It is with sadness in my heart that I write this particular review—the episode before we learned that Revolution was not going to be coming back for a third season. Since even the show wrapped filming quite a while ago, it is a pretty safe bet that they did not entirely plan for the end of the season to be THE END. My guess is that Eric Kripke styled the end of the season much like he styled every Supernatural season through at least Season Three—closing up some storylines, but with a tie over to bring into the next season, if the show got picked up. Kripke may have had an idea, which would account to why the storyline seems a bit rushed now—with Charlie’s and Neville’s confrontation last episode, and Monroe’s very Machiavellian, over eager for annihilation attitude in this episode…
If I”m honest with myself, I would have to admit that I saw this coming. It doesn’t make the loss any easier. Revolution has had its ups and downs, and definitely it’s struggle with finding a voice. I blame much of that on Bad Robot. I feel like Kripke wrote the Pilot episode, and caught the interest of J.J. and Jon, and both J. J. and Jon were all over the Pilot with ideas and notions about what to do with creating this world. I feel like maybe some people thought initially that J.J. would be on board like he was for Alias or LOST or Fringe, but in actuality, it seems that in the last few years, Bad Robot has become a brand. J.J. created it—and when people see his name attached to it, there are certain things that they expect to see. His new shows may have some of the trappings of what is generally viewed as his style of storytelling, but the differences are apparent. It seems instead like Bad Robot is providing more of a rubber stamp of approval than any actual creative process. In my humble opinion this has caused a depreciation of the brand. Meanwhile, having your show attached to the Bad Robot name apparently comes at quite a premium. I don’t know the specifics, but I hear that the reason why certain other shows got another season where Revolution did not had a bit to do with the high production costs associated with filming Revolution due to the new world created as well as the additional cost of the Bad Robot name.
But c’est la vie, right? I mean Kripke created a show that is going into its tenth season, so I’m sure that even though that show is on the CW it means Kripke himself has some Hollywood clout, but would NBC have given him a show at all if J.J.’s name wasn’t attached to it? It Jon hadn’t directed the Pilot? I don’t know. But I’m sure it helped…And he needed a network like NBC to pick him up because of the costs. The CW, for example, couldn’t afford this show.
Truman stands up to the President and gets a second chance to make everything in Willoughby work out Patriot style—so he decides to go all out in his attempts to get rid of the “infestation”. Miles has come to a decision about his relationship with Rachel, Nano!Priscilla continues on her creepy evil child way, Gene tries to turn Marion to their cause for the second time and Neville loses his job and becomes a man on a mission…
Well, because I am who I am, I will go into my concerns over the Monroe family and what is actually going on there. First off, I will admit that Bass would be a horrible character and entirely two dimensional if he went from evil dictator to boy scout over night. We knew that any path for redemption would have many missteps, veering off the trail, etc etc. But I think what bothers me most about what happened in last week’s episode was that I want to know when Bass became the Machiavellian one. When did he stop seeing the innocence in people doing extreme acts to survive? In “No Quarter” we see flashbacks to when Bass took off, going AWOL from the Marines with Miles because he saw Miles as his family. This meant that Miles’s family was his family, too. On the road, it is Miles that intervenes when two men are trying to rob, beat and most likely murder Jeremy Baker over his supplies. Even though they have knives and Miles has a gun, and they stop hurting Jeremy, Miles shoots them anyway. For me it isn’t so much that he did this—although I would say this shows a concern with Miles and how he feels within his right to pass judgment on the actions of others and find what is his own sense of justice for bad actions—it is the fact that Bass was so shocked that Miles killed them. Bass would have let them go. They were hungry and scared and just as lost and confused as everyone else—that is why they resorted to bullying and terror. Bass wasn’t in to senseless killing—or passing judgment on the actions of others here…so when did that change? We also saw that scene in “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” where Miles was badly hurt and Bass wouldn’t leave him—“If you’re dying, I’m dying with you.”
I guess we saw a little bit of a change when his significant other and child died during labor—he went off and got all the provisions from another camp, killing everyone there on the way. Miles thought that Bass killing the people was horrible, but he was the one that wanted Bass to take a group and steal provisions. Evidently Miles didn’t see how taking provisions and leaving people to starve to death would have been a pretty horrible thing to do, as well…So again we have Miles passing judgment…when essentially he approved the action, just not Bass’s way of carrying it out.
There was when Bass took out the families of those responsible for the bombing that nearly killed Miles—they mess with my family, I’ll mess with theirs was Bass’s justification…And Miles thought that was too far, too…Which undoubtedly it was. I didn’t like how Miles didn’t seem to have the strength to tell Bass that the way he was reacting to things was unacceptable. That was actually the one thing I really liked about the Miles and Bass conversation at the end of this episode. Miles finally tells Bass he hasn’t changed—that he was doing the same brutal things…And yes, what Bass wanted to do with the mustard gas was brutal—and in line with the very two dimensional things we saw of Bass last season…but I’m not feeling it with all the back story we have seen in the past two seasons. Now it seems rushed to Monroe being a bad seed. How did Bass change from the man he was in “No Quarter”? We are lead to believe from Mile’s conversation with Rachel in this episode, that maybe time did it. That maybe that is why Miles is choosing Rachel’s way over Bass’s way. Bass has become cynical, corrupted by the horrors of this world, the things they have done—but Rachel wants to try to make it better anyway. She won’t give up and she is trying to be better. Bass says he has changed, but he has not—thus far he has kept falling into the same ways.
