There are a lot of themes in last night's episode of the post-electricity TV show Revolution. Grieving parents, including Evil DOD Guy and Rachel. And the general theme of regret, and whether the post-blackout world could turn into a better place. But the real, overarching theme of the episode — and the series — seems to be: old people are the worst. Spoilers ahead...
Seriously, Revolution seems to have decided that if it's going to have one note, that note is going to be "everybody ruined everything." And the older generation has just had more time to ruin things than the youngsters. Last night's episode bangs this drum pretty hard.
Rachel was a terrible mom and ruined her kids' lives. She helped ruin the world with the blackout. Miles ruined Rachel's life by kidnapping her. Miles also ruined the life of Bill from Alphas, by failing to kill Monroe when he had the chance. And now, in this episode, he ruins Bill's life again — where's Gary the autistic savant when Bill needs him? Randall Flynn was so grief-stricken, he ruined everything by launching the blackout, and now he's decided to put Monroe in charge of the world as puppet dictator.
Three things jump out at me from this episode:
1) If I was choosing between Ben Affleck and the Cape as dictator of North America, I would choose the Cape as well.
2) Apparently the blackout was a weapon they were testing out in Afghanistan, but they didn't have any safeguards to keep the effects from spreading worldwide. Oops.
3) The list of reasons we're sad they cancelled Alphas keeps getting longer.
Seriously, I'm just not sure whom we're supposed to be rooting for, or identifying with, on this show. The thing I actually liked about the pilot of Revolution was that it had a light, slightly goofy tone — there was swashbuckling, there was a sense that even though life after the blackout was hard, things had also gotten simpler and more classic. The pilot of this show refused to be angsty, and I welcomed that.
And now? I get that Danny died last week, and everybody's broken up about it — and honestly if this show brushed over that, it would feel fake or wrong. People need to mourn for the the kid, I get that.
But ever since we learned that Miles used to be in charge of the Militia, the theme of this show has been "ways the older generation screwed up." Which could be an interesting theme, I guess, but this show doesn't have the grace to handle it nimbly.
Creator Eric Kripke made his mark with Supernatural — a show in which Pa Winchester basically screwed up his kids' lives, and we eventually learned his kids were also doomed by their mom's bargain with a demon, among other things. The older generation made everything terrible for Sam and Dean — but we did not follow the older generation around as they lamented this fact. If Supernatural had been about Ma and Pa Winchester feeling guilty, we wouldn't have watched it.
Oh, so what happens in this episode? Three things:
1) Randall tracks down Rachel, via the pendants, and nearly captures her. Rachel is forced to destroy the pendants because she's never heard of a Faraday cage.
2) Miles and Nora track down Jim, played by Bill from Alphas, and try to recruit him. Because they're getting the band back together, because they're on a mission from God. Bill wants a normal life, but guys like him don't get to have a normal life.
3) We learn the thing about the blackout being deployed in Afghanistan, and hear the word "virus." Also, Google Boy talks Rachel into spilling the beans, which apparently get spull next week.