It’s hard to even know what to write about this week. The whole episode, despite its brief forays into Aaron and Maggie’s side quest and Danny’s life with the Militia, felt like a series of occurrences that all had to happen to get us to the big, dramatic reveal. Which had already been dramatically revealed in the promo at the end of last week’s episode. So it all felt a little pointless. There were some nice story-telling flairs, but the story didn’t really move forward in any meaningful way, other than the fact that we know a little more about Miles and Bass. Hate to say this, but I think the show’s starting to lose a little momentum, and we might be seeing the end of this promising show sooner than expected.
Nora, Charlie and Miles are on the way to the rebel headquarters to hand over the gun. Miles is trying to talk Nora out of it – he thinks they’ll have a better chance of fighting Monroe and getting Danny back if they have that gun. Nora won’t hear of it.
Flashback to Parris Island Marine Depot. It’s eight weeks after the blackout. Miles has had his fill of sitting around waiting for orders that won’t come. He decides to set out to find Ben. Bass won’t let him go alone.
Miles, Charlie and Nora arrive at the rebel base, where Miles gives fake names for himself and Charlie, and Nora gets an oddly long hug from some guy we assume she’s dating. We learn that the rebels are just back from a raid on a Militia camp. It was an ambush. Twelve are dead, nearly everyone else is horrifically injured, and one of them is missing, possibly captured, possibly giving up their position right that second.
Cut to the woods. Lo, it’s the missing rebel ‘soldier’, being tortured (with Russian roulette) by a Militia commander, and giving up their position right that second. Duh.
Over with Danny, he’s in the process of discovering he’s made a Militia enemy. Turns out the Militia man he crossbowed in the chest had a best friend. Uh oh.
Back at rebel base, Miles is saying that he, Charlie and Nora should all leave as soon as possible, before it’s too late. Nora argues that the rebels are hurt and need help so they should stay. Charlie decides they’ll stay for half an hour, then go.
Aaron and Maggie arrive at Grace’s place. The door is broken (from Randall’s arrival last week) so they’re a little concerned. They look around. There’s a discman sitting out. That’s a bit suspicious. They find the components of a computer upstairs (it was obviously broken by Randall). Aaron gets excited and thinks she must’ve had power. Thinks they should stay, fix the computer, and plug it in to see if he can boot it up. Surely there’d have been an easier way to check the power. Like, I bet she still has a million iPhone wall chargers around the place. I have one and I don’t even have an iPhone.
At rebel base, Charlie sort of flirts with one of the injured rebels and makes a connection. He’s too young to be a love-interest so he’ll probably die horrifically. The uncomfortably-long hugger is a priest. Nora joined the rebels because of a man, but not the priest. Just as the rebels are about to leave the base, the shooting starts. That kid Charlie was flirting with? Bullet to the gut. Dead. Called it. Escape plan: tunnelling their way out. Miles sends their best shot to the roof with the sniper rifle and a bag of bullets.
Outside, every time the commanding officer sends one of his men forward, the sniper shoots. But he keeps sending them. Why? To speed along the inevitable running out of bullets. Hero.
Inside, Charlie and Nora have a heart to heart. Nora doesn’t think they can beat Monroe. She’s only helping the rebels because she hates the Militia so much. They kicked the shit out of her and her boyfriend and made her miscarry at five months. She’s fighting so that the next time she’s pregnant she’ll know her and the baby are safe.
Back with Danny. He’s told that the man he killed was called Templeton and that Templeton’s wife, Carol, is going to be asking if the Militia got payback. Templeton’s friend fully intends to be able to say yes. Danny points out that he’s pretty sure Monroe wants him alive. Templeton’s friend says he will be. Then starts beating him with a bag full of rocks. Good guys, these Militia men.
There’s another flashback. Six months after the blackout. Bass and Miles come across a murdered couple at the side of a road. Miles is disgusted that things fell apart so quickly and that people have no help.
The rebels only have one bullet left when there’s a tunnel cave-in. No escape. Militia men get in, quick sword fight. Miles comes face to face with the Militia commander, puts a sword to his throat and threatens to kill him if the other men don’t back off. Down in the basement, as they’re tying up the Militia commander, Jeremy (Mark Pellegrino, Supernatural), we get that dramatic reveal. Not only was Miles in the Militia, he was one of its founding fathers. He was second only to Monroe.
Aaron is struggling to put the computer back together and is frustrated because he doesn’t know what the necklace is for.
Miles tells Jeremy that if the Militia lets the rebels go, he’ll go to Monroe of his own free will. Jeremy accepts the deal, as long as the rifle is part of it.
Danny is still in the wars with Templeton’s friend. He becomes my favorite character of the episode when he fakes an asthma attack to get his aggressor into a weaker position. Genius.
After Jeremy says that Monroe hasn’t been the same since Miles left – “He’s angrier. Shorter fuse, y’know? Not like the good old days.” – Charlie and Nora spring Miles from the Militia’s clutches. Nora’s a total badass. She really is good at blowing shit up.
And Jeremy is set up as another villain. A sub-villain if you will. I just heart that he’s ever so slightly unhinged.
