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NBC (ended 2014)

Revolution S02E11: "Mis Dos Padres"

The most impressive thing about the world of Revolution isn't that there is a cloud of micro-nanites that are coagulating into an ethereal, omnipresent artificial intelligence that can set dudes on fire or create hallucinations of schoolchildren that give cryptic directions to abandoned towns so people can reunite with their ex-wives, it's that nothing can keep our core group of Revolutionaries locked up. As fast as these lucky bastards can get captured, they can also break their chains. And there must have been something to "Mis Dos Padres" to make that fact really stick out, because my friend Les from the popular Internet Web site AVClub also noticed the same thing in his review of the episode. In fact, he did some digging and estimated that roughly 60 percent of Revolution's episodes involve some sort of capture-and-rescue plot (the other 40 percent must be some variation of "my mommy/daddy/Miles doesn't love me" story). Given Revolution's knack for repetition, this is hardly surprising.

And why does this come up now? Well maybe it's because in "Mis Dos Padres" (which did not have a Mexican Paul Reiser impersonator), Monroe got captured, Miles got captured, Granddaddy Gene got captured, Charlie got captured, and Jason got taken into custody, which we'll call being captured. And only one of those nabbings happened together (Charlie and Gene). These people wear more handcuffs than a dominatrix, yet don't even have enough time to notch their first hashmark on a cell wall before they're sprung. And without thinking hard about it, I can instantly recall that Charlie, Monroe, Miles, and Gene have already been captured by someone this season. Revolution, it's time for an intervention. We need a moratorium on captivity, because it only leads to the bad habit of improbable escapes and weakens the very notion of imprisonment. Quit it with the captures. It's an insult to anyone who has been taken captive. Do it for Dick Cheney.

Revolution has also put itself in a situation where the action is spread out wayyyyyy too far and wide. There were four stories going on in "Mis Dos Padres": Charlie and Gene investigating a Patriot camp, Miles, Monroe, and Rachel in Mexico, Tom, Julia, and Jason infiltrating the Patriots in Washington, D.C., and Aaron in Spring City following the advice of a hallucination. There's a plan down the line I'm sure, but it felt like we were changing channels and everything on just happened to be taking place in a post-apocalyptic world, and splitting these people just to go on their own little time-wasting adventures takes away from any good character interaction they could have (not that the show is good at that, either). There's no glue to the story, which made it a chore to get through the episode and also diminished each individual story to whatever it could get through in the short amount of time it was allotted.

And the episode didn't even do a good job with the time it had. The whole ordeal with Gene rushing into the Patriot camp to save his friend was just a way to introduce a new plot about a typhus outbreak. Sorry Gene's friend, you died as you lived: as a plot device. Also, outbreak? Boo. The "borrowing" from The Walking Dead continues. Over in Washington D.C., we sat through Tom and Julia figuring out what to do about Julia's fake husband just so Jason could learn about a new plan to build more reprogramming camps and then break into an office. I'm still unsure why this entire plot matters or why I should be interested. In Mexico, Monroe got whipped and there was one hell of a fiesta, but the end result was that everyone escaped with Connor, Monroe's son, which could have easily have happened in last week's episode. If this is it for the Mexico storyline, it's a waste of Nunez and his non-stop fiesta fortress, which was one of the more interesting settings of the show (and finally made good on that promise of Mexico being affluent). And Aaron made it to Spring City to find his ex-wife was also trippin' on fireflies and that the nanites were coming together to be some sort of God that thinks Aaron is its dad. Ugh, I thought and hoped we'd seen the last of Priscilla. And about that whole omnipresent entity that is helping out, Person of Interest runs with that idea a whole lot better. That seems like a lot to happen, but that's about one scene's worth of stuff for each story stretched out over an entire hour. 

So now we're just past the halfway mark of the season and the show has gone far enough off course that I don't know what I'm supposed to be looking forward to as terrible stories are thrown in to fill out the required 22 episodes of the season. The Patriots are friends with Gene and Charlie again? Jason is probably headed back to a reprogramming camp? Aaron is back together with his ex-wife? Revolution is a very fitting title for this show, because all it's doing is going round and round. And what the heck happened to those oranges from last week?

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