REVOLUTION Episode 14 review: ‘The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia’

Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie Matheson, Billy Burke as Miles Matheson, Daniella Alonso as Nora in Revolution. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC
Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie Matheson, Billy Burke as Miles Matheson, Daniella Alonso as Nora in Revolution. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

REVOLUTION “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”
Season 1 Episode 14

Executive Producer: J.J. Abrams
Creator: Eric Kripke
Writers: Paul Grellong
Director: Nick Copus

SPOILERS follow. Don’t read if you don’t want to know.

With the knowledge that Monroe has sent a nuclear weapon to Atlanta, Miles (Billy Burke), Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and Nora (Daniella Alonso) head for Georgia, where steam power rules and its citizens live a fine life thanks to a far richer economy than what the Monroe Republic can offer.

Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel Matheson. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC
Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel Matheson in Revolution. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Meanwhile, Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Aaron (Zak Orth) are off to find an amulet-bearing woman named Jane Warren who can help them get into the Tower. The two slavering Militia soldiers who attack them meet an internally-combustible end courtesy of the very woman they were seeking.

Smart cookie Jane immediately realizes that Rachel wants to go to the Tower to short-circuit the nanites. We learn that these nanomachines can do more than absorb electricity (and fry you from the inside out); they can also be used to help repair bodies, and were essentially behind what was keeping Danny alive. Jane refuses to help, because if the nanites are turned off her girlfriend Beth, who has a cancer that is controlled by these devices, will most certainly die.

However, it is Beth herself who convinces her partner to part with the information that Rachel needs, even knowing that turning the nanites off means her death.

Alec holds a grudge against Miles in Revolution. Credit: NBC
Alec holds a grudge against Miles in Revolution. Credit: NBC

The nuclear weapon has been smuggled into Atlanta by Alec, one of Miles’ former protégés, and the fellow to whom he once upon a time gave his grandfather’s “lucky” knife. Once Miles locates the WMD, a close quarters swordfight ensues between its protector Alec and his former Militia mentor. Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) intervenes with a shoulder-piercing arrow, wounding Alec, who manages to escape after shooting a cop and leaving Miles to take the blame from the arriving police force.

“Miles has the swagger and the sword tricks,” Alec warns Charlie before slipping away. “You don’t think he’d hurt you? Ask him what he did to your mom sometime.” Alec has good reason to offer such advice, being that Miles had betrayed him once before. (Miles later sidesteps Charlie’s question about what he once did to her mom.)

A military helicopter begins dropping Munroe’s flyers that demand

Credit: NBC
Monroe’s “Warning” flyers. Credit: NBC

the unconditional surrender of the Georgia Federation and warning of a nuclear attack if Atlanta does not comply. Panicked people begin evacuating the city.

Miles is taken to Georgia Federation President Kelly Foster (Leslie Hope), yet another person with a personal grudge against the former Munroe Militia commander. (It seems like everyone is always pulling knives on this guy.) He offers to stop Alec from detonating the bomb, so she lets him go.

Turns out that that Miles once betrayed Alec in order to avoid a war with Texas. “The job comes first.” In the mass confusion of the fleeing citizenry, Miles improbably immediately locates Nora and Charlie and then Alec’s hiding place in a nearby basement.

Monroe transmits the order to detonate the device and the two men fight for control of the weapon. Miles ends up killing Alec with his granddaddy’s knife, of course, and delivers the defused bomb to President Foster, albeit sans its nuclear material. Even so, Foster decides that war with the is inevitable, and offers Miles 200 soldiers and a thousand guns to open up a second rebel front against Monroe while her troops attack the Republic’s southern border.

Things that didn’t work in this episode:

  • Why use flashlights of all things to test for power? Wouldn’t it have been more inconspicuous to just use digital watches? But then, how could ANY of the batteries in these devices still work after 15 years? I’d certainly like the patent on that rechargeable technology.
  • Why did Frodo and Samwise Rachel and Aaron go alone on their trek to the Tower? Why not take some rebel support forces with them as a safeguard? Playing catch-and-release each week could get old very fast. In fact, it’s only happened once and it already feels overused.
  • You really need a nifty “suspension of disbelief” hat for this episode. Minutes after arriving in the city of Atlanta, Miles has located enemy Alec and the nuke. Moments after being released by Foster he stumbles over both Charlie and Nora and Alec’s secret hideout.
  • Ummm, what happened to the other two men on Alec’s three-man nuke delivery team?
  • I feel so sorry for actor Zak Orth. He gets to do nothing in these episodes but trail after people and get kicked. I can’t help feeling that he is just going to end up dead at the end of the series anyway.

Things that did work in this episode:

  • The fights were less of the past sword-and-fantasy variety and more one-on-one, making them much more believable. Too bad that the relationship between Miles and Alec was not more developed. Good though they may be, it’s difficult to care about what happens to these one-shot guest stars.

My take: I’ve been saying all along that it was ridiculous to think that all of the engineers and scientists and mechanics and teachers would simply forget how to create machines that work sans electricity. Proof that the technology is possible lies in the Georgia Republic’s obviously successful adaptation of steam power. So, are Monroe Republic scientists just plain stupid, or what?

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