Revolutionhas sparked a lot of debates between fans — Is Charlie too whiny? Is Rachel working for the wrong side? What caused the friggin' blackout?!? — but one topic notably absent from discussions is whether the militia is as evil as Charlie thinks. The Monroe Republic's law enforcers are one of the more interesting aspects of the series, yet simply because Charlie views them as the enemy, are we supposed to as well? Hmm... we're going to need a little more evidence then that. Until then, here are a few reasons why the militia might be gravely misunderstood.
It was born from loveThe militia wasn't founded as some integral part of Monroe's (David Lyons) scheme for world domination. In fact, Monroe didn't even found it! Our favorite reluctant hero Miles (Billy Burke) was the one who started and cultivated the organization into what we now see. And as the flashbacks have made abundantly clear, the world immediately post-blackout was not a nice place to live. Without electricity or a social structure, society collapsed and it was dog-eat-dog (and probably dog-eat-man and man-eat-dog, too). Miles didn't found the militia to take over the world — he did it to save lives and restore peace! Though it's clearly gotten a little sidetracked, do you really think the militia has lost all touch with its true purpose?
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Charlie owes the militia an apologyCharlie (Tracy Spiridakos) loves to whine, and short of "Everybody leaves me," and "What happened to you, Miles?" her next favorite target is the militia. She struts around spouting off how evil and corrupt the militia is, but what Charlie doesn't realize is the moral high horse she's sitting on might as well have a big "M" branded onto its haunches. Charlie should be thankingthe militia for her sheltered upbringing that has allowed her to be so morally elite. Without the militia to stop constant looting, pillaging and rape, Charlie would have lost her glossy innocence years ago (in more ways than one). So before she goes off again on another militia-directed tirade, maybe she should ask herself what kept her old community so quiet and safe (even if their methods are not necessarily ideal)?
Militiamen are people, too!Charlie and the gang seem to have a hard time understanding the world outside themselves. Take for instance, understanding the fact that militia soldiers are people trying to do their jobs and stay alive — just like them!
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In "Sex and Drugs" Charlie agrees to assassinate a rival for Drexel, and Aaron (Zak Orth) can't believe she would kill an innocent man. "This isn't some militia soldier," Aaron pleads. "Charlie, [the rivals] are innocent. This is murder!" And though Charlie shouldn't make a habit of killing innocent people, she and Aaron should also realize that just because you don a militia uniform doesn't mean your heart is replaced by a black lump of coal.
To generalize the militia as a band of evil, mustachioed villains is to dehumanize it, which — if Charlie wants to maintain her moral supremacy — she needs to refrain from doing. Killing militia soldiers is sometimes necessary, but if Charlie stops feeling guilty for murder simply because of the clothes someone is wearing or the job they have, soon she'll find herself on the wrong side of the moral spectrum.
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Does the head poison the entire body?Let's just say it: Monroe is evil. There's no question about that. The guy treats women like disposable objects, he tears apart families and he is definitely not afraid of murder. Oh, and we almost forgot to mention his narcissistic scheme for world domination. Summary: The dude is bad news. But does that mean everyone working for him is, too?
Above the level of anonymous foot soldiers, let's think about the militiamen we know best: Neville and Jason. While it's clear Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) can be ruthless in the line of duty, we also saw through flashbacks that he truly believes he's doing what is necessary to protect his family. Overall, he seems to be a pretty nice guy who just has a couple of skewed ideas.
Jason (JD Pardo), on the other hand, appears to be a great guy who's in a tough situation. Torn between pleasing his dad and protecting the girl he likes, Jason is more confused than evil. That doesn't mean we shouldn't expect Jason to do despicable things as the show goes on, but it's hard to imagine him ever doing them with a malicious intent.
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Of course, we have seen some militia soldiers who are total jerks, but it's not as though the rebels seem to be any better. In "Soul Train," Hutch would rather stab Nora (Daniella Alonso) and blow up a train than save a few innocent lives. Does that sound like one of the good guys to you?
Maybe the lesson of Revolutionis this: there is no good or evil. As the series peels away the layers of motivation behind characters' actions each week, we constantly learn that not everything is as it appears. So let's hold off judgment on the militia for a little while longer. Who knows? Maybe we'll be seeing Miles taking charge again and reinstating the militia to its once imagined glory.
What do you think about the militia? Would you like to see it become a force of good?