Revolution season 2 episode 18 review: Austin City Limits

Review Billy Grifter 4 Apr 2014 - 09:55

Revolution serves up one of its rare sense-making, engaging episodes. Here's Billy's review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.18 Austin City Limits

Just when I thought Revolution had completely imploded, it entirely confused me by chucking a story light on silliness, and strong on performance.

I knew something was wrong from the outset, because the opening scene between Giancarlo Esposito (Tom) and J.D. Pardo (Jason) was probably the best they’d ever done together. Mr Pardo did some acting, and Mr Esposito resisted the temptation to ham it up outrageously. I should have worked out then that this wasn’t good news for one of these two, but it did strike me as an odd interaction at the time.

Tom’s descent is almost complete. He’s only to work out that his wife sold him out for the whole deal to be done. Jason wanders off, and runs into the gang, conveniently.

Meanwhile Miles, Munroe, Charlie and Connor decide to go to Austin Texas to stop the Patriots eliminating the leadership there, in what turned out to be an eventful trip. While they’re getting there, and hundreds of miles takes minutes in Revolution, coming in the opposite direction are Aaron and Priscilla, but they don’t meet.

Things are wonderful with Aaron, as his wife is having sex with him, and cooking crispy fingers for breakfast. Yum! Aaron knows that sex and fingers is too good to be true, and confronts Priscilla, who admits that she’s now a nanites experience and pleasure centre. Until these two eventually meet up with Rachel, I still wasn’t entirely sure if they weren’t in some Matrix world still, but it turns out that isn’t really necessary. The question it does pose is that if the nanites can take over Priscilla, why didn’t they take over Aaron and get him to fix the code that way? Whatever the logic, if any exists, the idea of an artificial life form wanting to become the creator isn’t a new one. And, what’s the betting that Priscilla is now pregnant with the first human/nanite?

Thankfully that section was short, and they soon returned to the Austin field trip, which was generally interesting and amusing.

M.C. Gainey is always good value, and he turns up as Blanchard, an S&M loving old war horse, who is around far too short a time. He’s great, and given he played one of the Brittle Brothers in Django Unchained, he’s worth whatever the production paid. His appearance is just a stepping stone to more dramatic events, when the gang try to stop the assassination of General Carver.

For Revolution, this was put together exceptionally well. They even managed to tie an early story, where against Munroe’s best advice, they’d let young Dillon go, come back to bite them. But the real sprung branch in this was the code tattooed under Jason’s eyelid. Logically, you’d have thought the best solution would have been to obliterate this number or better still, change it, but nobody on this show thinks that laterally. Its use, and the ultimate consequences, was probably the one and only time that this show has managed to shock me.

We’ve been there so many times before, with Charlie about to kill a major character, and then something happens to stop it. But the writing team has suddenly grown some, and delivered what could be the only conclusion in these circumstances, the death of a main character. We’ll assuming that the nanites don’t bring Jason back, which I can’t see happening.

The only bit of this that didn’t work was the long shot with Jason dying with Charlie, because once the shot rang out everyone in the square looked in the direction it came from. And, nobody went to look what was going on? Okay, the death of baby Dillon did preoccupy a few people, but not all of them. I just hope that they tell Tom Neville with a bullhorn (if one worked), because he’s going to get very angry indeed when he finds out Jason is dead.

Unfortunately the promo shows that sadly someone drops Charlie in it with Tom, in the next story. Perhaps they should have told him the President did it?
Even if most of this made sense, it still managed to leave me confused. If those behind the show can craft what wasn’t utter nonsense for a single episode, what happened to the other thirty nine?

If this improvement carries on I’ll be delighted, but Revolution has seen a few false dawns in the past two seasons.

Read Billy's review of the previous episode, Why We Fight, here.

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