I have to hand it to Revolution: they certainly know how to pace their second season. Within three episodes we’ve not only established the whereabouts and motives of our main characters, we’ve also introduced new ones, created entirely new storylines, had a few big fights, and moved pretty quickly across the country. Perhaps we’re moving a bit too quickly – with one main storyline already tied up, it almost feels like Revolution is revving up faster than it should – but to be honest, I’d rather have a season full of quick, interesting action than one that goes along spinning its wheels.
We picked up where we left off last week, with Miles being ushered into the room with the red door – which we now know houses Titus Andover’s wife, Jessica (Deborah Puette), who is dying from renal failure. Titus has developed a sort of psychotic obsession with keeping her alive that extends to taking the lives of others by draining them of blood, giving it to her instead. It’s all very sinister and very psychologically disturbing – a darker Revolution, indeed. Kudos to Matt Ross for playing up just the right amount of creepy, straddling the thin line between genuine love and concern, and straight up scary desperation. I was a bit surprised at his sudden demise, and I wish he had stayed around longer as I enjoy seeing capable actors who are skilled at playing unstable villains. Nonetheless, I suppose he served his purpose, showing that even in the absence of the Militia there are new and dangerous armies, and that the Patriots are slowing reclaiming their hold on the United States through treacherous, stealthy means.
As much as the show wants to continually raise its stakes, we all knew that Miles wasn’t going to die on that table – just as we knew Rachel wasn’t going to die from the arrow wound she sustained near the episode’s end (though really, can we stop with the suffering of Elizabeth Mitchell? Poor girl’s been through enough!) Still, I will give Revolution points for upping its action not just in battle sequences, but in scenes like the opening where everything seems to be a race against time. Whereas most of last season was spent walking, bantering, and occasionally fighting, there are few scenes this season that haven’t been tension filled, something that has definitely helped the overall vibe of the show. Another helpful change: leveling the playing field. With the Patriots in power and all of our major players fending for themselves or helping others survive, there seems to be no instance of a clear cut “bad guy,” at least, not in the way that the first season set up the Militia and the rebels. This allows for greater character development, more interesting storylines, and a much more flexible trajectory for the series.
Rachel and Gene break into the clan’s hideout, rescuing Miles, and at Miles insistence, also Jessica, whom they manage to revive and save until she later kills herself out of desperation (apparently being crazy obsessed doesn’t make you loveable, Titus. Take a hint.) Miles’ escape alone would have been enough to send Titus on a war bender, though taking his wife obviously didn’t help the situation – and suffice to say, it doesn’t stop Titus’ entire clan from descending onto the town of Willoughby like a hoard of zombies from The Walking Dead.
Meanwhile, in Savannah, Neville and Jason are tending to their own revenge bender, which we later come to understand is driven primarily by the fact that Neville blames Monroe for setting off the missiles that killed his family. I feel like I’m repeating myself every week, but I’ll say it again anyway – I’m entirely glad that we seem to be giving Giancarlo Esposito what feels like a real storyline, especially in the wake of last season, and having Neville in a position where he’s untrusted and among enemies should give Esposito some nice opportunities to explore character-wise.
Although Rachel, Miles and Charlie were all involved in the attacks in some way, Neville primarily blames Monroe for the events of last season. I really do have to wonder what will happen if the two come face to face at some point – which certainly seems inevitable. Much like Charlie, who boasts to bounty hunter Adam (Patrick Heusinger) that her agenda against Monroe is personal because he “killed half her family,” Neville tells Jason he wants to kill “for your mother.” By burning the picture of Julia, Neville effectively convinces us of the determination that will drive his storyline forward for what I assume will be the rest of the season (and in turn, we say goodbye to the hope of ever seeing the lovely Kim Raver again, save for maybe an occasional flashback.) I enjoy how Revolution is handling the Patriots storyline – subtle instances such as Neville and Jason getting caught in their lies (something that I thought would be drawn out until much later) and finding out Titus was involved with a “deal” that allowed him to terrorize the people of Willoughby – show us how much of a dangerous presence these people are, and makes us wonder what else they have up their sleeves. I personally wouldn’t be so quick to trust them, despite the fact they seemingly came to the town’s aid with good intentions during the attack.
I feel that the amount I’m enjoying Charlie this season is partly due to her solo venture, and partly due to the fact that Tracy Spiridakos really seems to have a grip on her character this season (the dirt, and not having L’Oreal inspired hair, has also been a huge plus.) Dare I say I might like Bass and Charlie together, even if I feel the show is trying to get me on board with Adam and Charlie? It may be a little more on the creepy side, but I truly enjoy their sparring attitudes and clear wariness of each other’s trust and I’m interested to see where their relationship goes. As for Adam, he’ll no doubt be part of the bigger picture – but to what end? We know he was lying about his motives to bring Monroe back, guilt tripping Charlie with the story about his father, and we know that as much as Charlie is angry with Rachel, she still feels protective of her mother after finding out she’s wanted for ransom. I will say that I’m actually intrigued by the possible threesome team of Charlie, Adam and Monroe – which is something I never thought I’d say in the first season, or at all. Oh, Revolution, what have you done to me?
- The writing has definitely improved from last season and I genuinely laughed out loud and found myself amused at two lines – Charlie’s “keep your eyes a sea level or I poke them out” in response to Adam looking at her, and Rachel’s “this is my smile” when Miles is telling her to keep calm about Jessica.
- Elizabeth Mitchell continues to be the powerhouse of the show, and I continue to find myself smiling whenever she slips into doctor mode. I swear, one day I’m going to slip in a review and call her Juliet just by default.
- With Charlie and Monroe out of the picture (for now), the Miles and Rachel relationship has really set into a full sail, evidenced by Rachel’s insistence to stay with Miles and fight with him as well as Miles’ need to protect her. We know it’s coming, guys – just give us another kiss already!
What did you think of the episode?