Revolution: Chained Heat

Miles: "It's, like, one day into this trip and you're already a pain in the ass."

I have to agree with Miles. Charlie was indeed a huge pain in the ass.

There was a general "killing lots of people" theme. Miles had two massive fight scenes in the first ten minutes, there was death scattered throughout, and the episode ended with another big, bloody swordfight with guns. Uncle and niece argued, separated, came back together, and finally bonded over killing people. I guess that's better than where I thought they were going with Charlie, when she (1) ran away and (2) promptly sprained her ankle. Thankfully, she was just craftily tricking Nate, whose function in this show is apparently just to stalk Charlie. Did Charlie wimp out and let Nate go? I bet she did.

We got an Elizabeth Mitchell flashback, with the Mathesons preparing to walk out of the city after the blackout. Rachel killed a man in cold blood for threatening little Charlie, after Ben couldn't pull the trigger. The flashbacks were followed by the welcome news that Rachel is alive, after all, and a prisoner of General Monroe's. (For how long? The kids grew up believing she was dead. It couldn't be fifteen years, could it? Did the Mathesons get separated on their way out of the city?)

In keeping with our general "killing people" theme, Captain Neville killed a civilian in the first ten minutes of the episode, too. The guy had a secret American flag, and I'm sorry, but that just made me groan. Especially when they introduced Sergeant Strausser of the Nazi name (David Meunier from Justified) as Monroe's official torturer, and General Monroe showed up dressed like a member of the SS, but without the eagles and swastikas. Monroe is holding Rachel because he wants... information. Information. Information. (Did I mention I reviewed The Prisoner last spring?)

Along with the flashback to Rachel shooting the hungry man, the character stuff with Captain Neville was a highlight of the episode for me. Neville was just so evil to the civilian. But then he was so kind when he was helping his dying soldier to die a little faster and less painfully; it made Danny cry just to watch it. (Danny also showed some courage, telling Neville to his face that he's a murderer and a psychopath who tells himself he's doing the right thing. Although perhaps Danny would have been wiser to keep his mouth shut.)

Maggie and Aaron left behind was somewhat amusing because they felt so awkward together. I liked the little poignant moment when Maggie revealed that she kept the pink iPhone in her backpack because it contained the only existing photos of her kids, even though she couldn't see them. He countered by showing her his secret Holy Grail Egg Thingy, and now they're off to find Grace Beaumont. Who is about to confront someone named Randall, who was carrying his own Holy Grail egg... and a cattle prod?

The iPhone was sort of sweet, but the best dead-technology image was the prisoners hauling the helicopter, sort of like the modern day version of galley slaves. Nora, new character, infiltrator who got arrested on purpose because she wanted to steal a sniper rifle for the Resistance... well, she could be cool. Hard to tell just yet.

(Miles and Nora did kind of ignore the fate of those thirty slaves. I was with Charlie on that one.)

So I want to like this show. I am still really loving how it looks, with the artifacts of civilization partially buried under the rampant greenery. But I'm not warming enough to Charlie and Miles. Oh, well. It's early yet. I really shouldn't be wishing they had written the show around Elizabeth Mitchell and Giancarlo Esposito, should I?

Other stuff:

-- The new saga sell was accompanied by rather cool stop motion.

-- Members of the Resistance have secret American flag tatts, and members of the Monroe Militia have brands. Absolutely no one can get away with an undercover mission, can they?

-- Neville has a wife named Julia. And awesome sunglasses.

-- In the flashback, Rachel put Charlie in charge of Danny, which made me flash on Dean and Sam.

-- The Baltimore Act apparently established the death penalty for owning a gun if you're not in the militia. This series is starting to feel like a fantasy written by the NRA.

Quotes:

Dad: "There's no more fire trucks, sweetheart."

(The Matheson group passes a man on a crazy tirade at the market.)
Aaron: "Great. They're having a sale on heroin."

Charlie: "Where are you going?"
Miles: "This little place called 'shut up and stay here'."

Not quite what I'd hoped for. In fact, I found this episode difficult to review, which didn't make me happy. Two out of four pink iPhones,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

7 comments:

ChrisB said...

In the flashback, Rachel put Charlie in charge of Danny, which made me flash on Dean and Sam.

