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 (304)
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  • sandrasmithagbohowell Apr 23, 2015

    I miss it. I loved it. I would never watch honey boo boo. I need brain cells lol it was better in the beginning with trying to turn on the lights

  • Goochy Mar 27, 2015

    The show wasn't bad at all. Yeah the fights were corny and unrealistic but who cares, most shows are like that. It's amazing the shows that stay on air yet shows like this get cancelled, people have no taste. Jericho was another good show in this genre that got cancelled.

    100% guarantee the people who watched the show and thought it was bad, immediately turned on honey boo boo afterwards.

  • jamesmcdonald9210256 Apr 13, 2015

    I watched it but gave it because it got more ludicrous and stupid over time. I can assure you, I wasn't watching honey boo boo. I don't waste my time watching stupid crap, and that's pretty much all of what nbc universal has these days. Since it was last May, I was probably watching stuff that did not suck, which was AMC, HBO, FX, etc. Network tv just sucks.

  • jamesmcdonald9210256 Apr 13, 2015

    This comment has been removed.

  • Argonium Mar 23, 2015

    My guess? The guys upstairs wanted something more climactic than a post-apocalyptic drama and thus, the nano was born. The writers finally folded in a desperate attempt to keep the show running at the end of season 2. Fear not viewers, there is a conclusion to this story going by the title of "The Matrix". It should satisfy your expectations, disappointment and all!

  • KristiBuskalahuffman Jul 15, 2015

    I think they could have easily taken this into a 3rd season. Writing for what was going to go on in Idaho should have been fun for them. I enjoyed the Nano's addition. It showed the whole man-made thing was evolving and leaving man behind. I would have liked to have seen that played out.

  • Re-Viewer Mar 21, 2015

    Let me first of say this, I'm glad I'm not the only one still thinking about this. On to my rant-ish comment. I was a BIG fan of Revolution in the beginning, yes I'll admit it. And the show at times had its good points just like any other show it was also filled with bad points as well. As the second season came around I fell into a "habit" of forgetting to watch 'Revolution' itself, or just not caring anymore. When the season finale of the first season was over I was pretty disappointed. How can a TV show keep itself running if it gives the whole main point of the background conflict to the show away in the first season? I'll be honest, yes, some shows have that capability of running that way like sit-coms, and other shows with really no conflict in the "plot". And then again other shows similar to 'Revoultion' excel at that also. But most shows of that matter don't set "one BIG conflict" to begin with. They have some background motivation behind the story, but if a conflict occurs they play it out...It seems 'Revolution' just kind of all together failed at making that happen. They sprung way too much at their viewers in very little time, and didn't draw the potential out at all. Which either left us mind-fucked, or on the edge of our seats. I went with the previous. I am sad cause it ended but not because it was a "good show", but because it had wasted potential.

  • KristiBuskalahuffman Jul 15, 2015

    I was on the edge of my seat.

  • eatnaders007 Mar 12, 2015

    Steve Burke the President and CEO of NBC Universal is a complete fucking idiot. Brian Williams bullshit at NBC News is one prime example. Dude keep the good shows and get rid of NBC Nightly News - WHICH SUCKS ASS.

  • rebeccashroats Mar 07, 2015

    Who is in charge at NBC? I watch very little network tv and this is why. You keep carp on and cancel all the good shows. Bad move on this decision.

  • jamesmcdonald9210256 Apr 13, 2015

    nbc universal has been terrible ever since they renamed the scifi channel and screwed up its programming. Defiance is the only think I like on that channel...where prior I watched several different shows.

  • KristiBuskalahuffman Jul 15, 2015

    Why did the scifi channel turn to horror? Where are the true scifi shows?

  • markawilliamson5 Mar 04, 2015

    What I can not stand is you have shows like this, Jerimiah, Jericho and you vest your time into the show and enjoying it and then you are cut off at the knees. It makes you reluctant to get hooked on to show.

  • tigerworksltd Mar 02, 2015

    They're not dumbasses at all... We are the dumbasses for not seeing this and many other shows for what they are...

    The nanos win... hehehe, just like in real life...

    Who was it that said : 'the meek shall inherit the earth'...??? because there is an abundance of idiots and megalomaniacs in this world, who can be 'bought' and 'controlled' by the "meek"... hehehehe, just like in real life

  • jonathanmonroesr1 Feb 19, 2015

    we have dumdasses running the entertainment industry these days. Bring back revolution and give your audience what they want or you will lose your audience all together...if that were to happen say goodbye to your network.

  • RolandHamburg Feb 08, 2015

    The show started out good. Season 2 was good, but when NBC kept messing with dates, times and scheduling it screwed this show!

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