NBC’s perpetually uneven Revolution returned from winter hiatus this week, and it was…the same. I can’t honestly say it was bad, but neither did it keep me on the edge of my seat. Part of the problem is that it sidelined the one really interesting subplot it’s got going for it, the relationship between Aaron (Zak Orth) and the energy-eating nanites. What we got instead was a focus on Monroe’s search for his son, Neville climbing the food chain in a violent manner, and the Patriots doing bad things to fruit. The show’s wheels are definitely spinning but, for whatever reason, it’s just not engaging me like I wish it would. Well, along comes Revolution executive producer (and Farscape creator) Rockne S. O’Bannon with promises that the show is going to be making “quantum leaps” in the episodes to come.
Sadly, those quantum leaps will not involve the arrival of a time traveling Dr. Sam Beckett, hoping to put right what once went wrong. He might have been able to infiltrate the writing staff and get things firing on all cylinders. Nevertheless, O’Bannon promises big, big things for Revolution this season. Here’s what he had to say in an interview with Blastr:
The thing that we’re really working toward in the second half of the season is to crank up all the show’s mythology. That level of the show is going to take big quantum leaps in terms of the epic saga of it all. There will be very big plot moves involving, obviously, the nanotech, and Aaron, and that part of the story, but then also the Patriot invasion, which we’ve been purposely building a very strong foundation for. By letting it be slow, we really get to meet a lot of the players in the Patriot world.
Hopefully the whole Patriot storyline will bloom into something interesting, because so far it’s been predictable bordering on tedious. (Bad guys pretending to be good guys, we get the idea.) But with a title like Revolution, large-scale political conflicts are likely to be on the front-burner for the entire run of the show. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but the political stuff has, so far, been the least-compelling aspect of the series.
Thankfully the most-interesting is still going to get plenty of exploration this season. We’ve already seen Aaron unwittingly controlling zillions of tiny, murderous firebugs with his brain, but the show is only now getting into the larger implications of that, and what his evolving relationship with them will mean for the world of Revolution. Honestly, at this point I’d be perfectly happy if the show turned into The Aaron Pittman Hour, but that doesn’t seem likely. Probably slightly more likely than him slipping on some spandex and fighting post-apocalyptic crime as “BrainFire.”
According to O’Bannon, we’ll still get plenty of Revolution’s own resident burning man and his wacky nanite friends this year. O’Bannon says:
The other story that’s particularly fascinating from a series mythology point of view is Aaron’s story, because he’s really been through the wringer so far this season. And that’s only the beginning. … What’s fun and unique about his story is, because the nanotech is running roughshod over his life at the moment, you never know quite what’s going to happen. Aaron will find himself on this mind-boggling pilgrimage that really starts to dig into an awesome discovery. He starts to learn things. His journey is the deeper, bigger mythic aspect of the show.
Right, then. More of that, please.
As much as I may bag on Revolution, I really am rooting for it to realize its potential and blow me away. But with O’Bannon and Supernatural’s Eric Kripke at the helm, I have high expectations that, so far, the show isn’t living up to. Come on, guys, I would like nothing more than to have to eat some crow by season’s end.
Revolution airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.