We began this week’s Revolution with Charlie being held down while a militiaman held a brand above her arm. He tells her that members of the Monroe militia were not born, but made, before pressing the brand to her arm.
Two days prior, Charlie, Miles, Nora, and Aaron are hiding in the woods, watching as a caravan of militia walk past. Charlie stares at a boy that is chained in a wagon bed, and when he looks around, she starts to stand up, but is held down by Miles.
Once the militia is gone, the group starts walking, and Miles tells Charlie that they can’t save everyone and they should focus their efforts on Danny. They haven’t gotten far when they come upon a small boy lying in the path. When Charlie rushes up to him, he turns out to be a decoy, and they are surrounded by multiple children wielding bows, arrows, and other cobbled-together weapons. An older boy, Michael, appears, demanding to know what they have done with his brother Peter. Once they’ve proven that they had nothing to do with Peter’s capture, Charlie tells Michael that they have seen Peter and that he’s being held captive by the militia.
Michael wants to rush off after his brother, but Miles demands to know what happened to the kids’ parents. Michael admits that several years ago, militiamen appeared and seemed to take affront at an American flag that the adults had displayed. The adults hid the children, leaving Peter in charge until they returned. However, the adults were killed by the militiamen and the children were left to fend for themselves.
Michael starts gathering weapons, intent on going after his brother. Charlie tells him that he won’t stand a chance against the militia, but that she, Miles, Aaron, and Nora will get his brother back. Aaron tries to convince Charlie that she is making a mistake, but when he asks Miles to back him up, Miles instead agrees with Charlie. A stunned Aaron reminds Miles that he had just lectured Charlie about not being able to save everyone, and Miles responds that they still need to save Peter. The four head out after warning Michael and the other children not to go anywhere.
In Philadelphia, Danny and Rachel sit at a table. While Rachel eats, Danny accuses Rachel of acting like nothing is wrong, even though they are obviously prisoners. Neville enters, and takes Rachel to see Monroe, who questions her further on the pendants. He says that they’ve been unable to locate a single pendant; however, they did manage to capture one of her colleagues, Dr. Bradley Jaffe. Neville admits that they have been torturing him in an attempt to find the location of the pendant. Rachel quickly offers to talk to Brad, if they will stop hurting him.
As Neville thanks her, we see the first flashback of the episode; three years prior to the blackout, a pregnant Rachel exits a vehicle and heads toward an office building. Within, Ben is on a cell phone, talking to a man he calls Mr. Flynn, who is standing inside a glass containment room, surrounded by electronic devices. Ben tells Mr. Flynn that the invention they were working on has failed; that instead of creating a device that generates clean, low-cost electricity, it does the opposite; instead of generating electricity, it inhibits it. He has his colleagues, Brad and Grace, give Mr. Flynn a demonstration, and all of the devices around Mr. Flynn slowly die, including his cell phone. After a moment, Brad and Grace turn the power back on, and Ben opens the containment room and allows Mr. Flynn to enter the work area. Mr. Flynn is quick to ask Ben if the invention can be replicated and on how large a scale; as Ben confirms this can be done, Rachel walks in, and Ben introduces her to Flynn, adding that he is the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Defense. As Flynn and Rachel shake hands, Flynn says that he is going to recommend that they receive a full contract with the government for their invention. Rachel asks to speak to Ben alone, and demands to know why he went behind her back for funding. Ben replies that without outside funding, they won’t get much farther, and even says that without help, in another month they won’t be able to keep the lights on. Rachel asks him if he’s thought about how the D.O.D. might use their invention as a weapon, and by Ben’s silence, she realizes that he has and yet he still went forward with contacting them.
Returning to the present, Miles is instructing Charlie on how to read the tracks they are following. Aaron and Nora lag behind, and Aaron asks Nora why Miles agreed to help save Peter. Nora tells Aaron that the children lost their parents back when Miles was still head of the militia; they became orphans under his watch, and he feels responsible for that.
Miles suddenly stops, and then draws his sword and darts off the path; he returns with Michael, who has been following them. Charlie reluctantly agrees to let Michael come with them, and at a whistle from Michael, three other children appear, and the group of eight continues on. They pause at a pump to get water, and Aaron catches one of the boys going through his bag. The boy grabs the pendant, and Aaron chases him and manages to get the pendant back. Miles asks him about it, commenting that Aaron seems nervous, and Aaron quickly deflects Miles’s questions. Before Miles can press the issue, Nora interrupts and leads them onto a beach by a lighthouse. In the distance is a boat; Miles admits it is a Conscription Facility, a factory where they bring kids, “re-educate” them, and the kids leave as soldiers for the militia. He tells Charlie that it will be impossible to get Peter out of that place and that they should abandon the attempt.
Back in Philadelphia, Rachel sits in a cell. We receive the second flashback of the night; Rachel is walking to her car when she suddenly doubles over in pain. She is taken to a hospital, where it is revealed that her baby is missing a blood vessel to the heart; this is impairing the circulation needed for the baby’s lungs and other organs. The doctor feels that the baby is not developed enough to survive an inducement and then surgery; likewise, he thinks that if they wait and carry the baby full-term, the condition would get worse and the baby would not survive the delivery. As he leaves, Rachel and Ben console each other. It is revealed that the baby is a boy.
