Last week the penultimate episode for Revolution’s mid season finale aired. Wait. Did I just write that? I HATE that word!
Regardless, the episode before the mid season finale aired. Things are really cranking up! Monroe has given Rachel a pendant to weaponize. Neville is smarmy. Miles gets resourceful, and we find out the rebels aren’t very trustworthy, either. Oh, and Led Zeppelin rocked on...I am listening to them now, while I am writing this actually.
I was very curious as to how Led Zeppelin music would be used with the whole “blackout” thing. I figured it would be used in flashbacks. But it wasn’t, and I think that is one of the things that I am truly enjoying about the show. Certain points are foreseeable. Like maybe we should have known that guy was undercover Militia because he was wearing long sleeves and so we didn’t see if he had that Militia brand. The leader who wanted to kill Miles had his sleeves rolled up. No Militia brand...But there are other points where the show really keeps us guessing. In LOST we got tons of flashbacks, and maybe I figured that we would get a lot of flashbacks because the blackout happened and then there was 15 years and then the story started, so there is a lot of backstory to get out. The writers are being way more creative than just throwing an other Kripke-ized LOST at us. We are getting these backstories in more ways than just in flashback form, and we see how these people are living with their past, as opposed to on LOST where for the most part everyone was running from it.
Writing this episode was Jim Barnes, who has also written a couple of episodes of Nikita. Again, we saw a lot of action and forward movement of the plot. Directing was Charles Beeson, who at this point needs no introduction, he has directed a third of the episodes that have aired!
Philadelphia is a fortress, and our little mismatched group needs help. Nora decides to try to get the local rebel installment to assist them. Reluctantly they agree to send a few troops--after all, if the ex-General of the Militia can’t help them behead the monster, who can? But even so, going up against Monroe in the capital city is not going to be easy--and may not even be doable. The only way to hope for any element of surprise is to take the Express Train tunnels into the city...which proves hazardous in its own right...Meanwhile Monroe is closer than ever to getting his army fully assembled for battle...or is he?
And on to the analysis…
Fun fact--my top five Led Zeppelin songs form a sentence with very few added conjunctions. I was writing up a list and then went back and looked at it...and, well, see for yourself:
- Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
- In the Evening
- When the Levee Breaks
- Ramble On
- The Song Remains the Same
So that would make it: Babe, I’m gonna leave you, in the evening, when the levee breaks, I’m gonna ramble on because the song remains the same. Probably says way too much about my personality...But back when I was in high school and college, my favorite Led Zeppelin song was Kashmir. Until I overplayed it. You can imagine my joy when Miles in his hallucinatory state sees Monroe’s office and “Kashmir” is playing. And they hug. A warm embrace, nothing held back (at least on Monroe’s part, Miles is a bit shocked) and just like that I shipped Miroe. That is another story though.
Ahem. As far as “Kashmir” is concerned, I’ve always loved the song and the words, although I never had a clue what Bobby and the boys were trying to tell us. Thankfully, wikipedia had some ideas, which oddly enough have nothing to do with the actual location of Kashmir. Apparently the words were inspired by a long drive through the wastelands of Southern Morocco...In in the mid 70s when the words were penned, no one in Led Zeppelin had ever been to Kashmir...But we can’t deny that there is the journeying to a show element of this episode. The obstacles in the road, the performance anxiety (heh, heh). The other interesting element, and I am probably doing some of my reading too much into things thing, but Kashmir itself has been in hot dispute for a very long time. There have been at least three full on Indo-Pakistani wars--1947, 1965 and 1999, and unrest disrupted again in 2009 and 2010. Lots of conflicts over which lands belong to whom. Underground groups adding to the unrest...Hmmmmm....So the title of the episode works on a couple levels.
I loved that the Led Zeppelin music was in current time. In the episode we heard “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “Kashmir”. “Kashmir” was heard in the hallucination sequence with Miles and Bass. See what I did there? I’ve been calling him Monroe pretty much exclusively almost always, but in flashbacks, or in this hallucination, we see Bass. The man he was before he became a tyrant. The man that Rachel tries to find whenever she softly calls him Bass. She most likely does this in some attempt to remind him of who he was. I love that we can see two completely different men in Sebastian Monroe. I also love how I now have a new man to fantasize about. I really think it is a credit to Australian actor David Lyons that we can see this depth of character. Even when he isn’t saying much, his whole demeanor is so different. We saw it briefly with the flashback earlier this season in “No Quarter” with Jeremy, but this episode, we saw a carefree Bass in Miles’ hallucination. It’s hard seeing how Monroe is now to image that Miles would want to go back into that. How could Miles even be entertaining that possibility? But when we see him with Bass, we see the man Sebastian was before he and Miles started this endeavor. The weight of responsibility, circumstance has changed Bass. In the flashbacks and in Miles’ hallucination, we see why Miles would be conflicted.
Nora also tells Charlie a bit more about Miles and Bass. We knew they were best friends. We didn’t know Miles tried to kill Bass but couldn’t pull the trigger. This goes a long way toward explaining why Miles was hiding out in Chicago. Miles and Bass are like brothers. As bad as it has gotten, as far down the road as Bass seems to have gone, a part of Miles can’t give up on him. We see him drinking before they take off for Philly, Miles is stammering, scared, conflicted. How can he kill Bass?
