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“Revolution” 4/29/2013 (spoilers): Charlie vs. the Love Triangle Trap

David Lyons, General Monroe, Revolution, NBC

If something compels General Monroe to stop sulking in Independence Hall and walk around in open daylight, you know things just got real.

Tonight’s new episode of Revolution, “Home”, opens with our reluctant hero Miles Matheson pouring himself a mug of alcohol after a successful, dynamic raid (shown in three non-consecutive, disappointingly truncated, split-second flashbacks) that earned the Rebel Alliance a new base located in a landfill, albeit with twenty-two casualties. By the end of the hour, it won’t be the last excuse he has for drinking.

It’s not just unwashed rebels Miles is leading now, either. As seen at the end of last week’s episode, his ranks now include a couple hundred Georgia Federation troops signed over to him courtesy of their President Kelly Foster (Leslie Hope). One hitch: as a concession, Miles has to put up with an arrogant lunkhead named Captain Levi Dixon (Joe Knezevich, an associate artist at Georgia Shakespeare), who’s acting as President Foster’s liaison. He’s such a jerk, he might as well have “WILL MAKE THINGS HARDER ON EVERYONE FOR FOOD” written across his face.

After this last Rebel Alliance victory – along with recent losses of Monroe Republic forts in Carbondale, IL, and Evansville, IN — Monroe decides it’s time to end Miles once and for all; this time for real; no, really, this time he means it; and this time he’ll do it himself. Monroe rounds up his good ol’ lead henchman Jeremy (Mark Pellegrino) that we haven’t seen since the mid-season finale, plus a handful of lesser henchmen, has everyone pile into a pair of pendant-powered helicopters, and orders a direct flight to his hometown. Monroe unleashes his master plan to kill Miles dead: he orders his men to take the entire town hostage and cram them all into the town courthouse. A lone messenger is sent on foot to wherever Fort Landfill is (still in Georgia? no idea) with an ultimatum for Miles: return to their hometown alone by dawn or Monroe will have the entire population exterminated. This, he figures, should be just enough bait.

(If Miles’ and Bass’ hometown had a name, I never caught it. I did notice a plaque proclaiming their location in Dubois County, which would place them in southern Indiana near some of my family. Considering everyone fits inside a single courthouse, it’s too small to be Jasper or Huntingburg, but the fact that its size merits its own courthouse eliminates 98% of the rest of the county.)

One old-time reunion awaits Monroe upon his arrival: an old friend named Emma (Annie Wersching from 24), who knew both him and Miles when they were teenagers, according to this episode’s short, scant flashbacks. We’re told Miles was even engaged to her at one point. Emma yearns to see the good ol’ Bass Monroe she once knew. Monroe is, occasionally, visibly happy to see her. He appreciates that she still places fresh flowers regularly on his family’s graves. He even kisses her at one point. When she sees through his lie about coming to town to thwart a “terrorist threat”, he has to break it to her that the Bass she knew is dead. She doesn’t quite accept this pronouncement, even when Monroe allows his men to thrash an uppity citizen as a savage, intimidating example.

Meanwhile, Monroe’s messenger delivers word to Miles alone, who in turn immediately sneaks away from Fort Landfill without telling anyone. The other rebels — including the dummy Dixon and Miles’ pal Hudson (Malik Yoba, still around and not dead yet) — thrash the messenger for the contents of said private message. Hudson, Charlie, Nora, and Dixon make the trek on foot to Dubois County, roughly 425 miles from last week’s Atlanta setting. Miles is somehow fast enough to reach his hometown by the dawn deadline, sneaking around in the darkness and slitting at least one throat, but he’s too late to stop Monroe’s men from shoving all the townspeople into the courthouse basement and setting it ablaze.

Miles tries to rescue everyone, and succeeds as far as getting everyone to come upstairs. Alas, two obstacles bar their path: giant-sized fire everywhere, and Monroe’s henchmen guarding the door with orders to fire upon any survivors. Just as things look their grimmest (and their brightest, because of fire), Charlie and company arrive to save the day by engaging the henchmen in a good old-fashioned firefight. The kind with guns and bullets, I mean, not with burning planks and embers, though that would be scarier and more imaginative.

A few gunfire exchanges later, everyone’s out of the courthouse and a few more bad guys are dead, but Monroe nabs himself a hostage. Can you guess who?

No, not Charlie. No, not Danny the living hostage, who’s still dead. No, not Jason Neville. He’s not even in this episode.

