Welcome back Revolution lovers,
The story is nice presented by seasoned Director Fred Toye about the struggle to overcome zealots out to take advantage of the human suffering and misery subsequent to the destruction of Philadelphia and Atlanta by nuclear blasts promulgated by so-called “Patriots”.
The previous episode of Revolution, “Patriot Games”, sets up “One Riot, One Ranger” as the exciting post apocalyptic adventure of life in the United States continues to build momentum for science fiction drama viewers.
In an episode written by experienced story teller David Rambo, who does a wonderful job in furthering the Revolution story arc, we will ultimately learn the fate of a still missing Jason Neville (JD Pardo) in a disclosure that is both disturbing, and as shocking as the fate of similar youth in the war torn lands of our era in 2013 on planet Earth.
As people often say, “truth is stranger than fiction”. In my family, my great aunts, uncles, grandparents all said the same thing to me as I was growing up. Another phrase first used in the Shakespeare play “The Tempest”, discusses “Strange Bedfellows”; a name of three films from 1965, 1986, and 2004 versions.
In “One Riot, One Ranger”, it may be said that the fiction is stranger than the truth, or at least the fiction is as strange as the truth. So another term; “Strange Bedfellow” applies as well!
This is due to the story arc with parallel arcs about patriotism, with our heroes and a former villain having to make amends with Aaron figuring out what has happened to himself, and the return of a former adversary in order to obtain a mutually satisfactory outcome leading to another old adage I learned from a family patriarch; “You do not have to like someone to do business with them”.
These are among the things that we will discover in a “One Riot, One Ranger”; that bitterness and dislike for certain people must often be set aside to succeed at one’s tasks in this world. A truth in the fiction of “One Riot, One Ranger” is also true in real life!
One Riot, One Ranger:
The episode opening scene of “One Riot, One ranger” finds us with General Sebastian Monroe (David Lyons) and Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos) who as we will recall, had been a short ten miles outside of Willoughby at the end of “Patriot Games” subsequent to Monroe saving Charlie from being raped by a gang of “Patriots”.
Using binoculars from a roof top, the unlikely pair of allied cohorts are spying on the Texas town of Willoughby to prepare to infiltrate the town to warn.
“Bass” Monroe tells our beautiful young hero to be patient. Clearly, the Patriots have taken over the entire town as we learned in last week’s episode.
In “Patriot Games” the evil gang has some nefarious purpose for the inhabitants of Willoughby not revealed at this juncture in the story arc.
As you may recall, Aaron (Zak Orth) BBQ’d the pair from a distance using his new nanite enhanced mental abilities that saved Miles from being captured, killed or at least badly injured at the end of last weeks episode.
This reviewer finds the ability that Aaron has obtained via a molecular change caused when the power was restored using Rachel’s technology to be quite interesting. As readers may also be aware, mutations to genetic material have been known to occur from exposure to radiation or chemicals.
The fact that Aaron died and was somehow resurrected from the same nanite technology phenomena has added an exciting element to Revolution that will no doubt be further explored before the end of the second season.
Aaron informs Miles and Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) that he visualized what transpired with the two guards last night.
Aaron shares with Miles and Rachel that he is sure that he caused the two guards to become charcoal briquettes although he thought he was having a nightmarish vision.
We will learn later that like many people in life, they often fool themselves rather than face the truth about themselves. And so it has become with Aaron who is now facing the truth of what has happened to him.
However, always a “Doubting Thomas“, Rachel Matheson is not so sure about the situation with the BBQ deaths of the Patriot guards that Aaron has just confessed to herself and Miles.
She simply does not believe the nanites have such advanced abilities that would allow them to transmit images, energy and actions to an from Aaron via his brain. Miles is not so closed minded since he was directly involved when something very unusual occurred that save him.
Rachel and Miles were having a heart to heart talk about “Patriot” Ken whom she killed in self defense in last weeks episode before Aaron arrived.
They both realize that they are dealing with an extremely serious situation even if they do not yet have all the answers they need to put together the nefarious “Patriot Puzzle”.
This sequence pleasantly reminded this reviewer with a similar story line from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled “Evolution” from 1989 where nanites were accidentally released by an experiment being conducted by a young Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton). The nanites alone were harmless and not intelligent.
