In an early episode, there was a storm complete with lightning. Some people might cry "Plot Hole!" due to the reveal that the blackout was caused by replicating nanites that absorb electricity. However, a key thing to point out here is that we have not been told how much electricity they can absorb, nor have we been told how fast they can replicate. Indeed, lightning contains such high amounts of electricity that it could potentially overload nanites, and possibly provide small areas for electricity to work for a short time.
And the fact that lightning strikes rapidly happen with greater frequency when the nanites are stopped would seem to back this up regarding their ability to partially, but not perfectly, suppress transient phenomena like lightning.
Charlie having been forcibly branded with the Monroe militia insignia could be an excellent spy. One wonders if the writers will somehow use this in future episodes.
"The Stand" shows her first use of this disguise.
"Born in the USA" shows that at least for some people, it gives her a point of connection to them, such as the bartender she sleeps with.
The mere fact that (at least in some parts) people almost immediately caught on to the lights coming back on may initially seem like a plot hole...until the realization hits that since there's been no power for over 15 years, it wouldn't make any difference if everything was switched on or not.
Randall mentions he has access to spy satellites of all kinds. This means that how he deduced the existence of the pendants was to look for suspicious sites of night lighting. One very fundamental human tendency is to devise sources of light which last outside of sunlight hours. Non-electrical lighting could only be based on fossil fuels or wood, which, being flame-based, would have a characteristic flicker that electrical lighting cannot mimic very well, especially forms of electrical lighting that purposely create very diffuse, uniform sources of light in a room. In short, the people who had pendants who were insufficiently cautious about using them betrayed themselves to eyes beyond the atmosphere.
Corollary: And even those who were smart about it probably gave off radiofrequency emissions Randall's satellites could detect, because any source of coherentnote This is distinct from blackbody radiation, which would be broad-spectrum and clearly not of artificial origin radio waves in the post-Blackout world needs must consume electricity to do so. Computers are fantastic RF transmitters and receivers, especially those old-fashioned CRT monitors Grace et al were using.
One would assume the residents of Atlanta would be impressed more than they were by a gas-powered car coming into Atlanta - however they do have steam-powered vehicles - they must have thought it was some new engineering.
Wouldn't anyone have noticed the characteristic smell of the exhaust of a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine? Even assuming the GF uses methane/propane/kerosene-fuelled steam engines, the odor of the fuel-burning process would be different than that from gasoline. But then Fridge Brilliance suggests that Atlanta has rediscovered the problem that bedevilled 19th/early 20th century large cities: excess pollution from "dirty" fuel sources. People may be so used to the smell of unburnt coal and kerosene they don't notice the smell of car exhaust. That said, smell is a very potent memory aid. (e.g. Some people smell, say, the odor of a chemistry lab and it's like they never left.)
The Monroe militia are at first only seen using muzzle loaded muskets, which really doesn't make any sense. Sure musket balls and muskets are easy to mass produce. However, repeating rifles such as the Spencer repeating rifle were mass produced during the civil war and we even see a couple of riles that look like those in the second half of season one. Even breach loading and rifling are easily included upgrades over muzzle loading muskets. However, when we learn that the militia are made up of mostly conscripts the brilliance begins. Since they are conscripts they can't be trusted to not turn on the government that made them. So arming them with weapons just effective enough to do the job of policing the internal affairs of the republic makes more sense then arming them with high end weaponry. Also, in a real war if they are called to the front they are most likely just cannon fodder compared to the soldiers trained before the blackout anyway.
First and foremost being all the medical conditions that would suddenly become lethal. Everyone you know with diabetes? Dead as soon as their insulin goes bad. Everyone you know with a defibrillator inside them? Thatís not gonna do them any good. And as the show its self demonstrates, asthma without treatment sucks
Well, type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, and even if you aren't managing it, it generally won't kill you right away (many people go quite a while without even realizing they have it).
Insulin can be refined from the pancreatic cells of sheep or pigs, if one knows what one is doing. Refrigeration is an issue, but old-fashioned icehouses could make a comeback (especially in the Great Lakes area) and gas-powered refrigerators are possible under the constraints in the show. Treating Type 1 diabetes wouldn't be easy under these conditions but it would still be possible (probably for the very wealthy).
There's a book called One Second After in which an EMP hits, and the main character only manages to keep his diabetic daughter alive for four months with increasing levels of a slowly-degrading insulin that has to be kept in packed ice and/or dry ice because the skills to make a mechanical refrigerator aren't there anymore.
