Revolution "The Song Remains the Same" Review: The Secret's Out... But It Doesn't Really Matter

Revolution S01E13: "The Song Remains the Same"

There's been no science to creating a successful serialized science-fiction TV show based on a central mystery since Lost teased us for six seasons with one simple question: "What in the holy heck is going on?" The ABC hit ultimately held off on answering its biggest question until its final hour, revealing the truth about the island as part of a huge event of a finale. That sort of reveal became the blueprint for every Lost copycat that's aired since. Ask a question as soon as possible, and do not answer it until the very end—or at least until the network says "You're canceled, wrap it up, Life on Mars." 

But then came Revolution, which decided to answer its little secret WAY early, and last night it finally revealed the answer. The secret is...


CHARLIE IS MILES' DAUGHTER! 



But also: 

NANOBOTS!!!

As promised, Rachel revealed the cause of the Big Electricity Suck of 2012 with as much fanfare as if she were reading an instruction manual, and it was—brace yourselves—microscopic robots that slurp electricity out of the air and self-replicate like bunnies listening to Marvin Gaye on repeat. Rachel estimated that a couple hundred quadrillion of these things were flying all around the globe, floating in people's coffee, hanging out in their lungs, and keeping them from playing Ridiculous Fishing on their iPhones, and they were all a product of technology gone haywire. The nanobots were released from someplace called The Tower, and theoretically they could be turned off from there. Yet Rachel had no interest in trying to get to The Tower because she didn't want to leave Charlie again. *groan*

So, yes, Revolution did just tell us what caused the blackout. But it may as well have said "We lost power because Baby Jesus made it so," because nanobots are the current unexplainable scientific reasoning du jour. We know that the nerdiest minds of the scientific community are currently working on nanotechnology, and that soon microscopic bulldozers will unclog our arteries, teeny-tiny electricians will fix computers automatically, and itsy-bitsy mecha-spiders will keep your water spouts clear. But today and tomorrow and probably for the next decade or so, nanotechnology is, to most people, the equivalent of voodoo magic, and science-fiction writers' go-to crutch for making anything happen. 

Does the explanation work in this context? Sure. Nanobots eat electricity, okay. Is it satisfactory? That's for you to decide. It's not hard science, so if you were looking for that, sorry, you're hosed! But—and I can't believe I'm about to defend this development—in order for Revolution to succeed as a series, the specific cause of the blackout shouldn't matter a whole lot. And certainly the show has been heading in that direction by (correctly) focusing more on what the world is like post-blackout, rather than dwelling on what caused it in the first place. If The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes were to discover what caused the zombie outbreak, that'd be great! But it wouldn't change the fact that The Governor still wants to see Rick's and Rick's friends' heads in fish tanks. That's not the best comparison, but the point is, you can have electricity up the wazoo, but the world of Revolution that we're watching is still fractured into militia city-states, with madmen dividing the country amongst themselves like slices of pizza. And that is the story that Revolution is actually trying to tell: a girl, her uncle-dad, a wimpy Google exec, a spicy Latina with self-regenerating abs, and a murderous soccer mom are trying to stop their old friend from taking over North America. Adding electricity just makes for a more potent war, so even if the lights come back on, the show can still survive just fine.

And speaking of that story, did I miss some shift in the sun's magnetic field, or did angels descend from the sky into Revolution's writing room? Because the story is actually coming along quite nicely, carrying on the series' competent run that began with the mid-season finale. "The Song Remains the Same" benefited from the best use of Giancarlo Esposito as Tom Neville to date, posed a tangible new threat, and sent the show's characters out to acheive specific goals that didn't involve saving a floppy-haired boy only to kill him moments later. Plus, LIONEL RITCHIE! Revolution is on a roll, ladies and gentlemen! A roll of not being terrible!

Let's start with our pal Neville, who had to trudge through some cliches and dialogue that should've come with a choking warning just to set up his story for the week. Monroe's new man crush is his new toy Randall Flynn, and Neville's on Monroe's shitlist after repeated failures—though to be fair, pinning everything on Neville seems like projection on Monroe's part. Either way, that's how the show (flimsily) established the situation, so let's just accept it. Neville was sent to fetch a mystery object, but got caught by Charlie and Miles thanks to some pretty amazing scouting by the rebel forces, who were able to spot Neville's convoy, relay the intel to the base, setup an IED in the middle of the road, blow up the trucks just right so that only Neville survived, and capture Monroe's once-prized military dude—all, I'm assuming, through a network of smoke signals and carrier sparrows. Who needs electricity when you have convenience? 

