Thursday, September 26, 2013

Revolution: Season 2 Episode 1 - Born in the U.S.A.

Hello TV fans and welcome to the 2013/2014 Television season!  We are in brand new territory this year when it comes to our genre show of the year recap.  Ever since LOST there have been many shows that tried to capture that core audience in subsequent years.  Flashforward tried during LOST's final season and failed to capture an audience to get to season 2.  Terra Nova suffered a similar fate.  The Event was a non-event.  Here we are with Revolution now heading into season 2!   Season 1 was nothing to get too excited over, but it gradually improved over the year and a lot of us stuck with it through its growing pains.  The ratings weren't wonderful by the end of season 1, but it had the fortunate circumstance of living on ratings plagued NBC which allowed it to continue its life into season 2.  Now, this could be a blessing or a curse.  But, in the capable hands of Eric Kripke of Supernatural fame (which I have yet to start watching on Netflix), anything was possible.

Season 2 is immediately better than anything that has preceded it on this show.  It has a new gritty and darker tone, the characters feel 3 dimensional (I'm looking at you Charlie!), and the mysteries introduced are actually interesting!  And as predicted last year, it would seem like all of our antagonizing forces from last year will eventually be united against a common and larger foe that they previously encountered.  So, the conflict introduced (starting in the season finale last year) is more interesting as well.  I'm not going to go as far as giving my "W" word rating to this consistently improving investment, but I will say that I'm excited about the potential of season 2.  Hopefully, the viewers will stick around to let us find out where they're going with this!   That's enough of an intro wouldn't you say?  Let's dive into our quick recap!


When last we left our band of heroes, the power had just been restored causing a lightning storm of mass proportions, and allowing Randall to launch nukes at Philadelphia and Atlanta before the "Patriot" shot himself.  We also knew this was some grand scheme of someone claiming to be and possibly could be The President of the United States (who was hiding out in Guantanamo Bay for the right opportunity).

While we did see some of the events that immediately followed this finale, it was mostly concealed from us to be revealed at a later time.  We saw that they somehow got out of that locked room, and Aaron tried to stop the nukes and we know that he did not succeed.  But, the clock was winding down.  And we flashed forward to 6 months later where all of our characters are in a much darker place than before.

  • Rachel basically went into a catatonic state after the nukes went off and entirely blamed herself for it happening.
  • Miles led the crew to Texas where Rachel's father and doctor Gene was still alive.  They didn't know who else to turn to.  
  • Charlie felt the need to run off on our own and departed for the Plains Nation.  
  • The rest of what happened is shrouded in mystery, but we do get some clues which we'll discuss in a bit. 

Charlie's mission wasn't clear at first.  It looked like she was just in a rebel phase, looking to sleep around with every bartender in town while folk guitar players play classic 70s rock.  But instead, we find out she was on a mission to find Monroe and getting clues along the way.  Sure, she may have been intrigued to see what the last surviving FRIEND, David Schwimmer, was doing (kudos to the NBC nod) in a "freak tent" in New Vegas but she resisted the urge and went to FIGHT CLUB to find Monroe.  The first rule of fight club?  You do NOT. TALK. to David Schwimmer!  (thank you, I'm here all day)  

Monroe is instantly more interesting a character as he's getting his Ryan Atwood season 4 of The O.C. on.  He is no longer the leader of the Monroe Militia.  He is a down and out guy trying to fight his problems away.  I'd look up the fake name he is going by, but something tells me we won't have to know it for long.  

Anyway, Charlie uses her seductive ways (didn't think we'd ever hear that!) to get an "appointment" with Monroe through the sports book guy.  We find out pretty quickly her intent is to kill Monroe for all of the crap he has caused his family and the country.  But, someone beat her to the punch and kidnapped him.  So, what's a former always constipated character to do in this predicament?  I'm sure she'll go into rescue mode but we'll have to wait until next week for that! 

