Revolution Wiki
Season 1, Episode 1
Air date September 17, 2012
Written by Eric Kripke
Directed by Jon Favreau
Production Code 296830
Flashbacks Matheson family
Timeline 2012, 2027
Episode Guide
"Chained Heat"

"Pilot" is the first episode of the first season, and overall the first produced hour of Revolution. It first aired September 17, 2012, though NBC made the pilot episode available for viewing online.


The Matheson Family has been living in a world devoid of electricity for fifteen years. When father Ben Matheson is shot and his son Danny Matheson is taken by Captain Tom Neville from General Monroe's militia, sister Charlie Matheson must travel to Chicago, Illinois in search of her Uncle Miles, hoping that he can help. She is joined Aaron and Maggie, and along the way they meet Nate Walker, an archer who helps them out of trouble. In Chicago, they find Miles in the Grand Hotel, but a fight with the Militia breaks out. Meanwhile, Danny escapes the Militia and meets Grace, who turns him in, but is later shown using a Pendant to power a computer that she uses to communicate with an unknown party.

Plot Summary

In Chicago, Illinois, a 5-year-old Charlie Matheson and a 2-year-old Danny Matheson watch a cartoon as their mother Rachel Matheson talks with her mother on the phone. Suddenly, Ben Matheson arrives, looking distraught and frightened. He tells Rachel that "it's happening," and quickly downloads some sort of digital content on his computer onto a flashdrive, mere seconds before all the electricity goes off.

In Port Royal, South Carolina, Miles Matheson is driving with his fellow Marine Sergeant Bass Monroe when he receives a call from his brother, Ben. As he is warned by Ben that "it's all going to turn off," Miles' phone turns off, along with Bass' phone, their car, and the rest of the electricity-powered machines in the area. Not far away from Ben's house, a plane falls from the sky and explodes.

Sylvania Estates, Wisconsin

Aaron explains to a group of children that no one knows why the blackout happened, and no one knows how to turn the power back on. Charlie and Danny are out hunting when they find an abandoned RV, they go inside and search it. Charlie sees the minifridge and remembers when her parents let her eat all the ice cream that was melting because of the blackout. Charlie also finds a postcard with a picture of Chicago on it and wants to go there. While Danny is looking around he accidentally opens the air conditioning compartment and releasing a cloud of dust, causing Danny to have trouble breathing and forcing them to break out of the RV.

Ben's girlfriend, Maggie who is a medical doctor cooks up some Asthma medicine for Danny. Ben is upset with Charlie because she put her brother in danger. Charlie mentions her fantasy of traveling and seeing the world, but Ben doesn't want her to go because it's dangerous. Charlie also disagrees with Maggie's maternal behavior. She immediately storms out of the house and goes to a brick wall where she has hidden some of her personal possessions in a Star Wars lunchbox.

While she is gone, the Militia comes to inquire where Ben and Miles are. Ben quietly hands Aaron the flash drive and tells him to keep it hidden and safe at all times. Captain Tom Neville, the leader of the Militia unit, begins asking Ben questions. Ben refuses to give Neville the information he wants, so he threatens Ben's family instead. Danny emerges with a crossbow trained on Neville. As Ben attempts to talk Danny down, the other villagers also produce weapons and begin attacking the Militia soldiers. During the chaos, Ben is shot and fatally wounded. Danny is taken by Neville and his men.

Charlie is returning from the wall when she hears gunshots. She returns to the colony to find her father dying of a gunshot wound. As he lies in the street, Ben tells her to find his brother Miles in Chicago. Maggie and Aaron insist on accompanying Charlie there. On their way to Chicago, Charlie wanders away from the others to gather water. She sees a young man and accidentally attracts his attention. They share a few words and he introduces himself as Nate. Charlie then returns to the rest of the group.

Charlie, Maggie and Aaron eventually come upon Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Aaron mentions that he once owned a plane and that there should be first aid kit inside the cockpit of one of the planes. Meanwhile, Danny tries to escape from the Militia by detaching his handcuffs from the wagon it is bolted to and incapacitating the man left to guard him. As the trio sleep in the abandoned plane they are attacked by three men during the night. Maggie offers them alcohol, which has actually been poisoned. The man consumes the alcohol and begins to spit up blood as Maggie frees herself and strangles him using the emergency oxygen apparatus. The man attacking Aaron suffers the same fate. The other attacker, who is attempting to rape Charlie, is shot through the chest by Nate, the boy she met earlier. He insists that he accompany the three of them to Chicago, where he hopes to join a fishing crew.

