Revolution "Sex and Drugs" Review: Aaron's Pity Party
First of all, I'd like to wish all of our East Coast readers a hasty recovery from Mother Nature's totally uncalled-for wrath. And the fact that millions of you were unable to watch Revolution because of massive power outages up is cruel irony (or a very dangerous viral marketing campaign). Hopefully you all were able to reenact your favorite Revolution scenes and Charlie faces by candlelight. Don't worry though, because I GOT YOUR BACK with a reviewcap of "Sex and Drugs!"
But there is a silver lining to your blackout, East Coasters—and Midwesterners, West Coasters, Mountain Time Zoners, Canadians, and Texans will hopefully agree with me: It's a bold statement, but this may have been the worst episode of Revolution yet. I'm pretty sure NBC knew that, too, because while CBS, The CW, and Fox all decided to postpone original programming for the evening and air repeats, NBC went ahead with its new stuff hoping that it could sneak this failure by without anyone noticing (ABC also aired originals, but that's because those stars were ready to DANCE!). Nice try, NBC! And don't worry about losing continuity, because this was a total sidequest.
I was really excited for "Sex and Drugs," because A) sex and drugs are the best and if you're a kid out there who's curious about those things the answer is YES IMMEDIATELY (ask your parents first) and B) the promos promised us that Miles would sell Charlie into prostitution in order to get home-grown penicillin to cure Nora's ab-stabbing infection. For a refresher course, here's the promo that aired two weeks ago, at the end of the last episode:
Doesn't that imply that innocent Charlie would be defiled in exchange for some Band-Aids and Advil? Am I hallucinating here? Didn't NBC put this on a tee for us? YOUR PROMISES OF INDECENT PROPOSAL DID NOT HAPPEN, NBC. You totally Punk'd us with that deviously edited promotional video! There was no prostitution, there was no pervy uncle selling out his niece's vajayjay, and the home-grown penicillin was just there for decoration! In fact, there was neither sex NOR drugs in this episode! False advertising! If you are a lawyer who specializes in false advertising, please start a Facebook fan group and let's make sure this never happens again, or at the very least let's ensure that a future episode features Miles putting Charlie in heavy eyeliner, pumps, and a short skirt before smacking her on the ass and barking, "Now go make me some money." This tomfoolery on NBC's part made me really sad. I'm beginning to think NBC does not care about my feelings.
So what was the episode about, then? Very quickly, it was about an old friend of Miles' who was absolutely insane and made no sense, it was about suicide-murder missions in miniskirts, and it was about Aaron's epic wimpiness.
Things started off fast! Remember when Nora got stabbed in the abdomen? No not that time, the other time? I know she said she was fine and it didn't hit anything vital and she stood up and walked away like it was just a paper cut, but this week the wound decided PSYCH it was really bad and Nora's life was hanging in the balance. Luckily, Miles had a "friend" who was just five hours (maybe six) away by stolen horse carriage, which seems like a pretty serious distance for someone as near-death as Nora was, but what am I, a doctor? (I am not a doctor.)
Five hours (maybe six) later, they arrived at this guy Drexel's mansion, and Drexel was really upset they came by uninvited, so he pointed a gun at Miles' head and counted down from three! This was the big pre-title sequence hook, the first grab that was supposed to really set the tone for the episode. So the title sequence ran, and I for sure thought Miles was dead (no I didn't), but it turned out it was all a prank by Drexel. Haha, he said, I was just joshing, he said, it was all fun and games, he said. Yep, that's how the episode started. Nothing sucks an audience in like a big "just kidding!" to kick things off.
Charlie's face said it all.
Drexel invited them in, and this guy was living large because he's a drug dealer. He peddles the white pony, the Big H, ground poppy. Yep, HEROIN. And heroin is apparently a big deal in a world with no power because being blitzed on the H-train and soiling yourself is the only substitute for television in this universe. I will let you make the joke that pooping your pants and drooling is exactly like watching Revolution, because I'm not going to.
Everyone settled in, Aaron twiddled his thumbs, Miles gave his universal donor blood to Nora with a bike-pump transfuser, and Charlie took a bath. I know I said this might have been the worst episode of Revolution ever, but Charlie taking a bath was the best scene in Revolution ever. Say what you will about her acting and the character in general (which, is you're 99 percent of the population, is probably something bad), but let's be real here: We all want to see her naked. And we got DAMN close! NBC really pushed the limits of decency on network television, and I painstakingly examined this scene frame-by-frame in slow motion and took screenshots to expose this scourge on our children's future! Parents Television Council, call me!