Imagine the fates of all of those people in confined areas (such as elevators, submarines and so forth) who had no way to get free from those places when the blackout occurred.
The pilot, at least, addresses the fate of people in airplanes. Presumably, submarines didn't do much better.
Elevators are easy. There's an escape hatch in the roof of every one; climb out that onto the top of the elevator car, force the doors open onto the nearest floor and take the stairs out the building.
The irony of such is that elevators often have ceilings at least one foot higher than most people can comfortably reach. So the escape route is there, but not easily accessible. A dude like Aaron would have basically starved to death if he'd been in an elevator and nobody'd thought to check.
Any loved ones over seas? Consider them gone.
Sailing ships, steam engines, diesel engines... basically any form of human transportation other than walking or riding on horseback appear to be Lost technology in the Revolution universe.
The fifth episode features a steam locomotive pulling a train.
In reality, the Revolution universe has only lost about 100 years of technology (electricity was around in the 1910s but it wasn't completely universal yet, and most people then knew how to live without it). The problem is that most people in the United States no longer have the skill sets needed to live in a world without electricity. Still, there are books, and some old models in museums—and sailing ships and diesel engines continue to be manufactured to this day. And they've had 15 years to get their act together. But then, we've only seen one episode so far, so we don't know what the world outside the greater Chicago area looks like yet.
In the pilot, Nate says that he's heading to Chicago in order to get on a fishing boat's crew. Considering who he is, it stands to reason that there are actually fishing boats (most likely sailing vessels) used for this, so it's a valuable alibi, on the off-chance he ran into someone actually from Chicago.
Keep in mind though that there is a big difference between going of shore for fishing trips and crossing an ocean without an electric engine.
A boat was shown being worked on in Chicago in the pilot. Presumably it's not the only one in the area.
Explored somewhat in the second episode. The doctor from Australia reveals that she holds onto her non-functioning iPhone because it contains the only pictures of her family that she has and she knows there's a good chance she'll never see them again.
Those in war zones like in Afghanistan. bunch of soldiers doing their job, suddenly all electronics stop functioning and they can't contact the U.S. or other troops outside of walking/riding distance for that matter. Suddenly they go from soldiers with a government backing them to refugees stuck behind enemy lines. What do you think their chances are?
Pretty good compared to everyone else since they have guns and Basic training. Probably better than people across the ocean.
Extremely good since, aside from Randall, they're the only people on the planet with access to electrical power (the team that deployed the nanites had to have had a pendant or equivalent device to ensure their own safety).
So the U.S. flag is apparently outlawed in the Monroe Republic and Nora reveals herself as a rebel by having it tattooed on her back. Bad news for anyone who got an American flag tattoo pre-blackout.
Which is lots of people. Maybe that's how America got so depopulated? killing folks with American Flag tats?
The people most likely to have those tattoos are those who feel particularly patriotic, and lots of them happen to be armed making them a considerable threat to Monroe's plan. Without organization, however, they can be picked apart pretty easily and so they probably were the first up against the wall.
People loyal to Monroe who have flag tattoos would be great moles to plant in resistance cells. If you look closely at Nora's tattoo, it's not quite the same as a regular US flag. That specific pattern may separate resistance members from random people with flag tattoos.
Miles' dialogue implies that Nora's tattoo is new, so it could be that was the best the tattoo artist could have done since there isn't an electric needle available.
Also, it should be considered that Nora's tattoo has a much smaller number of stars than the normal US Flag, but just about as many as you would expect to see representing the States that used to exist within the area now covered by the Monroe Republic. Maybe the rebels had no illusions about restoring all 50 states, at least not right away, so they only included the States they would bring back by dethroning Monroe.
The premise is about a worldwide blackout and attempts to get the power back on. Let's say they get the power back on. What happens then? One thing for sure is that things will not go back to the way they were before the blackout. The fact is that a lot of electric-powered equipment is broken-down and out of use. People have had to live a different and dangerous life for 15 years. There would have to be measures taken to make sure a worldwide blackout doesn't happen again. The United States of America effectively died in the blackout. You can be very sure that all the divided territories are not just going to give up their power and control just because the power turned back on. Really, the only difference it would make is that everyone would have access to electric-powered equipment (if it works) and mass communication. In short, turning the power back on will not end the story by a long shot!
