Thursday, September 26, 2013

Revolution 2.01 Review: Last Year was Only the Beginning

This is my friendly reminder for all those that have yet to watch the season two premiere of Revolution, titled ‘Born in the U.S.A.’, that now would be a good time to turn away from this blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
Wow, just wow. I have to say this episode was incredibly well down. Last year’s series premiere was good, and this season two premiere just built on that to make this series even better. I’m already increasingly excited about what’s to come in this season, more so than I think I was last year. Kripke has outdone himself with this episode. The characters were amazing, the six-month time jump perfectly chosen, and the writing was wonderful. The way they chose to open this episode too was spectacularly done.
Speaking specifically of the technical parts to this episode, I – for once – thought the use of shaky cinematography actually added to the narrative. Usually I find this technique takes away from the overall feel of a series, but it only seemed to add to the gritty, and desperate nature this series has progressed into, a perfect step up for a second season. I also really loved the use of music in this episode, including it in a lot of the scenes, and then just the instrumentals in the flashback sequences. It helped to elevate what was already proving to be a great episode. One thing I do think could have been improved on, were the scenes at night, away from the bright lights. It was difficult to follow the fighting, because it was so hard to see who was who. I think that part could have been lightened up a little bit, or maybe just slowed down, or give a determining colour for the character I’m supposed to be rooting for.
The acting this season has definitely gotten better, as well as the writing, particularly when it comes to Tracy Spiridakos. Charlie was just so much more amazing than the almost whiny, desperate character she seemed to be last season. The actress, and the writing revolving her character, has greatly improved, and I can see her carrying this show more now than last season. I really like her this season, more so than I did last season (though I may be one of the few that liked her through all her trials and tribulations last year). An off the rails, really sort of wrecked Charlie is something I can definitely get behind. Damaged characters are just so much more intriguing than the simply hopeful, naïve type. I also really liked the choice of Stephen Collin’s as Rachel’s father; he’s done a very good job so far bringing emotion and depth into this character we’ve seen so little of.
From just this episode, I’m already intrigued by how damaged Rachel has gotten, even though she appears to have improved in the six months, she still likely has a ways to go. Miles also seems like he’s been through a great deal, and I’m curious to see where he goes from this point, and who was in that shed that he needed to cover up. I’m really glad Aaron was reintroduced this season in a relationship. It’ll be nice to see where they go with this woman, and how they were brought together. And also to be able to see the repercussions this has all cost him. Did anyone else think Monroe was ten times more attractive in that boxing ring? They need to give David Lyons some more physical acting like they did there.
Where they left off last season with the two nuclear bombs brings interesting storytelling to this season. A nuclear sort of holocaust provides an intriguing predicament for where they can go. The repercussions of not stopping those bombs will likely prove to be vast and unpredictable. I’ll be interested to see how that continues to tie into the series, and what issues we see be brought up in future episodes. As someone who read The Chryssalids, the reach of nuclear power can prove irreparably harrowing. I’m curious to learn why they’d turn the power back off, if they didn’t get to it in time to stop the bombs. The damage is already done, why turn it back off? Things seem to have gotten much worse since then.
I have to say; I was intrigued to see what looked to be a pirate ship, carrying so-called patriots of the U.S. But did the secretary’s eyes catch anyone? They were very interesting to look at, though I don’t think her acting was top notch. Her speech came across a little stilted. I will be interested to see where the Neville’s go, moving forward. This kind of vengeance looks good on Tom; Giancarlo Esposito is a wonderful actor. And I much prefer having JD Pardo play his character Jason off the character’s father, rather than following after Charlie and gaining a little too much screen time. He’s much better this season than last, though I will be excited to see Charlie and him interact with each other when they eventually – and hopefully not too much time until they do – meet up. I also think this Titus character, who will likely prove to be a psychopath, will eventually tie in with these “patriots” in some manner, but for now I’ll call his “family” pirates.
I am so very happy that that death did not prove to last. This may be a Kripke show, but it’s not Supernatural, these characters usually stay dead when they die. I did think it unexpected that they’d kill him off already, because I’d thought he’d have a more active part this season, and that belief proved to be right. Perhaps it has something to do with radioactivity, and those pesky fireflies he and his lady friend (yes, lady friend, I don’t know if she’s his girlfriend or wife yet) have been seeing.
Since last season, I have had the sneaking suspicion that Charlie is actually Miles’ daughter. It could just be he wants to protect her because she’s Rachel, the woman he loves, daughter, but he didn’t appear that way with Danny last season, so I still think I’m right. I, at the very least, would like a definitive answer at some point. I’ll be jumping up and down if I find out I am right, so expect a long ass paragraph of ‘Ha-ha, in your face; I thought it, and my theory was on the freaking ball.’
Overall this was an amazing premiere episode. I am so very excited for next week, particularly to see Charlie and Monroe face-to-face. I’m also really hoping we, at some point this season, find out who his son is, and not just stunt casting like they did at the end of Revenge last season. But I trust Kripke’s creative levels more than that showrunner, so we’ll see how it goes.
I do think this may be the best returning show premiere episode that I’ve seen, at least thus far. It’s excited me to no end, much more than the other shows I’ve already watched. It may prove to be a bit premature, being that there are still a large number of returning shows I have yet to view, but this is shaping up to be the most promising returning show. But more on that later.
If you have yet to watch this show, and are reading this review like a rebel, I implore you to go watch. If you haven’t watched a single episode, definitely go back and watch the first season. With the way this season is looking to shape into, you won’t regret getting into this series. Trust me, Kripke tends to have a plan – until networks think money is more important than good creative storytelling (I’m looking at you CW).
My rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Best Lines:
“You’re going to check out now? Like a little bitch?” – Jason to his father, who holds a gun in his hand, after needlessly searching for his missing wife.
“Try and keep your stupid to a minimum.” – Miles to Charlie, in a flashback where she tells him she’s leaving him and her mom behind for a while.

All right, that’s all for tonight. After that episode, there’s no way I’m going to ruin my mood with Nashville, when I’m not all that excited to watch it. So check back tomorrow for my review of that, before I watch and review at the very least Grey’s Anatomy and The Crazy Ones. I may be pretty much done with The Big Bang Theory and Glee, so don’t expect to look in for reviews of those, they’ll only be here if you’re really lucky, and my mood is just that good. Anyways, that’s all for now.

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