WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the season 2 finale, “Declaration of Independence.” If you haven’t watched, proceed at your own risk.
To be completely honest, Revolution’s second season was what its first season should have been: dark, gritty, and edgy. I will say this, though — as much as the show had its ups and downs, it really did attempt to reinvent and revitalize itself by taking notice of what didn’t quite work during the first season (spoiler alert: pretty much everything.) Season two was a vast improvement over season one, the kind of growth that, if this was 15-20 years ago, would have been considered normal. And as much as Revolution was unlikely to get renewed, I really think it could have continued to improve if given the chance to have a third season.
But sadly, that’s not the case, which meant that tonight’s season finale was really a series finale. Let’s see what we ended up with.
Nano!Priscilla is still keeping Real!Priscilla locked away in her mind, where she’s happily partaking in a puzzle adventure with her daughters. Rachel attempts to save her by way of electrocution, but all that happens is that Nano!Priscilla gets really, really pissed off, because apparently these nanotech are not that easy to kill. As Nano!Priscilla advances on Aaron, he starts trying to break through to her and surprisingly, this actually works. Love conquers all, everyone! And thus Real!Priscilla closes the metaphorical door on her dream life and causes the nano to explode, coming back to herself.
As for our fearless POTUS, he’s in the middle of giving a rousing address when Truman calls him away. In true creepy fashion, a group of innocent children sing a charming rendition of “America The Beautiful” while Charlie and Miles manage to save the townspeople from being gassed by the Patriots. It’s worth it to note that this moment includes Miles barging into the room after taking down a bunch of soldiers and yelling, “run, you idiots!” (That’s one way to kill a mood.) But when the group finds the room with the gas that was meant to be unleashed, they also find a dead Marion, who was shot in last week’s episode. It’s kind of a quick tie-up to last week’s cliffhanger, but we’ll forgive that for now.
Truman initiates plan B — he takes down his own people, then shoots himself and President Davis in order to make their stories more believable. They take to the town and make another address, this time blaming their injuries and the deaths of their people on Miles and Monroe. In the meantime, our heroes regroup. Priscilla is still out of commission and Gene is feeling guilty over Marion’s death since he’s the one that told her to go back to Truman in the first place. Monroe, meanwhile, is drowning in his own guilt because he’s beginning to think that he abandoned his kid for nothing. He wants to take Davis down, but Miles has a better idea: they’re going to kidnap him instead, in an attempt to end the war. He tells Gene to go to Austin and find General Blanchard, hoping to convince him to come to Texas and see the corruption for himself.
Where are Neville and Connor, you might ask? Well, they want to kill Davis too, and Neville has a revenge plan which includes staking out Davis’ train from a nearby roof and attempting a JFK-like assassination. They’re caught off guard, however, as Monroe and the gang are one step ahead: they’ve already managed to carry out the kidnapping, hijacking the train some miles back. Neville is just really having a bad day. Make that a band month. In fact, ever since the second season started, things have just kind of been bad all around.
The Patriots pretty much descend on Miles & co., and it becomes pretty clear that they’re outnumbered. Being the trustworthy guy that he is, Miles agrees to let Monroe leave with the President while they’re fending off the attack, something that Charlie and Rachel are skeptical of. I mean, can they really trust this guy to do the right thing when his behavior has been so erratic in the past? Especially when so much is at stake? But Miles believes in his best friend, and hey, sometimes you have to have a little faith in this crazy world.
Monroe takes Davis to their rendezvous point, where the two have it out before Connor manages to find them. Connor tries to convince him that not only would Davis be better off dead, but that it would also be easier to take the republic back. Monroe disagrees, staying loyal to Miles, which pisses Connor off — he’s had enough of Monroe’s loyalty to someone who’s not even his blood. Where is his future? Monroe tries to salvage whatever bits of relationship he might have left with Connor but at this point, it’s too late. Neville’s been on guard and Monroe narrowly escapes his attack, managing to get the upper hand by trapping Neville and Connor in the shack where they think he’s hiding out with Davis.
And guess what? Monroe shows up after all! Rachel gives him heartfelt thanks, and the whole interaction is really brief but it makes me realize how much I’m going to miss Elizabeth Mitchell and David Lyons’ ability to have chemistry with anything that moves, as well as with each other. There were some weak spots in this cast, to be sure, but the strongest actors really brought a lot to the table.
Rachel reveals her “connection” to Davis — he was her boss’ boss, and she wants to make him pay for everything he’s done to her family. Essentially, she tells the President to go screw himself, and that he’s an insult to true America. “I’m an insult to America?” he counters. “I AM America.” It’s not quite as gripping as the delivery that Bryan Cranston is famous for, but I’ll take it.
The group is attacked by a group of Patriots, and everything seems like it’s going down hill…that is, until the Patriots turn out to be Texas Rangers in disguise. Gene brings out the General, who’s heard all of Davis’ babbling about how he plans to start a war between Texas and California because people are stupid and will follow anyone who can make them feel safe. Davis tries to talk his way out of the whole thing but fails, and is led away in handcuffs. Monroe basically kills all the remaining Patriots in power. Truman, in a stroke of luck, happens to be in the bathroom when all of this goes down and emerges just in time to see what’s happening. Needless to say, he gets smart and flees.
Miles finds Charlie and tells her that Texas is declaring war on the U.S., which seems like it was supposed to be a set up for more potential conflict next season. In a sweet aside during one of the few character driven moments of the hour, the two have a talk about Rachel, where Charlie persuades Miles to just go for it already. It was nice to have Charlie give her “approval” so to speak, and it was also nice to have this scene in the finale because it really shows how the two have come full circle. Past the first season, when the characters became more developed, I always enjoyed Charlie and Miles’ dynamic and always found their relationship to be interesting.
Priscilla finally recovers from her Nano takeover and tells Aaron that when she was trapped inside the tech, she saw what it was thinking: its “mind” is filled with images of mindless people. The nano wants to control everyone in the world, and if you don’t want to help it? Tough luck. It will find people that do want to help.
We then see the fireflies make their way to three different people: Truman, Davis, and Neville, who is still trapped with Connor. The nano materializes in the form of everyone’s dead “constant” (Jason for Neville, Marion for Truman, Davis’ father) and tells them all the same thing: to leave the Patriots and head north, to Bradbury, Idaho. Because God has chosen them to do so! And so our parting shot is a hoard of people descending onto Bradbury, aka “The Wasteland,” like zombies from The Walking Dead. Oh, and the nano is so powerful, it’s apparently lighting up an entire small town.
Despite the fact that the odds were never that great for a renewal, the writers seemed to have faith in their chances — the episode was certainly written more like a season finale than a series one. It did tie up a few storylines and set up some new ones, but it also left a lot unanswered and failed to deliver emotionally in places where it could have taken advantage of its last 42 minutes. While I’m glad no one died and that we weren’t left with a major cliffhanger, I would’ve liked to see more emotional moments between Rachel and Charlie, which has always been one of my favorite dynamics. I would have loved to see more from Neville, since I truly believe Giancarlo Esposito was underused throughout most of this series. And come on — no final bromance banter or epic amusing line from Miles and Monroe? Not to mention, the series leaves up for grabs one of the most important unanswered questions: could Miles really be Charlie’s father?
Alas, the world may never know.