‘Revolution’ Episode 18 review: ‘Clue’

Nora (Daniella Alonso) breaks under torture at the hands of Monroe's henchmen in Revolution. Credit: NBC

Nora (Daniella Alonso) breaks under torture at the hands of Monroe’s henchmen in “Revolution.” Credit: NBC

REVOLUTION “Clue”
Season 1 Episode 18
Executive Producer: J.J. Abrams
Creator: Eric Kripke
Writers: Paul Grellong & Oanh Ly
Director: Helen Shaver

SPOILERS follow. Don’t read if you don’t want to know.

In the tradition of insane megalomaniacs everywhere, Monroe (David Lyons) inexplicably gives the captive Nora (Daniella Alonso) something pretty to wear just before starting in on her heavy-duty torture. After 21 days of nonstop physical and chemical abuse at the hands of the Militia inquisitors, she reveals everything she knows: that Miles (Billy Burke) is in Atlanta, Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) is working with the Rebels, and Rachel is out looking for the Tower in Colorado.

Flynn (Colm Feore) bargains for his life with Monroe in Revolution. Credit: NBC

Randall Flynn (Colm Feore) bargains with Monroe for his life in “Revolution.” Credit: NBC

Monroe is understandably miffed that his techie frenemy Randall Flynn (Colm Feore) has never told him anything whatsoever about this Tower of Power, and threatens to pump him full of lead. Flynn quickly bargains for his life by revealing that the Tower holds far greater possibilities for power than what Monroe currently controls. Apparently the Tower has “things that make choppers look like Model-Ts” and “things that the President never even knew about,” and soon Monroe is flitting off to grab all the goodies for himself.

While Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and Jason (JD Pardo) discuss leaving Atlanta, he spots an old Militia associate in the crowd and slips off to find out what this guy Billings is doing there. (Is this Monroe’s secret son? Only time will tell. He certainly has the crazy eyes resemblance in his favor.)

Nora is improbably rescued by John Sanborn (ER alum Leland Orser), the scientist/doctor who had been assisting with her torture. Sanborn transports her to the rebel camp, where Nora agonizes over having broken under torture and talked about the Tower. While Charlie and the gang prepare to fly off to find Rachel before Monroe does, Nora insists upon accompanying them, despite the fact that she is suffering from occasional drug-induced hallucinations. Neville also joins Miles, Hudson (Alphas alum Malik Yoba), Jason and Charlie on the mission.

Zak Orth as Aaron, Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel Matheson in Revolution. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Zak Orth as Aaron and Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel Matheson in “Revolution.” Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Out in Colorado, Aaron (Zak Orth) and Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) spy upon a newly arrived Monroe and debate what to do next. Rachel gives Aaron the codebook and announces that she plans to kill Monroe, and hopes that Aaron can gain access to the Tower in the ensuing confusion.

Meanwhile, the rebel helicopter lands at an abandoned airfield for refueling, and later the group finds the engine has been disabled and their pilot has had his throat cut. Miles goes looking for what the killer whom he assumes is a local, but later when another red shirt in the party ends up dead, Charlie suspects that it is one of their own doing the killing.

Billy Burke as Miles Matheson, JD Pardo as Jason, and Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie Matheson. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Billy Burke as Miles Matheson, JD Pardo as Jason, and Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie Matheson. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Nora wonders if she has been doing the murders unawares in her drug-addled state, but when Miles finds a knife on Jason their suspicions turn to him. Charlie questions his earlier conversation with that mysterious stranger back in Atlanta, and Jason reveals that Billings made him an offer (that he refused): if he killed Miles he could have anything he wanted. Of course no one believes him, not even Charlie, so Jason flees in the face of Miles’ accusations and threats of harm.

The killer is later revealed to be Hudson, who had agreed to murder the entire rebel rescue party in exchange for the release of his wife now being held hostage by the Militia. (By the way, it really was Miles’ fault that Hudson’s wife was put in danger and became a pawn in all of this. If Miles hadn’t shown up and dragged Hudson off to assist the rebels, then he and his wife would most probably still be living happily ever after.) He and Miles fight, and it is the wrongly accused Jason who ends up shooting Hudson in the back and saving the day. Nora then repairs the helicopter so they can leave.

Now almost as insane as Monroe, Rachel strangles a Militia soldier for his uniform and walks into Monroe’s tent with a live grenade as the episode ends.

Things that didn’t work in this episode:

  • Good thing Nora brought her makeup artist, hairdresser and dry cleaner along for touchups between torture sessions, wasn’t it?
  • An abandoned airfield with plenty of gasoline just sitting around in tanks after 15 years? I think not.
  • Killing off Hudson was just another waste of an excellent actor’s talent. Of course, if they tried killing off the less interesting characters there would be precious few regulars left.

Things that did work in this episode:

  • Monroe is getting twitchier, which helps to make him look even crazier. And it distracts somewhat from his all too boyish appearance.
  • There are many mysterious new characters in the Tower watching Flynn’s failed efforts to gain access. All we see is the backs of their heads for about seven seconds, yet this is still far more interesting than what happens in the entire rest of the episode.

