Episode 12: Ghosts
By: Carlos Uribe
Revolution is a show set 15-years after electricity died.
Ghosts is an episode that splits into two different halves. The characters are now in a rebellion but they decide to help in two different ways. Miles realizes that the rebels have no chance of winning the war unless they're able to be trained to be just as good as the militia. He can't do it by himself so he takes Nora with him to recruit a friend of his. This friend, Jim, used to be in the militia with him. Jim was one of the captains who had helped him try to assassinate Monroe. While Miles goes to find him, the rest of the characters stick behind to help the rebels at the closest base. It makes sense to split them in half as it allows the narrative to flow nicely. The Miles mission has a clear objective that makes it easy to figure out what's going on. The other characters it's a little more complicated as the family drama is the driving force before the base gets discovered by the militia. The episode helps write Randall into the overall narrative by having him join forces with Monroe. Ghosts is a pretty good episode and definably starts to show where the rest of the season is going to go. We already knew that the characters were going to join the rebels and training them is the next logical step. The problem is that Monroe can't really lose as he's a central antagonist so that means the series is going to have to find a way to have the rebels fight him without making either side incompetent. The large problem with the actual episode was the family drama.
The plot at the hospital base was moving so slowly with Charlie and Rachel having issues connecting. It's understandable that the writers would want to go there but it didn't work for me for multiple reasons. The first is that it slowed down the narrative momentum dramatically every time it went to them. The second is that Tracy Spiridakos remains a challenging actress who has troubles selling her character's emotional state. I couldn't connect with Charlie so I didn't really care about her. The third problem is that it didn't really go anywhere. They didn't really resolve their issues and it feels very unresolved. The final problem I had with this whole plot is that there's no real reason to care about their relationship. It might be because I don't care about Charlie but it's that the series has given us no reason to have us care about if those two resolve their differences or not. It might have been a necessary step for the writers to take but it was just so dull that I kept waiting for those scenes to end. It doesn't help that it was just all so cliché and predictable. The good news is that this boring family drama is interrupted by Randall. I'm gradually growing to like Randall as the show's real villain because you get the sense that the writers are having fun writing him. An example is when he gets to call Monroe as having his head up his ass. He does get some depth this week in his flashbacks when it's revealed that it's his dead son that motivated him to manipulate the Department of Defense into initiating the blackout. On the other hand, it also really simplified his actions so it didn't flesh him out that much. At least we know why he's acting the way he is and we can understand his plan to give energy to a select few. He's wrong but at least I know where he's coming from.
So how does Randall find them? He can activate the pendants at will. This allows him to track them. I don't remember how or why but Aaron has two of them. That's what happens when you go off the air for months: some important plot details tend to slip by me. He takes them out of his backpack for no real reason. I guess it's so that we see they're being turned on but it makes no sense within the narrative. Randall does find them and Rachel freaks out. She knows that Randall can't have the pendants so she destroys them. Randall is annoyed but he didn't just come for the two pendants. He already has some as he had used one of them to rebuild one of those amplifies to give to Monroe. So I guess the helicopter was destroyed for nothing. He wants Rachel to join his team of scientists. Rachel almost gets taken by Randall but she's saved at the last minute by Aaron and Charlie. It was a lot more exciting than the boring family drama that preceded it. At the end, Aaron learns everything he needs to know about the pendants. It makes sense that he would be brought into the loop but it is a bit disappointing that we cut to black. I'm not sure he's going to find out anything we don't already know or can infer but I would like to know his reaction to it all.
The other plot going on had to do with Miles and Nora. The two have to find a guy named Jim so they could recruit him for the militia. They do find Jim but not in a place they would expect: a town that's as close to stepford as a town in this world can get. This surprises the two which I guess is a way to establish that Jim is a ruthless killer who doesn’t' fit into society. This is undermined when Jim is revealed to have happily been living as a librarian with his wife. He's been using a fake name and has built a nice life for himself. That is until Miles comes strolling into town to recruit him. Jim doesn't want to leave his new life behind but is forced to do so when a kill squad comes into town. Jim has to not only defend the town but save his wife. You would think that saving her life would be enough for her to forgive him. Nope. She's a bit cold as she refuses Jim for who he really is: a killer. Jim agrees to take down Monroe because his life is now ruined. Yay? I'm not sure how I feel about the already large world of Revolution adding another character. Especially one who seems to basically be another killing machine-the only difference being he's a minority character. I don't know but at least Miles can start training the rebels!
Ghosts is an episode that suffers from a little too much drama in the family department. It makes sense how Charlie and Rachel are acting but it didn't make it any easier to watch. The action was good and that's what saves this episode of Revolution. Randall really helped to kick this episode into gear and so far it's proven to be beneficial to include him into the overall narrative.