‘Revolution’ Season 1, Episode 2: ‘Chained Heat’ Recap

Published 3 years ago by

Billy Burke C. Thomas Howell Revolution Chained Heat NBC Revolution Season 1, Episode 2: Chained Heat Recap

As far as relationship building in Revolution is concerned, everyone – estranged Matheson-clan included – is starting pretty much at rock bottom, and not doing much to work their way up from that. There’s more than a few fundamental differences that exist between Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and her good-at-killin’ uncle Miles (Billy Burke), but the core difference explored here is Charlie’s reluctance to kill just anyone who happens to get in their way.

This reluctance probably stems from the series’ need to not have Miles kill Nate (J.D. Pardo) the next time the two meet – and with Nate (or not Nate, as he later admits to Charlie) stalking Miles like some obsessed Twilight fan, Charlie had better convince her uncle some lives are worth saving pretty quickly. To her credit, she gives it a shot after stumbling upon Miles engaged in a swordfight with none other than C. Thomas Howell (because who hasn’t been there before, right?), and persuades him to spare Howell’s life.

As it turns out, Howell is a bounty hunter, and the prize for bringing Miles to Monroe (David Lyons) is worth sacrificing the bones in his hand. After a second scuffle with the bounty hunter – this time in a market, in Pontiac, Illinois – Miles decides enough with the uncalled-for family reunion, and ditches Charlie, Aaron (Zak Orth) and Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips) to go off in search of an old friend named Nora (Daniella Alonso).

‘Chained Heat’ picks up not long after the events in the series premiere, but also provides a longer, episode-specific glimpse back to just after the blackout occurred – affording a closer look at Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Ben (Tim Guinee), and offering confirmation on the fact that Charlie has always been a magnet for trouble. ‘Chained Heat’ is mostly interested in balancing out the extremes of its two leads by giving Charlie justification to take a life and Miles the perspective to understand why his niece doesn’t take killing lightly.

Tracy Spiridakos Revolution Chained Heat NBC Revolution Season 1, Episode 2: Chained Heat Recap

When Charlie runs off in search of Miles, it puts Aaron and Maggie on their own with plenty of time to ponder the necklace Ben bequeathed upon Aaron, and the true nature of the blackout. It seems as though the majority of the population is convinced the blackout was some kind of natural phenomenon, but as Aaron has pointed out for the second time, the blackout violated the laws of physics – and as far as he’s concerned, that means the event was deliberate and manmade. It also allows for Revolution to try and offer some insight into what the survivors of the blackout have been going through for the last 15 years.

In Maggie’s case, she’s been stranded in the United States with an iPhone full of pictures of her kids she may never see again, which makes Aaron’s lamenting toilet paper and his $80 million seem a little shallow. Nevertheless, Aaron and Maggie at least have a purpose now that exists beyond simply tagging along and staring in awe as Miles slays half a dozen men while in handcuffs.

Charlie however, isn’t so lucky; she’s stuck playing No. 2 to her uncle, and after the arrival of Nora, is quickly reduced to being just a cranky-faced third wheel. As it turns out, the chain gang to which Nora’s been sentenced is actually all part of her plan to retrieve a sniper rifle carried by the warden who’s like a little homage to Boss Godfrey from Cool Hand Luke. After Miles’ rescue efforts actually stymie Nora’s attempt to secure the weapon, it’s up to Charlie to step up to the plate and become a more active member of the group beyond telling her uncle he can’t kill all the guys he wants to kill.

In getting a hold of the sniper rifle, the trio manages to free the rest of the militia’s chain gang, and in doing so, further illustrate the scope of the ongoing conflict between the Monroe Militia and the rebellion hoping to restore the United States.

Elizabeth Mitchell Tim Guinee Revolution Chained Heat NBC Revolution Season 1, Episode 2: Chained Heat Recap

It’s in the reaction of Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) to the presence of the American flag in the home of the gun owner’s that the series’ larger, more interesting narrative thread is revealed. After a while (and possibly already) the question of how the lights went out and why, will not be enough to fuel interest in the show and its characters’ quest. But the idea of a larger conflict set against the mystery of the blackout gives hope that any resolution of current plotlines – like rescuing Danny (Graham Rogers) – will give rise to a more sustainable, involving story that gives characters like the Matheson siblings a reason to make more of an impact within the group and the overall Revolution storyline.

