After an episode that had me singing in spite of my issues with it, last Monday’s episode “The Love Boat” again made me feel the overwhelming need to write another installment in the increasingly expansive “Letters To Kripke”.  And without further ado…

Dear Eric,
We really need to talk about this.  The ratings went up a little this week, but I seriously don’t think that ratings being up or down are an accurate depiction of the episode that just aired.  Sure, advertising is going to have an effect–people may be interested in the subject matter, perhaps the emergence of a new character or the return of a beloved character.  The truth is, the more likely reason for someone new tuning in is because the person decided to watch the next week after hearing good things about the episode that aired the week before.  I will even script a little scene to better illustrate:
The class has not yet begun and students are filing in and taking seats up in the auditorium style seating of the lecture hall.  University Girl walks in. She is cute, blonde and she had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend the night before during The Voice over the person Adam Levine picked for his team.  He had stormed out before the end of the show, so instead of having sex at ten before her roommate got home, she was watching Revolution. 
    (addressing the entire class)
Oh. My. God.  Did you see that scene with that guy?  It was crazy!  
Just, I got ALL TEH FEELS!”
(crossing to UNIVERSITY GIRL, excited at the prospect of potentially getting in
her pants next Monday night)
No!  What show?
Revolution! You have to watch.  It was sooooo awesome!
What time!  I’ll check it.
Ten p.m.  I just LOVE the hot crazicakes dictator with PTSD 
and abandonment issues.  I’m doing a paper on the effects of abandonment as depicted in popular culture for Abnormal Psych! 
But you’ll probably like the tortured “good girl gone sneering bad 
boy wannabe” chick.  She’s hot.  I’d go lesbian for her in a drunken moment.
So the way this plays out is that UNIVERSITY GUY watches Revolution the next week, because it was suggested…but the episode doesn’t move him.  He wonders why he is meant to care about these people that have no redeeming qualities.  And UNIVERSITY GIRL and her boyfriend had the greatest make up sex and he had to hear all about it, so the Fates just aren’t with him…And did I mention he only checks the show out that once and stops watching?

My point is, I was underwhelmed by Monday’s episode for a variety of reasons, the least of which being the continuous random vilification of my TV boyfriend.  I could write up a Tolstoy long letter going into this fact, but suffice it to say that I don’t believe that even though you have gone out of your way to make Monroe look evil for the sake of being evil–because apparently we didn’t jump on the Monroe’s evil bandwagon the first half of the season–it isn’t too late to fix this and make Monroe a character that may or may not be redeemed, but will most definitely be around a good long time.  My understanding is that you initially planned on killing off Monroe half way through the season and changed that plan.  I truly hope that the change in plan was for longer than just delaying his demise by half a season. I feel I must explicitly speak out against this since there was that stupid TV Guide poll asking not if but who should kill Monroe. In my ever present quest to save Monroe, let me just briefly point out two amazing characters that were initially hired merely for a brief stint as the evil for heroes/heroines to face but wound up being incredibly important to the show for the remainder of the show’s existence:  Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) and Barnabas Collins (Dark Shadows).  Spike for all intents and purposes practically was a member of the Scooby Gang by the end.  Barnabas Collins actually became the MAIN character of Dark Shadows. He is even the first character thought of whenever Dark Shadows is brought up by just about anyone anywhere. Jonathan Frid was hired for about a 3 month stay on the show.  He was going to show up, be evil, and then be killed off…I think you get where I’m going with this…

But I didn’t want to just throw more “save Monroe” verbiage at you.  I did want to discuss a little problem with synergy…I felt the episode kind of missed that in a few ways.  Let me explain:  We see Bass’s wound being tended to. He is still suffering from the shot he took when soldier from Georgia attempted to shoot through Emma to get him.  But in “Home”, Miles was shot, too.  He was shot In the calf, below the metal piece he used as a shield before heroically slitting yet another militia soldier’s throat and hobbling into a burning building while Jeremy stared at him mouth gaping.  Where is Miles’ injury now? Miles, due to being a rebel and having just shot the guy who was his liason with Georgia is less likely to actually have a medic to help him. Maggie died in “Plague Dogs” so she isn’t there to patch him up like she was early on. Is Miles Wolverine now? Part of me is afraid that you used Bass’s wound as a way to appease us “Basshole” fans–even though we don’t get to see a lot of our favorite crazicakes dictator, we’ll get to see A LOT of our favorite crazicakes dictator…

