I rag on ‘Revolution’ a lot. And I mean a lot. It’s not that hard, given it’s obvious faults when it comes to things like plot and characterization – all the things needed to make a story, well, watchable. So I’m always surprised when ‘Revolution’ manages to pull off a pretty decent episode like this one. (With the added bonus of the much-advertised ‘TO THE MUSIC OF LED ZEPPELIN’ hook. I was hoping for an entire episode scored to ‘Immigrant Song’ and the like but we only got two songs, albeit well-used, including the episode’s namesake.) Usually, build-up episodes are, well, tedious, but by setting the bulk of the episode within a claustrophobic subway tunnel, ‘Revolution’ managed to keep the plot tight and the tension high.
So team rebellion/Matheson have to get into Philadelphia to get to Munroe, and obviously, by proxy, Danny. According to Miles, the walls around Philly are 30 feet high (since Philly is surrounded by rivers, this isn’t that surprising) so they have to use the subway and regional rail tunnels to get in and out. Of course, the militia planned ahead, so the tunnels are rigged with all sorts of booby-traps including mines, which naturally, someone steps on. That someone being Charlie. We get a pretty tense scene where Nora has to try and diffuse the mine while she’s standing on it, not knowing whether or not it’s going to work. So the gang runs away from an explosion but now they’re caved in on one side. (Given the state of rail transit in Philly, I’m surprised the whole thing didn’t collapse. Can you tell I used to live there yet?) So they have no choice but to soldier on to the next station. There is, however, a problem. Nora treads through waist-deep water in the tunnel convinced that an alligator has bitten her leg, only to realize nothing was there. When Aaron sees the torches burning suspiciously low, he realizes that the cave-in cut off their oxygen supply. They’re hallucinating because they’re running out of air.
And this is where the episode gets pretty cool without falling prey to ‘Revolution’s’ usual bad science or plot contrivances. They’re running out of air? I can buy that. So everyone’s starting to lose it a bit. Aaron has hallucinations about his dead wife trying to talk to him. Miles has a hallucination (set to the tune of – you guessed it – ‘Kashmir’) where he confronts Munroe in his office. This is kind of a prelude to what will eventually have to happen, which, by now, audiences anticipate way more than recovering Danny (perhaps because the show realized that maybe Miles should be their protagonist as opposed to poor, thinly-developed Charlie). I kind of hope their real confrontation is set to ‘Kashmir’ because whether or not it was just for an iTunes plug, it ended up being pretty awesome anyway.
Of course, before we get to Munroe, we have to take out one of the last nigh-indistinguishable stock white-guy villains, namely, Wheatley, who ends up being a turncoat. Charlie gets to be a badass and shoots him in the chest with a crossbow but not before one of his last shots nicks her in the head and knocks her out. She gets her own hallucination where she wakes up in her own home while her dad cooks dinner. She thinks for a moment that maybe she Wizard-of-Oz’d the whole show and that it was all a dream, but through her hallucination she hears Miles calling to her trying to wake her up. So she’s not dead, obviously, but the show drags it out for as long as possible. Finally, they reach Philadelphia and take their first step into the city.
On the Munroe side of things, Rachel is using the pendent to create some sort of device for him but she’s been in cahoots with Neville, and understands that Neville sees himself as the future leader. Munroe surprises her by bringing in one of her former colleagues who instantly recognizes that Rachel is actually making a time-delay bomb as opposed to a power generator. In order to save herself from being obsolete to Munroe, she stabs the man in the throat so they’ll be forced to need her.
Next week? The Fall Season Finale. Let’s hope ‘Revolution’ can live up to the hype.