Likely. One likely thing to happen is that people, being aware of just how easily the electricity can be taken away, may purposely choose to maintain skills that came in use during the decade and a half since the blackout. Societies as a whole might even purposely freeze their technological development in a kind of ersatz 1940s dieselpunkish manner to keep such skills from atrophying.
Miles actually addresses this in Episode 13, when he tells Rachel that none of the other republics are any better than Monroe (in his opinion it appears that Texas is a good deal worse) and that turning the power on for them would only make matters worse.
And speaking of the successor states not giving up their power, it seems that the remnants of the US Government in Exile holed up in Guantanamo (!) have considered this and decided on a pre-emptive decapitation strike at the Monroe Republic and the Georgia Federation. So yeah, there's a lot left for the show to cover even after the power comes back on.
On "Children's Crusade" apparently teenage girls are also recruited into militia and kept during their recruit days along with male recruits in all-male staffed facility. Think of the implications.
The additional Unfortunate Implication of this is - what happens when a recruit gets pregnant? Medical care is not exactly at 21st-century standards...
Episode 9 "Kashmir" has Rachel kill off Dr. Bradley Jaffe. Episode 8 "Ties That Bind" introduced Dr. Bradley, and he supposedly has a daughter. A daughter that has been put under militia custody thanks to Rachel. After what happened in episode 9, that daughter is now an orphan. What do you think is going to happen to her because of what Rachel did? For all we know, the daughter is already dead. Nice job breaking it, Rachel!
Episode 9 also shows that the rebels are adopting military ranks, which Miles finds very cute. The rebels have been shown to be extremely unforgiving towards militia people, and that attitude goes Up to Eleven with Miles, the guy who trained the militia in the first place. He had to bargain with them to bring them Monroe's head on a platter in exchange for letting him live and helping him out. Assuming the Monroe Republic gets taken down and the rebels take over, what do you think will happen? They will probably become just as bad as the Monroe Republic. Miles is also quite aware that the rebels and the militia are Not So Different, and He Who Fights Monsters will probably happen. Uh-oh....
Much has been made of the incompetence of the Monroe Militia versus the resistance in general and the protagonists in particular. However, the series has indicated on several occasions that the Monroe Republic faces stiff opposition from the two nations bordering it, and all out war against Georgia is imminent. It would make sense that Bass has sent his best troops to defend the borders, leaving behind the less-competent people to deal with the resistance (who aren't very well trained or organized themselves). This is probably where all the best equipment (that's not being used to defend the capitol) is being sent as well. Truth in Television, as a similar scenario played out in the American Civil War: in the early stages of the war, both the Union and the Confederacy tended to leave their less competent troops in garrison positions (and, in the case of the Union, on frontier postings) while the better-trained units ended up on the front lines.
This could also explain the use of muskets and low-tech weaponry. While it's mentioned and shown in the intro that more advanced firearms were stockpiled en masse, they're still in limited supply with the Monroe Republic lacking the means if not resources to make more of them. So it would make sense that only the front line forces (and the ones defending the capital) would be given all the good guns while the rest of the militia's handed more easily manufactured muskets.
Everybody's practically crapping their pants as soon as they hear the name "Miles Matheson", and it's heavily implied he got where he was by being seriously scary. Did he murder every tenth person in every village, or something? Because it sounds like being willing to commit mass murder and proving said willingness would definitely earn the "do not fuck with him" spot in a lot of peoples' minds.
"The Butcher of Baltimore". - Rachel Matheson.
Charlie's romance prospects aren't great. If she'd stayed in her village, was there anyone her age she was supposed to hook up and have kids with? If not, well...
There's always the possibility of her meeting up with someone from another village during market days. That's generally how it happened way back when (that is, when marriages weren't pre-arranged). Or, for that matter, someone just passing through (the old 'traveling salesman' gag has a lot of history behind it!)
According to the webisodes and the Revolution Blog Footnotes, Wheatley hid out among the rebels as an unwilling mole, and apparently the Monroe Republic authorities didn't believe his messages. If the Monroe Militia had believed him and helped extract him earlier, chances are he wouldn't have been around to betray Miles Matheson and kill off several good rebels.
Why does Neville tell Monroe that Jason is dead after his desertion. This is likely because Neville believes that Monroe would kill him or make Neville kill him.
