Revolution Review: Tom the Steam Engine

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While "Soul Train" started to pull Revolution’s heavy story-telling burden forward, some of its payoffs ended up holding everything back.

Neville Confronts Charlie

Let's start with the good: finally delving into Tom’s character and getting to know the man he is today - compared to the man he was before the blackout - made for one of the strongest parts of Revolution yet.

Watching Tom, as he morphs from a person who is just going through the motions of life and letting people walk all over him into an individual who dedicates his new lease on life to impact law and order as he sees it, was fascinating.

These competing personalities of Tom are what make him so compelling because on one hand we see someone who is continually giving Danny fatherly advice and using him like a stand in for his own son - but since Danny is a prisoner, Tom’s advice sometimes crosses into areas that are not necessary for Danny’s age.

We brought all this together with one of the final reveals: that Twilight Stand In Nate is actually Tom’s son, Jason, and all of a sudden most of Tom’s actions aren’t so off base anymore. While Jason is pulling off handcuffs very fashionably, someone needs to stand in for him while Tom passes on his words of wisdom for successfully being a Munroe Militia Man... and the unlucky winner gets to be Danny.

The other quality aspect is Rachel spilling the beans about the pendants to Monroe. With 12 in circulation and three of them already accounted for, the pendant becomes the new arms race.

Which brings us to the not-so-good about tonight: the train. While the train itself is solid, and answers a few questions about what is or isn’t working, it still doesn’t make up for the fact that the train is now in Philadelphia and Miles and Charlie are still nowhere near there.

This constant game of catch up, only to miss Danny by a few seconds, is starting to get a little old, and it begins to show one of Revolution’s biggest challenges: what happens when we’re not running toward someone? And possess the something we’re looking for? Hopefully, Revolution can bring an organic answer to that as time marches on for the series.

Other thoughts:

  • The horse pulling the car cart never gets old. Horsepower comes full circle!
  • Kim Raver is a welcome addition to the cast.
  • The map of the republics and territories is pretty awesome. As a California boy I’m happy to see California successfully overtook Oregon and Washington.
  • Aaron continues to be useless.
  • All Twilight couple needs is some puppy dog eyes and they’ll do anything for one another.
  • Charlie is once again a mixed bag. Her interactions with Miles, Tom, and briefly with Danny were a joy to watch, but when given material outside the character’s age and maturity bracket things start to take a dive.
  • These pendants are beginning to sound like a Captain Planet episode.

Finally, Miles totally wins tonight's one-liner contest:

You guard nipples. If he even tries to move, go ahead shoot him. | permalink


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

Learned my lesson, do not watch sci-fi at NBC. Only good for 1 season, next season cancel..... Remember "The Event", and all sci-fi shows before that. Beware the network that cancels, it only good for the start but never the finish.


why are you calling them a twilight couple and twilight stand-ins? I dont understand your reference. is one of them a werewolf?


@San - How can people look good without electricity? You know they've done it for eons, right? Teeth can be brushed with baking soda and water. The color red has been in clothing since medieval times. And, makeup existed back when the pyramids were built. Boy, some of you people WILL be clueless if you ever lose electricity.


No actually it's was Miles who asked Neville about his nephew like : miles " how's my nephew ?" so he's obviously talking about Danny.


I just watched it again and it was Miles who asked how his nephew was. Like, Jason/Nate is his nephew?


Did anybody else noticed when Miles was fighting Neville, he(Neville) said something about Miles' sister?


This show has gone from dumb to dumber. A train, a real live train, shows up and everyone accepts it. I know that it runs on wood and steam and all that--no one says anything, not even, "Hey, at least Monroe makes the trains run on time," Way too matter of fact. Clothes still unripped, laundermat clean. Miles fights and fights and fights and still has dimples. Miles, and every other prisoner, is still handcuffed in FRONT of them, to make it easier for prisoners to beat the shit out of 30 stupid, hapless guards. They still walk down the middle of the road, in broad daylight, making nothing but noise. As unbeleivable as "Falling Skies," "Jericho," "V" and all the others. I'll still watch, god help me,because it's sci-fi (albeit without writers who understand sci-fi. Or people.) but it is not getting better.


Great idea for a show. Charlie needs to be coached and directed in her portrayal. Very wooden effort so far. Writing needs to be more consistent and the plot needs to be tightened up. Could survive, needs a big injection of effort.


The sole reason I didn't have a fit over Kim Raver being so put together is because I see her character as someone with a much higher social status and wealth than most of the population around her. In this post-Blackout world her husband is (or seems to be) a very high ranking official in the militia, and that affords her money and power. So of course she's going to look far, far better than everyone else - she has the means and influence to do so.


the black powder/nitro glycerine bomb would be SO unstable that jostling it around more than a bump would set it off. On top of that, why would what's his name, guarding the prisoner earlier in the episode, who is in possession of the pendant that he was specifically told not to show to anyone be willing to bust out an iPhone and start playing with it right in front of the prisoner who works for the enemy? This guy is supposed to be so smart that he was SUPER rich before the blackout. And then, to use it at all in front of the prisoner, let alone so close that knocking over the table would basically dump it in the lap of him is beyond reason. The thing about it is that it is broadcast at 10pm, when more serious, adult, intense shows are supposed to be on, but it has the feel of "Terra Nova" in a big way and plays to me like a family drama in a lot of ways. I'm disappointed. I'm trying to not give up on it, but it is getting tough.

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Revolution Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

You guard nipples. If he even tries to move, go ahead shoot him.


Come on, most of these boot licks are too afraid to hit hard. I know how you feel about me.