Monday, October 15, 2012

'Revolution' Review - 1.05 Soul Train

        On the newest episode of NBC's Revolution, the gang nears Neville and his men and their hopes of finding Danny grow until a shocking discovery threatens to impede their efforts; orders from Monroe up the value of Danny's life; and Nora connects with a fellow Rebel.

        Tonight's new episode of Revolution embraced its action thriller roots much more than any of the past episodes. Instead of dragging things out for multiple more episodes, the series made the crucial decision to bring many of its main plots to a dramatic head as they all converged together. Because of that, this hour was the strongest one that the series has produced so far.
        Throughout the first four episodes, the show has had some difficulties finding the exact tone that it wants to produce to effectively tell this story on a week-to-week basis. Should it be about the mystery of the lights going out and the people trying to solve it? Should it be about Charlie trying to rescue her brother? Should it be about the political turmoil of the current time? How much should it rely on the nuanced flashbacks of the moments right after the blackout? The show wants all of these themes to be a part of its ongoing narrative but couldn't quite figure out how to cohesive include all of them in an episode without one topic completely outshining the others. "Soul Train" did not suffer from that issue even though it had many of these stories spinning throughout the hour. The show effectively added enough tension to keep me quite entertained during every minute. Not everything worked with the hour but I noticed that every scene that I didn't think flowed well was kept pretty short - which gives me tremendous hope for the future of the series.
        My main issue with the show continues to be the character depths, personalities and performances from the three teenage characters just aren't up to par with the older cast. All three and naive and annoying and do things quite frequently that don't make a lot of sense - i.e. Charlie following Neville, Charlie thinking she has a trust bond with "Nate", Danny constantly trying to stand up to Neville, etc. The final scenes for both Charlie and "Nate" give me hope that they can "grow up" and be interesting as characters but I'm just not confident on that after seeing five episodes of the series.
        Tonight's flashbacks prominently featured Captain Neville and because I just love Giancarlo Esposito as an actor, I was heavily anticipating greatness and I was not disappointed. These sequences did the perfect job of showing the contrast between this character's life before and after the blackout. Every scene was necessary and was building to this great character moment where Neville is forced to beat up his neighbor in front of his wife and child. That was beautifully poignant and I am really intrigued to see more from this new family dynamic between Esposito, Kim Raver and JD Pardo.

So what did everyone think of the episode? The best episode of the series so far? Is Nate still your least favorite character despite the potential that the concluding twist has? Despite some special effects issue, wasn't the train sequence the best scene from the series so far? Share your thoughts in the comments.