Me, too, although I am not feeling as strongly about any of these characters as I do about the boys. I am especially struggling with Charlie. Maybe it's because she only has one expression; maybe it's because everything she says sounds whiny; maybe it's because I can't believe they couldn't find a young woman who can act just a little. Whatever it is, Charlie annoys me and I find myself tuning out.

I also don't think we are spending enough time with any of the characters to get to know them. It is possible to have a huge cast, yet engender loyalty quickly (think Lost). Here, however, we are already in five places with different characters: Miles/Charlie/Nora, Danny/Neville, Monroe/Rachel, Maggie/Aaron and Grace/Randall. As a result, we don't see enough of any of them.

The writing staff appears to be alumni from Supernatural and Six Feet Under, both shows that do character extremely well. I am not giving up yet, but I would like to see something soon that makes we want to support these teams soon.

I agree with your score of two. A bit of a disappointment after such a strong pilot.

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

I wasn't impressed with the pilot, so this episode's letdown means I'm calling it quits for the show. I have two dozen (yes, I know, I'm crazy) other great shows to keep me company this fall. Well, that many if a few yet-to-premiere shows impress me (high hopes for Arrow and Elementary, middling for Beauty and the Beast).

The most whiny and hard to love character being the moral compass of the show = not working. The "big" twist about the mom still being alive = yawn. The brands and tattoos = ridiculous.

It was nice to see that Charlie wasn't totally helpless, but the reasoning for why she HAD to help rescue her brother seemed to be revealed in the least sympathetic way possible. Characters that could be cool (Grace, Nate) don't get much screen time, and aren't presented in an intriguing way. The only character I like on this show so far is Miles. I would much rather be watching his story, starting maybe from the blackout or 5ish years afterward (how did he pick up those crazy sword skills anyway?).

Not saying I'll never watch this show again, but I'll need to hear from many sources that it's getting MUCH better. If I do, I may pencil it in for June 2013.

Anonymous said...

I'm holding out hope for this show. There is enough of a good direction that I think it could succeed. Plus, I really didn't like Sam in season 1 of Supernatural, and we didn't know/like half of the cast in Lost until mid-season and lets not forget Ian and Maggie the ever hated siblings.

Charlie could be a stronger character/actress but give her time she's better than Adrian Paul was at the beginning of Highlander. Plus I think we'll all love Miles once we get to know him a bit better. I'm not making excuses for the show, but slow burn plots take more than a couple of episodes to fully sell the story and scope.

LL.

tricksterson said...

Got to go with the NRA on this one. The first thing a dictatorship would do is gather up the guns. My question is why do they allow swards. Bows, spears and axes, like rifles all have uses besides killing people. Swords, like handguns are really only good for killing people.

Jess Lynde said...

I decided to watch the last 40 minutes of this episode, to get a taste of the show post-pilot. (I think I just wanted to spend some time with Elizabeth Mitchell and Giancarlo Esposito.) Didn't love it, but didn't hate it either. It had some intriguing moments, and I mostly enjoyed my time with Liz and Giancarlo. I may give it another watch next week. The preview was intriguing, and now I'd like to spend some time with Mark Pellegrino. :)

Billie, I didn't get the impression that Rachel killed that man in cold blood for threatening Charlie. She was defending her family. That man was about to take the food and supplies that they needed to support their kids. Maybe the fact that he threatened to kill her daughter took some of the edge off killing him, but I interpreted her actions more as a willingness to do what it takes to protect her family, not cold-blooded murder.

The memory fed into Charlie's actions with the warden. She didn't kill him because she had murder in her heart; she did it because that's what it took to protect people who weren't in a position of power.

Olga said...

I quite liked the pilot so I went into the second episode with certain hopes, that got higher when they started showing Elizabeth Mitchell in flashbacks. But I so much don't like Charlie! Maybe it's the actress who just doesn't work for me or her acting skills, I don't know. And I can't say I like Miles very much either, besides cool sword fights he doesn't have much going for him... I was almost ready to turn it off, when Nora showed up and I liked her, and then Elizabeth Mitchell turned out to be alive (YAY!)... so I guess I give it couple more episodes....

Anonymous said...

"This little place called 'shut up and stay here'."

That one line just completely tipped the scales for me. I'm out.