It's an unexpected family reunion for Nora and a victory for General Monroe
Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Revolution hasn’t hesitated to remind us that everyone has family, so it was only a matter of time before we’d learn about Nora’s family. This episode, called “Ties That Bind,” presented us with what at first looked to be another gotta-protect-my-younger-sibling, gotta-find-my-missing-family-member storyline until things took a left turn.

Miles, Nora, Charlie and Aaron are making the risky trip across a militia-controlled bridge – to take another bridge across the river would mean going 100 miles out of the way from Philadelphia – but partway across, Miles realizes this isn’t going to work. So I know Miles was once a general, but the frequency with which he says, “It’s a trap!” makes me worry he’s going to morph into an admiral someday.

They manage to turn around and get off the bridge on the side they walked on, narrowly escaping a blaze of gunfire, but not before Miles shares a glance with Sgt. Strauser, the militiaman who is not known for ever leaving any survivors, as we learned from Jason. And it looks like he’s not even a fan of letting his own men survive – when one militia soldier reports to Strauser that they’d lost Miles and his ragtag team of rebels, Strauser guts his own soldier with a knife.

But Strauser has something else up his sleeve, another way to lure his prey back to him. A militiaman calls out Nora’s name. “Nora Clayton. We have Mia!” he yells, and Nora immediately makes a run toward the gathering of militia. Indeed, they do have Mia – Nora’s younger sister, strung up by her wrists to a flagpole.

A flashback tells us what these two girls were doing two months after the blackout, when they appear to be about nine and 14 years old. On a stormy night, a looter stomps into the girls’ room at the house they apparently haven’t left yet. They’re hiding under the bed, and Nora has her hand clapped over her younger sister’s mouth. The looter knocks books, trophies and teddy bears off of a shelf, but he doesn’t find the girls. The next morning, though, Nora walks into her mother’s room and finds her dead. She doesn’t tell Mia what she saw – she instead says their mother left a note telling them to meet her at their father’s house.

Back in the present, we learn what Strauser wants in exchange for Mia’s life: Miles and the pendant. Aaron says he can’t understand how the militia found out they had it. (Really, buddy? You’re stupid enough to pull out the Locket of Power in front of the militiaman formerly known as Nate, and you really don’t know how the militia found out you had it?) Miles is more convinced than ever that they should destroy the pendant before it falls into militia hands. So he takes it from Aaron and starts whacking at it with the handle of his sword. But, supplying us with further evidence that the Locket of Power is totally the one ring, it stays intact.

Nora isn’t about to surrender the pendant and her one-time lover to the militia, but she’s not about to let her sister die a slow and painful death either. So they devise a plan to free Mia without giving anything or anyone up to the militia. Miraculously, it works, thanks to Nora’s knowledge of bomb-making.

NEXT PAGE: What happens when you piss off General Monroe

Over in Philadelphia, Jason’s learning that just because you’re the son of General Monroe’s right-hand man, that doesn’t mean you’ll escape the wrath of the militia. He’s been beaten by a pair of burly militia soldiers. When Major Neville finds out, he immediately rushes to Monroe’s office to find out why he’s ordered that his son be tortured. Before Neville gets a word out about Jason, Monroe tells him about the lighthouse that mysteriously turned on for a few seconds. “Well, that’s fascinating stuff, sir,” Neville says without a hint of fascination. “Could I have a word?” Does Neville really have no interest in the biggest sign that electrical power can still work since the blackout, or is he simply too furious about how his son’s being treated to care at the moment? It would be interesting if it turned out Neville doesn’t want the power to come back on – is he afraid his life will go back to the miserable way it was before the blackout?

In any case, he successfully steers the conversation over to the subject of his son. Monroe is having him punished for bribing a stableman for information on Strauser’s whereabouts. This guy just can’t seem to get the message that having the hots for some rebel girl isn’t going to get you anything good from the militia. But a few bruises and cuts across the face isn’t the only punishment Monroe has planned for Jason; he’s sending him to the California Commonwealth on a so-called diplomatic expedition. Neville does not like that idea one bit. “Those heathens have been known to send our boys home in a box,” he objects. You hear that, Californians? Fifteen years in the future, Philadelphians will know us as heathens.

Monroe isn’t going to budge on this. In fact, he assures Neville that he’s being generous. If he weren’t being shipped off to California, Jason would be facing execution for treason.

About 300 miles away, Mia, reunited with her sister, makes it her first order of business to make it clear that she has no fondness for Miles. And that she thinks it’s crazy that they are headed for Philadelphia.

Another flashback reveals the moment Nora and Mia arrive at their father’s house on the shores of Galveston, Texas. He’s not there. The house is empty. No Mom. No Dad. So Nora has to finally tell her sister that their mother left no note; she’s dead.

Back in the present, Mia is urging Nora to abandon her mission to Philly and come with her to Texas. She found their dad, she says. But Nora still has her mind set on going to Philadelphia – she won’t break her promise to Charlie, who’s overhearing this whole conversation between sisters. “It’s her family,” Nora says. “I’m your family,” Mia says. She’s convinced Nora won’t make it out of Philadelphia alive, but she relents and offers to help the gang across the river before trekking out to Texas alone.

