Revolution Season 2 Review “Born in the U.S.A.”

Revolution Season 2 Episode 1 Born in the U.S.A (2)

The first season of Revolution had a lot of promise, but many, myself included, felt it never quite lived up to the hype NBC had built for the show. However, by the end of year, I found myself enjoying the show as a bit of dumb fun escapism, even as the show changed tone and style on a weekly basis. Of course, the finale promised huge changes to the series, which had me in genuine anticipation of the second season premiere, “Born in the U.S.A.”

For all the promise, though, Revolution made a major heel turn in the opening scenes. While the nukes launched indeed hit Atlanta and Philadelphia, Rachel and Aaron ultimately made the decision to turn the power back off. So, as we picked up with the characters six months later, it was in the Plains Nation, with the blackout back in full effect. The bigger question, one that we don’t really get a clear answer to, is why the left it off. They turned it off to try and stop the bombs, but once they hit, why couldn’t they just flip the switch again? Maybe they explained last season, but it would be nice to get a bit more info. Ultimately, though, I’m glad the lights are still out. This show is infinitely more enjoyable when the lights are out because it’s what the central idea of the show is. If the lights come back on permanently, it shouldn’t be until the series finale.

There were a few bits of new information that were poorly introduced, particularly Rachel’s father. Given how hard it was for this family to find one another last year, the fact that her father is suddenly just there was a bit jarring. It didn’t help that the flashback scene showing their arrival to his town was so uneventful. I’m fine with time jumps, but this particular element felt like lazy hand-waving.

Aaron’s new love interest was a bit out of left field, though it was nice to see he had a bit of happiness in his life. Of course, things took a turn when Aaron was mortally wounded by a member of an attacking war clan. Again, Revolution hasn’t been the easiest show to get invested in, but I can say that Aaron is one of my favorite characters. In fact, this moment showed how far he’s come, from a coward to a man willing to die for the one he loves. For a moment, it actually seemed like he was going to be killed off, which was a bummer. Instead, he came back to life in the last shot of the episode, which suggests Revolution is going to be delving even further into the crazy pool this season.

Of course, the nuclear strike pretty much meant the end of the Monroe Republic and the Georgia Federation, so we got to see some of the fallout. In the Georgia survivor camp, Tom mourned the loss of his wife, with Jason trying all he could to get him back to his old self. He wasn’t successful until the arrival of a ship carrying members of the United States government arrived. The president was revealed to be alive at the very end of last season, so it was good to see this plot thread got picked up right away in the premiere. Meanwhile, Charlie was tracking Monroe, though there wasn’t much on this storyline this week. I will say it was fun to see that, even without power, Vegas will always be Vegas.

Despite how grim this premiere was, particularly in the first half, it suggests there’s potential for the show to give a larger focus to survival and seeing how brutal this world can be, something that didn’t get enough focus last season. Of course, the over-the-top mythology is obviously sticking around, but maybe the writers will find a way to strike a better balance this season.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!