“Revolution” Pilot Impressions
Last week I posted the full pilot episode of "Revolution" for you guys to watch, and I, myself, finally got around to watching it last night. No, I didn't pirate it and put it online for all to watch, anyone can head over to Hulu or NBC.com and watch the full thing for themselves. The actual pilot doesn't air on NBC until September 17th, so by watching it now you can use that time on the 17th to watch something else, like [insert another TV show that starts on Monday].
The show was created by Erik Kripke, who you may know as the creator of "Supernatural". Despite what all of the commercials will have you believe, "Revolution" is only being executive produced by J.J. Abrams and the pilot episode was directed by "Iron Man" director and "Swingers" star, Jon Favreau. So even though all the commercials are pushing the show as an Abrams show, and he will have his hand in it quite a bit, it was created by Erik Kripke.
Now that we've cleared that up, let's talk about the show itself and the pilot episode. I enjoyed it, and because of that I would advise that you don't bother watching it as it seems that every show that I like, like this, ends up getting canceled after the first season. "Jericho", "FlashForward", "The Event", "Alcatraz", just to name a few... all shows I enjoyed, all shows that got the boot after the first season ("Jericho" got a bit of an extension, but we don't count that). All of these shows were trying to be the next "LOST" when they should have just been there own show. "Revolution" kind of seems like it's going to fall in the same vein as "FlashForward" and "The Event", and to a less extent "Jericho". All of the shows follow the premise that something mysterious happens in the world that cause people to have to change the way they live and adapt to their new surroundings. Out of all of those aforementioned shows, this seems most like "Jericho" in that there was a large event that forces people to live in the past. There's no technology anymore, power grids are offline, the government has collapsed, and now it's up to a secretive group of people, or person, to figure out what happened and why.
"Revolution" takes place 15 years after a mysterious event occurs that causes everything electronic and mechanical to just stop working. Now that things have kind of started to balance out, with different towns popping up, but still no centralized government, militia groups have started to take things into their own hands as they try to find the people responsible for the event as they think they may know how to "turn the lights back on". It's a cool premise, but I just hope they explain things and don't leave too many questions unanswered in the 1st season, cause seriously, I'm not sure it will make it to season 2.
There may be some spoilers ahead if you haven't watched the pilot episode yet.
The pilot episode gives us a really quick look at the day the world changed. Ben Matheson races home one day carrying his laptop and a small USB device. He tells his wife to fill up all of the bathtubs and sinks with water because "it" is happening... and apparently she knows exactly what he's talking about. Conveniently the USB download finishes just as all the lights and electronics start to flicker and shut off. He takes the USB device and places it inside some sort of necklace thing, that apparently is immune to being wiped out by whatever it is that turned off all the electronics... or I guess the event only killed electronics and didn't actually wipe things out, I'm not sure, that hasn't been explained. Although later in the pilot, Aaron explains that he used to work for Google and has $80 million sitting in the bank, so maybe it's just the power that went out and data and things stored are still ok, if the power were to ever come back on. We are also briefly introduced to Ben's kids, Charlie and Danny as the power is going out.
The only problem I have with the world going dark-scene is the airplanes. I can suspend my belief in regards to some sort of massive event that kills all electronics and mechanical-whatevers, but the fact that the airplanes literally stopped dead in their tracks and fell straight down to the ground is pretty far fetched. I can even look past Miles Matheson being able to take out 10 sword-wielding dudes on his own, but the planes just doesn't make sense. There's no way a plane would ever just fall from the sky like that. Even if a plane loses all power, it still has forward momentum and it can still glide down to the ground... it's not just going to hit the brakes in mid-air, then fall straight to the ground while spinning... that just doesn't happen. But I guess at the same time we're not really sure what caused the whole world to go dark in the first place, so maybe it does cause planes to do that... Either way, that was really the biggest gripe I had with the pilot.
After we see the world go dark we immediately jump 15 years into the future; most people have moved out of the big cities and into small villages, which has left the cities overgrown with vegetation and havens for crime. We're shown that Charlie and Danny, Ben's kids, are now all grown up and living with Ben and his new lady-friend, in a small village outside of Chicago; Ben's wife died sometime in the last 15 years. Without wasting much time, a militia group rolls into the town and demands that Ben come with them as their leader, Sebastian Monroe, thinks he may know what caused the blackout, he's also searching for Ben's brother Miles. We later find out, at the end of the episode, that Monroe is a former friend of Miles', and had overheard some conversation between Ben and Miles in regards to the blackout. When Ben agrees to go with the militia group, Danny pulls a crossbow on them and tensions flair up quickly. A bunch of the townsfolk are killed along with Ben, but not before he gives the USB medallion-thing to Aaron, as well as telling Charlie to seek out his brother Miles for help.
The militia takes Danny hostage since they killed Ben, so Charlie, Ben's new woman Maggie, and Aaron set out to find Miles and Danny. Along the way they run into a guy named Nate, who seems harmless at first, but he's really just there to track Charlie and the group and inform the militia when they find Miles. Miles has been hanging out at a make shift bar in Chicago and is none to happy to see Charlie when she comes looking for him. It's at this point that Nate runs off and the militia come back to the bar looking for Miles, who happily kills almost all of them single-handedly.
Meanwhile, Danny has escaped from the militia and is hiding out with a woman who found him having an asthma attack outside the back of her house. She brought him in and gave him an inhaler and let him rest, but of course the militia group that he escaped from isn't dumb and were able to find him pretty quickly. Rather than hide him, the woman gives him up in order to keep a bigger secret from falling into the militia's hands. Once the militia group takes Danny away, she goes up to a locked room in her house and sits down next to an old computer. She takes out a pendant, the same pendant that Ben had given to Aaron that held that USB download, and places it near the computer, at which point a light turns on and the computer starts booting up. The end.
The episode as a whole was pretty good and I'll definitely be setting up my season pass to check out the rest of the season. I just really hope that it doesn't meet the same fate as the other shows that I tend to get into each season. I think as long as people don't try to compare it to LOST, or hope that it's the next LOST, it will do fine. I'm not going to make any predictions after only seeing the pilot, but hopefully the rest of the season picks up and we start getting answers to some of the questions that have been presented. I think that was part of the problem with all these post-LOST shows, too many questions and not enough answers. LOST left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths (not mine) with the way it ended and the amount of questions it left open. So when these other shows come on the scene trying to bring that same level of mystery to them, those disgruntled LOST fans are going to feel cheated if they don't get answers to all their questions in a timely manner. They aren't going to want to sit through 5 seasons of a show only to find out that it was all a dream, or they were all dead, or something akin to LOST that leaves them disappointed. So as long as the questions that come up are answered on a regular basis and the mystery doesn't get too deep, then I think the show will do just fine.
What did you guys think of the pilot episode? Are you going to continue watching it this fall?