The chess pieces are starting to move into place for the season's large arc, and yet we seem a long way from getting the band back together.
Revolution, Season 2, Episode 2: “There Will Be Blood”
Written by Paul Grellong
Directed by Phil Sgriccia
Airs Wednesdays at 8 pm (ET) on NBC
This is an episode of two distinct halves, one where we’re largely spinning wheels and another where the action ramps up and we delve into horror movie territory. The chess pieces are starting to move into place for the season’s large arc and yet we seem a long way from getting the band back together.
Miles is in the direst of straits right now. Captured by a group of renegades with an unclear agenda (save for vague ties to the Government), he wrests free long enough to masterfully dispatch a couple of goons before he is turfed back into his cell. It’s new, vulnerable territory for the character that affords Billy Burke yet another chance to showcase his wit and brawn, even if he might have to battle his way out without his sword-holding hand. The eerie scene awaiting him at the end of the episode is enough to make viewers do a triple take, echoing the out-of-nowhere shock at the end of the season premiere.
Speaking of which, Aaron is having a difficult time dealing with his resurrection (note to Revolution producers: zombies don’t eat brains). His vision of Ben Matheson dying in his arms again pulls us away from the immediacy of the action elsewhere—everything is so in-the-moment, plot points frequently wash away without explanation—and heightens our awareness of the mythology. We still have no idea why he spluttered back into life, but at least he’s asking the questions on viewers’ minds.
Monroe and Charlie, the two most underwhelming main characters, siphoned off to their own storyline could have been a disaster, but it’s fairly steady sailing so far. The pair have a decent exchange in the drained pool and a flurry of action before Monroe manages to flee, putting us right back where we started this plot thread (albeit now with a hunky bounty hunter for Charlie to team up with and/or bang). Still, at least Monroe is one of only two characters to worm out of captivity this week.
There’s not much to say about Rachel this go-round, except the mystery of the dead rats. Why are there so many deceased rodents littering the roadway? It seems we’re headed for another Weird Science resolution here and we can only hope it builds into the larger narrative. Elsewhere, Tom Neville is as scheming as ever, using an expendable acquaintance to squeeze into Justine Allford’s circle. What could have been a frayed plot thread is spinning into silky intrigue in Giancarlo Esposito’s capable hands.
Meanwhile, positioning the U.S. Government as the Big Bad both gives our heroes a formidable foe and is somewhat fortuitous timing, given likely audience distaste toward authorities over the NSA spying saga and the government shutdown. It might prove to be a lucky break for the show, giving the audience something to latch onto beyond cool swordfights and infrequent funny asides.
“There Will Be Blood” is all about reinforcing the new normal. It’s part of a welcome evolution of this world with the characters all in new situations and pursuing new goals. This is a show taking real chances for the first time since Danny’s death, and it’s much stronger for it.