While Revolution doesn’t subscribe to any obvious moral or political ideology—opting to gloss over serious questions of the Monroe Republic’s methods and laws—it does have a philosophical center in its clear commitment to family. With the safety net provided by electronic devices taken away, people reflexively grab tighter to things that are real, the connections that don’t need a web browser or a phone signal to ask. And in that case, the family unit is a clear choice for preservation: giving a support system for surviving the day-to-day obstacles, and something to fight for in the long term.
The problem with this philosophy on Revolution however, is that because so many of the characters on the show make their decisions based on family, the justification for what they do feels weaker and weaker the more it happens. Especially, as keeps happening, many of those decisions come across as irrational at best and stupid at worst. Several other post-apocalyptic shows have had this same problem—Falling Skies and The Walking Dead both stumbled into bad family-oriented subplots more than once—but it’s sort of startling just how many times it’s happened here. Charlie’s willing to walk into danger time and time again to rescue her family, or as we saw last week, even someone else’s family. Rachel is giving Monroe the keys to the blackout to keep her son safe, consequences to the world be damned. Maggie walked cross-country trying to get to her children, and Aaron left his wife because he thought it was the right thing for her. Even Neville’s not immune, though his transition—becoming a stone-cold killer to protect his son—had the virtue of being to the viewer’s benefit.
So it stood to reason that eventually, even Nora would get her own family-oriented plot, which she does in the alternatively entertaining and frustrating “Ties That Bind.” The group is attempting to cross the Susquehanna River to get to Philadelphia, a move complicated somewhat by the lack of bridges and more that Sergeant Strausser’s team has finally traced the group. After an unsuccessful ambush on the bridge, Strausser calls Nora out specifically, offering an impossible choice. Either Nora surrenders Miles and the Magical Pendant, or his prisoner—her sister Mia—dies a slow and painful death.
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