Around the Water Cooler: “Revolution,” The Season 2 Premiere (SPOILERS)

THE SPECS:

Who: “Revolution” currently airs on network TV, specifically on NBC, Wednesdays at 8:00 PM.

What: “Revolution,” a science fiction thriller and action drama set in a post-apocalyptic landscape,  In Revolution, in the year 2012, scientists Ben and Rachel Matheson (Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost) developed nanotechnology that somehow caused electricity to disappear from the entire world, resulting in chaos and anarchy, particularly in the United States. People were left without vehicles and any other powered apparatuses, and the world descended into uncivilized madness, until two men, Rachel’s brother-in-law Miles (Billy Burke) and his best friend Sebastian “Bass” Monroe (David Lyons), took it upon themselves to form a martial colony that later becomes the Monroe Republic based in Philadelphia.  Other territories begin to sprout up across the devastated nation as well, but Monroe becomes power-drunk and merciless as well as obsessed with finding out how to turn the power back on.  Miles defects shortly before Monroe orders that Ben be found and killed, leaving his daughter Charlie (Tracy Spiradakos) and son Danny orphans.  Danny is thereafter kidnapped by Monroe’s men , including trusted soldier Major Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito, Once Upon a Time), in an effort to bait hostage Rachel into working on restoring power.  Charlie and family friend Aaron (Zak Orth), along with others, seek the help of Uncle Miles to rescue Danny; though initially successful, Miles and Charlie find out how intricately their family is involved in the worldwide blackout and must deal with the ramifications of the post-apocalyptic environment and the vast spectrum of human nature in a world where all must scrape by to survive, all while bands of rebels claiming to be American patriots fight the demagoguery of the territorial governments, (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/revolution/summary.html).

When: The Season 3 premiere aired on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, on NBC at 8:00 PM.

Where: The show spans the country formerly known as the United States in a fictitious future but started primarily on the East Coast in the Monroe Republic and in the Southeast in what is known in the show as the Georgia Federation.

Why: The executive producers and creators of this show are Eric Kripke (who created Supernatural) and J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Alias, Felicity).  That is an epic team of creativity, and I am a great fan of their previous (and some current) series.  In addition, Elizabeth Mitchell, who played Juliet Burke on Lost, and also appeared on V, is a featured member of the ensemble and is one of my favorite television actresses today.  In addition, the concept of the power going out all across the world, suddenly and without explanation – that doesn’t intrigue you?

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

Revolution’s first season was a roller coaster ride that raised many questions and also provided many answers but created larger mysteries not easy to solve, possibly even for the writers.  The question of how the worldwide blackout was caused was, more or less, answered by the first season’s end, but lingering questions remain, including who really funded and permitted the science explored by the Mathesons. The characters’ individual natures were tested as were the relationships they shared with others.  Charlie, believing her mother had abandoned them but always holding out hope for a reunion, finds herself in a desperate place of betrayal upon seeing Rachel again.   Monroe still sees Miles as his best friend, and though Miles cares about his longtime buddy, Monroe’s state of mind is seriously in question as his thirst for power, both authoritative and electric, consumes him.  Neville’s relationship with his son Jason is compromised by Jason’s feelings for Charlie.  All of these complications are further addled by the fact that our heroes are constantly on the run, both from enemies and their pasts, and are constantly in search of ways to solve the world’s impossible crisis.

At the end of season 1, Rachel and Aaron ventured to the Tower, deep within the Plains Nation, as Rachel believed that she could turn the power back on from there.  Yet, as we find out in the premiere, her former boss, identifying himself as a Patriot, once power was restored, however briefly, launches nuclear missiles at key targets, including Philadelphia and Atlanta, the seats of the Monroe and Georgia Federation territorial republics. The missiles destroy these populaces, and the Patriot promptly shoots himself in the head.  Monroe is at large.  Neville searches for his wife and Jason’s mother (Kim Raver), who is presumed dead. Miles brings Rachel–who suffers a post-traumatic psychotic break when she sees that her decision to restore power despite warning to the contrary from other scientists with which she worked, results in catastrophic loss of life–to her father (Stephen Collins), a doctor residing in the Plains Nation. Charlie, hell bent on revenge for what he’s done to her family, leaves her family and Miles in search of Monroe. Aaron has found love again but notices that the nano-bytes that caused the blackout have taken on a different appearance.  Miles nurses his long-time feelings for Rachel, his brother’s widow, while considering a decision to return to his former hermit ways.  In the meantime, ships of official looking people have appeared in the ravaged refugee camps caused by the nuclear fallout, claiming to be the erstwhile American government, emerging from hiding in the wake of the blip of power that the world experienced.  War clans, savage groups of outlawed men, pillage and rape across countrysides, forcing Miles to remain and protect Rachel and her father.  And the power is still out.

Season 2 of Revolution will deal with the question of who the mysterious benefactors claiming to be the former American government really are, and whether the nanotechnology that caused the blackout can be used to destroy it.  Also, the pinnacle characters may switch allegiances and purposes, all searching for meaning in this changing world.  But will the world ever be restored to what it once was?

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

1) Are the nano-bytes irradiated from the nuclear fallout?  What are the luminescent green things?  They have to be those nano-bytes, right?  And did they revive Aaron at the end of the episode?

2) What is the real nature of the relationship between Miles and Rachel, and why can’t they explore it if Ben, brother and husband, is now deceased?

3) Charlie was an annoying character, but she really came into her own when the death of her brother in season 1, in addition to her proficiency at killing attackers, hardened her.  Yet, this quest to find Monroe is really ill-advised.  What is her endgame?  She kills him, and then what?  Bad things happen when she does the “stupid,” as Miles called it.

4) Miles and the sheriff of the town occupied by Rachel’s father were captured by a war clan with a dandy of a leader at the end of the premiere.  Who is this guy, and what is his purpose?

5) The most interesting piece of the story right now centers on Neville.  He was a broken man at first blush in this episode, assured that his wife is dead, and Jason, their situations reversed from the first season, had to smack some sense into him.  With the arrival of the ship and parties claiming to be government, he’s found a new purpose, and he raised some very good questions and suspicions about their new friends.  What will he find out?

6) Will the power ever come back on?

PARTING SHOTS

Revolution is imminently watchable because of its highly creative and relevant concept, which effectively blends science fiction with action revolving around a worst case scenario that is not altogether impossible in our technology and power-infused age.  The fighting is typically done with swords and sparingly used guns, and Miles is a thing to behold when he gets going.  Yet, not every character is engaging enough in which to be invested, and the execution of the story has been uneven at best.  If the writers stick to the central themes, such as the shady organization behind the power outage, Aaron’s role in it all, and Miles and Monroe’s love/hate relationship, Revolution promises to deliver mysteries and entertainment each week in epic and grandiose style. With Eric Kripke at the helm, who plans story arcs well in advance, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Revolution was ordered for a full season by NBC, a ravaged network that is hanging on to whatever successes it can muster (much like the characters in this show).  The network may see this program as its new Lost, but the sophomore season may best provide an indication as to its longevity, depending on where the story goes and how effectively it gets told.  Let’s see how it all fares.

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One comment

  1. kyliekeelee · October 6, 2013

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