Tonight on Revolution: EXPLOSIONS! GUNFIRE! MAJOR DEATH! BAZOOKAS! PUNCHING! Behold the end results of a three-month retooling hiatus.
We rejoin Our Heroes for the new episode, “The Stand” (I don’t have to explain the reference, right?), quickly resolving last winter’s cliffhanger that saw them facing the world’s first working helicopter in fifteen years, its cannons fully loaded, its pendant-powered generator in working order, its pilot ordered to kill. Fortunately everyone outruns the flying death machine, scampers into the abandoned (fictional) restaurant pictured above, and escapes death by hiding in the freezer until the chopper stops firing missiles into the joint. If a refrigerator can save Indiana Jones from atomic warfare, it stands to reason than an entire walk-in freezer would be just as impervious a bunker.
When the coast is clear, Our Heroes sneak out of Philadelphia via wagon, most of them hiding in the back, lying in sealed coffins, hopefully with air holes. Once they reach a quiet spot away from militia inspections, Miles and Nora swap a big ol’ kiss. Rachel, who knows Everything About Everything, avoids explaining anything by telling us she’ll explain everything and then totally proceeding not to. When the choppers conveniently pass by and interrupt everyone’s train of thought, the new team goal is to beat the helicopters to the nearest Rebel Alliance base in West Chester, Pennsylvania, which is thirty miles from Philly. Shockingly, their wagon does not beat the copters there. Side-mounted M61 Vulcan cannons turn the rebels in the stronghold into mincemeat.
On the heels of this tragedy, Our Heroes split up. Miles and Rachel spend some time coyly hinting at their past without clarifying anything, then head out at Rachel’s direction to see “a guy I know” — as these episodes frequently progress. The happy helper of the week is a nervous wreck named John Sanborn, played by Leland Orser (ER, Daredevil, Alien Resurrection). John is powered up and on the same clandestine network as Grace the captive computer lady, and spends his free time making weapons, including a handheld sonic cannon, because the future lives on in his basement. Loyalty, alas, does not — John takes them captive and prepares to hand them over to his master, the nefarious Randall Flynn (still Colm Feore), the Department of Defense officer who played a part in facilitating the blackout. John’s feeble rope-tying skills are useless against THE Miles Matheson, who handily takes him out. He and Rachel abscond with all the hardware they can carry, including “thermal-guided surface-to-air missile launchers” (Rachel’s exact words — because just saying “bazooka” would be crass and undignified). John may be weaselly, but he stocks a mean armory.
Meanwhile, Charlie, Nora, Aaron, and Danny make their way to the next-nearest Rebel Alliance base (over in Annapolis, an extreme walk of some 114 miles from West Chester), where they meet up with old friend Nicholas (Derek Webster), the quasi-priest last seen in the episode “No Quarter”, base leader Commander Ramsey (Patrick St. Esprit), and assorted cannon fodder. Also in town: the conflicted Jason Neville, who’s aghast at how the copters make zealous butchering so much easier for Monroe’s militia. (Funny how the butchery didn’t seem to bother him when it was unplugged hard work.) He takes one last stand against his villainous dad, but gets pummeled hard and kicked out of the Neville family for his trouble. In retaliation, a still-bloodied Jason runs to warn Charlie that the copters will be descending on this base as well. Charlie thanks him for the info and shoos him away, because she rightfully has trust issues with him, and is in the process of learning how not to be a sucker anymore.
Regardless, Charlie and the rebels heed his warning and prepare for the onslaught. Everyone volunteers for front-line defense, even former hostage Danny, asthmatic but possessed of the steeliest of nerves. Charlie tries to assign him to medic errand-boy duty (which is also Aaron’s job for the rest of the episode), but Danny scoffs. She may have walked a thousand miles to save him, but now that he’s free, he tells her, “It’s not your job to look out for me.”
Two copters arrive. Bullets fly. Rebels fall. Miles and Rachel arrive. Miles aims a thermal-guided surface-to-air missile launcher at the copter most likely to be carrying the generator that powers the pair. A lucky missile shot explodes near Miles, sends him reeling, and knocks the thermal-guided surface-to-air missile launcher out of his hands. Seeing his chance to save the day, Danny runs out into the open, snatches the thermal-guided surface-to-air missile launcher, figures out how to use this complicated piece of high-grade military gadgetry with its buttons and its LED displays and such, even though he’s probably never even so much as used a working toaster in his entire life, fires and blows the correct copter out of the sky.
As the other copter loses power and begins spiraling downward to its doom, its gunman fires one last fusillade and scores several lucky shots across Danny’s abdomen. The copter crash-lands in a CG mushroom cloud in the background while Danny (Graham Rogers) beholds his handiwork in silence, frozen for one moment in time, then slumps to the ground and bids farewell to the show.
In the mourning and the quiet that comes after, Rachel shares a moment with Charlie in which she blames herself for everything that’s happened, including the stuff she’s refused to reveal to us. Charlie asserts that the best way for his death not to have been in vain is for them to Finish What They Started, and There’s No Turning Back Now. The Rebel Alliance must fight on, and they should probably help.
Meanwhile down at Independence Hall, President Sebastian “Bass” Monroe remains cooped up in his office all episode, brooding over recent events and seeming scarier and more confident than he was last winter, with a new-found lust to rule the land formerly known as America from coast to coast. In between frequent updates from Neville (including an odd one in which Neville tells a curious lie, that Jason is dead…), Bass takes one more surprise visitor: the DOD’s own Randall Flynn, suddenly offering his services to Mr. President.
As for Flynn’s captive Grace, she and her guard, a stern henchman named Mr. Austin (James Shanklin), are on assignment at a mysterious place called “the Tower”, where she’s been ordered to restore power and functionality to a very special elevator that Flynn needs in order to reach…Level Twelve. Dun dun DUUNNNNNN.
This episode’s flashbacks number but two: an ominous look at one year before the blackout, when Ben and Rachel Matheson needed to conduct an experiment to save Danny’s life, and that sentence is basically all you learn; and a brief memory of young Charlie by her brother’s side, helping him through an asthma attack. Apparently the life-saving secret didn’t cure his asthma.
Probably related, then, is the final scene of the episode, most disturbing of all: away from everyone else, a teary-eyed Rachel looks upon the corpse of her late, heroic son; whips out a pocket knife; makes an incision in his torso (ICK); and extracts a tiny light bulb from within his innards. The light is still blinking.
To be continued!
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If you missed a previous episode of Revolution, 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. Thanks for reading!
9/24/2012: “Chained Heat”
10/1/2012: “No Quarter”
10/8/2012: “The Plague Dogs”
10/15/2012: “Soul Train”
10/29/2012: “Sex and Drugs”
11/5/2012: “The Children’s Crusade”
11/12/2012: “Ties That Bind”
11/26/2012: “Nobody’s Fault But Mine“