'Revolution' Recap: 'Patriot Games'
October 17th, 2013 10:27am EDT
I’ll start by being completely honest: Revolution is not my favorite show, but it’s worlds better than it was last season. More importantly? The program is finally, finally, finally getting on track to be what it should have been all along. (Remember how I pointed out that things were getting progressively darker? Apparently now we’ve gotten to the point where we have to put up one of those violence warnings. I’m not sure why NBC decided to move the show to an earlier hour only to have it be ten times more graphic than it ever was last season, but I also don’t claim to understand the inner workings of networks, so we’ll let it go.)
I could go on and about the darker plots, the tightening of storylines, the clearer focus – all things that have helped make Revolution a better program in 3 weeks than it was in 22 episodes – but what struck me the most as I watched “Patriot Games” was the fact that I realized, for maybe the first time, I wasn’t thinking about the concept that the show spent last season drilling into my head over and over again – a world without power. At this point, Revolution has moved so far beyond that, which is actually a good thing (though I’d caution the writers to not stray too far from the original concept, lest their storytelling get lost in the many episodes to come.) But the show seems to have finally found an interesting way to tell stories that don’t focus on the mythology of the blackout or the issues caused by it, and all I can say is, it’s about time.
In any case, the Patriots are some shady people, aren’t they? While it wasn’t a stretch to figure that they weren’t the do-gooders they appeared to be (even though they continue their façade this week with things like giving the children of Willoughby a Halloween and cheerfully making people believe that their only safety is inside the town walls), this week only enforced that suspicion. With the fact that they’re killing outsiders, making it look like Titus’ clan is commuting the murders, and manipulating townspeople, it’s safe to say that the government will most likely end up being the “big bad” of the season. And even though this isn’t a recent thing (as Ken says to Rachel, this is a development that has been in the making for seven years) it’s certainly new territory for our protagonists, who suddenly find themselves against something much more intense than the Monroe Militia.
Miles’ suspicion of the Patriots leads him to do some recon of his own, and I may have misspoke last week when I said Titus’ storyline was over. He returned to confront Miles briefly and give more validity to the fact that the Patriots are up to no good, but Miles eventually killed him for real before almost getting killed himself. Thankfully, he was saved by what we came to learn was the powerful result of Aaron getting resurrected – he can manipulate the nanites (fireflies) in his sleep, which in turn helped him set Miles’ attackers on fire. I’m not sure if I saw this coming – I suspected something supernatural, but this “superpower” type of twist threw me off a bit. Still, if there’s anything Kripke knows, it’s his way around the supernatural, so I’m willing to be cautious and say that I’m hopeful this will end up being interesting and not overly hokey.
We still don’t really know much about what happened in between the group waking up outside the Tower and getting to Willoughby – and whether the show will continue to flashback to last season remains a mystery. But we do learn that Rachel wasn’t so much catatonic after the events as she was traumatized and suicidal, something Gene brings up as he tries to stop her from continuing to go off on missions that will only further her unstableness. I adored everything we got from Elizabeth Mitchell in this episode – her confusion when she wakes up from the arrow attack, her quiet determination to prove everyone wrong about the Patriots, her wariness to open up, her eventual acceptance of her personality being at fault for why she’s suffered so much hurt. This season has truly been great so far for Mitchell, though I’m beginning to wonder if the only thing we can do get reactions out of Rachel is continually put her in danger. (And look, I love any opportunity that offers the character more screen time, especially in light of the gross underuse of her character last season – but honestly, I’d prefer more scenes like the premiere where we got more of a quiet look into the depth of Rachel’s emotions.) Then again, it does lead to pretty awesome moments like watching Rachel get herself out of a torture situation and knifing an old friend in the gut, instances of action that were far and few between last year. I really can’t complain that the show has stepped up their involvement where her character is concerned, and I only hope it continues.
Back in Savannah, Neville is still attempting to make good with Allenford and her troops while also trying to figure out where Jason is, though he’s not having much success on either end. At the beginning of the season, I made a comparison between Neville and Rachel, mentioning how I found them similar in many ways – one of which was the fact that they would do anything for their children and for survival. The dueling scene after Rachel killed her friend Ken and Neville killed the commander was a nice reminder of the fact that although one is labeled as the “good guy” and one is labeled as the “bad guy” there is still an underlying parallel where loyalties are concerned. Similarly, Charlie seems to be hardening more and more – I’m beginning to wonder if she’ll turn into Rachel at one point, hell-bent on revenge and fixing everything around her.
We got less of Charlie and Monroe this week, but it was enough to know that their relationship is still very push and pull – despite Monroe rescuing Charlie after she was drugged in a bar and nearly killed, Charlie still doesn’t trust him, going so far as to practically spit in his face when he emotionally admits why he needs to get her on his side. We end the hour with the two finally making their way to Willoughby, which should provide some interesting tension where reunions are concerned. Personally? I can’t wait to see Rachel and Miles’ reaction to Monroe, and Rachel’s reaction to Charlie. And now that the entire group is on the verge of getting back together, it’ll be interesting to see how the new dynamics shake out. My guess is that everyone’s going unite against the new common enemy, which in turn will pit them against Jason and Neville. I’m also counting on the development to give Monroe’s character more of a journey this season. Either way, for the first time in a long time, I can honestly say that I’m actually interested in where Revolution’s story is going to go.
Funny how Miles is apparently still “Stu” to the Patriots – though I fear it won’t be like that for long.
The episode was a weaker episode than the ones preceding it, but I still enjoyed it more than I enjoyed a majority of Revolution’s episodes last season, which should tell you a lot.
What did you think of the episode?
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