‘Revolution’ Season 1, Episode 5: ‘Soul Train’ Recap

Published 3 years ago by

Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito in Revolution Soul Train Revolution Season 1, Episode 5: Soul Train Recap

If there’s one thing that Revolution has managed to do well so far, it is in its depiction of how the consequences of the blackout have transformed people into who they are now. It’s certainly true for Miles (Billy Burke) and Monroe (David Lyons), and as we find out in ‘Soul Train,’ the blackout had a profound effect on the personality and ambition of Captain Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito), who, fifteen years prior was at the mercy of his much younger boss, his criminal-looking neighbor and, most of all, his own emotions. By the way it’s depicted by the flashbacks, the blackout was Neville’s rise to prominence and the path to becoming the man he may have always wished he could be.

However interesting the genesis of Captain Tom Neville may be for the audience, it does illustrate how the stakes of the game seem to be higher for those who lived a significant amount of time before the blackout. Beyond some generally unlikable qualities, perhaps this is why Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and Danny (Graham Rogers) have not been able to strike much of a chord with the audience so far: they’re a couple of blank slates. Right now, the objective is for Charlie to rescue Danny, and that’s kept the series going up to this point, but triumph or fail, there’ll still be the issue of what their stake in all of this is once that is no longer a goal.

It’s pretty easy to see the actual revolution aspect of the show being the future of the series more so, perhaps, than the question of why or how the lights went out – and definitely more so than Miles and Charlie constantly chasing after Danny. After all, with Rachel’s (Elizabeth Mitchell) reveal of just how many pendants are out there, it’s not really the question of why, any longer; it’s the race to be first to control the power once it’s back on.

Tracy Spiridakos and Giancarlo Esposito in Revolution Sould Train Revolution Season 1, Episode 5: Soul Train Recap

While Eric Kripke and his writers are working to define Charlie by making Danny’s abduction her trial by fire, it might be time for her to start implementing what she’s learned before it’s too late to turn back, as audience sentiment toward the character is clearly very low.

But that’s certainly not the case when it comes to Neville – being on Breaking Bad has its perks. We caught a glimpse into the life of Neville while he and Danny were waiting for a tornado to pass in last week’s ‘The Plague Dogs,’ and it seemed like Neville would largely remain an enigma, and maybe dole out bits of his past in quiet moments, or when he’s attempting to pacify a potentially explosive situation. It certainly worked on Danny last week, as he managed to manipulate the boy into saving his life. But that’s not to be the case, as the curtain is pulled back on Neville to reveal a man who clearly relishes not only violence, but also the power it grants him over those weaker, or not as skilled as he. That, of course, leads to a scene where he beats Danny up, simply to prove his power over the boy.

But, as the episode’s title suggests, there’s a train to catch. It seems the militia has itself a locomotive, and the plan is to transport Danny and several high-ranking militia officials to Philadelphia, the capital of the Monroe Republic. That makes this a target of some importance to Nora (Daniella Alonso) and her rebellion buddies – of which Jeff Fahey (Lost) is apparently one. Nora’s desire to blow up a train full of militiamen puts her at odds with Miles’ timetable in finding Danny. While he and Charlie search Noblesville, Nora prepares a bomb and manages to get it planted without being detected. Charlie, on the other hand, runs into Neville who quickly figures out just what she’s doing there. This leads to nice face-off between Miles and Neville, which, frankly didn’t seem that likely to happen this early in the season.

Tracy Spiridakos in Revolution Soul Train Revolution Season 1, Episode 5: Soul Train Recap

Miles offers not Nate (J.D. Pardo) in exchange for Danny, to which Neville scoffs, even though we’ll soon find out just how much Neville was bluffing. But for the moment, the interaction between the two speaks to the deeper implications of Miles having been the commanding general before apparently just walking away. While the circumstances of his exit remain a mystery, Miles’ reputation and mere presence is enough that Neville moves the train’s departure up considerably. And here we learn just how important Nate is. After escaping from Miles and Charlie, he’s back with Neville, in a trench coat that seems to signify he holds a high rank, and we even see him openly questioning his commanding officer. It’s clear that something is going on, and by the way the episode paints the picture of the man Neville once was, we soon learn that nepotism is a powerful force in the Monroe Militia.

