Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This "Revolution" Has Slowed to a Near Stand Still: A Television Review ("Ties That Bind")

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Director: Guy Norman Bee.

Writer: Eric Kripke.

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

"Revolution" is a show from NBC that continues to lose its viewers. The show has lost almost half of its viewership since its premiere episode, simply called "Pilot." This reviewer admittedly has a difficult time finding the motivation to continue to follow this season. "Revolution" seems to be missing its edge. Perhaps, this reviewer will forever be regulated to specialty television networks like the AMC and HBO.

In the latest episode for "Revolution," "Ties That Bind," a few new characters are introduced including Nora's (Daniella Alonso) sister, Mia (Alyssa Diaz). Mia is not to be trusted, however and neither is Monroe's (David Lyons) latest enforcer, Strausser (David Meunier). Miles (Billy Burke) has a lot to deal with in this episode including the Allegheny River. Meanwhile, Monroe is self-imploding and this reviewer is continually waiting for something meaningful to happen, anything!

This critic is almost doing a 180 in regards to the character Aaron. Aaron (Zak Orth) was a character who was almost unwatchable in early episodes, but this character is finally standing up for himself. The best line in "Ties That Bind" came from Aaron when he is talking to Miles about Monroe's plans for the pendant: "he'll turn on the lights and buy the world a coke." Lines like this truly crack this watcher up, but they are few and far between. Meanwhile, Miles is taking on the latest baddie of the week.

Miles is still in search of Danny (Graham Rogers), Charlie's (Tracy Spiridakos) brother. How many times has this reviewer mentioned this? This plotline is getting super repetitive. Somebody needs to execute Danny so that this McGuffin can finally be put to rest. Miles has several obstacles that he must pass over before he can reach Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to rescue Danny. There are at least two ambushes set up by the villain Strausser. Mia is whispering honey into Nora's ears, while stealing from Aaron. And Monroe is having a meltdown back at the Monroe Republic. Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) is scheming with his wife, Julia (Kim Raver), to unhinge Monroe further. All of these plotlines seem to be creating for a general sense of lethargy or repetitiveness. This show needs to get somewhere, soon!

Mia was the focal point for much of this showing's first half. Mia is Nora's sister and a series of flashbacks hint at their trials and tribulations as children. The flashbacks are saccharingly sweet. Mia is better when she is double-talking her way out of situations; she is aligned with Strausser. So, this showing's title is a bit of a misnomer. These are ties that fracture. With a sister like Mia, who needs enemies? Nora eventually sets things straight. However, Mia managed to slow down this series by about thirty minutes plus.

The big reveal in this episode involved everyone's favourite character, Randall (Colm Feore), and the Department of the Defence. The government has created an enormous sewer underground, which is able to track the pendants, like Aaron's, on the surface. Wow, take that "Lost!" Someone needs to light a fire under the writers' asses pronto!

A large group of viewers have made their opinion known; they no longer want to follow Miles' meanderings. If this show loses another half of its market, then you can bet that "Revolution" will not return for a second season. What is going wrong? This show is missing an edge of some kind. Honestly, a twelve year old could follow this show and understand every nuance. "Revolution" comes across as an action adventure and this genre is mostly targeted towards teenage boys. The addition of some romance between Nora and Miles was nice in this episode, but is this one short scene going to turn this show around? Not likely. There need to be a few more surprises in the blackout. Unnecessary characters need to perish and Monroe needs to get out of the safety of Philadelphia. Villains are best when confronting their more sincere counterparts.

The "Ties That Bind" had some good moments and some bad. Charlie was thankfully relegated to a secondary role here. Miles continues to be snarly, while Mia showed that even family cannot be trusted. Neville is trying to keep his family together. And, the producers on this show will be doing whatever it takes to draw audiences back to the show's repetitive plotlines and "Lost" like scenarios. Otherwise, no one is getting off this island or into Philadelphia anytime soon.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10 (some good action sequences, plotlines are repetitive, Charlie is again too soft in this episode, Strausser is the villain of the week).

The dismal rating numbers for "Revolution" are available at Entertainment Weekly:

Revolution at EW

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