Note: This is a question that involves spoilers about the Season 1 Finale of Revolution:

In the Season 1 Finale of Revolution, Randall Flynn launches ICBM's at Philadelphia and Atlanta, so that he can defeat the militias and reestablish the United States. Why does he need to wait to turn off all the nanites to do that? Why couldn't he have just attached pendants to the ICBM's and launched them years earlier? Or did he want to wait until America had electricity again before reestablishing the government?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You in Advance.

3 Answers 3


I think the idea was that there was no point to reestablishing the United States until power returned. If the United States fell to warring factions when power first disappeared, there's no reason that wouldn't happen again if power remained off.

  • Thanks, that hadn't occurred to me. But that raises the question, why didn't Randall restore the power earlier? Didn't he already know that the key to get into level 12 was in the George W. Bush picture? And also, if he did know how to get into level 12, why did he need to force Grace to help him get into it? Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 1:35
  • I can't remember why he needed Grace's help (maybe he didn't have the expertise to turn the power back on?), but I know another obstacle was all of the people on level 11 who were preventing anyone from getting to level 12. That's why he waited until he had the Militia backing him.
    – Tomari7
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 3:07

I can think of a few in-universe reasons:

First, it's possible that the presence of the nanites would have interfered with the targeting system on the ICBMs (see below). Randall could, of course, have just calculated the correct ballistics, launched them, and crossed his fingers, but given his intention to off himself, he wouldn't get a second change if he screwed up. With the electricity back on, the computers at The Tower can control the trajectory of the ICBM's for their entire flight.

Second, its possible that the USB controllers are too rare and he didn't want to waste them without knowing they would work, or possibly he didn't even have enough of them to fit onto the missiles.

Third, it may have all been part of the plan to get the power back on before launching all-out war against the various nations. This way, the "real US" now has their power back on and can use it to swoop in and conquer the nations that Randall just destroyed.

Lastly, he may just be psychotic and enjoyed getting everyone's hopes up before he went.

Regarding option #1, let me just express my dismay at how haphazardly the whole explanation of the nanites has been handled. Many of the things we've seen them do make no sense given how they were explained (my favorite example: how did turning off the nanites automatically start up a gas powered generator without any initial energy input?) So there's no real way to know what the nanites are capable of, and thus why Randall felt the need to shut them off before he did anything.


For my biggest issue is how the all stuff got back to working [u]at all[/u], given there was 15? ( sorry, don't remember exactly now) years of complete breakdown. Petrol can become useless, due to air, even after few months not to mention after years when even rust would become major concern. I guess if the nanites could consume infinite output of energy at pretty much once to create blackout, they could somehow 'kick-start' things they shut down when ceasing to work.. stretched as it is to cover 'gas powered generators' it leads exactly back to question how the X-years old stuff magically works like it would be carefully shut down just yesterday.

It's also worth noting that especially ICBMs would not really remain operational after some time without attending to them.. while they're US things and not Chinese or Korea ones, they could easily self-destruct ( corroding fuel? ) or became useless chunks of metal due to humidity etc.

As for the #1st idea: I believe the pendants wouldn't work on ICBMs; they are simply 'too large'. They can power AT-launcher ( what is also curious on it's own, the amplifier on one of the Choppers should power everything in it's area of effect by itself so the launcher shouldn't really need pendant to work ) but as stated, to run car or helicopter you need amplifier. Thus strapping amplifier to ICBM would be 'problematic' as well as it wouldn't be really enough as it's just a missile.. one would have to power also all the launch-site and targeting equipment to make an actual launch.

In my opinion, Randal couldn't done what he did earlier because plan to use ICBMs couldn't work without bringing electricity back world-wide ( or at least US-wide); without it it would be too hard to implement ( too many amplifiers needed, strapping amplifiers to ICBMs) and failure-likely. That doesn't mean the general idea of the plan couldn't be done otherwise.. scavenged cruise-missile, "suicide helicopter rush" should be a bit more likely even if their 'oddness' is quite on the same level as fragile ICBMs working instantly after X years

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