Revolution "The Patriot Act" Review: Bad Grandpa

Revolution S02E07: "The Patriot Act"

WHAT!? You mean Monroe ISN'T dead? WHAAAA? You mean Dr. Gene ISN'T really a bad guy? Okay, none of that was very surprising, because we didn't expect either of the huge developments that took place in last week's "Dead Man Walking" to stick. But I just can't ignore how awesome it would've been if one of them turned out to be true in the serviceable "Patriot Games," a mellow and somewhat dreary episode of Revolution

Obviously Monroe wasn't dead. No one in their right mind believed that to be the case, and many of us even guessed what did happen: Rachel injected him with enough sleepy juice to fool hick doctors into thinking he was dead, and then all Rachel had to do was dig him up and he was right as rain again. A few minutes of bed rest, and Monroe was awake and professing his love to Miles, the best barometer of Monroe's health. So much for that death sentence and that promotion for the Texas Rangers. When Monroe shows his face in public again, it will be a Bush-era "Mission Accomplished" moment for both the Rangers and the Patriots.

The more concerning issue was the immediate reversal of attitude toward Dr. Gene, who was exposed as the mole who caused all the Patriot headaches in Willoughby in the first place. I really wanted Gene to be Mean Gene. Imagine just for a second that Gene was actually a bad guy, and that Revolution had run with that. It would've rocketed the series into pretty interesting territory, because Gene would've filled the hole in Season 2 where a villain should be. Instead, "The Patriot Act" spent many minutes flashing back in order to compassionately explain why Gene sided with the Patriots and convince us not to hate him. Nine years ago, Gene's wife (Charlie's Nana) died from cholera, and a mystery rep for the Patriots showed up shortly afterward with a whole barrel of cholera vaccine, promising Gene he'd provide more if Gene would help them out. And by "help," he meant "wake up torture victims who'd passed out so they could be tortured more." These flashbacks were effective in explaining Gene's actions, but they were also the easy way out. 

Even with the awesome Zeljko Ivanek doing his trademark evil stares as the recently arrived Dr. Horn, Revolution's second season is missing that one guy who we can all point at and say, "That guy is a JERK, someone please kill him, thanks!" The Patriots are, as we've all agreed, a fantastic addition and a great evil collective that combines all the worst traits of Republicans, Democrats, Nazis, and people who don't like cats, but the individuals who represent the Patriots are all drones taking orders from some mystery person we should really be upset with. Is anyone here really scared of Ed Truman? Or Secretary Allerford? They're just lieutenants, and they themselves have not done anything that bad (or the fact that I can't remember them doing anything that bad is a testament to how harmless they are). And no, Truman rounding up a psycho war clan and killing them doesn't count as bad. Monroe was that pillar of evil last season, but now he's a puppy dog who all the good guys are risking their lives to save. 

In a series that is so simply good vs. evil, we need EVIL. Throw a black hat on someone and make that someone perform some horrible atrocities in front of us so we can tremble in our fuzzy slippers. Give us our (pick one, depending on your political preference) George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Adolph Hitler, or Mario Lopez. I need someone to hate on Revolution besides the people we're supposed to like. Gene had the chance to be the temporary fill-in for whatever Big Bad is coming down the line, and he would've been a good candidate. He's still an expendable dude, he has familial ties to main characters, and it would have been a ballsy move by a show that needs to make some ballsy moves. But no, he's just a tool for the Patriots and he'll probably make some big sacrifice eventually to atone for his traitorous ways, a trope that's been proven to work millions of times before. This isn't a terrible story by any means, I just think it could've been better. And if Revolution wants to be more than just an okay network sci-fi show, it's going to have to quit taking the easy way out of difficult situations.

But let's get back to what happened. Once Horn found out that Aaron was the King of the Nanites, the name of the game was "get Aaron out of Willoughby before Horn found him." That obviously didn't go so well, and Aaron tapped into his Human Torch abilities and set some Patriots ablaze during the escape. Cool stuff! His ladyfriend Cynthia wasn't impressed, though, and scurried off, wondering what sort of monster she'd gotten herself involved with. That's bullshit, Cynthia, you don't cold-shoulder your loved one just because he can set people on fire. If anything, that should send your ovaries into overdrive! Earlier in the episode, you told Aaron that home was wherever the two of you were together, but Aaron saved your life with his Duraflame skills and now you shy away? Weak! Boo Cynthia! Booooooo! Wasn't this the same Cynthia who was married to that reprehensible asshole bully? What the heck is wrong with you, Cynthia? Boo, I say! Boo! This is manufactured drama, and I am not looking forward to more of it. Someone cut Aaron a break. 

