TV Recap: Revolution, “Born in the U.S.A.” (2.1)


9/25/2013, 8PM, NBC

After last season’s hit-and-miss episodes, season two starts off with a bang. As you know, the first season of Revolution involved a massive blackout worldwide. Travel 15 years in the future and the planet is overrun with militia troops. We followed Miles, Rachel, Charlie, and Aaron as they attempted to turn the power back on. Once they succeeded, a man named Randall tricked them and launched two nukes at Atlanta and Philadelphia (where military camps had formed and a war was inevitable). However, Randall was not acting on his own behalf, but for the U.S. government who secretly vacated to Cuba.

Early on at the beginning of the episode, we find out that the two nukes did wipe out both Atlanta and Philadelphia. The start of this season has a completely different feel than last season. I’m not a big fan of ending seasons and then beginning seasons by saying, “Six months later,” but this time it actually works. They also fill in some gaps within those six months as well. After Randall committed suicide in front of Rachel and company, she grew distraught. She’s become numb, questioning all of their actions. She’s been the cause of countless lives lost – the original blackout, the nukes, Randall, etc. Therefore, Miles, Aaron, and Charlie take her to see Rachel’s father (played by the wonderful Stephen Collins). Once there, Charlie decides she can’t bear all the things she’s been through with her mom and decides to leave.


Six months later, we find out, the power is still off, having turned on just long enough for the nukes to demolish Atlanta and Philadelphia. Charlie is at a bar flirting with the bartender and ultimately has sex with him. The next morning, he informs her of seeing Monroe. This causes Charlie to spend the rest of the episode searching for him in what is now called the “New Las Vegas.” Interestingly enough, this is how Las Vegas became famous in real life. People would set up crazy attractions and others would come from all over to see them. One of the featured attractions at the “New Las Vegas” was seeing actor David Schwimmer (who is referred to as being the last remaining F.R.I.E.N.D.). Charlie eventually finds Monroe (who has become a fighter) and tries to shoot an arrow into his skull. Before she can do this however, two men kidnap him.

Meanwhile, Rachel is still crazy. (The amazing and talented Elizabeth Mitchell pulls off “crazy” so well). After treating a man’s wounds and finding out that it was because he was in proximity to the nuke (albeit far away), it starts her crazy cycle all over again. She has multiple flashbacks of Randall committing suicide. She wonders if he was acting because of orders and tries desperately to see the bigger picture. Her father later consoles her and wants her to forget about it. Miles is still here as well and back to his old ways of kicking ass and taking names. Aaron has met a new girl and they seemingly live together. All of them are now living in a town called Willoughby.

The other storyline of the episode follows Neville and Jason. They are searching survivor’s camps outside of Atlanta for Neville’s wife and Jason’s mom. While they are searching, a large ship comes upon shore. A lady announces to everyone that they are from the U.S. government and that they’re hoping for things to be restored back to normal soon. They bring supplies and food to everyone. There is even a scene with workers at the White House. However, the workers have people chained in the basement. Neville and Jason both know the truth about the power being turned back on for a few minutes and are skeptical of the government’s plan. Neville tells Jason that he blames them for his wife’s death and that he will seek revenge on them.

As the episode continues, Rachel’s dad convinces Miles to leave Rachel alone because they’re “not good for each other.” Miles ends up leaving, but before he can do so, the city is attacked by several men from a war clan. Men break into Aaron and his girlfriend’s house and Aaron saves her by throwing her out of the room at fighting with a man. After the fight, Aaron is cut badly with a severe blow to his chest. Rachel and her dad try desperately to stop the bleeding, while Miles and the sheriff track down the men who did this to Aaron. Miles and the sheriff seem to have the upper hand until 30 other men show up. Miles and the sheriff surrender and are then taken to a huge camp with hundreds of men from the war clan. Meanwhile, Rachel and her dad are unsuccessful in saving Aaron and he dies.

After this, Aaron’s girlfriend goes outside and sees what seems to be hundreds of lightning bugs. Are they the nanites that caused the blackout or simply fireflies? Earlier in the episode, Aaron noticed them as well. In the final scene of the episode, Rachel sits beside Aaron’s dead body and a close-up reveals Aaron gasping for air. Did the fireflies somehow save him or did Rachel cut the mysterious “pill” out of her leg that she put inside her body to heal her wounds last season and stick it in Aaron’s body?

The Roundup:

  • * How did Aaron survive such a wound?
  • * Are the U.S. government the good guys?
  • * What will Neville’s revenge be?
  • * Will Charlie be blamed for Monroe’s kidnapping or will she go after him?
  • * How will Miles and the sheriff get out of that situation?
  • * What else happened in those 6 months after the bombs dropped?

73/100 ~ GOOD. After last season’s hit-and-miss episodes, season two starts off with a bang.

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Staff Television Critic: I enjoy reading, writing, viewing, filming, and learning. I enjoy thought-provoking material that stimulates the mind. Inspirational influences of mine include J.J. Abrams, LOST, and Cloud Atlas.