My concept of distance in Revolution is completely shot. At the very least, Charlie and her group did catch up to Neville’s militia group before they reached Monroe, but in “Soul Train” they come face to face with, can you guess it? That’s right, a train. Further solidifying that this particular post-apocalyptic future is not Mad Max and instead the Civil War, a train is a thing of beauty and awe. Steam power my friends, steam power.
The main plot of this episode I found quite mundane. It was set up to be this epic struggle as Charlie and Miles attempt to rescue Danny before Nora and the guy who played Lupedis on Lost blow up the train. At this point, I’m sick of Charlie trying to be an action hero and failing. This has happened often enough since she killed the slave driver that she either needs to stop or get some training from Miles. Seeing her fail over and over isn’t exciting or entertaining, it’s obnoxious. It’s time for the characters to learn some lessons and grow.
Instead, the real weight of the episode is completely stolen by Neville’s flashbacks. As it turns out, Neville appears to be the most complicated character of the entire show, and he’s a complete and total asshat. Before the blackout, Neville was just another office worker. He preached nonviolence and took out the aggression he built up from being the person whom everyone treated like shit on a punching bag.
When the power goes down, Neville’s douchebag neighbor breaks in and tries to assert his dominance by stealing everything that isn’t bolted down and attacks Neville when he insists otherwise. Pulling down deep from his inner Gus, Neville let’s loose and murders his neighbor by way of punches while his son watches. Against his wife’s wishes, Neville decides that his son, Jason, needs to learn to protect himself in this increasingly psychotic world.
Just as with Charlie, Jason is all grown up now and the big reveal, since the actual big reveal was incredibly dumb, is that not Nate is actually Jason. I can’t tell if his character is deeper or not because of it. At the very least, it raises questions. Is Jason internally struggling with his young love for Charlie versus his duty to his father and the militia or he his protection of Charlie simply an act of childish rebellion. If it’s the former, it’s another example of inane young love that will probably be taken way deeper than it should and if it’s the latter, it’s a dumb, overused character arc. Either way, I still don’t like Jason.
Captain Neville’s change was incredibly striking. I’m really curious if he actually broke and this whole tough guy act is now him, or if further down the line he’s going to have a scene where he’s staring at his literal blood covered hands in shock at what he’s become. If Revolution remains on its current path, I assume it will be an anticlimactic end. I’m thinking after he forced Danny to box him and then beat the crap out of him, that Neville is probably just a total ass though.
The big reveal for “Soul Train” pretty much echoes my feelings on the show. When Monroe tells Rachel that Danny is on his way and he’s going to torture him until she tells him how to turn the power back on, she draws a picture of the pendant and says that if they can assemble all twelve pendants, they can turn the power back on. It effectively turned the show into a video game, with our heroes and villains now on an epic quest to assemble all twelve pieces of the puzzle before the other. It’s such a played out concept that just makes Revolution stand out even less from the crowd.