“Revolution” ended its first season with a bang, as uber-villain Randall Flynn (Colm Feore) launched Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (fancy!) to wipe out Atlanta and Philadelphia after Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Aaron (Zak Orth) succeeded in turning the power back on.
When he finished explaining his wicked plan to a shocked Rachel, Aaron, Miles (Billy Burke) and Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), Randall called himself a “patriot” and shot himself in the head. In the episode’s final sequence, the exiled President of the United States (a shadowy figure likely to be cast with some sort of name actor for next season) is seen being told it’s time to return home. The camera pulls out of his hiding place and reveals it’s located in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
So there’s your cliffhanger…
Oh, and Miles helped his BFF and sworn enemy Monroe (David Lyons) escape from the clutches of a now power-mad Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito), Tom’s son (JD Pardo) couldn’t figure out which way to turn, Rachel took out pretty much every single one of the guardians of the tower except Grace (Maria Howell), and Nora (Daniella Alonso) died — sort of heroically, but mostly pointlessly, like everything on this show.
Really, does any of it matter? Like most of the episodes in the second half of this season, the “Revolution” finale — titled “The Dark Tower” — was a chaotic action mess supported by laughable writing and generally bad acting. (We love you Elizabeth Mitchell, and you need to get off this show.)
Maybe that’s why the ratings collapsed for these last ten installments after a promising start in the fall. The show averages around 6 million viewers now, when it previously averaged above 8 million before entering an extended hiatus last year.
Next season, NBC has exiled the show to Wednesdays at 8 p.m. That could represent a good opportunity for the producers to rethink their approach and transform this already very juvenile show into more of a kid-friendly adventure hour. If so, they’d be wise to curtail the increasing violence, which was completely out of control in the season finale.
The violence on “Revolution” isn’t beautifully nauseating but purposeful like on fellow NBC freshman “Hannibal.” It’s just stupidly gratuitous. The sort of mindless throat-slitting and casually lethal explosions that could serve as commentary on the insanity of war if the writing wasn’t too brainless to understand what commentary is.
The power is back on, but “Revolution” has regressed to a primitive state in its storytelling over the course of a single season. Here’s hoping that if it manages to survive NBC’s timeslot shift, there’s some way to salvage the wreckage.