10.29.2012

Television: Revolution, "Sex and Drugs"

Okay, so take, I dunno, some old Miami Vice, throw in a bit of MacGyver maybe, and also that biblical parable where the angel stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, and you've pretty much got this episode of Revolution summed up.

Way back in that "Soul Train" episode (and could we maybe look for some episode titles that are not clich├ęs?), Nora got stabbed in the gut. So "Sex and Drugs" begins with Miles and the gang in search of help for their friend, which leads them to Drexel, one of Miles' numerous "old friends" who is now the equivalent of a plantation owner, except his crop is poppies for heroin. Here's where the Miami Vice comes in. Heroin is legal under the new regime, but Drexel lives like the typical [80s] drug lord: surrounded by girls and gunmen.

In return for helping Nora, Drexel demands that Charlie—yes, Charlie—go to a neighbor's house and kill the clan leader. (Taffy was a Welshman . . . Or, really, an Irishman in this case.) I can't really blame Drexel for wanting Charlie gone; I've been wanting that since the show began. In any case, if Charlie doesn't take the "mission," Drexel will kill Miles and Nora and Aaron, so off she goes.

Still, as it becomes clear that even if Charlie is successful in killing Drexel's interfering neighbor she's never going to make it out alive, Aaron and Miles go all MacGyver in coming up with ways to break out of the drughouse. Well, really Aaron helps Miles break out so Miles can go get Charlie (Miles is the angel who will stay Charlie's hand before the knife can fall), while Aaron is left to then attempt to implement a plan that will get him and Nora set free.

In the midst of all this comes flashbacks of Aaron's past: the night of the blackout, two months after the blackout, and eight months after the blackout. If any of it was meant to be compelling, it failed. I think I've just become too jaded to the attempts at emotional manipulation.

We also briefly get to relive a bunch of Charlie's flashbacks, from the time her mother left, to her father's death, and Maggie's death, and Danny on the train. All stuff we'd seen and lived through before, and all designed primarily to remind us how irritating Charlie is. Seriously, her character needs major transformation, or at least far less screen time, else I'm going to have to drop this show because it's bad for my blood pressure. Charlie is that annoying.

Miles is the best thing going here, and Bass. That dynamic is way more interesting than Charlie's whining or Aaron's pining. Revolution needs to begin playing to its strengths instead of crippling itself with these milksop characters taking up so much of the airplay. Maybe they're trying to drag it out as long as possible, but there's a fine line between long enough and too long. If you're having to stuff the gaps with these dirty rags of uninteresting flashbacks, it's time to shore up the dam.

Previews of next week promise some answers about the blackout. Let's hope the show delivers. I'm giving it until the holiday break, but if Charlie is still bugging me then, I'm shutting down the power to this one.

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