The utilization of the flashback will prove to be of excessive use, as noted in only the second episode of this already annoying drama. In addition to this overuse of an editing/storytelling technique, everything about Revolution screams, “this has been done already!”. To me, Revolution is what Lost would have been like, had there been another Lost-esque show before it.
It’s like this: we liked Lost because the style was different from anything we had seen before. Constant cliff-hangers, unlikable characters we couldn’t get enough of (Ben, Locke), love triangles that intersected too much (Kate/Jack/Juliette/Sawyer), and the backwards storytelling all provided us with a deep-seeded desire to return every week, huddle in front of our TV screens, waiting for the next piece of the puzzle to unravel before our eyes.
I know I cried when the presidential debates interrupted my regularly scheduled Lost programming, or when a severe weather warning going on played over the entire DVR-d episode. This dedication can only come when you are so caught up in a show that you lose sight of the importance of the world around you. And seriously, I was that dedicated – I blogged, I started fan groups, I debated, I lived; I even considered getting a tattoo of the numbers (which I decided against because, after all, aren’t they bad luck?).
My point is, Revolution will never be as good as we want it to be because it’s copying something that already was. For those of you who argue that this cannot be compared solely to Lost, I agree. I’m just saying that there are too many similarities that can’t be ignored.
Now that my rant is complete, I will actually proceed with a plot recap.
**Note: I will include an actor’s name only if they are a new, important character. If you need a reference list of who plays the main characters, refer to the show’s Wikipedia page (click here).
This episode was, again, slow. I feel like it’s taking too long to get to know the characters, and as our lead female character is so young, I get the feeling that her back story isn’t as fulfilling as I hope. The episode begins with a flashback of Rachel and Ben getting a young Charlie and Danny ready to venture into the country, hoping it will be safer for them there.
Flash back to the present (15 years after the blackout), where Miles, Maggie, Charlie, and Aaron are back on the road, trying to find Danny and now Miles’ friend, Nora (for reasons unknown). When attacked by a single man in the woods, Miles holds him at knife point, but is persuaded by Charlie to let him live. Such catches up with them, as the man escapes, and comes after Miles, successfully taking him captive. Of course, Miles escapes and manages to gain information on the location of Nora.
Scene change takes us to Danny, who is still held captive under Captain Tom Neville, who brashly kills a man who owned a firearm (and an American flag). Through these scenes, the Monroe laws are slowly coming to light, as in this instance, when Neville quotes the Baltimore Act, which makes the purchase, ownership, sale, or transport of a firearm illegal, under penalty of death. Still, in what seems like an odd and formal sentiment, the troupe holds a funeral for a soldier who was shot in the crossfire. Danny stifled a laugh during Captain Neville’s prayer, prompting a verbal sparring between the two men, in which Neville reveals his thoughts on the militia – he believes that it stands between peace and anarchy. Death seems to be a popular form of punishment, as the next scene shows a seemingly calm General Sebastian “Bass” Monroe kill an informant who refused to be of any help.
Miles proposes that he should leave the group, and that Maggie, Charlie, and Aaron should meet him in Lowell, Indiana in two weeks. We learn that he is interested in finding Nora, because she’s good at blowing stuff up. The next morning, Maggie and Aaron wake to find that Charlie has left the camp; Maggie thinks that her pack is missing, but is relieved to find that it, along with her iPhone is still there. Aaron questions why she still holds onto it. It’s because it holds the only pictures of her kids. Aaron reveals that Ben gave him a pendant, and that he is supposed to find Grace Bowman in Grant Park, Illinois. He thinks that they may be able to get the power back on, and that Maggie would then be able to see the pictures of her kids again.
Charlie’s walk through the woods prompts flashbacks of her childhood, to days right after the outage. These flashbacks are of a man coming upon their family, attempting to steal their food, and threatening to kill Charlie if they don’t give it to him. Back to the present, Charlie realizes that Nate is following her, and mock rolls her ankle, tricking him into helping her, then handcuffing him to a pole.
When she comes upon Miles, he admonishes her, but she explains that she needs to help him, to keep her mind off of failing her duty of protecting her brother. Miles seems to understand her reasoning. While talking, they spot Nora, who is part of a chain gang. After rescuing her, she reveals she had been captured purposely, and wouldn’t go with them until they stole the sniper rifle from the commanding militia officer. Charlie offers her assistance, but Miles thinks she will choke, reflecting back on her willingness to let the man who captured Miles free before. Slo-mo/flashback sequence reveals that Ben couldn’t bear to pull the trigger of the man who was trying to steal their food, but Rachel could and did. Charlie kills the officer and another officer who attacks her. Nora reveals that the rifle is for her friends in the resistance; Miles is angry with her for withholding that piece of information.
Scene change reminds us of the woman Aaron is seeking, Grace Bowman, who receives a knock at her door while using the pendant’s power to communicate on her computer. Such is a man named Randall, which she manages to inform the person on the other end of her communication, before he presumably kills/captures Grace.
Secrets continue to unfold, as we learn that Sebastian is holding Rachel captive. While she seems to be held comfortably, he again shows his hidden anger, and threatens to kill Danny if she doesn’t start talking about what Ben’s plans were for turning the power back on.
These are the biggest questions this episode raises:
-What are the pendants?
– How is it possible that these pendants contain energy?
-Who will use the power, why, and what will the power be used for? Good or bad?
Next week’s preview shows a lot of fighting, so there goes my hope for some more character development. It presents the question: which side of the revolution is Miles on? Is he the founding father of the militia? Oh, and guess what? Another Lost alum joins the cast – it’s Mark Pellegrino.
I’m really not sure what I think about this show. I feel like it needs to find its own groove, but it’s hard for me when there is such a seeming lack of originality. I think the character development is intentionally slow, but so much so that it’s hard for the viewers to find anything to relate to, or hold on to in terms of a reason to keep watching. If anything the writers need to spend significant time deepening the characters. The acting is sufficient, but nothing spectacular that I’ve seen as of yet. I do have this sneaking suspicion that this is one of those shows that I’m going to hate, but have to watch anyways, just to see what happens. That’s how they get you, I guess.