Of course, ‘Soul Train’ saves the reveal that Nate is actually Nevillle’s son Jason for the end of the episode when Tom is finally reunited with his wife, but the hints – like disobeying a direct order without reprisal – were there. That’s in reference to the train sequence where Miles and Charlie split up to dispose of the bomb and rescue Danny, respectively. It’s a no win situation for Miles, as the thought of Charlie dealing with an explosive is just as bad as her pulling Danny from the clutches of Neville. Though the siblings manage to briefly gain the upper hand, the tables are turned when Jason arrives and, instead of handing Charlie over to his father, tosses her from the train.

It’s a huge setback for the group. Danny is now in the hands of Monroe, hundreds of miles away, and Jeff Fahey has stabbed Nora for having second thoughts about blowing up the train. There were several interesting possibilities a different ending could have explored, but we’ll just have to settle with Charlie developing a steely demeanor in the wake of losing her brother once more. Let’s see if this setback leads to more progression of Charlie’s character.


Revolution continues in two weeks with ‘Sex and Drugs’ @10pm on NBC. Check out a preview of the episode below:

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  1. Now we at least know why Neville is such a monster ie administering
    beatings and killing or directing someone else to do so……..
    and what a fine example he provides for his only son
    I am tired of him. I wish Danny had killed him instead of one of
    his stooges……

    • Yeah they should kill off one of the only interesting characters on the show, that will help thing immensely.

  2. I called not-Nate/Jason being Neville’s son last week. 12 necklaces eh? That makes that Randall character even more interesting. Hope he comes back into play soon. Could be interesting adding another villain to the mix.

  3. Giancarlo Esposito is the man! If they kill him off I’ll be disappointed.

  4. Without Miles and the interesting concept, I probably wouldn’t watch this show… Hopefully, they manage to create more intrigue around some of the other characters.

  5. Oh yeah and as far as Charlie and Danny’s characters go, I could care less about them lol. Even Jeff Faheys character is more interesting than either of them.

  6. Always considered Jason to be of Latin descent.

    Additionally, his hair was always flat to his head. In this episode it was wavy/curly. His appearance was different to suit the purposes of the show and to surprise the audience with the revelation at the end. Very stupid. I saw the hair change early in the episode, and assumed a connection with the similarly haired younger version. A connection that magically formed in this episode; improbable in previous episodes. Speaks to the level of planing that’s going into this show.

    • A few people on here called Nate/Jason being Neville’s son weeks ago, and they clearly wrote the whole set-up that one from the beginning so it’s not a big surprise.

  7. If Charlie overacts one more time while pleading for help because “this is my family” I may just find a way to shut all of the electricity off so we never have to watch this again.

  8. I have gave this show the 5 episodes to establish itself. As of right now it’s still pretty slim. The episodes are predictable and the whole Nate being Neville’s son wasn’t a surprise as people figured this out 3rd episode in the season. The flashbacks are done okay with regards on showing how the character become the person they are now but they are not a surprise. Seeing Neville being mistreated and formed into the “monster” he is now is another cliché they used from Lost(Locke). They are trying sooo hard to capture that magic that they had from Lost that’s it’s almost ruining a show that could have been great. Charlie’s acting is horrid and the some of the plot details just seems childish(letting Nate out and escaping because Charlie pleads with him about her brother). I would think people would be smarter than to just let a prisoner out without precautions. Essentially they are trying to make Charlie the “Jack” of this series and it’s looking like a complete fail. This show is alright and will continue for another season but as of right now it’s looking like it’s just a middle of the pack/average series which doesn’t even come close to making that big impact that Lost did its first season.

    • J.J. seems to have a formula, which they mixed with a few other things for this show. The flashback used as exposition just seems like a distraction some times, and all it does is stretch out the plot that is supposed to happening in present tense. It’s a given that they will show flashbacks from Danny, Jason, Monroe, Nora, etc. at some point, along with continued walks down memory lane for other characters.

      Then there is still the Snipe Hunt for the 10-11 other Mcguffin pendants that the mother quickly gave up the goods on to look forward to. And let’s not forget the woman in the farmhouse who had one and was taken by the mysterious Randall (who will probably also have mysterious flashbacks). This whole thing looks like the end plot point will be some conclave of science guys turned the power off on purpose to prevent humanity from destroying the environment or something like that.

