A year ago Revolution was the much touted new show from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke with Bad Robot productions and Iron Man director Jon Favreau directed the pilot. Thanks to the ultra valuable post-Voice timeslot, Revolution debuted to extremely strong numbers. But like that first half of 2012 Fall season The Voiceand Football had to end and the bottom dropped out. After coming back from mid season break Revolution never seemed to garner the same level of viewership. Now a year later the once promising show finds itself alone anchoring the 8 pm slot on Wednesday night, which hasn’t been a good once: Knight Rider, Mercy, Minute To Win It, Undercovers, Up All Night, Free Agents, Whitney, Are You There, Chelsea, Animal Practice, Guys With Kids have all occupied this slot. Heck I haven’t even gotten to why the show drove away it’s viewership. With its tedious non-forward moving plot, a once interesting look at a world where automatic weapons and bullets were worth more than gold, and a continental United States fractured by war lords. Did I forget to mention the part where they had a Gauss rifle fight in a top secret Government tower before a once interesting character turned plot device launched NUKES on several key east coast cities? Full disclosure, I’d forgotten the nuke part. Pretty sure I made myself forget that part, it wasn’t worth remembering anyway.
After watching the season 2 premiere “Born in the USA” and it feels like the reset button has been hit a little. There is an unusual amount of interesting little world bits, like the inclusion of covers of rock songs like “Crazy Train” and “Smoke on the Water”. The musical bits gave the world a feel of life, and not just a poorly constructed playground that it turned into. Most of the East coast seems to be wandering now in mass refugee camps. With Mad Max style raiders appearing just about everywhere. Everything seems like the start of season 1, where it was just a wonder to survive.
After an opening scene where Aaron struggles to turn the power off too stop the bombs. It would become an event known as “The Surge”. Outer and inner fallout of the bombs dropping has affected everyone. It sent Rachel into a near catatonic state, forcing Miles to get her to Willoughby, Texas where we meet her Dad played by Stephen Collins. Putting everyone in yet another little town trying to survive the harsh life in the Texas Republic. Miles is back to using his Stephen King inspired alias Stu Redman. Aaron seems to have found some happiness in the form of a woman and a job teaching. Rachel is getting better but still obsessed with what Randal meant before he killed himself. Charlie has scattered to the wind wandering aimlessly across the Plains Nation. It just so happens she finds information on the whereabouts of former big bad Monroe. Monroe, is going full Wolverine, hooking up in a place called New Vegas where he fights for money every night and drinks all the time. The Father-Son duo of Tom and Jason Neville have wandered back into Georgian territory looking for their wife and mother. How all of them got to these points was really convoluted and dumb, however, the focus on dealing with the consequences of their actions (something the show previously didn’t really do unless it was to its advantage) is endearing and made me interested in these characters again.
“Born In the USA” actually focuses very little on the reveal of the U.S. Government in exile on Cuba. Just showing their initial arrival in Georgian territory for Tom and Son to see how their Government attempts to help in any meager way they can. This whole thread appears to be out of Fallout 3, which isn’t a totally bad thing. It’s very doubtful the remnants of the U.S. Government are the good guys or at least seen as the good guys. Still their attempt to be a stabilizing and uniting force could be interesting if the show ever decides to get all political.
It couldn’t stay in total Fallout mode for the entire episode. As Aaron points out strange things have been happening since they turned on and off the Power. As seen in the fireflys that appear to swarm around Aaron before going out. The real kicker is Aaron’s death for about 2 and a half hours and sudden return to the land of the living. His apparent death really bummed me out, he’s one of the few characters that grew on me and to see him eat in the first episode was shocking (in the right way). His death was going to push Rachel and everyone on a quest to go turn the power back on...again. Instead he came back, so what’s up with that? It isn’t quite Gauss Rifle levels of dumb but it is pretty close. Hopefully it doesn't turn into a cheap quick emotional play.
I have no doubt that this season will once again revolve around a race to the tower (or another) between our heroes and the remnants of the U.S. Government. Hopefully it’s just better put together this time. “Hopefully” was a common word looking over this recap. I am hopefull for this show to be the one that it seemed to be promeising early on. “Born in the USA” showed a lot of promies. It’s still the same kind of hope I had at the midseason finale and look how that turned out.
The Bits At The End
Ok Revolution you’ve bought yourself one more week on the DVR. Maybe I’ll check in every 2-3 episodes. Not having to write about the mind numbing lack of movement and constant reiteration of character and theme week in and week out could make it more enjoyable. Or this show could nose dive super fast and this is the last I’ll write about it...except for the finale and stuff.
On the road of hopes and dreams: This turning into a larger Stephen King meta-text.