Neville and Jason's story moved an inch. It appeared that Jason was free of his meth-Nazi indoctrination and was almost back to being his normal self, despite Allerford's repeated protests that he would slice them into little tiny pieces at the first opportunity he got. Jason proved himself by slaughtering a couple of his meth-Nazi brothers, and the sight of Jason covered in his enemies' blood when Neville turned the corner was pretty badass. Of course, Allerford did a total 180 on all the bad-mouthing she spewed about her own kid who was reprogrammed, and now she wants to go to Cincinnati to save him. Too bad, Allerford, because Neville decided he didn't want to be friends with her anymore and demanded that she take them to her husband, a high-ranking Patriot. Okay, so we're back to hating Allerford now? Sure. Just tell me who to like and who to hate, Revolution. We are but puppet sheep attached to your puppet strings.

The power of Revolution's strong start to Season 2 is beginning to fade as the show settles into being a nice slice of diversionary entertainment rather than a quality drama. But it can still surge back if the series finds itself a worthy villain, takes some risks, and returns the moodiness and eeriness of the early Season 2 episodes. It would also be nice if it stopped flip-flopping on characters and made one of the season's new cast members not a secret employee of the Patriots.



POWER LINES

– A couple very Season 1 Revolution-y moments: Gene knew about Aaron and his magic act because Miles, Charlie, and Rachel talked too loud. Well, that was easy! And Miles avoided the trap set by Gene and Dr. Horn because he saw something in Gene's eyes and just knew. Also, very easy! Way to write around these obstacles, guys!

– Charlie and Rachel are almost friendly again, and Charlie's hug on her mom was genuinely touching, given how far apart the two have been. 

– So who set off that bomb in the town? Was it an inside job? And what ever happened to the ramifications of it anyway? Was it just so Truman could declare Martial Law and curfews? The explosion happened early in the episode, and then it was never spoken of again.

– Poor Dr. Horn just wanted to be noticed by people. Pre-blackout he worked with Rachel at the Department of Defense, and she didn't even remember him. Youch! That stings! Who's the big dog now, Rachel?

– Where was the humor that we've been enjoying in Season 2? 

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Jul 29, 2014
Theory: At the time of the blackout, who would have been hanging out at Guantanamo who spoke Arabic? My guess, the plot thread, had it continued, would have been that the U.S. Government fled to Guantanamo and was coopted by Al Qaeda detainees who were somehow freed after the blackout. That would explain the messages in Arabic, as well as the reeducation programs.
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Nov 08, 2013
Wow, I didn't know anyone til this day to get Adolf Hitler's name wrong.
It's not like only historians know who this guy was...
Unbelievably embarrassing. Who is this Adolph you talk of, Tim? An ice-cream vendor from Bruges?
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Nov 09, 2013
Seriously? You rant like THAT about something this unimportant? Sadly too believable embarrassing...
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Nov 09, 2013
"You rant like THAT..."
Yes seriously, it is THAT embarrassing and NO this is not a rant. If you don't know shit, you better shut up or live with the laughs.
But hey, you're right, let's let this slip and then we read names like Stahlin, Pole Pott, Meow ZehBong, G.W. Busch, Djingis Cane, Napolean ...
And FUCK U for the sadly too.. gibberish, I know what you wanna say with that, dipshit.
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Nov 09, 2013
wow what a douche.. but well spottet
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Nov 08, 2013
'Boo Cynthia! Booooooo' Up to now she hasn't been anything to the story beside being annoying, not helping, an obstacle and some other words I can't think of right now. I would have been good if one of the torched men had fallen right on top of her. that would have been a great, burning sight.
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Nov 08, 2013
"The power of Revolution's strong start to Season 2 is beginning to fade"

Finally! Miyagi have hope for you, but it's gonna take WAY more than villains and risks. Not all villains are created equal and not every risk is good. As demonstrated, there's nothing about Revolution that's proven to me it has the capability or intention of actually creating, on the fly, a complex villain you love to hate. Hell, why do we "like" Monroe? Because of his bumbling ineptitude as a bad guy and his man crush on Miles. The things that made Monroe a great villain fall under the category of accidental comedy.

