Revolution 1.17 “The Longest Day” TV REVIEW
Writer: Anne Cofell Saunders
Director: Steve Boyum
THE ONE WHERE The Rebels & Georgians are bombed, and Bass doesn't make it to the pub.
VERDICT An improvement on last week, thanks in part to a solid script from Anne Cofell-Saunders who manages to get the right balance of character and motivation. Less melodrama and a bit more tension, with a big bang. It's more convincing in pushing the opposing forces of Tom Neville and Miles together for a common purpose and everyone gets something to do, even Nora.
Events get off to pretty explosive start. Bass Monroe's not taking his beating from the Georgian Federation lying down and sends attack planes equipped with electricity amplifiers to carpet bomb the streets of Georgia. Charlie and Jason are trapped in a fire house and sound the alarm. Blowing up the rebel bases and everything nearby is a great FX sequence and provides the high stakes needed to pull the disparate characters together. In the aftermath of the explosion Miles crawls from the burning wreckage and goes looking for Charlie, and Tom follows.
What felt like an implausible pairing last week works far better here. It's an incident of this magnitude where both are threatened equally that allows for an acceptable truce. Both men are rattled by the force of the surrounding explosion, responding to the basic compassionate urge to look for their families.
It's a well handled turn for Tom by Giancarlo Esposito, who's been a bit out of place in this half season run so far. At moments a pantomime villain, he was robbed of menace by Randall Flynn then fell from grace to join the Georgian Federation, then finally lost all credibility last week aboard the steamboat. With a bit of space to breathe and some good dialogue, Esposito reminds us how Tom got where he is in the first place. He wasn't always a bad guy, just a man forced to make choices in order to survive and keep his family safe, always moving forwards so he doesn't have to look back and feel the weight of regret for his actions. Tom and Miles discover Jason all bashed up under a pile of rubble as the militia troops move in to mop up any rebels who are left. Jason's hatred for his dad runs deep and he initially refuses help, but Tom drags him to safety, stopping only to deliver a cracking little speech about where to draw the line and responsibility.
In previous reviews I've moaned about “suspension of disbelief” in Revolution , but to clarify: that's mainly with regard to the characters and motivations, not the sci-fi elements on show which have remained interesting and quite frankly I want to see more of. Looking for a solution for Rachel's broken leg provides the means to reveal more of the techno-magical stuff. The capsule pulled out of the late Danny contains more of the programmable nanites. Aaron's technical skills are on show for the first time as he manages to build a basic computer console out of old parts and attempts to program the nanites to fix her leg. They succeed but are caught by a group of gun toting locals who believe them to be healers and demand their help.
The characters of Aaron and Rachel have undergone a bit of the role reversal. Aaron wants to help, showing compassion and a desire to find out more about the nanites. Rachel doesn't. It's a shock to hear her state her position so bluntly, as if we'd been led to believe her motivations were for a greater good. It's blunt but refreshingly understandable. A mother robbed of both son and husband, she knows she can't win a straight fight against Bass, but by turning the power back on she can empower other to kill him. “I want to kill the man who killed my son, and that's it”. Maybe if she'd stayed with the rest of the gang she'd have been the one to shoot Tom Neville last week.
Mark Pellegrino puts in a final appearance as Jeremy Baker – actually make that final in the current tense, what with Revolution 's habit for flashbacks, we may see him again in the past (you following this?). Taking the boss out for a drink turns into a bit of a disaster when the two men's jaunt to the pub is beset by a sniper attack. Bass runs for cover, Baker stays in the open to draw fire but paranoid Bass sees it all as an assassination attempt orchestrated by Baker to get him out into the open and has him shot. Mates eh? The sniper is caught and revealed as working alone for the Georgians, and Bass is left with no mate to go out drinking with, stuck back in his office. Bass's tipping point into full on proper madness can only be a few weeks away, and as Baker notes he'll probably start pissing in jars in the corner of the room before it's all over.
NORA Trapped in a militia fire fight with Charlie and Nora, Miles has to choose between the two when they are almost out-flanked and chooses to aid Charlie, at Nora's cost. By the time Miles returns to Atlanta HQ Nora has gone missing and the Georgians are on the ropes.
SNOG Oh, Charlie and Jason do a snog at the end. It's been on the cards for a while, I know. Maybe Jason will get more to do now. The snog is witnessed by Tom Neville, he's not happy about it and hangs his head. It's a really nice moment between the two, but I'm with Tom Neville on this one. Stop it you two, you're making the show look like Home and Away. More nanites please.
UNFORTUNATE VICTIM OF THE WEEK Jeremy Baker, killed for wanting to go for a pint with his mad bastard pal Sebastian. Have one on me fella.
Tom: “Look, I know what kind of man I am. I have done every bad thing in the good book. I have lied, I have stolen, I have killed, and worse. I don't care for the devil himself. Everyone draws a line somewhere and leaving my only son to die alone, I guess that's where I draw the line”.
John Cooper @JohnCooper_uk
UK airing information: New episodes of Revolution air on Sky1 on Fridays at 9m
Read our other Revolution reviews