Monday, November 26, 2012

'Revolution' Review - 1.10 Nobody's Fault But Mine

        On the fall finale of NBC's Revolution, the time has come for Miles and Monroe to meet face to face in the gang's quest to rescue Danny; Charlie is conflicted by a shocking discovery when reunited with her brother; and Rachel tests Monroe's patience.

        A month or so ago, NBC announced that after this episode of Revolution they were putting the show on a 4-month hiatus until March 25. They made this decision to allow the last 12 episodes of the season to air straight through without being interrupted by repeats. It also means we have to wait four long months until the next episodes. This strategy has worked wonders on cable networks like AMC, USA and TNT but has been less successful on broadcast networks - especially for past serial shows like FlashForward and The Event. To ensure that fans will enthusiastically deal with the wait and are exciting for the back half of the season, Revolution needed to end this episode in a very memorable way. In that respect, I do think this was a good episode because the show pushed its boundaries and allowed most of its characters to interact. The final image of the helicopters rising up as Monroe becomes more overwhelmed with power was a sound one but perhaps not as thrilling as I would have hoped. The gameplay and stakes have definitely been risen but I still think they could have gone higher. The impact of that final sequence was also lessened by that fact that it was used and seen in every single piece of promotional material for the episode.
        The show has this very excellent damaged relationship between Miles Matheson and General Monroe that has always been present but has laid very dormant until now. The first real insight into their dynamic was seen in episode three "No Quarter" which did a great job of laying the groundwork for their wonderful reunion scene in tonight's episode. The presence of both of them together onscreen just brings out the best qualities of their performances and should be used more often in the back half of the season.
        At the start of the series, the flashbacks were very effective at showcasing the emotional depths and journey of a specific character in the aftermath of the blackout. But as the series has progressed, the once-phenomenal flashbacks have been diluted into unoriginal and bland messes. The ones in tonight's episode were a bit all over the place - taking piece in three distinct time periods. But that one scene in the middle of the hour with Miles talking Monroe down from killing himself added a layer of intensity and focus that has been heavily missing the last few weeks.
        The hour also switched things up by altering the main group of characters on the journey. For the last few episodes, it has strictly been just Miles, Charlie, Aaron and Nora. Each of them brings something unique to the group dynamic and yet has felt like the same thing being rehashed each week. The addition of Danny and Rachel to that group should allow for more intriguing dynamics within the group. It will also allow Danny and Rachel to actually show some depth in terms of their characters. I'm sure - or I at least hope - that Danny is more than just the dim and annoying brother always falling into trouble. Rachel too has been summed up as one skill-set or motivated by what the plot needs in a certain hour. But now, she actually has a story where Elizabeth Mitchell can actually excel at and add some depth - the rebuilding of her relationship with Charlie as well as her past history with Miles. 

So what did everyone think of the episode? Would that final cliffhanger image have been more powerful if all the promos didn't tease it for an entire week? Could you have used more Giancarlo Esposito? How pointless was Strausser as an unintimidating one-note villain? Share your thoughts in the comments.