Though he’s only seen a little in ‘Chained Heat,’ Danny manages to help provide a better understanding of his captor, Capt. Tom Neville. As he was in the premiere, Giancarlo Esposito is exciting to watch, and makes Neville’s diligence in carrying out the search and seizure of a man’s house and weapons, and later assisting in the death of his own wounded soldier to be something that’s a pleasure to watch, instead of a mere distraction from the body count Miles is racking up.

Giancarlo Esposito Revolution Chained Heat NBC Revolution Season 1, Episode 2: Chained Heat Recap

The episode makes sure to tack on plenty of forced intrigue as it draws to a close, doubling up on last-minute cliffhangers by introducing Randall, a faceless, cattle prod-wielding nemesis for necklace-owner Grace (Maria Howell), and revealing that Rachel is actually still alive. She’s being held as a “guest” by Monroe on account of her potential knowledge of the blackout, and Monroe being the caring dictator that he is, gently informs her of Ben’s death and Danny’s capture before threatening her some more.

It feels like episode 2 had more energy overall than the rather ho-hum premiere last week, but there’s still a long way to go. With some intriguing avenues exposed in ‘Chained Heat,’ Revolution has delivered on the possibility of its storyline – now it will be interesting to see what the rest of the season does with all that potential.


Revolution continues next Monday with ‘No Quarter’ @10pm on NBC. Check out a preview below:

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  1. This show will be canceled after the first season. Screw you NBC.

    • Right, LOL. I am just glad Grimm is still going strong on NBC. Other than Grimm I really don’t watch anything else on NBC.

    • if you don’t like this show than why don’t you just have a petition created to cancel it than?

  2. Typical Abrams/Bad Robot show. Of course Elisabeth Mitchell is still alive, 1 because it’s Elisabeth Mitchell and 2 because it’s J.J. Abrams. Nobody really dies, no matter if they were shot in the chest a million times.

    Acting’s not great, especially the female lead, the fight scenes aren’t really choreographed, the themes are dull (‘it’s not good to kill people. O, wait, sometimes it is’) but the two leading men are intriguing to look at, the sets/computer backgrounds look cool, and the mystery behind one computer still working (where did we see that before?) keeps you coming back for more. But just about.

    And what’s this clue, if it is one, that we’re given with the graphic in the beginning, where ‘Evolution’ becomes ‘Revolution’.
    I hope it means something, otherwise it’s just a lame play on words.

    rhaemye out.

  3. Has anyone thought of using steam engines? I missed the first episode so maybe they explained that, but I don’t see how an electricity blackout would stop a steam powered engine from running.

    • Totally agree with you,and was thinking the same !
      Nothing in the first ep that explained it ! No Steam Punk,or Steam Punk Guns :(

    • Didn’t you get the super secret memo? Apparently they can’t manage to get water any hotter than 212 degrees!

      Yeah in 15 years they should have been able to advance back to at LEAST the 19th century. What would have been real intriguing would be to have a steampunk type society.

  4. Anyone else notice that traffic light still works? I guess somethings still have power:)

    • What scene was that traffic light in ?

  5. Put simply, I Like the show, but I don’t love it.

    The mystery of the necklace and the “one computer working” is what brings me back for the next episode.

    I agree that the acting is not really that good, especially from Charlie. I still like Munroe though and think that as a character he could bring more to the show if he was given more screen time.

    I also found that at many times, this show reminded me a lot of “Falling Skies”. The way the cities are all ruin and there is no real ‘government’ and non of the electronics are working, it just gives me the same feeling as falling skies; just without the aliens. Even the starting, when they show “Revolution” is very, very similar to the way they start “Falling Skies”.

    • Its not the one computer that works its any electronic in the vicinity of an active necklace. Thought that was made clear at the end. The Randall guy has an active necklace and as such his stun baton works

  6. LOL….I thought this show when they showed the trailer had some potential but I am just deeply disappointed. The acting is bad, the attention to detail is lacking, and the overall storylines/plots are okay at best. I found myself watching the episode but not really paying attention because it’s just boring. There is no character that I find myself pulling for. It’s only the 2nd episode but I considered with a budget and experience we would be getting something a least somewhat close to epic as Lost . Instead we got a big budget version of Falling Skies with bad acting. Seems to me that J. J. Abrams without Damon Lindelof and Jeff Lieber is just average at best

  7. I love how blatantly obvious from the opening shots of the pilot that this show is a complete amalgamation of LOST, The Hunger Games, The Event, Flash Forward, Alcatraz, Terra Nova and all of the other shows that were supposed to fill the void that LOST’s conclusion left in the world of serialized, high-concept drama (and were subsequently cancelled at the conclusion of their freshmen seasons). I think there has been enough proof that lightning can’t strike twice, that LOST was a unique phenomenon – one that ended so badly, the bitter taste has left TV audiences loath to invest in such a series again, and that creativity and originality are going to really need to come back to the foreground if serialized drama is going to survive. (See, for Example, Game of Thrones – ROME meets LOTR with amazing actors, tons of violence, sex, nudity and mysticism, and it WORKS!)