That scene actually brings up something else for me.  What are you trying to accomplish with Randall?  We saw him as sinister.  We saw him as having serious issues and as a bad influence on Monroe.  Now he’s the one telling Monroe to back off?  I’m really struggling with this.  Although, I have been struggling with Monroe’s digression of character this half of the season as well. The Anthrax thing? It sounded like it had been in the works for a long time–Neville knew a lot about it– but Monroe just got with the scheming crazy.  I don’t feel there was appropriate background on this. It feels like retcon and we are only in the second half of season one. What about Julia getting hypothermia?  The show filmed in North Carolina, yes, but we haven’t seen anything to even remotely make me believe that it is winter time.  They were outside in “Home” and no one was dressed like winter.  It was supposed to make Neville sympathetic over what he has had to do because of the situation with Monroe?  It just seemed a bit sloppy. It was mentioned in the Plains Nation that it was cold, too…but this episode is the only one we have heard it is cold (and even though it mentioned, we don’t see anything that shows it is cold).
You’ve dealt with us fans for years now, and I’m sure on some levels that has put a bad taste in your mouth, but please understand that we are smart enough to see the discrepancies.  The fact that we demand a better story from you is because we know it is in you to write the better story.  You have raised your own bar and we won’t allow you to sell out those standards and make an inferior product when we know you’re better than that.  

The thing I feel I can compare it to is the prequel Star Wars trilogy. Lucas thought that the prequel would be easy to write because he had created this extensive back story for  his original trilogy.  He felt the story would write itself…But then he realized that wasn’t the case–that now he needed back story for his back story.  Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to happen, and the prequels don’t have the same depth the originals had.  The characters lack that back story, they lack that dimension.  The characters of the prequels seem flat in comparison to the characters of the original trilogy.  I feel like you have lost your drive to create this needed background in your quest to expand the universe. Maybe you had a rough sketch when you started of what you wanted the other republics to be like, but everything you have showed us so far makes me wonder why anyone would stay up in the North, and why the North, with all the universities we have up here, would ever suffer that much due to a lack of electricity and batteries.  My city, for example, appears to be expanding into solar power–we have a field full of those solar power panels.  Also our stop signs are starting to have lights attached that are solar powered.  We Northerners wouldn’t turn troglodytic from the loss of electricity and battery power.

I may be coming across a bit harshly, but this isn’t to say that I didn’t find some things about last week’s episode interesting, or hopeful.  I was happy to find out that I was right about that line Charlie had in “Home”.  She was questioning what she was allowing herself to become.  I liked that Jason is not impressed with his father, and that there may not even be a real transition here to good for Neville.  Frankly, I’m not on board with Neville redemption.  Personally, I wish Nora had left and not rewarded Miles for making the only decision they would allow him to make anyway, but considering what we already know about Nora’s toxic on again off again relationship with Miles, that actually seemed very in character. Spoilers also tell us that Nora is going to be captured by Monroe, so clearly you want to establish the active status of Nora and Miles’s relationship before that happens so as to add more fuel to the fire.

I can’t say I’m not scared about what you have planned for the season finale.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what you have chosen to do.  I know that the filming is already done, so no changes could be made even if you did read this, but I feel that I need to get this down. I write out of love for the story and over think sometimes because things I love often make me think about the world we live in and how we can learn to be the heroes of our own lives, even when some may see this as just a tv show.
Ever your faithful fan,

President Foster has sent the replacement commissioned officer overseer of the rebels to Miles…and it turns out to be Neville.  At the end of “Home” we learn that fearing what Monroe will do after the failed mission he was sent on and Jason’s defection, Neville flees with Julia.  He has gotten into President Foster’s good graces by giving up various high ranking Monroe Militia officers.  Miles initially doesn’t want to work with Neville, but finds out that one of the secrets Neville has given up is a plan to weaponize anthrax.  The new plan?  To capture the scientist Monroe has working for him and have him make the weapon for the GA Federation…Meanwhile, Aaron and Rachel are having a very difficult time on their way to the Tower, and their day is about to get a lot worse…

