It’s all fun and games
To be honest, I’ve been looking forward to this episode since the teaser two weeks ago revealed Todd Stashwick (Supernatural, Justified) as this week’s baddie, Drexel. He’s so good at playing slightly deranged and unhinged psychopaths that I knew we’d be in for a treat. And I was right.
Stashwick’s strung out drug dealer was a nice addition to the Revolution world, offering us a new bad guy to focus on as Neville and his goons were chilling in Philadelphia. The introduction of Drexel and his more than successful operation also gave us another glimpse at the dangers of this world and served as a foil for Charlie.
Reliving her disappointments and failures in a quick series of flashbacks, Charlie seems to resign herself to this new world order, one in which she must be hard and tough. Of course, the real test of this is whether or not she can kill one of Drexel’s enemies in cold blood. While Miles and Aaron both object to Charlie as contract killer, it’s unclear whether it’s because they don’t think she can do it or because they hope she’ll remain an innocent.
If Miles is to protect her than he must leave Nora’s care in Aaron’s hands, a less than stellar choice. From the beginning, I have not really cared too much about Aaron, so the exploration of his backstory wasn’t a big plus for me, especially as it seemed to confirm that despite the passing of 15 years, Aaron hasn’t managed to learn enough to be useful in a non-electric world. While part of me does feel bad for Aaron, knowing that he abandoned his wife does not endear him to me. It appears he has always been, and still is, a coward. While his act of bravery in the last few minutes of this episode is noteworthy and promising, I’ll have to see more from him to believe it.
Maybe the most satisfying emotional beat of “Sex and Drugs,” came in the last sixty seconds when a grown-up Danny was reunited with his mother. Knowing how sadistic Monroe is, I cringe to think what will happen next week when he starts torturing one of the other to secure cooperation. Even more so than his sister, Danny’s going to have to learn to be strong and fast, because something tells me Bass will have no problem hurting Rachel and making the kid watch.
I’m still waiting for a seminal moment between Charlie and Miles. I’m not a hundred percent sure what I mean by that, but since the pilot, when Charlie implored Miles to help because “they’re family,” I don’t feel that the depth of their relationship has been explored. Granted, their relationship is still in the growing phase, but I would like to see more uncle/niece bonding. I don’t think Charlie needs a protector, but I do feel she needs a champion, someone who will back her no matter what. Based on tonight’s episode, it’s not going to be Aaron and there’s a good chance it won’t be Miles either, but I’d still like the kid to have one. (Of course I have a sinking suspicion that Neville’s son would like to be her champion and there’s no way that ends any way but bad.)
I felt the pacing and characterization in this episode were very strong and I’m excited for next week, when we discover more about the mysterious pendants. I certainly hope they’re useful in turning the lights back on, because otherwise, they’re just ugly.