Revolution, Season 2, Episode 3: “Love Story”
Written by David Rambo
Directed by Helen Shaver
Airs Wednesdays at 8 pm (ET) on NBC
Let’s get the main negative out of the way. Miles is a warrior. A tremendous one. Yet there is absolutely no chance he is good enough to fend off several opponents with his weak hand, all the while checking on a wounded Rachel every three seconds. Even in a show where Magic Science reigns supreme, it’s a dazzling ask of the audience to believe Miles is that good of a combatant. Elsewhere, the trope of using a captive loved one as a bargaining chip remains an easy crutch for the producers to squirm out of a tight plot point.
That said, this is a resolutely busy, fun outing. The tentacled plot strands are weaving together as we realize the true big bad of this season: the U.S. Government. Ostracized as the United States fell apart post-blackout, the old guard are returning to rebuild the country to the letter of the Constitution. Revolution is resultingly growing into a show with Something To Say. The government is the oppressor, the entity that will by any means rule. Fear, hope, security: these are all tools utilized by this would-be administration seeking unity and power. Sound somewhat familiar?
Much of the best art reflects the reality of its time. Revolution is far from the finest creative work any of us are likely to see in our lifetimes, but its attempts at becoming more meaningful could strike a chord with Americans fed up with both main political parties at the minute.
Almost every scene matters this week: the action whips along and we have solid plot and character development all round. Our principals may not all trust each other, but they have a common enemy and almost seem ready to band together for the greater good. Titus Andover is proving himself a formidable, detestable villain for those in Texas, and his quest for revenge is sure to spool out in the weeks ahead (if he’s still alive, that is).
Our friends in Willoughby take a stand against Andover’s crusaders. We now know why he’s capturing civilians, and why he’ll never stop unless Miles takes him down. We have a classic standoff that predictably turns into all-out warfare. You can almost hear General Custer barking orders as the cavalry moves in, the government staking its claim on this embattled small town. Meanwhile, David Lyons and Tracy Spiridakos are doing their best work on the show so far; a surprisingly strong pairing despite how they bagged down much of the first season.
The Tom C-plot is largely a time-filler, though shows he faces an uphill battle to gain the government’s trust and destroy it from the inside now they know who he is, if not exactly the truth why he’s there.
There is again reason for optimism. This is a show ready to take chances and tell a compelling story, while having a blast at the same time.