Oh lovely, lovely electric world – so sad when all the lights go out. Panic! Governments collapse! Militias rise! Why is there no sweet sweet electricity? Now there will never be a Federation Starship Enterprise. SAVE US!
1 week post blackout
I’m wondering why the Matheson family waited so long to bug out of the city. I guess to avoid the panic jams. Mommy is telling little Charlie how much fun they will have. “Lots o’ food ‘n’ water in the country!” she says with false cheer. Like the farmers are going to let you have any of it. “Also, you must never let go of your brother’s hand!” Guilt trip! She’s gonna need a lot of therapy for the fallout from that. I wonder if they have therapy in the apocalypse. If they don’t, I am definitely not going.
And…we’re walking, and we’re walking through the burned out city and…
15 years post blackout
...Kwai Chang Charlie’s flashback ends. Charlie herself is striking a lovely pose while looking pensive, contemplative, beautiful inside and out. If only we, too, could be so noble…um…hey, where’s Miles? Sound of swordplay off in the distance…that must be Miles!
Oh noes, says Charlie, don’t kill the nice bounty hunter, because civilization! So they lock him in a wooden boxcar coffin, leaving him to bake in the noonday sun.
Trudging through the woods – about these woods. Isn’t the area south of Chicago essentially flat prairie? Whence came all these trees? The forest looks older than 15 years. One possibility is that eco-terrorists, tired of waiting for governments to wake up about climate change, changed the laws of physics and got rid of the electricity. At the same time, they planted a giant forest in the plains of Illinois, to soak up carbon.
Anyway, we’re trudging through the forest, and we come to a market, and there’s a preacher railing away about our sins. We had followers but no family! I beg to differ. I have followers AND a husband and two cats. If that’s not family, I don’t know what is. It’s not long before Charlie takes up her plaintive, signature song: “Wah wah, I hafta find Danny! Now! What are we doing here? How will this help us find Danny?” Miles tells her to shut up and stay put while he goes to see a man about a dog.
Back room, smoky. Miles lays down a piece of gold; he’s looking for intel on one Nora Clayton. UH OH! The ersatz Bride has punched his way out of the boxcar coffin. He claims he broke every bone in his hand, but I’m sure I saw his fingers wiggle. He’s already captured Our Gang – daggone, he’s quick! Miles agrees to be handcuffed to save the trio, and heads off with the Bride and his gang. But not before Charlie gives the Bride the stink eye.
Commercial break – Apple asks: “there are laws to physics, right?...bla bla iPhone bla bigger and smaller bla bla…well, I guess the laws of physics are just like, general guidelines.” Hmmm. Does Apple know something about the electrical grid and impending doom that we don’t know???
Back to Miles grimly marching out….and then….mayhem! He killz em all! Now there’s just the Bride left, who looks as though he’d just as soon call it a day and tries to escape, but Miles strangles him with the handcuff chain. But not before getting the desired intel RE one Nora Clayton. Miles displays a microsecond of remorse because Charlie saw him snap the Bride’s neck. Dammit Charlie! Can’t a man get a satisfying killin’ in with you looking all sad puppy eyes at him?
Out in the cornfields. We hear gunfire. Captain Neville hassles Danny just because he can. They find a dead deer hanging upside down. “Are you familiar with the Baltimore act? You can haz no guns! Only the militia! We can haz killing you!” Okay, the poor hungry dude turns over his gun. But Neville wants to search the house! Blam! Hungry dude shoots a soldier, Blam! He gets shot. Dead! But the soldier is not dead. UH OH! A nasty dirty, americanses flag was found! We hateses it, Gollum! Burn it!
General Voldemonroe’s tent. General Voldemonroe chastises an underling for harsh interrogation techniques. He tenderly daubs the suspected traitor’s cheek, and whispers gently “can’t we all just get along?” His voice is so soft and sensual one expects the traitor to lay a big fat kiss on General Voldemonroe. But no. The traitor says “fuck you!” General Voldemonroe has no choice but to pick up a giant knife and plunge it into the traitor’s belly!!!! Wait, wait, maybe he meant he wanted to fuck you, you know? Now it’s too late.
BeardyGlasses McGoogle finds an iPhone in Curly’s backpack. “What the fuck is this?” he asks in an irritated voice. Miles says he’s heading out on his own, and will meet up with the others in two weeks in Lowell, Indiana. Charlie is cranky about this, but this is her normal state, so Miles doesn’t care much.
Light of day. Oh noes! Charlie has gone after Miles! And she used up a whole goddam giant sheet of paper just to leave her “ I followed Miles against explicit orders” note. Isn’t paper sort of precious by now? Wouldn’t you want to be a little more conservative when writing something as ephemeral as a message that should really go on a post-it note?
Trudging through the (mysterious, eco-terrorist planted) woods again. UH OH! Who’s following me! Run! Dammit! Broke my fucking ankle! And here comes Militia Nate! Stay away from me! He does not. Surprise!!! Ankle not fucking broken! She handcuffs him to a pole. Die, son of a bitch, die slowly of thirst and starvation out here alone in the eco-terrorist forest! Though in general I’m opposed to needless killing. ‘Bye now!
BeardyGlasses McGoogle gets schooled on how you never know if you’ll see anyone again and you need the fucking iPhone because their pictures are in there. Although, what with the no electricity biz, you can't actually see them.
Gutshot soldier is dying. Sergeant Neville gives him a vial of…something. Hey soldier, save some for the rest of us! “You’re going to heaven and gonna see yer family!” Dude, you are really going six feet in the ground.
