For all the hype NBC put behind the last episode, Revolution managed to turn out a much stronger episode with this week’s “The Patriot Act.” Several strong character moments and the arrival of a new villain brought a fresh sense of energy to the series, introducing plenty of new conflicts to that should easily carry the show to the midseason finale.
Right out of the gate, we learned that Monroe’s execution was indeed a fake out. Perhaps they could’ve milked this out a bit longer, but I think it was a good choice to just get it out in the open early. Really, the bigger point of his capture last week was to reveal that Gene was actually working with the Patriots, a development that was picked up on this week. As the group planned to sneak Aaron and Cynthia out of town, the question this week was whether or not Gene would end up betraying them again.
So often, this type of story plays out with the traitor realizing that they have to do the right thing and warn the heroes. Revolution went for a different approach, instead having Gene let his fear win out. I really liked decision, as it avoided giving Gene an easy out for his actions. By having Miles and Rachel discover his betrayal, it creates an opportunity for a larger, more interesting conflict down the road. Beyond that, it’s clear that Gene is conflicted over his actions, and it makes for a more interesting character than the one we’ve had so far this season.
This episode was full of similarly great character moments, giving pretty much everyone on the main cast a chance to shine. Monroe got to show off his sword skills and save the day, Aaron was forced to reveal his powers to Cynthia, and Charlie allowed her emotional walls to come down in order to comfort her mother. As separated as the characters have been this season, this episode showed how well they can work as a group, especially now that they’ve got a common enemy in the form of Dr. Calvin Horn.
Of course, Tom and Jason are still off on their own, though their story remains just as intriguing. Though Jason returning to his old self happened a little too fast, it’s clear his experience with the Patriots is going to haunt him. He proved his loyalty by killing the pursuing soldiers, but the look he shared with his father suggested that he’s lost a big part of himself. Given how flat a character Jason has been in the past, I’m glad the show is giving him a bit more to work with.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!