This review contains spoilers.
2.7 The Patriot Act
I gave myself an extra day to think about this review, because frankly The Patriot Act was such an unholy mess, I needed longer to work out what parts were even worth talking about.
I’m a big fan of progression, so the major disappointment of the story was that almost exclusively it set about unravelling everything from the previous episode.
Bass is dead. No, not really. But then it was obvious when they ‘killed’ him last week that he wasn’t, and they even showed him in the trailer just to remove the last shred of suspense. In the same vein, Rachel’s father, Gene, was portrayed as the viper in the nest last week, but then given some back story this week to explain that he’s really a good person in a bad situation. Or a complete idiot, take your pick.
What this better explained was why they hired Stephen Collins to play Gene, because he does disturb-by-predicament better than most actors. Actually, when you boil this episode down the fissile material are the scenes between Gene and Doc Horn, played by Zeljko Ivanek.
And that’s where I began to have my biggest problems with what was presented, because a threat is only a threat when everyone accepts it as such. But the whole Patriots-as-bad-guys idea has some really odd quirks, like their fascination for presenting their secret society logo at every opportunity. Call me old fashioned, but when the respective nemesis of the story has to explain to one character who has met him who he is, and then remind another about his dire reputation is, there’s a certain lack of impact. As such the most dangerous thing about Doc Horn is the seething fury that’s building inside of him that he remains unrecognised, that people don’t run at the sight of his oddly familiar logo. Or they’ll not quiver at his fearsome, but poorly promoted in an era with no TV or radio, reputation.
Doc Horn’s scenes were all undermined by flagrant moustache twirling (without an actual tash) and references to events we’ve no experience, and that even Gene seemed to have trouble immediately recalling. He’s also not very bright, because it takes him an age to work out that it’s Aaron who he’s looking for, though he seems to have little notion of how lethal situation might become if he did find him.
Moving onto the Aaron subplot, I’m beginning to hate Cynthia in so many ways, not least because of the inability of her character to actually provide anything useful to the plot or the relationships. When she and Aaron got caught in the bomb blast I hoped she’d be written out, but no, she was kept around to give Aaron another moral dilemma to unsuccessfully wrestle. Cynthia is another Danny plot point, so please can she exit stage right soon!
After Aaron made a marshmallow toasting opportunity out of the nameless Patriots, the whole narrative disintegrated into people looking lost and emotional, and then just it just stopped. Some reason to watch next week would have been nice, but clearly the writers couldn’t think of any.
After a generally good start, this season of Revolution is in a hole, and with the introduction of such 2D characters as Doctor Horn the writers seem intent on digging deeper. What it needs is the arrival of another Firefly commander, and Aaron to grow a backbone. With the town scenario it’s all got rather static, and the very small amount of scene time given to the Major Tom subplot hints that it’s not actually important.
Revolution needs to progress, and stop rewriting the previous episodes.
Read Billy’s review of the previous episode, Dead Man Walking, here.
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