Previously on Revolution: Soul Train
I may or may not have developed a soft spot for this bizarre, little show. It’s sort of a silly mess, but I keep tuning in every week because – like it or not – I am entertained. Perhaps not for the right reasons, but entertainment is entertainment. Whether or not this is the tone writers are going for, Revolution is essentially a post-apocalyptic comedy, a niche show trying to pass itself off as a tougher Lost and a baby Walking Dead.
Nora’s stab wound needs some medical attention, so Miles takes the gang to the mansion of his half friend, half enemy Lando Calrissian – wait, I mean Drexel (played by Todd Stashwick, Heroes, Justified). Drexel’s a weird dude who somehow manages to grow drugs in his backyard and run a brothel-like establishment. He helps Nora, but makes Charlie dress up as one of “his girls” to go assassinate a neighbor he doesn’t like.
Meanwhile, this week’s flashbacks feature distraught, frowning Aaron. We meet his wife, Priscilla Pittman (played by Maureen Sebastian), follow the couple’s dysentery-plagued post-blackout adventures, and meet Sean, the manly, one-dimensional hero who saves their lives at least twice. Turns out, Aaron left his wife almost a year after the blackout because he felt like he couldn’t protect her anymore. Hmm.
Miles escapes Drexel’s to stop Charlie from murdering the nice neighbor. Back at the mansion, Drexel tries to get Nora and Aaron to shoot each other (the winner gets to walk away!), but Aaron shoots himself instead. Aaron’s flask stops the bullet, and then he uses the shocked seconds following his miraculous recovering to shoot Drexel. Nora and Aaron meet up with Miles and Charlie – andddd we’re back at square one.
And over at Monroe City (probably not its real name) we find out that Monroe is sending a bad ass killer to hunt down our protagonists with instructions to wipe out everyone but Miles. Jason is sad because Charlie is the only love interest he has, but his dad, Tom, is happy because he is promoted to head torturer. Hooray!
Drexel Strikes Back
Man, this episode was predictable. From the weird Empire Strikes Back-esque stand-off in front of Drexel’s house (Cloud City, anyone??) to Aaron supposedly dying before his flashbacks had been neatly tied up, nothing felt that suspenseful. No offense, Revolution, but your strong point has never – will likely never – be your characters. You coast by on one ridiculous plot twist after another. Predictability is not your friend.
Rachel and the Big Evil Monroe Republic
So I’ve been legitimately enjoying (in a non-ironic and non-cynical) way the scenes set in Monroe City. There’s a bit more weight and substance available when the scale is set to republic leaders and republic warfare. Not to mention, Elizabeth Mitchell (Rachel) is easily the most convincing actor on set, followed closely by Giancarlo Esposito (Tom). Now that the two are in the same city, I don’t feel compelled to go anywhere else. (Downside is that the two least convincing actors also reside here).
In Defense of Complaining
I’m not alone, of course; there are a lot of Revolution “haters” out there. While I wouldn’t necessarily put myself in that boat, I do feel my metaphorical hackles rising when I hear people criticizing the criticizers for being too nit-picky, impossible to satisfy, ungrateful, etc., etc. Look, there is no reason a multi-million dollar show like this one should be so thread-bare on character development, acting, plot progression, and general purpose – not to mention a seemingly fundamental misunderstanding of the genre it reside in. Each week I try to keep an open mind, but it’s getting increasingly difficult. The more I watch, the more I feel as if I’m lowering my standards of what’s possible in television story-telling just to accommodate what exists. It’s not a good feeling.
Do you have a guess about the blackout’s origin? Well, you’re wrong. Take it from Revolution showrunner Erik Kripke: “The sweet spot is to find an answer that’s actually scarier than what you were thinking,” Kripke says. “Like, ‘Oh wait, this is not even just about electricity.’ And that’s what we’re designing.”
Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.