Revolution season 2 episode 8 review: Come Blow Your Horn

Review Billy Grifter
16 Nov 2013 - 10:26

After a couple of ropey episodes, Revolution returns to some form. Here's Billy's review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.8 Come Blow Your Horn

I’m hoping that the whole faking Bass’s death represented a low point that Revolution can now climb away from, and in many respects, Come Blow Your Horn did seem much less of a mess than the previous two stories.

Okay, in terms of a overall narrative it wasn’t brilliant, but it demonstrated some intention at progression for some very obvious flaws. Aaron is captured by the single minded Dr. Horn who seems determined to extract the most from the crossing of their paths. In this we got the strongest indication yet that Horn is destined to be around for the rest of the season, as they took the time to provide him with a back story. It was a simple enough one, about the motivation of a man of science and not belief, but it’s more than many other characters have ever had on this show. They then embossed this by providing a more immediate motivation in the form of a terminal brain tumour, which he’s hoping that Aaron can directly/indirectly fix.

The problem with all of Horn’s theorising is that Aaron can’t actually control his nano-power, and as such he’s likely to be disappointed with the results at some point.

Where the writers love Dr. Horn, probably because Zeljko Ivanek chews scenery so well, some of the other characters they don’t like as much. Perhaps at the top of that list is Jason Neville, because where this character went this season isn’t a good place or any indication of his potential longevity. The sub-plot of   Secretary Justine Allenford has been a weary one from the outset, and after not going anywhere in particular it finally ended. Actually, all it contributed was to confirm that the Patriots are uniformly ruthless, and that they’ve probably met their match with Tom.

Allenford’s death lacked any memorable elements, and she didn’t even speak after she was fatally shot by her husband. Unlike Horn, she was never saddled with a back-story or even much of a personality, so her disposal wasn’t much of a shock. I think when the writers in this show start lavishing some effort on minor roles, then we’ll have got somewhere, but for now they’re fodder.

So where did all the elements in this episode come together? In the rather well-constructed assault on the amazingly insecure town compound. In this, I began to realise that not having wireless communication actually makes for much more tension. That, and we’re well aware that Rachel is capable of making tough decisions, even if they involve her own father.

What made me chuckle in this was they kept referring to Gene as ‘Grandpa’, rather than duplicitous doctor of death, which is probably more accurate. I guess it sounds less acceptable to kill ‘Grandpa’ than otherwise. Stephen Collins has been doing some sterling work as Dr. Gene Porter, and I hope they don’t give him the Allenford rush any time soon.

But where Revolution can be interesting and developmental, it can also entirely forget where it’s come from in a heartbeat. This lack of consistency reared its ugly head in the transformation of Cynthia from one character into an entirely different one. In the previous seven stories Cynthia hasn’t been the brightest star in the un-light polluted skies over Revolution. In fact quite why she and Aaron had any common ground was something of a mystery, and remains so. From being remorselessly dense, she suddenly works out in an instance the connection between Aaron’s flame-on power and the demise of her late husband. In fact she did it so quickly it made Aaron seem relatively slow for not realising she’d make that connection. From the point where she confronted him about this Jessica Collins (Cynthia) seemed to be playing a totally different character than the one she’s been portraying up till now. Obviously characters have turning points, usually caused by dramatic events, but this transformation was most jarring, and made me wonder where the old Cynthia went? Not that I missed her, but it was odd.

They at least ended on a decent hook, where having injected Aaron with a stimulant, Horn then stabs the new Cynthia to get the party started. Can Aaron heal, can he kill by other means than fire, can he generate really cool total body tattoos? Maybe.

And then, as seems to be the norm for Revolution, critical parts of what happens next week got entirely blown by the trailer they ended on. Why do they do this, because it denudes the show of any great tension, something it badly needs?

What we really need now is someone else who was at the tower exhibiting Nano-power unexpectedly, and that could so easily offer the return of Randall. But if they did that it would be part of a season ending cliff-hanger, I suspect.

Overall, the episode was better than last week's, and bordering on watchable in places.

Read Billy's review of the previous episode, The Patriot Act, here.

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