The Nevilles

Sounds like some 60s sitcom, but there isn't much comedy happening with Tom and Jason Neville.  They have returned to what remains of Georgia to find mommy/wifey.  Bearded Tom has pretty much given up hope of finding her in the largest CGI Tent City we've ever seen assembled.  It got so desperate that Jason has to talk his father out of "checking out" of this mortal coil.  

But Jason's words only went so far.  It took an 18th century vessel straight out of Assassin's Creed III to give him the proper motivation to stay alive.   Secretary Justine Allen stepped off the vessel to address the remains of the Georgia Federation.  She claims to work for the President of the US.  She is screaming slander at Monroe for restoring power to launch missiles on this great nation.  She discussed how it was now time for the President to resurface and take control of the country. 

This was all Neville needed to hear.  He and only a few others in the country will know that this is a lie.  And he will get revenge for his "deceased wife".  (we don't know for sure that she died, but we do know she was in the city when the nukes went off.  And we saw what happened to a guy that was 30 miles away from the blast with his uniform melted into his skin.)

Miles, Rachel, Aaron

Miles and crew stayed back in Texas with Gene.  Rachel needed some hands on attention from her dad.  Gene gave us a little backstory of Rachel.  How she always picked the wrong guys (pot dealers, drummers, and a ninja wannabe).  She wore black nail polish and was a bad girl until she met Ben.  He was a stand-up guy and he was relieved, until he met Ben's brother at the wedding.  Yep, Rachel never changes!  Gene thought it was best that Miles left town to let Rachel to continue to mend.   

Rachel was not happy when Miles suddenly decided to leave and we got a longing embrace that shows there are lingering emotions here.   And of course Rachel still blames herself for Norah's death too.  Of course, even though bad things happen when they're together, Miles would soon find motivation to stay in the form of a threat to their little town they have going here.   

Meanwhile, Aaron has gone all domesticated.  He landed himself a girl and things look generally happy for him, minus his constant pondering of what happened at The Tower.  And of course, the crazy fireflies making shapes in the sky right near him!  We'll get to all of that in a bit.  

The threat was a band of Mexican thugs (it seemed like) that are looking to take over the town, kill the men and have their way with the ladies.  Sounds like a scenario straight out of The Three Amigos.   Miles promises Rachel he'll stick around as he's not going to leave her alone in this danger.  

Meanwhile, Aaron was about to get his THANG on with his old lady after finding out how his sweetness is God's gift to abused women.  But, he was about to find out that the Mexican Thugs are in their bedroom!  The attack has begun.  Aaron goes into defense mode and fights baseball bat against sword.  He was on the losing end of that getting a nice deep slash across the chest.   And of course we all gasped!  Wait...this show is earning our trust back and then they're going to kill off the show's Hurley!?  And, it was looking grimm.  Even to the point where he actually died.   I sat there in disbelief thinking, I cannot believe they did that!   Then, I jokingly said outloud, "unless those crazy fireflies are going to resurrect him or something".   Wait on that...

Miles and the town Sheriff tried to clear the town of the thugs, but ended up getting caught by a larger group than they anticipated.   And it turns out, they're not run by some Mexican overlord.  It's this guy named Titus Andover and he has a warehouse full of his family and apparently plenty of Sweet Tea to go around for everyone!  

Meanwhile, Rachel mourns over a dead Aaron, and hours later in Sayid-like fashion he opens his eyes and gasps for air.   WHAAAT!?!?  Did the Fireflies really resurrect him!?!   Something crazy is going on here people!  But, I like it!  More please!  Let's talk about some stuff below. 