Not gonna lie, I felt kind of dirty doing that, but this episode was asking for it. That was full-on sideboob, and somewhere out there some kid had his way with a stuffed animal while watching this, I guarantee it. Anyway, Drexel'd had fields and fields of
heroin poppies, but some anti-drug neighbors had recently torched them and ruined their value (in this cashless economy, one bushel of heroin = two pigs, an old Celtics World Champions T-shirt, and a broken Speak N' Spell). Then Drexel got REALLY racist and spewed epithets about Irish people that made me really comfortable, and I don't even really like Irish people myself! Near-nudity first, then Klan-ish hate words? Revolution was really working on an image makeover last night, going from family-friendly to family-enemyly. Parents who watched this with their kids probably had a lot of awkward 'splaining to do.
Because Drexel helped Miles out with the blood swap that saved Nora's life, he demanded payback. He insisted that Charlie put on a slutty outfit, go to his neighbor's heavily secured fortress of potato-eating leprechauns (his words, not mine, seriously, he said that), and stab the boss, Uncle Bill, in the eye with a chopstick shank. And if she didn't, Drexel would KILL them all.
Yes, this drug dealer and his army of armed men were sending a girl to do their dirty work. What ever happened to street cred? Who is actually buying heroin? How did Drexel get all his guns? Why hasn't Monroe hanged all these guys for possessing firearms? Who were all the scantily clad women in the mansion? Did they do all of Drexel's laundry? Where did his henchmen sleep so that he had so many fancy spare bedrooms for uninvited guests? What was up with the penicillin? Why did Drexel need Charlie to kill Uncle Bill? Didn't he just want Uncle Bill dead? How can a show make viewers ask so many questions? Stop it, brain! You're not supposed to work when I'm watching Revolution! Take a hike, brain! Go take a nap or think about kittens or something.
Thus began Operation Slutty Assassin, and let's just say Charlie looked aiiiiight in her outfit! But in order to make Charlie look like a convincing prostitute, Drexel punched her in the face. He got her good, too.
With a shiner applied to elicit maximum compassion, Charlie strolled into the boss's house and found out that Uncle Bill had torched Drexel's poppy fields because his daughter had gone to Drexel for drugs and became a heroin whore and OD'd. I don't know about you guys, but it sounded like a combination of she deserved it and bad parenting if you ask me.
Meanwhile, Aaron was having fits about Charlie going over to Uncle Bill's, because Drexel straight-up said it was a suicide mission and Charlie would never make it out of the drunken Irish family's house alive (yes, he called them a bunch of drunks, too). Irish people, I apologize for NBC bringing you into this mess. So Aaron convinced Miles to go over to Uncle Bill's and save Charlie. And what do you know, Miles just killed his way out of Drexel's fortress like it was no thang and waltzed into Uncle Bill's house with only a bit of intermediate parkour despite Drexel saying Uncle Bill's was the Fort Knox of the Monroe Republic. Miles arrived just in time to stop Charlie from stabbing an unconscious Uncle Bill, thus preserving her as the moral center of the show even though she was prepared to stab an innocent man RIGHT IN THE EYE to death and had been making such a big deal about "doing the right thing" in every single previous episode while Miles was the "at any cost" guy. This wasn't character development, it was a character U-turn.
But the best best best part was happening back at Casa de Drexel, where his twisted games were raging. Having discovered that Miles killed his way out of the mansion, Drexel brought Aaron and a barely conscious Nora into the courtyard for an old-fashioned duel! Drexel had his doctor inject Nora with pure adrenaline, which instantly healed her and sprung her back to the vivacious Latina we all knew her to be. I've never taken hostages or prisoners in my life, so I'm no expert, but I think one of the basic rules of prisoner-keeping is, "Don't give them guns." Drexel thought otherwise, and handed over pistols to both Aaron and Nora, then told them to have at it, the winner being the one who didn't end up dead. To make sure Aaron and Nora didn't shoot him, he stood near a bulletproof car door. Not behind the car door, not inside the bulletproof car, but near it with all his vital organs exposed and about five feet away from his gun-toting prisoners. I guess he's a thrill seeker who gets off on danger, because any rational person would have said, "Thanks for the gun, dummy" and just put a bullet in him.
However, Aaron had a plan. And this is when I should probably mention that this week's flashbacks involved Aaron, because they were sort of jammed into the theme of this storyline if you just relaxed and let them in. We all knew that Aaron was a Google executive billionaire tech nerd, but did we know he had a sexy Asian wife/fiancé? Well he was in a limo at the time of a blackout about to take his woman on a private jet when—OH NO—the lights went out and the car stopped right in the middle of an intersection! And then a huge truck or tank or maybe a PT Cruiser smashed into the side of the limo full force! The limo came to a complete stop, but for some reason the truck didn't stop? What, did brakes not work in the blackout either? Did the limo stop at the bottom of a hill? Was the truck a fancy hand-crank-powered deal that didn't rely on an external power source? BRAIN WHAT DID I TELL YOU?! GO BACK TO YOUR CARRIER!
