010 Revolution Fan Podcast – Kashmir

In this episode of Revolution Fan Podcast, Tom, Jenn and Shelley talk about Revolution season 1, episode 9, Kashmir. We talk about suffocating in Scientific Revolution, we make some predictions about next week, and we read and talk about your feedback.

In our discussion of Kashmir, we covered:

  • Miles’s hallucination with Monroe, and his fear of re-joining the militiapodcast-150x150.jpg (150×150)
  • What was Wheatley’s motivation for shooting “his” rebels, and whether he planned to  go back undercover afterwards. The NBC Footnotes this week are letters from Wheatley to the militia about how he hated it and wanted to return to the militia.
  • the train tunnels in Philadelphia
  • the Revolution Revealed this week talked about Dr. Jaffe’s sad short story
  • Rachel’s moral black hole. She has no good choices. We talk about the choices she made regarding building the bomb, and killing Dr. Jaffe
  • Jenn relates Rachel’s choices now with when she killed the man one week after the blackout for stealing their food.
  • A little piece of Nora’s back story – she was with Miles when he was a General in the militia
  • That Miles tried to assassinate Monroe for going too far
  • More hoping for the back story of the creation of the militia
  • The pendant is like a “wireless battery” with a range of nine or ten feet
  • Jenn talked about the symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning. They should not have run out of air that quickly. She cited this and this.
  • The Philadelphia 30-foot city walls, and which train tunnel they may have been in
  • Charlie’s “dream” and why she made it seem like she was on death’s doorstep
  • Miles and Charlie’s bonding

We talked about the preview for next week with the big Miles and Monroe confrontation. Will Rachel build a working pendant amplifier overnight? Will Monroe really be able to launch helicopters?

We made a couple of predictions about next week’s episode and the cliffhanger. We do agree that Danny will be rescued, and no lead characters getting killed. Will Rachel be rescued? Are we going to find out what Randall’s mission is for Grace? How are they going to get out of Philadelphia?

We read feedback from Cooper at the Hugmeted podcast, and an email from Audrey from Twitter. Tom also clarified the Powerless show mentioned last week.

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We like hearing from you. Call and leave a voicemail at:

  • (234) 738-3265
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15 Responses to 010 Revolution Fan Podcast – Kashmir

  1. Kyle Pope says:

    I’m calling BS on the pendants. Either Rachel was lying to Monroe about them or the writers pulled that explanation of their function from their nether regions with no consideration of what we saw them do in the previous episodes. And since Dr. Jaffe called Rachel out on her lie about the amplifier but not on her explanation of the pendant I’ll take her word on its function until new evidence comes in.

    The mystery of the pendants has been solved. Rachel, who was instrumental in their creation, describes them as wireless batteries capable of providing power to small items within a 9 – 10 foot radius. So what does this mean? IT MEANS THAT ELECTRICITY WORKS JUST FINE! You just need to apply power and every electrical device in the world will do what it was designed to do. Physics did not go crazy. All the world’s batteries just decided to die at the same time. As to what happened to the world’s generators and alternators, I have no clue because according to Rachel they still work. So if the pendant supplies power to nearby electrical systems why did Grace have those car batteries hooked up to her DIY computer? If all the pendant does is act as a wireless battery how did it fire up the lighthouse diesel generator? The power requirements of a lighthouse are enormous. Since it was clear that the pendant couldn’t power the lighthouse then the generator must have been providing power. So why did the lighthouse shutdown with the pendant? The lighthouse has an independent power source to supply it. It didn’t need the pendant.

    If Rachel’s explanation of the function of the pendants is correct then it represents a major failure of the show’s continuity. Everything we’ve seen the pendants do so far contradicts what we’ve been told. The idea that the show opened with something shutting down electric power all over the planet isn’t even addressed in this explanation. By the way, why didn’t Ben’s pendant keep the power on in his own house after he finished the download? Factoring everything we’ve got on the Blackout it appears to have been a single global EMP that shut down power and for 15 years nobody checked to see if it was working again. I don’t buy it either.