Although I don’t understand how that dude from Duncan’s camp could have just decided so fast not to follow Monroe. It feels like he was just thrown in there to say those things about how everyone who gets close to Monroe dies—trying again to make Monroe look worse to the viewer.
And quite honestly, that is part of the problem for Monroe, isn’t it? You think about Bass, and the fact that he has lost his family not once, but twice—first his parents and sisters, second his significant other and their baby. How do you come back from that? How do you learn to love again? Wouldn’t anyone in that situation be petrified that if s/he lets someone in—if s/he tears down the walls, s/he is just going to get hurt again? To me, it seems like Bass clings so strongly to Miles because Miles is the sure bet. Just look at last episode. Rachel seems pretty sure that Miles should be dead—there was too much blood. But not Bass. Miles can’t die. This is nothing for him. He’s fine. Bass could go ahead and allow himself to be close to Miles because Miles is invincible. Of course Miles has now betrayed him at least twice…so if you were Bass, wouldn’t you be worried that people you love will either die on you or betray you?
Anyway, the reason why I bring this up is because this right here is, in my opinion, the reason why Miles couldn’t kill Bass. Miles knows all this back story, and I think in a sense he sees how the man Bass is today is in part his own fault because of his inability to call out Bass when he was doing something overly brutal, etc. I also feel that on some level Miles likes being the “good brother” as far as his relationship with Bass. With Ben, he was the “bad brother”, the one who was brutal, who his brother wanted little or nothing to do with, who essentially stole his brother’s wife. In Miles’s relationship with Bass, he’s the good one, the one with the better head on his shoulders, the one that thinks about actions before doing them…He is the Ben in the relationship…
The real interesting thing for me in this episode was with Miles standing up to Bass and telling him how they were going to be doing things going forward—we have a chance here for free will to kick in. We can see some real growth of character in Bass. Is Bass strong enough to decide to change? Will he stand or fall here? The thing about free will is that it is empowering. It means you can be anything you dream you can be. But that freedom works both ways—as you can be more than you are today, you can be less, as well. What will Bass choose?
Connor was a very interesting character for me in this episode. We have seen him with Charlie, we have seen him as a sounding board. Maybe, even as the head of Duncan’s camp said, we saw him as a bit of a Monroe lackey. But he isn’t. He has his own mind and he is thinking things through. I really noticed him this episode. Sure, in part because—well, damn Mat Vairo looks quite fine all scruffed up—but we see with the threat he makes, that he is not to be trifled with. So why is he being so quiet? Why doesn’t he speak up to his father if he has questions—like we know a couple of times he seemed to question actions Bass made…I think it is respect. Connor didn’t get to his position in the Cartel without knowing how to take orders, and how not to challenge someone who has a higher station in the chain of command in front of others. Connor won’t question Bass in front of Miles or the others. He won’t minimize his father’s position with them. On their own though we see him asking questions, telling his father that he wants to be seen as equal. Connor has a strong mind—he just knows when to keep his mouth shut and just watch.
But poor Connor always being used as the bait or the shield from Bass! Here Neville does it. Will Bass side with Neville, feeling that using Neville to take down the Patriots is the best way to get Connor closer to taking over the Republic…or will he set Neville up for a fall?
Of course the nanites could apparently end this in a heartbeat. What did nano!Priscilla do in that room to those people??? Possessed Priscilla continues to scare everyone with her creepy inquisitive child persona. I’d be all set with not much more of this storyline, as it seems like it is thrown in to remind us that Aaron is there. It appears to be coming to a head this week, however, as Rachel is supposed to take on her “science project”.
Gene makes attempt two to get Marion on their side. Luckily, Marion did see something tucked in one of Truman’s drawers and is able to link it to the mustard gas canister due to the yellow cross. Miles apparently has not problem with double agents as long as they are working for him. Personally, I have always questioned people who could walk both convincingly. How do you know where their loyalties really lie? Gene is putting a lot of faith in his skills as an older lover.
Neville is kicking ass and taking names—and he pretty much has learned that Julia is dead too. You know what they say about a man with nothing left to lose…Clearly, Neville is a very deadly loose cannon and he is trying to get the band back together by getting back with Monroe. I’d like it if Connor gutted him like a pig and Bass told him to go screw. Sadly, though, I doubt that is what they plan on.
And random thoughts:
Hillary. THE Hillary? The Hillary I hope will be our next President? That Hillary?
Why didn’t Bass see through Miles? He wanted so badly to believe that Miles was with him on this? Because I knew Miles was up to something. Bass has known this man his whole life. Why didn’t he see it?
Wow temper tantrums. How can Bass throw a temper tantrum like that and then turn around and say he’s changed? That doesn’t make sense…