Revolution Review: Patching Up the Plot

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Revolution attempted to smooth out its narrative potholes in "Chained Heat," but did the new NBC drama succeed?

For me, it’s a simple yes. But judging by some of your comments following the Revolution premiere, the sell could be much more difficult.

A key aspect of the series is why the technology is or isn’t working. Aaron’s theory that the switching off event might be due to something man-made is easier to stomach than some unknown Earthy phenomena. Because it pushes the super special flash drives into the realm of being things that fix the event, as we’ve seen with Grace, and since Ben knew it was going to happen, this makes Monroe’s actions against Matheson’s that much believable.

Chained Heat Scene

The second big reveal that began framing the narrative is the reveal of just where Rachel is now. She’s basically the Belle to Monroe’s Beast, and Monroe is determined to use whatever means is necessary to learn what she knows about the event... even if it means using her family against her.

Monroe puts Rachel in a tough position because she may be forced to betray either side of family. Ben is dead and Danny is being brought in. If she says what she knows, she potentially betrays her dead husband’s memory; and if she doesn’t say anything, she could betray her son. The one thing Monroe isn’t accounting for is Miles, and without the aid of technology, word doesn’t exactly travel quickly anymore.

The other side of episode two wasn’t quite as interesting. Charlie is still a mostly one-dimensional character. As a result, her pleas to Miles or her personal hardships don’t exactly deliver any emotional payoffs, which is a problem for a drama that plays up its family aspects. Charlie’s ease at switching off her fear of killing someone in about twenty minutes flat was hard to believe at times.

Mainly because that plot point is far too soon. Featuring the parallels between Charlie and Rachel are great. They want to protect their families. That’s not the problem. The problem is that we still know about next to nothing about them, and until we have those gaps in character investment filled, there’s not really any need to focus on those types of challenges so early in the show's run.

I certainly didn’t say Revolution smoothed out all of its narrative potholes.

The rebel plot line with Nora is interesting because of who they are. They’re patriots, they want to restore the U.S. government to power. The series has a very colonial feel to it, making it kind of cool to think the rebels want to break free from a power to start lives over again.

Other Thoughts

  • I’d like to replace Nate’s name with one of the annoying tributes from The Hunger Games. Suggestions?
  • Miles in captivity lasted a long time.
  • Nate and Charlie are quickly becoming an insufferable Twilight couple. Here’s hoping he stays handcuffed to the sign.
  • I’m really wishing Nora had a paperclip to assemble that homemade gun.
  • The creepy, sweaty, businessman should know that you don’t get between a mother bear and her cubs.
  • For holding the key to unlock the world again Grace sure has terrible locks.
  • How many damn flash drives are out there?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (142 Votes)

I really love that Nora has patriotic enthusiasium to bring back the USA


I'm right with Peter on this one. I keep watching it because I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic stuff, but this story makes no sense. The acting leaves a lot to be desired too. The plot has more holes than a slice of swiss cheese. Just gotta add here...You don't need electricity to re-load ammunition. Maybe all the gunsmiths or even gun fanatics in America died. The characters are inconsistent and utterly unrealistic. They killed off the British chick and she was the only decent actress (actors included) in the bunch. They should've killed the annoying fat guy...and how did he stay so fat if food is so scarce? I'm sorry, but this show will be cancelled. If it isn't then us Americans are dumber than I ever thought. It's a lame attempt to mirror The Walking Dead.


I don't know why I waste my time on Revolution, it's so lame. None of the adults has aged in 15 years. Everyone's still wearing clean and wearing machine woven fabrics. And then there's the lame science: electricity doesn't work. This has apparently due to a fundamental change in electrostatic physics, because even filament lightbulbs are affected. Yet chemistry is unchanged even though chemical reactions are directly due to electrostatic forces. And even if we allow that electrical stuff fails but chemistry works, where are the diesel engines? These are strictly chemical in operation. My ten horsepower diesel waterpump has a pull-start and it works fine without a battery. Big diesel trucks don't start electrically, they use compressed air. OK, enough about the enormous suspension of common sense required. Charlie is an annoying fool with no sense of perspective displaying attitudes that only develop under conditions of spoilt plenty. After 15 years in the claimed conditions, any survivors would be quiet teams with deliberately low profiles, perimeters in depth and lots of well concealed deadfalls, bolt-holes and staged fallback positions. And they would be good at walking away and cutting their losses. Like Miles.


I'm not giving up on REVOLUTION just yet. That said, I'm a little baffled as to how Rachel manages to look YOUNGER and BLONDER in current day Philadelphia than she did 15 years ago. I think Elizabeth Mitchell has one of the most expressive faces around, and on V she looked like she could indeed have an annoying teenage son. But, on this episode, the way she was filmed made her look younger than she was on LOST! And, while I do hate to nitpick, I seriously doubt any resistance members worth their salt would bother would hair dye at this stage of the game. The only person who looks like a natural blonde on this show is Danny. We should be looking at a world of mostly wavy-haired brunettes (because blowouts no longer exist).


This might become one of those shows I watch to revel in the bad writing - i.e., have fun snarling about it. I'm not necessarily proud of that trait. I agree with "disappointed in jj" and "cara" above. The only characters that interest me are the flashdrives. Because they are the only things that hold the promise of containing anything actually interesting.


Terra Nova, Falling Skies, and V were much better than this one. I looked forward to seeing another season of Terra Nova, but Revolution is just another Jericho in a different suit.


Wow. When did TV Fanatic get invaded by such WHINY people? Good grief. If you think Tom's character is one-dimensional, you're just not watching. We did say this could be re-named "Charlie's dumb decisions and the many times it bites her in the ass". But it's as if people think if someone can't/doesn't make the same decisions or approach a situation the same way you do - or THINK you would but really COULDN'T know - oh, must be dumb. And, let's get REALLY MAD ABOUT IT AND TYPE IN ALL CAPS. Sheesh. lol.


I don't get the negative comments. This show just aired two episodes (or did I miss something) and people are already talking about never watching it again?! I will definitely give it a shot and watch more episodes. I'm sure there will be more reveals and explanations - and maybe even some character development for Charlie ;-)


The premise is amazing, the writing is atrocious. This show is missing the point! It should not be about the main female character (who is driving me crazy with her needy, uninspiring behavior) but, rather, on the community. Every time she whines about someone not doing what she wants, I'm going to start drinking.


:::sigh::: I got 10 minutes into the 2nd episode and turned it off. Charlie's pleading for the life of someone who would kill her in a heartbeat? Really? How could she live in THAT world for the past 15 years and think being "nice" is going to work? I like action movies/television shows but all I saw was fighting, killing, torturing. That's all they've got? How many times do our intrepid trio need to be "caught" before they get a clue? These people are ridiculously gullible. And if they are going to do nothing more with Giancarlo Esposito besides make him this one dimensional character, they are stupid. I expected more from JJ.

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Revolution Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Charlie: Where are you going?
Miles: Uh this little places called shut up and stay here.

Most people do.

You have family? Miles