One Line Summary: A post-apocalyptic narrative that speculates on the world fifteen years after all sources of electro-mechanical power fail.
Episode theme in a question: “How did your crazy jump on up into Sebastian, Miles?”
Not So Short Recap: The third episode, “No Quarter,” begins with the “Trinity of Whoopass,” aka Miles, Nora, and Charlie, as they head towards the rebel camp to deliver the sniper rifle recovered during the last episode, during what is becoming the obligatory massacre trope of each episode. Note to show: all things should begin with Miles. Just saying. <Linda hears “I got miles to go before I sleep” in her head and makes it into many dirty, naughty puns.>
We get brief “we’ve got better things to do” debate that Miles loses because apparently he can fight off four men at once with his swordplay, but getting the better of tiny women? That was not part of his boot camp training it seems. Anyway, after Miles ticks the first loss of many off in his debate skills chart, we flashback to eight weeks after the blackout and see General Monroe before the crazy tyrant jumped on up in his soul and took over. I call Meg! (Supernatural fans will understand this reference.) But anyway, we see Miles packing to go find his brother, which is a lot like Charlie….yeah, I got your literary symmetry, show. So Sebastian, or “Bas”, being the good friend that he is (and giving sail to my possible new ship – Sassafras, Siles, or Militant Love?), insists on going with Miles since he is his “family.” Now, show, you’re gonna make me feel all kinds of feels for Monroe, aren’t you, and then when you kill him in the epic Miles/Sebastian swordfight, you’re gonna make me hate Miles a little, right? I see you, show. I see what you’re doing. I refuse you. <searching Google for Sassafras website domains>
My existential crisis of man-angst is averted for the time being when we fast forward to present day(?) and we return to: Miles, Nora, and Charlie. Now, I’m still not sure what to call them. I think I’m leaning toward the “Trinity of Whoopass” or “The Tridents”. Scratch, “Tridents,” since it just reminds me of gum and the Doublemint Twins, and well, there’s a story I don’t want to tell. I’m still pondering, let’s say. Anyway, the trio trip their way into a rebel camp and we get to see Charlie be all weepy over a dying rebel, leading of course to her sudden dedication to the rebel cause. (Logic fail here, show. Fix it.) We also have Miles lying about his and Charlie’s names, and we all know what that means? Secrets. Oh yes, we got us some secrets. So, after Charlie and Nora fem-handle Miles once again into doing what they want, we get Nora’s reasoning for joining the rebellion – a man and a baby. She was pregnant, got all kickassy on some bad guys, her man left ‘cause he couldn’t handle her, and then she miscarried her would be kickass baby, and that’s all assuming the babe would’ve survived what has to be some disease-ridden environments in this world. Long story short, she’s got a cause. And this touches Charlie’s heartstrings. Doesn’t quite pluck them yet because Charlie is still a little awkward in the whole showing emotions in appropriate range.
Meanwhile, back at the enemy camp, i.e. the Camp of Captain “I’m Never Gonna Smile” Neville, we see Danny all chained up while Captain INGS Neville reads the autobiography of Lee Iacocca. For the kiddies in the audience, Iacocca was the 1980s Detroit savior and icon number one of 1980s capitalism. Anvil poised. Target spotted. So we find out that the man that Danny killed back in the pilot was a friend of one of Neville’s militia men. But really? Can we blame Danny? Seriously, the guy was an idiot oaf who let a Calvin Klein model stick him with an arrow. I now can be assured even if the lights are out and the priests are jaded that Darwin still lives. A promise of torture ensues and INGS Neville stalls it by not smiling at the man while he orders him to get Danny a drink.
Now, beyond the Trinity of Whoopass and Camp INGS storylines, we still have to figure out what happened to Grace and the amulet of POWERRRRRRR. That brings us to the loose end of the episode, “Where the hell is the farmhouse lady?” Well, we have Aaron and Maggie the British Lady, to help us find this out. They spend their few scenes in the episode being all exposition-y and reminding us that normal people (i.e. the non-gorgeous among us) were affected by the blackout in sympathetic ways, like Aaron being the rich geek who made his fortune on the electricity that has now abandoned him and of course he wants it back. He gets a little whiny about it. He spends his time trying to figure out why Grace built a computer without electricity! (Science, show, really just look at it. Just look up steam. I promise you will be amazed by what you find.)