Neville was then locked in one of those stark, nondescript rooms fit for torture and cuffed to one of those metal chairs also fit for torture, because that's just how torture is done on television and that rule is never to be broken EVER. We were led to believe that Miles was going to beat information out of Neville, but then Jason, the rebel force's newest pledge and Neville's son, who pulled a pretty nifty trick on his dad. Jason went in for answers about his crappy childhood, got Neville to say something to the effect of, "But I always loved you plz uncuff me," and called Neville on his bluff. Then Neville explained to Jason that if Neville doesn't get back on his mission and succeed, Monroe will kill Julia, a.k.a. Jason's mom and Neville's wife. That got Jason to uncuff his father for the good of the family, and then Jason casually dropped the "Where are we going?" question. Convinced that they were family again, Neville told him the super-secret location of the super-secret mission. GOTCHA, Neville! The room's doors opened and all the rebels were there with a round of applause for Jason because he just super-duped his dad into giving them the goods. It was the old bait-and-switch-then-rebait-then-switch-back-again! A flawlessly convoluted plan executed to perfection. Question: Why risk Neville not mentioning mom by not going along with Neville's initial ruse in the first place, when from the get-go Jason could have just said, "Okay dad, I forgive you. Now where are we going?" Because Revolution, that's why.

Later, Neville received a visit from the rebel Padre, and said he wanted to confess his sins (RED FLAG), and when the Padre was like "Yeah, right" Neville remembered that handcuffs, chains, and all types of binds do not work on this show, so he got himself free and killed everyone in the room. It was pretty badass. Now, fearing for their lives, Neville and his wife Julia were on the run from Monroe. Did I mention that the Nevilles have a really nice house?

With the information tricked out of Neville, the rebels arrived at an abandoned cement factory (LOL) at the perfect time to find Randall in the middle of a transaction with a scientist-type. A guns-and-arrows-and-swords fight broke out, and it was a pretty good one, too! The body count was high, characters we'd just met died, and Charlie got to make killing faces like this:

Randall got away, and based on the omnipresent radioactive symbols painted on things left behind at the cement factory (LOL), the gang deduced that Randall had just acquired a NUCLEAR BOMB and that Monroe was going to go all Kim Jong Un on someone. STAKES SUFFICIENTLY RAISED, I'D SAY. 

The nuke news slapped Rachel in the face to the point where she changed her mind and decided a trip to The Tower was a good idea, so the "good guys" could also get some power and fight against Monroe. So Aaron and Rachel are headed to The Tower, and Miles, Norah, and Charlie are off to find Monroe's nuke. It's some badly needed direction for the series that spent 10 hours finding Danny and didn't appear to know where to go next. Whether these new quests will take the next nine episodes to finish, we'll have to wait and see. 

What is going on with this show? All of a sudden it's become a totally watchable and somewhat-enjoyable action-adventure series with only minor gripes in logic instead of a totally confused mess. A lot of the family-friendly Disneyfication has disappeared, the writers are using their characters better, and things are more focused to the point where trips in the Tunnel of Hallucination appear to have been left far behind. I still had plenty of grievances with "The Song Remains the Same," but Revolution appears to have made the most of its four-month-long break.   

 


NOTES

– Rachel might be my favorite character on any show ever right now. First, she's played by Elizabeth Mitchell, the nicest person in the business. Second, Rachel is a murderous killing machine. No one else on Revolution, even on Monroe's side, scares me more than Rachel. She killed Monroe's big assassin, she killed the kind old scientist who she double-crossed, and she was the only one who couldn't wait to kill Neville. Yet she does it all looking like the VP of the PTA.

And she makes out with her ex-husband's brother! Rachel and Miles! Gettin' it on! And that wasn't an "I've always wanted to do this!" kiss, that was a full-on relapse kiss. As I stated way up above, can we now piece together that Charlie is actually Miles' daughter? Hence Rachel's concerns over Charlie being "more like Miles" and exhibiting the same tough behavior the wimpy Ben Matheson never could? It seems like a detail added late to the party, but whatever, it would fill the soapy requirement this show's been missing. 

– Let's see, remorseless killing, blonde, affinity for making out with family members... is Rachel to Revolution what Cersei Lannister is to Game of Thrones

– Do we still not know what that blinking thingy was that Rachel pulled out of Danny?

Revolution still hasn't answered any questions of currency in this world, but diamonds are still valuable, apparently! Does one take a diamond down to the bar for some homebrew? How do you make change for a diamond? 

– For a show about a powerless post-apocalyptic America, there sure are a lot of random people making some awesome kickass weapons. A sonic blaster two weeks ago and a nuke this week?

– Special thanks to Cory Barker for filling in for me last week while I was out of town rescuing puppies with special needs. I agree with everything he said about "Ghosts," except for Miles' "Conan the Librarian" line which was AWESOME because it was classic Kripke cornball.

