When I first started watching Revolution, I had not-one-damn-inkling that I would become a Charloe-diehard-I-will-go-down-with-this-ship fan. I admit to liking Jarlie—for a moment. Now I love Charloe for a lifetime. That aside, I have a weakness for bromances/brotherhoods: the Salvatore brothers on TVD, the Winchesters of Supernatural, etc. The bond, albeit torn and twisted, between Sebastian Monroe and Miles Matheson intrigued me from the start. It felt bent, not broken; in other words, reparable. I desperately wanted to see these two brothers find their way back to each other.
They tried killing each other multiple times during season one and in season two they bickered more than any old married couple. They had issues of resentment, betrayal, abandonment, but they also had the bond of decades of friendship. They have seen each other at their worsts and their bests. And thankfully, after many episodes where Rachel kept intervening, Miles remembered that Bass was “his person” (so I also have a thing for tight girlfriends too, go Cristina and Meredith, sue me). We were left in the series finale with the idea that these brothers were on the path of redeeming not only themselves but their brotherhood. And as much as I love my Charloe, the true heart of Revolution from the beginning was Miles’ bond with Bass coupled with his burgeoning bond with Charlie.
Miles stood up to Rachel and defended Bass. Bass, even more significantly, chose to follow Miles instead of cowing to his little dictator-in-diapers’ demands that he kill the Patriot President so that he could hand over a readymade empire to Connor. Bass twice sacrificed himself to spare his son. But when their backs were up against the wall, and Miles put his faith in Bass, he came through for Miles just like Miles trusted him to do.
I love Sebastian Monroe. It’s probably all kinds of wrong for me to, but I blame David Lyons for making him so compelling (and not just eye candy-licious). But I also know that he is an incredibly flawed man who made a boatload of mistakes. This is also equally true of Miles (and I also blame Billy for making me like Miles anyway). Monroe was wrong to keep Rachel a prisoner for years and to torture her while keeping her captive. But I don’t think Rachel is this sainted victim that much of season two spent time trying to convince me of. She is culpable for the destruction of an entire world and the deaths of millions—more likely billions—of people. She made choices and others paid the consequences for them. One such person was Bass, who lost his wife and child because they had no access to a hospital during delivery. I think they both victimized each other; had a hand in molding the clay of who they became during the show’s run. It was clear to me on the show that they hated each other (though a tentative truce may have been reached in the finale.) Now I know that the opposite of hate is love but I don’t buy it between them. Sometimes I think it’s quite possible to hate someone and not harbor secret love for them (I also think the opposite is true, BTW. ‘Cause, hey: Charloe).
So I would like to ask this question: How in the world are audiences supposed to believe that a season three that delved into Bass and Rachel together is anything other than a nuclear bomb dropped on the foundation of this show? It lays waste to everything it established in the canon. The Miles and Rachel relationship was given an abundance of screen time to establish that they are an OTP. Somehow the writers made “Riles” written in the stars even though their own past was hinted at being quite dark and bleak in season one. Bass gave up his son so he wouldn’t betray Miles. That’s huge for a guy who spent twenty years desperately seeking family. Why would he then essentially napalm whatever bridges he and Miles have traversed to reclaim their deep, unyielding friendship just to be with a woman he hates and who hates him as equally? But yet he wasn’t willing to sacrifice his relationship with Miles for his son? Uh-huh.
The answer to that question lies in another reason why using this particular device would diminish the show’s history and its potential future: It’s a cliché choice as well as redundant. Embarrassingly redundant for Revolution, which has used that particular trope twice already and each occasion included Miles and Bass. Miles had an affair with Rachel, who was with his brother Ben Matheson. Years earlier, Bass had a one-night-stand with Miles’ high school sweetheart and one-time fiancée, Emma Bennett. Oh heck. I guess we could stretch that to three times if we want to admit that episode 2x19 actually happened. If you insist, then yes, Bass and Rachel already slept together years before (ick) and shared a recent kiss (horrifying. Are you happy now? Because now I need a benzo or two). Okay now that that is all out in the open, it just goes to show that these guys have “shared” more than enough women with each other (and Ben) than is strictly necessary or comfortable, especially when each time those women were the true love of the man they were supposedly committed to. Why does this particular device need to stop and not happen in season three or ever again? Because we need Miles and Bass to grow up. If we want them to mend fences they have to stop traveling the same roads. That includes this particular behavior, not just their rather homicidal tendencies. It’s almost as if the writers are incapable of thinking of any other source of angst or conflict between these two (and therein is the answer to the previous paragraph’s question). I wager that watching them try to rebuild their friendship and right their previous wrongs would make very compelling TV.
I understand there are some complications with our good ship. Charloe would require finesse to balance it properly. It can’t be done too fast because then it’s not believable; it also runs the risk of being trivial: just another one-night-stand for both of them. It makes it cold and unfeeling. Lust not love. Instead it would require the writers to balance the obvious physical attraction between them with the emotional repulsion (if you will) between them because she made an art out of hating him and he would probably have hang-ups about being with Miles’ niece and someone his son slept with. Writers would need to find the connections between them that are wrapped up in all the things that separate them: she blames him for her family’s death; he blames her mother for his. They’ve tried to kill each other (conversely they have also saved one another too). They both have issues of being left behind (but they both went back for each other). The Revo writers re-wrote much of canon history by making Miles and Rachel anything other than a seedy affair. They built up a complex and dark history between those two in season one flashbacks. All of that was ignored, forgotten really, to make Miles the kind of hero that would be worthy of the kind of victim-cum-femme fatale they set Rachel up as. He went from an antihero to a hero in space of a finale and premiere. I’m not saying “Riles” was a bad choice; I’m just saying that instead of obliterating all the groundwork they had laid before (and transferring all the un-erasable bad things from Miles’ shoulders to Bass’) they could have led us to a Miles and Rachel ending with more subtly and care than was given.
The Bachel path prevents the writers from needing to take the necessary, sensitive steps to build up Charloe so its credibility and integrity aren’t undermined (or taking the Riles path of rewriting history just to make it work). Not to mention it sinfully wastes the chemistry between Tracy and David. However, Bachel also renders every decision they made to build up Riles useless because it voids that relationship entirely. Not to mention what it does to the Miloe brotherhood.
I love the show, no lie. But I will be the first to admit that often times I felt the writing lacked the power to support what its amazing cast could deliver. They used tropes all throughout; other times they created plot holes so huge that they chose to ignore them rather than patch them over. Instead of taking the path less traveled by, the writers and producers planned to take us down the one they’ve already led us down before. I can tell you that that is not a path that I wish to take and it’s not a journey I wish to experience either. I first used the phrase #NoBachel on Twitter and I will continue to use it always. Not only for my deep and abiding love to see Charloe canonized but also because of my deep love and respect for the work that David and Billy put into building such a credible brotherhood that I could totally accept that they can say “I forgive you” or “We’ll always be brothers” even while holding weapons on each other. I could not see them saying these things standing on a ground razed by Bachel.