Revolution season 2 episode 21 review: Memorial Day

Billy rejoices in the cancellation of Revolution, a nonsensical show that's finally being put out of its misery...

This review contains spoilers.

2.21 Memorial Day

It was announced just after I reviewed episode 20 that Revolution would not be renewed, and I’d be lying not to admit I wasn’t pleased. After the final episode I’ll talk more about what went wrong from the outset of this show, but today I’ll just cover what occurred in this penultimate slice of Revolution insanity.

The only real question I had about the show that’s truly unanswered is whether those involved were made aware some time ago that season 2 would be the end, or would it end in an untidy fashion? We’ll get the full answer to that next week, but given what they included in Memorial Day, it’s a metaphorical full-steam ahead for this show.

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That’s fitting, because the majority of this story revolves around a steam train that Miles wants to stop delivering mustard gas to the hospitable neighbours in Texas, while Bass would like to send it to Washington. So, what we have here is a long haul logistics problem, interjected with much gunfire and some abysmally bad dialogue.

There was only one decent line given to any actor in the running time, and it was one that Tom got in the opening scene, where he said that he was heading to Washington, making ‘Sherman’s march seem like a 10K fun-run’. But alas, nothing else said here was remotely as dry. 

What amused me more was that the entire set-up for the train segment actually made sense later, even if it looked like the sort of rubbish that this show can produce. The way that Marion went hunting for information and then found it all conveniently in one place seemed laughable. It was meant to be. And, that the Patriots gave Mustard Gas the secret sign, that everyone knows, because it’s ‘secret’.

Much later on the silliness of this was explained, demonstrating that Revolution’s past digressions do tend to impact watching it. Though, it never really explained how Miles though that the train was going to get to Austin by the next day, and why derailing it wasn’t a simpler idea? But then they previously ran another train episode in season one and nobody thought to derail it then, either. The budget said ‘yes’ to train, but ‘no’ to derail.

That Marion was being played by Ed Truman was as a close to a twist that Revolution has managed in some time. But, as usual, it was undermined by some rather bonkers plot points. Because if the empty gas tanker was a ruse, and it was, then why did there need to be so much gas in the town hall? One drum alone would have been enough to kill everyone in the vicinity, surely? And, given that Ed’s only protection against this much gas is a gas mask (this stuff burns skin on contact) he’s obviously not read that manual.

That he finally killed Marion was the least surprising thing, but it at least ended the possibility that she’d flip-flop back to being a Patriot before we’re done. The cliff-hanger ending, looks like a set-up for a big twist where the Texans have double-crossed the Patriots, if I’d hazard a guess. We’ll see, but I can’t see both Bass and Miles reaching the final credits alive, and possibly other main characters like Connor also look rather disposable. Tom is a dead man walking, though I predict his wife won’t have expired. I’m sure she’s the President’s plaything.

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What was most disappointing about this story was how little time we got to spend with Aaron, Rachel and Nano-Priscilla, the majority of which was much more interesting. Rachel coming across the crazy house provided a few really interesting clues to some of the weirder things we’ve seen in season 2. I especially liked the ‘rat room’, and how that related to something that we saw in second story this season. The problem is that they needed to insert a flashback because it was so long ago for most viewers to grasp what it meant.

How Rachel reacted initially, I liked. But then they tried to electrocute Priscilla, without any scientific thinking whatsoever, like they’ve not realised that the nanos are masters of electricity by now? It may be that they have to kill Priscilla, though I’m not entirely sure how that might progress them, as it could take over anyone and even resurrect Priscilla.

They need to use that ‘back door’ that Aaron always builds into his projects, insert your own joke here. If the show was exclusively about this aspect it would be much more interesting, but it’s a sideshow to remaking Westerns, instead.

I can only look forward to next week when this train wreck of a show will finally hit the buffers, somewhere it should have headed long before season one was done.

Read Billy’s review of the previous episode, Tomorrowland, here.

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