to the next level by playing off of each other.

    Miles tells Gene that he doesn’t trust Marion because “people will always do the stupid, selfish thing.” This was another great scene and provided some interesting insight into Miles. Gene tells him it’s no wonder he keeps losing because he should be fighting for something, for a greater purpose not simply fighting against his own demons. Miles tells Gene that he’s already tried to fight for a greater purpose and it ended in the Republic and tragedy. He also confesses to Gene that he’s also fallen prey to doing the stupid, selfish thing. Is this an allusion to what lead to his trying to kill Monroe and leaving the Republic or to his entire relationship with Rachel? It’s also clear that Miles and Monroe have exploited people’s tendency to do the selfish and stupid thing when Monroe uses that philosophy to justify attacking the training camp without waiting to see if Gene and Miles were successful with the townspeople. Monroe was sure they wouldn't help, yet by jumping the gun, he ensures that they don't. At the end of the day, isn't fighting for your own family the selfish thing anyway? But is that the stupid thing to do?

    What did you think of the episode? Tonight’s episode promises that one of our favorites will fall. Who do you think that might be? Do you think this may be an indication that the show is wrapping up? I’m still hoping for a last minute surge in ratings and a third season. It’s possible that JJ Abrams may be able to save one of his ailing shows but Almost Human is also floundering in the ratings. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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