Entertainment Magazine

A Review of Revolution, Episode 2.19, "S*%t Happens"

Posted on the 01 May 2014 by Virginiamae @SugarRushedBlog

To say that Revolution giveth and Revolution taketh away is an understatement after this crazy inconsistent episode that nonetheless, as always, was surely powerful and compelling television.  While the aftermath of Charlie's killing Jason was amazing and Miles' personal breakdown and recovery while on the brink of death covered an impressive emotional spectrum before providing a fantastic ending, one scene between Rachel and Monroe threatened the structural integrity of the whole shebang.  Let's discuss!

Charlie and Neville: First of all, and you know this is sure as hell coming from a Charloe place, there is no way I believe that Monroe would just leave Charlie wandering around in the wilderness when he himself had stated that Neville would be after her.  Now, I know Bass knows Charlie can take care of herself, but come on!  We'll talk more about Monroe in a bit...

Since Charlie was wandering around rather listless and mournful after being forced to shoot her first love and receiving zero verbal sympathy from anyone, obviously it was convenient enough for the writers to throw Tom into her path (hence, the real reason for Monroe's neglect: it allowed for a tete a tete between the father on the warpath and the killer of his son).  I loved everything from Neville's snide heckling of Charlie to her pained, yet strong replies, as both of them just barely held it together.  Tom's desperate interrogation of Charlie finally led to her confessing to the truth, and just for one split second it really seemed like their grief and her honesty might have aligned them enough for him to spare her.  Almost reluctantly, Neville went to enact his revenge, but his gun was empty.  The emotions of both of these on-paper polar opposite characters were beautifully portrayed as they both grappled with the pain of Jason's death.

Another aspect of this plot that was satisfying came down to Charlie's realization that yes, she wants to live, and she's going to seize the day and go after what she wants, whatever that might be as time unfolds.  Right now, she's all about saving Miles, reconfirming the closeness of their familial bond in a poignant way that nicely connected to his own reawakening at the end of the episode.

Miles was having a bad day.  Man, this part of the episode was exquisitely put together and enhanced by the utter perfection of Billy Burke's tough-as-nails, then falling to pieces performance.  Everything, from his nano-assisted downward spiral (did the part with Ben feel a little Sam and Dean Winchester to anyone else?) to fighting against brutal odds to escape from the collapsed house, was brilliant.  And his revelation upon finding the guitar pick and remembering when he met Rachel was touching, romantic, and inspiring.  I adore that this memory was what made Miles decide to keep going.  This all excellently paralleled Charlie's own cynicism about life being turned around by her brush with death.  Plus, the sight of Miles' bloodied, beaten hand clawing back up to the surface was badass beyond compare.

Aaron and "Priscilla" - I sure spent a lot of time being annoyed earlier this season by the slow movement of this part of the plot.  But gosh darn it, ever since that awesome episode with Aaron's dream of a world with no Blackout, those nanos are gaining more of my interest.  In this episode, I especially enjoyed the hilarity of the nano's Starship fandom, a subtle running joke that provided some giggles in a mostly-dark hour.  However, it's irritating that poor Aaron can't even get a favor after he gave them existence (sure, he's regretted it, but still) and they let Cynthia die, so yeah, they owe him one.  I hope he can find a way to get the nano back under his control soon.  Aaron's speech about what humanity really is (friendship, loyalty) was great, and I also enjoyed his reunion moment with Charlie.  It's cool when the show acknowledges that certain characters haven't interacted in a long time and we see some results of that.

Monroe and Rachel - As terrifically acted as this segment was, I found it to be deeply disturbing and not in a good way (because when it comes to Monroe, there's definitely disturbing in a good way, too.  This just wasn't it.).  This weird scene was symptomatic of writing that sometimes doesn't grow and evolve with the characters and relationships the way it should, every so often falling back on tired cliches of ideas that might have been feasible in Season 1 but are now impossible to buy as valid "twists."  Here is a little list of my grievances with Monroe recalling "that night" with Rachel when she was his prisoner, as well as his kissing her (though at least I feel the kiss was much more a matter of resentment / harassment on Monroe's side than a sign of some repressed attraction between the two - thank goodness.):

  • Because of Charloe, this is such a wasted opportunity.  This would have been an excellent type of argument for Charlie and Monroe to have, though doubtless a kiss between those two would have been passionate.  The writers, in seeming to ignore Charloe, are wasting a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on the chemistry and tension between Charlie and Monroe.  I still have faith that they can get it together on that front, though.
  • Rachel is not a ho.  Yes, she was torn between Miles and Ben, which is quite enough for any one woman in terms of getting around and having a complicated romantic past.  I cannot believe for one second that she would ever hook up physically with Bass under any circumstances.  Sometimes when two people hate each other, there's no subtext.  They just hate each other, and that's as it should be after what's happened between them in the past.  I do, however, like the idea that somehow Rachel and Monroe could become allies again due to their shared love for Miles.  That aspect of their scenes this week was the only one I enjoyed.
  • This "reveal" of an apparent past tryst is throw-it-against-the-wall-see-if-it-sticks revisionist history at its absolute worst.  And most obvious.
  • We already had a love triangle with Miles and Bass on either side, with Emma.  Asking us to engage in a second one is ridiculously far-fetched.  Especially since we're too invested in Miles/Rachel's love to want to ever see her with anyone else, so hello, again, waste of time.  
  • It's gross to think that Bass was ever with Rachel because of Charloe, although in a weird way that's the least of my problems with this.  Why?  Well, it's really almost the same thing as Charlie sleeping with Connor, and if that wasn't a Charloe deal-breaker, this shouldn't be either.  It just makes Charloe that much more messed up, which was already inherent to the relationship.
So I'm really hoping that the writers can be more realistically proactive with regard to Monroe in the remaining three episodes of the season.  This scene with Rachel was a speed bump, but it's hardly insurmountable.  We need some assurance that Monroe/Rachel is not a thing (again, ew), though I think we all know it isn't.  We need to see some scenes with Charlie and Monroe interacting at the very least, as not putting them together is tantamount to blatantly ignoring one of the most astonishingly appealing potential relationships I've ever seen on a show.

Overall, on reflection I realize that the positive aspects of this episode far outweigh my caveats.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what's in store in the season-ending arc, and am continuing to root for a Season 3.  

What did you think of this episode?  Share your ideas in the comments!

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