Revolution Series Premiere Watch: Lights Out
Author: Lauren Heimbaugh
published: 2012-09-17 22:33:19
With a concept like Revolution’s, NBC is putting a lot of faith in all involved to create something with more lasting power than Terra Nova, last years most comparable example that ended up asking too much from the TV audience based on how long it lasted. With that said, Revolution is already off to a decent start with tonight’s pilot episode, hinting at an intriguing through line that might just bring the viewers back for more.
“We Don’t Have Much Time.”
It was a normal night, no different than any other when the lights went out. The steady flow of traffic brought people home from whatever they were doing (a scene of only a couple car headlights going out is far less dramatic), houses were lit up to combat the night, and the kids were being brainwashed by their technological babysitters (shout out to Apple!). Oh the horrors of electronic dependence!
This is the only set up for the modern day world before our protagonist’s father comes bursting through the door, knowingly panicked about what is about to happen. It’s a basic set up, possibly too basic, but with the assumption that there will be plenty more flashbacks to come we will hopefully learn more about these characters and what happened to lead to this post apocalyptic world (let’s face it, for many of us losing power is the end of the world).
Without Television We Make Our Own Drama
There may be 15 years separation from things like soap operas, but people sure haven’t lost the knack for drama. Danny has his asthma to deal with, giving us the amazing moment of “I’m fine I CAN’T BREATHE!” during an attack. Calm down Danny; you just lost the entire tough guy front you were trying to go for not even a second before that outburst. Then he had to pull a crossbow on a bunch of armed militiamen like something out of The Patriot to keep them from taking his Daddy, which went less than swimmingly to say the least. That’s two strikes, now add the third and final asthma attack that eventually leads to his recapture and he’s really not looking like he’s going to survive the show much longer. Or maybe just don’t run away from your captors next time, if anything just to make it easier for everyone else out trying to find you.
With all that working against Danny, he’s still got nothing on his sister Charlie, who really needs to calm down on the hatred towards who I can only refer to as Not Her Real Mom. For one thing she’s a doctor, and if I learned anything from Oregon Trail II besides not shooting too many animals is that it is best to be the doctor. Plus she is paces ahead of Charlie in other areas of the survival department, so if Charlie wont take her I will gladly accept her as my new mom if the world forever shifts as it has (sorry mom, I still love you).
As Charlie falls backwards out of the way of street brawlers or fumbles over her crossbow (seriously, she should have died so many times tonight), Not Her Real Mom is saving her brother with inhaler replacements, poisoning rapists (another staple of the post-apocalyptic world) with her home brewed whiskey, and strangling them with the safety equipment of airplanes. This woman must have a past, so there better be flashbacks featuring her as well. Or at least some major story time around a campfire. So suck it up Charlie, this woman is a BAMF. And stop calling a complete stranger “uncle” in front of her; it’s just rude.
The Flashbacks Are Starting
Besides the plane falling from the sky and the reveal that Uncle Miles was in the same car as Sargent Sebastian Monroe when the power went out (the first one was just a scary image for the aerophobic, not so much relevant to the story’s future), the main takeaway from the flashbacks in tonight’s episode is that they feature a mom that is no longer here. At least that’s what they want us to believe.
V might not have lasted too long, but Elizabeth Mitchell’s Lost ties give her some major backing in the “do not kill me off” department. I suppose they could feature her extensively in the flashbacks, but when she responds to her husband with “It’s happening, isn’t it?” in the opening scene, we are let in on the understanding that she knows a lot about what her husband was involved in (possibly being involved in it herself). Now if only we knew what that was…
The One Necklace To Rule Them All
With Charlie and Danny’s real mom goodness knows where, my guess is that a computer isn’t too far away since she is currently the only known character that could be on the other end of the conversation with Grace at the end of the episode (though obviously it could be someone we haven’t met yet, which would be a let down). At first glance the necklace looks like something Brendan Frasier would find during his adventures in The Mummy, yet in actuality it just might be the most valuable thing in the world right now. We know Grace has one, as does former Google employee Aaron (why he was acting like Gollum with the ring when putting it back in his backpack is up for debate), but the computer conversation brings the assumption that others (or at least one other) are out there with them. Conspiracies welcome.
Things to consider: What was the person on the other end of the conversation referring to when they said, “Did they find it?” The obvious guess would be the necklace/power source, but that would be an incredibly dumb thing to ask considering it is needed to power the computer. So what else is this woman hiding? And then they continued by asking “What now?” What did the militia showing up change about this woman’s life, and why was she out there with a computer to begin with?
The Star Crossed Lovers
Now I am not going to spit on any love story before it has had its time to really get off the ground, but the writers need to tone it down a notch with the Charlie/Nate interactions because they took it just one step too far in the pilot, setting me a little wobbly on top of the fence. The “meet cute” was fine, saving her life was definitely a gold star towards becoming trustworthy (though I was definitely with Not Her Real Mom on being wary of him after that), and being a part of the militia was a great choice for conflict on both Charlie and Nate’s part (unless it gets a little too Capulet and Montague). But once he turned into the tough guy in front of Miles he lost that romantic element because it's far too intense, making his final moment in the episode feel a little forced. Maybe had he been a less outspoken member of the militia it would be more believable, but as is there is some ground to make up on in concern to figuring out his character. And how is he going to explain taking out the militia member who is going to wake up at some point and report what happened? “Oh, I’m sorry, man. You had this giant bee on your face and my reaction was to swat it with my bow.”
I don’t know how long the goal of getting Danny back will last as an acceptable motive for the show before something bigger and better needs to take over, but so far Revolution is looking to be a nice addition to the fall lineup with a mystery I am itching to solve.
So what are your thoughts on the first episode? Are you a fan of the setting like I am? So far the detail work in the set design is pretty cool, from the lonely Ferris wheel out in the woods to the car now being used as a garden. Were you saddened by the poor condition of that collectable Return of the Jedi lunchbox like I was? Did you appreciate the joke about how cool bow hunting is considering the bow and arrow trend in Hollywood lately (which had to be self referential as well)? Are you going to be able to forgive the amount of leather in the costumes? Excited for more action sequences with Uncle Miles? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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