Turn the snark dial back up to 11 and enjoy Revolution for the craptastic popcorn fun that it is.
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Nov 07, 2013
The pressing questions of the episode:

-How the hell did Rachel move Monroe's dead weight by herself?
-How long before she revealed Miles and Charlie's very special present to them? Because Miles was sober.
-How the fuck are 7 year-old expired vaccines any use? Who is making new, sterile, drugs in a world without power?
-Did the Patriots infect the town with Cholera?
-When did Charlie join #teammiloe? On the trip to Willoughby or what?

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Nov 07, 2013
I never believed I'd actually say this, but I enjoyed the Neville story this time and I hated the main one.

come on! That's too early for them to find out about the traitor amongst them.
The rule is, after we, the audience, find out about a traitor, you have to give it a few episodes before the main characters find out.
if you want them to find out that fast then we should find out at the same time they did.
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Nov 07, 2013
"And if Revolution wants to be more than just an okay network sci-fi show"

I'm not clear on how "network" is relevant to its quality. Are we saying that the quality of every network sci-fi show is forever inferior due simply to a lack of nudity and profanity?
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Nov 07, 2013
Yes. yes, we are saying that ;)
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Nov 07, 2013
Here were my thoughts while reading this recap...yeah, come on you took the ballsy move and actually killed Bobby! No, wait, that was done after all of these people left...crap, you know who these people killed? Jo and Ellen.

I found myself more looking forward to whatever the hell is going on in Neville's storyline and I don't even know. Was Jason sort of faking his militarization? Were we supposed to be surprised by Tom's change toward Allenford...I barely remember this but wasn't it one of the points that made him vaguely interested in traveling with her as opposed to torturing Jason's location out of her and then just leaving.

Does it seem kind of curious to anyone else that the Patriots are allowing structures such as the house Monroe is holed up in to exist that close to their Willoughby stronghold? Shouldn't they want everyone in the reach of them to have to choose to come to Willoughby.

And does Hover (is that his name), isn't this technically Tom's motivation last season?
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Nov 07, 2013
Aaron is obviously a firebender
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Nov 07, 2013
Yeah and Miles is a metal bender!
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Nov 07, 2013
Monroe was both adorable and hilarious this episode. Why are you trying so hard to make me like this guy?!
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Nov 09, 2013
I'm seriously loving slightly drugged, reincarnated Monroe. And hating myself for it.
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Nov 07, 2013
He wa sloaded up on valuum, which i think he should always be.
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Nov 07, 2013
Too bad they don't spend some money on writers for this show. This could have been a Game of Thrones" being played out in the USA. Go back to the swords and maybe a handful of muskets. When the machineguns and limitless ammunition rolls out I get serious headaches from eye-rolling
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Nov 07, 2013
I like GOT, but sometimes it does gets to complicated and I have no idea what is happening. At least in Revolution we all get to follow the show and do other things at the same time ;)
No, seriously, I like it because it is simple and straight forward.
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Nov 07, 2013
GoT is one of those shows you have to work for to enjoy it fully. You have to go back and watch previous episodes to understand things that were only made clear later on, you have to google some stuff, you have to be at least moderately familiar with the map, you have to know everyone's name, and you have to pay attention. I too like to be able to just relax while watching some shows, but I also like having shows like GoT that are so dense and you can be listening to exposition and still be entertained.
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Nov 07, 2013
In order to be GOT, Charlie would've had to have sex with Danny....Rachel would have dragons, and Monroe would have to lose his hand. Also, miles would've been decapitated a long, long time ago...
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Nov 07, 2013
Wrong, Danny would have had the dragons.......
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Nov 07, 2013
With a 7 episode sample size, can we all agree that the difference in quality between season 1 and season 2 is marginal at best?

The whole magic fireflies and Aaron embracing his inner Drew Barrymore circa 1984 is really going to be a major plot point, huh?

And where in season 1, despite protests to the contrary, there was no shortage of bullets 15 years in to the apocalypse...in season 2, it's drugs. Drugs to simulate death. Drugs to revive torture victims. Drugs to completely alter the brain chemistry of people and turn them into mindless soldiers in less than a month. You want 'em...you got 'em. No problem.

A bigger mystery that Aaron being a firestarter...what is the source of the drugs? Maybe the nanites infected all the drugs in the world and give them the longest, non-refrigerated shelf life ever. Maybe high tech pharmaceutical labs really aren't necessary and all these drugs can be made with a bunsen burner and a few moderately clean containers of some kind.

Or maybe 'Revolution' is every bit the piece of intellectually insulting crapola now as it was last season. It's fun and entertaining crapola, but c'mon...a gunshot to the abdomen completely fixed with a 2" pocket knife, none of the aforementioned mystery drugs and seemingly bottomless flask of hooch? There are tenured surgeons at Johns Hopkins who could only dream of those kinds of results.
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Nov 07, 2013
I loved the mother - daughter stare contest in the beginning about the question: "Why did you rescue Monroe".


