Three episodes in and there are a few things we know about this dark, post-apocalyptic America the characters inhabit:
- Monroe and his militia are bad news
- A fledgling revolutionary movement is starting to gain momentum
- Charlie has faith … and we’re not sure why
Of all the characters on Revolution, it’s obvious Charlie is our heroine; Kripke has made no mistake about that. And similarly to other strong leads across a variety of TV shows, if Charlie strongly believes or feels something, we as the audience feel it too. Which is the only reason why we trust her uncle Miles.
To this point, we haven’t had much reason to put any faith in a guy who her father described as “only good at killing.” Miles is strong-armed into helping Charlie find her brother; he takes the first opportunity to try and ditch her; and when a group of militia attack a revolutionary stronghold, his first and only instinct is to run. And yet, Charlie still believes he’s a good guy.
Now, to be fair, anyone with a modicum of self-preservation is going to want to run away from the men with the guns, but what makes Miles’ desire to flee even more acceptable is that he knows better than anyone how good the militia is – because he trained them. Even as he detonates this bomb, Charlie still believes Miles will do the right thing.
I’m hoping that Charlie’s faith isn’t misplaced. She asserts toward the end of “No Quarter” that there is still a piece of Miles that wants to do the right thing. He tells her she’s wrong. It’s going to take us some more episodes to figure out who exactly is fooling the other – or themselves.
Perhaps in attempt to let us make up our own minds about Miles, this episode took us through his more dire moments directly following the blackout: chronicling his friendship with Monroe as well as his evolution from a young soldier to a hardened and cynical outcast. Again, there is a side to Miles’ story that speaks to logic and common sense; if someone is coming after you with a gun or beating the crap out of a stranger on the side of the road, ignoring it may not be the best course of action. It is apparent from episode three’s flashbacks that Miles makes a choice pretty early on about the type of man he will be now that the power’s out. And that choice easily sets him on the path for training a sadistic bunch of wannabe soldiers for his buddy Monroe. And turning into someone Charlie probably shouldn’t follow blindly.
Now, Charlie is without a doubt the most jaded of all the members of her family (although Danny demonstrated some backbone last night that I was not expecting. I liked it.). While her father apparently tried to shelter her from the horrors of this unplugged world, it seems pretty obvious he didn’t succeed. However, Charlie still isn’t world-weary enough to accept Miles’ selfish attitude at face value. She’s putting a lot of faith in a guy who didn’t want to come along in the first place. I don’t imagine that faith will have been misplaced, but I’m also hoping Kripke gives us a few more twists and turns before we fully understand Miles’ motivations and Charlie’s belief.
On a totally separate note, it was great to see Mark Pellegrino back on the small screen. A J.J. Abrams and Kripke favorite, Pellegrino is a terrific character actor who plays swarmy so well.
Revolution is still holding my interest. They’re doing a great job each week of layering in more and more intrigue while also answering some questions and presenting us with new information. The use of flashbacks could easily be tedious and predictable, but the writers are making good choices regarding what to show. Every piece brings us further along to understanding the world and the characters, including Charlie’s faith, misplaced or not.