– And let's never forget the big death from the episode, Steering Wheel Face Guy. R.I.P.:



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I only watch this show because of Elizabeth Mitchell and Giancarlo Esposito, the rest range from terrible actors to mediocre.
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Why would Tom Neville have Lionel Richie on his Ipod at his age? I would assume he is about 50 years old. 15 years ago, before the blackout, he would have been 35 (Same age as myself).

No 35 year old is going to have Lionel Richie on his ipod, nor appreciate it as much as he did.
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I don't really know what to think about this show. It is in the middle. It is quite entertaining, so I'll continue watching. Unhappily, I don't Elizabeth Mitchell in that role: each time she is on the screen, I just want to shoot the tv. Happily, I don't have a gun :-)
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Not only am I enjoying Revolution, but was amused by Tim's review this week―it's like I've woken up in Bizarro!

Meanwhile, I'll try to ignore my curiosity about how our hearts are able to continue beating with all those electrical-zapping nanobots floating in our lungs. I'd really enjoy seeing how other countries that had gun control laws are dealing with the political-power-grabs: No "shock & awe" with swords, arrows, and slings, but more blood-gushing.
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What is Tim on?!!!! That episode was awful.

Two guys guarding the baddie............ terrible dialogue........... After Rachel's 'this will be our only chance' line, it was obvious he would escape. And how many attempts at failed emotional impact???

I only watched this episode cause of Tim's comments. Had previously given up on this just awful show. I think this episode was even worse than some of the previous ones.

Best guess........ losing Fringe and getting use to this show has just made Tim think he likes it more. Truly bad TV.
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LOL
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worst thing is still the actor playing charlie. such a horrible bad actor
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My wife told me that she improved from one facial expression before the break to two facial expressions now. That’s 100% better than before!
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But they often don't fit the situation she's in, how the hell could they miscast a lead so badly :D ?

Besides the miles guy is often overacting as well, I don't know if its just bad directing or writing though, since I have never seen them in anything else
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I LOL'ed at Neville singing along to Lionel Ritchie!
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WEE: worst episode ever!!!
throw in lizards & spaceships & it'll definitely be the V retool debacle all over again
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Answers to a random two question pick:

“Revolution still hasn't answered any questions of currency in this world [...]”
Isn’t “I won’t kill you.” currency enough? I think, Miles gets to pay everywhere with that line.

“For a show about a powerless post-apocalyptic America, there sure are a lot of random people making some awesome kickass weapons. A sonic blaster two weeks ago and a nuke this week?”
The show presented us a steam train as a piece of high tech... Don’t you Americans know that there were steam engines even before the US of A were founded? Also, where did all those weapons in the Wild West come from? The future? - Believe it or not, but you don’t actually need power to build a nuke if you have the radioactive material...
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"Believe it or not, but you don’t actually need power to build a nuke if you have the radioactive material..."

Yeah, but are you going to sneak it into the enemy camp and detonate it with a *really* long fuse?
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Does anyone else think that turning on all the power is the worst path towards peace, ever. If all of a sudden everybody has power again, they are going to having the biggest war of all time (as Miles said). Why can't they just take Monroe's power away? I guess that's America for you, though. I'm going to compare to the gun laws in America. Power = gun. One person is armed so everyone should be armed to protect themselves. It doesn't work America.
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If they get the power back, people will be able to make all the food they want, and pump all the water they want. This will remove the main reasons to fight. There's obviously going to be some fighting if dictators like Monroe refuse to give up their positions, but "biggest war of all time"? I don't think so.
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Ok, Mr Surette has spun around and so must I. But in another direction! The show has too many stories to follow now, so it spreads out way to much. I think it´s going to be hard to keep track of everyone and their stuff. Just think: Rachel and Aron is going to the tower, Miles and charlie are probably going to Georgia, if the trailer is correct, Jason probably will be on another track, Monroe and Randall, Tom and Julia...have I forgotten anyone?
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3-4 groups of people are not too many. In Game of Thrones, we're following at least ten. Now *that's* too many, but that's mainly because the seasons are too short.
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Don´t follow GoT anymore. All the likeable people is killed off.
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Was Ned Stark the only person you liked? I would say that all other likeable characters are still with us, except a few that weren't significant enough that I learned their names.
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Well more likeable persons are going to die
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So now we know why Jim Hudson is so important- Military Genius! He discovered the fact that scouts and recon in conjunction with a well secured perimeter are important. Why would an Ex-Marine like Miles ever bother with doing those things?
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I'm really starting to think that the only reason anyone is still watching this show is to find all the errors in it.
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Why else would we watch it?
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I totally think Charlie is Miles' daughter! I've thought that ever since we first saw Miles and Rachael together. They so obviously have romantic history, plus it's such a traditionally awesome twist.
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For me, Revolution before the break was something to see if I had the time. Now is almost good for a science fiction show. But I did expected a little more than nanotec to be the cause.
And Tim, have to re-watch the episode because I didn't see the "Charlie is Miles daughter" thing!! I had me fool!!!
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Re-writing the last sentence: And Tim, I had to re-watch the episode because I didn't see the "Charlie is Miles daugther' thing!!! You had me fool.
I was half sleeping when I wrote that!
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I didn´t see it either..
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The two big clues, after Rachel tries to kill Randell and has a little chat with Miles "In what world is she better off with you instead of me." And the make-out session in the base, in a room that was all windows and you just know someone was watching them.
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Nobody seems to consider the amazing side effect of whatever (apparently nanobots) stops electricity. A "fountain of youth" for people and machines.

