Revolution Season 1: The Curious Case of Danny Matheson

Revolution Episode 11 The Stand (9)

And we’re back!

After a long winter hiatus, Revolution returned to us with an episode that was compelling and frustrating in equal measure largely due to the offing of one Danny Matheson. I’m no Danny fan, but after spending the entire first half of the season searching for the kid, I expected to at least get to know the asthmatic cutie a little better before he died heroically for the cause. Having had some time to reflect on the twist, I can’t decide if I’m excited about the new avenues of storytelling it opens up or disappointed by all the doors it slammed shut.

Let’s start with the up side: Danny’s death led to that cool Frankenstein-flavored cliffhanger that saw Rachel slicing into her son’s chest to pull out what looked like a high tech Lite-Brite peg. That experimental gadget saved Danny’s life when he was a child and remained operational post-blackout, and I’m betting Randall wouldn’t mind getting his hands on it again.

The scene smacked of sci-fi goodness, and I’m hoping it’s a sign of things to come. With Danny gone and Rachel consumed with guilt, I’d love to see her embrace her mad scientist side as she works to put the power into the hands of the rebels. If Danny being gone means more screen time for Rachel, then I’ll never complain about the decision again because Elizabeth Mitchell is turning in a fantastic performance.

Speaking of which, Danny’s death also added another layer of angst and badassery to Charlie’s burgeoning hero’s journey. Eric Kripke has clearly designated her the Dean Winchester of Revolution— she may not possess Dean’s one-liner skills, but she’s turning into a hardened soldier right before our eyes. She’s lost her father, her surrogate mother and her beloved little brother in a short stretch of time, and the scene she shared with her mom revealed a Charlie who has taken a cold, determined approach to dealing with her grief. Monroe’s people took her brother from her and I have no doubt that she’ll wreak havoc on them in return.

Finally, if Danny had to go, at least he got to go out with a literal bang. We didn’t get to see much of the youngest member of the Matheson family before he died, but whether he was saving the rebels or trying to escape Neville, he was always brave.

Now as for the downside: we spent the entire first half of the season trying to get Danny back. Killing him one episode later makes it all seem like a waste; not to mention it’s depressing. I know, I know, it’s a dangerous world and the writers want to establish that anyone can go at any time, but isn’t that philosophy passe these days? It’s more daring to actually let characters survive on a genre show in a post-Lost world than it is to go around killing them off by the handfuls each sweeps period. And it’s not like the Mathesons are short on motivation, what with the loss of their patriarch, Maggie and the combined weight of Miles and Rachel’s guilt. Adding another death on top of all that smacks of overkill.

What do you guys think? Were you sad to see Danny go or did you think his death provided the second half of the season with a good launching point? And more importantly, did you buy the idea that someone could take that many shots to the chest and stay standing long enough to watch their heroism pay off?

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