    You’ve addressed other concerns I had about this episode from the idea of asphyxiating in cavernous tunnels that run for miles while being supplied with fresh air from the exit to extending the pendant’s range to a half mile and expecting to operate helicopters with it. All told this episode was filler. A waste of the penultimate episode given that the show will disappear for four months. The next episode has a lot to make up for. I hope it’s up to it.

  2. Tom Snively says:

    You bring up interesting points. I definitely don’t think anything with regards to physics changed.

    Rachel said it is like a wireless battery, but I am still not sure it actually emits electricity.

    The first thing Ben’s company inadvertently invented “inhibited” electrical induction. I think the DOD weaponized it, and somehow it got turned on worldwide causing the blackout. It is like a constant EMP; I think batteries would still not work even if people created new ones.

    The pendants somehow block the inhibitor. That would make some sense with regard to the lighthouse. The engine would work within the 9 or 10 foot radius. (It doesn’t make sense that the light would still shine up in the top of the lighthouse; that would not be consistent with 9 or 10 feet.)

    Grace’s computer would work, and need batteries. She couldn’t plug it in to the wall because that type of power wouldn’t work. It is a good point about Rachel’s CD player. Under my theory it would still need working batteries and be 9-10 feet from the pendant.

    It’s another good point about Ben’s house right at the blackout. We don’t know if all the pendants have on and off switches; Aaron didn’t control his two uses of the pendant while he was holding it. Grace turned hers on.

    -Tom

    • Kyle Pope says:

      If something is inhibiting the production and transmission of electricity then why didn’t Rachel mention it? Why didn’t Neville or Monroe ask about it? Her explanation was incomplete at best. She just said the pendant was a battery. If this is true then any battery would produce the same effect. Stick a piece of copper and zinc into a lemon, wire it up to a CD player and you’ve got music. Since only the pendants can produce this effect Rachel is omitting a lot of crucial information.

      The issue with the lighthouse is not whether the engine would work. It’s why the engine started up. Starting any sort of engine is a mechanical process not an electrical one. Aaron’s pendant activated and the engine started running. How would the pendant control a purely mechanical system? And if the pendant’s range is limited to 10 feet at best, how did the power reach the arc light at the top of the lighthouse?

      Rachel specifically said that the pendant is a battery that provides power wirelessly. She also mentioned that computers are one of the things the pendant could power. Grace had car batteries connected to her computer. If the pendant was supplying the power, why the batteries? And why would Grace use such an old, power hungry computer? If the pendant’s power was limited a laptop would be a better choice because of its reduced power requirements.

      I don’t think the writers thought the concept of how electricity disappeared through completely. Rachel’s inadequate explanation of the pendants indicates that. It’s easy enough to posit a possible cause for the shutdown of electricity for the purposes of this show. If this were my idea I would simply base the concept on a global field that increases the electrical resistance of pure metals by increasing their work function (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_function), effectively turning them into insulators. Total BS, I know, but it would be consistent with the effects we’ve seen (with the exception of the lighthouse). Electricity is still there, it just can’t be conducted anywhere. This would also leave electrochemical reactions mostly unaffected allowing for ion flow and thus not affecting living things. You then have the pendants generate a local field that returns the work function of metals within range to their normal levels. Pure fantasy, but internally consistent fantasy.

      It doesn’t make sense to develop the pendants if there wasn’t some means of controlling them. For the pendants to even work their internal functions would have to be shielded from the inhibitor field. A simple push button switch would not be an option. Perhaps a contact plate on the back which has to be touched in a certain pattern as sort of a safety code to restrict access to the pendant’s functions. Grace was using her pendant at will so some control mechanism exists. And there’s the question of what’s powering the pendants and how long will that power supply last.