In Philadelphia, Neville is at home looking at his map, at the great distance between the Monroe Republic and the California Commonwealth, when his wife, Julia, walks in with a juicy bit of intel to share. Their housekeeper, Rose, overheard Colonel Faber talking to his wife about their son, who’s fighting for the rebels. Julia stares steely-eyed at her husband. Both know what this means: Monroe will only shower Neville with rewards if he delivers this kind of information to him. Then we get a Han-Leia moment: “I love you,” Neville says. “I know,” Julia responds.

NEXT PAGE: The breaking of the fellowship

Meanwhile, Charlie finally talks to Nora about all that she’s been overhearing. “You gotta go,” she says. “I’m not your family. Look, if my dad was still alive, and I could spend just one more minute with him, I would do anything, I would give anything.”

So, with Charlie’s blessing, Nora slings on her pack and starts saying her goodbyes. Actually, in the case of Miles, she’s kissing her goodbyes. She gets close to him, and Miles can barely even look at her. “It’ll be a lot tougher to get Danny back without –” but Nora interrupts him, grabbing his face and kissing him hard. Charlie and Aaron awkwardly turn away. Nora pulls away, and Miles says that he doubts he’ll ever see her again. But Nora isn’t as worried about that. “That’s what you said last time,” she says. She flashes one last small, sweet smile at Aaron and Charlie, then walks away with her sister.

Cut to Colonel Faber now where Jason was not long before: being beaten by fellow militia. Monroe is furious in his calmly furious way, but he’s grateful to Neville. And he has changed his mind about sending Jason to California. “But Tom,” he warns, “you keep him in line.”

On the road, Mia is teasing Nora about her affections for Miles, when the two of them walk right into a gathering of militiamen. And that’s when we find out that Mia isn’t what she’s appeared to be. “It’s OK,” she says. Mia marches over to Strauser and hands him the pendant. “I led Matheson and the others to the ferry landing just like you asked,” she tells the sergeant. In return, Mia and Nora are free to go. But if Mia thought that everything would be happy and dandy between her and her sister after she’s “saved her life” as Strauser reminds Nora, then Mia was wrong. This is a total betrayal, and Nora makes sure Mia knows it. Not only did Mia place the Locket of Power and Miles in the militia’s hands, not only has Mia been bounty hunting rebels for the past year, but she also lied to Nora: She never did find their father. Nora, utterly hurt, tells her sister she’s never lied to her. Oh, but she did, Mia reminds her, and about much the same thing: She lied about their mom being alive 15 years ago.

But this time is different, Nora says: Now Mia has also put her friends in danger, friends who risked their lives for hers. “Don’t try to find me. Don’t follow me,” Nora says, then runs off.

That’s about when Aaron discovers the pendant is no longer in his pocket. His first reaction is to blame Miles. Then they realize what’s happened with the pendant but not soon enough – the militia have caught up to them. With gunfire raining on them, Miles and Charlie hide behind an abandoned SUV. “Hold your fire. I’m coming out,” Miles shouts, with Charlie gripping his leg. But out he walks, facing Strauser – who we’ve learned is the one militiaman Miles feared. A militia soldier is handcuffing Miles, but then Nora charges in, slashing at militiamen, making her way to Miles. When she reaches him, passing off a gun she lifted from a militiaman, she gives Miles an expectant smile. “I knew you couldn’t stay away,” Miles says.

Nora, Miles, Aaron and Charlie escape the militia, but the only way out is a ledge overlooking the roaring river. So they jump in.

Once they’ve made it out of the river and on the shore of the other side, it’s time to deal with the problem of the stolen pendant. “What do you think’ll happen if Monroe figures out that necklace,” Miles drills into Aaron. “I don’t know. He will turn the lights on and buy the world a coke?” is all the response a remorseful Aaron has. But Miles makes sure Aaron knows: Monroe doesn’t care about lights. All he cares about is weapons. So Monroe is going to start rolling out jets and drones, and people with swords and muskets will be helpless against it. People are going to die, and it’s all Aaron’s fault.

In Philadelphia, Strauser presents Monroe the pendant. Monroe stares at it, transfixed. And oh my gosh, this thing seriously is the one ring. And apparently Monroe is Boromir. “So much fuss,” he says. “For such a little thing.”

In the home of Julia and Tom Neville, Jason is back safe and sound, but it’s not enough for the ambitious Julia Neville: “Sebastian is not what he was,” she says. “Ever since General Matheson left, he has become more and more paranoid and erratic.” The woman who helped put the father of a traitor in the path of Monroe’s wrath is now having treasonous thoughts herself: “We need a real leader,” she says. And of course, that man is her husband.

Bass checks in on Rachel, who is building a contraption that will work with the pendants to turn on the lights. “So now you have everything you need,” Bass tells her. But does she? Doesn’t she need all 12 pendants, to rule them all and bind them?

The episode ends with Randall Flynn and Grace. Turns out they’ve got a little electrical power – computers fill a room in their base that’s at an unknown location. These computers have at least one very useful function: They can track the pendants. So they know Ben Matheson’s pendant is in Philadelphia. But Randall isn’t going to do anything about it, he says. “You are,” he tells Grace. And out backs the camera through a large construction filled with octagonacal machinery, much like the ones Rachel is drawing and building.

Sound off in the comments below about this episode. What did you think of Mia? This episode had no Danny and probably featured Charlie the least of all episodes thus far — did that impact this episode for better or for worse? Lightning still exists but we can’t channel it – what do you make of that? Is it time to start making new maps, replacing the Monroe Republic with the Neville Republic? And what do you think Randall will make Grace do about the Locket of Power being in Monroe’s hands?

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

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