Television REVOLUTION: Season Two Review- “One Riot, One Ranger” written by Justin Bolger October 23, 2013 While it wasn’t a bad episode by any means and was still head and shoulders above most of the first season, the fifth episode of REVOLUTION’s second season, “One Riot, One Ranger”, left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. There was a lot about it to like, but ultimately the episode never became more than the sum of its parts the way the other episodes have so far this season. I gotta give credit to the writers, they wasted absolutely no time in dealing with Aaron’s newfound abilities. I said last week that we needed answers or at least the beginnings of answers sooner rather than later, and I was very happy that the episode began to explore this development immediately after returning from the opening teaser. How they chose to handle it made me even happier. Rather than explain it with technobabble or an overly complicated monologue that reeks of overselling, they simply had Miles and Rachel acknowledge its incredibleness. They then wisely stepped back and allowed Aaron to deal with the ramifications of what is happening to him in exactly the way he would. The genius of this decision lies in the character experiencing this change. Aaron is REVOLUTION’s man of science. He’s agnostic, he’s academically brilliant, and he is the person on the show least likely to believe in the kinds of things that are happening to him. To put it another way, if Aaron watched REVOLUTION he’d be the first person to cry foul at a character exhibiting these kinds of abilities. The show’s resident non believer has been suddenly thrust into the show’s most fantastical storyline. But because of Aaron’s everyman qualities it grounds this departure from the show’s typically science fiction based storytelling in someone the audience loves and sympathizes with. Tying the fate of this plot point to the fate of Aaron produces greater audience investment in both. And it’s working. If you had told me last season that I’d be interested in a story arc involving Aaron being able to control the nanobots and possessing the ability to spontaneously combust his enemies I’d have laughed at you. But here I am, waiting to see what will happen next week because I’m enjoying it. Something else I’ve been enjoying this season is the dynamic between Monroe and Charlie, which was elevated even more in this episode when the two were reunited with Miles. This led to some great scenes featuring these three figuring out how to live and work together. While nothing new was revealed during Miles and Monroe’s initial conversation, the scene was an efficient and effective reminder of the two men’s shared history. Monroe’s line, “They nuked our city”, followed by the look on Miles’ face underscored this. Furthermore, Monroe calling out Miles on his inability to follow through when it comes to killing him spoke to the shared affection these two former friends still have for each other. While watching Miles and Monroe struggle to put their differences on hold for the greater good was a well scripted and well acted scene, it was nowhere near as exciting as watching their expert take down of a group of Patriots. As I watched the two quickly dispatch a larger force I was reminded of Monroe’s line to Charlie from earlier in the season, “I’m good at killing. I’m very good at it, even better when I’m with your uncle.” He wasn’t lying. Back on the east coast another character very good at killing, Neville, found himself forced to kill again when Justine Allenford’s caravan to Washington, D.C. was ambushed by another group of Patriots. Apparently Allenford protested Patriot “reeducation camps” and her superiors weren’t too happy about that. They’re not the only ones. This development seems unlikely. Allenford appeared to be a highly placed Patriot operative fully aware of who she worked for. Her protest of their methods seems a little too naïve for someone with such authority. Consistent characterization has been a strength so far this season and I’d hate for it to fall off now, after establishing such a powerful character. We’ll see. We’ll also see what this does for Neville’s story going forward. His being a fugitive from the Patriots could limit the amount of new information we learn about the inner workings of the group. I guess it all depends on where the story is going. Which at this point, is anybody’s guess. We’re about 23% of the way through the 22 episodes that will make up REVOLUTION’s second season. Now that most of the main cast has been reunited I’m looking for the show to pick up the pace from this episode and continue that steady burn/build that characterized the first four. That said, when the “worst” episode of the season is this entertaining, you’re in luck. Random Observations I like that flashbacks to the last six months have replaced flashbacks to “Before the Blackout”. Who these people were before the Blackout doesn’t matter nearly as much as what happened to them in the aftermath of a nuclear attack they failed to prevent. While I appreciated Aaron’s relationship with Cynthia a lot more after this episode’s flashback, Cynthia’s husband was way too “Lifetime Movie of the Week Bad Guy”. You half expected him to pants Aaron when he met him for the first time in the school. I was really disappointed Allenford’s D.C. trip turned out to be a set up. Getting a look at post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. under Patriot control would have been very cool. Here’s hoping we get there before the season’s over. Jason being placed in a reeducation camp places Neville in the position of having to rescue his son from a corrupt government. This is a nice juxtaposition to Neville being the operative of the corrupt government that took Danny away in season one, which placed Charlie in the position of having to rescue her brother. Best Lines “Gotta love Texas.” –Miles, as guns were being drawn and townsfolk were getting out of the way. “Monroe… that’s quite a twist.” –Aaron, as Miles hurried him upstairs before the arrival of the Ranger. Click here for our review of REVOLUTION’s previous episode, “Patriot Games”. REVOLUTION: Season Two Review- “One Riot, One Ranger” was last modified: February 21st, 2016 by Justin Bolger Related Revolution 1 comment 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Justin Bolger previous post Comikaze Headed To LA Next Friday! next post CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Trailer Debuts! You may also like Review: HANNIBAL Season 3, Episode 3 “Secondo” June 23, 2015 Weekly Ratings Roundup: September 25 to October... October 2, 2016 AMC Opening the Doors to PREACHER? 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