Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 1, Episode 15 of NBC's "Revolution" titled "Home."
Heading back to the town that spawned both Monroe and Miles, as well as the women who loved both men, should have made for a great hour of character development on "Revolution." But instead, it made for an hour of hackneyed rescue operations and inexplicably boneheaded decisions. The best thing about this episode happened in the closing minutes and set the stage for something truly worth getting excited about next week.
Going home again is often about finding closure and reconnecting with your past. There were two homecomings, in a way, in this hour. The more direct one came when Monroe decided he was tired of losing to Miles' united forces under the watchful eye of President Foster of the Georgia Federation. He headed to their hometown to lure Miles with threats of violence against the people living there, especially Emma, played by Annie Wersching of "24" fame.
In case it wasn't clear that Monroe is a complete ass and a total monster now, the writers made sure to include several scenes to drive the point home. Emma approached him as his old friend -- you know it's true because she called him "Bass" -- and he got all uppity when she dared to challenge him. "We're old friends," he concedes. "That doesn't give you the right to talk to me like that."
Is there a more insecure villain on television? It's one of the maddening things about Monroe as a villain. He's just a terrible person, but then he's so insecure and pathetic at the same time I'm not sure if I'm supposed to feel sorry for him, or just get annoyed by him. I'm leaning to the latter more and more.
His biggest "monster" moment came when he drove the entire population of the town into a church and then ordered his men to burn it to the ground. Why kill everyone? Because he's mad at Miles. But he proved his stupidity when he watched Miles limp into the church -- he'd been shot taking out several of Monroe's men -- and only after he was inside did he order his men to not allow anyone to leave the church alive.
If the whole point of this exercise was to kill Miles, why the hell did Monroe and his men just watch him stumble into the church? Was Monroe's madness so severe at this point that he wanted to make sure Miles suffered by burning to death and seeing the people he grew up with dying around him?
But Monroe wasn't the only stupid one. After Charlie and the gang showed up to save everyone -- Monroe was conveniently absent during that big escape, only to conveniently show up again later with Emma at gunpoint. How does he do that?! -- Miles got stupid when faced with a real opportunity to kill Monroe. Granted, he loved Emma, but threatening to shoot anyone who dared shoot at Monroe? Monroe wasn't exactly standing behind Emma using her body as a shield.
When Foster's man, Captain Dixon, did take the shot -- and miss terribly, killing Emma instead -- Monroe hunched over the body for several moments in grief. Nobody thought to shoot him then? Or were they too distracted by Miles making good on his promise and shooting Dixon? Wasted opportunity! Then, Monroe's men drag him off and Miles comes out to hover over Emma's body. None of Monroe's men took that opportunity to kill Miles. The writers are determined to keep these two characters alive, no matter how implausible it makes a scene.
In the end, Monroe escaped and the only person who died was Emma. It's a shame, because Wersching had the potential to be a pivotal character between the men. Maybe that role will fall to her progeny. Out of this entire sequence of events, only one thing came out of it that might be worth a damn down the road. Desperate to stay alive, Emma revealed that she had a child with Monroe -- a son that was out there somewhere. Are we sure it's Monroe's? It certainly appeared like Emma was hooking up with both men at the same time back when they were all younger.
On the other side of somewhere, Aaron and Rachel were hunkered down in the Plains Nation while Rachel tried to decipher the journal that will lead them to the Tower, and ultimately, will get the power back on. But the point of this sojourn wasn't to progress that storyline at all. It was so Aaron could see his wife again.
Years ago, Aaron had proven himself a coward and abandoned his wife with a group of survivors, fearful that he couldn't protect her. Because running away from someone somehow is protecting them? Yeah, there's no logic to this plotline. Regardless, he found her at the mercy of a bounty hunter, so he was able to come through in a way he hadn't years ago. By come through, I mean he acted like a punching bag and while the bounty hunter was busy beating the crap out of him, Priscilla hit him with a pipe. So really, nothing has changed in that dynamic.
Aaron found out that Priscilla had since moved on, remarried and had a child. She was happy, though the Monroe Republic had a bounty on her for killing one of their officers who went after Priscilla's daughters. Her family is in Texas now and she was headed there to join them. So that should give Aaron some closure on his cowardice and abandonment. Maybe now he can start being assertive with Rachel, who dismissed him and turned him into an errand boy this week.
The highlight of the episode, though, was the return of Tom Neville. Giancarlo Esposito looked dapper and very Gus Fring-like in the closing scene as he agreed to replace Captain Dixon as President Foster's "man" keeping an eye on Miles and his rebel forces. Looks like old Tom has turned on Monroe, giving up information to Foster. And apparently, that's all it takes to completely earn her trust and get this key position in her overall military campaign against Monroe.Stray Observations/Annoyances
- Annie Wersching is too good an actress to be used and dumped in one episode like this. Maybe she's not dead? (Yeah, right!)
- "You will turn yourself into me, or else I'm going to kill everyone in our hometown. I swear to God. Anyone you ever loved or cared about will die, just because they know you." Obsess much, Monroe?
- Emma comes across as kind of a terrible person in those flashbacks. With no context, it just looks like she was banging both Monroe and Miles simply because she could.
- "I want to be the Bass that you knew. I want to be him so badly, you have no idea," Monroe tells Emma. Then, "But he's dead. Lock everyone in the basement. Burn it all down." I love the abrupt shifts in monologues on this show. It's completely ridiculous!
- "If anybody takes that shot, I swear to God, I'll kill them myself." With lines like that, why the hell does anyone follow Miles? He's a terrible leader who lets his emotions get in the way of doing the job over and over again. And he's a dick to basically everyone.
"Revolution" airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.