- Tom Neville’s story begins here. Fired from his job as an insurance adjuster and frustrated in life, his tale is not too dissimilar to another man at odds who aspired to greater things.
- But rather than crashing onto a magical island, it was the loss of power that inspired the power within Neville.
- Neville greets his young son Jason (aka Not Nate) and his Optimus Prime Transformer.
- Before the power-down Neville was arguably one of “the good guys” – like Optimus. This night would lead to Neville’s own transformation to a position of leadership.
- Neville is able to disguise his humiliation from both Jason and his wife Julia. An attribute that suggests there’s more to Neville than what he might reveal on the surface.
- It’s almost fitting that just as Jason should throw his first punch, the power would go out, as though the world was somehow responding to Neville’s need for power.
- Neville is ‘reborn’ after he beats his neighbor to a pulp — the visuals, reinforced by his present-day display of physicality, serve to magnify his ascent.
- No coincidence that Neville begins to unravel when his journey takes him back to a bank, a place representing much of his past humiliation. His over the top display of aggression is reflective of his empowerment, yet suggests he’s still unfulfilled.
- Train 47 — the famous Bad Robot number makes an appearance.
- Another 47 number reference occurs when Nora tells Hutch she’s “looking for a biography of Joe Biden” — the 47th and current VP of the United States.
THE CAGE WITHIN
- A striking parallel between the various imprisoned states of Jason, Danny and Neville.
- Straight bars separating Neville and Danny underlines their clear perception of one another, while Jason’s cage helps convey the sense that he’s more at a crossroads.
- However, in the close-up shots of Neville vs Danny, it’s Neville who appears more caged as Danny baits him, causing the bars to seemingly tighten and and expose his vulnerability.
- While Neville is still the dominant figure, Danny takes on the role of the tormentor, the hellish reminder of the past.
- In this sense, Neville’s prisoner is not so much Danny, but his own weakness — the vulnerability that he keeps locked away but is constantly reminded of by both his son and the boy who is more valuable than he knows.
NO MORE LOOKING GLASS
- Rachel’s role as captive has rarely been more reflected than in these increasingly imprisoned shots.
- Despite agreeing to cough up the power secrets, she’s become even more of a prisoner now that Danny can be used against her.
BOLTS & BOOKS
- The power may have gone but Harry Potter is still feeding the imagination, as per this Deathly Hallows nod. Major themes running throughout the book are death and corruption, which you don’t have to look hard to find in Revolution.
- Charlie uses a reflection to throw Neville off the scent. Is he susceptible to illusions? The moment also promotes Charlie as a fast-thinking and deceptive when she needs to be.
- As we’ve previously observed, the post blackout North America is carved into six territories. The Georgia Federation has now formed an alliance with the Plains Nation. The growing resistance within the Monroe Rep has given their rivals the confidence to attack, and they look pretty isolated out there.
- The strength of the resistance is perhaps a natural response to the harshness of its ruler. In this sense Monroe may have made ‘a rod for his own back’, though he seems to relish the fight and knows that one chopper would change the game: “they’d kneel and bow, just like the Mayans before the Spanish.”
- It’s not just North America, but the world he has his eyes set on. “by the time we’re done here, John, North America’s ours. Sky’s the limit.”
- The key to unlocking his ambitions start with the magical pendants. Rachel confirms that there are in fact 12 of them. We know the whereabouts of three – Aaron (via Ben), Grace and Randall. While the person on the other end of Grace’s Skype probably has one as well.
- The whereabouts of the other 8 pendants is a mystery, though the list of names might provide a few candidates.
WATCHING THE CLOCK
- We’ve already spoken about the clocks in previous Observations so no need to go over it again, but feel free to contrast.
THE POINT OF CHARLIE
- Here, Charlie looks like she’s adrift from the group, similar to her position at the start of the episode when she stops to say one last goodbye to Maggie..
READY FOR POWER
- Julia is wearing red both in the flashback and present day. Red might suggest that she’s always been a dominant figure in the relationship and perhaps had a prominent role in her family’s rise to power.
- Her response to seeing Jason was notably restrained in comparison to the way she hugged her hubby. Do both parents have issue with Jason’s apparent confliction?
- Charlie has learned from Miles — she introduces herself to Neville as “Sarah”.
- Charlie’s memories of Miles are beginning to resurface. She recalls being four years old. He had an old tape deck — which is consistent with what Monroe said about technological stasis in the pilot.
- Rachel confirms that both her and Ben were working on the magical pendants, which aligns with the fact that she wasn’t very surprised by the blackout.
- Neville and Julia remained in the city for at least 6 weeks after the blackout, contrast that to the more prepared Ben and Rachel who hopped town after the first week.
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But in fact she’s the pivot, the point of the triangle, reinforcing her growing strength as she sucks it up and takes control of the situation. Miles’ role is less certain, reflecting his uncertainty about having the face and perhaps kill his best friend