When the nanites infected the Enterprise computer core they became self aware and intelligent using Data (Brent Spiner) to communicate with the “ugly bags of water” (humans).
Comparing this with a human brain, which is a biological computer, this reviewer hypothesizes that Aaron may have played the same role as the Enterprise computer and made the nanites in Revolution self aware and intelligent.
This behavior would logically account for Aaron’s nanites being able to save him and also use the power of the fireflies to BBQ the guards who were after Miles in “Patriot Games”.
A group of Texas Rangers arrives in Willoughby on horseback. They are looking for Director Truman. The Patriots are occupying sovereign Texas “Plains Nation” territory in violation of their sovereignty.
Leader of the group, Texan Secretary of the Interior John Franklin Fry portrayed by Jim Beaver of Supernatural fame, indicates that he and his men should kill them all right now unless provided with sufficient motivation to do otherwise.
In the background Miles and Rachel believe that the Texas Rangers may be their best hope for starting a war to put the Patriots on the defensive, allow them to regain control of the town, and be rid of the pesky Patriots for the time being.
We move to Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) at the Savannah refugee camp. A move is underway using some horse drawn wagons for a new camp in a city named Perrysburg.
Therefore the trip to Ohio would be part of the regular travel route to get to the Direct of Columbia from the Savannah Georgia refugee camp area where she landed from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Secretary Allenford assigns Tom Neville to be an integral part of her security detail for the trip to Washington D.C.. Unfortunately, on the road to Perrysburg they are accosted by another Patriot convoy.
The commander of this so-called group of Patriots shoots Secretary Allenford in the stomach. Our revenge seeking Tom Neville, looking to further his position in the Allenford organization, not to mention save his own life, shoots the traitor Patriot malcontent dead on the spot!
This brings another element of the Revolution story into focus that dovetails what is transpiring in the United States today with regard to politics.
Politicians of both parties in this country, or any country or tribe, willingly and gleefully stab each other in the back to increase their power, many of whom are in the same party as those they “politically assassinate”.
This is where the “fiction is as strange as the truth” theorem I was discussing at the beginning of this analysis.
It seems that Miles is known by the Texas Rangers, and not for the good. When Miles chats with Fry to advise him and his men of the Patriots’ nefarious suspect intentions, the Rangers in Willoughby obviously do not trust Miles, and are unwilling to help without proof.
Fry tells Miles that boss wants a treaty, not a war and demands proof to do anything else. Miles asks that Fry to meet him at Lasky’s Mill where he will reveal his proof.
For some reason not yet revealed Aaron packs a bag and heads out. Cynthia (Jessica Collins) freaks out and begs Rachel to help her find Aaron.
This reviewer found it interesting that Aaron had virtually been an alcoholic subsequent to the vaporizing of Atlanta and Philadelphia with nuclear weapons.
There are many types of alcoholics in life, one type is known as a “social alcoholic” who drinks often but still goes to work every day.
The regular consumption of alcohol, beyond a glass of wine or two with dinner, or one or two beers, or one or two shots of booze with dinner (as is customary in many cultures) adversely affects brain chemistry.
This is what is causing people to become oblivious to what their drinking is doing to themselves, or the affect it has on others they associate with.
Yet most of these types of alcoholics live in denial about their problem when instead they should seek professional help as well as support from friends and family.
Charlie has penetrated the town perimeter and finds Miles informing him that Rachel is wanted by the Patriots featured on “poster flyers”. Mile demands to know where she has been and who she learned that Rachel is “wanted”
Charlie sneaks Miles out of Willoughby shocking him when his old nemesis “Bass” Monroe is at the end of their hike. Charlie tells Miles that Monroe had saved her life, and that “Bass” has sincerely come to Willoughby in order to save Rachel.
Miles is not too impressed based on their last encounter at “The Tower” stating “You want to help me?” … “Go away.” Monroe persists; indicating they must work together to defeat the corrupt Patriots by offering a truce to do so.
Miles, always logical, even when drinking Single Malt Scotch, escorts Charlie and Monroe to the train yard only to find that the Patriots have removed all evidence of their evil plan to present to Fry.
