Reviews

REVOLUTION: “Sex and Drugs”

Revolution has already shown that it’s not above putting its characters in danger (Charlie, Grace) or putting them in situations that lead to their demise (Maggie, Ben.) After a week off, tonight’s big predicament/worry was our resident resistance fighter Nora, who found herself in potentially grave danger after a recent gunshot wound sustained from Hutch (Jeff Fahey) during the botched heist in “The Train Job.”

In order to save Nora, Charlie’s crew had to take a hijacked wagon 5 hours to find an old acquaintance from Miles’ Milita days: a drug lord named Drexel (Todd Stashwick.) Drexel promised to save Nora, but with the caveat that Charlie helps him out by killing ex-cop O’Halloran, who burned down Drexel’s poppy fields (and source of drug making) in retaliation for his daughter’s death. To Charlie’s credit, she manages to almost succeed in her mission despite some moral reservation and quite frankly, I’d wager to guess she would have actually done the deed if Miles didn’t stop her. We’ve already seen her kill, and I think this would’ve been another nice notch in the ladder of hardening her character – however, I also understand from a narrative viewpoint why the show is holding Charlie back and building up her moral dilemmas more slowly rather than stripping them down all at once. With all that Revolution has done so far, it’s easy to forget we’re only six episodes in and that story wise, we do have more time (18 episodes of more time and a likely second season, to be exact) to explore these characters. Based on what we’ve seen so far, I have no doubt that Charlie will get there – it’s just a matter of when the show decides to turn down that road. I’ve seen complaints about how the show is moving too slowly in some cases, and how a lot of scenes/situations in the episodes so far seem repetitive. Yet this is part of the reason why Revolution has caught on as quickly (and as popularly) as it has: the character developments that we continue to see each week pique our curiosity and keep us interested (let’s face it – if the show focused on simply finding the pendants or trying to figure out why the power disappeared, audiences would likely be tuned out by the second episode.) All of this to say that I’m fine with bypassing the small moments that seem repetitive or don’t do much to move the story forward, because in most cases, there are other elements that lend themselves to an enjoyable hour for me.

“Sex and Drugs” (one of the more interesting episode titles so far) finally showed us Aaron’s back story and gave us more information on the wife he had first mentioned to Maggie back in the third episode. It also gave us the reasoning behind his insecurities of being “not good enough,” a crutch he was most likely carrying well before the blackout that that was always masked by a high-paying job and the extravagances he was able to provide. We were given the impression that his wife might have left him for her own reasons, but as it turns out, Aaron was the one who left her. Consumed with doubts that he just wasn’t good enough with nothing but his meek self to offer, he chose to go into hiding to force her to go on alone.

Of course, all of Aaron’s personal worries came back around and then became intensified as the hour went on, when Charlie berated him for the fact that he couldn’t save Maggie and when he was left to his own devices after Miles went off to rescue Charlie. Forced into shooting standoff with Nora, Aaron finally pulled the trigger (no pun intended) on his timidity, shooting himself where he knew his flask protected him in order to pull a fast one on Drexel and attack him and successfully rescue Nora just was Miles as successfully able to rescue Charlie. With this act, Aaron seemed to cement himself in Revolution’s world in a way that makes me hopeful we’ll start to get more out of his character in the coming episodes. As shown by his flashbacks (which I enjoyed more than I thought I would), I think Zak Orth is a strong actor who could do a lot with a role that really seems to be grounded in “comic relief” if the show lets him move beyond that pigeonhole.

With Danny officially in Monroe’s clutches, I was very much looking forward to an overly emotional meeting between Rachel and her son – and when we reached the almost hour mark with no signs of going back to Philadelphia, I began to think those scenes were simply a set up for next week. I was happy to be wrong and even happier that we ended up getting a well-worth it reunion, though one that was (in my opinion) far too short given the acting talents of Elizabeth Mitchell and how well we know she can sell a scene of this nature. Similarly, as much as it warmed my heart to see Rachel reunite with her son, I’m much more looking forward to seeing Rachel reunite with Charlie. The girl is already been desensitized to the Revolution world, and we’re already seeing her start to crack as she lets herself realize everyone she’s lost and/or failed to help since starting this journey. “The world is not a bunch of pretty postcards,” she tells Miles and Aaron, angrily driving the point home by ripping up the pictures that once symbolized hope (I actually did like this scene, though found that it was a little too intense in terms of getting the point across – I enjoy scenes like this better when they’re less show and more tell.) But if anyone can bring back hope, it’s going to be the mother that she thought she lost years ago. Mitchell’s acting and Spiridakos’ emotion can be a powerhouse if set up correctly and given that the show has been building towards Charlie’s reunion with her mother and brother for quite some time, I can only hope I’m not let down when the scene finally occurs.

Final Thoughts:

  • I suppose in the Revolution world, you can grow penicillin but you can’t make ice cream? (My apologies to readers, because this is apparently a personal kink that I am probably never going to get over.)
  • Was I the only one who picked up on the fact that Monroe and Neville looked to be at odds? Perhaps it’s just the nature of the Milita, but all of a sudden, Neville didn’t seem to be as much of a bad guy he was made out to be – especially in the presence of his leader. Revolution, show me more of these relationships as they exist within the Milita now that there are new stakes to contend with! There are only so many flashbacks we can explore in terms of our core cast, and since we haven’t delved into much history of the Milita yet, I’d very much welcome traveling down that road.

What did you think of the episode? Sound off below!

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