Review: Revolution “Chained Heat”

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Pop Culture Posts, Reviews
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So this week Revolution continued with its second episode, “Chained Heat” (presumably named for the 1983 exploitation film starring Linda Blair?), AKA the next installment of look-at-these-horrifying-but-stunning-panoramic-visuals-oops-we-ran-out-of-money-for-good-writers. But with 100% more flag burning.

I’m still working on the reasons why I’m going to continue watching this show, but let’s run through the egregious sins and slight triumphs all the same. And although it should go without saying:

HERE BE SPOILERS.

So, episode two begins with a trip in the DeLorean back to our heroine Charlie’s childhood immediately after the fall of the technologically-driven world as we know it today. Mom and Dad are packing the kidlets up for a trek out of the ruins of what was Chicago because there will be food and water and better daycare in the country. Mom takes Charlie aside and in classic Eric Kripke fashion explains to her daughter that she’s in charge of her little brother, Danny, and must never let go of his hand because when the world ends it’s totally okay to give your children neuroses, especially if you’re planning on dying/disappearing in the near future.

But in case you wanted to linger on the emotional and psychological complications of that, TOUGH SHIT because we need another action sequence starring Bella Swan’s dad (aka Uncle Miles, aka Han Solo) and some random bounty hunter. No, not this one.

Unfortunately, Charlie begs Uncle Miles to let the poor slob go after he knocks him unconscious. Which totally won’t get them into in trouble in, oh, the very next scene when Uncle Miles get captured by militia to get taken back to his army buddy, who is apparently the King of Everything. Cue second action sequence and consequent escape, MAKING EVERYTHING PRECEDING THIS COMPLETELY POINTLESS.

Cut to said King of Everything who’s in the process of good-cop-bad-cop torturing one of the rebels, AKA terrorists, AKA patriots (I’m not kidding) except he’s apparently really bad at it because he kills the prisoner after, like, two minutes.

Uncle Miles tells Charlie and the gang (British-chick and Ex-Google) that he’ll be going off on his own to get some help. He’ll meet them in Random Town, Illinois. And no, you better not follow him. No seriously — Yeah, of course she follows him. British-chick and Ex-Google spend the rest of the episode talking about British-chick’s dead iPhone and the magic Apple necklace Charlie’s dad gave Ex-Google before he died.

Meanwhile, Danny, the little brother whose sole defining characteristics are his asthma and his inability to shut his mouth at key moments, is still with his militia escort. They stop at a Random Victim’s house to shoot him, steal a deer carcass, and burn the American (read: “rebel”) flag. It’s okay to shoot people according to something called the Baltimore Act, which says no civilians can own or carry guns — except, in true Baltimore fashion, everyone does.

Back at the farm, Charlie and Uncle Miles inevitably meet up, but they have to hatch a plan to rescue the chick Uncle Miles needs to blow stuff up. Introduce new character, Hot Chick from Miles’ Past (HCMP) but don’t worry, you don’t have to care about this one either.  HCMP is trying to steal a high-powered rifle from the militia, so long story short, Charlie has to play decoy and kill a coupla guys. Which she feels really bad about — oh wait, your time to contemplate the emotional and psychological realities of that is over, too.

And naturally, if you weren’t exhausted enough by this episode, BTWS, CHARLIE’S MOM IS ALIVE AND BEING HELD CAPTIVE. LOL, BYE.

I’m not kidding.

So between the ham-handed political and pseudo-religious commentary (I mean, honestly, they’re making True Blood look subtle here) and the whiplash pacing and story structure, I don’t have much to recommend this episode over the pilot. Charlie’s got some interesting stuff going on between her feelings of responsibility for her brother and her introduction to the scarier side of the apocalypse, but it’s dealt with so shallowly that it just feels trite.

If next week is a bust, too, I think I’m calling it quits.

What are your thoughts about “Chained Heat”? The flashbacks? The reveal at the end? Will you be tuning in next week?

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