If you guessed Emma, you’re right! Thus does Monroe clench Emma tightly to himself, pistol pointed at her shoulder instead of at her temple like the average hostage-taker would, shouting for Miles to come out of hiding or else Emma Gets It. Miles shouts at Team Rebels that anyone who even thinks about risking Emma’s life by trying to take out Monroe will have to answer to him. Charlie has her rifle and her scope, and Bass is doing an obviously terrible job of using Emma as a human shield, and his face is just right there, but Miles death-glares her into standing down.

In the moments before she knows her guest-starring days will end, Emma begs Monroe for one last request: she wants to see their son one last time.

Final flashback: this one time, teen Emma cheated on teen Miles and spent a night with teen Bass. And they have a child Monroe never knew. DUN DUN DUUUUUNNN.

Monroe hesitates. He’s all about family. We know his family’s collective demise at the hands of a drunk driver set him toward a lousy destiny ages ago. We know his worst reaction in the series to date was in the mid-season finale, when Miles — formerly like a brother to him — declared their relationship null and void. A surprise son would be the greatest birthday gift ever. He demands Emma tell him more.

And then that idiot Dixon shoots Emma through the heart, the bullet passing through and striking Monroe in his left side. Emma dies and takes her valuable information with her. Miles responds by whirling and putting three bullets in Dixon.

Monroe’s remaining men lay down enough cover fire to allow them to heft a wounded, mightily resisting, incalculably enraged Monroe back to the copters for a furious getaway. Monroe exchanges a glance with a mourning Miles as he flies away against his will, each knowing that now the show has a new secret to keep from us. Later, Charlie quietly insists that she would’ve taken the shot if Dixon hadn’t, ’cause she’s hardcore. Back in Georgia, President Foster reconfirms her commitment to Miles, but realizes she needs a new liaison to replace the incompetent Dixon.

Her selection to work alongside Miles is a recent hire: a former Monroe Militia soldier by the name of Tom Neville.

DUN DUN DUUUUUNNN.

Meanwhile, in the episode’s subplot: Aaron and Rachel are still on their way to the Tower, carrying the black book they acquired last week, filled mostly with circuit diagrams. So far they’ve made it from Annapolis to LaGrange, Missouri (distance walked so far in this side quest: approximately 930 miles), a border town just across the Mississippi River and officially within the area known as the Plains Nation. Mostly it resembles an Old West town, something out of Firefly minus circuits. While Rachel studies the big black book, Aaron goes to play the useless gofer once again (grumbling about his two MIT doctorates going to waste), but runs into a familiar face: his long-lost wife Priscilla.

As previously seen in flashbacks last fall, Aaron abandoned Priscilla (Maureen Sebastian) years ago because he thought she would be better off living amongst a party of wandering manly men than with him, a cowardly tech billionaire with zero self-defense or survival skills. At first glance, Aaron thinks he’s hallucinating. At second glance, he confront her. Her reaction: “Oh. Aaron. Hi.” She’s kind of not thrilled. She introduces him to the gentleman sitting next to her at the bar as her “husband” Steve. After a few awkward words, she orders Aaron away. Rachel comes along and suggests he comply. Neither of them sees the revolver being held under the bar.

When Aaron stumbles across them again, “Steve” is loading a captive Priscilla into the back of a wagon. Aaron is told to walk away. He does for a second…then realizes he can’t abandon her again. He rushes Steve. Aaron beats Steve’s fist with his face as hard as he can. Aaron’s feeble interruption is rewarded when Priscilla takes a lead pipe to the back of Steve’s head.

Thus is the couple reunited, but not for long. We’re told that Steve is a bounty hunter who’s captured Priscilla, who in turn is allegedly wanted for the murder of a Monroe Militia sergeant. The rest of the he-man party to whom Aaron bequeathed her all later died and left Priscilla lone to fend for herself, pretty much the exact opposite of what Aaron had wanted. We’re also told that Priscilla allegedly has a new family, including an alleged 11-year-old daughter, allegedly living in Texas. (Of all the six post-blackout American subdivisions, it’s the only region that never felt the need to rename itself.) Thus does Priscilla part with Our Heroes, leaving Aaron even sadder now than he was before, as he grudgingly assumes that everything Priscilla told him is true.

To be continued!

(Special note to several Googlers out there: although NBC’s assorted sneak previews keep showing off a brief scene of Charlie and her recurring nemesis Jason Neville happily kissing, please know for the record this moment has not happened yet. When that moment arrives, I promise it’ll be worth mentioning.)

* * * * *

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!

9/17/2012: “Pilot
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
11/19/2012: “Kashmir
11/26/2012: “Nobody’s Fault But Mine
3/25/2013: “The Stand
4/1/2013: “Ghosts
4/8/2013: “The Song Remains the Same
4/22/2013: “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

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