“Revolution” . . . Again
After the ultimate disappointment that was “Revolution”‘ Season 1, I didn’t think this season would be worth giving it a chance. I was kind of wrong; who would’ve thunk?! “Revolution” Season 2 starts off rocky, feeling the effects of its premiere season, but it’s definitely delivered by its mid-season finale, “Everyone Says I Love You”.
Finally, A Real Antagonist
I think the reason this season of “Revolution” seems well thought out and coherent is because this time around, we have someone to point fingers at and hate, without feeling conflicted. Season 1’s antagonist was mainly Sebastian Monroe (David Lyons) whose history with Miles Matheson (Billy Burke) and the rest of the cast made it difficult to be firmly against him. Now, he’s the untrustworthy ally that you need but wish you could get rid of, and Monroe wears that role much, much better than pure antagonist.
The antagonist is another force: the United States Government . . . or at least what’s left of it post-Blackout. This choice is a good one on; no one these days is too fond of a government force. Another reason this works well is that a big part of why the whole ‘Rebel Patriot’ forces from season 1 were weak as ‘good guys’ is because America pre-Blackout was nowhere near perfect; that government chose to start the blackout to begin with; why would we want it back? Having our protagonists fight alongside the ‘patriots’ was a bit uneasy. This season, the word ‘Patriot’ means a completely different thing, and it works better this way.
Let’s Talk Relationships
. . . because there’s a lot there! First of all, I think it was safe to say that no one actually expected the Miles/Monroe bromance to go away, and it’s not looking like it will any time soon. The fact that the show has decided to acknowledge that Miles and Monroe can’t be on opposite sides is also one of the improvements. Now we get that lovely tension where there’s a possibility Monroe might stab Miles in the back, but they’re best friends, so they’ll risk it! Everything is so much more interesting and there’s a lot to build on.
One relationship that’s not working, no matter how hard “Revolution” keeps pushing for it is Miles and Rachel. It makes little sense. They hint at an affair while she was married to Ben, but give no plausible reason for it. The only connection Rachel and Miles have at this point is that they’re both single, attractive adults, so naturally they’re perfect for each other. No. “Revolution” either needs to end it, or find a better way to make it convincing.
There’s another pair that works very well together, and it’s quite unexpected: Charlie and Monroe. While Charlie`s lack of emotion is still a major weakness in “Revolution”, she and Monroe have been paired up quite a bit this season. Although it shouldn’t really work, the actors have good chemistry. They’ve every reason to hate/kill each other on the spot, yet they’re the strongest team the show has. This pairing has the potential to be quite creepy and a total mess, but if handled well, and with subtlety, it might just work.
How About Nanites . . .
Season 1 of “Revolution” suffered because it tried very hard to be ‘realistic’ but its premise was shaky on that front. Season 2 has Aaron become the Magical Master of the Nanites and completely ignores the ‘science’ of it for the time being. And it works. Instead of focusing so much on how the Nanites came to be, we’re now more concerned with how it affects the characters. We see that the nanites aren’t the problem in and of themselves; it’s how they’re used that can be disastrous. The Nanites’ storyline pretty much saved Aaron from being the useless sidekick he was last season. There’s so many possibilities for his character now and he doesn’t feel like an add-on to Charlie & Co., but a crucial member.
Overall, “Revolution” has definitely done some work and recovered from what I thought was a devastating finale, literally and figuratively. It still needs some work, mostly when it comes to Charlie and Rachel, but the show as a whole is more coherent and feels like it has a plan of action, whereas season 1 felt like writers simply added plotlines and curve balls as needed.