Before we get to the events that transpire in the latest episode of Revolution
, I stumbled upon some news that I found most disappointing. Is anyone else aware that Willoughby, Texas, is not a real place? All the other cities in the show are real, so why make one up to be the central location of the entire second season?
I discovered this apparition when Aaron and Priscilla were walking from Lubbock (a real place) back to Willoughby, and the bottom of the screen told me they were 200 miles away. I wanted to see how far apart these two towns actually were, but Google maps directed me to Willoughby, Ohio, which even in the post-apocalyptic future is unlikely to be part of the Texas province.
Further Googling led to me the Wikipedia page for all the Willoughbys of the world, and one of the headings is labeled 'fiction.' Under that tab, you'll find "Willoughby, Texas is a fictional town in the series Revolution
Mind blown. Anyone else. Anyway, on to "Exposition Boulevard."
So What Does It All Mean?
If you've been following along this season, you know my biggest complaint is that we have no idea what we're working towards or what the point of any of this is. Well apparently Revolution heard my plea and made an effort to explain some of that, albeit simply and straightforwardly, with a bit of action worked in to keep things interesting.
Enter "Exposition Boulevard," because if you're going to make us walk down that road, you might as well be obvious about it. It might be light on meaningful events outside of a team reunion and a blatant Saving Private Ryan moment, and heavy on playful Miles-Monroe banter, but you have to appreciate the effort. I still have hopes.
Get the Quick One Out of the Way
Let's handle the side plot first, because it's quick and easy, much like Aaron and Priscilla, respectively. They are slowly meandering their way from Lubbock back to Willoughby, at least a day into their journey with 200 miles and a week to go (conversely, Monroe and company were able to walk from New Vegas to Willoughby in four days -- where the heck is this imaginary place?).
Aaron pulls some Biblical apples off a tree and they eat by a fire, with Priscilla cooing about how it's the best thing she's ever tasted. Pudgy Aaron thinks it's just like every other crappy apple he's every had, but she is excited by the the adventure and the fact that they survived. Then she snuggles up to Aaron under the guise of being cold, kisses him and says she never wants to be without him ever again.
Judging from the beard and the circumstances, I doubt either one has done any body hair maintenance in about a decade, but they get it on anyway. After they snug and kiss in post-coital bliss (you know you love the poetry), she waits until he falls asleep and sneaks off to be with 10 million fireflies who apparently really hate goodbyes.
The two-week Matheson-Neville standoff -- they just stood there while Aaron dreamed -- comes to an end when Doyle and the Pats open fire and everyone scatters. Tom is like, dude, we totally had that, but Doyle's not interested. He wanted Tom and his lying co-wife both executed, but the president had other ideas.
Their existence is a personal affront to him, and he'd like nothing more than to find Monroe by himself and cash in the glory in the form of Neville-head bookends. So he'll let Tom look and try and stuff, but he'll be damned if he's going to help him.
Miles and Rachel stumble upon Monroe, Charlie, Connor and their newfound army of five. But first, Monroe asks Charlie how she finds time to bang his son and makes a weird "black out with your cack out" comment. Reunited, Miles and Monroe spy the reeducation camp, which is now fully operational. Then they easily capture two young cadets, Kim and Dylan, who they catch spying on them.
To Kill or Not to Kill?
Dr. Gene Porter is in full-on intuition mode, first accurately predicting that Charlie and Connor are sleeping together (just that one time, right? There's no chemistry there), then recognizing the little cadet scamps and converting them back to the light side.
Monroe wants to kill them because they're clearly the enemy, but Gene and Rachel overrule and decide to take them home. Miles lets it happen, for now. They swing by the house of old man Grant, who pulls a shotgun on them for yanking his daughter Kim out of camp. She weepily admits that they torture and abuse her, and she doesn't even remember how she got her black eye.
That is, of course, until they find a barcode tattooed on her eyelid. When dad reads the numbers aloud, she grabs the shottie and blows him away. She tries to fire on the group, but there are no more bullets. So she grabs a knife and slits her own throat. Yeah, they're trustworthy folk.
Willoughby Gets a Purpose
Back at Patriot headquarters, presumably either in DC or Shangri La, the president gets a visit from a staffer who updates him on the situation in Texas. The reeducation camps are up and running, and the Ranger commander of Texas has no idea what's going on. But el presidente is pissed that Miles and Monroe are still on the loose, because the entire plan to take over Texas and the rest of the country depends on Willoughby and that camp.
