Revolution: The Dark Tower

"There's been a change in management."

This episode began in a very Supernatural way, with a catchy song and a "road so far" sequence of clips. But it was no "Carry On Wayward Son". And Revolution is no Supernatural. Not yet, anyway.

When the episode began, I said to Dan, "Nora is so toast. Someone is going to die and she is by far and away the most disposable character." And voila. Nora's exit was full of self-sacrifice and totally lacked the element of surprise as well as any emotional resonance whatsoever. At least she got that final cool scene with the bomb, reminding us that she was originally supposed to be a bad ass.

But I spent the entire episode hoping they would kill off Monroe. And they didn't! We got Miles and Monroe fighting on the beach. Then they were fighting in the woods. At one point while the lightning was hitting the ground behind him, I was hoping Monroe would get electrocuted. But nooooooo! Frankly, the best part of the Miles/Monroe conflict in this episode was Neville saying,

"I could never say this under your employ, but you have become foolish and deranged. And you have a borderline erotic fixation on Miles Matheson. There. I said it. I feel better."

My favorite line for the entire season. No contest.

Okay, I did enjoy the moment where Miles just looked at Monroe, Monroe picked up on the unspoken communication, and they both turned on their common enemy. It made it feel like they actually were old friends once. And that was the focus of the flashbacks, of course, the bombing in the café about five years ago, and Monroe's psycho decision to execute the offender's wife and family. It felt as if that incident was the turning point for Miles.

I don't usually divide my review sections with quotes, but I think I will this time.

Grace: "We still don't know what went wrong the first time."

The scenes in the Tower with Rachel and Aaron changing the nanowhatever code command, which allowed Randall Flynn to launch a nuclear strike on Atlanta and Philadelphia, felt like a big game changer -- if the nukes actually hit, since it hadn't happened yet when the episode ended. When they cut to the president at the United States Colony in Guantanamo Bay, I couldn't help laughing out loud. Maybe not the reaction the writers were hoping for. Or who knows, maybe it was.

So much for Randall Flynn (Colm Feore). It didn't make sense for his character to off himself, though. Especially without seeing the bombs actually hit their target. Although maybe that was the point -- he did his duty, but couldn't bear to watch it happen.

Jason: (to his father) "Sorry, sir, but my head is spinning from how quickly you switched sides."

Charlie and Jason are having somewhat parallel parental experiences these days, with Charlie completely furious at Rachel leaving Nora to die, while Jason watched Neville use deception to take over the local Monroe militia. Neville wants it to appear that he is neither brutal nor capricious, but in fact, Neville is as evil as Monroe. Possibly eviler. He's just smart enough to keep his evil a secret, something Monroe isn't capable of doing. Or maybe it's that Monroe believes that killing innocent people on a whim is perfectly okay, because it's him. At least Neville is aware that it's a bad thing.

Bits and pieces:

-- I liked that the secret key card that will ultimately cause the destruction of much of the east coast was hidden behind the photo of George W. Bush.

-- I also liked how our TV screens went black for a few seconds after Aaron hit the button. Nice touch. Although...

-- When we first got into the level 12 computer room, all of the computers were on. No screen savers? Wouldn't the monitors have burned out by now?

And in conclusion,

Dan told me a couple of weeks ago that he can tell I'm not really into this show because of the tone of my reviews. And he's right, I admit it. This week, we heard that Ben Edlund, arguably the best writer on Supernatural, is jumping ship and moving over to work for Kripke on Revolution. It's certainly a good first step toward making Revolution a better show. But I haven't decided yet if I'm going to continue reviewing it.

What do you all think? Is Revolution a keeper? Can you see the potential? Or have you had enough already? How many erotic fixations on Miles Matheson out of four for this freshman season finale?

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


ChrisB said...

Wow! Just, wow. An incredible ending to the season that had me in tears and holding my breath at the same time.

I agree that Nora’s death was inevitable. While I think the writers struggled to decide exactly who or what her character should be, she added an interesting dynamic to the group. Her death moved me. I loved the fact that even though Nora tells Rachel that Miles will always choose her (Rachel) first, when he knows she is going to die, he chooses her. It was a touching way for the character to go out.

Charlie’s character has improved dramatically since the whiny little girl at the beginning. Her tears at Nora’s death, her anger with her mother, the way she literally has Miles’ back were all signs of such strength. I think the writers made a good decision when the show came back from hiatus to move her to less of a central position and allow her to grow as a character and as an actor.

The Miles/Monroe relationship has always been interesting, but I was shocked when Miles let him escape from Neville’s clutches. To be completely fair, I was rather hoping that Monroe would die simply because I think that David Lyons is sadly miscast. He does not have the gravitas to carry the role of the Big Bad, whereas Giancarlo Esposito is perfect in that role.

