Tag Archives: utilitarianism

revolution recapping: no quarter

Previously on Revolution: Chained Heat

I increasingly feel like Revolution is focusing on the wrong part of a very intriguing story. It’s analogous, in my brain, to a show featuring the mildly thrilling adventures of Samwise Gamgee’s teenage kids instead of . . . well, you know. I get that flashbacks should be compelling, but when the flashbacks themselves begin to eclipse the entire show, I think we might have a problem.


Nora introduces Miles and an eternally bland Charlie to the resistance – a ragtag group lead by a morally confusing priest. The militia finds them, but Nora’s sniper rifle from the previous episode gives the resistance a slight advantage. Somehow Jeremy, the leader of this batch of Monroe’s men, gets captured and reveals a “shocking” secret: Miles helped start the Monroe Republic. Miles turns himself in to Jeremy and the militia, but Nora explodes a bridge and Charlie shoots a bag from 10,000 meters away (or something like that) to help him escape.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Aaron arrive at Grace’s house too late. The house is empty, but both of their spidey senses tell them that something “very bad” happened there. Aaron complains about being a billionaire and then losing all his money when the world lost electricity. Suddenly, Ben’s necklace turns on, and Grace’s house has electricity for about ten seconds.

In flashbacks, we follow Miles and Bass (aka soon-to-be-super-evil Sebastian Monroe) in the weeks and months immediately following the blackout. The two military buds are on their way to Chicago to reunite with Miles’ brother Ben. Through their eyes, we see the lawlessness and utter deprivation of humanity that reigns in the wake of the blackout. When they come across two men beating up Jeremy for his money, Miles surprises Bass by coldly killing both of the attackers.

Talking Points


So I like my science-fiction heavy with moral dilemmas and conundrums. Revolution has been teasing me with slight nibbles of such wonders – amongst a larger batch of nonsense. However, I was pleasantly surprised when Flashback Miles killed both of Jeremy’s assailants. It demonstrates a dangerous streak of utilitarianism that I heartily appreciate. Maximizing the good doesn’t always mean maximizing life, as the John Stuart Mill that lives in my head would say (I’m allowed to wax poetic about philosophy every now and then, okay?) Now all we need is a stark Kantian advocate. I was rooting for the priest, but he’s kind of weird. I don’t understand his religious or moral stance on forgiveness, especially considering Miles is technically a criminal against neither God nor country.


I honestly can’t decide how I feel about this show. It’s clearly ridiculous, but at the same time, it’s gradually pushing the boundaries of conventional action shows and presenting an increasingly complex story. I’m imagining there’s this one guy in the writer’s room who has this phenomenal idea in his head, but everyone around him keeps making little changes and adjustments. Just let him work! I need this show to reach its full potential – at least until The Walking Dead returns in two weeks and I can get my fill of excellent post-apocalypse fair.

Character Development 101

At its worst moments, Revolution at least makes me laugh. The character development is halting, and almost every scene of exposition is hilariously painful. Poor Nora and Charlie might actually be played by competent actresses, but the lines these girls are forced to utter (to presumably reveal more about their complex characters) are just silly. At least, they get a leg up in the wardrobe, hair and makeup, and butt-kicking department.


NBC has picked up Revolution for a full season!

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.

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doctor who recapping: dinosaurs on a spaceship

Previously on Doctor Who: The Asylum of the Daleks

Yeah, that’s right, every other show ever – can you have an episode dedicated to dinosaurs traipsing around where they don’t belong? I didn’t think so.

(And no, Terra Nova and Dinotopia, you guys don’t count. You have to be good to count.)


  • Meet the new gang – at least for this episode.

Queen Nefertiti: You remember your history lessons right? Ancient Egypt once had this pretty swanky queen who knew English idioms and liked to wear incredibly low-cut dresses. Or something like that.
John Riddell: Indiana Jones-esque and equipped with a barrel full of double entendres, Riddell gets picked up by the Doctor because someone on the show needs to know how to use a gun.
“The Ponds”: Amy and Rory are accidentally joined by Rory’s father, Brian! Befuddled hilarity and surprisingly touching moments ensue.

  • The Doctor has a mission, and he, of course, chooses to accept it. A big, mysterious spaceship is flying on a crash course for our planet, and Earth’s security will blow it to smithereens unless the Doctor can divert it.
  • The gang arrives on the ship via TARDIS and immediately runs into a dog-like stegosaurus, creepy pterodactyls, and a pair of sarcastic robots. So far, so good.
  • The suddenly space savvy Amy realizes that the ship was an ark for the Silurians (which means nothing to anyone except for diehard fans who recognize them as the reptilian race more or less responsible for Rory’s pre-Roman death.)
  • The gang runs into a bad guy named Solomon – and he’s pretty bad. He’s a pirate, but not the fun Captain Jack Sparrow kind. He boarded the ship awhile ago and killed all the Silurians so he could sell all their precious animals. He even gets his robot henchmen to shoot Brian.
  • The Doctor saves the day with expected Time Lord flair. He gets Brian and Rory to fly the ship away from Earth while sending the missiles to destroy Solomon’s getaway vehicle.
  • Oh, and the Doctor and Rory share a mostly one-sided kiss somewhere in there. I’m belatedly reminded that that’s probably a plot point worthy of note. And Nefertiti and Riddell are presumably an item now. Just now sure where they’ll settle down. Or when.

Talking Points


Man, I love this show. This episode wasn’t even that spectacular from a critical perspective (or even a logical one), but I’ve long given up judging Doctor Who on an episode-by-episode basis. For me, the essence of this show resides in its ability to encourage imaginative story-telling and push the boundaries of what television programs ought to be. I cannot stress how much I loathe procedurals. Especially procedurals lazily disguised as something else. It’s refreshing to watch shows that plummet along on their own quirky and clunky arcs. There are bumps in the road, sure, but I’ll weather them out. For every so-called “filler episode”, there’s a Weeping Angel right around the corner.

Doctor Who? Part Two

I’ll try and keep this short since it’s an unintentional continuation of last week’s morality rant. So the Doctor has absolutely no qualms about allowing the ISIS missiles to kill Solomon and his robots. Really? I’m all for the utilitarian and eye-for-an-eye justifications, but not when employed by a character who has a 900+ year legacy of doing the opposite. Come on, Moffat. Help me out here. “In Moffat We Trust” is a popular Whovian mantra, but for now I’m more preoccupied with Moffat Who Forgets Who His Main Character Is.

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Like the Ponds

Three episodes left and counting before the undeniable end of the Pond companion era. It almost goes without saying that Amy and Rory’s good-bye will be a dramatic, possibly fatal affair. No hints yet about their future demise or peaceful relocation, but plenty of grim foreshadowing is starting to pile up. When the Doctor cheerfully tells Amy she’ll be around till the end of him, her reply – “Or vice versa!” – paired with the Doctor’s suddenly drained features, isn’t difficult to analyze.


The Doctor: Brian Pond, you are delicious.

Brian: I’m not a Pond.

The Doctor: Of course you are!


The Doctor: How do you start a triceratops?


The Doctor: We need to turn this ship around

Rory: You said it was too late, that there wasn’t any time.

The Doctor: Ah, but I didn’t have this plan then, did I?


The Doctor: Look, Solomon. The missiles. See them shine? See how valuable they are? And they’re all yours. Enjoy your bounty.


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.

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