Every flashback scene only underlines how nobody has gained a wrinkle or a grey hair in fifteen years. Fifteen years of very hard living, it should be noted.

As for machines, wave the magic pendant or amplifier and trucks, CD players, helicopters all fire up like they just rolled off the dealership floor. Maybe Monroe had some hint that he could gain some electricity and ordered men who had a hundred better chores to finish to keep useless machines lubed and clean and ready should the spark fairy show up. But these guys went in and cleaned out fifteen years of neglect from a humvee's stereo system?
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Hummers don't have stereo's
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I own a vintage M35A2 an if you added an inertia starter to the diesel engine you would be able to start it up no problem. You won't be able to hear the person next to you in the cab because it is about 85 decibels in the cab from the engine and exhaust sound -- so don't even bother trying to put on your favorite Lionel Ritchie album.
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Yeah... those points were difficult to swallow. Everything working so well. The adults haven't aged, but the kids have?
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Only really lazy or humdrum or, well, TV science fiction writers use things like "nanobots" as crutch. Just to clarify.

I'm torn about accepting the nanobot theory, as given. Rachel is (heavy sarcasm) the series' poster child for honesty and truth without secret agenda. An atmosphere laden with these nanobots would have two very bad affects. As another commenter noted, "breathing them in and out" sort of shuts down the electricity in the human brain. Doesn't seem to be happening, though some of the characters' actions suggest their brains aren't firing on all cylinders.

Has there been any thunderstorms in the show? I haven't kept any recordings, so I can't back check. If there has been some lightning and thunder, then we know Rachel is lying thru her pretty teeth. An atmosphere full of these nanobots that "eat electricity" would absorb the electrostatic charges before the lightning bolts can form. Actually, with that much energy to "eat", they shouldn't be breathing the nanobots in and out, they should be shovelling them to clear roads.

If there hasn't been any sign of lightning in any episode, and the nanobots do exist as stated, then there is a long term problem. Lightning is responsible for freeing up nitrogen to bond with plants and dirt and generally fertilize nature.
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Excellent points. These are the reasons that Revolution isn't good sci-fi. More like MST3000 or SyFy Saturday Movie sci-fi.
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I suspected it long ago Mile/Rachel and once I figured that out I knew Miles was Charlie's dad
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Nanomachines, son.
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30 lbs of diamonds is a lot, even for a nuke... which makes me think that diamonds are not that valuable... heck, there should be some to be found in every house in every city, town and country place around... after all, about 250 Million people would have died the first year after the black out alone... so, maybe diamonds are plentiful but people must have a use for diamonds by the pound... lot less weight to carry than gold or silver...

check out our podcast: www.RevolutionFanCast.com or subscribe www.RevolutionFanCast.com/iTunes
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Tim, you were missed last week. Cory did a great job, but your review is what I look forward to most for this post-apocalyptic-action-drama-scifi-comedy. Please don't leave us again!
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I Second that !
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Tim - I love "I will kill everyone" picture! Rachel looks on it like a little angel - a perfect sociopath.

Let me guess - the bad guys will now capture, torture and kill Rachel? (not necessairly in that order) This show was becoming watchable and now the writers once again split up the characters? Why?!

I'm a devoted fangirl of both Elizabeth Mitchell and Lena Headey. However, as much as I love Cersei I don't want Rachel to follow her steps. I think incest plot is the last thing Revolution needs right now.
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It's not incest, she's not related to Miles
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How could Rachel do a Cersei? Her husband is dead, her son is dead the onyl one left is Char......
To quote Jayne Cobb "I'll be in my bunk"
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At this moment I'm suspecting Budget Han Solo is Rachel's half-brother. The plot twist: no one knows about it! That would make What's her name a female version of Joffrey.
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Did anyone else raise their hand to say...um, why aren't Rachel and Aaron bringing someone along who can fight? Just as body guard protection since getting them where they are going is so important. I would have thought that could be an effective use of Jason, Charlie clearly not ready for the romance angle any time soon (and seriously, I would buy that Danny is Miles' kid, but not Charlie), Miles only mildly trusts him and it would have been a connection between all the stories. Anyway, I thought I posted this comment yesterday but I can't see it anywhere.

