Revolution, Ep. 1.20: “The Dark Tower” stumbles in places, but delivers a mostly exciting finish to the season

Zak Orth, Elizabeth Mitchell
Zak Orth, Elizabeth Mitchell

Revolution, Season 1, Episode 20: “The Dark Tower”
Written by Eric Kripke and Paul Grellong
Directed by Charles Beeson
Airs Mondays at 10 pm (ET) on NBC

With the second half of Revolution’s first season focusing on The Tower that could turn on the power for the world at large, the leadup to this week’s season finale saw several factions descending on the place, with a group of well-trained and well-equipped individuals found to be guarding the place against those with the same intentions as Rachel Matheson and her group. This week’s episode culminates in an ultimate struggle for control and power, with several shifting alliances and one last surprise from Randall opening the door for a new antagonist in season two from an unexpected quarter in a thrilling episode.

The power shakeup that occurs throughout this episode promises some very interesting events next season. With Tom Neville now firmly in charge of the Monroe Militia, and Monroe himself on the run, there’s a lot of potential in exploring a very viable power struggle between the two next season, especially if Monroe has soldiers still loyal to him. Especially with Neville intent on killing him, Monroe has a real reason to regain his power beyond megalomaniacal reasons, and while Neville may have new ideas about how to be a leader, Monroe still has the experience, and the ICBM is bound to further tip the scales in his favour.

David Lyons, Daniella Alonso, Billy Burke
David Lyons, Daniella Alonso, Billy Burke

Speaking of the ICBMs, the introduction of the old US government regime as the real power behind the rebel forces is an interesting idea. The restoration of power makes the old guard the most powerful one once again, as they hold the key to all the major weaponry that became useless once the lights went out, and how the current governments react to the re-entry of the US government into the fight is something worth looking out for next season, as it might force some uneasy alliances that would be compelling to watch. How the rebel forces themselves react to the knowledge that the US administration, which is seemingly as ruthless as all the militia forces but with a greater might, is the one they’ve been fighting on behalf of is also something to keep an eye on.

Overall, while this was not as strong a finish as was hoped for to the season, it was still a thrilling episode. The formal return of power is somewhat troublesome, as it effectively wipes away the premise of the show too soon, rather than being a major gamechanger later down the line, when the audience had learnt the ins and outs of how to navigate a world without power. Whoever ends up in the role of the US President next season also has some big shoes to fill, as this season’s antagonists, in the form of Giancarlo Esposito, Leslie Hope, David Meunier, Mark Pellegrino, Colm Feore, and, to a degree, Malik Yoba, have all done an excellent job despite the show’s overall ups and downs. It was sad to see Nora go, although her death was cheapened somewhat by being dragged out, an unexpected occurrence in a show that has previously been less than hesitant to kill off characters who previously seemed important, a trait this episode also manages to display with the sudden suicide of Randall. There are some promising elements to look forward to next season, however, and the possible reconciliation of Miles and Monroe is one of them, particularly in terms of what circumstances finally lead to them forming an alliance, and how the other members of each group feel about it. While the season was somewhat uneven as a whole, the show still remains interesting to watch, and worth tuning in for in season 2.

– Deepayan Sengupta

Defiance, Ep. 1.08: “Goodbye, Blue Sky” shirks a cohesive plot in favor of a narrative scattershot

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