Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Revolution Review: Episode 1x18 "Clue"


Episode Review: 1x18 "Clue"

by SpoilerTV

This week’s episode of Revolution, “Clue,” was written by Paul Grellong and Oanh Ly and directed by Helen Shaver. It’s one of the few episodes that hasn’t featured flashbacks. The core storyline was a nice murder mystery a la Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians – hence the importance of clues.

I thought the murder mystery was well done. Admittedly, I’m busy taking notes as I watch, but it really didn’t seem obvious to me. There were clues that could have implicated any of them. Jim (Malik Yoba) doesn’t really tip his hand even when Miles (Billy Burke) tells him to go to his wife. I’d have to go back to see if we have any indication that Jim was involved in the drone attack at the time. Of course, one of the failings of the show for me has been the lack of time we actually get to know the characters. The flashbacks for the main characters do help with that, but there have been numerous peripheral characters, like Jim and Jeremy (Mark Pellegrino) among others, who I would have liked to know a lot more about. It’s difficult to be able to really gauge some of the characters’ actions.

It was fantastic to see Daniella Alonso (Nora) really get to show off what she can do in this episode. Her portrayal of a soldier beaten, tortured, and drugged past her limits was fantastic. Nora was a great tribute to soldiers of any gender and her surrender was of a soldier who has finally passed the final limits – it didn’t make her less brave or weak. I also really liked the Raiders of the Lost Ark shout out when Monroe (David Lyons) sends her the white dress and then asks her to dinner. Unlike Marion Ravenwood, Nora has given up drinking, however. I’m really enjoying most of the women characters, but especially Nora. She returns and instead of resenting Miles for not finding her, she is filled with guilt for having broken and revealed their secrets. Yet, she isn’t paralyzed by the guilt, she’s simply eager to help make up for it. The scene in which she gets free and takes out one of the guards was a terrific fight scene for her. Having the drugs still in her system makes for another level of uncertainty in figuring out who the guilty party is, but it is stupid of Miles to let Nora go (and for Nora to want to go as she is really endangering the whole party by not being 100%).

I was disappointed that they killed Sanborn (Leland Orser). I think the character could have brought an interesting dynamic to the Rebel side, and I really like Orser as an actor. Here again was an underused actor, who we really didn’t know enough about to truly gauge whether he could have been a double agent. Certainly, there are enough holes in his escape story – is anyone that lucky? Had he really reached his limit with Monroe? Did he suspect that Flynn (Colm Feore) would now want him killed because he’d seemingly ratted Flynn out to Monroe? Lots of good questions that we’ll likely never know the answer too. It’s a bit ironic that Revolution actually suffers from too much plot, with the result being there are often lots of storylines that will never get explored.

Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) once again lets down Jason (JD Pardo). Charlie is pretty quick to condemn Jason again. She immediately jumps to the conclusion that the guy Jason met in Atlanta is someone suspicious and Jason is doing something to undermine the rebels. Coming hot on the heels of him almost dying to save her, this seems really harsh on Charlie’s part. Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) somewhat gleefully jumps on the bandwagon of those ready to condemn the young man. However, and perhaps more surprisingly, both of them also try to stop Miles from killing Jason. In the end, Jason is the one to kill Jim to prevent him from killing Miles. Charlie is proven wrong and apologizes, but Jason doesn’t want to hear it. It’s hard to blame Jason, but I suspect he will forgive her before long as well.

Monroe finds out about the Tower from Nora, and is ready to kill Flynn (Colm Feore). Feore is brilliant, as usual, as Flynn pleads for his life, pointing out all the reasons Monroe needs him. It’s always a great moment to watch Feore and Lyons play against each other. Flynn promises that he can gain access to the Tower and that it can do much more than just turn the power back on. I loved the exchange when they got to the Tower: Monroe: “False advertising.” Flynn: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” As I suggested months ago, the Tower does, indeed go down – ½ a mile – not up. When Flynn finally tries to break in, we see that there are a number of people waiting for him inside. It’s unclear who they are, but we can guess that that they are the ones who killed Grace’s (Maria Howell) guard. There was no Grace in sight, but here’s hoping we actually get to see her again and find out more about that character – though my hopes of that are waning.

We also see that Aaron (Zak Orth) and Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) have made it to the Tower. Once again, and somewhat disappointingly, Aaron is relegated to the damsel in distress and spends the episode looking concerned from a distance. Rachel gets to kick some ass as she chokes out a guard to take his uniform to sneak into Monroe’s encampment to kill him. Mitchell delivers another great performance, but I still find Rachel’s character to be very inconsistent. She seems manically desperate for revenge in this episode at the cost of all else. The episode ends with her popping the pin on a grenade in Monroe’s tent.

It seems unlikely she will succeed, but even if she does get herself killed (though the promotional photos for the next two episodes suggest that she is not the main character who dies), I’m not sure that I will miss Rachel because she has been so inconsistently portrayed – I’m tired of trying to decide whether she’s a good guy or a bad guy – though this would seem to prove she’s one of the “good” guys. I don’t believe Mitchell is responsible for the inconsistent portrayal. I think that responsibility falls at the feet of the writers. For all that we’ve spent almost an entire season with these characters now, I feel like I barely know them. I would again attribute that to having too much plot. We seem to be advancing the plot quickly with a lot of action and a large cast. There’s only so much time that can be spent on character development, and almost all of that has come through the flashbacks. We have a fairly clear idea about who Miles, Neville, Monroe, and Aaron are, somewhat less so Nora and Charlie.

What did you think of the episode? I enjoyed the ‘who done it’ of the stranded team, and I continue to enjoy the portrayal of strong women in the show. There were some good performances and some good action in this episode. If you’ve seen the promotional photos for the last two episodes, you may have some thoughts on where we seem to be going... Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to rate the episode!