TV REVIEW: Revolution Episode 2, “Chained Heat” Recap
Episode Two, “Chained Heat”
The writing continues to be the main weakness in this second instalment as, in typical JJ Abrams fashion, the characters act and react predictably and moronically.
Take this week’s early set up, obnoxious, main character Charlie, pulls a shit fit when her Uncle Miles is about to kill a bounty hunter (played by an extremely old looking C. Thomas Howell) who had tried to kill them. She ends up guilting him out of it and, of course, C. Thomas ends up almost killing them again later.
I seriously don’t know how long the show can sustain the weight of such a hateful central character. That’s what sunk shows like The Event, which had a way more intriguing premise than the stultifyingly dumb one of Revolution, i.e., all electricity inexplicably went dead so in less than 10 years the world becomes an anarchic mess controlled by a Militant Group that considers people who carry the American flag, rebels… uh yeah, ok.
How much is one supposed to suspend their beliefs? I guess Abrams intends to stretch that question to its utmost limits.
Anyway, lemme make my way back to the actual episode, which this week was actually a scintilla better than the pilot.
The basic plot is Uncle Miles needs to find some woman (who you just know is gonna be an unrealistically hot babe) who is good at “blowing up stuff” in order to retrieve Charlie’s brother from the Monroe Militia.
After Charlie almost gets everyone dead (as mentioned above) Miles decides to continue on his own and meet his niece and her two protectors (who from now until the end of the season I will refer to as Google Guy and Brit Mom) in a couple of weeks in Indiana. Selfish and insensitive as ever, the petulant teen decides to go after him and leaves her companions high and dry in the middle of nowhere.
This is actually proves to be the most effective scene in the episode and so far the series, as her friends discuss the electrical failure a bit more clearly. Brit Mom reveals the reason she keeps a long dead iPhone with her is because somewhere in there contains the only pictures of her (assumingly dead) children, bringing up a surprisingly insightful point about today’s technology and just how tenuous it all is. Google Guy reciprocates her candor with a revelation of his own as he fesses up to his being asked by Charlie’s father to bring the pendant flash drive thingy to a woman who would know what to do with it, thus leading him to the possibility that this black out is man made, and thusly, can be fixed.
Next we see the brother witness the killing a man who was in possession of guns (apparently a big no no). One of the soldiers gets shot in the ensuing firefight and we see a surprising gentler side to his main captor (Giancarlo Esposito) who comforts the wounded soldier administering a fast acting poison to put him out of his misery. This adds an interesting wrinkle to the plot… Is he a psychopath (as the brother calls him) or just a good man in a bad situation committed to the cause.
Charlie and Uncle Miles meanwhile do eventually meet up with the explosives expert they were looking for, who does, of course, turn out to be an unrealistically hot babe, in an elaborate fight scene wherein they retrieve a prized sniper rifle and Charlie bypasses her ethics and ends up killing two prison guards. Explosives expert babe agrees to help them in return for their help in delivering the gun to a rebel base.
All this leads up to the final scene shocker that Charlie’s mother is indeed alive and being held captive by the President of the Monroe Militia.
So far, the series has the emotional content of a B level video game, but it is getting better… So we’ll see.