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Nov 07, 2013
Rachel: #teammiloe

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Nov 07, 2013
Juliet, I am your big fan and I follow you everywhere.
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Nov 08, 2013
Here Here! Loved her in Lost and V. Though i admit i hated her character, last season on Revolution.
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Nov 07, 2013
That description of the episode was fitting for every episode ever, but it failed to mention the heavy load of firefly in this episode.

I don't know why, but I like Rachel's dad. WHY??? Who knows. Maybe because the acting is better than many of the season 1 main character people.

Aaron's girlfriend was right to be scared and all, but I just don't care about her. Why is she there other than as his girlfriend and a religious person to his atheism? She serves no function for the story, any of them. (which she is not alone in, to be fair.)

Liked Monroe a lot in this episode.
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Nov 07, 2013
Doctor Rev. Camden Porter is well acted for such a transparent plotline. I wouldn't mind keeping him around ( Doctors are valuable!), but on the other hand it seems so cheesy that so many of the Matheson/Porter family has survived the End Times. I know Ben and Danny and Nana Porter bit it eventually, but I swear it's ridiculous that so many friends and family members are still around and in the same places they were 15 years later.

I don't mind Aaron's GF, it's not the most intriguing storyline, but it's made me like Aaron more as a character. Aaron's GF is a 'normal'. Aaron's female counterpart literally in the group of unhinged psychos he routinely pals around. Plus he needed someone to interact with since Rachel/Miles/Monroe are in full-swing of their competitive threesome and Charlie is everyone's shared daughter with no storyline of her own until I assume Jason returns to her.

It's strange that Aaron is still associating with the Matheson/Monroe crew, since he isn't exactly #teamkiller. Cynthia had a normal reaction of a person that doesn't know she's in a soft sci-fi show. She's probably horrified that her zombie!Jesus boyfriend sent two men to their screaming fiery deaths and then was assisted by a charming zombie!Bin Laden. She might literally think she is in league with the Devil!
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Nov 08, 2013
I think that's the thing that makes me not like Cynthia. She is too normal for this group of psychopaths/cartoon-style killers. Yeah, that's why she doesn't seem to fit in. I also found that her reaction was really normal, considering the circumstances, and was then surprised she was not killed off, like most of the normal ones eventually are.
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Nov 08, 2013
Well we'll just have to wait and see if events spark HER BIG PSYCHOTIC BREAK in which case she will promptly fashion a shiv on the fly and start shanking people in the time honored Rachel Matheson tradition.
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Nov 08, 2013
Let's wait and see! It could happen. I feel like an objective person would read your comment and think it's a joke, BUT WE KNOW BETTER.
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Nov 07, 2013
Im getting tired of this. Thisis becoming like Lost, only not as intriguing, they keep adding all of these questions that need to be answered without ever answering any. Hows about they spend half the season answering the endless questions they keep throwing up , and then try to build on the characters. Or both. I know the new writers inherited some stupidity from last year, but clean it up first before you try to move past it. pleaaaaaaase.
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Nov 07, 2013
The best part of the episode was zombie!Monroe. Giddy about Miles and grumpy about being hungry. Just plain adorable, heh.

I thought Rachel figured out that Gene was a Patriot last week, but I must have mistakenly bought into the hype of her aptitude because I figured she had put two and two together and got, "better not kill Monroe just yet," and got her favorite shovel ready. Instead she did it because they need him and because Charlie asked her too. What? Ugh. Terrible.

I have no idea why Miles, Rachel, and Charlie decided to stay behind when they sent Aaron and his lady friend off. Why the hell did they think they were safe? Willoughby was lost when Texas signed the Treaty, move the fuck out already. Rachel is Wanted, but the rest of them are completely expandable. Dumb.

Gene's flashbacks scared the fuck outta me. Rampant infectious disease and unrelenting torture! However, Rachel quibbling next week over whether she can kill her father for the sorta-short-term greater good. Uh, whatthefuckever. You've killed billions. Kill all those Nazi-wannabe mofos and SAVE THE INNOCENTS OF WILLOUGHBY. Family of jerkasses.

Jason, you scary. And I thought Sec. Nunya Bidness had finally died from her INFECTED GUN WOUND and I was like, well damn, so the drugging surprised me. Neville is such a single minded evil. I can appreciate that.
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