Meanwhile, Danny has escaped his captors, but is struggling with his asthma as he travels through a field visibly covered in floating pollen. When they reach Chicago, Charlie, Maggie, Aaron and Nate find a hotel called "The Grand." Aaron states that he got married there. They ask the bartender for information concerning Miles Matheson. The bartender at first insists that he doesn't know the man, but after Charlie informs the man that Ben is dead and the she is his niece, he asks Charlie to follow him. Nate refuses to allow Charlie to follow him, but the bartender holds a knife to his throat and reveals that he himself is Miles.

Danny awakens with a shotgun pointed at him by a mysterious woman. She offers him an inhaler for his asthma which once belonged to her son. Danny offers to leave but is unable to stand on his own. Charlie discusses her situation and her father's death with Miles. She learns that her father is believed to have known something about why the power went out. Charlie asks Miles for advice on what to do and he makes it clear that he does not wish to be involved. She tries to convince him, stating that he is family, but that will not persuade him so she leaves.

As Charlie leaves crying, Nate confronts Miles, who exposes Nate as Militia. Nate arms himself and escapes. Charlie, Maggie, Aaron and Miles discuss the situation with Nate in the hotel. Miles states that Nate has probably been following the group "since the beginning" and implies that he was probably involved in Danny's abduction. When Charlie asks him for a plan, he says that his plan is to sit in the hotel and drink the last bottle of single-malt liquor in Chicago and that they should leave. Charlie refuses to leave, until he shouts at them and they begin to gather their things. Neville knocks on the door of the woman who saved Danny and begins to question her. At first she denies any knowledge of a fugitive, but as he manipulates her, she allows him inside, where Neville finds Danny in the attic.

As Nate and his fellow Militia storm the hotel, they try to convince Miles to go quietly, to which he refuses and draws a sword. Charlie appears with a crossbow and is followed by soldiers who are then killed by Maggie and Aaron. Nate saves Charlie from a soldier attacking her and flees. Miles dispatches the rest of the soldiers attacking him. Afterwards, Nate has a flashback about Sargent Monroe. It is then revealed that General Bass Monroe is the leader of the Monroe Republic, as we see him receiving the letter from Tom Neville at a Monroe Militia camp. After Danny's recapture, the mysterious woman unlocks a door and activates a light bulb, as well as a makeshift computer using a flash drive like the one that Ben had given to Aaron. As the episode ends, She begins communicating with some one using the computer, telling them that the militia stopped by, but they didn't find "it".







  • The episode was released to the Internet market via on September 4, 2012, two weeks before its network premiere.
  • Wrigley sign.jpeg
    There is a scene in "Pilot" where Charlie and company walk past a dilapidated Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. In the original trailer, which premiered in May 2012, Wrigley Field's iconic sign says "2012 World Series Champions", a prophetic detail that was riskily included. The Cubs are known as a cursed team with little hope of becoming champions, and something like that might offend their fan-base. By the time the pilot premiered on September 17, 2012, the team had been mathematically eliminated from reaching the playoffs, so the sign was edited out of the scene.[1]
  • With an average of 11.6 million viewers, "Pilot" became the top television drama premiere of the past 3 years, the last being the since canceled "V", which premiered in 2009.[2]
  • This is The Only Appearance Of Ben Matheson Alive.
  • In the trailer of Revolution, the children are watching Woody Woodpecker in the 1942 cartoon Ace in the Hole on TV, but in the show itself they are watching Bugs Bunny in the 1943 cartoon Falling Hare.
  • This is the only episode in which Maria Howell is credited among the main cast; after this episode she is credited as a guest star.


See Also

Revolution -- Season 1 (Flashbacks in parentheses)
#01 "Pilot" (Matheson Family) #08 "Ties That Bind" (Nora) #15 "Home" (Monroe)
#02 "Chained Heat" (Charlie) #09 "Kashmir" #16 "The Love Boat"
#03 "No Quarter" (Miles/Monroe) #10 "Nobody's Fault But Mine" (Miles/Monroe) #17 "The Longest Day"
#04 "The Plague Dogs" (Maggie) #11 "The Stand" (Rachel/Charlie) #18 "Clue" (Jason)
#05 "Soul Train" (Neville) #12 "Ghosts" (Randall) #19 "Children of Men"
#06 "Sex and Drugs" (Aaron) #13 "The Song Remains the Same" #20 "The Dark Tower"
#07 "The Children's Crusade" (Rachel) #14 "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" (Miles/Alec)