  9. Did anyone else see the car??? By the train?

    • Was it moving?

      • There was a car by the train that was moving, but it was being pulled by a horse.

  10. Good call on the NotNate/Jason = son of Neville by those who did it early on.

    Is it just me or is Miles the king of hand-to-hand combat? Seems like no one can beat him.

    Rachel/Julia draws pretty fast.

    Hutch/Fahey was a bit weak to me… I hope his flashbacks show him as a pilot (hehe).

  11. With every dreary episode I find any loyalty to stick it out hardrer and harder. Is it just me or doea Tracy Spiridakos/Charlie look like she could be in her 40s – ugly casting with terrible acting<here acting reminds me of the Cummunity out take where Alison Brea/Annie keeps trying to be upset saying 'No! Not sorry Annie…'

  12. Thank you Miles, Monroe, Neville. Without you this thing would be too tiresome to keep up with. Seriously Charlie. Whine much b****? The militias take your mom, kill your dad, take your brother, try to take your uncle and repeatedly tries to kill you. Yet you still have to struggle to kill even one of them. Sane human beings would’ve either snapped and went all psycho on those militias or develop some kind of psychological disorder. But NO! You become a whiny, dependent leech on the people around you. If she doesn’t step up soon, I’ll just give up on this show.

  13. I disagree because I honestly think this was the worst episode of the series so far. It completely eliminated any faith I had in Miles’ tactical knowledge (why not destroy the train tracks, lets send a girl to fight off the entire militia and save her brother even if me saving Danny means you no longer have to save the train, lets not just disconnect the train engine from all the rest of the cars but instead just jump off a moving train), and reinforced the idiocy of mostly every other character (Charlie discards her crossbow to charge madly at Captain Neville with a 4 inch knife, they almost lose the amulet to someone locked in a cage, Miles lets Nate/Jason escape AGAIN, etc.). Oh and of course every car that relies on the combustion engine fails, but because they are now using steam to power a piston a train can work? Does oil not burn anymore? Why did no one in the last 20 years realize they could just make steam by burning wood instead?

    Honestly I had pretty high hopes for this show, but the idiosyncrasies of the event are falling apart already, the characters just make one just absolutely idiotic decision after the next, and now we’re playing find a pendant in the haystack of America (good thing this wasn’t an international effort, because scientists never cooperate with labs abroad) for the foreseeable future. yay…

    • I have to agree. I will keep watching this series, because I love the realistic possibilities of the subject matter, as well as the story lines, but the preposterous abilities of some of the characters are ruining the show! No one buys that a skinny, 20yr old girl could be thrown off a train without a scratch, BREAK A METAL DOOR LATCH WITH HER BARE HANDS, and do a solo rescue op against a man like Neville…without CIA training (even WITH it), all in the same day! Enough of the “girl Power” (and I AM a girl)! And just to be fair, Miles doesn’t look like or have the aura of a man who could take on all the opposition he’s faced, either! Come on writers, WTF?! Seems like you’re trying to mash scary-real with modern fantasy and it doesn’t work in this case!!

    • The reveal that are 12 necklaces really makes this show feel like it’s going to be a huge Snipe Hunt of multiple McGuffin’s. The fact that two of them happened to be in the Midwest makes you wonder if they plan on expanding the show beyond the geographical areas it has already been set in. The idea that 12 necklaces located only in America will restore power everywhere seems like a bit of a stretch, odds are if it goes past one season they will pull out a bigger Holy Grail when and if all the necklaces are found.

  14. This show has the kind of story that I really like. Miles, Rachel, Nora – excellent actors. But we know what has to be done to save the show. Kill off Charlie and her brother and let the others take over. That would be great for the show. If not, people are going to give up on it. Rarely do the stars get killed until The Walking Dead – I was shocked that they keep killing off what I consider the main stars. Shocked but loving it, because they did something other shows don’t do. For this show, it would be perfect because Charlie and her brother just do not fit in. Their type of acting is not for a show like this. Was this not evident during their screen tests?