Revolution Review: Patching Up the Plot
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.
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.
- 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?
Revolution: "Chained Heat"
Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.