The final minutes had me sitting and staring at my screen, unable to believe what was happening. While I am not convinced that the bombs will actually hit, it certainly was a tense way to end the season. I, too, laughed at the President being holed up in Guantanamo Bay, but there was a part of me that loved the irony. Likewise, I had a huge smile on my face when Flynn crashed the picture of Bush.

I loved the opening montage. I agree that it was a paler version of the Supernatural opening, but I enjoyed watching the year’s stories unfold again. I am a complete fan of this show and it is certainly my choice for most improved over the course of the season. Revolution is a keeper for me. I am already looking forward to next season.

I know from experience how difficult it is to write a review every week for a show you are not passionate about. So, I thank you, Billie, for sticking with it through the year as I love reading your thoughts on the show as well as having someplace to post my small novels on the subject. Thank you, as always, for doing them.

Oh yeah, four out of four erotic fixations on Miles Matheson for me.

Michal Dvorak said...

I was a bit sad to see Nora die, but I agree that this character didn't live up to her initial promise.

As for Monroe, though, I might be in a minority but I'm happy he survived. I think he might work better as a deposed leader and a future disruptive element than he did as a tyrant. I imagine Neville controlling most of the Monroe Republic while a small fraction remains loyal to Monroe; it seems like an interesting dynamic to me.

Maybe it helps that I see Monroe as a tragic character. From the flashbacks it seems that he wasn't evil to begin with - he was just woefully inadequate to be a leader of a nation, especially in such trying times. I imagine there was no switch to evil for him; more like a series of decisions where he chose what he believed to be the lesser evil until he completely lost the sight of what was right and what was wrong. This way the character makes more sense to me. Hmm, I wonder if they might try to redeem Monroe in the future.

For me the show is a keeper. The first half of the season was so-so, but the second half was very good. It still has some way to go if it wants to be great, but I'm happy with its current direction.

They've certainly shaken things up very thoroughly in this season finale, and I'm very eager to see where they go next.

Michael said...

Is this show a keeper? I don't know. I do think it's a hot mess and borderline ludicrous, though at times entertaining and unintentionally funny. It's clear the writers gave up on the initial premise of the show---in fact, they seem to have rebooted twice, at midseason and now with the finale. Mpreover, they seem to have rendered most of the initial cast irrelevant, especially the initial central character Charlie.

ChrisB staed above that Charlie's character has improved. Well, sort of. In fact, she's been largely written out of the show, save for a few lines each episode. This adequately hides the dead-endness of the character and the profound limitations of the actress.

Will I watch next year? Probably not, because midweek at 8pm is just not convenient. Then again, I do want to see how they manage such a violent show in that timeslot. Also, I must confess that I am perversely curious to see how many secondary characters they introduce and kill off without doing anything interesting with them or developing any depth to them. And how many more times the show will change gears and directions.

CrazyCris said...

Well I definitely liked the finale! Wasn't a huge fan of Nora's, not once they introduced the idea of a love triangle (gah! another one?!) and she kept getting less things to do... but her death was very moving!

I LIKE crazy Monroe! And I relish the idea of him alive to fight another day... probably against Neville! I too see him as kind of a tragic figure, in a position he was woefully incapable of assuming. A perfect illustration that not everyone is cut out to be a leader. Besides, we have to find out about his son!

Neville definitely makes the better "big bad" though!

So the POTUS is alive and hidden in Guantanamo? Brilliant! But how will he be welcomed back if he's responsible for nuking two US cities? I think that's why Randall offed himself, so no one can ever get him to say he was following orders!!! No one can tie this to the POTUS!!!

Loved the scenes with the lights coming back on everywhere!

And of course, we're left with that little thread hanging... someone made the nanonthingies malfunction on purpose!!! ;o)

So, not as great as it could have been, but definitely got my attention and I'm looking forward to a season 2!

Anonymous said...

I actually like this show. I am happier with the writers focusing on Monroe & Miles though, as I find them and their history more interesting then Charlie. I think it would be great if Monroe is forced to work with Miles' group against a common enemy of Neville.

Wonder where the POTUS story line will figure in. Who would be the president? So many years have passed since the lights went out.

Thank you for your reviews! I always like to see another persons viewpoint on shows.

PhantomZodak said...

it's too bad nora is dead, although it was predictable. i really wish they had killed aaron. every week i watch hoping he is killed.

i hated that "erotic fixation" line. neville is someone who doesn't understand what it means to have a friend or brother. so they belittle it. miles & monroe were soldiers together before the blackout.

i thought it was brilliant that the president was in gitmo. what i laughed at was that the lights turned on. nonsense. electric power plants would have been abandoned days after the black out. it's been 15 years. also aaron should have lost weight by now. they have travelled how many miles over the course of this show?!

Mark Moran said...

Hey guys, is Grace dead!? I did see her wake up and come out of the room but can't remember seeing her after that!?