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Welcome to Revolution Observations — your weekly guide through the visual clues and overarching connections in NBC’s Revolution. This week we’re tackling Episode 4 “Plague Dogs“.


  • “Plague Dogs” is heavily themed around the classic L. Frank Baum book The Wizard Of Oz. It’s used as a metaphor for Maggie quest to get home to her children.

  • While she doesn’t make it back to ‘Kansas’ in the physical sense, we see how she’s fulfilled her quest by being a surrogate mother to Charlie and Danny, underscored through her final flashback where she recalls reading The Wizard Of Oz to her kid.

  • Her death also strengthens her comments to Miles about him needing Charlie as much as she needs him, inspiring the former militia master to stay with Charlie on her journey.

  • The Oz parallels are also present in the Neville/Danny side of the narrative. A sudden shift in the weather produces a ‘cyclone’ that ultimately forces the pair to retreat to a shelter that collapses onto Neville like the Wicked Witch of the East.
  • Danny’s better nature ultimately saves Neville from an ironic demise, but salvation is not necessarily reciprocated in this land, not with Danny being so valuable and Neville having designs on working his way up the ladder.

  • The Wicked Witch of the East reference also plays into the post-apocalyptic North American landscape. The WWotE conquered the eastern part of the land of Oz and held the Munchkins in bondage for decades, similar to the Monroe Republic claiming an eastern chunk of North America and holding its citizens under an iron fist, as you can see from the map above (courtesy TV Guide).

  • Like the WWotE, Neville can be reasoned with under certain circumstances. As light pours onto his head, he explains to Danny that he has a son he is striving to build a future for. He asks whether he’s so different from Danny’s father Ben, noting that his specific journey has shaped him into the man we see today. Was Ben a better man or did he just have a path that allowed him to retain better traits?

  • The episode also reveals the circumstances under which Rachel left her family a few years after the blackout, giving us a rough time-frame for her imprisonment.
  • She handed herself over to the  then militia leader Miles under some kind of agreement that she’d eventually be back with her kids and Ben. Miles’ reaction is one of someone who perhaps didn’t quite expect Rachel to agree to his request and didn’t exactly express confidence that he’d be able to live up his end of the agreement (though ironically he might yet).
  • Perhaps Miles’ personal involvement in their separation is another reason why he wasn’t too keen on continuing the mission to find Danny. The beans will spill.


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  1. Peanut says

    Thanks for the observations, Roco, especially the map.

    I say that the gang should let Monroe have the kids, Danny & Charlie, & free Rachel. Of course, she’s probably holding a bit of a grudge about being separated from her family against her brother-in-law, Miles, that she’ll have to get over before she becomes a full-fledged member of the merry band.

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  2. WaySeeker says

    Why do you think it is called “Plague Dogs”? There is a book called that that I read. It is by Richard Adams, author of “Watership Down.” It is about a couple of dogs in a horrific inhumane (military?) testing lab, and in a nearby secure room they test plagues on dogs (but not these two). Something happens that allows these two dogs to escape. We follow them, they discover a red fox who helps them (but one of the dogs doesn’t trust him). The humans think they may have the plague. They are followed by the government and the media if I remember correctly.

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