I feel badly about just how much I could write complaining about this episode.  I hated Miles.  I looked back at my notes and littering them, every few lines was “I hate Miles”.  Again, this episode shows a horrible Miles, and the people wont to save him.  With Miles, I keep thinking about the movie “The Shadow” when Yenko is brought to the Tulku’s palace.  Yenko says that he isn’t looking for redemption, and the Tulku says to him “You have no choice.  You “will” be redeemed.”  This is kind of how I feel about what is going on here.  Except I liked Lamont Cranston, and I’m not a Miles fan…
We can see right off by the callus way in which Miles extracts the scientist that he just sees this man as a piece of meat.  He has no intent in letting him go.  He then blames how he is on the way that Monroe won’t back down.  This is interesting in that this is exactly why Bass won’t back down.  He says that Miles won’t back down.  Seriously guys, unzip the pants, get out the ruler, let’s just settle this once and for all.  Here again we see a Miles who doesn’t seem any better than Monroe.  And what is more, he admits as much.  Even as he is blaming Monroe for everything, and conveniently forgetting that the town was Monroe’s town, too, that Emma and Monroe were at the very least friends that Miles knew about.  They were actually more than that, and from the way the scene in “Home” was shot, it seemed like there was a good chance that Miles heard some of Bass and Emma’s conversation.  He definitely saw they were talking, and about something important because it got Bass’s attention.  Miles doesn’t appear to want to be different, either.  He seems to see this as just a flaw in his wiring.  He needs to take himself out of the situation to not be this person.  He isn’t looking to be saved.  Yet Charlie has decided that he will be saved.  He does the right thing in spite of himself, because he is locked away by Charlie, and is rewarded for this behavior by Charlie and Nora.

We have yet to learn why Miles, who trained the Militia and started this whole thing was a General, but the republic was known as the Monroe Republic and the militia the Monroe Militia with Sebastian Monroe in charge.  I recently had a discussion about this with a twitter friend (yes, @bookdal, I am speaking of you), and through our discussion we considered that maybe Bass was the character that saw the corruption of power and was less likely to be corrupted.  This may be why he was the one in charge.  He didn’t seem at all interested in doing this whole Militia thing from the flashbacks we have seen.  He also seemed to be motivated entirely by a drive to protect the person who he considered his family–Miles.  It seems plausible, then, that Bass probably took the job to protect Miles.  Miles would have very easily become a dictator.  Right off the bat when he found those two guys who were killing people living in tents he shot them both dead (“No Quarter”).  Bass wouldn’t have shot them.  You can see that.  These people were hungry and scared and people in those circumstances do extreme things because of that desperation.  But Miles didn’t care.  The Trenton Campaign was 5 years after the blackout.  We know that Miles attempted his “extreme” version of justice with shooting Bass four years before current time.  This means six years after the Trenton Campaign.  The Monroe Republic was established during that time.  They had been running things for quite a while.  Bass falling prey to the corrupting influence of power occurred sometime in there, but probably eons later than Miles would have.  So this is my working theory, based on all of the information given to us to date…

The Plains Nation doesn’t seem to have much law.  Or the law is in the hands of the citizens…What we saw on Monday was an extreme version of protecting someones own goods.  This guy was going to shoot Aaron and Rachel because they stole some food.  This does seem to show us how short a supply food is in the Plains Nation.  It is quite possible that the Plains Nation isn’t actually much better than the Monroe Republic.  Maybe just less militant because there aren’t as many people to keep in check.  They can go for old fashioned Village justice if there are just a handful of people around.  They have to protect themselves because there is no law to protect them.  It seems very “wild west” out there.  We are left to wonder what will happen with Rachel.  Does anyone know what Liz Mitchell’s contract looks like?  I feel like the cliffhanger is going to make me scour the internet looking to see if I can find out who is signed for next year…

We got a little bit of a blow with finding out Aaron is in Dr. Warren’s journal.  Apparently Aaron has something to do with things.  This is strange considering he doesn’t know what he has done.  He is the “google” guy, but he wasn’t on the project with Ben and Rachel.  At least this explains why Rachel was so dismissive about Aaron helping her with the deciphering.  She was trying to keep the fact that he was in the journal from him.

OK.  What is in the elevator that left blood all over the inside of the door like Mr. Austin was stuck in a microwave and cooked until he popped?  Is LOST’s smoke monster down there?  How about Sloan?  Did he use some antique device fashioned by Milo Rambaldi? Maybe the door will open and Desmond will come out?  Have these little nannites become sentient and are now planning to take over the world?  Hopefully we will get some answers soon!
Let me know what you thought of the episode and where you think the show is going!  
Screencaps from grande-caps tumblr.


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