Rachel is brought back to the present as guards bring a bloodied man to a cell close to hers. She coughs, attracting his attention, and then acts surprised that the man is Brad. She quickly asks him about the pendant, and says that he should tell her where he hid it. However, Brad is suspicious about how Monroe even knew about the pendants, and he refuses to tell her anything.
Meanwhile, Charlie convinces a very reluctant Miles that she should sneak aboard the Conscription Facility as one of the kids. As everyone else hides, Charlie sits before a fire as a wagon carrying two militiamen goes by. When they stop and question her, Charlie pretends to make a run for it, but is thrown to the ground and knocked out. Miles and Nora watch as she is taken away.
Rachel is back in the main house, and a cleaned-up Brad is brought into her room. She pleads with him to give Monroe the information about the pendant, telling him that she kept quiet for years until they managed to capture Danny and threatened her with his torture. Brad tells her that he would rather die than provide Monroe with that type of power, and that he cannot justify the threat to millions of lives against one boy. Just then, Neville walks in, and tells Brad that it’s easy to be self-righteous when it’s not his child being threatened. He goes on to tell Brad that he should have given Rachel the information while he had the chance, and that they don’t plan to kill him. A teenage girl is brought into the room, and is revealed to be Brad’s daughter, Eve. Neville implies that she will be the one to suffer for Brad’s refusal to cooperate. An enraged Brad screams curses at Rachel, who starts sobbing and begging Neville not to hurt Eve. He reminds her that she provided them with Brad’s whereabouts, and therefore it is her fault that Eve was also captured. She screams apologies as Brad and Eve are led from the room and then huddles over, sobbing.
A newly-conscripted Charlie stands with a group of kids. A Lieutenant Slotnick welcomes them as new recruits, telling them that they will soon realize what a great opportunity they are being offered. When one of the kids asks to leave, Slotnick tells him he is free to do so, but before the boy can climb the first step toward freedom, Slotnick produces a baton and promptly beats him to death. The rest of the kids watch, before being led toward their quarters. Just before it is her turn to be put in a cell, Charlie picks a fight with another kid, forcing him to punch her and knock her unconscious. When she wakes up, she discovers that she is in the infirmary. The militia doctor goes to give her a shot to relax, and she overpowers him and grabs his keys. Before she gets anywhere, Lieutenant Slotnick appears. Charlie is restrained, and we are brought back to the where the episode began: Charlie screams as she is branded with the Monroe Militia sigil, and then placed in a cell.
Miles, Nora, Aaron, and the kids were waiting in the abandoned lighthouse. When Charlie is two hours late in returning, Miles and Nora head out to the boat. Unbeknownst to them, Michael follows. Miles and Nora quickly infiltrate the boat and get a set of keys for the cells. Michael kills a soldier ringing a warning bell. Charlie is freed by Miles and Nora, and leads them to Peter’s cell. As they go to make their escape, Slotnick appears with a knife to Michael’s throat, and demands that the group drop their weapons.
Back at the lighthouse, Aaron and the three children hide as militiamen appear overhead, thinking they heard something. Aaron is gripping the pendant, which suddenly activates. A generator starts smoking, and the lights turn on in the lighthouse. Above, the main lens flares to life and starts to rotate.
The sudden flash of light distracts everyone on the boat, and Miles quickly takes advantage. He, Nora, and even Charlie kill the militiamen holding them, while in the distance, the lights fade, the pendant idle once more. The militiamen in the lighthouse start searching to see what caused the lights to turn on; Aaron surprises them and kills them to protect the kids.
Once more in Philadelphia, Monroe pays Rachel a visit, assuring her that Dr. Jaffe and his daughter will be free to leave once their pendant is found. Monroe asks Rachel how the lights went off in the first place; Rachel responds that it makes no difference on how it happened, as long as the lights can be turned back on. Monroe snorts, and turns away; as Rachel watches him leave, we see the final flashback of the night: Rachel, still pregnant, is walking to her car when she is waylaid by Mr. Flynn. He mentions that he is aware of her pregnancy complications, and hints that he can pull some strings to get her into a medical trial that she was told was full. When Rachel asks what he wants in return, Mr. Flynn simply smiles and says he wants to help them, both at work and at home, and that he simply wants to be friends.
Peter and Michael are reunited with the other kids at the base of the lighthouse. Miles confronts Aaron, asking him what caused the lights to go on briefly. Aaron finally shows Miles the pendant and explains how he got it. Miles tells Aaron that it needs to be destroyed before Monroe discovers it; as they argue, Charlie interrupts and asks to know what is going on. Aaron shows Charlie the pendant, and tells her that her father gave it to him right before the militia appeared, instructing him to give it to a woman named Grace Beaumont.
The episode ends as a padlock is being removed from a door of a cell. Within the cell, Grace sits, sketching in a book. She is greeted by someone she calls Randall, and demands to be let go. Randall responds that he can’t do that because it is too dangerous. When Grace asks what Randall wants, the camera pans up to Mr. Flynn’s smiling face as he responds that he just wants to be friends.
Thoughts on Revolution Episode 1.7: The Children’s Crusade
So! We learned all kinds of interesting things with this episode. I’m sure I’m not the only one that found it VERY ironic that without additional funding from an outside source, Ben and Rachel would have been too poor to keep their power on; and with that funding, they instead turned off the power for the entire world. What do you think about the flashbacks this week? What part do you think Mr. Flynn/Randall plays in the blackout? Let us know your thoughts about this episode in the comments section!