Tuesday, October 2, 2012

'Revolution' Review - 1.03 No Quarter

        On the newest episode of NBC's Revolution, while on the run from Militia, Nora decides to lead Miles and Charlie back to the Rebel camp; Aaron and Maggie continue their search for Grace; and Danny stands up to one of Captain Neville's men.

        Throughout the past few weeks, this series has frequently been compared to FlashForward, The Event, Alcatraz, Terra Nova and more in that it is a high concept series that starts out high in the ratings but will gradually decline due to the narrative not going anywhere quick enough. All of those shows I mentioned fit in that category and only lasted one season each. People are expecting this show to flop but the first two weeks in the ratings prove otherwise. Yes, it is still early to decide whether the show is a success or not long term but I have reason to believe that this show will succeed where those past shows failed. The much better comparison shows, in my opinion, would be Once Upon a Time and Falling Skies. Shows that are different than the rest of the programming on their network but are also the network's highest rated scripted series despite their high concepts.
         This show is different from those failures because it is not clutching on to the main mystery as its one sole narrative. Yes, electricity going out is a big focus on the show and makes up the main mythology but the direction that the show has taken on a week-to-week basis is the story of Charlie and Miles trying to rescue Danny. This story alone would also not make an engaging series but starting in this episode - even though it was teased in the previous one - the show also created the story of the rebellion. That story is crucial for the overall success of this show over the course of this season. It is much more wide-spreading than the rescuing Danny arc and allows for much more thought-provoking interactions and reveals amongst more of the cast of characters. The addition of this story made the reveal about Miles much more exciting and shed light on his troubled past connection with Monroe - first teased in the pilot.
        However, it seems that even though the show is content with following these characters and bringing up new mysteries, there still has to be a mention or an ongoing subplot that revolves around the eletricity going out. This week that story falls down onto Maggie and Aaron. These two certainly have an interesting dynamic and backstories. Last week, I thought that the humanizing moment of Maggie and her cell phone was too forced. But here, that detail paid off big time and I'm glad that even though I didn't like the setup I still can appreciate how the actors handle it and react to new circumstances. Likewise, I thought Aaron's details on his past life where almost too much but then we had the moment of him listening to the CD player and it more than made up for it.
        The C plot this week once again focused on Danny's life as a prisoner of Captain Neville and surprisingly this was a rather absent week for Giancarlo Esposito - the best actor on the show. Because of that, I didn't have high hopes for this scenes but I was again surprised by how non-annoying Danny was. I also really appreciated Michael Mosley in his role of the best friend of the guy Danny killed. Overall I thought that it was just enough of a story to have in a small amount of time but not making it feel like a waste.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Does the introduction of the rebellion story excite you as much as it did me? Does Danny still annoy you? Share your thoughts in the comments.