My take: Sometimes I think that Aaron is the only sane one left on his show, because he is the only character who reacts with a normal sense of horror and disgust at Rachel’s increasingly cold-blooded behavior and her tendency to kill whoever stands in her way.

The way this show repeatedly goes off the rails both plot- and logic-wise is like watching a train wreck in slow motion, it’s both painful and fascinating for its unbelievability. I’m still hoping for some sort of epic confrontation once everyone gets to that blasted Tower, but I fear the chances of that are slim.

NBC has announced that “Revolution” will start airing on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. during its second season, to be followed by “Law & Order: SVU” and the new “Ironside,” a reboot of the 1960s detective show. “Revolution” is being booted off of Mondays by NBC’s latest favorite new pilot, “The Blacklist”, a crime drama starring James Spader.

Advertisements

‘Revolution’ Episode 17 review: ‘The Longest Day’

Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie Matheson in "Revolution." Credit: NBC

Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie Matheson in “Revolution.” Credit: NBC

REVOLUTION “The Longest Day”
Season 1 Episode 17
Executive Producer:
J.J. Abrams
Creator: Eric Kripke
Writer: Anne Cofell Saunders
Director: Steve Boyum

SPOILERS follow. Don’t read if you don’t want to know.

Daniella Alonso as Nora, Billy Burke as Miles Matheson and Giancarlo Esposito as former Captain Tom Neville. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Daniella Alonso as Nora, Billy Burke as Miles Matheson and Giancarlo Esposito as Tom Neville in “Revolution.” Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Nora wakes up in Miles’ bed and declares that spending the night together was a “mistake,” and probably foreshadows her own doom by remarking, “Odds are once this thing’s out, one of us is going to watch the other one die.” As Billy Burke is one of the major leads of “Revolution,” I’d guess that odds are now probably not on Daniella Alonso’s making it season’s end.

Now a member of the Rebel-Georgian Coalition, Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) gets his kicks by taunting his son, allowing Charlie to try her hand at some empathy with Jason (JD Pardo).

Aaron (Zak Orth) and Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) puzzle over Aaron’s inclusion in The Big Tower Secrets Book. Rachel concludes that the only way to fix her broken leg is to use nanotechnology.

Aaron successfully reprograms the magic nanobot capsule and inserts it into Rachel’s wound, where it proceeds to miraculously stitch together her broken bone and heal her skin. For a while it looks like a passing stranger who witnessed the “surgery” has convinced them to help heal his injured son, but Rachel disables the man and announces her intention of fleeing without doing anything.

“What makes you think I’m in it to help people? I want power so Monroe’s enemies can wipe him off the map. I want to kill the man who killed my son, and that’s it,” she cold-heartedly declares before threatening to leave a shocked Aaron behind.

Billy Burke as Miles Matheson and Daniella Alonso as Nora Clayton. Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Billy Burke as Miles Matheson and Daniella Alonso as Nora Clayton in “Revolution.” Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC

Two Monroe fighters attack the Rebel camp with missiles, destroying several buildings. After Miles pulls Nora from the resultant rubble, they reluctantly join forces with Neville and search for a missing Jason and Charlie.

Monroe (David Lyons) narrowly escapes an assassination attempt, and blames his second-in-command Jeremy (Mark Pellegrino), whom he immediately has executed, because that’s what Monroe does. Later he discovers to his surprise that Jeremy had nothing whatsoever to do with the attempt. No wonder he gets so few new applications for major domo.

Charlie and Jason share a quiet moment in the hospital in "Revolution." Credit: NBC

Charlie and Jason share a quiet moment in the hospital in “Revolution.” Credit: NBC

Miles and Nora find Jason injured, and leave Neville to care for him. Neville is himself shot by approaching Militia soldiers, and in the ensuing fight, Nora draws the soldiers’ fire so that Miles can rescue Charlie. Jason is successfully evacuated to an Atlanta hospital where a now safe Charlie comforts him with a kiss, much to Neville’s dismay. Having been captured by Militia forces, Nora is taken to Monroe, and it is assumed she will be interrogated by the general with “extreme prejudice.”

Unable to counter Monroe’s superior military strength and technology, Georgia Federation President Foster (Leslie Hope) grimly considers surrender.

Things that didn’t work in this episode:

  • Enough already with the “Monroe is crazy” scenes. We get it. We got it a long time ago, in fact. Stop beating us over the head with it.
  • Maybe I missed it, but where did the working computers come from that enabled Aaron to reprogram the nanbots?
  • The flashbacks to Rachel and Miles seven years ago interspersed in this episode were totally unnecessary and did nothing to advance the plot. Can you say “filler”?

Things that did work in this episode:

  • There remains some question as to whether or not Neville was attempting to rescue the injured Jason, or finish him off instead. Evil Neville is far more interesting than Daddy Neville, isn’t he?
  • The crisp pacing and rapid editing was a nice change from last week’s sluggish steamboat episode. Director and stuntman Steve Boyum’s FX were a great bonus.

My take: If a paranoid Monroe keeps killing every single underling that he wrongly suspects of treason, he will soon have no Militia left! It’s disappointing that actor Mark Pellegrino did not get a longer multi-episode arc. The continual use of such fine actors in one-shot guest roles is simply a terrible waste of talent.

%d bloggers like this: