Revolution episode 4 review: The Plague Dogs

Review Billy Grifter 10 Oct 2012 - 07:22

Billy finds himself enjoying Revolution less and less. Here's his review of Plague Dogs...

This review contains spoilers.

1.4 Plague Dogs

It's been a disturbing week. Revolution has had a full season order, the reason for which I can only assume was inspired by the strong viewing figures. Inexplicably, it seems more people are watching Revolution now than when it first started.

Why is this so, as what the show has so far presented is a puzzle? Have I missed some wonderful subtle subtext to which the general populace are better attuned? Or are people just rubber-necking, like at the scene of a especially horrific traffic accident? Whatever the reason, they're watching, undeterred by the wooden acting, trite dialogue and corny excuses for plot development.

I've seen people fervently arguing that Revolution should be given the same amount of respect as Lost, which also didn't make much sense from the outset. I'd counter that by saying that Lost had one of the best TV pilot episodes ever, some really interesting characters, and snappy verbal exchanges, and Revolution has none of these things. Depending on where you sit in the Lost debate, the slack it was cut in holding explanations back was either entirely justified or just not ultimately deserved.

Episode 4 of Revolution, The Plague Dogs, brings us more of the same dreary and uninteresting junk that we've now suffered from the previous three episodes. It starts with a now-familiar interlude where Charlie whines to Miles, who eventually tells her to shut up, representing the viewers' perspective. They then meet up with Maggie and Aaron, and Charlie makes a face like she's had the therapy they used on Jason Bourne. She makes that face often, mostly when she's asked to represent an emotion she's never heard of before, which is most of them.

Then they meet the Plague Dogs, who still look like family pets despite not having been born as such. Before this show started, I'd watched a number of documentaries about the projected events should mankind be wiped out for whatever reason. One of these predicted an explosion in the wolf population, but Revolution's budget didn't stretch to them, so we got a Doberman, a German Shepherd and a Great Dane instead. Then again, they bite Aaron, so they're not all bad, are they?

The gang wanders into the abandoned theme park occupied by the crazy guy with the attack dogs, and Scooby Doo wanders off to find some snacks. I really hoped at one point the crazy guy would appear in a glowing diving suit, or talk about 'pesky kids', but him failing to do so didn't mask the origins of this laughable idea.

Meanwhile, there is a lightning storm brewing, causing another problematic issue for the writers to address when they decide to explain the lack of electricity, if they ever do, that is.

There's a side story where they try to explain that there were sailing and steam ships but they all got destroyed in the 'war', so Maggie can't get back to Blighty even if she wanted. Perhaps she should have tried earlier? Or at least considered that you can theoretically walk to France if you head in the opposite direction in the winter.

The effort that goes into giving Maggie this elaborate back-story is completely misplaced, because by the end of the episode she's dead. Once she was stabbed I didn't give her much chance, because without modern antibiotics, even if she didn't bleed to death she'd have died of infection.

She goes through plenty before she finally dies, including a dialogue exchange with Charlie so painful that's what probably killed her, not the knife wound. When she'd gone I actually appreciated her more, because while Anna Lise Phillips didn't exactly set the screen on fire as Maggie, she tried acting much more than most of those left behind.

There were some odd allusions to The Wizard Of Oz and the twister that didn't actually get to the point of ever joining up. I'd talk about the bits in the barn and Rachel's continued refusal to join the Mickey Mouse club, but none of it made any narrative sense. Now we're told that Rachel left her family because Miles told her to, but that doesn't make him any more ambiguous a character then we've already been sold.

Episode four was by far the toughest yet in terms of watchability, I'm not sure there are many more rungs beneath where it currently stands in presenting a story. My guess is that next week, the inspiration for that episode will be the classic Flintstones story where Barney gets promoted to be Fred's boss!

For those wondering why I'm continuing to review this given that I find it so bad, when I commit to do something then that's it, and it doesn't matter if it's the brilliance of Dexter or the banality of Revolution. So I'll be sticking with it to the bitter end, through the bitter middle, I predict.

Read Billy's review of last week's episode, No Quarter, here.

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.

Disqus - noscript

yeah you're just being too critical. I've seen Dexter and let me just say, Dexter is NOT "brilliance". Every character other than Dexter and his dad and his baby pretty much suck and are as shallow as a puddle and I couldn't really care if they died. but no, they had to make his wife die. which led to a really great season after that, but still. I hate that she died. I stopped watching after the Lumen season. The show began to seriously backtrack just to keep it afloat. In addition, the whole idea of having a serial killer be an antihero good guy and rationalizing why a killer kills is really dark and unethical in my opinion. After watching so many seasons, my soul could longer tolerate watching the show even though the lead is so unique and likable. LOST withholding answers was not justified in the least because in the end we were never given any important answers within the context of the series which really pissed me off. No pay-off. Jacob's excuse for making all those people die was God-awful too. I think you just decided to not like Revolution and now all you can see is faults. I agree that many plot-points are thinly strung together, but it has its good moments. I've enjoyed all the flashbacks up until this point. I hate Charlie's name, but otherwise am satisfied with her acting. Watching Danny escape and get caught multiple times has been cool. I hate his dumb moment in episode 1 where he shoots for no reason. The stuff involving Grace felt off the wall random. I think Rachel was revealed to the audience too soon. I like the show better when it focuses on the struggle/human aspects of the show, and not so much on the mystery of why did all the light go out. I find it really stupid when the person with "all the answers" dies, leaving the ignorant to struggle to find out. overused plot device. The lack of pay-off I experienced while watching LOST has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I think the reason I'm not as annoyed as you is because I don't understand electrical or mechanical engineering at all. Overall, I like the concept of Revolution of all electrical power going kapoot. It's a very real scenario my family talks about a lot, living in hurricane-ridden Florida and all. Katrina anyone? I feel like the problem with most shows is that their plot isn't planned out properly, so the story-telling feels like it's going in circles. I wish the first season of Revolution could have focused more on the survival and new-way-of-life aspect and then season two dips into the mystery. Wouldn't it have been more creative if Charlie's father died in the finale, and as he was dying he whispered the secret of why the lights went out to her and only her, but because of monumental it is, she decides to keep this secret to herself? And we, the audience, only find out what it is when she decides to tell some of it to someone else in season 2? Then season 3 would deal with getting the power back. Season 4 with fall-out. Season 5 with post fall-out. End of show.