      And why didn’t Ben use his pendant to facilitate his escape from Chicago? With the pendant he would have cars, planes and boats available to him to get himself and his family to safety. He’s in Chicago so all he would have to do is get to the water, find a power boat, fire it up and get the hell out of dodge. It would be safer than trying to walk out. In fact they could have just lived on the boat out on the Great Lakes going to shore only to secure needed supplies. That would have been my plan.

  3. Rob Kearney says:

    I’m guessing Rachel didn’t mention that the pendant also blocks whatever shut out the lights because she doesn’t want to mention it… Neville and Monroe are satidfied with the fact that they have a pendant and don’t need to dig further yet.

    On a different note I watched over the holiday break and had the “This is totally Star Wars moment.” After hearing you guys mention that you don’t see it I’d say that the big thing for me in this episode was the cave on Dagobah where Luke had the vision of Vader that turned into being himself. In this episode all the main characters (Minus Nora) had that “Facing Inner Demons” vision.

    The fact that Nora really didn’t have a vision other than eing eaten by something makes me think she isn’tlong for this world and is probably going to die in the next episode… saving Aaron of course.

    • Kyle Pope says:

      “I’m guessing Rachel didn’t mention that the pendant also blocks whatever shut out the lights because she doesn’t want to mention it… Neville and Monroe are satisfied with the fact that they have a pendant and don’t need to dig further yet. ”

      I doubt that highly. Monroe is banking on keeping and expanding his empire with these pendants. He’ll want to know everything there is to know about them. Especially their limitations and vulnerabilities. There’s no way Rachel’s feeble little battery explanation is going to cover 15 years of blackout. Monroe is going to grill her thoroughly.

      As for Neville, his single strength is knowing when people are less than forthcoming. He would find Rachel’s explanation weak at best in light of the loss of electricity in the first place. It is likely that they may have gotten a more comprehensive explanation from Dr. Jaffe and using it as a baseline against which to measure Rachel’s information.

      • Rob Kearney says:

        “Yet” was the operative word in that reply. We’ve only had about 5 minutes of seeing Monroe and Neville questioning Rachael about the pendant.

        Are there mistakes in this show? Sure. Are there weak points in the plans that the characters hatch up? Absolutely. I think that these “flaws” in the show add to the drama in the story. This is not a technical show. Going back to the Star Wars annalogy this show is more story driven rather than technology driven like Star Trek. Gene Rodenberry went to great lengths to explain the how’s and why’s of the universe he created. We know how dilithium chambers work and how subspace communications work. This show is more like Star Wars, we don’t know what the “drove” the Millennium Falcon other than that it made the Kessel Run “less than twelve parsecs”.

        I consider myself more of a Star Wars fan but I enjoyed watching all the different Star Trek shows and movies. This universe should be treated like the Star Wars universe rather than the Star Trek universe.

        And lets not forget even Star Trek had it’s faults… Tribbles anyone?

        • Kyle Pope says:

          The problem with this show is not that it has flaws and mistakes. All shows do. The problem is that this show has no internal logical consistency. Fantasy is a genre of literature where the author can make the rules of their worlds whatever they’d like. But any fantasy fan will tell you that once the author lays down those rules, they are bound by them and fans will call them out if the author contradicts those rules later in the story.

          Star Wars is not science fiction but science fantasy with advanced technology and the Force standing in for magic. For the most part Star Wars stuck to its world’s rules (except for things like how Han made it to Bespin without a hyperdrive, but I digress.) And fans were willing to overlook a lot of these flaws because the world was so rich and the characters were so compelling. Just look at how fans view the second trilogy as compared to the first. Star Wars is a triumph of fictional world building along with shows like Star Trek and Firefly. Revolution lacks this quality world building.

          Revolution feels like it’s being made up as they go along. Plot developments are contrived without any regard to what the audience has seen or been told in prior episodes. We are constantly jarred out of the world by obvious inconsistencies and outright laziness on the part of the writers. Disney tween sitcoms are better thought out than this show. Revolution fora, like this one, are constantly pointing out the many aspects of this show that simply don’t make any logical sense. Where are all the modern firearms? Where did the militia find these caches of brand new Civil War era rifles and ammunition? Who’s making all those swords? How does a subway tunnel system running for miles start losing oxygen when only one of its exits is sealed off and there’s fresh air coming in at the other end? How does Aaron walk from Minneapolis to Philadelphia and not lose a single pound? How did Aaron even survive at all? How do you build a 30 foot wall around the city of Philadelphia without heavy construction machinery in less than 15 years? I could go on but you get the idea.

          Revolution requires that you not think about the show in order to understand it. Revolution requires that you accept everything it shows you without question even when it doesn’t comport with what you’ve been told before. When the world of the Pony Principality of Equestria has greater depth, detail and internal consistency than your high concept science fiction show, you need to have a serious talk with your writers. And if you doubt that then clearly you have never told a story to a child.

    • Tom Snively says:

      I think the Star Wars thing people were referring to was Nora getting pulled down by an alligator when they were in 3-foot high water. I didn’t realize that and heard others mention it.

      -Tom

      • Rob Kearney says:

        This whole show is Star Wars! I’m can’t be the only one who thinks Aaron is standing in for Chewbacca!

        I think the whole Star Wars refference though still goes to the cave on Dagobah where Luke saw himself in Vaders mask

        • Kyle Pope says:

          Chewbacca was competent and kicked ass in a fight. Even while trapped in an imperial prison cell he held on to C3PO and repaired him.

          Aaron has a long way to go before he can stand with Chewbacca.

  4. Rob Kearney says:

    I forgot to add my idea on the pendants.

    My theory is that the energy that the pendants produce isn’t affected by whatever is stopping the use of batteries of using the whole potato clock method of producing electricity.

    We know that the group that Rachael and her husband were working for were trying to make a way to wirelessly transmit electricity and stumbled on a way to stop its flow, maybe the device they had made absords electricity when it’s produced or maybe it just stops it’s flow. Either way the whole thing about the range of the pendant makes me feel that that it isn’t just matter of range for transmitting energy but also there is a limit on the range at which it blocks the field that hampers the transmision of electricity.

  5. Rob Kearney says:

    Kyle you seem to want to have it both ways… you talk about how easy it is to make smokeless gunpowder and re-load brass and manufacture jacketed bullets (That NEED to be percise) yet question the idea about who is making blackpowder. The modern firearms are being stored by the Militia or being used by special units of the Militia (The guards at Monroe’s tent and the guys with Sgt. Acne-Scar). As for the Subway scene the NYC subway system needs fresh air pumped in, CO2 is a problem when caving where there is limited circulation of a lot of decaying vegitation… cut off one end of the tunnel and the CO2 starts to build up. I haven’t been weighing Aaron after each episode but I doubt he’d look that much thinner after less than a month or so on the road. And they showed how Aaron survived… he was taken in by Ben Matheson and his band of survivors. As for the wall you could easily complete it in less than 5 years… Hadrians wall was built in 6 and that is 80 miles long with castles at every mile and didn’t have the benefit of poured concrete and salvaging nearby building materials. Again is the show 100% perfect? Nope but it keeps me entertained.

    And if the show is that bad why are you still watching after 10 episodes? I was really excited about the show Over There, I thought “hey there is a show I can relate to, Infantry in Iraq and following their deployment”… I made it through and episode and a half before the wild innacuracies annoyed the crap out of me and I turned it off. If this show runs a full season are you realy going to waste what is essentially almost and entire 24 hour day watching a show whose writing you think is so bad??

    • Kyle Pope says:

      -“Kyle you seem to want to have it both ways… you talk about how easy it is to make smokeless gunpowder and re-load brass and manufacture jacketed bullets (That NEED to be percise) yet question the idea about who is making blackpowder. The modern firearms are being stored by the Militia or being used by special units of the Militia (The guards at Monroe’s tent and the guys with Sgt. Acne-Scar).”-

      There’s nothing “both ways” about this. What is being missed about the situation in Revolution is that we’ve done this already. The bulk of human history predates electricity. I am surprised by how many people don’t seem to know this. We’ve been waging war with firearms for hundreds of years before electricity. We don’t need electricity to make either guns or ammunition. People are doing that now. In a world where weapons are the only thing between you and starvation, rape, enslavement or death people are going to be turning them out by the boatload because that was the situation on the old frontier and that’s what they did then.

