Love is a precious thing shared by two people who really, truly care for each other. Seriously, don't diss love. It's the best. (I love my cat.) But in Revolution's world, L-O-V-E can also be between three people and it can also cause you to wimp out and abandon your loved one in the woods. "Home" was Revolution's soapiest episode to date, but it did nothing to lather away the filth that was crusted all over it. This episode was bad, bad news, and harkened back to the days when Revolution was its gloriously entertaining worst (Episodes 1-11 except for Episode 10, for those keeping score at home).
"Home" was where Miles' and Monroe's hearts were. More specifically, "Home" was where their hometown was and their hearts were with Emma (guest star Annie Wesrching of 24). Who is Emma? I don't know, some character that the writers just invented for this episode. With Miles leading an army of rebels and Georgians to overwhelming successes over the Monroe Militia, Monroe decided (again) that NOW would be a great time to kill Miles (again) once and for all (again). And that's where Emma, young Miles' true love, fit into Miles' devious plan! And that plan? Go to their hometown and kill everyone, starting with Emma, until Miles shows up. Then kill him. There's lots of killing in Monroe's plans.
(Quick note: Monroe made his plan known to Miles through a courier of sorts, who told Miles that he had to deliver the message WORD FOR WORD, and this was the message: "Miles, you are to come alone. And you will turn
yourself into me or else I'm going to kill everyone in our hometown, I swear to God. Anyone you've ever loved or care about will die, just because they know
you. Starting with Emma." I think paraphrasing would also work, buddy. That wasn't that complicated.)
To establish Emma as a real person as quickly as they could and give her relationship with Miles and Monroe the kind of weight it needed to really propel this love-driven episode, Revolution spent about two minutes and fifty bucks on a series of flashbacks. We saw teen heartthrob Miles and teen queen Emma canoodling like it was Homecoming, and then the camera did that trick where it shifts focus and depth of field between the two lovers to show a jealous third party (young James Dean-era Monroe) look on with bitter rage. Uh oh, trouble in paradise! The following flashback then showed the young versions of Emma and Monroe touching hands and making out while young Miles was passed out on the couch just a panty throw away. Did Revolution actually expect me to give the teeniest tiniest shit about this chick? How this plot made it past one set of eyes let alone 10 is beyond me. One minute she's cooing over Miles and the next she's shlurping his best friend's mouth-hole. Sorry, lady. You're a no-gooder. This relationship, which was the basis for the episode's main characters' motivation, was shallow and dumb. But it would get dumber.
With the greatest love triangle ever told firmly established, we headed back to the present. But keep in mind, all of this episode is built on the foundation of confused teeny boppers cheating on each other. Miles eventually made it to their hometown, alone as Monroe's incredibly specific instructions told him to. Then he went exactly against Monroe's specific instructions and started shooting the heck out of Monroe's men instead of turning himself in as Monroe asked. I asked myself, "Tim, why would Miles go see Monroe alone, per Monroe's instructions, if he was just going to disobey those orders? Why not bring some backup if he was going to go off script all along?" And then I replied to myself, "Dude, have you never seen Revolution before?"
After some shooting and more shooting, Miles rescued the entire town from a burning building but got pinned down by Monroe's men. If only someone would come save hi–aaaaaaand, there's the cavalry in Nora and Charlie and Jim and others, who showed up at just the right time to bust Miles out after torturing the plan out of the aforementioned courier. More shooting. Some more shooting. Total disregard for the bullet shortage. More shooting (much better shooting by the good guys, I should add). And time for the big standoff! Monroe dragged out Emma as a human shield, immediately bringing all the bullet exchanging to a halt, and Miles barked at everyone to not shoot at Monroe because they might hit Emma. It's really unclear if Miles ever knew Emma was cheating on him, but even if he didn't know, if it came down to killing the modern-day equivalent of Hitler with the chance of also shooting my ex-girlfriend from 20-plus years ago, I'm taking the shot. I'm taking a few shots. And if I knew she cheated on me, I'm definitely taking the shot and maybe aiming juuuuust a bit to the right.
And that's when the writers went to TV Tropes for inspiration on how to get out of this mess, leading to Emma dropping a bomb on Monroe: they had a son together from their cheating sex! So let's take another look at this Emma chick, the love of these guys' lives. She cheated on Miles with his best friend, then had a baby with Monroe but never told him, and that's pretty much all we know about this character who we just met. Yet she's the pivotal emotional load-bearer of the entire episode and the show has the gall to think we might actually care for her or the feelings of Miles and Monroe. I'm rarely insulted by television (dulled by network sci-fi programs), but I seriously considered reporting Revolution to the Manners Police because this was rude.
