Revolution recap: This Sucker is Nuclear
Miles, Charlie, and Nora trek into The Georgia Federation, while Rachel visits an old friend who reveals more about the nature of the blackout
The latest episode of Revolution brought more revelations about the pasts of both Rachel and Miles – though not their mutual past. I guess that’ll have to wait for that until a later episode, Rachel/Miles fans.
But before we got to any of our rebellious heroes, the episode, titled “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” kicked off in Monroe’s office. A militiaman delivers Monroe the news that Tom and Julia Neville have fled Philadelphia. The militia has also managed to figure out why Major Neville left the city – spies have seen Jason alive and with the rebels, says the militia captain whom we learn was one of Neville’s closest aides.
Monroe, always captivating and intimidating in his ability to hold power over a room without ever raising his voice, keeps his temper down upon this realization of Neville’s betrayal. But though he keeps his voice steady, he’s clearly pissed as he wonders aloud who can he trust – pissed enough to kill the militiaman who brought him the news with one shot to the head. Paranoid much, Monroe? Shouldn’t he be worried that his men will be afraid to deliver intel like that for fear of getting killed shortly thereafter?
Meanwhile, a wounded man on horseback rides into the rebel camp with a message: Monroe’s nuclear bomb is on its way to Atlanta. Three militiamen smuggled it across The Georgia Federation’s northern border a day or two ago. So Miles, Charlie, and Nora have a new mission: Onward to Georgia, to stop a nuclear bomb.
The Georgia Federation is “a whole different world,” as Miles says. There are steam-powered buses, plentiful crops grown with the warm weather, and clothing that doesn’t shout “I’m on an extended camping trip.”
To get through the gates of Atlanta, they disguise themselves as Georgia Federation soldiers. But Monroe’s men with the bomb had the same idea – they’ve already gone through the soldiers’ cabin where Miles and co. also decide to grab some uniforms, and one of them has left behind a message – in the form of a knife.
When Monroe finds the knife, he’s pale and shaking. In flashbacks, we learn that this knife once belonged to Miles’ grandfather, who found it to be a good luck charm in the Korean War, and to Miles’ father, who in turn brought it with him to Vietnam. Seven years after the blackout, Miles gives the knife to a young militiaman named Alec (The Hunger Games’ Dayo Okeniyi). After Miles tells him the history of the knife, Alec refuses to accept it. But Miles insists, saying he hopes this young man – who must have been the closest thing Miles has had to a son – will someday give the good luck knife to his own son.
When Miles, Charlie, and Nora get to Atlanta, they start searching for the nuclear bomb with a nifty little trick: Each walks around town with a flashlight, which of course will turn on if they’re near the pendant powering the nuke. When Miles finds the hidden bomb, Alec quickly steps in. They don’t share too many words before a fight breaks out between them, first with swords, then with fists. Alec – who learned all his military skills from Miles – manages to take the upper hand, pinning the former general against the brick wall of the alley. Then it’s Charlie’s turn to save her uncle’s skin: She shoots an arrow into Alec’s upper chest, which he promptly pulls out before grabbing the pack with the nuke and running off.
Charlie and Miles’ pursuit of Alec ends with the death of a Georgia Federation soldier – Alec makes it look like Miles killed him and escapes while other soldiers arrest Miles.
NEXT: Meet Kelly Foster, another woman scorned by Miles Matheson
The Georgia soldiers take Miles to the sleek, modern office of the Federation’s President, Kelly Foster (24’s Leslie Hope). The issue of Miles’ innocence is quickly resolved, and as Miles and the President begin talking this problem of a nuclear bomb, Miles calls her by her first name. Does Miles know everybody?
Well, in this case, Miles knows Kelly due to his history as a Monroe Militia general – one who’s to blame for the death of many of Georgia’s troops, and Kelly’s not about to let him forget it. The stately but tough woman presses a pocketknife up against Miles’ crotch, hissing, “I should slit you wide open. You killed how many of my troops?”
“That was a long time ago,” says Miles.
“And what about what you did to me, personally?” Kelly snaps back. So she’s another woman Miles hurt somehow. We don’t found out exactly how, though, because Miles shifts the intense conversation back to the subject of Monroe’s nuke.
Monroe’s helicopters fly over Atlanta, showering down pieces of paper warning the city’s residents that the nuke will go off if their President doesn’t surrender. So as people flee Atlanta, Miles tracks down Alec. When he finds him, we get another flashback: nine years after the blackout, Alec returns from a mission to assassinate the governor of Texas. But Alec failed, and he gets what feels like a stab through the heart when Miles sends him back to Texas to be dealt with the officials there who are hungry for justice after this assassination attempt. Miles will hand the young man who’s like a son to him over to his enemies to prevent war between Texas and the Monroe Republic – because “this is the job.”
So when Miles finds Alec – who has a nasty scar on his neck, a sign of how Texas dealt with him, something Miles now greatly regrets – the young militiaman has one thing to say about his mission to nuke citizens of Georgia and himself: “This is the job.”
