Review: Revolution S01E04 The Plague Dogs


In Brief: Weak.

In Detail: Here we are again.  Another week of Revolution, and Danny still hasn’t reached Monroe, the tablets still haven’t been explained even a fraction more, and Tracy Spiridakos continues to annoy the hell out of me.

There are some positives in this.  Maggie’s death is at least realistic, being stabbed through an artery in the leg, and we see that in this post-apocalyptic society, there really are struggles from a lack of health care and medicine.  I would argue that everyone’s denim clothing is in remarkably good nick this far after the blackout.  Maggie’s death also solidifies Miles’ place in the group, which can only be good, since his constant um-ing and ah-ing over whether to stay or to leave was becoming quite tiresome.  It’ll also be interesting to see what comes of Charlie’s reaction to Maggie’s death.  Will she feel guilt?  Will it harden her attitudes?  Will it make her more cautious and less headstrong and consequently irritating?  Who knows, but I do know that Spiridakos will struggle to convey whatever emotion is written into the script.

At present, Billy Burke is carrying the show.  There isn’t enough of Elizabeth Mitchell and David Lyons, and when they are on screen, not enough is happening to make it interesting.  I’ve been impressed by Burke, and he really is the most watchable character on the show.  I hope that the Militia member who’s following them also manages to become part of the group.  It’ll open up a lot of trust issues, but he has the potential to be a hugely interesting character.

The problem with this week was simply that not enough happened.  Obviously, the writers wanted Maggie off the show, and it didn’t really matter how.  Getting stabbed by a crazed lunatic in an abandoned theme park seems a particularly hollow way to die, but I guess it does highlight the danger and realism of the universe they’ve set Revolution in.

As with previous weeks, the episode is pretty well filmed, and I was glad to see no gratuitous action sequences.  They all seemed fitting.  The tornado just happening to fall on the shack Danny and the Militia Captain found themselves in seems like a convenient plot device, and Danny being captured I believe the 19th time wasn’t particularly exciting.  I did enjoy the moral dilemma Danny faced when being forced to choose whether to save the Captain.  I do think it would have been far more interesting had he left him to die, and him being forced to live with those consequences, but I’ve enjoyed JD Prado on the show and wouldn’t like to see him depart yet.

I’m not going to rant about Spiridakos again.  She’s awful, everyone knows it, and I do wish they’d kill her off and replace that family’s representation in the group with Danny.  I also think they need to do something quickly with Nora, before she becomes pointless.

Not enough happens this week, despite Maggie’s death.  Quite who the Computer Geek will confide in now regarding the power could be interesting, and there’s enough in the show to keep me tuning in each week.  But this instalment is, sadly, markedly weaker.  It’s more generic, it’s less compelling, and I think surely the plot hole of the week is that they could have climbed into the roof, shot all the dogs from above, and been on their merry way.  The whole thing just fell flat.

It’s hopefully just that obligatory new-show-finding-its-feet episode, where the plot is contrived and the pacing feeling unnatural.  All shows have them, normally three to six weeks in.  Hopefully this isn’t the start of a trend, because if it is, the show won’t see a second season.

As a result, I’m giving this week a paltry two rabid theme park dogs out of five.

[easyreview title=”At A Glance” cat1title=”Acting” cat1detail=”Billy Burke continues to save the day.  More David Lyons and Elizabeth Mitchell please” cat1rating=”2.5″ cat2title=”Filming” cat2detail=”Nicely realised, but the storm didn’t feel hugely convincing and there wasn’t much excitement in terms of the locations used (generic theme park).” cat2rating=”2.5″ cat3title=”Plot” cat3detail=”Convoluted, and not enough happened to keep it entertaining.” cat3rating=”1.5″ summary=”Improvements are needed, but they remain totally possible.”]

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