More than likely. It's the only way Neville can protect Jason from Monroe—Jason is still his son at the end of the day, and as a deserter and turncoat Jason has written his own death warrant as far as Bass is concerned. Also, Jason's betrayal puts Neville in jeopardy, so reporting him dead is the best course of action for everyone involved.
Randall seems to have chosen Bass to ally with because the Monroe Republic had shown itself 'worthy' relative to the other American successor states. A few episodes later Miles makes the point that none of the other republics are any better than Monroe (and some may actually be worse). Although Randall isn't exactly a nice guy, it might well be the case that Bass Monroe is the most enlightened of the post-blackout leaders of North America...think on that for a while.
Trailers show that Georgia has higher standarts of living, at least. Randall's choice is probably dictated by the fact that Monroe was obsessed with bringing back power, and hoarded tons of advanced vehicles in working condition (most would turn it into scrap metal)
Alternatively: Bass Monroe may be the easiest of the post-blackout leaders to depose once his purpose is served. The other republics don't think highly of Monroe (Georgia and the Plains Nation are at war with him; California sends his emissaries back dead; and as of the most recent episode there appears to have been some bad blood with Texas in the past as well) and there's an active rebellion within the Republic's borders. Disposing of Bass Monroe would make Randall a hero in a lot of people's eyes even if he didn't have the ability to restore electricity. Since Monroe already controls the industrial heartland of the former United States (including most of the coal deposits, which can jumpstart heavy industry without resorting to imported fuels) Randall has enough infrastructure to carve out his own empire once the power is restored.
Too bad for Randall Flynn that his decisions are coming back to haunt him in episode 18. For starters, Nora Clayton and John Sanborn ended up revealing information about the Tower to Monroe, which Flynn really did not want to happen. In fact, he had to bargain with Monroe and bring him to the Tower personally just so he wouldn't be killed. In addition, Randall tried to get Monroe into the Tower, but he's having a hard time doing so, because an unknown group of people have taken over the Tower and have blocked it off so that even Randall can't get in easily. Randall is clearly not as clever as he thinks he is.
Randall nearly didn't reach his goal, but it seems that everything he was doing was just a Xanatos Gambit to get inside the Tower. Once he did, he would have the upper hand. One can only imagine the Oh Crap look on Monroe's face once told that Philadelphia was about to be blown off the map, and with it, the Monroe Republic.
It is darkly hinted by Alec that Miles "did something" to Rachel. Also, President Foster alludes to what Miles "did to her personally". Is anyone else thinking what I'm thinking? Rape?
Alec may have just been trying to get inside Charlie's head to throw her off during the fight. And President Foster may be speaking of any number of things from what the troper above is probably thinking to a simple political betrayal.
Could be, but in a post-Blackout world we've seen hints that it has not been good to women in particular. That said, it could well have been that Miles broke an armistice and slaughtered Foster's soldiers in front of her or somesuch.
far more likely was that the previous President of Georgia was Foster's husband, whom Miles may have either personally assassinated or ordered assassinated.
another possibility is that Miles himself was Foster's lover or husband, and betrayed her (not to mention his own brother) by hooking up with Rachel prior to the blackout.
Episode 16 has Aaron and Rachel discovering the hard way that stealing food from a Plains Nation settlement is punishable by death. One of the three men they have to kill off is the settlement's leader. What is the settlement going to do without him? The leader mentioned having kids, so they are effectively orphaned. He also mentioned how food is very hard to come by. Do they practice cannibalism?
There's nothing saying that another relative couldn't have taken in the kids (or even another family entirely; most tribal societies tend to raise their children communally).
Episode 18 has Jim Hudson turn traitor. Why? Because his wife Sophie is being held hostage, and he must kill Miles, Neville, Ramsay, and Sanborn to get her back. Now that Jim Hudson is dead, Sophie is a dead woman. On the other hand, Monroe has turned into quite the rabid dog, and the Monroe Republic is extremely unforgiving of traitors. So, it could be said that Sophie is dead either way.
Episode 18 has a couple of characters killed off and their throats are cut in an X-shaped pattern. Miles states that Plains Nations people kill people in that way. How does Miles know that?
Canonically, the Monroe Republic has been "at war" with the Georgia Federation and the Plains Nation. Given the level of technological regress, the actual effect of this appears to have largely been scattered border incidents off and on throughout the years of the Blackout. Given this, Miles must have surely sent MR soldiers on incursions into Plains Nation territory, and then when they didn't return, went and discovered their bodies marked in this manner as a warning.
