Revolution (NBC): Lights Out For Season One

Revolution Episode 20 The Dark Tower (1)

After a promising beginning, a middling middle and a downright bizarre finish, Revolution‘s first season came to a close Monday night with a cliffhanger that was more head-scratching than it was well constructed. Before we get to the ending though, let’s delve into the best and worst developments the finale offered up– because there were, surprisingly, plenty of both.

The Good
 

Revolution Episode 19 Children of Men (2)

Revolution shed much of what made it special along the way this season: the sword fights, the focus on post-apocalyptic family dynamics and its premise (more on that in a second), but there were flashes of promise throughout the final hour. Was it enough to guarantee viewers will follow the series to its new 8:00 Wednesday berth in the fall? I don’t know, but it was enough to guarantee I’ll be back for the season two premiere at the very least.

Neville Stages A Coup– Giancarlo Esposito appeared to relish Neville’s exquisite takeover of Monroe’s army. Much as I enjoyed David Lyons’ early performance as the increasingly unhinged Monroe, Esposito is a much stronger actor and Neville will make for a more dynamic, stable and dangerous leader than his former boss. No other storyline is as promising as this one, both because Esposito will rock it and because the Neville family is far more twisted, and therefore far more compelling than the Mathesons at this point.

Miles Saves MonroeTwo weeks ago I shook my fist in the general direction of the writers for squandering the momentum they had built up in the Monroe/Miles arc, and in truth, the finale did little to repair the damage that had already been done. That being said, I’m a sucker for unhealthily codependent bromances, so my heart grew three sizes Grinch style when Miles saved his homicidal nutcase of a surrogate brother. Maybe stripping Monroe of his power will restore some of what made the character interesting in the first place, but if it doesn’t at least we got a decent character moment and a cool lightening storm out of the deal.

Rachel Lives!– I recognize I’m in the minority here, but Rachel is my hands down favorite non-Neville character on Revolution. She’s ruthless, driven and just this side of unhinged in a way that makes it possible for me to forgive the series for saddling my beloved Elizabeth Mitchell with the silliest storyline in season one. I assumed she was a goner the moment she decided she wanted to live after all, but Revolution surprised me and let her survive the massive shootout…while also saddling her with even more guilt after she and Aaron turned the power back on just in time for Randall to launch missiles at Atlanta and Philadelphia.

The Bad
 

Revolution Episode 19 Children of Men (3)

The Lights Were Turned Back On– And there went the series’ hook. Granted, the revolution part of Revolution will continue unabated, but more could have been done with the no-electricity status quo before it was permanently upset. Personally, I saw enough gun fights and airstrikes in the last run of episodes to last a lifetime, and having Rachel and company turn the power back on without incident means we’re in for more of the same next season (unless the budget gets cut).

The Tower Cult– So those poor saps have been holed up on one level of The Tower since the blackout occurred? No wonder they all seemed to be channeling the cult from Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Of all the things that could have possibly been lurking on Level 12, those folks were easily the most uninspired choice. Revolution either needs to fully embrace its weird or return to its adventure roots next season because the middle of the road approach just gives us stuff like a creepy cult of futuristic lighthouse keepers.

Nora’s Death– Nora survived a stabbing and several weeks of torture this season only to end up dying after being hit by shrapnel. It was an unceremonious end for one of the series’ better characters made worse by Nora’s eleventh hour insistence that Miles would always choose Rachel before she died gracefully in his arms. I’m sorry, but when did Nora turn into Lavinia Swire?

The Terribly Confusing
 

Revolution Episode 20 The Dark Tower (4)

The Cliffhanger: So…the President has been holed up in Guantanamo Bay with a (really cool) fleet of ships waiting to retake the country the moment his best patriot, Randall Flynn, found a way to restore power and set the stage for an East Coast takeover. Well, sure, why not? That doesn’t really have anything to do with the established power struggle between Monroe and Georgia, the nanobots or basically anything else that was thrown out there this season, but with the lights back on maybe what Revolution needs is a fresh start, even if it’s one that came out of nowhere.

 

That’s a wrap, guys. Before I turn things over to you, I want to say thank you to everyone who has read and commented on these Revolution Chats. The season had its share of ups and downs, but it has been a blast discussing it with you.

All right, that’s enough from me. What did you think of that ending? Will you be back for season two? Share your finale and season one thoughts in the comments below.

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