Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Revolution: The Children's Crusade

Aaron: "Awesome. Like a pack of hairless Ewoks."

Ah, the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome kid tribe episode. I hate kid tribe episodes. I could almost literally feel myself losing patience during the opening scenes. But surprisingly, the episode turned out to be pretty good. Is Revolution slowly improving, or is it just me?

Maybe some of it was the guest stars. Colin Ford played young Sam Winchester on Supernatural so well that they kept bringing him back, and probably because of that, I automatically liked his character; his bravado and foolhardiness didn't tick me off at all. (He also looked a lot older all of a sudden, as teens tend to do.) And they brought in the awesome Colm Feore as Randall Flynn, formerly a scary, powerful guy from the Department of Defense, and currently the scary, powerful guy who kidnapped Grace Beaumont.

I'm going to pass right over how a tribe of kids managed to survive without parents for seven or eight years, and focus on how cool Charlie was. I think I'm starting to like her. She showed a lot of courage, going undercover as a conscripted militia kid, getting knocked out twice and even (ouch) branded in order to rescue yet another kidnapped kid. (I'm sure Charlie's brand new brand will eventually come in handy in some future plotline.)

How many kidnapped children and siblings are we going to get, though? And how many threatened with torture? It feels like they're going to that well a bit too often. And is every member of the Monroe Militia a vicious, unfeeling sadist? Geez Louise.

I again enjoyed Aaron, who admitted that he was a teacher because it was the only job that he was suited for, even though he hates kids. Of course, he was terrific with them and saved them all. And the pendant went off again, saving our heroes on the conscription ship in the nick of time by distracting the bad guys. What's setting off the pendant? Has anyone caught that? I'm confused.

This week we got Rachel flashbacks going back to three years before the Blackout when she was pregnant with Danny. Rachel, Ben, Grace and Bradley had been working together in a failing start-up and Rachel (not Ben) came up with a device that was supposed to generate clean, low-cost electricity but instead, did the opposite. In yet more kid-related story stuff, the evil Flynn from the Department of Defense bribed Rachel with the life of her fatally ill unborn baby. (They've been using Danny to control Rachel since before he was born, haven't they?) Rachel shilled for the Militia in order to save Danny, and Bradley was ready to die for the cause until they brought in his daughter. Like I said, going to the well a bit too often.

At least the magical pendant is out of the backpack, and Miles and Charlie saw it. We do seem to be moving along.


Aaron: "No, this is not totally creepy at all."
Nora: "They're just children."
Aaron: "Children of the corn."

Ben (in flashback, talking about finances) "In another month, we won't be able to keep the lights on." Ha ha.

Slotnick: "You get to fight and die for something that truly matters." Yeah, that certainly makes me want to become a member of the Militia. Seriously, how did they keep those kids from deserting in droves?

Randall: "I just want us to be friends." Big shark smile. And big gold casting stars for Colm Feore. Really.

Two out of four hairless Ewoks,

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


  1. One single, but rather big, thing irritated the hell out of me this episode.
    If Miles and Nora suddenly decide to board the ship in the night to get Charlie out - why the hell didn't they just do that in the first place!?

    I like Revolution, I really do, but I'm increasingly irritated by small things like this. And the fact that it's just a little bit too predictable.

  2. @Henrik
    There is a significant chunk of fandom (go over on the boards at AV Club) that are just continuously nitpicking the show, AND YET KEEP ON WATCHING IT. Certainly supernatural had enough lot holes and nitpicks but they never bothered me.

    I wonder why this is the show that suddenly starts annoying people this much? Is it because the teens are so wooden?

  3. CoolSid: Very interesting to know, thanks.
    Just a theory, could it be we nitpick this show because it's (in my opinion) having a hard time deciding on what kind of series it wants to be?
    I mean - it's a basically dark (pun intended) series, meaning it has dark motifs and very evil characters. Yet, at the same time, the lighting, clothing and props are all very bright and well lit.
    It doesn't feel right.
    It feels like the apocalypse just happened in paradise. Now, mind you, this is probably closer to the truth but, again, it just doesn't feel right.
    Also, seven(?) episodes in to the series and Miles is still a stonewall - a very, very, uninteresting character. I thought we were getting somewhere when we got a glimpse of his trek along the states after the blackout but alas, no.
    Revolution really needs to decide if it's going to be brutal, and then also graphically brutal, or a sunshine story for kids.