In episode 12, Jim Hudson states to Miles Matheson that he destroyed Jim's life again, but he'll join up with him again anyway. Episode 18 reveals that Jim Hudson is the mole Team Matheson is trying to find. When Miles tries to reason with him, Hudson states what he said before in episode 12. Is it possible that Jim Hudson joined up with Miles not just because he had nowhere else to go, but because he planned to murder him at some point?
Episode 19 reveals that the Tower has an entire group of people in it, who are armed with coil guns. Their leader, Dan, implies that they have been in the Tower for 15 years, and he claims that the group will defend the Tower, and so will their children, and their children's children. While that may be intended as a Badass Boast, there are only a limited number of them. Wouldn't that mean that inbreeding will occur for them eventually...if it hasn't already? And what have they eaten and drunk for all those years?
They could have a self-contained hydroponic farm, along with enough preserved rations to last for decades. As for breeding, they could kidnap people (most likely children) from the nearby Plains Nation tribes and raise them as their own. Depending upon the size of the group, they could manage enough genetic diversity to keep reproducing even without doing so (it would only take 250-300 people). IVF and cryogenically preserved embryos can stretch that even further, particularly since the Tower has access to technology from Twenty Minutes into the Future (if only what would have existed in 2028 anyway without the Blackout).
In 2010, the Atlanta metro area had a population of around 4 million, 54% of whom were African-American. Why have we seen so few black people in the Georgia Federation, and none in authority positions? Neville seems to be the only exception, but he's a high-value defector; once his information is no longer useful he may find himself in a much worse position than he was with Monroe. The Monroe Republic, though it's controlled by a brutal thug and doesn't even pretend to represent freedom, is at least racially inclusive in its leadership (with Jim Hudson and Tom Neville himself being examples). The quasi-Confederate flag Georgia uses, along with the scarcity of African-Americans in a city where they once represented the majority, seems a bit ominous.
It is a possible Unfortunate Implication that there are so few African-Americans in a large city with a sizable pre-Blackout population. It could be that given the Confederate state call-backs, that the Georgia Federation is at least partly built on sizable army of indentured black laborers in farms and factories.
The US government, as WM Ged, apparently assembled a contingency plan after the Blackout. The fact that they are willing to nuke cities to forcibly rearrange the power structure in North America back to their liking strongly suggests that the President of the "Government-in-Exile" in Cuba has no qualms about mass murder on a scale that is going to make Miles and Bass look like pikers. Miles may be the Butcher of Baltimore, but the President of 2028 should justifiably be known as the Butcher of the Eastern Seaboard.
This is assuming that the President wanted Randall to bomb the Monroe Republic and the Georgia Federation with Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. For all we know, that was just Randall's idea and nobody else's.
Actually although nuking Atalanta and Philadelphia WAS mass murder, it is quite possible that doing so saves many more lives in the long run. Think about the real world American Civil war, only with fighter jets and cruise missiles in a at least five way fight. Now change out Lincoln and Davis for Hitler and Osama Bin Laden. That war would make World War II look like little more than a bar brawl.
The original plan as Randall outlined it makes sense: use Monroe, who is almost universally despised, to break Georgia and extend his dictatorship, then have the remnant United States come in to remove the madman Monroe and re-establish the country everyone knew and loved 15 years earlier. Now there's a major PR mess to overcome (to say the least!) unless the restored US government manages to blame Philadelphia and Atlanta on malfunctioning nukes from Russia or China. One of the launches took place from Texas which may prove significant later on in undoing the new government.
Philadelphia and Atlanta were nuked by ICBMs, with the power going back off shortly afterward. Consider the plight of any survivors who are faced with the results of a nuclear explosion without the benefit of modern medicine or infrastructure. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit with much smaller weapons and at least had 1940's medical care (when it finally arrived) available for the survivors. Given the damage to infrastructure that took place during the blackout and afterward, the loss of medical personnel in the intervening years, and the inability to move what resources there are to the blast area, the survivors of Philadelphia and Atlanta won't even have it that good...
Season 2 shows Rachel treat an Atlanta survivor. The guy was on the very fringe of the danger zone and had some of his clothing melt into his skin, causing nasty burn wounds. The guy considers himself to be one of the lucky ones. Let's not forget the massive increase in cancer rates for decades to come.