Flashback to six months after blackout. Miles and Bass happen upon two guys beating the shit out of a third. They intervene. Miles asks the attackers if they had anything to do with the dead couple up the road. When they don’t deny it, he shoots them. I think that’s the birth of the Militia right there. Oh, and the guy they saved? Jeremy.
Final scene: Aaron and Maggie are sitting in Grace’s house, dejected and on the verge of giving up. Then the necklace powers up of its own accord. The discman starts working – Marvin Gaye – and Maggie is able to power her phone up for long enough to see the photo of her kids. Aww. I may have teared up a little. — K
Observations and theories:
Those CGI youth effects on Miles look terrible. Like, they don’t just make him look younger, they make him look inhuman. But, all the same, why didn’t Bass get any?
Charlie said they’d stay at the base for half an hour. But how do they tell how long half an hour is? They don’t have watches or clocks. I know people had time before clocks, but they had sundials and shit. I don’t think they’re toting around sundials. And you can’t say ‘well, a person knows how long half an hour is’ ‘cause that’s very subjective. What feels like ten minutes to one person can feel like an hour to another, depending on the situation. … Sometimes I feel like I care too much about the little things.
After 15 years, those glasses Aaron wears would be impossible to see out of. Honestly, I’ve had glasses for less than two years that are nearly unwearable because of the build up of dust that I can’t seem to get rid of anymore. Plus they don’t even look a little beat up. A little realism wouldn’t kill you, guys. This is nearly as bad as the bra thing.
This isn’t an observation so much as a query to the scientifically-minded. The computer makes sense. That runs on electricity so, when the necklace boots the power back up, that’d work perfectly. But the discman runs on AAs. I mean, I know the same principle of booting the power back up would power up batteries too. Theoretically, that makes sense. But I’m a bit doubtful of the quality of the batteries after 15 years. Even if she had boxes full for when they run out of juice, wouldn’t even the unused ones have started to degrade?
Getting those Firefly vibes again. They just all talk a little bit like they’re in an old-timey Western.
Bass’s accent is terrible! Could he not just have been Australian??
A Firefly-related theory on why Miles went all out and shot the attackers: In the episode “Bushwhacked”, Malcolm Reynolds talks about how when “a man comes up against that kind of will, the only way to deal with it, I suspect, is to become it.” Could Miles have seen too much death and got to the stage where the only appropriate response for him was to start killing?
When Charlie tells Miles she knows he still cares, he says she’s wrong. Maybe he only let himself get caught because he wanted to go back to Bass and the Militia. He could’ve killed Jeremy numerous times, but didn’t. Does he still feel akin to them?
Do iPhones really power up that quickly? I’m beginning to regret buying my Blackberry.
It feels like Bass and Miles got it backward. Bass was more peaceful and less inclined to kill. In fact, he hated it when Miles did. Miles was the gung-ho one. Now Monroe is running an (arguably) evil Militia that Miles wants nothing to do with…
There really aren’t a whole bunch of mysteries this episode. They pretty much answer everything that’s raised, like ‘why is Nora with the rebels’ and ‘how hardcore is Danny’ and ‘why did Miles start the Militia’. The only new, unanswered questions we get are:
– why did Miles leave the Militia? But I think I know that already. Or can make a guess anyway. It’s clear from the flashbacks that he started it to instil some law and order in the world after the blackout. To make it safe for the average person to walk the roads. But it turned into this monster that killed indiscriminately and didn’t make only the bad guys suffer. He probably couldn’t bear to see what he thought was a noble pursuit turn so ugly. Or that’s why I would’ve left. He may have had a vastly different reason.
– How did the necklace power up? I always thought Grace was able to do it whenever she wanted and for as long as she wanted, but I also thought she did it herself. This powered up autonomously. Did someone else do it remotely?
“I’m not dragging you into this. My family. My problem.”
“And you’re my family. That makes it my problem. I’m not asking you.” – Miles, Bass (aww)
“So the woman who can turn the power back on lives here?”
“It’s a little low-key, I’ll give you that.” – Maggie, Aaron
“It’s Shaq over there, innit. The honest love of a good man. That’s why you’re fighting with the amateurs.”
“Wow. Can you boil everything down to getting laid?”
“Yeah.” – Miles, Nora
“We are going to Shawshank our asses out of here.” – Miles
“And do you know what he’s cutting us down with, sergeant? A marine corps M40A… and that’s the reason it is illegal for citizens to own firearms. Squeezing off five rounds in the amount of time it takes us to load one. Seems to have a remarkable amount of ammo but you and I know that bullets are rare, which means sooner or later he’s going to run out, so let’s just try to help him along a little, shall we? Send in another man… Send in another man!”
“Yes, sir.” (Gets up to give orders, gets shot.)
“Terrific.” – Jeremy, sergeant
“This is so dramatic. You guys remember ‘One Life to Live’?” – Jeremy
Have a Preview:
Oooh somebody’s going to die! After loving her in the first episode, is it really bad that I hope it’s Charlie? I mean, it’ll probably be Maggie because she’s 100 per cent inconsequential to the plot so far. But it’d be cool if it was Charlie.