I am holding out judgment on the nanobytes, Rachel is being kind of a jerk to Aaron and he isn't questioning too much just yet. I am assuming where we saw Randall and Grace earlier was "the Tower" and Grace will provide us more details. After all, she and Ben were the ones pulling off the teacher covers, so she might be able to explain better.
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So I'm guessing Rachel is going to stick the glowing Danny Light into some machine in the tower, flip some sort of magic switch, and bam! Nanobot-powered super heroes.

OK, probably not. But this show could use some lightning shooting from people's hands.
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I'm shocked none of you have freaked on the nanites concept. The reason? Well she said we are breathing them in. That being said why aren't people dying? The human body actually produces electricity. So when our system digests food the nanites should have eaten that electricity up unless that is what the show will push towards that if they don't stop the nanites then all life on earth will cease? Anyway, was wondering if anyone was realizing about humans being effected by tiny robots floating in and out of our bodies.
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We're not freaking out mainly because we already did that when we were told the premise of the show. This is probably the least absurd explanation for it. I suppose it could also have been some kind of field that changes the properties of metals, so that they no longer conduct electricity. But it would be even harder to imagine how *that* wouldn't have bigger consequences.

The good thing about the nanites is that they can be programmed. So most of our "why doesn't this happen" questions can be answered by "their program tells them to not let that happen".

Your suggestion about how the nanites could be threat to all life is certainly something they can explore if the show goes on long enough. All it takes is a single nanite that for some reason doesn't have the code that tells it to avoid doing harm to living cells.
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"What's a boy band?"
Totally brilliant! That just killed me! Oh, how we all wish there was an actual apocalypse!
Revolution is chugging along nicely now without many kinks and this episode was really good. Charlie training was nice to see. Neville's scenes were absolutely fantastic. There's much more fluid pacing to the writing now.
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The best part of the episode was Neville exposition on how we all felt about the Danny plotline! How does it feel, searching for him for months and thousands of miles only to have him gunned down pointlessly in a helicopter fight? How indeed revolution writers, how indeed. I'm glad that, as writers, you've fully acknowledged the first half train wreck of a season. We cannot learn from our mistakes without admitting to them first.
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great review which made me guffaw in places. i actually am not sure where this is going, i thought the nanites were a safe but acceptable answer to the question of `what it is` but theres no doubt that charlie, with her combat faces, is his daughter. i am going to pay close attention to see if Miles makes the same ones too, it might run in the family :)
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I thought for sure Neville's wife would try and kill him to save herself. She's clearly mad at him for Jason leaving and she seemed really reluctant to leave that nice, big house.
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I stopped reading at "..locked in one of those stark, nondescript rooms fit for torture and cuffed to one of those metal chairs also fit for torture, because that's just how torture is done on television and that rule is never to be broken EVER."! Where should they have locked him up? In their armory? In their offices? Of course they will use an empty room, because that is logical. You are just complaining about random things because it's Revolution, it would not have been a big deal in another series.

The convenient-part is also wrong, since (just as I wrote before), everything is convenient WHEN IT'S SCRIPTED! It happends because the writers said so, so everything good that has ever happened to a character in ANY TV-series is convenient. They clearly made it clear that it was Malik Yobas scout network that found the convoy and relayed the message. They just didn't want to spend an entire episode explaining HOW the message got to the main cast. If they would have then you would complain either way.

But I'm okay with the nanobots, just like some of the commenters said: that feels better than som kind of grand station that's sucking up the electricity. If nanobots works in MGS they work in TV.
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I love the way it is going and preferred the idea of nano bots over there being one big station somewhere sucking all the power away. I totally agree with the view on Rachel but for me the high point of this episode has to be Jason asking 'What's a boy band?' Suddenly post apocalyptic militia controlled powerless world doesn't seem so bad.
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The show keeps getting better with much character development after the break & i prefer more focus on Rachel as she is doing a great work.
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Sorry, but the explanation for the blackout is absolutely terrible. Nanobots sucking up all electricity? Has anyone ever stopped to ask how humans actually work? What is involved in thinking, how do nerves relay commands to move muscles? That's right, ELECTRICITY.
From my point of view, breathing/drinking/absorbing nanobots that absorb electricity would have a very unpleasant reaction also described as dying.
But what the hell, it's Revolution, right?
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And let' not even get into atomic bonding -- no juice, no universe.
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I don't think that was the complete explanation, as we the viewers have guessed, Randall has already accessed this Tower and that is where Grace is. I am guessing Grace will be able to more fully explain everything.
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Well really, NO explanation makes sense. For much of the same reasons you're saying... how do you turn off "all electricity" without killing the human body.

Then you have the lack of old-school diesel engines that don't require electricity to run or even start. Yet apparently bonfires and gunshots are still possible but diesel combustion wasn't?

