Welcome back Revolution lovers,
It has been some time since the superb Revolution season one finale “The Dark Tower” When Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) attempted to convince her former professional colleagues Dan Jenkins (Glenn Morshower) and Grace (Maria Howell) to turn the power back on.
It has been even longer since I wrote an analysis of Revolution. More on that at the end of this review of the second season premiere of “Born in the USA”.
First however, how did we get here?
By the end of “The Dark Tower”, Grace and Dan steadfastly refused to cooperate with Rachel leaving it up to her, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), Nora (Daniella Alonso), and Aaron (Zak Orth) to execute the plan on their own.
General Sebastian “Bass” Monroe makes an escape after the fight heading off to parts unknown that we will only discover the secrets of during the premiere!
Outside “The Dark Tower”, Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) had assumed command of General Monroe’s troops and wants to solidify his position by ensuring the power stays off.
In the meantime, Aaron, Nora, Rachel and Charlie, and Miles – make it to the 12th floor of “The Dark Tower”. As we know now, Nora is fatally injured, but tells Rachel that Miles loves her before perishing.
Nevertheless, Aaron is convinced that he can turn the power back on. Unfortunately, maniacal Randall Flynn (Colm Feore), working against our heroes to eliminate resistance in Georgia and Pennsylvania also made it to the 12th floor of the Nuclear Missile Command Center.
As Aaron enters the code to turn the power back on, Randall has other plans. To my own, and I think it safe to say, everyone’s horror, Randall locks himself in a different part of the Nuclear Missile Command Center.
Through an explosive and bullet proof glass partition, Randall informs Rachel he wanted to have her turn on the power so he could launch nuclear weapons to wipe out the resistance!
The episode draws to a conclusion when Randall launches ICBMs at Atlanta Georgia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Screaming he is a patriot to stop the likes of anyone who resists Monroe and other anarchists who have assumed regional power, Randall aims a 45 caliber automatic and blows his own head off!
The Dark Tower ends with a segue to the United States President who has been operating from a secure location, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
President Foster is informed that “Randall did it” and “it’s time to go home” to the states, or what is left of them!
Our heroes appear to escape to fight another day. This includes Grace who disappears enigmatically. I only hope we see Grace again in season two!
Born in the USA:
In an excellent episode directed by Steve Boyum, we learn it has been three months since Rachel, Aaron, Charlie and Miles tried to stop the ICBM’s from vaporizing Atlanta Georgia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Our erstwhile heroes of Revolution were not at all successful in that part of their mission and the power has been extinguished once again.
Philadelphia and Atlanta are now radioactive contaminated zones of death. No longer powered up, the two cities are the glowing (from radioactivity) burial grounds for millions. Organized humanity no longer exists in either place.
I must say at this point I was hopeful that Rachel had been successful in stopping Randall the madman from launching the ICBM’s. However, the use of such a dramatic cliffhanger technique provides for the introduction of new characters, and sadly the elimination of others. One must wonder, where did General Monroe go?
It also appears that she is a bit horny as she sits at a bar chatting with Jeff the bartender (Blake Hood), a rather handsome fellow who is telling tales of what it was like to have power once again.
Charlie is not interested in such stories and simply decides to jump Jeff, who has no objections to providing a back room and bed for some canoodling to put the horror of recent events out of their minds. A reasonable and realistic approach I must say!
The next morning, Jeff observes the Monroe Army brand on Charlie’s left arm. Jeff mentions he saw General Sebastian Monroe a few weeks ago. Charlie, seeking revenge, is determined to locate the crazed Monroe.
We do not know how Charlie got separated from the rest of our heroes at this point., We can only assume she has grown up since “The Dark Tower” desiring to find Monroe to exact retribution for his actions in season one.
In the next scene, this reviewer was reminded of “The Twilight Zone” when we find ourselves in Willoughby, Texas.
In the “The Twilight Zone” episode of the name “A Stop in Willoughby” from 1960, James Daly portrays an executive who wants to escape the stress of everyday corporate life. Will the analog in “Born in the USA” provide the same protections?
Here too, in Revolution, Willoughby seems to be a peaceful place where Rachel’s father, Doctor Gene Porter (Stephen Collins) is living providing medical services to those in need. Rachel has taken to helping her father.
Although we do not know as of yet how she got to Willoughby, we must assume Miles, who loves her, was responsible for her safe arrival.
Speaking of Miles Matheson, we witness him burning down a shack in a field, we do not know why except we must assume it contains some evidence he wants destroyed. Miles, wounded goes to visit Rachel and Doctor Porter.
Miles’ hand is sliced severely. As he is getting stitches, Rachel quips at least he was not killed. Dr. Porter stitches Miles up, but lectures him about Rachel’s wedding day to his brother Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee) recalling how the two (Miles and Rachel) looked agt each other and that Rachel has a proclivity for picking “bad boys” like Miles. Porter warns Miles, in no uncertain terms, to stay away from his daughter Rachel.
Viewers may recall that the two had shacked up previously in season one until Rachel was kidnapped by Monroe and held hostage to get Miles to rejoin his ‘Republic”, a republic that he founded until Miles realized it had become a dictatorship seeking absolute control over the other remnants of humanity.
Rachel is observed by her father. She is obsessed with attempting to ascertain why Randall had been motivated to launch the ICBM’s.
Despite her lack of success, Rachel is healing emotionally after the ordeal. Dad Doc Porter is adamant that Miles is the very last thing she needs right now, certain that Miles is the wrong guy for his daughter.
Sorry Dad, these two have been in love for years and although you can threaten Miles and manipulate your daughter, it is this reviewers opinion that their love will find a way over time.
She tells Aaron that the lights came on right before the nuclear bombings, but only for a second. However, Aaron is much more pessimistic.