He orders the cadets to be made combat ready, or everyone and their family members are getting shot. It's quite ironic that the town central to the Patriots plan also happens to be where Rachel is from and her dad still lives. Small world.
Neville Turns Truman and the Cuba Backstory
Doyle treats Truman like he's a lackey piece of crap, and Tom sees his chance to exploit a situation and gain an unlikely ally. He points out that Doyle is sending men out by the wazoo in search of Monroe, but he's been spying and already knows where the gang is. So if they take them together, it's win-win for them and lose-lose for Doyle. First however, we need to see how Truman ended up being Truman.
They spread out the flashback, but I'll sum it up. Six months after the blackout, Truman was serving grub to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay even though they hadn't heard from the mainland in half a year. He tries to stand up to his CO, but he ends up being a lackey jackwagon yet again. Then, a fleet of ships arrives carrying half the US government.
Six months after that, the then-secretary-of-defense/current president gathers up a group of vetted troops, Truman among them, and tells them the blackout was punishment for vermin that corrupted the country. The President, the Speaker and most of the senior administration staff were killed when Air Force One went down, so he's proposing a coup to take out the VP and start a new world order. At least seventy percent of the US population will be dead, but that's natural selection and the strong will survive the purge to start a new America committed to 'Merican' ideals.
The people in that room are the new founding fathers. Victor Doyle steps up and declares himself an interrogation expert who will use reeducation to recruit followers, whether they want it or not.
War Vs. Humanity
Kyle is also sporting an eye tat, which is reason enough for Miles and Monroe to kill him. The smart vs. human argument plays itself out again until Tom and Truman open fire on the group. A full-on gun battle breaks out, with Truman going after Monroe.
Charlie and Connor run into Jason, who greets Charlie and lowers his weapon. She knocks the dumbass out with the butt of her gun. While Tom and Monroe duke it out and Jason attacks Connor, a guy I can only assume is a mercenary gets shot while another shoots a Patriot in the neck with an arrow.
Meanwhile, Rachel frees a cowering Kyle and tells him to run, when Miles breaks from the action and points his rifle at the frightened teen. Rachel says no, and Miles hesitates and pulls his finger off the trigger. Kyle makes a break for it, and Rachel says he did the right thing. But if I've learned anything from Tom Hanks, it's that Kyle is coming back and killing someone important.
Monroe beats Tom and Jason beats Connor (by smashing his head through a car window), so Monroe knocks out Jason and grabs his son. Everyone important flees, and Tom and Truman get reamed out by Doyle. The warning is, "I'll cut things off your wife that don't grow back," which I'm pretty sure encompasses everything.
While Tom pines to Truman about how much easier everything would be if Doyle was just out of the picture, the freedom fighters retire to a new secluded hideaway. Even with Rachel's comforting words about letting the future killer of someone significant go free, Monroe just can't understand why Miles passed on taking the shot.
Monroe says he's fighting for revenge, and Miles calls him on his BS. He just wants to get back the Monroe Republic and establish some half-ass father-son kingdom. Monroe retorts that at least he has a goal. What is Miles' endgame? To play house?
Miles stares at Monroe and realizes, "Oh crap, I have no idea what this entire season has been about." He walks off camera without a word.
Meanwhile, Doyle brings Jason into his office, pulls down his eyelid and reads his tat numbers aloud. With Jason once again under his control, he demands to know everything about Tom's plan.
Living Up to the Billing
Well, we certainly got what was advertised. We are once again no closer to an endgame than we were before we started, and we really don't know what the point of it all is, but at least we got a bit more backstory.
"Exposition Boulevard" was a pretty enjoyable cookie-cutter episode that sets us up for bigger and better things moving forward. We didn't really get a deeper understanding of anyone except maybe Truman and the other bad guys, and if there's supposed to be a deepening romance between Connor and Charlie, I'm not feeling it.
At least the characters are starting to call each other out on the things I've been complaining about all season, so hopefully we'll quit beating around the bush and get to it already. And of course, there's always room for more exposition.
What did you think of this one? Are you excited to see where things go? Do you think there will be a big-picture point to all this, or will things limp to the end with the continuing conflicts and not much of a reason for them? Or maybe we should just all just go back to Aaron's nanite-induced fantasy dream world and enjoy our steak- and beer-filled time in the Matrix?
You can watch Revolution
every Wednesday at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)