    Another example of its undecidedness. In the episode with Drexel - after Aaron kills him all his henchmen decide to...let Aaron and Nora go?
    On the other hand, the Militia-guy beats the kid (who just wants to go home) to death!

    Wishy-washy is the word I'm looking for. Wishy-washy.

  4. Forgot to add. Has NO-ONE else picked up on Aaron? The same name as Kate's son from Lost.
    Is it the same Aaron perhaps?

    Shame on everyone (but me) for not spotting this earlier!!!

  5. Billie I think it's definitely getting better! It helps that they're slowly solving some of the mysteries while they open up new ones.

    My problem is the characters themselves seem to be moving along (evolving) too slowly, except for Charlie who is getting tougher.

    And I guess Miles wasn't willing to risk storming the boat earlier for some unknown kid, but he was willing to risk it for Charlie!

    Glad the pendant is out in the open too! Dunno what sets it off. Some geomagnetic phenomenon at certain locations? Seemed to be a frequent occurrence at Rose's house... Sure came in handy here! :p

    Is anyone else finding the flashbacks (all of them) more interesting than the present? They're what I really look forward to each week! How did Bass and Miles set up the Monroe Republic? What happened to make Miles up and leave? What's his history with Nora? What's with the pendants and how did the DOD weaponise some small tech to turn off the lights ACROSS THE GLOBE!

  6. @Henrik
    That could be. Personally I blame Spiridakos and Roger's acting and also the guy playing Nate. Also, I think Kripke writes better for the older characters better than the younger ones

    Kripke's following the same structure that RPGs use both in terms of season structure(In a period of relative peace, an inciting event forces the hero to create a group of allies to face off a great evil) and episode to episode(A main quest running through the season and side quests from episode to episode). Its the same structure he used on Supernatural(We need to stop lucifer from starting the apocalypse but lets stop for a minute and kill this monster posing as Paris Hilton).

    In an RPG, you have side characters providing background and context to the story, which is how I have viewed the flashbacks. But they are definitely more intriguing than the present day stuff

    Honestly series focusing on the immediate aftermath of global event have not been to successful of late (Flash Forward, Jericho, V, Invasion,etc.) The last series which did focus on a global catstrophe and how people survived and was a success was Battlestar Galactica

  7. @CoolSic, thanks for pointing that out! I have absolutely no experience with RPGs (took me a while to figure out what you were talking about!) so I hadn't recognised the structure...

    And wasn't Jericho doing fine until they mysteriously cancelled it? Then when it got "renewed" they didn't put it on until February? Sounds like a Firefly screw-up to me! I thought it was a brilliant show... have seen it a couple of times on dvd. Was more believable than Revolution...

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. @zob
    I was'nt implying it was a bad thing at all. Just curious as to why this show and not some other show.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Billie, I've been avoiding your reviews, as I'm behind on Revolution but am not sure I want to give up on it (so am trying to remain unspoiled). But I did read the teaser paragraph--only as far as "I hate the kid tribe episodes," which made me laugh and laugh and then laugh some more.

    It was the hopping comments section that made me break my promise to myself and read the entire review. I'm happy to know the show is picking up. Maybe at the mid-season hiatus we can do a "Should Josie Catch Up on Revolution?" poll.

    CoolSid, I really liked your comment and have been thinking about it all day. The RPG structure you explain makes a lot of sense, and sounds very similar to the standard quest structure. I'm thinking of medieval Arthur stuff, when the knight goes out of the castle with one goal, has a bunch of adventures, and then finally gets to his goal at the end, after numerous digressions. Even The Odyssey follows that format, although it's not quite a quest since Odysseus doesn't know he has to do battle with the suitors until he gets home (but because we know he will, I'd argue it is questish).

    (Now that I've typed that last line, I feel like I've made that argument about The Odyssey somewhere else on this blog and gotten completely smacked down for it. So I've got my smack-down helmet on now, for safety.)