    Too bad the (horribly low and uninspired) level of writing on most of these latest attempts (The Event, Terra Nova and Revolution in particular) is what is killing the genre. Yes, the young talent clearly is not up to par with the likes of Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito, but I can only half fault the kids for the content being crap…that all rests in the script and the story, and so far, Revolution is NOTHING SPECIAL by any means. Yes, this show will be cancelled at the conclusion of Season 1. The Star Wars of television, this show is not, and for Kripkie and (even worse) Abrams to think that it is, in my mind, is very telling of their lack of talent as storytellers. They’re a little too high on their own egos to be able to accurately judge material these days, it would seem.

    I’m beginning to think of Abrams as the most over-hyped person in Film/TV in the last 10 years. What kind of visionary only envisions the beginning of their story? A true master would envision the beginning AND the end at the onset of the project, so they know what the f*** they’re doing getting from one to the other.

    • I agree. The attention to detail is horrible in this show. The sci-fi/drama genre is not doing all that good. I am happy though that Grimm is doing okay and wasn’t cancelled, LOL. Seems like for really good shows you have to either go with basic cable or with the HBO/Showtime/Starz.

    • Yer, this show should die a quiet death in one season. Charlie is the wimpiest, most ineffective, childish character they could have come up with. This is lost all over again!

  8. I think this show is excellent, I’ll take the apocalypse in any form I can get it. Obviously the power went out because Snake Plissken entered the World Code and the EMP satellites did the rest! Also, everyone lay off that kid playing charlie, you dudes obviuosly did not see her GQ spread!

    • everyone is gonna trash the show and “find something wrong with it” no matter what episode this show gets up to for the first season because from reading on here its as if the majority of the people that comment on revolution just don’t like it for what it is and all they do is find anything they can find which is wrong with the show rather than enjoying it for what it is

      • People dislike the show because it is bad!

        • well I don’t seem to think so and I will enjoy this show for as long as they keep it on the air because I do feel they can turn it around if everyone just gives them more than 2 episodes to get the show going :)

      • You say people don’t like it for what it is, but then you don’t explain what it is from your point of view. At this point the show looks like a carefully planned attempt to use as many tried and true ideas as they can to create something that is just basic. The immediate use of flashbacks, guest stars that die, characters not being dead, and cliff hangers just makes me feel like they are trying to cover up their story with as many distractions as possible.

        At this point the people who are complaining are at least watching and paying some attention to the show, but if they just get bored with it and stop watching then the show may get cancelled. At that point all the fans of the show will come out and blame everyone else for the shows demise.

        The story issues aside I don’t think the show will hold my interest because the main characters are just there, and the more interesting story seems to be what happened after the power first went out and what happened with the parents. Jumping this story 15 years in the future and leaving so many plot holes to fill just to focus on the Charlie character and her bother seems like a waste at this point because they are just not that likable or interesting.

  9. Also, classic gaffe on the greenlight though!

    • C. Thomas Howell is becoming the guest star king this year, his brief appearance was amusing. On to the next show for him I guess.

      As for the rest of the show, I keep saying maybe it will pick up, but two shows in and it just seems so paint-by-numbers it is really hard to stay interested. Everyone called the mother showing up at some point, and that point was immediately. The amount of time they take to try and build tension is almost non-existent, and it seems like they are trying to get everything out of the way in case they get cancelled.

      The fact they are going to be using flashback to an unknown degree might start to bug some people, since the clear need for exposition will break what little rhythm the current time period is trying to gather. The introduction of new characters also seems like it might get messy, since they haven’t really fleshed out anyone from the first show that much yet.

      Funny aside this week was the comment about how they were selling heroin when they got to Pontiac, Ill. Where are they getting heroin from? Poppy plants do not grow well in the United States, and a winter in Illinois would kill them dead. It’s also telling that people have someone figured out how to distill alcohol and process opium, but nobody can make a steam engine.

