This week’s episode of Revolution has two major storylines, one follows Charlie, Miles, Nora and Aaron as they try to save a kid from being recruited into the Monroe Militia and the other storyline follows Rachel, her son Danny and General Monroe as they play each other out to discover the truth of the blackout. The second storyline gets help from flashbacks which shows just what Rachel Matheson was doing in the years leading up to the blackout. Despite both storylines moving the Revolution mythology along considerably they are a bit muddled because neither gets the proper attention they deserve.
As for the plot of ‘Children’s Crusade’…
Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her son Danny (Graham Rogers) reunite and more information is dragged out of Rachel and her old “friends” before the black out. Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and the gang run into a group of children whose parents were killed by the militia about eight years ago. Miles (Billy Burke) feels responsible so he and Charlie devise a plan to get their leader who was captured by the militia and sent to a militia ship. Charlie lets the militia capture her and becomes a conscript. She escapes with the leader, but she is branded with the Monroe Militia symbol on her wrist. Miles and Nora (Daniella Alonso) also come to her aid, but the real hero is Aaron (Zak Orth), whose pendent randomly starts working, turning on the lighthouse where the children are staying. The lighthouse distracts the crew of the ship while Charlie, Nora, and Miles kill the crew and free everyone. Back in Philadelphia one of Rachel’s old coworkers Brad, at an electricity company, is captured because of his knowledge of the blackout. His daughter is also captured, forcing him to show all he knows about the blackout, including the location of his pendant. This is an effective way to put the character of Rachel into a sort of prisoner dilemma scenario, though I doubt General Monroe is swayed by her coöperation.
Flashbacks: Three years before the blackout, Rachel, Ben and Grace worked for a company trying to create renewable free green energy, however their experiments have the opposite effect and instead cause a blackout in a localized area. Demonstrating this to Randall, a member of the US Department of Defense, they are promised contracts to experiment further, but Rachel has reservations about the experiment being weaponized.
I am glad that the storyline involving the group of kids living out in the woods wasn’t stretched to fit the entire episode, usually such themes quickly get boring. This show has already recieved some criticism from fans that it doesn’t move quickly enough. Luckily this part of storyline moves along at a good pace and we mostly see how Aaron, Miles, Nora and Charlie are arguing over what to do about the kids. As such the kids enable our lead characters in a way that I very much liked. Both Aaron and Charlie again both shine in this episode as they did in the last. Aaron is quickly turning into a likable father figure that fans can easily relate to as he is the most grounded personality not unlike Hurley from Lost. Charlie was supposed to serve this purpose originally but the high level of drama mostly caused irritation with fans, her newly found confidence and determination has made up a lot in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, no Tracy Spiridakos bath tub scene in this episode (I still can’t believe I get like 1000 extra hits a day with a few screenshots of that scene).
Now that Miles knows what the pendant does he will also realize that his brother Ben wasn’t killed because of him. My guess is that this will enable Miles to better confront both his past and General Monroe now that there is a way to undue the blackout. Nora is unfortunately somewhat underused in this episode just like she was in the last one (she was in a coma).
The new character of Randall adds effectively another antagonist to the story. Along with the reintroduction of Grace Beaumont (Maria Howell) I hope it will create another dimension to the otherwise rather predictable ‘gang from the village’ vs Monroe Militia dimension.
Overall, the story is effective in moving our characters along to the mid-season finale in late November. Stories such as those about kids orphaned and living in the woods like ‘children of the corn’ are best avoided in the future. Though in this episode there presence is brief enough to not draw on the episode too much. References to them as ‘hairless ewoks’ are good fun though they do make light of their predicament.
The last two episodes of Revolution have been referenced by fans as having a ‘mission of the week’ like storyline. I guess everybody is now hoping things will move along to the confrontation with General Monroe.
Score; 8.0 / 10.
Viewer Rating; 7.39 million. The series is starting to slide to a number where season 2 is starting to come into doubt.