Revolution, Season 1, Episode 3: “No Quarter”
Written by Monica Owusu-Breen
Directed by Sanford Bookstaver
Airs Mondays at 10 pm (ET) on NBC
Revolution is a show that began life with a lot of expectations. Built on a premise that was highly intriguing, yet could turn faulty very quickly, it had the added weight of JJ Abrams and Eric Kripke, both associated with mythology-heavy shows in Lost and Supernatural, directly tied to it. The first two episodes, however, indicated a sure footing that proved the show had a solid foundation beyond simply the premise. The third episode continues this strong beginning streak of the show, while introducing some very interesting new elements that add further intrigue to what’s to come.
The show has, to date, done an excellent job of keeping the audience invested in three divergent storylines, and this week is no exception. While Danny Matheson’s passivity makes his storyline rather weak, seeing how he interacts with militia members who aren’t Neville, and who don’t necessarily hold power over him, is still worthwhile. It will be interesting to see how this storyline is treated going forward; it would make sense that other soldiers are less than pleased with the way Danny has apparently been treated, and whether others also choose to take matters into their own hands, and at what point Neville will step in in defense of Danny, are potential avenues of exploration that could tell a lot about the militia itself, as well as Danny and Neville.
The story of Maggie and Aaron, contrary to expectations, has also proven its worth. While Anna Lise Phillips hasn’t been given a second chance to unleash the hidden fighting skills that she put on display in the pilot, her union with Aaron to try to discover the secrets of the mysterious medallion has managed to keep itself fresh. Part of that can be attributed to the quicker pace; while other shows would have been happy to drag along Maggie and Aaron’s search for a few episodes, Revolution manages to get them to the farmhouse in short order. Aaron’s frustration with the lack of technology, the one point where he feels he’s stronger than others, feels very realistic and lends an air of credibility to his ongoing mission to get the power back on. Maggie being able to see her children’s picture is a nicely poignant moment, as is the Marvin Gaye song. The attention to detail this show has displayed has been superb, and the lack of music is something that hadn’t been touched upon until now, but hadn’t been missed either.
But the most fascinating aspect of the episode is the ongoing story of Miles and Charlie and what seems to be a new permanent fixture in Nora. Adding a new wing of the militia to observe is a great touch, as was casting Mark Pellegrino in the role of the CO for this particular unit, as Pellegrino and Giancarlo Esposito make a very effective one-two punch of quiet, sophisticated ruthlessness. The exploration of the militia’s formation, as well as Monroe and Matheson’s attempts to cope with the blackout, make for a more compelling storyline than what actually caused the blackout and the writers have made a smart choice in going down this route instead. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Pellegrino.
The character of Nora has also proven to be compelling in her episode and a half so far. While there hasn’t been as much screentime devoted to her, what exposure she has gotten has been very effective in fleshing her out. Much like Aaron, the reasoning behind her actions adds a sense of realism to the proceedings and her effective fighting skills make her engaging even when we’re not finding out more about her. Her battle-hardened instincts, along with providing a foil to Miles, also give a nice contrast to Charlie’s understandably shell-shocked reactions to the death and destruction she’s bearing witness to.
Overall, this is another solid episode of a show that has yet to falter. There are some weak spots, the most notable among them being David Lyons’ inability to prove himself menacing enough to make his position as head of the militia believable. The real test of Monroe’s power will come in his interactions with Neville and Jeremy, and that will be Lyons’ real test as well. Tracy Spiridakos continues to effectively sell the character of Charlie Matheson, and despite some similarities, remains a different enough character from showrunner Eric Kripke’s Supernatural lead Dean Winchester to make her character journey unpredictable. How the show chooses to continue to flesh out Miles’, and the militia’s, backstory, and whether or not they push the envelope with Danny’s burgeoning rebellion, will both be more than enough reason to tune in next week.