A voice on the radio attached to the nuclear bomb orders, “Your mission is a go. Detonate.” Miles, determined to stop Alec, finds himself in hand-to-hand combat with him again – and it’s a fight that ends painfully for Miles, as he stabs Alec in the chest with the family knife.
NEXT: The grave consequences of turning the power back on
Now, about Rachel Matheson in this episode: She and Aaron are headed toward the Tower, but first they have to make a stop at the home of Rachel’s old friend Dr. Jane Warren (Kate Burton of Scandal and Grimm). Aaron gets quite the memorable introduction to Jane when she saves Rachel and Aaron from the clutches of two Monroe militiamen who sneak up on them in the woods outside Jane’s house. With some type of mysterious hand-held device (that lights up, by the way), Jane burns the two militiamen to a crisp.
We meet Jane’s partner, Beth (Avis-Marie Barnes, most recently seen on HBO’s Treme), but neither Beth nor Aaron are present for the revelatory conversation Rachel and Jane have when they step outside the house. Rachel tells her friend that she’s on her way to the Tower to turn the lights back on, but Jane doesn’t like this idea at all – because giving power back to the world means destroying the nanites, the all-important miniscule computers that over-replicated and have been sucking up electricity for the past 15 years.
“You’re going to destroy the nanites,” Jane asked, shocked, “even though they’re keeping your son alive?”
But of course, they’re no longer keeping Danny alive. Rachel reaches into her jacket pocket and pulls out the capsule that she cut out of her son’s chest. When Jane asks her what happened to Danny, Rachel says, “Something not even your little machines could fix.”
And why is Jane not too eager to see Rachel head off to the Tower? Beth, “the person I love most on this planet, is in her 16th year of Stage 4 cancer,” Jane says. “Those nanites are inside of her, eating away at her tumors.”
So Jane invented the capsules, which somehow work in conjunction with the nanites that came out of Rachel and Ben’s experiments. How did they discover this second use for the nanites? Does Randall know about this? Were the capsules and nanites inside anyone other than Danny and Beth?
Jane firmly tells Rachel to “drop this,” don’t go to the Tower, don’t flip the switch on Beth. But it turns out Rachel isn’t there just for Jane’s permission – she’s looking for a notebook that we don’t learn much about but apparently will help her and Aaron in this quest to turn the power back on in some way. So she sneaks into Jane’s study at night to grab this notebook. But Jane catches her snooping. “We have killed too many people,” Rachel implores in hope of changing her friend’s mind. Things aren’t looking good – Jane is holding that device that killed the militiamen – until Beth walks in. She’s overheard their conversation, and she gives Rachel her blessing to destroy the nanites. Actually, she gives more than her blessing – she threatens to kill herself if Jane doesn’t give Rachel what she wants. So Jane gives Rachel the notebook and orders her to never come back to her home.
And as for the details of Miles and Rachel’s history that Revolution has been hinting at piece by piece, we didn’t learn anything during this episode, but we might be close to more answers. While Miles is in custody, Alec sneaks up on Charlie. When he finds out that she’s Miles’ niece, he tauntingly tells her, “You’re Rachel Matheson’s daughter? You know what Miles did to her? You don’t think he’d hurt you, huh? Ask him what he did to your mom sometime.”
So Charlie asks him. But it’s the most inopportune time, when Miles is still reeling from killing Alec. Charlie presses for an answer, the truth. Miles looks up at his niece and says, “The truth is people count on me, and they get hurt. Wanna know why? Because I hurt them, and I don’t even think twice about it. That’s who I am, Charlie. Now get the hell away from me.”
Just then, Miles is called into President Foster’s office. She’s ready to fight back against the Monroe Republic, and she’s confident she’ll win with her greater numbers and tall ships.
And she wants Miles to help. She takes him outside, shows him her troops, and says, “A couple hundred men. A thousand guns. All yours. What do you say, Miles? Ready to be a general again?”
It’s time for your two cents, Revolutionaries. Thoughts on our first glimpse of how the world beyond the Monroe Republic looks 15 years after the blackout? What did you think of the flag of The Georgia Federation? Who was missing Neville and Randall this week? Any predictions about what Miles did to President Kelly Foster? What did you think of Rachel’s confession to Jane that she would not do all those things that hurt other people to save Danny if she had the chance to do it all over again? And what about you: Are you ready to see Miles be a general again?
“You’re in too. Your mom told me to take care of you, so I figured I’d drag you in front of a nuclear weapon.” — Miles
Charlie, appearing very much like Samwise Gamgee leaving the Shire: I’ve never left the Monroe Republic.
Miles: My God, you’re a hick.
“Mint juleps and plantations.” — Miles, describing The Georgia Federation
“Oh, great. This isn’t super creepy at all.” — Aaron, trekking through the woods outside Jane’s house
“Madam President, may I just say, that was a crapload of stairs.” — Miles
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome
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