NBC’s highest-rated new drama in some time, Revolution has been on an extended hiatus for months. While we’re creeping up on the date for new episodes—Monday, March 25th—it still feels like a long way off. In the meantime, fans have had to sate their thirst for all things post-blackout with a series of short, animated webisodes that follow Sergeant Wheatley (Reed Diamond). He is a member of the Monroe Militia who finds himself accidentally undercover in the rebel army. The fifth chapter, Wheatley’s Letters: May 23rd dropped earlier today.
Though short, these videos offer a different perspective on the world of Revolution. Not everyone, as it turns out, wants to rise up against the Militia rule, or even views it as a negative.
The animation is simple, but has cool, distinct aesthetic. It resembles graffiti and stencil-based protest art. That certainly falls in line with the theme of rebellion inherent in the series.
This time around, we learn something more about Wheatley’s past. He didn’t have any idea the lights went out at the time it happened. Camping with his sister and her kids, the only indication something was wrong was that his flashlight went out. In a unique position for survival, he “missed the moment when civilization disappeared,” when chaos and violence erupted, and looters ransacked the cities. His sister and her children lost their lives in the aftermath.
That’s part of the appeal of the militia for Wheatley. He lost loved ones in the disarray, and the strong arm of military rule helps prevent pointless loss like this. That’s what he sees in the rebel camp, a lack of order, no boss to keep everyone in line, and a society on the brink of bedlam.
But the people are happy, things seem to get done, and the insurgents are gaining more and more public support with each passing day. What is he missing? Is he “the last one to realize the world has changed again?”
Like last week’s episode, you start to suspect that Wheatley may be warming to the idea of the revolution. In his letter he says he has to act, like helping raid the Militia armory, because he has to appear like he’s one of them. But how long until all the acting, all the pretending, everything he sees, leads him to actually become one of them?
Though he may be softening to the cause somewhat, he still details the rebel’s store of arms—which doesn’t seem like much. We also know from the episode “Kashmir,” he never changed his mind enough not to lead Miles (Billy Burke), Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), and company into a trap.