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