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Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Love" REVOLUTION, Finally

Article first published as "Love" REVOLUTION, Finally on TheTVKing.

NBC's Revolution is finally finding its legs in the second season, which paused with the mid-season finale "Everyone Says I Love You" last night. In the installment, there are many people missing, and some doubting their sanity when they see things they don't expect to see. It's not much of an episode for closure, but it does further a number of arcs in a satisfying manner.

Aaron (Zak Orth) is front and center at present, suddenly having the power to heal even more wounds, and not just for himself, which he discovers when Cynthia's (Jessica Collins, Rubicon) knife wound disappears. But it's not actually Aaron doing any of this. The nanotech that saturates the world recognizes Aaron as the man who woke him up and is bending to his will, as well as appearing to him (and only him) in the form of a childhood friend.

Revolution has barely begun to scratch the surface of what the nanotech means for the characters or the planet. It definitely doesn't understand human emotions, letting Cynthia die again later in the episode, after Aaron has been screaming at it to go away. Yet, they understand preservation, killing Dr. Horn (Zeljko Ivanek, Damages) and the other Patriots who threaten Aaron. Have they already outgrown the human they've been helping now, and what drives them? These are interesting questions that the show will hopefully delve into down the line.

This series must strike a balance between character development and mythology, something the entire first season struggled with (not to mention plot holes and bad acting from the younger cast members, which seems to have mostly fixed itself over the summer break). There are plenty of viewers who are watching to unlock the mystery of this dystopian America and find out what political faction can seize control, but there are others who just want to see what will happen to the people they've become attached to.

"Everyone Says I Love You" mainly serves the characters, letting Miles (Billy Burke) fess up to long-hidden feelings for Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) after a very revealing flashback, Rachel tells her daughter, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), just how much she is loved, and Rachel is worried about her MIA dad (Stephen Collins, 7th Heaven). Yet, this also ties into the larger arc. For instance, Miles is looking for Aaron to heal him from an infection. But will the nanos abandoning Aaron mean that Miles is out of luck?

I feel like this is a good way to handle things. Rather than keeping the elements separate, the series is starting to really weave an interconnected story and use all of its very talented adult cast appropriately, allowing them more layers and history. Thus, it's improved markedly.

Monroe (David Lyons) is one who has benefited from this shift. Once a pretty flat villain, he's now a broken man, having lost his nation, and is only getting by because of the hope that he might find his long-lost son. Miles is the key to the boy's location, tying Monroe and Miles together once more, and along the way Monroe has to do some things to protect our heroes, something we don't expect from him prior to this. Very interesting, and dynamic.

And, of course, Revolution is still going to try to shock fans with the Big Reveal from time to time. Among the many happenstances in "Everyone Says I Love You," the most surprising may be when Tom (Giancarlo Esposito) finds Julia (Kim Raver) alive and remarried. This not only throws Tom for a total loop, making his grief a waste of time, but also destroys the reason behind the mission he is on. There's no telling how he may proceed now, especially because it seems Julia isn't willing to just come home with Tom and their son, Jason (JD Pardo), but also asks that Tom abandon his quest.

Practically everything Revolution has done in its sophomore year has been a step up over the freshman run. If it continues this in the second half of the season, it just may crack into must-see, recommended TV. It's certainly got some great elements!

Revolution will return soon to NBC.

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