Discussion Points

  • The Surge - Somehow I got through the recap without mentioning the power situation.  The power only stayed on for 5 minutes.  I know I said that maybe they could find a way to have a season 2 where the power is on but since the chessboard called USA has been reset there is still a revolution to be won.   That's not the direction they went.  And it makes sense.  No electrical power and struggle for other powers is basically the premise of the show so they should stick with it.   But this 5 minutes of power the world experienced is the new JFK Assasination, the new 9/11.   Everyone is speaking about where they were when The Surge happened.  Of course, contrary to those tragic events, this tragic event of losing 2 cities in the country has a tinge of optimism.   The power came back.  Everyone has their stories of what happened to them in those 5 minutes.  People celebrated.  People believe that the power can come on for good.  Of course, our crew knows better.  Something happened at that tower, and they aren't talking.  But, if I'm a betting man, whatever turned the power back on probably doesn't exist anymore.  Or, when they turned it on, some crazy stuff went down (like that lightning storm and probably worse) and they had to shut it down before worse damage happened.  We knew there was a possibility they could set the world on fire if they restored power.   I guess we'll find out! 
  • The Fireflies - Based on the season 2 promos, this seems like it will be a prevalent theme in season 2.  What's going on with those fireflies?  Is it a result of The Surge?  Surely, that's the only thing that would make sense right?  Are they somehow impacted by the billions upon billions of nanites floating around in the air?  Did they truly resurrect Aaron or is it something else about this POST-SURGE world that caused him to breathe again?  Well, we know that Danny had that capsule in him that cured him of the disease he had.  And that was a prototype of the technology that shut power down globally.  So, it would seem to make sense that something might be in the air that could heal.  And maybe it directly impacted the people at ground zero of the surge?  Maybe...but those Fireflies were in Texas.   Unless the fireflies are drawn to some aura around Aaron and crew since they were near the surge.   I'm totally speculating here and not making sense!   But hey, it's good that it's making us think, right!? 

  • Aaron spoke about crazy things that happened to them at The Tower.  This kind of lends to my weird theories above.  We don't know what those things are yet.  But he did mention Cicadas.  You know, those crazy bugs that resurface every 9 years or something?   What on earth did he bring that up for?  Definitely interested to know more!  
  • We saw Monroe reading a paper that said "Philadelphia Holocaust".  Not sure if that is just referring to the place getting nuked or if something else happened since then.  By the way, RIP Philly!  If this show was real, I probably would have some clothes burnt into my skin right now or worse since I'm in Philly Suburbia! 
  • Another thing I didn't mention above was Miles' little subplot of killing a guy (we think) and lighting a shack on fire.  What was that all about?  He then had to get stitched up by Dr. Gene.  And nobody asked questions.  I feel another flashback coming on! 
So, that's where we're at folks.  I really liked this premiere and am excited to see where the show goes next.  Kudos to Kripke and crew for the retooled season 2!  And good luck with the rest of the season.   I'm looking forward to it and I'll be recapping as long as we're still interested in the show and I have the time to do it!   

It's good to be back in FALL TV mode.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


Mike V. said...

Not surprisingly, the ratings were not too good. Oh boy.

Anonymous said...

As I said on the other post, it's like the nukes went off and we have a 1950s sci fi nuke effect. It's almost like season 1 didn't happen--maybe that's a very good thing--lol.

I think you're right about the theme of a common enemy. Strange how we don't even see helicopters flying with those portable "generators" that were very widespread. This tells me that something happened to the nanites, especially when Aaron was looking at his "controller" around his neck. It may not be that the people Randall worked for expected the electricity to die out again. And the fireflies sure make it seem more like a mystery of nature is at work here, something more powerful than manmade elements at work? Especially when AAron came back and yes it reminded me of what the nanites could do.


Anonymous said...

Ratings--not too surprising as the show has some baggage from last year.


Mike V. said...

Richard, yes definitely feels like a reboot of sorts but with retaining the best parts of season 1.

Good point on no choppers unless it wasn't in the budget for episode 1! lol But yeah, maybe the amplifiers and the pendants are no longer working. Something tells me that maybe that tower doesn't exist anymore....and yes maybe something happened to the nanite. I don't want to say that this show won't go into the supernatural space....but they did say in season 1 that magic on this show would be represented with use of electricity and technology. When a light goes on, it's a miraculous event to the people of this universe. So, Aaron rising from the dead? It has to be something related with this technology...if we're going to stay under that mindset. But, nature interceding is an interesting concept.

And yeah...they're making it sound like the ratings plummeted when they're only slightly lower than where it left off last year. The only problem is when a show sinks to these depths, it rarely recovers.

