Monday, May 6, 2013


Episode 15: Home
By: Carlos Uribe

Revolution is a show set 15-years after electricity died.

Spoilers Ahoy!

That was a disappointing episode.

One of the reasons I liked “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” is because it presented a whole new country that was completely different from the Monroe Republic. It was a society that had managed to rebuild itself with steam power and strong military might to match their robust economy. A country that had the manpower to turn a small internal rebellion into a force that could stand toe-to-toe with the Monroe Militia. It was world-building at it's finest. I was pretty excited to see what would happen when Aaron and Rachel enter the Plains Federation. What would they find? A country that is disappointingly similar to the Monroe Republic. We don't really get to find out anything about it and the change in setting only seems to have happened to give the illusion that the characters are getting closer to the Tower. It's frustrating because one of the appeals of Revolution is exploring this new world. What a waste of potential. The plot that takes place in the small city of La Grange, Missouri is one of a personal one. Aaron used to be married before he had left his ex-wife because he didn't believe that he could protect her in this new world. She might have insisted that all she wanted from him was for his presence but he felt like he was a burden to their survival. Their relationship ended suddenly and without any real closure. He doesn't even know if she's alive until he sees her in La Grange's marketplace. He rushes to find her only to find out that something is wrong. He doesn't know what she's doing there. This makes sense but the impact is removed since we don't really know anything about where she is. I am concerned that this might mean that Aaron is going to die now that he's received some closure in his relationship. He might not be of any use but I do like the character. I just wish Rachel would let him help. He does have two doctorate degrees from MIT after all. Let's have him actually be useful to the main plot.

He does get some closure but only after his reunion with his ex-wife doesn't match his expectations. We all know that something is wrong the instant that she sees him and the first thing she says is “Oh. Aaron” as if he's an acquaintance from high school that she hasn't seen in years and can barely remember rather than the husband she was in love with. It's not like he looks any different as his weight is still the same. Aaron is convinced to go away but he knows that something is up. He turns out to be right because a bounty hunter has captured her. Aaron manages to rescue her. He finds out that his ex-wife is wanted in the Monroe Republic for stabbing a sergeant that was trying to hurt her daughter. She's now heading to Texas so that she can reunite with her family. Aaron finds out his ex-wife is alive and she has a family which will allow him to move on. It's important on a personal level but it's a plot that could have easily taken place in the Monroe Republic. If only there was a way the writers could have made this more concretely within the Plains Federation. It's a criticism that stands but at least this plot did get something right. We knew about Aaron's wife from his flashback episode and so the idea that she might pop up when convenient was planted in our minds. It doesn't feel like she came from nowhere and therefore felt more organically ingrained into the series. It is a bit disappointing to see her leave so soon but it's understandable. The plot might have had it's troubles but it was better than what was going on in the Monroe Republic.

The war is going well for the rebels. Miles is owning the Monroe so badly that Sebastian decides he's going to kill him now. This involves going to their hometown and holding everyone hostage. This includes Miles' old high school sweetheart who he still has some unresolved feelings for. Miles goes to rescue the town by himself, because of course he does, and he's able to accomplish quite a bit before the rest of the rebel group catches up with him. The tensions between the rebellion and the Georgia Federation manifest in the form of a character whose supposed to keep an eye on them. This caretaker character makes the mistake of firing on the sweetheart character in an attempt to kill Monroe. Monroe does get injured but he's able to get away. The caretaker is quickly shot to death for his actions and the sweetheart is killed. Here's what frustrates me: the introduction of the sweetheart character always feels more like a plot device than anything. I'm pretty sure this is the first time we learn she exists so her presence into the narrative must be introduced through flashbacks. Miles' motivation to rescue her feels forced, as if it's something that the plot demands. Revolution is a good show but it too often falls into the trap of introducing major characters in the lives of the characters for a single episode where they only matter for that period of time. It's a cheap way to generate stakes without actually putting any of our characters into jeopardy. Oh, they might have gone into battle to save her but it's the life of this character we barely know that's at really at stake here. The writers can safely kill her knowing that the impact of the death on the show will actually be minimal while hoping to emotionally manipulate the audience.

The flashbacks don't really help to develop this sweetheart character. All it does is reveal that while she was dating Miles, she was sleeping with his best friend. Wow, Monroe was kind of like the worst best friend of all time. Obviously Miles doesn't actually know this or he probably wouldn't have cared that much to go save her. It's kind of funny how the writers took forever to actually show them having sex even though it was obvious from the very beginning. It's important that she sleeps with him because she does reveal one important piece of information: she had a son and she claims that Monroe is the father. She could have been lying to try and save her own skin but the seed has been planted in our mind. She dies before she can reveal a name or any other information. This information is probably going to come into play eventually. It's a promising plot because it might offer Monroe some chance at actually having some character development rather than being a black-and-white villain. She might have only been important in one episode but her legacy might be a big factor sometime in the future. It still would have been nice if the seed of her existence had been planted in some earlier episode so that we knew she was out there, even if in the back of our mind.

Home is a pretty disappointing episode of Revolution. There was barely any world-building this time which was disappointing as our characters entered the Plains Federation. The Aaron story with his ex-wife allowed him to get closure but his character needs to actually be relevant to the overall story. The rebellion is going well but the whole sweetheart plot had mixed results because she came into sudden existence for the sake of the plot. Her laying down the seed for Monroe's son worked a lot better. I'd say the episode was good but I'm hoping for an improvement next week because this episode ends with the Georgian President replacing her caretaker character with Tom Neville. That's bound to create a lot of juicy conflict!

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