Revolution "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" Review: Miles Is Sorry for Everything He's Done to You

Revolution S01E14: "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"

That Miles Matheson, am I right? He's always doing stuff to people. In last night's episode of Revolution, we were reminded that he did something to Rachel. Something bad! And don't forget about what about what he did to Alec, his student from back in the day when Miles and 'Bas ruled the Monroe Republic. Miles shipped Alec off to Texas for some Texas-shaped justice. Texas! Poor guy. And what about what he did to Georgia Federation President Kelly? He did something personal to her that she'll always remember, according to President Kelly. We also know he did something to Nora in the past, did bad things to every single villain-of-the-week in the first half of Season 1, and stomped on that kid's sand castle in Myrtle Beach right before he spit on the tyke's sandwich (just guessing on that last one). Plus he still owes me fifty bucks.

Yet when Miles pouted on the curb and emo'd to Charlie, "People count on me, and they get hurt. You want to know why? Because I hurt them. And I don't even think twice about it. That's who I am, Charlie. Now get the hell away from me," it wasn't a moment of maturation through self-reflection. It was "HERE WE GO AGAIN," because we've seen him do this before. 

After a string of pretty solid episodes, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" was a boring affair. Despite the imminent threat of a nuclear attack, the episode was built on character instead of real plot (if anyone thought the bomb was actually going to go off, I have a bridge to sell you), and Revolution's character-built episodes will always be boring until its characters grow before us. Miles' wrongs never stood a chance at being 100-percent corrected, but he could've at least shown some sort of authentic remorse other than saying something like, "But that was the old Miles!" Because this cycle for Miles is making me tired. The only time Miles actually admitted he was wrong was to Alec, and then he killed Alec a minute later. Yes, it's kind of sad to see Miles struggle with his past, until you realize that A) he's not doing much about it, and B) it's hard to really feel anything for the members of Monroe's Militia that he wronged in the first place. Isn't the point that we're not supposed to empathize with Stormtroopers? To truly feel the haunting of Miles' past, we need to see good people that he done wronged.

But enough about Miles and his warpath of destroyed personal relationships! I'd like to talk about Atlanta for the first time ever in my life. This episode gave us the only real good glimpse we've gotten at the rest of Revolution's universe, and sorry, I'm not sure what to think about this interpretation of the United States now. After spending time in the raggedy and smelly Monroe Republic, Atlanta was the Beverly Hills of the post-blackout world, its citizens packing the streets in elegant dresses and suits and not missing electricity at all. Did you see these fancypantses? It looked like Men's Wearhouse had a blowout Easter sale or something. 

It was definitely culture shock, not just for Charlie, but for us. Steam engines! Street food! Post-apocalyptic Ross Dress for Lesses! While the Monroe Republic wore loin cloths and army surplus gear, Atlanta somehow kept clothes on the racks and hoarded guns. While the Monroe Republic dragged helicopters by hand and hired hermits to build nuclear bombs, the Georgia Federation grew crops and developed steam technology for public transportation AND pressing suits. And we've been asked to believe both situations are simultaneously possible without understanding any of the basics. Atlanta could build steam-engine buses but Monroe couldn't? Monroe uses diamonds as currency, but Atlanta has "money"? Are these clothes old, or are they being made now? Where are the bikes? Is Europe really a convenient trading partner? What's going on in Canada (and/or Mexico) if the States can reshape borders into giant territories but we're still respectful to our neighbors to the North? Who wears a damn suit in muggy-ass Atlanta when they don't have to? Somebody's clearly put some thought into what these worlds should look and operate like, but there hasn't been enough devoted to how they came to exist or why. Based on its premise, Revolution is obviously going to attract a particularly curious crowd that will dissect the details, and opening the world up, while pretty cool, only reminds me that there's still a lot out there that's cloudy. 

Speaking of cloudy details, the magical nanites are good for more than just keeping the lights off. They eat tumors! The all-knowing Dr. Warren put it best with Revolution's take on science: "It's not magic, but it might as well be." Because these nanites, my friends, may as well be magic. At this point, they can do anything as long as you close your eyes and pray hard enough. Have a cavity? The nanite fairies will fix it. Can't reach the remote control? Just ask the nanites to grab it for you! Need Cyrano de Bergerac-type advice while you're out on a date? NANITES NANITES NANITES!

