“Revolution” 10/2/2013 (spoilers): Tom Neville, Undercover Patriot

Tom Neville, Giancarlo Esposito, Revolution, NBCTonight on the new episode of NBC’s Revolution, “There Will Be Blood”, the game is afoot for our hero, Tom Neville. The alleged President of the United States of America has returned to the mainland from his/her getaway in Guantanamo Bay and set up camp in Savannah, but his/her representatives are presenting themselves as the people’s rescuers through the use of big fat lies. Our hero knows the truth, believes nuclear madman Randall Flagg was working for them, and can second-guess their devious plan from a mile away: “Create the problem. Be the solution.” And Neville hates it when anyone lies but him.

Neville naturally has his own plan. This week is Phase One, which proceeds like clockwork in five easy steps:

1. Recruit at least one follower besides his own son.

2. Make sure said follower is disposable and not prone to thinking ahead.

3. Give the follower his first job: assassinate the President’s mouthpiece, Justine Allenford (Nicole Ari Parker) from the erstwhile Department of Defense. Let Jason help in the staging, but keep him off to one side.

4. During follower’s assassination attempt, assassinate follower.

5. Capitalize on sudden Big Hero status.

…and presto! Neville nets himself a personal interview with Allenford under the pseudonym “Edgar Crane”. He performs a figurative, marvelous, all-American tap dance that concludes with, “I was born an American and I would like very much to be one again.” His winning smile sells it, while his inner seething remains in check. For now.

To be continued next week! Good night, all! Let’s be careful out there.

…oh. Right. There are other characters. The rundown on them:

Aaron wakes up after being dead for 2½ hours. Nanobots are the suspected cause of his return. My first theory is that his body is now swarming with quadrillions of nanobots that have been reprogrammed to fix all wounds and keep him alive at all costs. Followers of Valiant Comics will recognize this as the premise for their mercenary hero Bloodshot, which is a lofty target to imitate even though Aaron lacks Bloodshot’s muscle, arsenal, and gonzo writers.

Aaron and his faith-based girlfriend Cynthia (Jessica Collins) argue over whether or not coming back from the dead constitutes a miracle. He makes a face at a dead rat lying near his resurrection spot. And he has a hallucination, or perhaps a “vision” in Sleepy Hollow style, in which worldwide blackout nanobot co-inventor Ben Matheson lies in a pool of blood and tells Aaron, “It’s you.” So the science guy on Team Matheson finds himself at odds with the potentially paranormal. In a tangential vein, he has one cute scene in which a crowd of schoolkids gather ’round him for storytime, and he regales them with the legend of four New York men who once called themselves the Ghostbusters.

Miles and Sheriff Mason (Adam Beach) remain captives of the war clan that attacked Willoughby last week. To pass the time, a slightly younger Mason tells Miles about the stories his dad used to tell him for inspiration, particularly a series of tales about a ranger from Texas by the name of Walker. Miles hides his snickering well, reminded once again that fifteen years without movies or TV has produced a generation very different from his own.

(You can tell someone behind the scenes is shouting at the writers, “More pop culture references! More! MORE!” About this I’m not complaining.)

Their captors interrupt this short, interesting scene to run a biology-class blood test on them. Miles passes; Mason doesn’t. Mason is shot in the head for the crimes of Failing the Mysterious Blood Test, Being an Actor I Recognize, and Being Likeable. His body is sent on disturbing horseback back to Willoughby where it can never be interesting again.

Miles fails an escape attempt and earns a brief audience with creepy war-clan head Titus Andover, who tells him how the blackout saved him from being arrested because of the illicit photo collection on his hard drive. In the same breath he boasts about the men who’ve been serving in his army for a very long time. It’s okay by me if Andover doesn’t share any more. He then responds to Miles’ sarcasm and previous scenes of swordplay by smashing his good sword-wielding hand with a hammer, Annie Wilkes style.

Later Miles is introduced to the one reason he’s still alive: Andover’s catatonic wife, who needs a blood transfusion. As if last week’s parallels with The Walking Dead weren’t thorough enough, now we have a rough counterpart to the Governor’s zombie daughter.

Back in Willoughby, Rachel wants to mount a rescue mission to save Miles, but her dad Stephen Collins refuses because he doesn’t want to lose the daughter he just regained. No one will help her, not even special guest Richard T. Jones, who used to rock in Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Now that I’ve recognized him, I expect he’ll die next week. Shame about that. Anyway, eventually everyone changes their mind and joins Rachel’s posse. On their way to not-Woodbury, they pass by a massive pile of several thousand dead rats. Surely a grotesque coincidence irrelevant to anything written above.

Meanwhile in the Plains Nation, deposed Monroe Republic President Sebastian “Bass” Monroe is captured by bounty hunters working for the ostensible President. Charlie tries to free him because she wants first dibs on killing him, but gets shot with rock salt and ends up equally manacled. Their jailer Adam (Patrick Heusinger) tries being nice until he makes the mistake of trying to hold a conversation with Charlie.

Later in the night, after an afternoon spent sniping at each other, the pair free themselves from their bonds. Bass kills Adam’s henchman, a Russian Rooster Cogburn, and is halfway through killing Adam when Charlie interrupts. Displaying a flagrant ignorance of revenge protocol, Charlie decides that the perfect time to finish a vendetta is during an escape attempt. Apparently no one ever taught her that whenever you team up with your sworn enemy, you must finish dealing with your mutual enemy first, and then return to your blood feud. Charlie is a terrible avenger.

Bass punches her in the stomach and achieves his primary goal of getting out of Dodge, leaving her and Adam to fight or fall in love or whatever.

We’re given a single flashback this week: seconds before the nuclear missiles hit Atlanta and Philadelphia, Aaron works feverishly to shut down the power…only to be thwarted seconds before zero hour when all the computers lock up. Our Heroes stand by in helpless horror as a pair of monitors transmit images from conveniently placed faraway video cameras, watching both cities erupt in mushroom clouds. Neville’s team of Monroe Militia flunkies bursts through the chamber door and begins issuing threats until all the lights blink out and sparks start spitting out of all the machinery. For some reason.

To be continued!

* * * * *

If you missed all of last season and would rather read about Revolution than spend hours playing TV catchup, the MCC recap of the season 1 finale has links to MCC recaps of all first-season episodes, for better or for worse. Thanks for reading!

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