But we’re now back to the A-story of the episode, and that’s the showdown at the OK Hannigans. During these scenes we get to find out that (1) rebels have faith [unlike those godless militia], (2) Charlie needs to choose an emotion and stick with it, (3) Miles is an exceptional strategist and teacher of military arts, and (4) bullets are rare treasures, kind of like the pepper of the spice trade. This plot also introduces Mark Pellegrino’s character, who I’d like to call Corporal Jacob Lucifer, and he’s a protégé of our prone to drinking too much Miles, aka General Hottie with the Phallic Sword. Corporal Lucifer learned to kill in cold blood, give orders in a Southern accent, and blithely send men to their deaths during his tutelage. He received an A+ in his coursework, and as an educator, I admire his persistence and dedication even as I am horrified by his thesis. So we get the showdown between the exhausted rebels and the nattily clad militia, who are sporting the newest looks from the 1864 fall fashion line, leading to the denouement of the episode, that being the revelation of the SECRET: Miles Matheson was the founding father of the Monroe Republic! <Gasp!>
Just an observation, but if I found something like a country, I’d damn well want my name on it. I’m going to call it the Sassafras Republic. So Charlie, who has chosen horror to be her emotion in this scene, judges Miles for being the guy who killed daddies, kidnapped brothers, and from earlier in the episode, I assume she was also accusing him of stealing women. <Pick me, Miles! Pick me!> After the drama of revelation (so close to revolution, isn’t it?), we see Miles sacrifice himself for the bedraggled rebels, led by the unforgiving Catholic priest. He gives himself over to Corporal Lucifer and is led out in hemp rope to his almost certain death. Sad Charlie (another emotion) and an apathetic Nora look on as their debate punching bag gets walked away. At this point I could suggest that the rhetoric of slavery and being pulled by a rope is not the most subtle critiques, but I won’t. The next scenes see Corporal Lucifer reminiscing with Miles (who’s been flashing back to his travels with Bas to Chicago all episode) about the good ol’ days and then BAM! trip wire causes bad CGI smoke explosion and Boom Boom Nora frees Miles as Charlie throws her bag away. Quickly we find out that Kat….Charlie, sorry….can shoot an arrow better than William Tell. And her flaming arrow hits the bag and BAM! NBC’s special effects budget gets a hit. Corporal Lucifer looks on in admiration, I think.
Back at Camp INGS, the torture of Danny continues but the pretty boy shows he can kick ass. He pretends to be suffering the plot device….I mean, asthma, but instead takes down his torturer with his own chains, promising to kill the guy if he touches Danny again. Captain I’m Never Gonna Smile Neville looks on in stoic disappointment or sharp appraisal. We’ll see.
The final scenes center on Miles wanting to be judged while Charlie shifts to yet another emotion: understanding. As the Trinity of Whoopass make their way down the metaphorical road, we get a flashback to Miles and Sebastian coming across a man being beaten. Miles figures out the guys killed a couple they’d come across down the road, and in the beginning of what will be the Monroe tyranny, takes justice into his own hands and kills the culprits as a horrified Bas watches. We find out that the potential victim was…..drumroll……Corporal Lucifer! Ah, yes, symmetry, you are here. But remember, all tyrants start out as men with righteous causes.
In the last scene we return to the farmhouse lady where the amulet of POWERRRRRRR activates and we get the overly determined echo of Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through the Grapevine” as Maggie grabs her iPhone to take a look at the kids that one can only assume are still in Britain. Of course, the power abruptly quits and we get the meaningful glances of “what does it mean” to end this episode.
Review: As always, my review is more of a series of questions and observations and snarkiness that I thought of during the viewing.
1. Okay, so Sebastian was decent at one point, right? What the hell happened to you, bb? Why you so crazy?
2. Apparently the United States just like quit after the blackout. I pay taxes for a reason. I pay them so you can like fix crap!
3. Where the hell are Nate and Grace? Who the hell is Randall? And why do you have so many plots, show?! It hurts my head.
4. Mark Pellegrino will be back. That is one of the many reasons YOU need to continue to watch.
5. Here’s your literary reference for the day: Stu Redman was one of the heroes in Stephen King’s The Stand. Stu Redman was the alias Miles used in the rebel camp.
6. “No Quarter” is just a military term for taking no prisoners. It’s a direct violation of almost every modern war convention. My reading is that apparently electricity was our only civilizing factor? Oh, show, you are just pessimistic about humanity. I see you, Kripke – don’t punish us for the few who didn’t like “Swan Song.”
7. Show me my Elizabeth Mitchell, show. Now.
8. Do we not have mechanical engineers left? Where are they?
9. I’m still gonna call Danny becoming militia. Prove me wrong, show.
10. I’m thinking that someone needs to learn blacksmithing and gunmaking, like quick. Guns were made before electricity, you know. Colts, Winchesters…..
Whackass Speculation for the Week that will be Disproved: What if this is the 2012 prophecy and the power went out because the poles shifted? That’d screw up electromagnetism something fierce.
Possible Ships: Charlie/Single Emotion, Nora/Miles, Maggie/Death, Aaron/Maggie’s iPhone, Miles/Sebastian (Sassafras), Danny/Cpt. INGS
Enjoyment Level: I liked it a lot. I am still having issues with the younger characters and now I have some issues with the format. Too many stories happening at once. It’s very disjointed. I’m hoping it’s in that weird infant stage of awkward tilting before standing straight.
Viewing Prediction: I will watch next week because Miles is going to be there. Miles, y’all, is the reason to watch every second of this show, even if he was a cold-hearted bastard.