When Revolution first premiered, I never would have even considered the question: Is Rachel a bad person? She was a prisoner being held by Monroe, while her family thought she was dead.
She was an innocent victim, right? Throughout the season, Rachel has been seen as a loving mother who let her daughter eat all the ice cream she wanted after the blackout, to a protective mother that killed a man for her family, to a mother who turned her back on a dying woman despite her daughter's pleas to help.
Is Rachel a bad person? Yes and no. She lost her way after Danny's death, which caused her to make misguided decisions. In the after-blackout world, she's not nearly has "bad" as Monroe or even Miles, but she's definitely not "good" either.
Through flashbacks, Rachel was shown as someone who questioned the decision to use the weapon that ultimately caused the blackout. She feared what would happen if it went wrong. She was a caring person and mother. The blackout changed all that.
Rachel made decisions over and over again to protect her family. She agreed to help on the military project in order to get the nanotechnology to save Danny's life. And, at that time, there's no way she could have known the disastrous worldwide calamity that she was helping perpetuate.
After the blackout, she killed a man who threatened to take what little food her family had. It was a kill or be killed situation and she chose her family. Given the world they lived in, she killed in self-defense and it was understandable.
Rachel's decision to leave her family is still a bit of a mystery. Why did she go to Miles? He wanted Ben's help to turn the power back on, but why did she take his place? Best case scenario, she left them in order to allow Ben to move the family to a safe location. If that's the case, her decision was again in order to protect her family.
Though, her motivation for leaving is still unknown. There's been no clear explanation for why she left her husband and children behind. Her decision led her to be captured, presumed dead by Miles, and then held prisoner by Monroe.
Did she leave her family for noble reasons? The initial belief that Rachel was a victim is likely, but still open to interpretation. She was definitely not the innocent-beyond-reproach woman that was initially introduced. The revelation that she had an affair with Miles changed her image. Could her relationship with him have played into her decision to leave her family to go to him?
When did Rachel cross the line? She killed her former colleague when he revealed she was building a bomb instead of an amplifier. When Monroe threatened to kill Danny, Rachel instead killed the scientist, so she would be the only one with the knowledge to build the amplifier.
Was killing her friend the only option? In that moment, it's difficult to fault her for taking that action, but could that have been when the shift to the dark side started? She was willing to kill an innocent man to protect herself and son. And, then she built the amplifier for Monroe, so he could use it to kill hundreds of people.
She blamed Monroe for Danny's death, but ultimately, wasn't she really responsible? She was the one who gave Monroe the capability to launch the helicopter attack. Her inability to recognize her own responsibility drove her down a dark path.
Rachel was driven to get revenge for Danny's death, even if that meant that she was killed in the process. When given the opportunity, she was willing to die to kill Monroe with a grenade and even gave up on turning on the power to take him out.
In the end, Rachel's obsession overtook her desire to protect her family and that's when she truly lost her way. When Rachel abandoned her daughter and refused to help save Nora's life, she went bad.
Rachel went from a loving mother to a selfish woman overtaken by a desire for revenge. In that moment, she didn't look that much different than Monroe. Rachel turned her back on an ally that helped find and rescue Danny, a woman that protected her daughter, and let her die.
And, for what? To turn the power back on.
Rachel made a bad decision and it cost Nora her life. Is Rachel a bad person? In that moment, she was. Is she irredeemable? No.
On a scale, Rachel isn't even towards the evil side, but her decisions have been morally questionable and she will have to come to terms with the person she's become. She's lost the trust of her daughter and that will be difficult to regain.
Rachel is a complicated person, who compromised her integrity for years to help her family. In the end, she went beyond that and made decisions that were selfish and actually hurt her daughter.
Do you think Rachel is a bad person?
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(Image courtesy of NBC.)