Personally I was just imagining that there was some blanket EM field around the planet that did "something" to stop all electrical charges greater than X. And that the human body run on something less-than-X. But even that's not a perfect example.

But electricity-eating nano's? Meh, like I said no explanation would really work so let's just accept it and move on.
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I haven't read this review yet, but I will of course. Here is a few things I have to say about this group of these 5 super-humans. They are death-sentence to others. Man where ever they go, bodies of their own people dropped like flies and strong fighters died. Charlie's father (or not-father?) was the force they were not very deadly to their own people, but ever since he's gone (in first episode) it is just death across the land everywhere, death of their own people.

This week, they missed another golden opportunity of landing a trap when the gang get a hold of another pendant in their position. They now knows that other party can track it, then instead of destroying why not setting a trap around it?

I liked how dad and son play each others, I had my doubts at first but it was for me good moment. And how come, how come the Padre get killed so easily, at least put up some small fight man for sake of being a leader of fighters.
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I enjoyed the series during its first part but the plot is being more interesting after the hiatus. rachel is by far my favourite character and not only because Elizabeth Mitchell is an amazing actress but also because Rachel is very well written and she's a badass! In the scene when she was going to enter inside the room where Neville was... Well, I don't now what scared me the most, her face or the thought she could have done anything to Charlie just to get to Monroe.

I'm not sure Charlie is Miles' daughter, it is clear something happened between Rachel and Miles but when exactly? Because we don't have to forget she spent about 15 years as a prisoner and Miles was with the Militia.
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You forgot the one good thing in this episode Charlie got punched in the face again :)
Did they say on the episode expectedly that charlie is Miles daughter ? I missed it
I really find the show ridiculous and stupid yet I find me wanting to see what stupid thing is going to happen next (Maybe I just love seeing Charlie getting punched in the face :) )
Rachel and the Google guy are going to save the world yeah right :)
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The last few episodes have been giving off a Stephen King-y vibe. The TOWER, SK books in the library, and a bad dude with the initials RF? Plus there is the whole post apocalypse thing.
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I had more fun reading the review than I had watching the episode. Good job! But sure, the show is getting better for me too. Personally I like all the characters even Charlie... I am not sure why since everybody's bitching about them. Lionel Richie... Great moment! I felt the peace in the car and then...Boom! Great stuff! Keep going Revolution!
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I found it interesting that the review mentions Lost.

With Lost, I actually cared about the characters and in fact, I was so upset by what they did to Mr. Echo that I never watched another episode.

With Revolution, they could kill every character except Rachel and I would not care one bit.
In fact, I am hoping that the show shifts focus from Charlie to Rachel, they kill off Miles, Charlie, and Nora, and make the show in a Mad Rachel vengeance and redemption vehicle.

"Rachel Matheson, a brilliant mind with a black heart. Out for vengeance for the death of her children and looking to save the world she nearly destroyed."

Now that would be a show worth watching and talking about every week.
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Would you care about the characters if they all ended in a big hug, surrounded by white light in an after-life church as the series finale, while most questions remained unanswered?
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Every so often comes along somebody who says, "oh I wish they would kill all the characters, rewrite the story and make an entirely different show." You guys realize that ain't gonna happen, right? Wouldn't it be simpler to wish to watch a different show then? TV is full of them. And then let those who enjoy the show enjoy the show.
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I don't want them to kill all the characters nor make a different show.

They already killed Danny and just about every other character they've introduced so now I just want them to take a few more steps in that direction by getting rid of the remaining useless characters (Miles, Nora, and Charlie).

Even keeping miles and have Rachel and Miles play a symbolic Adam and Eve to a new world would work.

More importantly though, show-runners don't always get it right and listening to viewers can make the difference between cancellation and renewal...
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Charlie and Miles are the core of the show. Killing them would make Revolution a fundamentally different show. As it is, the story seems to be Charlie's transformation from naive girl to jaded warrior.

Actually, I sense Rachel is quite likely to be killed. It would be a form for her to atone for her sins, and possibly she'll sacrifice herself to prove her love for Charlie.

And Miles will atone for his sins through lots of swordfighting and bad one-liners. He might die eventually, but only after he takes down Monroe because they have a personal issue. I think he's a good action hero (the nickname Budget Han Solo seems quite appropriate), and he's fun to watch. Besides, the good guys need a strong male presence (considering Charlie and Rachel have such importance in the story).

But I agree Nora (and while we're at it, Aaron too) is a useless character. Nora may be kept around as a possible romantic interest for Miles, until she's dumped because Miles wants Rachel. I can't see any way they'll succeed into turning Nora into an interesting character. Besides, the actress is painfully limited, and, in my opinion, not even that attractive.

