If you’re like me and not too fond of extended hiatuses and the effect they have on TV recall, you’ve probably forgotten everything about the show except the few reminders that the “Revolution Returns” preview may have jump-started. You may also have forgotten that the first ten episodes were recapped right here on MCC, as quickly as I could cobble them together after each airing. Rest assured I plan to continue with the show, not only because I insist it has potential (despite the frequent shortcomings), but also because I want to see what sort of changes will be wrought by the “retooling” rumored to have been ordered by NBC execs. A recent TV Guide cover article confirmed that a major character won’t survive the show’s return, so you’ll need to be fully up to speed in order to place your bets.
If your memory is a little rusty, please enjoy this opportunity for reacquaintance via this guide to the main characters whom we’ve walked alongside for thousands of miles to date:
Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos): Our main character. Caffeine-free Buffy lite. Faint resemblance to Katniss Everdeen, except she uses a crossbow instead of a longbow, even though (as I recall from playing Dungeons & Dragons in my youth) crossbows take much more time and effort to reload and fire. Despite growing up in a rugged, primitive world, she had little capacity for fight scenes or standing her ground before she began her epic quest. Over the course of ten episodes she’s been working on becoming Hardcore, killing an opponent for the first time, learning how to grimace convincingly, taking yelling lessons, and so on.
Miles Matheson (Billy Burke, formerly Mustache Dad from the Twilight series): Charlie’s uncle, former high-ranking official in the Monroe Republic with the blood of many innocents on his hands. Charlie dragged him away from his comfy, ignoble bartending refuge and is forcing him to become a hero, redeem himself, and make the show interesting. He has all the best lines and fight scenes. He’s the show’s answer to Daryl Dixon — if he ever dies, there’s no point in sticking around.
President Sebastian “Bass” Monroe (David Lyons, formerly TV’s The Cape): Before the blackout, he was Miles’ best friend. For a time after the blackout, he and Miles fought and ruled with an iron fist. Now he’s the lone merciless dictator presiding over the Monroe Republic, formerly known as the northeast United States. He desperately wants electrical power so he can wield absolute power, though sometimes tears well up and he wishes there were some other way to run the country. So far he hasn’t tried to find another way, so he’s kind of a terror because the job demands it.
Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito, too many other roles to cite just one here): Before the blackout, he was a meek officer manager. Driven away from meekness by a world gone mad, he’s now one of President Bass’ most ruthless and ambitious officers, prone to share a few quiet words with you before he turns and guts you.
Nora (Daniella Alonso): A Rebel Alliance member and longtime friend of Miles’. She can blow stuff up real good, and offers occasional action-heroine lessons to Charlie. There’s a great chance she and Miles will hook up because TV executives are happier when everyone’s coupling.
Rachel Matheson (Elizabeth Mitchell from V): Inventor of the blackout technology and the twelve precious pendants that counteract it. President Bass has held her captive for over a decade, but only within the last six months has he finally gotten her to cooperate. Based on her relatively unscathed appearance, he apparently couldn’t bring himself to try simple torture on her. Either there really are lines he won’t cross, or he’s a terrible interrogator. She’s not afraid to kill to save her family, even if it means that innocents suffer. Long-term house arrest has made her slightly morally repugnant.
Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee, whom I recently caught in a season-four Fringe episode): Miles’ brother and Rachel’s husband, he helped her invent the blackout technology and the twelve precious pendants that counteract it. His death at Neville’s hands has been one of Charlie’s primary motivations since day one. We still see Ben in backstory flashbacks from time to time. If Miles had children, we could call him “Uncle Ben” and make all sorts of jokes involving great power and murdered father figures.
Danny Matheson (Graham Rogers): Charlie’s brother spent the first several episodes as Neville’s captive. We know he can be clever, fierce, and unyielding in the face of terror. Now that he’s not an overpowered hostage, maybe we’ll see what he can contribute to the team.
Jason Neville (JD Pardo): Neville’s son, who switches allegiance every other episode depending on where the plot needs him most. We spent the first several episodes knowing him as “Nate” because of lying. He’s likely to switch to the side of angels for good because he and Charlie are close in age, and I can’t imagine NBC execs liking the idea of a female protagonist without a gratuitous love interest.
Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips): A British doctor who was on the team for the first several episodes, but died in an abandoned restaurant from a nasty stab wound because there had to be dramatic tension somehow. Let us never speak of her usefulness again.
Julia Neville (24‘s Kim Raver): Neville’s wife, who’s just as anxious to see her husband rise to power on the backs of his enemies as he is. The blackout has done her moral compass no more good than it has anyone else’s.
Grace (Maria Howell): All we know about her is she also has a power pendant, knows Miles, owns a computer, and is now captive of…
Randall Flynn (Colm Feore, formerly Laufey the Frost Giant king from Thor): The pre-blackout military official who commissioned the blackout tech from Mr. and Mrs. Matheson. Now he has Grace, a higher position, and a giant-sized, fully functional sci-fi power generator. We have no idea what his deal is.
Sgt. Strausser (David Meunier): Monroe’s cruelest henchman, so we’re told, though I find Neville a lot more intimidating. Rachel drove a sword through his heart in the fall finale, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in flashbacks.
Jeremy (Mark Pellegrino): A recurring Monroe Militia officer who used to know Miles. His dialogue and performance are more interesting than the average henchman’s.
Aaron (Zak Orth): Former billionaire Google executive turned post-blackout schoolteacher. His duties include comic relief, tech references that fly over Charlie’s head, and pendant transport. Now that President Bass has his pendant and the show has downplayed his sarcasm, Aaron seems in my mind the most likely candidate for termination. Most tellingly, he was one of the few primary cast members not mentioned once in that TV Guide article.
If you miss your old villainous and can’t wait two weeks, NBC.com is currently running a five-part webisode miniseries called “Enemy of the State”. Set eleven years post-blackout and four years before the pilot, it centers on Neville’s investigation into a security breach at Independence Hall and his handling of various persons of interest. You can view them on NBC’s official Revolution site, or check them out on the official YouTube channel, which has so far posted Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 as of this writing.
If you missed an episode of Revolution last fall, you can check NBC’s official site for any episodes remaining online, consult your local Video On Demand provider, spend money on them over at iTunes, try Hulu if you’re so inclined, or check out past episode commentary/recaps here at MCC. Your handy episode checklist is provided below, along with recap links where available. Thanks for reading!
9/24/2012: “Chained Heat”
10/1/2012: “No Quarter”
10/8/2012: “The Plague Dogs”
10/15/2012: “Soul Train”
10/22/2012: Fake episode 5½ (a skip-week intermission of my own creation)
10/29/2012: “Sex and Drugs”
11/5/2012: “The Children’s Crusade”
11/12/2012: “Ties That Bind”
11/26/2012: “Nobody’s Fault But Mine“