Revolution Series Finale Review: Keeping the Lights On for No Reason at All

By Tim Surette

May 22, 2014

Revolution S02E22: "Declaration of Independence"


No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

Well, yes. It's over, folks. Revolution ended its two-season run in denial with "Declaration of Independence," the Season 2 finale that ended up being a series finale after NBC canceled the show on May 10, just 11 days ago. Given the typical TV production cycle, it was already too late to course-correct and make "Declaration of Independence" a proper season-ender. So creator Eric Kripke and his writing staff obviously penned the Season 2 finale on a wave of optimism, with hope that the series would earn a third season, because "Declaration of Independence" was left wide open with a clear idea of what Season 3 would've looked like (or as much of an idea that can come out of a Revolution writers' room).

This finale had to be a disappointment for everyone. For fans who've really enjoyed Revolution (bless you), "Declaration of Independence" meant untapped potential for what could have been. For viewers who stuck around just to get some answers, it was one last helping of the torture that Revolution has doled out on a regular basis. There was very little closure; just a wide shot of a town in Idaho powering up as the nano found a new home base from which to operate. 

It's actually kind of shocking that Revolution went into its Season 2 finale ready to set up a whole new chapter, given its ratings. Many people, even hacks like me, predicted the show would be canceled a long time ago, and it would've behooved Kripke to at least have a proper series finale in mind (think about the DVD sales!). It's easy to restart something that's supposedly finished, but it's impossible to properly end something that will never come back. I have no idea why Kripke didn't see that and at least give it a shot. 

As for the hour itself, it felt like a typical episode of Revolution with neck-snapping direction changes for little or no reason, shootouts where everyone who wasn't one of our heroes was apparently firing blanks, and the series' best element: unrequited man love between Miles and Monroe. 

The whole mustard gas plan that had been in the works for the last few episodes was completely shunned when Miles, Charlie, and Monroe foiled the attack by—what else?—shooting their way into a heavily guarded area with whatever magic bullet repellant they usually wear. That would have been bad enough on its own, but Ed Truman, one of the worst villains in television history, came up with a Plan B that involved shooting Texas president Carver and all of Carver's men all by himself, and then turning the gun on his own arm to make it look like Miles and Monroe had done the attacking. So instead of mustard-gasssing everyone, it was point-blank shooting, and in the end, the result was the same. The Patriots had their excuse to convince Texas to go to war with California, and then they would clean up the scraps and take the country for themselves. Or something like that. Honestly, it was really boring. 

I wasn't alone in seeing the entire ineffectiveness of this whole scenario; Monroe even said "that whole hero act was for nothing," before explaining that he sacrificed everything for nothing. You know, much like the Revolution viewer who showed up for this finale looking for closure after putting so many tiring hours into the show. 

From there, "Declaration of Independence" scurried to make something happen, and Miles came up with a plan to kidnap the president. It did actually happen, but the episode couldn't even bother to show it, instead letting Tom and his two lackeys stumble into a scene full of dead president-escorts and an empty carriage that once held the guy. There was some false tension about whether or not Monroe would show up at the rendezvous point with the president after the group had to split up, but he did. And that set up one of those "Let's make the bad guy confess!" scenarios so that the general of the Texas Rangers could hear President Davis's true plan and then break the treaty with the Patriots. It worked! But man, was it a lazy letdown. At least Rachel got to call President Davis a lying car salesman. 

As for the nano, well, that was lame, too. You know what I hate? When shows have some person under the influence of something that they just have to "wake up" from, forcing another character to scream, "Wake up! Wake up! I love you!" until something clicks and they snap out of it. That's what happened with Priscilla and her nano control. It doesn't matter how many flashes of images or kids with their eyes and mouths covered by skin we saw, they couldn't disguise what that was, which is one of the stupidest television devices ever. It's so overused that it should be legally banned. I don't care if Nano-Priscilla was shocked and it made her weaker—don't go down that "Wake up!" route. Next time, just shock her again and again until she falls apart. And how does something that controls electricity get hurt by electricity? Or not think to turn it off when it's getting electrocuted? Whatever, show! I throw my hands up. 