Aaron is kept around for an obscure reason only the writers seem to understand. I enjoy the show, but even I can't put up with him most of the time. I'm assuming when the technological stuff becomes more prominent, he'll rise in a key moment, but even that won't make me like him.

Now as far as listening to viewers go, that is a tricky subject. In my country soap operas take prime time, and the writing is dependent on ratings and viewers' opinions. As a result, it's usually a mess. Characters are totally inconsistent, and the story makes no sense because they keep changing things to please the crowd. Instead, the showrunner has to follow his unique vision and give the show the consistency it needs.

Besides, considering the solid ratings of Revolution, it seems to me the show is giving pretty much what viewers want.
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They could kill every character and I could not care less :)
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Are we watching the same show? From the very beginning, this was supposed to be a show about life after electricity has 'gone out'. It has never been like that. At all. Just like Jericho, Invasion and several other TV shows that substituted good writing for an extended 'hook the viewer' serial story plotline.

Ever wonder what's gonna happen when age related pharmaceuticals stop getting manufactured, distributed and/or sold?

Guess what? You're still going to wonder because you're not going to get anything explained in this show.

Tom

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Oh I don't know. Considering the name of the show is "Revolution", I always thought it was supposed to be, oh, let me guess, about a revolution? I mean, a civil insurrection? Isn't it what we're having?
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So much truth in 1 post, almost too much to handle.
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Between midichlorians and hiding in the fridge to protect yourself from an explosive blast, why is Kripke stealing George Lucas's worst ideas?
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SEE! i knew something was going on between miles and Rachel lol
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I was pleasantly surprised by how watchable last night's episode was. I do think the family drama is a bit Shakespearean but I guess they need to put something in between the moments when someone is being stabbed/shot and they are blowing shit up.

So on the question of the diamonds as currency in post-apocalypse economics, I thought Monroe's use of this medium of payment actually spoke a bit against the legitimacy of his rule as diamonds are a common form of currency in the black market. But if push comes to shove at the end of the world and you find yourself in possession of a diamond and a sore thirst, most likely your local will run you a tab until you've drunk the equivalent. I'd just be certain to set terms up front.

I don't think that was a homemade nuclear warhead, I think it was likely a dirty bomb. Radioactive material added to explosives will create an initial contamination zone to within a certain perimeter of the initial blast radius, then continue to contaminate the surrounding environment dependent upon the prevailing climate conditions. The sort of radioactive material required for such a device is actively used in hospitals, dentist offices and in other industrial practices, so after the lights went out it likely just sat around waiting for some industrious homicidal maniac to come along and put it to scary use.

To Steering Wheel Face: that's what comes of bashing Lionel Richie buddy. Respect.
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Why are there so many actors from "24" in this show?
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And I'm done. I got half way through this episode (up to the point Rachel had attacked the guard so she could kill Neville, got caught my Charlie and confessed her plan) and I just turned it off.

It's nice to see the show finally take direction but I just can't put up with the clumsy dialogue any more, ridden with horrible puns and clichés. The unveil to why the lights went off was completely lacklustre, I wasn't expecting a massive breakdown into it but you'd think one of the scientists behind their creation could give a better explanation on them than that.

The worst thing about this show though is I just don't find the characters believable and because of that, I struggled to ever connect with them.

It's a shame, the idea behind the show is excellent and I love post-apocalyptic stories. The execution of it though is terrible.
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You're better than me; I couldn't get passed the stupid and overused cliches, stupid plots, insane ways the rebels would survive against the better armed enemies, and the characters themselves.

I guess for some it's nice they got direction but for me I couldn't stomach it then and I doubt even new direction could help given your assessment!
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So if I understood correctly, Tim is not happy about the nanobots because they don't exist? Honestly was he expecting an explanation related to something that exists in the current technology? I don't see how.

Nanobots is as good as any other explanation in a sci-fi context. In Afterworld, for instance, all technology stopped because, as far as I can remember, a military experiment that went wrong involving a network of satellites constantly emitting some sort of disruptive signal. Something like that. In science-fiction shows, it's either that or they never explain the cause at all, as in The Walking Dead.

I didn't think Jason's plan was convoluted. Tim is suggesting Jason should have entered the room and said something like "Daddy! Daddy! What have they done to you? I forgive you. Let me uncuff you. Ahem... By the way, where are we going and why? Tell me now!"

Neville Sr. is too smart for that. Obviously Jason thought Neville would try to persuade him to uncuff him, and Jason would play hardball in the beginning, and actually refuse to help. But Neville would insist and Jason, reluctantly, would agree. You know, not to sound too eager. It all made sense.

I thought the episode was nice, I'm curious to find out where the story is leading us. If the story keeps progressing this nicely, the show is quite likely to get a second season at least.