      -“As for the Subway scene the NYC subway system needs fresh air pumped in, CO2 is a problem when caving where there is limited circulation of a lot of decaying vegitation… cut off one end of the tunnel and the CO2 starts to build up.”-

      How many people were in that tunnel under Philadelphia as opposed to the number of people in the NYC subway system at any given time? Millions of people ride the NYC subway system in addition to all the machinery operating there. Under those circumstances the air is going to get thin pretty fast. Nobody but our heroes and their pursuers were in that tunnel. How much rotting vegetation would it take to fill a space that vast with enough CO2 to asphyxiate anyone in that tunnel? The place would have to be a swamp from end to end. And BTW, rotting vegetation produces methane aka Swamp Gas, not CO2. So if rotting vegetation were filling that tunnel and they entered it with a lit torch, asphyxiation is not going to be an issue.

      -“I haven’t been weighing Aaron after each episode but I doubt he’d look that much thinner after less than a month or so on the road. And they showed how Aaron survived… he was taken in by Ben Matheson and his band of survivors.”-

      They haven’t been on the road for less than a month. They walked from Wisconsin to Philadelphia. It wasn’t an easy walk either with detours, escapes, side trips, etc. You don’t do that in less than a month. That doesn’t count whatever Aaron was doing when he left Minneapolis.

      It was never shown in the show that Ben took Aaron in. We just know he ended up living in Ben’s community. We don’t know how, We do know that it took years for Ben to find his way to Sylvania Estates. Ben met Maggie after her journey from Seattle to the East Coast and back to Wisconsin. That trip would have taken Maggie years. When she did meet Ben and his family they were still camping and hadn’t yet settled in Sylvania, WI. Aaron would have been on his own for that entire time.

      -“As for the wall you could easily complete it in less than 5 years… Hadrians wall was built in 6 and that is 80 miles long with castles at every mile and didn’t have the benefit of poured concrete and salvaging nearby building materials.”-

      Assuming things settled down enough and Monroe had access to the manpower such a wall is not impossible in itself. It would, however, be a considerable feat of organization in a world that isn’t organized.

      -“And if the show is that bad why are you still watching after 10 episodes? I was really excited about the show Over There, I thought “hey there is a show I can relate to, Infantry in Iraq and following their deployment”… I made it through and episode and a half before the wild innacuracies annoyed the crap out of me and I turned it off. If this show runs a full season are you realy going to waste what is essentially almost and entire 24 hour day watching a show whose writing you think is so bad??”-

      Yes. There are entire blogs and websites devoted to shredding bad shows. I don’t mean amateur rantings either. I mean serious literary criticism intimately detailing the flaws from concepts to execution. There are people out there who want to be writers and producers of television programming themselves and they need to be able to learn from the mistakes of others as well as the successes. I am not one of them. I’m just here for the entertainment. And if you think watching bad shows and dissecting their faults isn’t entertaining I suggest you google MST3K. I like science fiction. I especially like good science fiction. I’m old. I’ve been watching sci-fi for a long time. My standards were set by movies like Forbidden Planet, 2001 A Space Odyssey and The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original with Michael Rennie). TV shows like The Twilight Zone (the original with Rod Serling), The Outer Limits (again, the original), Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Firefly. People like Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, Joss Whedon, J. Michael Straczynski, Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, and on and on saw what they did as an art and a craft. Their stories and ideas were crafted like fine Swiss watches. Ideas flowed seamlessly from their minds into yours giving you insight into whole new vistas of thinking. This is why people still recognize Rod Serlings famous intro. They still recognize the Control Voice telling you there’s nothing wrong with your television set. Star Trek has entered the cultural lexicon and predicted and influenced the development of technologies from the cell phone to the USB drive to the tablet computer. People today proudly call themselves Trekkies, Browncoats and Whovians in recognition of the enduring quality of the shows they admire and the talent of the people who created them.

