It is no secret that Revolution, despite being a hit for hit-starved NBC, has been dragging in viewers who watch it simply to opine about the program's lack of logic, direction, or any other general shortcomings. So, facing a four month hiatus and the prospect of falling off the radar of even its most ardent detractors, the show's writers have the gargantuan task of building enough suspense and wonder that the audience (whichever side of the fence they may fall) will be ready and willing to resume watching when Eric Kripke's creation returns this spring.
One of the most important aspects of 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' isn't the apparent massive power shift (that's not a pun) of the Monroe Militia, but the rather simple fact that the series' first task – that of Miles (Billy Burke) and Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) tracking down her little brother Danny (Graham Rogers) – has been completed, and now Revolution is ready to move on to (hopefully) bigger and better storylines.
It's been a long, sometimes grueling 10 episodes where the series has seemingly taken small steps forward and then significant leaps back. That kind of regression no doubt damaged the reputation of a series that didn't have the most auspicious of debuts to begin with. At any rate, despite the fumbling in the beginning, there were a handful of episodes that – regardless of their own episodic shortcomings – began to alter the course of the series a bit, and place the focus not on the weak points (Charlie and Danny), but rather on the show's more capable and sensible lead: Miles.
And so, after last week's 'Kashmir,' in which we were given a glimpse at the quandary Miles was facing at the prospect of killing his oldest and closest friend, Revolution has the good sense to place its most potent dynamic – the surprising energy that exists between Burke and David Lyons (Monroe) – as the driving force of 'Nobody's Fault But Mine.'
As such, there is a swiftness to the midseason finale that was rarely seen throughout the first nine episodes, and while there are shortcomings here as well, the pacing manages to mostly negate those deficiencies by heading toward an inevitable confrontation. Now as much as this finale could have spiraled out of control and placed the series back at square one, it actually seems to work through measured interactions with the key cast. Simply put: the episode pushes nearly all of the characters in the right direction by pairing them with the individual who has the most potential to make them more interesting.
After entering Philadelphia, Charlie, Aaron (Zak Orth), Nora (Daniella Alonso) and an old buddy of Miles', Major Kipling (Glynn Turman, Super 8) are almost immediately taken prisoner (though we don't see what happens to Kipling, he seems like too familiar a face to disappear from the show at this point) with only Miles left to save them. It's here, however, that Revolution shows it has learned from some mistakes in the past by granting its characters the ability to move the plot forward themselves, rather than respond to a situation that's predictably gone beyond their control.
Reunited at last with her brother – and much to Charlie's scowling surprise, her mother – Charlie assumes the kind of capable role many wished she'd had since the series premiere by orchestrating her and Danny's escape from captivity, just in time to meet up with Miles. Meanwhile, Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell), who is clearly now poised to fill the void left behind when Maggie died, dispatches Strausser (David Meunier), one of the show's more memorable, but increasingly exaggerated villains. As a positive side note, it looks like the exit of Strausser will make room for the always entertaining and welcome presence of Mark Pellegrino as Jeremy Baker.
Since the series has no shortage of memorable villains, the best of course being Giancarlo Esposito's Tom Neville, it was inevitable that Miles would run into him first. Though their meeting is brief in terms of screen time, it transitions Neville's opinion of Miles from one of cautious admiration and competition to intense rage. But more importantly, perhaps, is the way the Miles/Neville meeting propels the heroes toward the endgame, rather than have them sit around and discuss a foolhardy plan to infiltrate Monroe's R&D facility.
This leads up to the confrontation between Miles and Monroe that the seemingly rushed and somewhat silly flashbacks hurry to create additional perspective for. While the big moment visually is the sword fight between the two, thematically it's Miles' admission that his regret stems not from their fractured relationship, but that he failed to follow through on his initial assassination attempt. Miles laments: "I'm sorry I didn't kill you the first time." For the episode, and for its characters, that was the more important fight – one that will hopefully help dictate the future storylines in Revolution.
Of course, now that Monroe has the ability to use the devastating weapons he's been stockpiling, the dynamic of the series is bound to change. It's irrevocably going to go from the story of survival in a world without power, to the battle between those who can wield power in limited fashion. Whether or not that will be enough to bring viewers back, or progress the series in a way that its storytelling improves, remains to be seen. This cliffhanger suggests the series is headed in a better direction, but many episodes remain, so Revolution could just as easily be on its way to more of the same.
The advertisement for the spring return of Revolution teases, "Everything will change." Here's hoping that change is for the better.
Various other items:
- "You're the reason I'm in so much trouble." Miles seems understandably unimpressed when meeting Danny for the first time.
- Aaron's lighting of the bomb fuse is a nice nod to continuity. He's finally ready to get that wife back!
- The midseason finale wisely chose not to cut from the action to check in with Randall (Colm Feore) and Grace (Maria Howell). No doubt they're well aware someone is using a pendant, and it will be interesting to see how Randall responds to this development.
- Neville's almost gleeful recognition, and sudden indignant denigration of Aaron is the kind of performance Revolution needs a lot more of.
- "Run, you idiot." How many viewers have screamed this at the screen while watching the show?
Revolution will return to NBC in March, and Screen Rant will be there with more news and reviews of the series. Check out a short preview for the series' return below: