Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Moral "Revolution" for Desperate Characters: A Television Review ("Sex and Drugs")

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Director: Steve Boyum.

Writers: Eric Kripke and David Rambo.

Executive producers: Jon Favreau, Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams.

Cast: Billy Burke, Maria Howell, David Lyons, Graham Rogers, Tracy Spiridakos, Zak Orth, Daniella Alonso, Elizabeth Mitchell and Giancarlo Esposito.

Epis. 6 of "Revolution," "Sex and Drugs," had very little of either. This episode did, however, introduce a new character, Drexler. This minor villain made plans for Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), Miles (Billy Burke) and Aaron (Zak Orth) difficult. Charlie showed some changes. She seems to be adapting to this new apocalyptic world through violence. Slowly fading is her innocence. However, Aaron was the star of this episode as seen in four flashbacks. His character is developed a little more before and after the blackout. All of this focus on characters created more depth, while this episode proved to be action-packed, as well.

The story here partially focused on the estate of Drexler and the evil within. Apparently, Drexler and Miles both served in the militia together. When Miles left, Drexler was left holding the bag and he did not fair so well with Monroe (David Lyons). Drexler now has a bone to pick with Miles. He wants revenge. When Miles comes seeking medical supplies for Nora (Daniella Alonso), he finds himself wrapped up in a murder plot. It is Charlie, Miles' niece, who is sent to deal with one of Drexler's competitors, the O'Halloran family. What happens next will have to be discovered by fans of sci-fi.

Suffice it to say, few fare well when they oppose Miles. Drexler's plan goes off the rails, but he has something in store for Miles' friends, a shootout! This character always seemed to have something up his sleeve. As well, Drexler offered some of the best lines in this episode. When Miles' does not want to go along with Drexler's plans, Drexler states: "well, I am going to start by smothering Latina Barbie, then." This line is truly dark and strangely humourous. Drexler is, of course, referencing Nora who is sick in bed. Drexler later challenges Aaron's authority with "you got something to say tough guy." Drexler seems to have his thumb on the pulse of characters as he goes despicably about getting his way. This villain and his actions were a delight to watch.

Charlie's character was equally complex. Charlie seems to be losing hope; perhaps, she will never see Danny again, or so she thinks. In desperation, she agrees to Drexler's plan and soon she is faced with murdering another character. Charlie has truly fallen from her pedestal. Right in the action, Charlie is finally starting to show a few new angles as her character adapts to the desperate times.

Yet, this was an episode that centrally focused on Aaron. Aaron's backstory is entertaining. He was once a millionaire. Now, Aaron can hardly survive in "Revolution's" many dangerous landscapes. He does manage to stand-up to Drexler, thankfully. And, Aaron is also developing a great deal of complexity. He seems to have an inferiority complex a mile wild, which he is compensating for by becoming a martyr. Or, is he the group's unneeded conscience? As far as being a martyr, Aaron risks death to save Nora in an improvised duel. He comes out the winner, but Aaron needs to fight with those he fears directly, if he wants to find some sense of pride - again. Either way, it is hard not to like a character who has a few murderous tricks up his sleeve.

In the end, "Sex and Drugs" was another fine showing for "Revolution." The story is well written by David Rambo. Rambo is able to write great dialogue while keeping the pacing moving forward at a brisk pace. Characters are almost always developing, as well. Also, the action elements here introduced an element of tension. It is difficult to tell whether characters can pull off their desperate plans and this unpredictability is welcomed. The conclusion to this episode brought the show full circle, but this sci-fi fan is curious to know: what will happen next?

Unfortunately, this show will be on a hiatus beginning in late November. Production will be moving ahead with new episodes, which will be released late in March. So, fans will have to settle for the upcoming episode "The Children's Crusade" and possibly one more before events take a break. And, sci-fi can find lots of entertainment in showings such as this one and in previous episodes as "Revolution" continues to be one of the best shows on television.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10 (great characterizations, interesting events, lots of cliffhanger pauses, a solid conclusion, well written villains).

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