Hold onto your hats folks because this may be the first episode of Revolution that actually mostly works for me (I know, I’m scared!)
Let’s bitch it out…As always, let’s break down the pros and cons:
- Julia (Kim Raver) is Lady Macbeth: Tom Neville’s (Giancarlo Esposito) wife is power hungry and unafraid of stirring the pot. Although it’s relatively obvious that she is maneuvering Neville around with the intention of making a move against Monroe (David Lyons), it’s still kind of fun. Plus it gives Giancarlo Esposito more to do than chase after Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and the rest of the crew
- Grotty hair: Did you see how frizzy and greasy and disgusting everyone’s hair looked when Strausser attacked them in the woods? I’ll admit that the clean clothes and perfect hairstyles have annoyed me to no end on this show, so it is a nice change of pace to see a little flop-sweat on Aaron’s (Zak Orth) brow during a moment of tension
- The WTF factor: Despite the ludicrous nature of the magical pendant storyline (collect all twelve!), it is giving us strange visuals like the one we close the episode on as Grace (Maria Howell) and Randall (Colm Feore) look out on a giant machine powered landscape. What is it? Dunno, but it’s kinda cool
- Mia: Nora’s sister is beyond annoying, which made for a very frustrating 2/3 of the episode. The constant whining about family and returning to their father in Texas made me want to punch her in the neck, though these feelings were mostly vindicated when Mia is revealed to be a plant for Strausser (David Meunier)
- Strausser’s mental health: In a reverse of Monroe (see below), this guy was introduced as a batsh*t-crazy psycho. I was looking forward to a genuinely terrifying adversary, especially when Miles (Billy Burke) suggests Strausser is the only man he’s afraid of. And yet ‘Ties That Bind’ does little to distinguish him from any other villain of the week (he’s just as ineffectual) and the show makes fun of his psychosis with jokey one-liners. Also, killing every Red Shirt that disappoints you is treading into Darth Vader territory…and you are no Darth Vader
- Focus on the family: Yeah, yeah, family is important. We get it. This show is so desperate to drive home the message that it almost feels like it’s sponsored by Steven Spielberg. Let’s work on our subtlety, okay, Revolution?
Draw (Jury’s Still Out)
- Monroe’s mental health: Is it just me or has the crazy really come out of the leader of the Monroe Republic in the last two episodes? It certainly makes him more of a viable villain bcause he could turn on anyone at any time, but it does feel randomly inserted to create more of a generic villain figure for the show. With that said, his propensity for random torture does lend the show a certain gravitas (even if it does muddy the pretty face of JD Pardo’s Jason)
- Charlie: She doesn’t do anything stupid enough to merit a smack in the face this week, but facial expressions as Miles surrenders to Strausser in the forest border on the farcical. This girl really needs acting lessons…like badly
Lazy Writing of the Week Award
- Introduce a character only to kill them: It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s always annoying when shows mention a character who is then killed before we even get to know them. In ‘Ties That Bind’ this happens when Mia mentions the Coyote, a man who will ferry our crew across the river into Pennyslvania. Flashforward two seconds later and we see the Coyote’s body dead on the ground and the ferry burned. I realize that it serves the “Mia is a turncoat” plot, but I was intrigued by a black-market human transporter
- Daniella Alonso’s Nora (elaborating on who Strausser is): “Believe me you don’t want to know. And you definitely don’t want him to know. you
- Neville (to Monroe, about Jason): “My son has a weakness for a pretty face.”
- Julia (explaining her plan to Neville to save their son): “I’m thrifty. I like to save up for a rainy day.”
- Miles (when Nora says she’ll see him later): “These days I doubt it” Debbie downer alert!
- Miles (to Strausser, when the villain indicates he’s a Sergeant now): “Well, let’s be honest, you’re a sociopath”
What were your thoughts on the episode? Are you getting excited that they’re getting closer to Philadelphia (and Monroe)? Where are Grace and Randall hanging out? What “turning on the power” experiment is
Juliet Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) going to run now that she’s apparently collected several magical pendants? And do you care if we ever see Mia again (Correct Answer: No). Comment away below!
Revolution airs Mondays at 10pm EST on NBC