Is the struggle for power finally going to culminate in an epic standoff? Will this episode live up to the suspense of a three and a half month hiatus? Can I remember the names of all of the characters? The answer to all of these questions is: probably not.
Helicopters work now, as do Gatling guns. Miles leads their little crew through the woods and into a diner, which is promptly blown to smithereens. Are they dead? Is the series over? That was quite a waste of four months, NBC. But no, thanks to Indiana Jones logic, they hide in the freezer and survive the blast.
Meanwhile Monroe, who I’ve just realised looks something like a poor man’s version of Andrew Lincoln (Rick) from The Walking Dead, hears from Gus/Neville that they haven’t found any remains of the Matheson crew. Monroe is too busy being an unbalanced megalomaniac to care, seeing as they have power now, and sends Neville off to take over the world! Or at any rate, the Country Formerly Known as The United States.
Nora and Charlie (Oh man, I do remember names; though I don’t know if that’s a good thing) smuggle Aaron, Danny, Rachel, and Miles across the Philly border as corpses. Everyone is very happy upon their escape. Nora and Miles make out a little and Rachel looks sort of… pensive, continuing to make me believe she and Miles had a thing and seriously, I hope Charlie and Danny are his kids.
A rebel camp is blown up by the helicopter. Bummer.
The gang looks sadly upon their fallen comrades-in-arms and Miles reflects upon how wars were fought in the past. Nora decides they have to go to
Yavin Annapolis to warn the Rebel Base about Monroe’s (literal) power. Rachel offers her help getting firepower to the rebels, and Miles vows to go with her to “keep her in one piece.” Again, there is weird tension.
Flashback to momma Rachel in the pre-blackout days, talking to toddler Danny and swearing to stick with him. They’re sending him in for an experimental procedure, presumably related to his asthma. Present-day Danny insists she’ll be back.
Neville and his son discuss the price one has to pay for war as the militia interrogates a young man on the rebels’ location.
Meanwhile in Annapolis, Nora’s half of their merry brigade reaches the rebel base. The rebels are not terribly encouraged by the news of Monroe’s untold power.
Miles tells Rachel he saw a body and wouldn’t have left if he thought she was alive. He apologises for “everything that happened” …and seriously, just bone already. Rachel tells him to back off. Man, the writers barely led into the idea something happened to them before slapping us in the face with it. Is subtlety not a thing anymore? (Rhetorical question when it comes to this show, don’t answer that.)
Gus and his son are honing in on the rebel base for attack, and Neville is pleased to discover Charlie is among them. His son defends them, saying that using the chopper is tantamount to straight genocide. Neville yells- well, talks sternly and terrifyingly- at him about disobeying, then they proceed to engage in their own hand-to-hand combat. Commercial!
Return to find Neville and his son are beating the shit out of each other. Jason? Was his name Jason? That sounds good. Neville gives him a solid punch and tells him he’ll never be able to come back home.
Rachel goes to the house of some guy named John. John is a bit jumpy. He says that no one has been answering their computers, and when Rachel tells him that Monroe has an amplifier he looks a lot like he’s about to cry.
Jason (I got his real name right!) introduces himself properly to Charlie and informs her of the impending invasion by his father. Charlie tells him to piss off, but he gets all sad puppy dog eyes combined with teenaged self-righteousness and asks to go with her. Girl sticks to her guns and tells him to back off. Like mother, like daughter I guess.
We learn John sits around making sonic cannons and other such weapons in his basement. He also reveals that Randall got to Grace- and also to him. Which should not really be a surprise, given the jumpiness. He knocks out Miles and Rachel with his sonic cannon.
Erstwhile, Grace is messing around with cables for an elevator. Randall is planning on leaving her with some other creep while he goes on a little trip. Threats are made.
Oh my god can we stop jumping around already? The rebels prepare themselves to defend against Neville. They decide to make a stand. There’s some political bullshit/ Red Dawn-esque inspirationalism. Totally a word, people.
Yay! Game of Thrones advert during commercial break! I’m so excited for Sunday you guys!
Rachel and Miles wake up after getting sonically screwed (also looking forward to Saturday!) and John is apologetic, but obviously more terrified of Randall than Rachel. Miles, being Miles, gets them untied, knocks out John, and they head off, presumably with guns.
Neville reports the rebels’ location to Monroe, including the fact that Charlie is there. Monroe orders the strike and commends Neville. Neville also goes on to claim Jason is dead. Aww, that’s sort of sweet; in a way he’s protecting his son.
Charlie and the lot help the rebels prepare for battle. Charlie’s mind wanders to another flashback (kudos on finding a little girl who looks just like her- almost as good as Young Snow from OUAT) of Danny suffering from asthma-ish symptoms. In the present day, she asks him to hide inside and avoid the conflict, playing the whole “I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more” card. Danny also gets all teenager-self-righteous and claims he must fight! Testosterone! The choppers come right then anyway, so they don’t really get to resolve the discussion. Everyone gets in position.
The rebels open fire on the helicopter, which, you know, isn’t the most effective, though it isn’t exactly ineffective. Also I don’t know a lot about aviation but I sense you would have trouble manoeuvring helicopters that close to the ground. Anyway, Miles and Rachel show up in time to save the day in their horse-drawn carriages with their bazookas and such. As Miles aims at one chopper, another blasts the crap out of him. Right in the ear. That’s going to leave some mild tinnitus; he’ll have to keep a fan on at night. Danny grabs the bazooka and blows the one copter up, but the other shoots him about four times in the chest, then crashes dramatically into the ground as Danny falls in slow motion. I think I’m supposed to have feels but I do not. Charlie and Rachel have feels though. C’mon Miles, you’re the only one left with the Matheson Y Chromosome, do your part!
Rachel is in shock and is self-flagellating for allowing her children to come fight and/or leaving them behind in the first place. I mean, yeah, that was a pretty shitty move Rach, not exactly mom of the year. Charlie is a bit more stoic, vowing to join the rebels and destroy Monroe before he can destroy them. So much teenaged self-importance today.
Randall and John have driven (as in, actually driven, in a car and everything) to see Monroe and offer their services as power providers/ general sleezeballs. So exactly like ComEd!
Rachel mourns Danny for a moment, before cutting him open (seriously not mom of the year) and pulling out something like a pill-sized pacemaker, which was presumably keeping him alive. It’s blinking, which means it’s running on power, and must have been to keep him going all this time. So you see why it’s a big deal? DO YOU SEE?!
Well, the writers didn’t attend a workshop in subtlety over the break. Anyone else feel like they’re trying to go too big too soon? It ends up falling flat- they’re going for too much drama all at once, but the result is that it’s really hard to care too much about any of the characters before they throw another “game-changer” at you. Free scripting advice: it’s hard to shake perception if there’s a never-ending earthquake.
Also I hope everyone is ready to get real sick of me, because Doctor Who picks back up Saturday and Game of Thrones returns Sunday. So for the next 8-10 weeks you’ll be hearing a lot from me. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.