      I also find it funny that the whole snipe hunt for the lead girl, her uncle and brother are pretty much a waste of time since the bearded Goggle guy actually has a magic USB necklace, along with the lady in the house (that Esposito already went to) and this Randall guy with the electric cattle prod that nobody seemed to notice.

        • The mother being alive, and what I saw from the preview for the next episode makes me wonder why they are telegraphing some of these plot points to much. The appearance of three magic necklaces two episodes in really have killed what little suspense there might be about the whole no energy thing. I wonder how long it will take for the guy with the glasses figures out how to work the one he has and they get that I-Phone to work. Nice product placement for a show about technology being dead and gone….

          • I think that’s the point. They are moving this show beyond what is this “mystery” of the power being out. They don’t want it to be a gimmick, and I respect that. They want to use the environment it created. It created a world where the United States has fallen and Monroe has created a republic to stand on its own. The mother being alive (who’s from Lost, so I knew she’d be coming back for SOMETHING) and is being held as a “guest” of Monroe is begging to be fleshed out. How did she get into this situation? What happened to her and her husband that caused her to have to leave (fake her own death? force her husband to lie?). Now it also makes sense why Monroe sent for Charlie’s father… He died, so now the capture of Charlie’s brother has purpose. Before I figured it was gonna be a boring, predictable chase to save his life. Now there’s a twist.

            And did you watch the preview for next episode? Miles helping start the Monroe Republic? Now that’s an interesting foil! Plus Mark Pelligrino aka Jacob aka Lucifer joins the cast! That’s a bonus right there!

            • The problem with all of this running around looking for Charlie and her uncle at this point is that they may not have a clue as to how to get the power back on, and they don’t even have one of the necklaces. It that either the main villain or the script lack any focus, and much of this chase is a treadmill.

              As for exploring the environment, it seems like this particular militia only has a reach in a certain area in Illinois. Since they have established there is no form of communication (even though the woman in the farm house has access to analog phone lines), and the fact that it is taking Esposito’s character longer to get back to his headquarters then the main characters took to get from Chicago to Pontiac, the militia can only be so many places.

  10. i despite saying before i wouldn’t did watch episode 2 and oh my god what a pile of dribble. that girl that plays charlie should have been cuffed an gagged attached to a tree, this girl can’t act period. espesito is the only and i mean only saving grace of this show and thats less then 5% so please get this pile of dog doodoo of the air ASAP.

  11. Its an ok show. enough so that i keep watching, hoping for something better to occur. man is charlie annoying though. she is just a whiney bossy girl. they should just kill her off and make nora the main female lead. at least she is actually hot.

  12. Everyone in my office at DISH has been talking about Revolution, so I had to check it out. I watched it at DISH Online while I was fishing yesterday and I don’t know what to say about it. Honestly, I have always wanted a show that depicts how life would be if electricity was snatched away, but I didn’t want them to do it poorly. And that is exactly what I feel has happened. Don’t get me wrong, I want the show to do well, and it very may well, but I just wish they would have consulted a physicist or at least some one that knows about the 16th century. It is as if they put no effort into it. John V put it perfectly. It has been 15 years. Where are the steam engines?

  13. I gave it a shot, it’s just not holding me. As one post pointed out, it’s the details. There’s too much wrong here to continue. I don’t think the concept was completely thought through. If it is, it’s not showing.

  14. Simply put,they reveal to much,too early !
    Best example the necklace that can switch power on and off !
    Should have been introduced much later !

  15. Terrible! The first episode was interesting, this one was boring. Terrible acting already looking for something else, I may give it another shot next week but this week was just terrible. I really don’t care if they get their lights back on or not. NBC = FAIL!

  16. My biggest issue is that it’s trying to be too much like Lost(Opening credits/flashbacks and so on) but the biggest thing that made Lost soo special was that it kept people interested. The 1st episode of Lost you didn’t feel like it was a snooze fest. It kept me interested from beginning to end and was exited to see the next episode. That made Lost great IMO. Now the ending to Lost is up in the air but still, it kept people in. I just don’t get that from this show. Some shows you can tell right off the bat if it’s going to be good and some you just know it’s bad.

    • right on Professor!! I completely agree with you :D

    • I don’t know if I’d call it a keeper just for those elements. We’ve had them in shows before, we’ll have them again. You could argue that we had all of those things in Terra Nova as well, but that didn’t stop the actual meat and potatoes of the show…the plot and pacing and structure…from sucking miserably. Just feels like this is the same thing starting over again. It even has the same look, like they might be using the same DP (Director of Photography) that Terra Nova and LOST did. Just feels like the execution isn’t living up to the potential of the concept…and how are we supposed to really get behind a show like that? Anyone who’s done so in the last two years only to have those shows get cancelled before even completing an abbreviated version of the story have every right to be skeptical, and quick to judge something that looks to be another attempt in the same vain.