    The problem with the quest structure, for me, is that it seems too expandable. No clear end-date, endless possible middle adventures. It seems, from my vantage point of a non-watcher, like Revolution is using the "what's up with the pendants?" as the hook that's meant to keep us watching. The equivalent of Charlie's "Guys, where are we?" in the Lost premiere, which I will continue to maintain is one of the best one-liners ever in terms of defining a show's mission.

    The thing is, "what's up with the pendants?" doesn't strike me yet as a compelling mystery. That's probably why I'm so meh about the show.

    I'd love to hear what those of you who are watching think.

  12. @Josie
    Revolution has several hooks currently
    1. The least interesting, what up with the pendants
    2. Also tied to 1, but much much more interesting, why did the lights go out and what was the Matheson family role in the event
    3. What happened with Monroe and Bass and the Monroe militia
    4. THe politics of the new world (Resistance, more militias surrounding the Monroe militia)
    5. The most important of all, will Charlie and Gus Fring's kid hook up??(I kid about that, but the show thinks its important)

    RPG act structures are tricky to pull off, especially if the characters are one-note, as they are on Revolution. Also, it helps if the main questline is relatively open-ended (to use Dragon Age as an example, the main quest is simply to defeat a massing army of demons, which is a defined objective but vague in terms of how one can accomplish it, which gives the game a lot more room to introduce pointless quests with the promise that it can tie together).The main quest line of Revolution is too narrow in focus (Rescue Danny). The writers need to give Charlie a reason to care about the pendents, overthrow the Monroe militia,etc and make those aspects as part of the main storyline.

    However, the writers are slowly giving shading to the characters and are getting different stories to intersect. I can easily see a scenario in which they rescue Danny within Episode 10-11 and then spend the remainder of Season looking for the pendants as a way to start electricity and overthrow the Monroe militia (which can easily carry the show till Season 3)

    And yes, you definetely should watch the show, if only to see the good acting from the adult members of the ensemble. Besides, we now have Juliet from Lost vs. Gus Fring and The Cape

  13. To avoid disappointment, I watch this show with low expectation and just to get a few laughs.
    This and The Last Resort are competing in who can stay above water (pun intended) in the contest on who’s the most ridiculous storylines of them all.
    It's pretty funny that the answers in this show's "mystery' comes out in bits of dialogues that are purposely withheld just to prolong the story.

  14. Whether this show lasts one season or ten, this will be the episode that I look back on as the one where I knew I was in for the long haul. I know that most of you will roll your eyes, but I'm in. I loved this one.

    For the first time ever, Charlie not only didn't annoy me, but I was rooting for her. I like girls/women who can kick ass. When she jabbed the doctor, I cheered.

    I love Aaron's character development. When he killed those two militia members, I was grinning. From someone who left his wife because he felt as though he couldn't protect her to someone who saves a houseful of kids. Not to mention that he turned on the lighthouse. Yes, it was cheese, but did no one else love it? Really?

    The one thing that bothered me about this episode. Did Rachel really not figure out, with Danny standing in front of her, that the militia would go after Eve? She went way down in my opinion at that moment.

  15. Ok. Am just gonna say this straight, I don't like this show. Acting is poor and the cliff hangers are not "life threatening" to make me crave for the next episode.

    I hate the whole RPG structure. I have always hated it. It makes series boring and tiring most especially. Its the same reason I stopped watching supernatural, person of interest,the mentalist and many others I can't remember. I prefer series that stick †̥σ the main plot like fringe,flashforward, lost, vampire diaries etc.

    The only reason why I keep watching this show is because of its similarity to FLASHFORWARD (they have the same plot.kinda) which I loved. Flashforward wasn't a bad series at all and I will never forgive ABC for its cancellation.

    Unlike revolution, flashforward had only one Major plot(finding out what caused the blackout) and hardly did they deviate from that. Revolution on the other hand dedicates only about 10minutes out of 45minutes †̥σ its main plot. The writers will have †̥σ do better than that if they want †̥σ keep the show going.

    Who noticed a few of lost's characters? I have noticed 2 so far(rachel= juliet and hotch(the rebel who stabbed nina)=frank(the pilot who was supposed †̥σ fly oceanic 815))

    Rachael = olivia(flashforward) = juliet (lost)


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.