Television: Revolution, "The Dark Tower"

We're not even pretending any more—Revolution wants to be a Stephen King novel. Or maybe the writers just wish they were Stephen King. But it's like Stephen King by committee, which doesn't work very well.

Or maybe it's Stephen King by way of Michael Crichton, what with the malfunctioning nanites. They are everywhere, replicating out of control, and if Rachel shuts them down . . . It could end everyone and everything. But it hardly matters, since the Tower Cult won't let her get to Level 12 to do it.

Meanwhile, Monroe and Miles continue to fight, get washed down a pipe, and then fight some more once they're washed up. But when Monroe identifies himself to one of his Militia, the soldier takes a shot at him and runs off; apparently Neville's coup is taking effect.

As for the secret of Aaron's being in Warren's journal; The Tower's operating system is based on code he'd written while a student at MIT.

Rachel appeals to Grace to help her get to Level 12 and "flip the switch." When Grace declines, Rachel chloroforms her to get her access card. Seriously, there is evidently no shortage of chloroform in this dystopia. People have more access to it than they do to clean water.

In flashbacks we get the beginnings of Monroe's descent into paranoid madness, starting with vengeance against a Rebel who bombed a restaurant where Monroe and Miles were eating, doing (mostly superficial) damage to Miles, which Monroe took personally as this man "messing with [his] family." So Monroe has not only the Rebel but his wife and kids killed as well. It was all for Miles, apparently: "Everything I've ever done was for you!" Monroe tells him in the here and now. (This would be so much better—read: creepier but also more intense—if Monroe had a real crush on Miles.)

Back in The Tower, Aaron, Nora, Charlie and Rachel are working to figure out how to get past the crazies guarding Level 12. And in the Militia camp, Monroe is brought back to answer to Neville, who is now in charge. Somewhere in the background I'm sure I saw a painted "Under New Management" banner hanging over some of the tents.

But Neville, opting to lead via inspiration rather than tyranny, is planning to at least give semblance of some kind of trial for Monroe. But first: Hey! Someone's blown the front doors off The Tower! So of course Neville has to go check that out.

And while that's going on, Miles will come and rescue Monroe because, after all is said and done, they're still besties. He cuts Monroe loose and tells him to run, giving his old friend a head start as he shouts to let the Militia know Monroe is escaping. So into the night lopes Bas Monroe.

In the ensuing battle to get to Level 12, Nora is injured, and there is a small quarrel between Rachel and Charlie over whether to save Nora or proceed to Level 12. Charlie loses, meaning she is left with a bleeding Nora while Rachel and Aaron head down to flip the switch. When a Militia member finds Charlie and Nora, Miles is back just in time to save them. And Nora discovers that, though she thought Miles's heart was with Rachel, he chooses her. Well, he chooses to carry her. To the infirmary. But Nora dies along the way.

And Neville, upon arrival at The Tower, runs into Grace. "Don't I know you?" he asks. Taking Grace along for the ride, Neville and his men come upon Rachel and Aaron and Neville tells them to come with him and "forget about the power," but Miles and Charlie provide enough distraction that they're all able to escape and get into Level 12.

Execute Command?

And around the world, somehow the infrastructure has remained enough intact that lights and power return with little to no difficulties. Lights flicker on, ceiling fans start their lazy circles . . . And Monroe finds himself caught in an open field during a lightning storm.

Oh, but Randall Flynn is down in Level 12 too. And now that he has power, he can open up the missile silos and launch at Atlanta and Philly in a grand plan to wipe out the would-be despots and re-unite the States.

And then he shoots himself in the head.

And we see a shadowy figure, installed in the "United States Colony" in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba . . . His aide tries the lights and finds them working. "Randall Flynn did it. It's time to go home, Mr. President."

So apparently there is still some kind of United States and some form of presidency that has been sustaining itself over the past 15+ years?

Well, okay.

Next season Revolution moves to Wednesdays at 8:00.

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