An important mythology episode of Revolution is wrapped in a predictably blah mission of the week formula. Is it possible for the show to overcome its narrative malaise?
Let’s bitch it out…As always, let’s break down the pros, cons and draws of the episode.
- Rachel’s (Elizabeth Mitchell) backstory: It’s a tale as old as time. Woman has baby problems. Creepy Assistant Secretary Flynn of the DOD (a gaunt Colm Feore) has baby-saving solutions, but the price could cause a fifteen year world-wide blackout. Who hasn’t been there, right? While Rachel’s “careful what you wish for” storyline is still a little too familiar, the circumstances surrounding Ben’s (Tim Guinee) blackout causing company and how it ended up as a government weapon is still pretty interesting
- Charlie (Tracy Spiridaklos) abused: I’m likely a sadist, but watching American’s favourite doe-eyed idiot get smacked in the face not once, but twice and branded with a red hot poker is kind of a great way to start the week. Yes, I am that sick
- Corny, funny dialogue: The best lines (see below) actually fill up pretty quickly as the dialogue proves to not make me want to rip off my own ears fr a change. Granted, a lot of the credit has to go to the actors who manage to sell this ‘water with lemon’ as ‘lemonade’, but it’s still a step-up above recent episodes
- Kids: Lost Boys. Neverland rejects. Children of the corn. Call them what you will, but we don’t need one – nevermind a horde – of annoyingly clean, hairdryer blow-out children running around set and setting off “child danger” cliffhangers. Save this for Lifetime or Octomom’s inevitable reality TV show (topical, no? Give it 15 blackout years and this stuff will be gold)
- Offensive child doppelgangers: Why the eff do Nora (Daniella Alonso) and Aaron (Zak Orth) both befriend child versions of themselves? Aaron makes a fat kid friend while Nora manages to find the only non-white girl in the batch to solicit hugs and awkward eye contact from. Umm…is the future racially and weight segregated or something?
- Silly violence: Why does the censors allow the show to include blood in the aftermath of fights, but not during? Case in point: blood around the bodies of the Monroe (David Lyons) militia on the conscription boat, but no blood when Nora or Myles slice and dice them open moments before. Pourquoi? Who knows…
Draw (Jury’s Still Out)
- Light house activate!: Aaron activating the pendant at the exact moment the others need a distraction is either silly fun or a ridiculous fail. Toss a coin. Both answers are hypothetically correct.
- Amulet/Pendant drama: This is either the episode you’ve been waiting for as everyone and their child-doppelganger finds out about those damn fugly necklaces…or it’s the episode you’ve been dreading because the return of power is completely uninteresting. Either way, it does bring about the return of Grace (Maria Howell) – unseen since 1×02 ‘Chained Heat’ – so that’s gotta be a plus, right?
Lazy Writing of the Week Award
- Michael’s tag-along game: Everytime Michael pops up from behind the bushes, or is trotted out by armed guards on the boat, all I want to do is hang myself. It really is like having a second version of Charlie, which is the last thing this show needs. Michael is like every other two dimensional character caught in the obvious, unimaginative narrative dreck the show has thrown at us since it began its run. It is really that hard to create interesting, unique characters or avoid the tropes of the genre? According to Revolution, the answer is yes
- Aaron (to Nora, surveying the children): “Children of the corn. What do they do with their parents?”
- Charlie (to Michael): “Stay here and stay out of trouble.” Oh yeah, cause that’s gonna happen
- Giancarlo Esposito’s Neville (to Rachel about fellow resistance fighter Brad): “He’s a tough nut to crack. And we’re cracking hard” Things that sound dirty but are actually about torture!
- Aaron (about Myles’ turn of attitude re: helping the kids): “The guy has raised dickishness to a new art form…”
- Myles (to Charlie after Michael is pulled from behind the shrubbery): “Isn’t it irritating when a dumb kid tells you what to do?” Yup…sure is Myles
- Aaron (when the caravan of kids joins them) “Awesome. Like a pack of hairless Ewoks”
- Brad (to Rachel): “There’s worst things than dying, like betraying all your friends.” Um…no, that’s actually not true. I’m pretty sure dying trumps
What say you, Revolution-ers: are you happy with Rachel’s backstory, the origins of the 12 pendants and the introduction of creepy Mr. Flynn? Did you like the children and their saccharine storyline? Were you pleased that Charlie got branded? And do you wish you had an Ewok-child to mimic/hug like Nora and Aaron? Sound off below
Revolution airs Mondays at 10pm EST on NBC