Now that the source of the blackout has been revealed: how is it that the blackout doesn't also affect humans? We are, essentially, electrical creatures; our nerves work by transmitting electrical signals (hence why tasers or a fork in the wall socket will seriously ruin your day). If the blackout was caused by nanomachines that eat electricity and are so small and numerous that you're constantly breathing them in, how is it human electrical signals aren't affected? And while we're at it: are there still thunderstorms? Thunder is caused by lightning, and lightning is nothing but the violent discharge of build-up electrical energy.
In the WMG section there's a small discussion about how what's actually being suppressed may be magnetic fields, which are the basis behind technological civilization.
Actually, now it started making sense. If it was some sort of field, or something, humans should be affected too, but nanites can be smart. It was designed as non-lethal weapon of mass material destruction.
Humans are being affected, but so far the effects are positive: the nanites helped mitigate Danny's asthma (by keeping his lungs in working condition) and have kept Beth alive for 16 years with Stage 3 cancer. Fear of losing Beth has kept Dr. Jane Warren from turning the power back on, which apparently she had the ability to do all along. It's only at Beth's urging that Jane agrees—very reluctantly—to cooperate with Rachel.
Charlie and Miles infiltrate the Georgia Federation wearing stolen Georgian uniforms. Charlie also has a Monroe Militia tattoo on her arm thanks to the events of "Children's Crusade". Isn't she taking an enormous risk here, even moreso than just being caught in a stolen uniform that could be linked to its dead original owner (for example, if the Georgian military has serial numbers printed somewhere on or in the uniform—if only to keep them straight at the cleaners?) If Miles hadn't managed to gain President Foster's (grudging) trust, or even if Charlie and Miles had gotten separated for a longer period of time, Charlie was at risk of being identified as an enormously incompetent spy and shot out of hand.
"The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia": Another odd point is how Miles basically pushes Charlie to murder Georgian soldiers to steal their uniforms. Why would Miles want to do that? The Resistance is not at war with Georgia. Perhaps Miles considers just about everyone an enemy to be killed. Fortunately, that issue was rendered moot when it turned out that Alec had already beaten them to it.
It is surprising he didn't just create a distraction and have Charlie sneak in and steal spare uniforms. Miles must have a personal sore spot for Georgia, especially if President Foster is personally displeased with something he did.
Over the course of the first season, one plotline had Randall Flynn trying to get down to level 12 of the Tower. He had Grace Beaumont spend a long time trying to get the elevator working again so he can take it down to level 12. But in episode 19, Randall tells Monroe, when they get stopped at level 11, that there's a stairway that they can take to get from level 11 to level 12. That begs the question: why didn't Randall just take the stairs from the top level all the way down to level 12? Were there no stairs for those levels? Did he just want to go down there in style? Was he too lazy and didn't want to break a sweat spending time going down there by stairs?
Criticisms of the show have noted other plot holes like this, or if not outright holes, plot laziness. That said, it is possible that Randall was being super-cautious, though, especially if he'd sent someone down (as the arrogant Sergeant decided to do on his own) already and found the elevator coming back covered in blood - it would thus make sense to spend as little time between his floor and the 12th floor as possible.
Well, this troper doesn't know how the US military builds secure installations, but it would make sense to have limited access points inside. Also, what is to say that the different between level one and level two is not fifty or so stories? Then the rest of the 11 floors could be spaced normally, including the stairs. This makes more sense then having the Tower be only 12 stories underground. It is supposed to be more secure then NORAD after all.
Dan and the dwellers trashed the elevators' controls as well as making sure the elevators could not reach level 12, even if repaired from above. If there were stairs top to bottom, the dwellers could have sealed them off after trashing the elevator controls as they barricaded themselves in the lower levels. Randall had not been back to The Tower since he left to ally with Monroe and left Grace in charge of repairing the elevators; he only left a mook there to supervise her. It's likely that Randall knew about the stairs the whole time, but there was no way to go lower than the entry level without a functional elevator which was still not working the last time he was there. He was banking on Grace having fixed the elevators by the time he and Monroe got there since that was the only way he could keep Monroe from killing him. He seemed genuinely surprised that the elevator stopped at 11 (due to it being sabotaged by the dwellers). The dwellers seem to be situated between levels 7 and 11 and dispatch anyone attempting to reach level 12. As far as everyone getting out after the overload and the Tower losing power, most secure doors are required to have free egress, especially in the event of a fire or power outage, and they could have gone through the storm drain like Miles and Bass. A bit of a stretch, but closes that plot hole.