Revolution episode 8 review: Ties That Bind

Review Billy Grifter
14 Nov 2012 - 11:32

Despite an interesting thread this week, Revolution's lack of common sense is still grating. Here's Billy's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.8 Ties That Bind

This show has a knack of delivering head-slapping moments where you wonder if anyone in the cast looked at the script, and thought 'that's seriously dumb'. We didn't have to wait long for the first of these this week, when Miles tells the group to keep walking towards the trap, only to turn around and run on his signal. Surely if they'd run at the first indication it was a trap, then they'd have less distance to cover to escape? And, what happened to the militia man they bribed, and why didn't he lock the gate behind them? I assume the continuity person on this show left some months ago, realising they'd not be needed.

But then the situation didn't make any sense anyway, because if Strauss was as clinical a killer as he's made out, then he'd have posted more men on the side of the river they came from, and trapped them on the bridge, surely?

But I don't want to talk about the plot part that occupied most of the running time because it was inherently pointless (with the exception of Aaron placing the pendant in an easily stealable place, rather than around his neck). They went up and down the river for miles, ignoring the obvious choice to swim, which they eventually did with seemingly little issue. It was boring, and the Nora back-story was tedious and predictable.

No, what was more interesting was the machinations back at the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, a place the writers seem to have decided is a perfect model for reworking the politics of Rome, and other toga-stabbing dramas.

What I've been noticing is that the writers like to weave in historical references in a somewhat uncontrolled way. The show has many references to the American Civil War, especially in the way that they're now dressing and living. Now the senior people are acting like Roman emperors, and Major Tom's wife has ambitions for him that make her seem more ruthless than he is.

It's all going to end badly - it always does for people so focused on doing ill to others for their personal gain, but it's significantly more compelling than the rubbish were being presented elsewhere in Revolution.

And, more spice came in the closing sequence, when we discover that Randall has taken Grace to a huge facility, presumably the one housing the machine that's causing the power outage. Looking at the map they observe, only seven pendants are currently in North America, which means that five are elsewhere on the planet presumably. It also informs us that three different Pendant types exist' A, B and C, and the one that Munro holds is a 'C' type, whatever that signifies.

What I don't accept is the implication presented by Miles that with this pendant Munro will have jets. Because the servicing needed for military hardware would be unavailable without a massive supporting infrastructure that just doesn't exist any longer.

Is this a turning point for Revolution? No, not really. It made a stab at being interesting for a few minutes, but that's hardly a justification for what we've had to endure to get here.

The writers still don't understand some very basic ideas about making a compelling show, like how to make the audience care for their characters. When it was presented that Nora walk off with her sister I was slightly relieved, as this character has no depth whatsoever, and her back story didn't make me feel like we knew her more. Then when it turned out her sister was part of the plot to capture them, I didn't care much either, because we'd only just met her.

Truth be told, I'm having a hard time caring about any of the characters we've been given so far, and that, along with the complete lack of common sense in many scenes, is what's hurting this show the most.

Read Billy's review of the previous episode, The Children's Crusade, here.

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