But I had a problem with the title. As usual, the writers don't give much thought to meaningful and creative titles. "The Song Remains the Same"? Why? And that would certainly invite a joke from the mockers. I could swear the title to Tim's review would be "The Show Remains the Same".
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Afterworld is arguable, but close enough. A continuous EMP from Satellites. The problem with that is more engineering than science, I think. It's a pretty fair comparison. Inverse square law and all, there may not exist on Earth a power source that could pull it off. So, yeah, maybe.

TWD is not a good comparison, though, because TWD is not science fiction. It is speculative fiction, and science fiction is also a subset of that. But there's no more need for TWD to explain zombies than for GoT to explain dragons. Sci-fi has more of a requirement to explain things than these which are more closely related to fantasy.

This is more of a marketing issue, I think. They touted their scientifically vetted explanation, which gave the implication they thought they had some hard science behind it. Saying nanobots could theoretically do this is roughly as scientific as saying that science does cannot definitively prove that there is no God/Flying Spaghetti Monster.
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Yeah, a continuous EMP that made some people, depending on the genetic code, disintegrate. And have survivors enhanced vision and other stuff. Hardly more engineering or science, but pure science fantasy, like in most sci-fi these days. I'm perfectly fine with nanobots. I have more problems with all the magic stuff that computer hackers do in shows like Person of Interest.
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Yeah, I didn't remember the details of the magic things the EMP did. Definitely fantasy. I was just thinking of the scale problem. So, none of them are real sci-fi, and you're right, neither is most or possibly all sci-fi on television in the past few years. Nanobots are just as good as any phlebotinum, it's just a revelation of what genre the writers are writing in. it let's us know to lower our expectations. Sort of like how there's no point picking on the bad science in a live-action cartoon. The latest GI Joe caught me off guard because the first incidence of bad science was less than 30 seconds in before I had a chance to shut off my brain.
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And I enjoy science, and I've read most of Asimov's and Clarke's novels, not that that counts as a science background, of course. But my area is communication and languages. I speak four, and I teach ESL. Interestingly, most of my English students are engineers, and when I teach them I try to put on a serious face, so to speak, because they are quite serious people who only read technical books and magazines and the only TV they watch is hard news.
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Yeah, I'm a sometimes engineer. My first college was an engineering school, my first job was in an engineering and manufacturing company, my second degree was an engineering degree, the one I'm working on is also at the engineering college. I don't like, design widgets for a living or anything, but yeah, it definitely is the perspective from which I look at things first.

BTW, nanobots are totally real, my own school wasted millions making them. They just aren't cool enough to do anything useful, sort of like quantum computers (which will also never do many of the things people dream up for them).

I miss a lot of that bad science and bad hacking, except when I go to the movies. I can't stomach shows like CSI* or NCIS* or NYPD* or [insert other police procedural franchise]*. I watch Castle, and Bones, and Elementary because they feel a little different. I dropped Person of Interest after the first season because it was too much like watching a police procedural. From what I've heard, it's good that I did because even though I guess it got less procedural the computer science got on even shakier ground in the second season, and it would bug me.
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OK, I see where you're getting at. The scale problem. yes, anything on a world-wide scale would demand conditions perhaps impossible to meet.

Personally I'm much more demanding with hard science in SF novels than on TV shows. At this point, nanobots is just imaginary science, just like bionics or advanced robots, but that doesn't stop TV writers from using them every now and then. Even CSI, which is supposed to use more grounded science, has numerous inaccuracies. For instance, I'm thinking of instantaneous finger-print identification, or ice bullets... Not to mention all the magic TV shows like those do with computer hacking.

By the way, you sound like an engineer, and as such you're probably more concerned with hard science than most people. I'm not, so it's not something that will detract my attention too much. I mean, I know nanobots don't exist, but I only realize other things if somebody cares to over explain them in a comment or review.

I'm OK with accepting that, in this parallel reality, science has advanced in such a way that nanobots are a reality. The problem I see with that, now that you're making think of the problem, is that if such nanobots existed, the nanobot technology would have been around much longer, and there would be nanobots in medicine, and to fix machinery, for instance. People would live longer and healthier, and machines would never break, perhaps.

Same with bionics: basically everyone who needed and could afford it would have perfect prosthetic limbs and nobody would be paraplegic, blind or deaf anymore. Basically, society would be fundamentally different.
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yo that Giancarlo pic on the cover of this article scared the heebie jeebies out of me.
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WTH? This show hasn't been cancelled yet? I can only assume that Gus Fring is pulling some strings from the grave to keep this unpolished turd from dying the quick, painful it deserves.
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Probably the best, most fluid episode of the season.

Awesome review, always has been cracking up.

I thought the explanation for the blackout was much better than I'd expected. I mean, yeah it's a bit far fetched, but like mentioned in the review it shouldn't be the main focus of the show anyway.
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