“Right Hook, Left Hook”
So, there are a few things we know about how people live when confronted with the absence of electricity. Perhaps the most important is that everybody turns into a sonofabitch. To be fair, I think Bass was already leaning in that direction, but if this week’s episode of Revolution is to be believed, Captain Neville, the bad ass who’s been using asthmatic Danny as a punching bag, was a mild-mannered … wait for it … insurance adjuster until the lights went out. One little home invasion and he snapped like a twig. Now, he’s a sadistic bastard everyone loves to hate – including Miles.
Knowing that Miles was at one time a leader of the Militia takes away the shock factor that everyone they run into now is going to know him. However, it does still give us the chance to see how they react to him. I’m assuming there’s going to be someone who admires Miles for getting out, but based on their initial meeting, it won’t be Neville.
“Soul Train” was a great showcase for the Emmy-nominated Giancarlo Esposito who is apparently the hardest workingman in primetime at the moment with recurring roles on Once Upon a Time and Breaking Bad. And for good reason: Esposito has been chewing the scenery with aplomb since he first rode into Charlie’s little village and killed her father. What perhaps disappointed me most about this episode is that Neville’s flip from meek, mild-mannered husband and father to a take-no-prisoners hard ass wasn’t even remotely original. Granted, not every one of the people we meet in this post-apocalyptic landscape can have a truly unique origin story, but for these key characters, I feel it should be special.
Do I know what that something special is? No. It would have been just as predictable if it had been the death of his wife or son that had pushed him over the edge or if an encounter with Monroe had forced Neville’s hand due to blackmail or some other such nonsense. But I can’t help feeling that for a man to so completely convert to the dark side, the reasons why have to be many and varied. Now, there are fifteen years of hard living to account for, so it’s possible there are more twists and turns to his story and everyone else’s. I’m going to hope for that.
Aside from the reveal of Neville’s past, this episode gave us a glimpse into the hard luck case that is the resistance. And showed us that after fifteen years of holding out, Rachel does have a weakness, her son. Granted, giving Monroe a drawing of the pendant and telling him he’s got to find twelve isn’t necessarily the smoking gun he’ll need to restore power, but I’m still confused as to what happened during the intervening fifteen years. Either she and Monroe had an affair (which I am not ruling out, by the way), or she was working in cooperation with him and he just recently figured out she knew something about the power going out. Based on who she is and who she was married too, I’m guessing the latter isn’t it. As for the former … well, I don’t know if that would have deterred Monroe from getting answers.
Also, I haven’t missed the fact that Monroe’s base of operations is Independence Hall (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). But again, that might just be a little too on the nose. Which might be the show’s overriding problem.
I’m continuing to watch because, well, it’s Kripke and I really like Charlie and Miles and I’m going to keep holding out hope that as the season progresses (thanks for that full season pick-up, NBC), the show will really hit its stride. For now, it’s a fun genre-romp, and let’s be honest, did we really expect such a thing from NBC?
The shock of that alone is enough to keep watching. All of the other secrets and loose ends are just a bonus, really.