In the last moments, Priscilla talked about how the nano would find new hosts to do its bidding, which was to make us all run around in circles like a whirlpool of rats or something. And we saw the nano find some new hosts—President Davis, Truman, and Tom—and tell them to go to Idaho. Then we jumped over to Idaho and a town started to power up and people were already there? And that was the end. That's how Revolution ended. 

Revolution had its moments over the course of its two seasons, but the series never decided where it wanted to go or what it wanted to be. The Season 2 do-over worked initially, but a whole season dedicated to stopping the Patriots got boring by about Episode 6. The science-fiction portion of the series, which is the reason must of us started watching the show in the first place, was left to Aaron and his wacky adventures with nano manifestations of his dead girlfriends and ex-wives. If Revolution wanted to make its fans happy, Aaron should have kept setting people on fire with his mind. Some viewers may mourn the show's passing after this finale, but Revolution was dead a long time ago. 


– The highlight of the evening was Miles entering the Willoughby building and telling everyone to "Run, you idiots!" A nice callback to when he said the same thing to Charlie back in Season 1.

– Wow, Tom's character got TOTALLY hosed. His arc this season was a complete mess.

– President Davis was basically George W. Bush, right?

– After all that, Texas can steamroll through the Patriots and save the day because they outnumber them four to one.

– How would you have ended Revolution?

What did you think of the ending? Will you miss the show?

  • Comments (239)
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  • donaldreeks Jul 22, 2014

    bring the show back! one of the best shows on tv.

  • MHO Jul 20, 2014

    I think they should have just ended it with Monroe and the Rangers "ending the treaty"....that way Miles could have gotten the girl, Tom could have a son (Conner hates Monroe anyway), Priscilla/Ben could live happily ever after, and Monroe could have been given the rule of Texas (duh! their president was just assassinated, there is an opening now),. Wouldn't that have been a great panoramic scene....Monroe overlooking his new kingdom! I think that is how I will view the end....forget Idaho!

  • AprilFox Jul 19, 2014

    No don't bring it back! They did that with "Jericho" and made a mess of that one too. There's no use beating a dead horse. I loved the show, watched it with my family and everyone loved it. Heroes, bad guys, action, and then failure to deliver with lame bug story. Those nanos killed it. :) RIP

  • meghanchou1 Jul 16, 2014

    Come on! The petition only needs eight more signatures and revolution will be considered on another channel!

  • NathanAviation Jul 07, 2014

    I would air 1 more episode where the power just switches on again and the world comes to life. Or the Monroe Republic rises and finds a source of power to take over the new United States.

    Remember back in S1 where Monroe was able to power aircraft and vehicles well that would be awesome again for a finale.

    Just 1 more amazing Episode and I will be happy.

  • yashodaanupama Jul 07, 2014

    don't hooked all the revolution fans.doesn't matter what,at least you need to make one episode to give respective end for the REVOLUTION.make it quick and we are witting for your call

  • aliciamonette90 Jul 06, 2014

    How do you get people hooked and then just cut it off like that? Can't even let it end properly and yet you allow other atrocities keep playing for million episode like grimm? That show has no business having that many seasons and american ninja worrior? Really? Please don't gag me so if you have the nasty taste to keep THOSE shows on your don't have the right to take away revolution because aoit of the 3 revolution has way more talent. Way more story and way more interative components to keep our attentio. If your going to cancel a show cancel something people don't care about you peopw disappoint me

  • sashakolos1 Jul 04, 2014

    Help Please

  • gwenmcgraw96 Jul 04, 2014

    I have been reading some of the comments and I could not disagree more with most of the comments. The story lines made sense and the acting was good. Revolution is a unique TV series, different from any series on TV. It's way ahead of it's time: that's why most people don't understand it or dislike it. Thinking outside the box is not something most TV shows require us to do - Revolution forced the viewer to think outside the box. Some people just weren't ready for such an imaginative show. Trying to put a label on Revolution is like trying to put a saddle on a wild mustang - Good luck with that.

  • gwenmcgraw96 Jul 04, 2014

    I miss Revolution so much that I do NOT watch network television anymore. Revolution was the BEST TV series I had ever had the pleasure of watching every week when NBC would decide to air it. The best timeslot for Revolution was Mondays at 9pmCDT. From the stunts to the acting, I watched quality TV which entertained me and piqued my imagination. NBC, please renew Revolution. Thank you.

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