      Revolution angers me. This show has a magnificent concept. S. M. Stirling built an entire book series on it. This show could have been anything from a survival story of people rebuilding out of the ashes and the challenges they face to exploring a new technological society based non-electric analogs to what we’re used to. It could have asked big questions and left us to think of answers to them. Instead they turned that concept into a mere backdrop while spoon feeding us yet another generic, cliche ridden quest show. Everybody connected with this production is just phoning it in. I’m not in the “just turn your brain off and enjoy the ride” camp. I want my whole mind entertained, not just parts of it. There are shows that have done this. There are shows doing it now. This show could be one of them if someone just sat down and seriously asked what would actually happen to the modern world if it lost electricity and then did the research to give a serious and credible answer to that question. That would have been one hell of a Revolution.

  6. Rob Kearney says:

    Wait how can you praise the Dies the Fire series yet think Revolution is bad?? There was literally NO explanation for what made the power to shut off and add to it that somehow gunpowder doesn’t work. Stirling seems to have been to one to many Ren-Fairs if he thinks that a effete soft handed histrory professor can single handedly take on a cop, a soldier, and whoever else they threw into the pit with him, at once.

    My comment about you wanting it both ways is refering to you claiming both how hard it is to do things without electricity and machine while in the same post saying how easy evrything is even without electricity and machines.

  7. Kyle Pope says:

    I didn’t praise the Emberverse series. I’m not a big Stirling fan. I simply pointed out that the idea of a world without technology wasn’t new. The point here isn’t that Revolution hasn’t explained why the power doesn’t work. Star Wars didn’t explain how the Force worked. The point is that Revolution hasn’t built a logically consistent world around the loss of electricity.

    I can accept Revolution’s basic premise as easily as I accept walkers in The Walking Dead, the Force in Star Wars or warp drive in Star Trek. The premise isn’t the problem. The problem is the slap dash world that was built on that premise. All Revolution has done is set a stage of a world without electricity and populated it with cliches. Revolution’s world is not based on a serious exploration of what kind of world and what kind of people would survive such a cataclysm. It’s simply a bunch of random events strung together by the requirements of the plot.

    We are fifteen years into an unexplained apocalyptic event and from what we’ve seen of the general populace they appear to have all the curiosity and ambition of your average RPG NPC. They lost electricity. Ok, but they are still surrounded by plenty of technology that will still work and plenty of information on how to make it work. And yet there they are, scratching turnips out of the mud and bowing and scraping before anybody with a sharp stick. We’ve seen Katrina. We’ve seen Sandy. We’ve seen how real people respond in the face of catastrophe. They start fixing things. They want their lives back and they’re damn well going to get them. They’ll start sorting out what works and what doesn’t and start building on it. Fifteen years out we should be seeing non-electric technology all over the place, especially in agriculture. Diesel powered tractors and combine harvesters give you food on an industrial scale. None of this subsistence nonsense. But Revolution needs the general populace to be a bunch of scared sodbusters so the heroes can be even more heroic when they bring down the tyrant.

    Kripke keeps evoking Star Wars and Lord of the Rings when he talks about Revolution. He needs to stop doing that. If I want to see Star Wars again I’ll throw in the blu-ray. Same with Lord of the Rings. I don’t need Kripke to give me pale imitations. Give me something new. Take your premise and run with it. Show me a new non-electric world with its beauty and its challenges. Come up with new stories to tell. Don’t recycle someone else’s down to the dramatis personae. Star Trek and Firefly are shows about a spaceship and its crew. That’s all they have in common. Each show provides the viewer with a unique storytelling experience. There is nothing unique about Revolution.

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