Revolution episode 16 review: The Love Boat

Review Billy Grifter
7 May 2013 - 12:30

Billy continues his weekly commitment to Revolution, despite finding very little to enjoy...

This review contains spoilers.

1.16 The Love Boat

This could have actually been an interesting episode, compared with some of the diabolically poor plots we've been shown on the show. It starts with the usual guff where we're presented with events, and then jump back two days to explain them. Except the writers didn't seem to understand the model that requires this idea to work, namely: characters do something that you never would expect them to do, and then we're presented with a set of circumstances that explains why they did that. Here nobody does anything remarkably out of character, so we're left with things being out of chronological order for no good reason whatsoever.

If you couldn't be bothered to watch this, and I wish I'd joined you if that's the case, then it's about Miles, Charlie and Nora, along with their new best friend Major Tom, taking a leisurely boat trip to go and find a biological weapons scientist who's been cooking up Anthrax for the Mickey Mouse club. I try not to think hard about anything we're presented, but there's no sense here for anyone who likes their shows to make any.

What this is mostly a mechanism for are some tense scenes between Tom and Miles, Tom and Charlie, Tom and Nate, Tom and the universe. What makes this extra hard to watch is that I think Giancarlo Esposito is a fine actor, and better than the material he's forced to work with here. Some of the posturing that went on in these interactions made seventies soaps seem thespian by comparison, making Tom Neville now a parody of the character we were originally presented.

This is all a sideshow to convincing everyone that Miles is actually a nice person and not the sociopath that he likes to promote himself as. If you've still not got the dozen or so hints that the writers have stuck in here, I'm ninety percent certain that Charlie is actually his daughter, and maybe Danny the-plot-point Matheson was his son too. Sixteen episodes into the show I'd be hoping that the characters might have developed somewhat, rather than the show still trying to convince us that they're one thing or another.

An interesting distraction was the notion that we had not one, but two steam ships in this story, and these were special magical ones that you can only get on Revolution. The larger vessel was fully explored by the Munroe militia, who failed to find those secretly held onboard, or the very large boiler room that powers the ship, or any fuel to create steam pressure. In fact both ships appeared to have steam power without any of the necessary technology or people to run it, other than having some steam emanating from them. Dumb, but for Revolution, predictably so.

The award for silliness this week though, goes to the minor sub-plot where Aaron and Rachel make friends and influence people along their journey. Having shot the man whose food they stole, they ran off into the darkness entirely ignoring both his horse and firearm, both of which would have been very useful later. As both men they then killed had horses, if I see them walking again next week, I'll know that they don't deserve to make it to the tower. And, Rachel should make a major complaint to Miles if she ever sees him again, who gave her a six shot revolver, but with only five rounds in it!

Passing over the Nora and Miles love scene, after Nora had found a local militia hairstylist, there was one last tease to get people to watch next week, with a cliff-hanger from the tower. Not that we know what Grace is doing there, or care that much.

There are so many deferred points of interest in the show that I'm wondering if Revolution's makers have been told that they have at least six seasons to wrap the story up, even if logically it might have fitted in a mini-series running time. Evidence to support that view wasn't long in coming, when NBC announced last week that we're destined to suffer at least another twenty-two episode season, which I must have done something bad to deserve. At this rate I'll be working on my own technology to stop electrical power working across the globe, just not to suffer watching this frightful show further.

Read Billy's review of the previous episode, Home, here.

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