Flashforward a few months (and also please forget about the truck barreling into the limo because it was never brought up again), and Aaron was carrying his wife who wasn't looking none too good. It turned out she'd sipped some poisoned lake water and had dysentery (a.k.a. bad diarrhea), according to a handsome stranger named Sean. Flashforward a bit more and Aaron, his lady, and Sean were being attacked by marauders, and Aaron couldn't do anything because he is a gigantic pansy. He went into his natural defense mode and played curled-up armadillo while Sean saved the day and Aaron's girlfriend. I bet he totally could've out-coded the bad guys, though. Aaron felt pretty bad about this, because while he was able to take his lady out for fancy drinks pre-blackout, all he got her after it were irritable bowels and a near-raping. I really thought and hoped this story would end with Aaron's lady running off with handsome Sean because she deserved a lot better than Aaron and even I was kind of swooning over Sean, but instead it took a turn for the wuss. Aaron's lady woke up alone the next morning with a "Dear Lady" note and his wedding or engagement ring. Yes, Aaron abandoned his wife because he felt like he couldn't take care of her. SMH ("shaking my head" for those of you over 23) @Aaron_Revolution #KingOfAllThingsPathetic.
As Lost once taught us, these types of flashbacks are all set-ups for redemption, and present-day Aaron had a HUGE plan up his sleeve (well, technically it was in his shirt pocket). Both Aaron and Nora refused to shoot each other and play Drexel's stupid game, even after Aaron pleaded with Nora to shoot him so she could be saved. I'm assuming that part of his plan was that he assumed she wouldn't shoot him, but I don't know. This is the same woman who had no problems blowing up a train with her friends on it to settle an old grudge. But surprise she didn't shoot him! So Aaron decided to SHOOT HIMSELF. I had already thought about doing this if I were in his position because A) it would get me off this show and B) anything to never have to listen to Drexel again, the most annoying and ludicrous villain I've seen in a long time. But instead, Aaron shot himself in the heart area (very Elliot Smith), and he had a flask in his breast pocket so it just LOOKED like he shot himself.
A flask once saved my life, too. In fact it was last night when I was watching this show because I would have died if I wasn't buzzed while watching this. Thanks, flask! While on his back playing dead (classic Aaron!), Drexel came over to investigate and Aaron shot him in the chest region! Did I mention that Drexel's little game was playing out in an open field created by a ring of Drexel's armed guards? It's important to note that, because all of Drexel's men just stood there and watched and did nothing after Aaron shot their leader. And after Miles killed a handful of them in his escape. This group of people came into their house, took baths with their hot water, killed some of their friends, killed their leader, and they just stood around like confused robots. Aaron—one man with a gun against a few dozen guys carrying all sorts of firepower—said that he just wanted to take Nora and leave and—I'm totally serious, not even joking because nothing I type here can be as funny as what actually happened—the apparent heir to Drexel's empire said, "Grab your crap and go." Worst. Drug. Dealers. Ever.
Cut to Aaron and Nora walking outside and Miles and Charlie meeting up with them. Miles said, "Everything turned out alright, then." Alright? Charlie got a new cocktail dress... I'd say that's a whole lot better than just "alright." And that's how another episode of Revolution dazzled us. I have honestly gone from disappointed sci-fi fan to popcorn-eating rubber-necking train-wreck watcher with Revolution. I can't wait for the next episode. I haven't been this excited for a series since The Event.
– The guy above is also a character now. He's the torturer from a recent episode who never tortured anybody. His name is Stausser, I think, and he's a really mean guy who hasn't done anything mean yet. He's my favorite character on the show.
– Other things happened, too, including the reunion of Danny and his mom. One of the people I was watching this with said, "Am I supposed to feel something?" during this part, and I told him, "I don't think so."
– Neville got a promotion also. He's now a Major, in the Intelligence and Interrogation division. I can't help but imagine Monroe and his men all just being a bunch of grown-up kids playing Army Men.
– OMG I just realized Aaron is basically Nora spelled backwards! Do you think that has something to do with the blackout?
– Drexel also happens to be the name of my favorite psycho drug dealer of all time, Gary Oldman's character from True Romance. And that is where the coincidences stop.
– I liked how the way to get past guards in this episode was to say, "Okay, well I'd hate to be you when [bad guy] finds out you didn't let me in!" It worked twice! Once by Miles to get into Drexel's, and once by Charlie to get into Uncle Bill's. I'm going to try this the next time I'm waiting in line for the bathroom.
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