Beware ye who enter of spoilers for Revolution if you care for some reason
Last time I wrote about Revolution I gave it faint praise, after watching the next few episodes I see that this praise may have been too much. At its best the show is mediocre, far more common is that it has plot elements and tropes drawn from other genres that only make shreds of sense in context. Its insistence on explaining the premise of the show and seeking to undo that premise is also laughable. But instead of vague generalities, let’s take a look at why this show has gone downhill in quality and now the only reason why am I actually it is to mock it with friends.
The more they explain about the setting, the dumber it ends up being with few exceptions. I covered the big point last time in that rather large nation states have emerged. Everyone in the setting is dumb in that what they’ve built down/or up* to is rather limited. Often it just gets used to enable tropes from another genre instead of being a part of a cohesive world. Praise where praise is due: heroin being legal, drug cartels allying with new governments/revolutionary movements is something that happens in the real world and having it happen here was more than I expected. I can also justify in my own personal canon why some of this stuff makes cohesive sense, but I’m still left with the impression that I’m thinking about this more than the writer is.
The characters continue to be two dimensional, bland and by and large incompetent; the only exception to that last one being Miles. The flashbacks to expand on characters don’t really help either. Off the top of my head: Neville was just made into more of a crazy man, Nora’s did nothing, Aaron’s made me hate him, Miles’ was uninformative and Rachel’s was the pinnacle of stupidity, but I’ll get to that in a bit. And of course they killed off the British woman, making her entire existence completely pointless as a character. The villains are also two bit fascists serving an ego-maniacal nut. I’m not invested in these characters at all.
Yes pacing really does deserve its own category, why? Because the pacing is godawful. So many of these episodes can be explained as Charlie and co. take on a sidequest from rescuing Danny. Anything major actually happening takes several episodes to resolve. This isn’t helped by the fact that they are apparently taking the longest route possible.** I’d forgive this if the sidequests were interesting but they’re not.
So the main plot is that heroes are trying to rescue Danny, Monroe is trying to turn the power back on, something something DoD something…and a bunch of other stuff is happening around Monroe that they don’t bother to flesh out. I’ve already covered the problem with the first plot, the second plot is just stupid and only works because the show says it does instead of Monroe being crazy. There was something about a war breaking out that hasn’t been brought up again and anytime that isn’t spent with Monroe and Rachel comes off as some kind of exposition on these wannabe nazis. The final plot is one that has been mostly been ignored up until now but it gaining more air time. I have no opinion about the last one cause it explains so little.
There was also something about how the Monroe Republic and only the Monroe Republic have rebels who want to recreate the United States that has more or less disappeared as well.
Why the Power went out
So we know that the power went out because in pursuit of cheap energy, a way to suppress electricity was discovered and then…something something something. I realize that this ship sailed with the pilot but you don’t always have to show or tell. You could have just left it as physics went haywire and never explain it. Instead this plot keeps getting dumber and dumber and I’d be surprised if it didn’t get dumber from on out as well.
So all in all this show is dumber and its getting dumber. Its already been given a full season run so there’s no telling how dumb it can get. I’ll be watching to mock it relentlessly though.
*The idea being that with modern society having the rug pulled out of it continuing modern technology isn’t possible, but you can use modern tech before it breaks to make machines that can be replaced.
**Which actually makes sense if you want to evade the authorities I guess.