While gathering firewood, Aaron is enveloped in a sea of fireflies. He experiences an epiphany about the biological chemical energy capabilities in the insects.
Tom Neville reluctantly realizes he will probably never find Julia. She was likely BBQ’d in Atlanta staying there to help her family and this enrages Tom to the point of absolute obsession.
The realization of her death crushes Tom Neville who puts a gun to his head to end it all. His faithful son Jason reasons with him and stops the act of suicide before it can take place. This reviewer remains hopeful that Julia made it out of Atlanta alive!
Flying the old United States of America Stars and Stripes flag, we are introduced to a Washington politician, Secretary Justine Allenford portrayed by Nicole Ari Parker.
The goal is to assist the citizens she says. Allenford informs the crowd that the President is on his way back to the White House.
The townspeople are hopeful and excited. Not so for obsessed Tom Neville. He is 100% certain that the President’s people were behind the bombings, and that Randall was a suicidal minion that ultimately caused his wife Julia’s death,
Vowing to exact revenge for the death of his wife, we now learn what will motivate Tom Neville in season two!
Miles has made up his mind. He is about to leave Willoughby and Rachel for good and the sakes of both their well beings.
Miles is justifiably reticent. He sincerely states that “bad things happen when the two of them are together”.
As he proceeds to leave town, giving a hug to Rachel in the process, Miles witnesses a hapless family being attacked by some malcontents outside their home.
Good ole’ Miles aids the poor victims of their assailants. He is confronted by one of the attackers in a cornfield. A well choreographed fight takes place. Of course Miles slits the villains throat with his sword. Wondering who the frak these guys were, Miles stumbles to his feet and postpones leaving Willoughby.
Scene switch to Charlie. She has located Monroe in a place called New Vegas. Former General Monroe has been humbled, now reduced to earning money as a fisticuffs boxer.
Charlie tracks Monroe from a safe distance. She is planning revenge and needs information on his current habits and routines. Charlie gets one of the carnival workers to lure Monroe out of his trailer in hopes of meeting a pretty girl. On Monroe’s way to the bar, Charlie fires an arrow at him, hoping to kill him.
At the exact same time, two men attack Monroe. Monroe is knocked out and dragged away into the nearby woods. Charlie’s arrow had missed. Left in amazement and wondering what the heck is going on, Charlie follows the two who beat up Monroe who appears to be back at the White House in Washington DC!
Aaron goes to Rachel. He has ideas about fireflies. Rachel dismisses it as nothing. Aaron knows things have been really weird between the two of them. Before Rachel responds, Miles walks back into Willoughby town with a dead man strapped to his horse.
Miles tells Sheriff Mason (Adam Beach) that they are dealing with a new dangerous war clan. To him it is obviously that a large-scale attack on the townspeople of Willoughby is imminent. Sheriff Mason quickly rushes to call in reinforcements. Miles realizes he will be unable to walk away from his past for the time being.
This of course sets up the inevitable love affair between Rachel and Miles, much to the disgust of her father Doctor Porter!
But first we are about to lose a main cast member. One of the bad guys attacks Cynthia in her house. Aaron rushes to save her, but not being the best fighter, Aaron chest is ripped wide open with a sword!
Rachel tries desperately to save Aaron with the help of her father. Unfortunately, Aaron lost too much blood and expires. Everyone in the room is devastated. So was I, since Aaron was such an enjoyable character all throughout season one.
The attacks intensify. Miles beats off a group of bandits attacking other Willoughby citizens. Although Miles saves their lives, he is outnumbered and captured after trying to escape. Miles and Sheriff Mason are taken to the malcontent’s base. Miles and Mason meet the leader of the group, Titus Andover portrayed by Matt Ross.
This guy is our new villain for season two, a real creeper! Things do not look good for Miles or Sheriff Mason.
Rachel and her father console Cynthia who is overcome with grief about Aaron. Cynthia cannot believe Aaron is dead.
Suddenly, something captivates her attention. The fireflies are so beautiful and enchanting. She thinks they are an energy source as Aaron had been trying to tell Rachel earlier. The fireflies represent chemical light and energy for a world once again without electrical power!
The camera pans back to the Inside where Aaron is apparently dead on the floor. And then suddenly, Aaron GASPS for breath! Fear not (SPOILER) Aaron is somehow miraculously revived to appear in the second episode of Revolution!
Why not a “Straight A”?
Although an enjoyable and exciting episode, I gave the “A Minus” because two specific unanswered questions were presented that I wanted to know about.
Where is Grace? And did Julia get BBQ’d in Atlanta along with millions of others when the ICBM’s blasted the city to rubble? This reviewer hopes we will see both again in the near future.
In closing, several have asked (including a comment here) what happened to our detailed analysis of Revolution season one after I posted the pilot episode and Patricia posted episode twelve one “Ghosts”?.
In fact, although I tweeted and interacted each week with the heck our of Revolution all during Season one into May of 2013, and had fun interacting with admirers of the program, due to the serious illness subsequent to Comic-Con San Diego 2012, resulting in the demise of my World War Two Veteran father Robert K. Weeks Sr in December of the same year, I simply did not have time to perform review analysis of Revolution.
However, other events intervened, and my own Revolution analysis was therefore foreclosed for the remainder of the first season while I took care of my fathers estate issues after his passing. Rest In Peace Dad, you are in a better place now!
While WHR You Decide and all other series and convention events continued, thanks to help from loyal WormholeRider team mates like Patricia, and good friends, many, (including me) were sad I was not able to complete season one reviews for what, in my opinion, is without a doubt one of the finest science fiction dramatic programs in the history of television, Revolution!
We will endeavor to do better this season!
We welcome you back to our dedicated Revolution series review site and hope you enjoy our analysis of the second season of this outstanding science fiction drama program!
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