The new power of these cancer-killing nanites set up Rachel's story of the week, which saw her track down Dr. Warren, another one of these "rare" scientists who happens to know more about The Tower than anyone. Whenever Rachel hits a roadblock, all she has to do is visit an old coworker who conveniently happens to be within walking distance and not kidnapped by Monroe. Dr. Warren's lady partner Beth had Stage-4 cancer, or as the nanites call it, a tumor-licious buffet! The only thing keeping her alive were these microscopic electricity eaters, and if Rachel was to somehow turn them off, Beth would die. So Dr. Warren wantsed them to stay off, because all she could think about was herself and her girlfriend and not the rest of the world. We also learned that the only thing keeping Danny alive were the nanites (they also eat asthma!), but now that he's dead Rachel doesn't have to care about keeping them off. Basically, we saw a scene between two incredibly selfish women, one of whom (Rachel) is a total hypocrite for backing away from her belief because Danny is dead so who cares about what she said previously. 

It was only Beth who had enough sense to slap everyone in the face by promising Dr. Warren that she'd just kill herself by slitting her wrists (let's see your nanites fix that!) so everyone else can enjoy electricity, and you know, probably save a ton more lives in the process. It was an absurdly melodramatic scene, and it ended with Dr. Warren handing over her book of Tower knowledge to Rachel, thus bestowing all Tower information unto Rachel and rendering Dr. Warren to old news. Miles and Rachel deserve each other, since the thing they're best at is showing up at people's doors and ruining their lives.

The episode's most interesting development came at the end, when President Kelly handed Miles the keys to a mini-army (a couple hundred troops, a thousand guns) and told him to hit Monroe from the inside. I don't know how Miles casually strolls back into the Monroe Republic with hundreds of dudes each carrying five guns behind him, especially since he can't go 100 yards without being spotted as the most-recognized traitor in the territory, but I'm sure that will be solved with a simple cut to Miles and his men hiding out in Philadelphia if he does choose to take President Kelly up on her offer. It at least sets the stage for the rebels to get a powerful ally in the Georgia Federation, and practically promises all-out war between the two for a big season finale. This I can definitely get behind.

There wasn't much else to "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," which took teeny-tiny baby steps after the man-sized strides of the last few episodes. Until the show writes characters that are interesting for more than psychopathic tendencies (looking at you, Rachel), all we'll really be tuning in for is plot development, and I don't think there's enough of that for a satisfying season unless your idea of plot is meeting the new character of the week who opens the door to the next character.


– How seriously can you take a threat when the people making the threat misspell "flyers" on a flyer? And how does Monroe find the time to have all that fancy cardstock individually printed with fancy fonts and line breaks? And how come the "flier" said that President Kelly has two hours until after the "fliers" drop to surrender, but President Kelly later said she has until midnight? Those "fliers" definitely dropped out of the choppers in the afternoon.

– If you were President Kelly, wouldn't you be shitting bricks to learn that your big foe had electricity? She was just like, "Whatever, man. I have money and more men." I'll take a helicopter with chainguns and missiles over a steam-powered Greyhound any day. Also, she was pretty cavalier about letting Miles go after he was arrested for killing one of her policemen. I guess she's a pretty chill prez overall.   

– What happened to the other guys in Alec's "three-man strike team," as the show called it? Were they too distracted by the clearance rack at Nordstrom? Why weren't they with Alec when he was about to detonate the bomb? 

– Do we even need Aaron around at all anymore? Right now, his role appears to be telling us when we should be shocked. 

– I was hoping that when Miles was telling the story about the knife's origin to Alec, it would veer into Pulp Fiction territory and Miles would say how his father hid the knife in his ass in his best Christopher Walken impersonation.

– Sebastian Monroe is FREAKING INSANE, man! He just shot that dude in the beginning because the guy knew Neville, and that's it. If this show is going to be ridiculous, I think I like him this way. But he won't have anyone left if he keeps this pace.

– I think I'm more interested in seeing where the Nevilles ran to and what they're doing than I am in tracking bombs that I know won't explode.

– Miles chased Alec all over the city, knocking down fruit baskets and clothes racks in broad daylight, but it wasn't until they turned down a small alleyway that they ran into six cops—one conveniently alone and ripe for a murder-framing, and five more to come around the corner just in the nick of time and arrest Miles. Silly cops! Can someone make a show where the authorities aren't complete nincompoops?  

So, what did Miles do to you?

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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