MJ said...

Blacklist/Hostages - I think both are limited run series. Nets trying to copy the cable way of doing things. Yes - I did watch the practice as well.

SNL - nope - gave that up years ago. LOL

Superntural - Sounds good PJ. Dying to see what Human Cas and Angels on earth looks like. LOL

SOA - I can't believe Wendy pulled that off with Gemma - nor can I figure out why. We shall see. The marshall killing that woman was totally an accident. Then saying sorry sorry while finishing her off ! I was cracking up. Totally reminded me of Pulp Fiction when they accidently kill the kid in the car. The Terriers/Vikings actor was also in the movie Blade and is currently on a BBCA show called Copper.

No Modern Family or Broadchruch yet. WIll def come back and read you comments later on both Mike and Leslie

Sleepy - the asian guy from Flashforward is on it by the way.

Revolution - like how they are calling the lights coming back on 'the surge'. Where were you during the surge? Loved the Schwimmer thing. Good ole Tom Neville - never passed an opportunity to jump on a band wagon to further himself. Rachel - blames herself for pretty much everything I guess. Fireflies were interesting. Mexicans - why did I think they were american indians? LOL I watched late so who knows! The stuff with Aaron was crazy - I like it also. My husband and I had the same thoughts about philly since we're on the other side of it. Read your comment about the ratings, uh-oh !

Mike V. said...

I guess we have to review our TV Addicts Blog protocol again? lol MJ, this is the Revolution recap! You can keep posting other stuff in the Summer TV Discussion post. This Sunday/Monday I'll post a new Weekly TV discussion post. :-) In hindsight, it probably would've been less confusing if I started it this week. Oops!

But since you discussed them here...may as well comment here! lol

SNL - Mostly a good idea, but there's always an occassional gem! Much easier to scan through in the DVR age! lol But Andy Sandberg became famous on his Digital Shorts where were pretaped segments that aired on SNL. They all went viral on youtube and Justin Timberlake was often involved. lol You may have heard of D**K in the Box. That and Lazy Sunday really made them take off. But there's tons of them.

SOA - Ahh yes, Pulp Fiction! It was very much like that! Wendy, I think her motivation is always getting her kid back. So, we'll see!

Revolution - They may have been American Indians. lol I just thought TEXAS/MEXICO border and assumed mexicans! Plus, it let me link to a YouTube video of 3 Amigos. THREE AMIGOS!!!!! The most quotable movie in history! lol It's a sweater!! I still think the ratings are decent by NBC's current standards. Plus, there's Hulu, iTunes, DVR Playback and all of that stuff to factor in these days. We'll see!

MJ said...

Kripke interview

Leslie said...

Yes, Mike, you should have started the weekly post this week, but we’ll forgive you! Glad I asked first this morning before posting so I didn’t mess up! lol

I have to say I was still feeling a bit ho-hum about this first episode until the last second when Aaron’s eyes popped open! Best line was about David Schwimmer, the last surviving Friend! Also liked when Miles told Charlie to keep the stupid to a minimum!

mj said...

I'm too lazy to hop back over. lol

New half hr show to start in Nov called Ground Floor on TBS. Prob wouldn't even mention but is fr Bill Lawrence (scrubs, cougartown, spin city). By nov i'll have dumped some new shows

mj said...

Darnit - forgot to say - Bridge getting second season

Mike V. said...

In my defense, I explained what I was going to do in the comments of that Summer Part II post. It must've just gotten overlooked! :-)

Thanks for the link, MJ! Good stuff there.

@Leslie - loved all of that stuff too! But I definitely didn't feel ho-hum about this new approach! If it continues in this trend, I'm going to really enjoy this season!

MJ thanks for the other info too. Didn't realize Bill was creating a new series on TBS. Of course, I fell behind on Cougartown last season and probably am not going to catch up. But, I'll keep my eye on the new one. Saw that about The Bridge too!

mj said...

I was a good girl today and went to the other section for non-revolution commenting!