Revolution, a new sci-fi TV series created by Eric Kripke, had its pilot aired last Monday evening so viewers are finally able to get a first glimpse of what life would be like without electricity. As I have stated in a past posting, it all feels a little Lost-y to me as there is a grand meta mystery overshadowing the story. As a pilot it felt entertaining, though, and the mystery doesn’t seem to be so much in the forefront. That could change of course but hopefully this show won’t go the way of The Event.
The pilot begins at present time Earth where people are going about their daily lives as all humans do nowadays. All except one man, Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee), who seems to have stumbled onto some information that will completely shatter the world as he knows it. Before he is able to relay the information properly to his brother, US Marine sergeant Miles Matheson (Billy Burke), their line gets cut off as does all electrical power across the planet. Cars stop running, airplanes fall out of the sky and chaos obviously ensues. Flash forward 15 years later and the world has completely changed. People who have been dependant on electricity all their lives are forced to leave the big cities and establish small settlements in places where they can farm and hunt for their food. Governments are toppled aside making way room for militias and warlords to gain power and control over the people.
Ben and his two children, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and Danny (Graham Rogers), live in one of these settlements. Ben, who’s widowed after his wife passed away sometime during the blackout, is the keeper of the secret behind the lights going out; a secret he refrains for disclosing to his children or his new romantic companion, Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips). Their lives seem to be going the same way as any broken family who’s living in a crisis situation. The children are unruly, they disapprove of their father’s new girlfriend and carry crossbows for some playtime in the woods. It’s all fine and dandy until captain Tom Neville, former insurance adjuster, (Giancarlo Esposito) arrives on horseback with his goons of the Monroe Militia to come and take Ben with him to see the general. Before he is faced with him, though, Ben secretly passes a flash drive with his sacred information to his friend and once-upon-a-time Google exec Aaron (Zak Orth).
And this is where everything starts to fall apart when Danny – who’s prone to asthma attacks – points a crossbow at Tom in order to protect his dad. Soon enough a short crossfire begins, Danny gets captured and Ben lies on the dirt dying. He tasks Charlie with finding his brother, Miles, who is most likely in Chicago. So she, Maggie and Aaron set off to find Miles and then save Danny from the clutches of this general Monroe. On the way they run into a few rough situations and meet Nate (J.D. Pardo), who later proves to be a member of the militia intending on spying on them.
Sword fights are back baby!
After finding Miles, Charlie unsuccessfully tries to convince him to help save her brother from the militia. Speaking of the devil Nate returns with a bunch of his friends to apprehend them. Miles shows off his badass sword fighting skills tearing apart the members of the militia one by one. In the midst of the battle Charlie for some reason gets rescued by Nate who then runs off just as mysteriously. After the dust settles, Miles finally agrees to go with his niece and companions to rescue Danny, who meanwhile manages to escape and get recaptured by Tom after being found by Grace (Maria Howell), who lives on her own. The episode closes with her being revealed as a possessor of a similar flash drive to Ben’s and having a computer that is still functional, which she uses to communicate through text with someone else.
What I Liked
The show definitely has a lot of potential to be something I look forward to every week. I enjoyed the premise as a whole mainly because it’s a possibility both in and outside the realm of reality. Cities were covered in plants, people were growing vegetables in broken down cars, bars brewed their own alcohol and leaders rode on horseback. The world building aspect of the show seems very interesting and carries a lot of potential for some entertaining scenarios.
My favorite part of the episode was the fight scene with the swords and muskets in Mile’s bar/home. It was over-the-top, creative and downright fun to watch. TV has lacked this sort of action for awhile so this brings me hope that we can get some more of the same down the road, even if it is in small doses.
I’m okay with the characters for now. I don’t particularly care that much about them, except for Tom. I’m curious to see how a once insurance adjuster becomes an evil militia captain, if we get a chance to see his past. The acting was at a decent standard and the lines did not carry much cheese either.
What I Didn’t Like
Ever since Lost and it’s disappointing, in my opinion, ending I have grown skeptical of meta shows. Revolution so far has not made it clear if the mystery is as much in our faces as it was in Lost and The Event so I’ll have to wait and see before I make a final judgment on this aspect.
There were a couple of non-sensical moments that made me cringe slightly. More specifically, when Miles reveals that Nate is a member of Monroe’s militia by showing the scarred mark on his arm. If you are going to be a spy why have a mark in such an obvious place? Just because the electricity went out doesn’t mean people lost their brain power. Maybe general Monroe needed to Google a “How to run a Militia” tutorial. Also, Miles’s refusal to help his own family felt shoehorned as well. I know that you don’t really know your niece but you really would send her off to find her brother by herself?
Greek Geek’s Verdict
Revolution so far has sold me on watching it a few more times. It’s got the potential to be a fun action sci-fi show with some intriguing mysteries. If they keep them to a controlled minimum and provide enough information to keep me up wanting more while at the same time delivering on some entertaining action sequences, I think this can make for a fun show for me to look forward to every week.