The episode also introduced another character, the Georgia Federation general Dixon, whose sole purpose was to be a jerk and shoot Emma. Mission accomplished, Dixon! The jerk shot Emma (and nicked Monroe), and I didn't mind one bit. But Miles did, so he shot Dixon. Not a soul cared about that either. Good riddance, Guy We're Supposed to Hate. Meanwhile, no one shot at Monroe while he laid vulnerable without his human shield. In the emotional aftermath that crippled everyone with confusion and tears, Monroe escaped to his chopper while Miles and Charlie shot at everyone but Monroe. It was another Miles-Monroe confrontation that ended with Monroe choked up and no one killing the other despite the abundance of opportunities to do so.
Love, or Revolution's idea of love, also trickled over to the B-story featuring Aaron and Rachel. Yes, there was more to this episode, and it too was awful. On their way to The Tower they reached the Plains Nation, which is no Atlanta let me tell you! It's like Tijuana or Chinatown but with white people! Knock-off bags, roasted birds hanging by their necks, and let's just call them indigenous woven blankets were all for sale in the busy marketplace.
But there was also Priscilla, Aaron's ex that he ditched way back when. We haven't seen her for a while, nor did we miss her. If this is how Revolution wants to use Aaron as a character, then I give up. The meat on this story was so thin that half of it was spent following Aaron as he looked around for her, and when he found her, she was with another guy and didn't want to be bothered by the man who abandoned her in a post-apocalyptic world. I totally get it, Priscilla. Aaron walked away sad, and again, we're supposed to empathize with him, but it's hard to empathize with people who are complete idiots. Turns out the dude was a bounty hunter and Priscilla was being hauled back to the Monroe Republic FOR MURDER.
Aaron figured something was up, so he went after her and found the bounty hunter throwing her into the back of a truck like a sack of taters and finally had the taters himself to intervene. He got his ass handed to him, but Priscilla saved the day by knocking the bounty hunter out. Yep, that will get Aaron's confidence back on track. In the ensuing heart-to-heart, we found out that everyone Aaron abandoned her with died, she murdered a Monroe Militia sergeant, and was separated from her new family, who live in Texas. Aaron said, "Wahh wahhhh I'm sowwy, puddin' pop. I wish I could take it back." And then she said this, and I know some of you don't watch the show but read these reviews just to see if this show is still insane so if that's you put on a hat and hold on to it because this is a doozy, she turned to Aaron and said, "It's okay. It turned out alright." ALRIGHT? Everyone she was with died, she murdered someone, she is a fugitive being hunted by bounty hunters, she's separated from her family, and it's ALRIGHT!? Lady, that's some positive attitude you got there. Can't hate on that. Oh, after that she said buh-bye and left.
The only worthwhile moment of the episode came in the last 15 seconds, when Georgia Federation president President Kelly talked about a new operative who has been feeding them intel on Monroe. It was so obviously Tom Neville that he never even had to come through the doors, but he did anyway, and now Kelly wants him to work with Miles.
"Home" was awful and an insult to homes everywhere. Revolution continues to think it can get us to care by just telling us things and plugging in new characters to fill requirements where they're needed, instead of working with storylines they've already started or making the characters we already know useful in any way. Getting emotionally invested in Revolution is on par with getting attached to an infomercial. This was easily one of Revolution's worst episodes, a feat that seems unthinkable given its history.
– Got some GREAT Aaron faces in this episode. He showed a wide range of emotions, from shock to horror to bewilderment to dismay to confusion to horror. And he even almost smiled!
– Charlie is showing a lot of her mother now that she's turned into a crazed killer robot. Yet somehow this version of Charlie is more tolerable than the incompetent mess she was before. If Revolution finds a happy medium, she might just become an actual character. As of now, she's been reduced to a prop. And when will she finally learn what Miles did to Rachel? And is that related to the to-be-proven-but-almost-definite fact that she's Miles' daughter?
– Monroe is essentially Joffrey Baratheon as a grown up. He's a petulant toddler in a man's body who suddenly has power. And it's difficult to tell if David Lyons' acting is part of the problem or if the character is so far gone that no one can save him.
– Where are all these diamonds coming from!?!?!?!
– So far, if I'm vacationing in this wretched world, I'm headed straight for that bar in Plains Nation. Every place else looks terrible.
– Wouldn't people's minds explode if they saw a bunch of helicopters coming towards them? One townswoman barely flinched from her laundry when Monroe flew over.
– Flashbacks, making characters much more attractive in the past! Congratulations on the gig, young hot actors. And was the guy who played young Miles the same guy who played a young Dean in Supernatural? He looked familiar.
– In case you missed the news, NBC renewed Revolution for a second season.
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom