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In “Kashmir,” Revolution decided to play with the show’s formula opting for “real time” hallucinations as opposed to the character focused flashbacks that usually break up each episode. While the meat of the episode came from these hallucinations, the actual real world task was to infiltrate Philadelphia with the help of the local rebels. Unfortunately not much else changed besides the flashbacks for hallucinations trade that occurred in this episode, so anyone hoping that particular change or the fact they had the rights to a couple Led Zeppelin songs would inspire a better episode, they don’t.
First and foremost, however, is NBC’s teasing ways in the promotion for this week’s episode. During the preview for “Kashmir” after last week’s episode the announcer teased something about Miles and Monroe meeting and what might happen. This all happened in Miles’s hallucination though, so really nothing happened at all. Coupling that with the fact that NBC was mentioning the Led Zeppelin music every chance they got throughout the week (seemingly every third commercial on NBC was about this) but only had a total of a minute and a half, at most, of Led Zeppelin tunes and NBC was not exactly the most trustworthy network this week. In fact, the Zeppelin music was utilized so mundanely that there really wasn’t any point to having it at all (Rachel is listening to it while she is building her machine and Miles, for some reason, hears it at the beginning of his hallucination with Monroe).
Following its procedural format, Revolution gave the group yet another obstacle to overcome this week as they must navigate the Philadelphia subway tunnel to gain access to the city, since the walls are 30 feet high. Nora and Miles enlist the help of the local rebel outfit and after Miles gets roughed up a bit they decide to accept his plan to go after Monroe. Even though what turns out to be an undercover militiaman convinces the head of the rebels it still happens all too easily, especially since they were so distrusting in the first 30 seconds. Just another instance of Revolution going for the easy plot fix as opposed to actually having the characters struggle.
In the subway tunnel Charlie steps on a mine and Nora rigs it so that it doesn’t immediately go off, getting away just in the knick of time before it explodes and caves in the part of the tunnel they just came through. Some inane chatter happens between the rebels and some of the group, including Aaron realizing for the first time he is taking on Monroe head on. Then the hallucinations start. First Miles sees a phantom militiaman then Nora thinks she gets her leg bitten by some alligator in a part of the subway with waist high water. Aaron realizes that they aren’t getting enough oxygen because of the tunnel cave in and the fact that their torches are burning up all the oxygen. They have three torches for about eight people, so what do they do once Aaron makes this realization (the hallucinations are also the first and pretty much only symptom anyone exhibits of not getting enough oxygen)? Nothing! They don’t put out a single torch. Ahh, the illogical Revolution strikes again.
Eventually the two main hallucinations happen, completely randomly of course, the first being Miles reuniting with Monroe in his office and the second is Aaron’s wife walking beside him asking him why she left him. In theory these hallucinations could have been a great opportunity to really delve into the characters and mine some interesting information on their pasts and their emotional states. Miles’s vision tries to do just that, as Monroe (explicitly telling Miles he’s in his head) pointedly tells Miles he’s afraid he’ll want to rejoin the militia when they meet up. Despite this seeming like a major revelation, Miles’s one expression and the incredible ease – Miles basically just asks Monroe a few questions, no real work is put into obtaining these answers – really cheapens what should have been a poignant moment of self discovery (emotionless, of course). Aaron’s hallucination is much more worthless in that it doesn’t reveal anything new about the character.
They find a way out once they realize the torches are burning brighter. The undercover militiaman finally turns and takes Miles hostage while trying to trap the core group members (all the other rebels end up getting killed) in the subway. Charlie shoots the militiaman with a crossbow and then has a bullet graze her head and her subsequent fall transports her to a magical dream world, apparently. This is the most worthless hallucination/dream of them all (they have had oxygen now for a solid five minutes). Charlie’s dream consists of her being back at her home with her dad as he tries to convince her that everything is ok (while Miles’s voice can be heard from above). It seems as though this is some sort of heaven but when it is revealed that the bullet didn’t actually hit her that theory goes out the window because she hasn’t suffered a fatal injury. And while Miles and Aaron actually had to work out some demons, Charlie doesn’t have to do any of that. Her dream boils down to her deciding to not give up and telling her dad that she loves him. Her later thanking Miles for “bringing her back” doesn’t make much sense either.
The most interesting aspect of the episode might have been Rachel’s reaction to being replaced. Once Dr. Jaffee (her former friend she gave up to Monroe) reveals that her machine is a bomb and not an energy amplifier, Monroe threatens to kill her and Danny, citing the face he no longer needs Rachel because he has Jaffee. Rachel immediately stabs Jaffee in the chest (with little remorse) and as she is carried out tells Monroe that it looks like he stills needs her, showing she is not afraid to do what it takes to survive.