I’ve made no secret of my distaste for ‘Revolution’ as its first season has progressed, and I’m very happy to finally be rid of it. The season finale, “The Dark Tower”, was just as inert, lifeless, and mechanical as the rest of the episodes in 2013 have been. Which is to say, if you’ve liked the show to this point you probably liked the finale, and if you (like me) haven’t, then you probably didn’t. To each his own.
But I want to highlight two scenes that, in the midst of the swamp of misguided monologues, vague characters, and ginned-up emotion, stood out as something better. The episode opened with a beautifully-constructed music sequence, sans narration, that gracefully recapped the major events of the season to date. ‘Revolution’ is not a show that believes less is more; it tends to smother the viewer with whatever it’s trying to peddle on any given week (action, emotion, etc.). But this was very well done, and rather striking.
The second (and sadly, final) aspect of the episode I enjoyed was the use of flashbacks to flesh out the Miles/Monroe relationship. Not that this is anything new, and I didn’t find them particularly insightful in terms of revealing things about the characters that haven’t already been covered 20 times. But the entire premise of ‘Revolution’ – the the world is without power – is much more interesting at basically any point in time EXCEPT the one the show takes place at. Seeing a ragtag group of survivors cope with this worldwide crisis and GRADUALLY figure it out would be infinitely more interesting than watching them go on this big cross-country hero quest to stop an evil dictator blah blah generic plot details blah blah nanobots blah blah whatever.
I don’t have much else to say about “The Dark Tower” because ‘Revolution’ is what it is at this point. I found it borderline offensive that the show attempted to microwave the long-dormant Miles-Rachel-Nora love triangle into some kind of major emotional moment when Nora died. Newsflash: Nora has been entirely irrelevant since Charlie assumed all her character traits following the midseason break, when the show realized that it wasn’t the best idea to make its female lead LITERALLY THE WORST PERSON ON EARTH.
The series has had 20 episodes to establish its characters’ motivations and in the middle of the finale, it was still a mystery what anyone really wanted. Miles and Monroe are forever bros, okay. What about all the times they genuinely tried to kill one another? It’s frankly remarkable that ‘Revolution’ managed to put these two directly at odds in virtually every episode down the stretch, yet still attempted to pass off their literally-zero-stakes wrestling match as some kind of epic confrontation.
Speaking of idiotic things ‘Revolution’ does every episode, how about the now-weekly monologue that Tom delivers to his son Jason about all the bad things he’s done and how he’s sorry but he needs Jason on his side now? We’re at, what, 3 weeks in a row for that exact same speech. Great. More opportunities to roll my eyes.
In the end, I had no sense of why anyone did anything in the finale. All character motivations and defining traits have been thrown into a blender and processed time and time again. What’s left is an artificial, stale, husk of a television show.
‘Revolution’ started season one as the scarecrow, lacking a brain. It came back from its long midseason hiatus as the tin man, lacking a heart. Season one is mercifully over, and I’m going to need to see evidence of major changes before I ever watch another episode.