Revolution season 2 episode 10 review: The Three Amigos

Review Billy Grifter
10 Jan 2014 - 16:23

Regrettably, Revolution's version of The Three Amigos does not contain Steve Martin, Chevy Chase or even Martin short...

This review contains spoilers.

2.10 The Three Amigos

There was me thinking I’d seen the last of turkey, and then Revolution came back.

What The Three Amigos reminded me of most is how far from the original premise this show has wandered. Because people have entirely given up even mentioning the power outage issue and their focus is decidedly south of the border.

Our three Amigos in this instance are Miles, Rachel and Bass, who head to Mexico to hang out with Bass’s long lost son. It’s as simple and as dumb as that statement makes it sound, as when you leave people for decades they’re invariably either not where you left them or the same person when you come back.
But the highlight of this exercise came well before the teary reunion, where they reached the border and discovered some irony that the script writers cooked up. Instead of migrant workers been allowed across US borders, they hawk themselves to get work on the more affluent Mexican side of the fence.

What rather let this all down was that the set dressers tried to make this a convincing desert environment by digging up parts of Austin, Texas (I think), and planting cacti randomly in the mud. Okay, it's not plastic-holly-around-trucks bad, but poor all the same.

The idea that without electronics and vehicles, Mexico could control a border that’s almost 2,000 miles in length is laughable, as they can’t even do that now from the US side. Whatever the logic, they leave their valuable horses, get across the border by Rachel flashing her eyes, and head to meet Bass Jnr. When they ride into town to be greeted by numerous prostitutes and gangsters it’s all rather predictable, even if Miles seems stupidly shocked by this development. And when they meet Jnr, that he’s a local enforcer isn’t a surprise to the viewer either, even if Bass isn’t ready for that cheesy revelation. It’s like a really naff daytime soap where everyone acts surprised or shocked at everything that happens to them, as if they never saw the script.

Surely, this show would work better if the viewer wasn’t two steps or more ahead of the cast, at every stage?

The two other sub-plots run in this story are all about the really tiresome exercise this show likes of taking the character groups and pairings apart, so at some point in the future they can be brought back together again. This is never accidental, because realistically all the characters could walk around in the mainland US for their entire lives and never come across each other again, statistically.

Aaron is traumatised by being King of the Fireflies and goes to look for Spring City, where he finds Grace, unexpectedly. And Charlie sticks around with guilt-ridden Grandpa, who still feels bad about being such an utter quisling.

I like Stephen Collins, but he must know that he’s now been set up for self-sacrifice in a redemption plot in the near future, because he’s wearing that face of income-stream-loss-despair. His chance for glory is brewing up nicely back in the town of Willoughby where those nice US Government people who Aaron didn’t torch are handing out specially prepared fruit surprises. Somehow I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing much Tropicana product placement in the coming stories.

Are we meant to care about all the characters in Willoughby we’ve never met, and what might happen to them? I find it hard to give a damn about the ones I do know.

That section at least had some interest going for it, but almost as bad as the Mexican adventure was the section where Tom gets to the White House and scowls at everyone in a really obviously psychopathic way. Giancarlo Esposito is a really good actor, so I can’t imagine why anyone would ask him to act like this, unless they’d told him Tom has a personality-altering brain tumour. His solution to missing the drinks glass seemed much less risky than the one he failed, and made me wonder why he’d even bothered to try and poison him in public in the first place. I don’t give much for Mr Allenford’s chances, given how annoying he can be to Tom.

With the possible exception of the return of Grace, The Three Amigos was almost without redemption. It was poorly paced, badly acted, had cheesy dialogue and entirely predictable events. Normally returning shows come back with something energetic to get the fans excited, and this was slower moving than the traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

The trailer for episode eleven, Mis Dos Padres, next week looks dire, just to warn you.

Read Billy's review of the previous episode, Everyone Says I Love You, here.

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