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He has the conch! HE HAS THE CONCH!
Well, let’s get to it, shall we? I'd write a more involved intro but I got shit to do.
We open with Charlie getting branded. Oh no!
Two days ago: there’s a child being led in chains. Charlie aims to help him, but Miles reminds us (again) that you can’t save everyone. She then walks directly into a trap laid by some children. The Lord of the Flies comes out, demanding to know what happened to Peter. He was the kid we saw three seconds ago, because we as viewers don’t have attention spans. Miles wants to know where the parents are, but they haven’t got any. They’re just lots of kids without adult supervision. What could go wrong?
The Kid Kompound is somewhat creepy. Aaron agrees with me. He’s skeeved out by children, which I 100% understand. Michael (?) wants to get his brother. Miles is still concerned about the “parents” thing. In the before time, in the long, long ago, the parents were dragged off because of ol’ glory on their wall. Apparently we’re going to help get this kid, since we are on a quest and there are lots of side quests for moral development and stuff.
We have the same conversation we always have about what is morally right versus sane. Our heroes keep treading the moral high ground on a crazy train.
In chez Monroe, Danny and his mom are having a lovely dinner. Rachel is brought in to chat with Monroe, who demands more info about the pendants. He says he has Brad, a friend of hers. She asks very politely for him to stop. Everyone is so civil. She’s been hostage for fifteen years. How has he been this patient for this long without trying to extort her with her children before this? Oh, right, no one wants to watch a show with six- and eight- year olds. (See: Once Upon a Time, Henry.)
Flashback to preggers Rachel, three years pre-blackout. Ben is explaining that they accidentally made a thing that inhibits electricity instead of making cheap, clean energy. He demonstrates this ability to a seedy looking guy. Rachel is upset he pitched it to the department of defence. Because we all know all government is bad.
Charlie &co. are tracking this kid Peter. His brother is (obviously) following them, along with some of his tiny minions- which Aaron refers to as “a pack of hairless ewoks,” which I’ll admit is better. Meanwhile, Peter and some other children are at a camp for the militia.
Nora introduces herself to a tiny human. Another fat tiny human (Piggy?) steals Aaron’s pendants. He’s cagey about it when Miles is curious. They go to the river and find a conscription boat, where children are brainwashed, since there isn’t television for that anymore.
Flashback memories in the cell! Something is wrong with Rachel’s baby. The foetus (Danny) is missing a blood vessel. The options aren’t great. This makes Rachel a sad panda.
Brad is tossed into the cell. Rachel plays her part, pretending she’s been captured, too. Well, captured and not living a cushy life in the Monroe Capital penthouse. She tells Brad to tell her where it is, saying she’ll get it somewhere safe. He calls her out on her shit, asking how else they could’ve known about the pendants in the first place.
Charlie, as usual, has to infiltrate a situation. Recurring theme much? I’m tired of them having this argument so I don’t listen to them. Something, something she needs a master key. Are they trying to make a Revolution MMORPG? Is that why everything in this show feels like a video game trope? She goes to hang out alone in the woods. The militiaman who finds her is not suspicious at all. She allows herself to be kidnapped. Miles has the decency to look upset when she’s punched.
Back from commercial and Brad is brought to Rachel’s penthouse. He’s pretty salty about her betraying them. She insists she never told him a thing until Monroe showed up with Danny. Again, why did he wait so long to get Danny/Ben? They didn’t leave Chicagoland; the family couldn’t have been that hard to find. Neville comes in- he has Brad’s daughter. Womp, womp. Everyone cries a lot.
On the conscription barge, a dude who looks exactly like Miles tells them that what they’re going to do will make them heroes and stuff. Didn’t the Nazis pull this? Anyway, one kid wants to go home. Lieutenant Slotnick tells him he can leave, but as he tries to, he is beaten to death. Listen, bro, I don’t love kids a whole lot, but I don’t think you can beat them with a stick. To execute her plan, Charlie picks a fight with a chubby kid, who gives it right back to her.
Nora attempts to endear herself to a child. She is moderately successful. Maybe. I’m not sure how to tell with children.
Someone tries to inject Charlie with… something. But she’s having none of that. Our least favourite lieutenant holds her down and attempts to brand her. You may recall this scene if you were paying attention at the beginning.
Back from commercial. Charlie is upset about her new brand while Miles and Nora sneak in. Aaron is upset when he finds Michael is gone from the kids they’re babysitting. He’s busy sneaking into the boat. We’re treated to some sword fighting! Miles saves Charlie. Wait, why did they even bother with this plan?
The kids/Aaron try to stay hidden in the lighthouse on shore. Piggy helps out Aaron.
Of course, Slotnick is holding Michael hostage now that our good guys have Peter. Our friends put their weapons down.
On shore, Aaron hides Piggy behind him. I guess fat people are friends? The pendant spontaneously activates. Lights go on, a generator kicks in, and the lighthouse turns on. Everyone is real confused.
Commercial break! Upon the return, Miles uses the surprise of the light to take out everyone, including running a sword through the lieutenant.
The pendant deactivates I guess, but the militia comes down to sniff around the light house. Aaron manages to waste them. I’m not sure who looks more surprised, him or the kids.
In Philly, Monroe asks how the lights went out in the first place. Rachel doesn’t tell him, saying there’s no point in him knowing.
Flashback. Pregnant Rachel is rocking some shoes that cannot be great on her lumbar spine when combined with her enormous bump. The department of defence guy extorts her co-operation by saying he can get her into a trial at Columbia that could save her baby. She asks what exactly he wants, and he is incredibly creepy.
The children are all reunited. Nora has endeared herself to the child once and for all. Miles asks about the lighthouse. Aaron plays dumb. He is not very good at it. He shows the pendant to Miles and gives a brief explanation. Miles is so upset, and demands it from him. He wants to destroy it, but Aaron is pretty staunch in his refusal. Charlie comes over and demands answers. How many times are they going to repeat this to us?
We find out Grace Beaumont is being held captive somewhere, but not by Monroe- by Randal, our creepy government agent dude!
So, according to the ratings, this is the most popular scripted show on NBC. And all I can think of is, “Why?” I mean, it’s not terrible, but it’s not fantastic. The writing is clichéd, the acting is only there sometimes, and everything feels pretty predictable. Here’s a show template: our heroes see something bad happening, head off to stop it, Charlie has to infiltrate somewhere, our heroes succeed and get one step closer to Danny, learning an important lesson about loyalty and righteousness along the way. Meanwhile, Monroe creeps on Danny and Charlie’s mom. This show has all the components of something that should be cool, but it falls flat. I don’t understand its popularity. And I definitely don’t understand why I have this show instead of Community in my life.
If you’ll excuse me now, I’m quitting the internet until Thursday, on account of the election.
Written or Contributed by Dr. Improbable
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