The last episode of “Revolution” in 2013 answered one big question — albeit a little bit obliquely — and offered up a surprise (and welcome) return. So what did it all add up to?
The show’s shift from a quest to turn the power back on to its Season 2 focus on the political kind of power and the way it’s wielded in this world has become more sure-footed over the past few episodes. But as that show has taken hold, the sci-fi aspects, with Aaron and his heretofore unexplained ability to channel the nanotechnology he created, has felt more and more like an outlying vestige of a different series.
Aaron’s abilities were explained in Wednesday’s (Nov. 21) episode, more or less. Since he created the nanotech, and “woke it up” when the power came back on at the end of Season 1, he can now control it. But only up to a point, it seems: The nanites as represented by the little boy* only he can see are pretty linear thinkers and don’t care much for the emotional swings. So when Aaron tells them to kill Dr. Horn (Zeljko Ivanek) and the rest of the Patriot brigade before bringing Cynthia back to life, the tech decides to leave the party.
(*My first reaction on seeing the kid was that it was Monroe’s son — which would have been even harder to swallow than him being an avatar for billions of tiny machines swarming all around.)
It’s tragic — but to these eyes, anyway, it’s far less interesting than the episode’s other big reveal — the return of Kim Raver as Neville’s wife, Julia. Believing Tom was dead, she remarried
Ted Beneke someone high up in the Patriot power structure, although after seeing Tom on the train, she’s not hesitant to rekindle her old relationship. However twisted their mutual desire for power was in Season 1, it was never in doubt that Tom and Julia really were in love, so that rings true.
So too does her suggestion that Tom hold off on his plan to eviscerate the Patriots from the inside. She suggests he hold onto his current position and bide his time, and with her help they’ll still get everything they wanted. All that’s changed is the people in their way.
That’s the part of “Revolution” that has been clicking in Season 2 — the part that asks questions about what kind of (non-electrical) power is good for people, and the lengths people will go to in order to acquire and hold it. It would be very interesting to see the rest of the season really lean into those ideas, and for that matter the show’s title.
Aaron’s journey — which is playing very much like a superhero origin story at this point — isn’t uninteresting. Zak Orth has sold all his character has had to process quite well so far, and presumably we’ll be taking a trip to Spring City, Okla., to see that huge ball of twine and whatever else might be there in the near future. But that story is almost feeling like a different show at this point.
What did you think of the “Revolution” fall finale?