The more I think about this, the more it reminds me of Season Two of Supernatural, where Dean had what their father told him hanging over his head--that he might have to kill Sam. No matter how bad Sam got, Dean just would not kill his little brother. I see that kind of devotion here between Miles and Bass. Even the big/little brother thing. And guys, Miles and Bass are not blood brothers, so ship away!
But what does this mean for them? I mean I really love this conflicted-is-he-really-bad villain idea! In this episode a feeling came over me. I realized I don’t want Miles to kill Monroe any more than Miles wants to kill Monroe. I really am loving Monroe and all his complexities. I love Miles and all his attempts to simplify things. Really, their story is keeping me on the edge of my seat every week. I want them to do this dance (and maybe some swordplay, too) for a long time.
In case you didn’t notice, this episode made me fall in love a little with David Lyons. I can’t even explain how upset I am that we only get one more episode and then no new episode until March!
This is getting a little out of control. But, I have ANOTHER sonnet:
A Sonnet To Sebastian
Oh Bass, your tortured self makes my heart sing
it is not something that I wanted now.
It is to Miles I want arms to cling
But so conflicted am I by this show
Because he’s like a bro you took his cause
The safety of his fam was yours to keep
And so to this effect you made the laws
But burden weighed enough to make one weep
And then your best friend tried to end your life
the paranoia grew without your post
and its your lead commander’s two-faced wife
with whom you really should fear now the most
And now I must admit I want to see
Miles and Bass with swords they fight, I squee.
Nora’s alligator in the “sewer” moment was really cute. I loved how they mixed it up with taking the kick ass woman and giving her such an unreasonable fear to go nutsoid about! We didn’t get any depth of character with Nora!past experiences this time. We got a ton last time, so other characters were developed. She did get to show her uber-skills though in dismantling the bomb but knowing there could be another.
Poor Charlie--whereas getting fooled by the lost boys in “The Children’s Crusade” was on her, this really wasn’t her fault. I expect her to have an “I hate you guys, bad things always seem to happen when you’re around” Cordelia moment any episode now. She doesn’t hallucinate so to speak, but she does get knocked out and is back “home” with Dad. The moment reminded me of “What is and What Should Never Be” at the end. Just the feeling of possibly staying in a fake, idealized world, where Maggie and Dad are still alive, and she is living with them and Danny...but then she hears Miles’ voice and she comes back.
I love how this episode shows more tender Miles moments--whether you are talking about the genuine affection for his best friend, or how he has taken on the surrogate dad role. He won’t leave Charlie when she is on the land mine. His voice is the one that pulls her out of that “happy dream”.
For Miles and Aaron, the hallucinations are about personal failures--an inability to protect or save the ones you love. Aaron’s is touching in that we have seen him grow so much in a short time, and his hallucination was his wife chastising him for being able to pull himself together to be strong fro Charlie, but he couldn’t be strong for her. I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of Aaron’s wife. Maybe we’ll meet her in “real time”! Aaron has found out through this journey that he is stronger than he ever gave himself credit for. He has been resourceful and brave when needed. He has taken a stand against a psychopath and stood up for himself while accepting his culpability in misadventures. He sees how he is not the same as he was, but he needs to come to terms with his reasoning. Did he do what he thought was best when he left his wife, or did he take the coward’s way out? This seems to be something he needs to settle within himself.
I was shocked at the end with Rachel killing Brad. This continues on the theme of what people are willing to do for their family. Monroe threatened Danny and she couldn’t protect Danny if she was dead. I’m sure since she has survived there this long, part of it was self preservation, too. I am still looking for some Rachel/Bass backstory though. I can’t help but think with the chemistry they seem to have, and Monroe’s frustration over her reaction, showing that this reaction wasn’t expected, that something might have happened between them...
That leads in to another point. What was Rachel building? Monroe seemed to trust Rachel when he gave her the pendant. Neville got him to think that maybe she wasn’t being honest. Did Neville really sense something from Rachel, or is he trying to further ingratiate himself to Monroe. And how long before Monroe starts questioning Neville’s timing regarding information he is giving Monroe? He seems to be feeding into Monroe’s paranoia, most likely at Julia’s request. The more time Neville spends at home with his wife, the less I like him. He went from reading biographies about great men (Iacocca) to getting Monroe to have people killed. I don’t see this ending well for him or his wife.
Was Rachel building a bomb, or was she building an amplifier? When she explained it to Neville, I felt it was an amplifier, but did question why she would build one for Monroe considering she told him nothing for 15 years...and that she more likely was pulling a Tony Stark...When she told Brad it was an amplifier, I was pretty certain it wasn’t...I do feel she was backed into a corner and didn’t have another choice available.
Monroe also played his hand. He would have been better off keeping both of them alive and playing them off each other, as it appeared to be working. Brad was not likable in my opinion, but he would have been a good foil, potentially just saying things to hurt Rachel. Making the snap decision to get rid of Rachel and Danny meant it was an emotional decision made by Monroe and not very well calculated. Again, this leads me to feel that there may be something else going on between Rachel and Monroe.
Anyhoo, the promo for the mid season finale gave me tingles! I can’t wait. Let me know what you thought of the episode! And just to let you know, the live versions of both songs used in the episode are on Led Zeppelin’s new album “Celebration Day” which is available on iTunes!
Screencaps from grande-caps tumblr!