      The ironic part is that you’re right…we’re watching it. What else are we going to do, though? Would it be better for us to just bash the show without watching it? You should never judge the buffet before it’s served, but now that this is being dished out, it’s completely fair game for people to not like it.

      What shows need to survive…is ratings from viewership. Already though, just from the comments on this article, this show has a dwindling opportunity to keep the viewers it has…provided, of course, the show steps up its game, ditches the female lead for someone who can act and carry the show, and makes some serious strides at being SMARTER and more CLEVERLY EXECUTED than its predecessors. No one is going to stick around to keep watching a show that doesn’t do that. (Nor should they…not when better shows have been given less of a chance to survive…)

        • Get a grip, those complaining are making constructive criticism. Obviously most hope that the show would get better and they are pointing out the problems in hopes that those in charge might read the complaints and improve the show. No one wants another new sci-fi show to go down the drain!

          • Saying it’s terrible, bad, dribble, or going to be cancelled is constructive criticism?

        • @Professor-I never understood the theory that telling people not to watch something will somehow help it the long run. As the poster above you said, if people are watching it and critiquing it then at least they are paying attention to it. When and if apathy sets in and people just start ignoring the show then, it may end up being cancelled which is clearly not the outcome you and others who enjoy the show want.

          As for Terra Nova, it was clear at a certain point that Fox was not behind the show. And for the amount of money and turn around time it took to make an episode, having the ratings drop like they did assured the show would not survive. Revolution has a good amount of buzz and a popular lead-in, so it could do better than Terra Nova. But the general feeling that it is just okay right now means it could suffer the fate of other shows that just got by. The ratings will just drop through the floor during the second season and it will just be another show that never finished whatever plot they were trying to get out.

          • Critiquing is different from out and out blasting. Telling one person not to tune in won’t kill the show. This show isn’t that bad and people are being over critical and comparing it to LOST (which if memory serves…didn’t advertise as sci-fi and that pilot was more of a survival/tragedy type show that spawned into something more as seasons progressed.

            • The people who are making the statement that Lost is better than this show are just expressing their opinion, but the show is being sold as being from the same creator so it lends itself to being compared with Abrams other better known work. From my point of view the comparisons to Lost stem from the fact that they are using some of the same conventions in this show, such as exposition flashbacks, mystery cliffhangers and random characters popping up.

              Lost for me was a decent distraction for awhile, but it started to feel like a story treadmill so I just moved on to other things. At this point Revolution seems like it could be on the same path, just at a more accelerated rate than Lost. The thing that Lost had in it’s favor was that the sheer amount of characters and side stories provided enough new breadcrumbs to keep people coming back week after week. The main characters in this show, outside of Esposito and Burke, need to be fleshed out more or people might lose interest.

                • The biggest thing here is that if a show doesn’t do good in ratings within the first 2-4 episodes it usually gets canceled. I get that the show needs about 4 episodes to get going but the difference is that the really good shows provide that “wow” factor within the first 2 episodes, i.e. The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Sons of Anarchy, and so on. Person of Interest does very well within the basic network TV area of providing that “wow” factor that keeps people coming back. You can somewhat throw in Grimm in that conversation as well. It’s not the best show but it still gives something that brings people back. With Revolution I don’t get that. The pilot was okay with an okay fight scene but that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t give me that “wow, what’s going to happen next, I can’t wait for the next episode” feeling. Some people will like it but more will not. Case in point, Terra Nova, Legend of the Seeker, and so on. Those shows were good but it didn’t provide that “Wow” factor that could have kept the show going(even though there was a huge fan base to keep it going)

                  • I agree it’s no Breaking Bad and those other shows mentioned. I’ll even say that it probably won’t win an Emmy either. But for Sci-fi on network TV, it’s starting off pretty good. Even Grimm and Person of Interest took a few episodes before really having that WOW factor that you state. For me this premise seems like it just might work out. Hell, if ABC can make a story about fairytale characters work then why can’t this work for NBC?

  17. can someone PLEASE tell me who was the guy (soldier in the militia) who beat up the blond mathason kid with asthma? it’s driving me nuts and i can’t find him ANYWHERE!