Revolution, Season 1, Episode 19: “Children of Men”
Written by David Rambo and Jim Barnes
Directed by Frederick E. O. Toye
Airs Mondays at 10 pm (ET) on NBC
It’s clearer than ever that Revolution wants to be The Walking Dead. While it can match the apocalyptic AMC series on the maudlin interpersonal drama stakes, it will never be quite as pulpy or as gore-filled as the zombie show. It feels like NBC’s pushing the limits on what some may perceive an acceptable level of viscera for a network series, between the somewhat graphic mending of Rachel’s leg in “The Longest Day” and the blood splattering everywhere when someone is hit with the electromagnetic grenades this time around.
Speaking of which, that we’ve moved from swords, improvised guns, and arrows to electromagnetic grenade launchers and helicopters in under a season is telling of the show’s lack of interest in its central conceit. Certainly, the action here is as fun and compelling as the show’s offered, though it’s lost the intimacy and brutality of swordfighting while simultaneously upping the blood count. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s as much gore when the show returns in an earlier timeslot in the fall.
Zooming out, we’re finally at the Tower, the looming MacGuffin that’s dominated the latter half of the season. Very quickly, the bystanders are offed and we’re down to our core cast. After losing two notable character actors last week, Colm Feore appears to have been disposed of in disappointing fashion, vanishing from the episode without a trace. Fingers crossed he’ll turn up again in the finale, ready to finally shine and not left by the wayside like so many other talented actors the show’s wasted.
There’s much to like about “Children of Men,” however: Monroe getting a great badass moment as he saves Charlie from an untimely demise. Giancarlo Esposito being terrific as he gets a chance to be menacing and charismatic with designs on grabbing the Monroe Republic for himself. Monroe and Miles setting up for presumably their final showdown. Glenn Morshower lending his gravitas to proceedings.
There is, of course, plenty to gripe about. Rachel making a stupid decision in granting Monroe access to the grenade launchers. Rachel doing a horrible job of taking out Monroe in the opening. The Tower group’s reluctance to take a chance on turning on the power (really, would setting the world on fire truly be worse than their current existence?).
As ever, this is an uneven episode but the ridiculous, fun aspects outweigh the bad beats this time. Let’s hope once we get to Level 12 (as obviously must happen in the finale), we’ll have even more offbeat situations to deal with. Like zombies, for instance.
– Kris Holt