In Brief: Better, but still some way to go.
In Detail: After last week’s pilot, I wasn’t holding huge amounts of hope when I sat down to watch the second episode of Revolution. It was formulaic, predictable and the pacing wasn’t great.
This week showed improvement in some areas, but worsening weaknesses in others.
I felt the pacing was stronger. Splitting Charlie and Miles from the others has helped speed things up, and seeing more of Munroe alongside three other plot lines has made the show feel more complex and interesting than it had.
I think the strongest two characters so far are Miles and Giancarlo Esposito’s great portrayal of the militia captain. I’m looking forward to learning more about Grace, and the attack on her by someone known only as Randall only made that section of the plot more interesting. Furthermore, Nora seems like a strong character – and her implied history with Miles will surely come to light in later episodes. I think the show needed her introduction, and I’m glad it’s come along quickly.
The major problem remains Tracy Spiridakos. She cannot act. She seems completely out of her depth in this show. She isn’t helped me nauseating writing of the character. It feels like there’s been some feministic empowerment attempted her, infusing her character with a desire to be strong and meaningful, but it’s at the complete detriment to common sense. She’s a nuisance, she’s irritating, and to be honest, I wish she weren’t in the show. I’m all for having a female lead, but not Tracy Spiridakos.
The beautiful filming remains, although the reliance on the action scenes with loads of sword-fighting will quickly get boring. I thought the assault on the Militia prison was good, although the fight scene could have been half as long. I’m not sure what they add when they run for over a minute, especially if it’s just killing and combat without stages and progression of battle to keep it interesting.
Furthermore, I’m not sure what the flashbacks are adding to the show. They’re good, sure, but they just feel a little obtuse. They stick out a little, like a very sore leg. They’re interesting, mostly, but they feel like a furious attempt to add some character to Charlie. The infant Charlie is a better actor than Tracy Spiridakos, coincidentally, so I guess that can’t be too bad.
There’s enough here plot wise to keep me watching. The more we see of David Lyons the better, he’s just such a tremendous actor. They just need to sort Charlie asap, and keep the plots interesting (easier said than done). It also wouldn’t hurt if Danny got off the back of that truck sometime soon, but I guess we can’t have everything can we?
As a closing thought, I hope the show doesn’t make getting the power back on its primary focus for the duration of its run. I feel the show could do that for a season, maybe two, but partial restoration of power, and watching people re-industrialise and adapt, would make for very interesting viewing. Unfortunately, I can see the show messing around with these mysterious stones and plot lines about the power for seasons without making significant headway. That may be a pessimistic observation after just two weeks, and if it’s proved to be wrong then I’ll be delighted.
Since this was a marginal improvement over last week, I’m giving this three expensive sniper rifles out of five.