I agree with everything you've said, but dude, you need to PROOFREAD. This is not a sentence: "Why this is so, as what the show has so far presented is a puzzle?" This is not a sentence either: "For those wondering why I'm continuing to review this, given that I find it so bad." This doesn't make sense: "I'd watched a number of documentaries about the projected events should mankind be wiped out." Are you referring to potential post-apocalyptic scenarios? I genuinely don't know what you mean by the phrase "THE projected events." This doesn't make sense either: "Meanwhile, there is a storm brewing, which has lightening" - unless you mean the storm had the properties of bleach. Also, you say "There were some odd allusions to The Wizard Of Oz and the twister that didn't actually get to the point of joining up, ever." What is "the point of joining up?" Finally, I don't think the phrase "him failing to do so didn't mask the origins of this laughable idea" makes sense. I read it a few times over, but it seems like you're saying the fact that the crazy guy did NOT dress up like a bad guy from Scooby Doo did NOT "mask the origins" of the stupid dog scene. I think I get what you're driving at, but it couldn't be more confusing. You really need to read stuff through before you publish it to make sure it's coherent because otherwise, as I said, I agree with all your observations.

I agree, dumb show however in the words of William Shatner and Ben Folds Five " I can't commit, to you". You being Revolution. Think the lack of Originality will be its undoing.

I have to wonder if NBC's full season pickup for the show demonstrates just how desperate they are. NBC has had other shows that were better than this one and either didn't last as long or won't have lasted as long by the time all is said and done. Awake and Journeyman are two that come to mind. Even if The Event was better than this.
Even more disturbing is the fact that this show may outlive the likes of Firefly, Jericho, Rubicon, and numerous others. I don't know if this is because the broadcast networks are a bunch of dimwits, or the majority of the viewing audience demands fluff like this, or a combination of both but it's laughable to me that a show like this is being taken as seriously as it is and receiving the support that it is.
I will say it's not the worst show I've ever seen but this concept could be done so much better elsewhere. Would love to see somebody like HBO get their hands on a concept like this.

What's that smell? Do I detect a hint of burning martyr? Dude, give an impartial review not your opinion. This site is brilliant but you are starting to sound like a troll.

So I had to comment. I don't know why but I'm liking the show. Maybe it's because it doesn't ask too much of me and maybe it's because it's a 45 minute period where I can just not think. There are some big flaws in the premise that I'm still hoping will get resolved without too much hand waving, but after Fringe couldn't make up it's mind about whether or not Peter exists or who is dead and who used to be dead, I'm not holding my breath (Thanks J.J.) But, for some reason, it's appealing. We get it DOG, you don't like it. Just relax and enjoy a mindless show when it comes along.

It really is just becoming one big pile of bull plop. i can't get how after 15 years an iphone 4 still works as if there is no way a phone battery would lose all power even if you could theoretically return power to a divise that has had the power "turned off"
As for all the ships being destroyed in the "war" did no one think to build a new fleet of ships. are there seriously no one with the skills, ability to read or a new breed of skilled engineers available to get cracking in building new ships and a malitia willing to defend a port for building old school sailing ships!
seriously a great idea but lacking in exicution and terrible casting. if it hadn't been for the casting of Mark Pellegrino I would have stopped watching by now.

I have to admit that I'm getting a weird sort of enjoyment reading Billy's weekly rants against this show. Personally, while I wouldn't put it nearly in the company of Fringe or Lost, I do enjoy it as a sort of popcorn entertainment. But this weekly review makes my week.

I agree with your review Billy. If you're wondering why the show was renewed, just look at some of your readers and you'll find the answer. Some of the comments here are saying that you're being too critical. Translation: they have nothing better to do with their time than waste hours of it watching something mediocre at best, terrible by most accounts. That and they don't have any taste.
Honestly, I enjoy reading your rants against this show, but I gotta say man, you shouldn't waste any more time watching this terrible show. Even if your reviews are funny as hell.

I seem to be watching this show as it's ok(-ish), and to be annoyed at all the inadequacy's that seem to fill the show due to the writers having no scientific or engineering thoughts in there heads. No sailing ships! wtf Given a couple of years I'm sure I could build a sailing vessel to cross the Atlantic with a couple of books from any library and Sextant for navigation, few more years and I'd be steam powered for sure. Didn't even the Vikings get to north America and have a permanent settlement in Greenland with no electricity and actually not know where they were going

Read More About:

Sponsored Links