Monroe smirks at the two saying he is “confident” new evidence will be available by nighttime.
Aaron has accepted that the killings were not dreams. He admits to Rachel it had happened some months ago when he discovered a Cynthia’s former husband Carl (Adam Sinclair) having sex with another woman (Robin Letourneau) in an abandoned car.
Rachel looks shocked when Aaron confesses that his hatred for Cynthia’s husband bubbled to the surface causing the car to ignite in flames, BBQ’ing both Carl and the woman, killing them in the process. Always hopeful Rachel tells Aaron to go home and she will help him figure it out what to do.
As the episode nears the conclusion, we observe Tom Neville as he tending to Secretary Allenford’s wound. Now in her full confidence, Allenford confides in Neville the ambush was deliberate to cover their evil agenda.
Why? The “kids” have literally become programmed killing machines for the corrupt and evil malcontent so-called “Patriots”!
Then comes the doozy reveal of the episode that precludes Neville’s departure; Allenford confesses to Nevile that his son Jason is inside the drug crazed reprogramming center! Allenford feeling loyalty to Tom says she will take him to his son, but only if he takes her with him!
As they do so, Patriot ambush is unleashed on them a pinning them down!
Like the flashbacks we have seen in season one when Miles and Monroe worked together in the early days after the power went out!
The two former allies Miles and Monroe swiftly eliminate all of the evil Patriots until only Garrett (Jason Douglas) is left alive. Garrett is stunned to see Miles. He weakly manages a gasp uttering “You!”
Miles quickly knocks Garrett out and takes him with them in order to extract whatever Patriot plans and information that they will need to provide to Texas Ranger Fry in order to convince Fry’s boss and start the war with the Patriots as soon as possible.
Rachel observes Aaron gyrating wildly in a field not far from the mill where Monroe, Charlie and Miles are located. Aaron is obviously experiencing another nanite induced vision and nearly falls to the ground in the process.
Having witnessed the seizure like condition first hand that has afflicted Aaron clearly makes Rachel believe that the nanites are having more of an effect than she had believed them previously technically capable of.
Rachel and Aaron head to the mill where Miles, Charlies and Monroe are located waiting for Texas Ranger Fry to show up for the appointment. It is then that a shocked Rachel sees Miles and Charlie with her nemesis Sebastian Monroe!
Rachel grabs one of the weapons obviously planning to kill her former kidnapper Monroe right then and there!
Miles stops Rachel, informing her what is going down. As everyone hides, mother, Rachel and daughter Charlie are arguing over Monroe; Rachel demands to know why Charlie “did not kill Monroe when she had the chance?”
Charlie, who has lived with Monroe during their trip back to Willoughby maintains that “Bass” has become a new person.
Rachel is not convinced, but Aaron tells them to be quiet per Miles instructions. This leaves the subject of Sebastian Monroe and Rachel Matheson to be resolved in the next episode or two.
Fry, seems somewhat sympathetic. He must have observed all the dead bodies he observed on the way in! Nevertheless,
Fry is still concerned that his boss of “The Texas nation” will sign a peace treaty and not invade Willoughby to stop the Patriots without absolute irrefutable proof of their evil deeds on Texas territory.
Monroe comes to the “rescue” killing Fry! Monroe further indicates that all they have to do now is convince Fry’s boss that the Patriots murder him and Miles will have their help to defeat the Patriots by starting the war!
OMG! Monroe is at it again putting Miles and everyone under the gun (pun intended)!
The episode was exciting and deserves a solid “STRAIGHT A”! The special guest star, Jim Beaver of the long lived Supernatural series was a wonderful addition to the episode. I was saddened when his character was killed off so quickly. However, Revolution is science fiction so perhaps his character can return via flashbacks in a future episode.
In concluding my analysis, it is now quite clear that Tom Neville will soon rejoin our band of heroes with the evidence the Texas Rangers needs about the poor drug induced murderous victims of mental brainwash programming of innocent kids taken against their will from the Savannah refugee camps.
These future developments will certainly make for interesting viewing in the next exciting episode of Revolution, “Dead Man Walking” airing October 30, 2013 on Halloween Eve!
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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