Tonight’s episode of Revolution, entitled “Kashmir or: We Play 30 Second of Two Led Zeppelin Songs, Trust Us, This is Major,” can at best be described as filler. While an episode at this place in the season (right before the fall finale) could fall under the “calm before the storm” category, “Kashmir” is still just filler. Very little happens in this episode of particular note, and pretty much anything that could affect the show is rendered irrelevant by the end.
The bulk of the episode focuses on Team Miles. As we begin, Miles is willingly captured by a Resistance Chapter because he needs their assistance in taking down Camp Monroe. After some interrogation by the brutal hands of Reed Diamond (Dollhouse, Journeyman) and his minions, he convinces them to follow his leadership by saying, “Let’s say for a second I’m telling you the truth, and I can get you a clean shot at Monroe. How can you pass that up?” Well easily, since you’re forced to accept a ridiculous premise to begin with.
Regardless, they’re keen on the idea so several Resistance members, including Diamond and a 19-year-old named Ashley, go into tunnels where the show tries its damnedest to pad its running time. Charlie steps on a mine, so they need to take care of that. Then they’re running out of air, so they begin to hallucinate their inner demons. In “Kashmir’s” best sequence, Aaron still feels guilty over leaving his wife and ponders his inadequacies. Miles wonders if he would join Monroe if his former boss accepted him back into the fold. And Nora apparently has major issues with the trash compactor scene form the original Star Wars.
Miles’ expressing his willingness to rejoin Monroe is surprising, I admit, but it also seems a bit out of character. His preference for being solitary, though perhaps with a few close friends, seems to be one of his defining characteristics; it’s hard to imagine himself as the second-in-command of anything. He’s also developed too much of a “soul” over the past few weeks to want to cause more havoc and destruction, which seems to be the main reason he left in the first place- Monroe went well off the beaten path of what Miles’ original, more noble, intention was in creating a quasi-government. Not to mention, if it wasn’t clear before tonight’s episode, he cares too much for Charlie to betray her.
The episode even gives Charlie her big moment as she imagines being back at home, safe and sound, with her father who presents her a “this could be her life” scenario. Unfortunately, Revolution can’t pull off this trick. A sequence like this, where our hero is forced to choose between the happy fantasy world and the miserable real world, can work in certain circumstances. But, it requires an actual temptation- like with Cypher in The Matrix. Alternatively, the audience, even if ever so briefly, should at least question whether the “good” world is a potential reality and not just a death wish. Or, the debate needs to become a true conundrum for the person facing it, not something washed away in less than a single act. Like much of the rest of “Kashmir,” it becomes more filler.
Beyond that, the episode does its best to reset everything to the status quo. Reed Diamond betrays everyone, all the members of the Resistance (plus Diamond) die, and once again, we’re left with a four-person Team Miles on its way to attack Monroe. With the possible exception of the reveal that Miles had a chance to assassinate Monroe but couldn’t pull the trigger, a tidbit that could have been shoved into any episode during the weekly part where Charlie asks someone about Miles’ past, they say no, and then they say tell yet another Miles story, nothing matters tonight.
Meanwhile, at Camp Monroe, Rachel is hard at work on what she claims is an amplifier. While the current version of the pendant can only produce energy on something up to 10 feet away, the amplifier can extend its range to half a mile. However, she’s really building a time bomb, which Neville can detect and warns Monroe about. When Monroe is about to send her and Danny to death for her malfeasance because he got another scientist turncoat to actually build an amplifier, Rachel stabs her colleague making herself invaluable to Monroe. The relatively few minutes we spend here is more interesting than anything that happens in the tunnel, and the focus is on Rachel, which should give an indication about how lame the tunnel parts were.
• The final Twilight movie, which features Miles as Bella’s dad, had a $141 million opening weekend.
• Rachel says that the amplifier, which can extend the pendant’s range up to half a mile, can get jets to work. Just how far do they expect those jets to travel being dependent on an amplifier with a half mile range?
• That was bad green screen work when Ashley kills the guards
• I really miss Journeyman. And I’m disappointed Reed Diamond met his end tonight. If the scenes with him and Monroe proved anything, it’s that Miles really needs someone to banter with.
• I was wrong last week in thinking the “did you come here to kill me” line was the end. I actually don’t think it’s included in the episode, but it would have been in Miles’ hallucination.