Revolution “No Quarter” Review

Revolution title card
Spoilers for Revolution below.

I was pleasantly pleased that the second episode of Revolution seemed to pick up after the middling premier. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part, but the trend does not seemed to have carried on to “No Quarter.” Maybe I’m just going about the show wrong. Eric Kirpke said that it’s supposed to be a “swashbuckling, fun, epic adventure,” so maybe I’m just being too hard on it. That said, Revolution so constantly flirts with a deeper experience than the ‘fun’ it claims to be. It hasn’t become a terrible show, or even worse, boring, so I’ll continue watching and try and piece together exactly what Revolution wants to be.

“No Quarter” has Charlie, Miles and Nora meeting up with the resistance while Aaron and Maggie venture off to find Grace, a.k.a. that lady who still had electricity but was tasered by some guy last episode. Though, if you’re curious about exactly what happened to Grace, or at least want that to be even mentioned, too bad. Instead we’re treated to Aaron and Maggie having a long conversation about exactly what the power coming back would mean, as if they didn’t already know. It’s not like any of our main characters were born after the blackout, they all know what life used to be like, having them explain it to each other is just a waste of time.

What was supposed to be the focal point of the episode is the tense standoff between the resistance and the militia. I mean, the leader of this faction of the militia is even the guy (Mark Pellegrino) who played Satan in Supernatural and Jacob on Lost. The standoff itself wasn’t exciting until the last fifteen minutes of the show. Until then it was just drama between Miles and the resistance leader, since it was discovered that Miles founded the militia.

Mark Pellegrino in NBC's Revolution
Yes, that’s Satan and Jacob in front of an American flag.

I’m not sure if I just expected too much, but we knew that Ben, Miles and Sebastian worked together in the military before the blackout, with Miles and Sebastian both being soldiers. They had not explicitly said it, but they inferred that their relationship didn’t immediately fall apart after the blackout, so the fact that Miles helped found the militia didn’t come as a surprise. The other characters’ surprise made sense, but it seemed that Revolution wanted the audience to be shocked as well and I didn’t see why.

Aaron and Maggie didn’t fare too well either. Once they got to Grace’s house, they simply wandered around wondering why they were there. I guess that secret attic room with her computer was so super secret that they couldn’t find it. I guess that window was an illusion and you couldn’t actually see that there is a room you haven’t been in from the outside. If the necklace that Ben gave Aaron didn’t light up and power some of the surrounding electronics, their portion of the episode would have been a waste of time.

Thank god those final fifteen minutes, where they took the militia captain captive and Aaron’s necklace powered up, actually happened. Otherwise this episode would have been absolutely terrible. At the very least, Revolution knows how to use flashbacks. Miles and Sebastian’s journey after the blackout was an interesting one. I was not expecting how it all came full circle with Mark Pellegrino, so I have to give them a little credit.

Revolution strongly reminds me of Dollhouse. A show with an interesting premise, but there’s something about the execution that just doesn’t gel. Even though I ended the episode smiling, 15 minutes of god action and plot progression does not made up for 45 minutes of mediocrity. At this point I’m so ambivalent to the show as a whole, I question whether I can actually recommend that anyone watch it. It’s not bad, but both creators have much better shows that you can watch and there is still the rest of the world of TV. Please Kripke and Abrams, save your show for me.