“Oh bury me not on the lone prairie
These words came low and mournfully
From the pallid lips of the youth who lay
On his dying bed at the close of day…
"O bury me not..." And his voice failed there.
But they took no heed to his dying prayer.
In a narrow grave, just six by three
They buried him there on the lone prairie.
UH OH! Kwai Chang Charlie sees a basketball. Flashback! She’s bouncing a ball outside Daddy’s office building, NOT holding Danny’s hand. A Zombie Drifter comes around the corner and grabs her. Mommy calls her to come back. But Zombie Drifter holds on and demands all their food and…..
MILES! It’s my fault, says Charlie, I took care of Danny, he gets asthma attacks, I don’t let him out of my sight, until the day they took him, maybe I could have stopped him, so you see this is all about ME! Therefore I must be at your side at every moment. Also, this is a time-honored quest story arc, wherein I shall have experiences that will test my mettle and make a man out of me. Or in this case, a badass woman who still has feelings and civilization and stuff.
BeardyGlasses shows Curly his thing. Not that thing. The shiny thing Ben gave him. He is supposed to keep it safe and take it to Grace Beaumont in Grand Park, Illinois – Our Lady of the Attic. What if we could get the power back on??? Grace knows about the power! The blackout makes no sense. But if it were human-made (inclusive language please, Revolution)…then we can fix it! OMG, hot showers again!
Funeral for soldier dude. Danny scoffs. Captain Neville opines as how the Monroe Militia is the only thing “between us and anarchy”. Danny figures he can tell himself that but the truth is “you like to kill because you are a murderer and a psych-gahhhgggg!”. Captain Neville has grabbed Danny around the neck and choked him a little in thanks for sharing his feelings.
Miles & Charlie – There’s a slave gang pulling a helicopter. That must be fun! Note to self: pay IRS on time next spring. A dude who can’t stand up gets shot. And then they take five. Maybe rest a bit before killing the peeps hauling the helicopter? I’m just sayin’.
Night camp. Charlie draws off Mr. Sniper Rifle. Miles swoops in to rescue Nora, who, it turns out, does not want to be rescued. Dammit, he foiled her plan to get the sniper rifle! Why the fuck are you here? To rescue my brother Danny chimes in Charlie. WTF?? Well first I’m getting that gun.
Woods, daylight, ratty cabin. Nora MacGuyvers a mini one-shot gun. Charlie is the only one who can get close to the Mr. Sniper Rifle. First, a rant about the slaves, to make it okay for her to kill the Mr. Sniper Rifle. Then it’s all Hey Charlie, where you goin with that gun on your arm. Kwai Chang Charlie commences slow march to the warden and….flashback! intermingled with present time! Daddy comes out with pistol and threatens to shoot Zombie Drifter. Kwai Chang Charlie keeps walking. Little Charlie is released to go back; the Zombie Drifter knows her dad won’t shoot him. He says, I’m just hungry. Dad says, Stop we need that food, I’ll shoot! Zombie Drifter says No mortal man can kill me – and daddy can’t pull the trigger. And…Kwai Chang Charlie is there at the sniper…and Mommy says I am no man Blam blam blam! and shoots the Zombie Drifter!…and Kwai Chang Charlie shoots the sniper!…and all hell breaks loose! Miles and Nora clean up the rest in a fun sword fight while Charlie tries to keep a dude from choking her with the rifle and then she shoots him! Blam! And now Charlie is a hardened badass killer just like Uncle Miles and that rocks! Except she still has feelings.
Slaves are free at last! Miles give her props. Charlie says maybe killing 2 men is a normal Monday for Miles but not for her. Monday is a good day for killin’, Charlie! Miles says she is just awesome. Dammit, Nora has a rebel US flag tattooed on her back. She’s gonna bring back the U. S. of A.!!!
Beardy & Curly trek, Grace types away on her DOS screen. There’s a knock at her door, and it's…not Beardy and Curly! She is not happy to see this dude. Slams and locks the door, runs upstairs and frantically reboots her system; she manages to send a “Randall is here” message just before he shows up with a shiny thing around his neck and a nasty looking taser stick. UH OH!
What looks like exterior, Independence Hall. I know I should know for sure but hate to call it and be wrong. Interior. General Voldemonroe. And…Charlie’s mom is alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She calls him Bass (definitely Bass, and not ass). She liked him better as a womanizing drunk in the old days. He’s come to tell her Ben is dead. He’s sorry (I bet he is not, or at least not in the way Juliet is). She asks are we finished here? No he presses on, I have your son. She tries to stab him with pen, so he strangles her a little, and says no more games, you want to see your son again you’re going to talk about Ben, about the power, about everything, you understand?
Well gee General Voldemonroe, if we’re going to dispense with the games, maybe you could go first and not strangle people. Or keep their living existence hidden from their families for 15 years. Just sayin’.
So wow, 2 episodes and we’ve had lots of twists and a big surprise reveal and I like!
General Voldemonroe: Hawt, but evil
Captain Neville: Hawt, but probably going to lose his head
Miles Matheson: Hawt, extra hawt when using sword
Nate Walker: Hawt, evil-ish
Danny Matheson: Hawt in a puppy dog way; needs to get out of that wagon
BeardyGlasses McGoogle: Hawt in an aw-shucks kinda way, especially if you go for beards
Things we are wondering: After 15 years of scarce food supply and hard labor, don’t you think BeardyGlasses would have slimmed down and toned up a little? Or is he in the protected philosopher/priest class and doesn’t have to work in the fields? Also, if you were a woman setting out on a quest in a world full of ruffians and rapists, mightn’t you not consider cutting your hair short and going about disguised as a dude?
Talk amongst yourselves in the comments!