Season 1 Episode 4

The Plague Dogs

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 08, 2012 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • This show makes no sense

    The position that I hold on the premise of this show is the first of two camps of thought regarding it that could be summarized as either "My suspension of disbelief keeps being interrupted by glaring plot holes and blatant logical inconsistencies" or "If you just turn your brain off and stare at the screen blankly it's OK". Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly willing to go along with the initial proposition that something has completely stopped the flow of useful electrical current. Whether it be man-made or a chance natural occurrence, it would make for an interesting starting point to explore a collapsed society that has had to revert to pre-19th century technology to get by. What I am not OK with is the irrational sensationalism that the show resorts to in order to provide silly plot devices and what passes for tension and emotional investment in television these days.

    Everywhere we look there are gaps in this story. Missing items that I have seen brought up again and again include steam as well as water and wind power, any of which could easily float the power requirements for a reduced industrial economy. Diesel is often brought up as well as it only requires compression and heat. However, most people seem to miss the fact that, in the same way as diesel, electricity is not necessary for the function of a gasoline engine either. The original gasoline engines produced by Gottlieb Daimler and company used a hot-tube ignitor in place of a spark plug. They were inefficient, hard to start and even sometimes dangerous but the world made due with them for years before switching to electric ignition. Add to that the mention that there were steam ships in operation (the sailor on the docks during the Plague Dogs episode) but they were 'all destroyed in the war' and we've pretty much confirmed that it is entirely possible for this technology to be produced in this universe, so where is it?

    Where are the coal fired locomotives? Where are the diesel tractors? Where are the noisy water powered mills and factories churning out this mass produced, perfectly woven cloth, shiny leather and identical swords that everyone is wearing? Why did they put so much effort into finding ancient muzzle loading guns from an obviously very limited supply when it's much easier to produce newer and better breach loaders and black powder cartridges? They expect us to believe that in 15 years no one has attempted to produce new tools or adapt existing ones in order to jump start the industrial revolution again? They all just sit around enjoying their idyllic pastoral lives in the country, or brawling wild west style in the towns or dragging useless helicopters through the forest instead of getting anything useful done? These perfectly working fiberglass and carbon composite crossbows, drop forged duplicate swords and perfectly uniform clothes just drop from the skies as gifts from the gods like so many coke bottles? The gods in this universe (or the writers) really must be crazy or just incredibly lazy.

    To quote Miles: 'I don't know why I signed up for this'. What I thought I was signing up for was a swashbuckling adventure set in a world of hard won survival and ingenuity. I expected horseback races with Mad Max-esque, homebrew locomotives barreling down shoddy tracks. I wanted adventure on the high seas with the reborn Barbary Pirates raiding new settlements of refugee city dwellers from Miami to Boston in ships of sail and steam. I hoped for wandering knights errant dueling with six-shooter and sword alike for the favor of the fairest daughters of the new coal barons. International intrigue as Canadian-French cannon crosses the boarder into Maine, meet the plucky zeppelin captains of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas as they crisscross the continent in their helium filled behemoths, see the new Vaudeville in gas-lit halls on Broadway. Come on you guys, wake up! This stuff practically writes itself!

    There were so many fascinating directions they could have taken this story and yet they chose to saddle us with the far from compelling tale of a whiny brat complaining how awful the world is while shooting people in cold blood and leaving others chained up to die in the wilderness. We're dragged along as though out of some nonsensical compulsion to babysit this vapid prat while waiting for something better to come along as though we were her confused and stab-happy uncle. This pointless exercise having been brought about by her witless brother thinking his one man stand against a detachment of heavily armed soldiers wouldn't result in the deaths of his family and neighbors when they may have otherwise gone entirely unharmed if he had just let his father peacefully go see what the local warlord and family friend wanted to talk to him about. Meanwhile the only substantive scenes we're left to look forward to are those with Giancarlo's no nonsense military commander who seems to be the only consistent and sensible person left on the planet. Mr. Esposito's superior acting is surely the main component of such likeability in a 'villain' who so far hasn't actually performed any villainous acts, but we may also attribute some of this to the fact that he seems to be playing the only character who actually owns a moral code that he abides by while showing real concern for his fellows in arms and respect to citizens who don't attempt to shoot him for doing his job.

    Truly, this show makes no sense and I'll be glad to see it cancelled so that we might move on to something worth our time and attention.