Revolution — Pilot (S1E01)
NBC put up the pilot for this brand new show two weeks before it premieres on TV. If you want to watch it, it is up on Hulu and NBC’s website for free. The show actually premieres on Monday, September 17th at 10:00pm on NBC.
The show opens in Chicago, with Charlie and Danny as young children. Their father, Ben, tells their mother that they don’t have much time before “it” happens. We soon learn that “it” is the loss of all electricity. In the time that they have left, Ben downloads something onto a USB stick and calls someone (who we learn is his brother, Miles) to warn him and the other man that he’s with. During this call, the electricity begins to cut out. This is followed by some nice shots of the city going dark and a helicopter rocketing downwards. Then there is a beautiful view of the globe going dark, and it cuts to the opening sequence.
Fifteen years later, Charlie takes Danny out exploring beyond the outskirts of their camp. She is clearly going to be pushing boundaries that were set for a reason. I’m going to guess that this is going to be the main thing progressing the story. While out, Danny suffers an asthma attack, which foreshadows future problems that he will have. Any sort of medical issues in a post-apocalyptic world will never end well. Danny is treated by the town doctor, Maggie, who happens to be Ben’s new girlfriend. Charlie is not pleased that Ben took on a new woman after their mother’s death (which I doubt happened).
Monroe’s Militia shows up at their camp gates, led by Captain Neville. Ben hands the secret flash drive to Aaron to protect it. When the militia is about to take Ben, Danny decides to be the hero and pulls out a crossbow to defend him. Neville ends the fight by shooting a good number of the men, and then takes Danny as a hostage. By the time Charlie gets back to camp, she sees her dad bleeding out. His last words to her are a request to go find his brother, Miles. And the only thing Charlie knows about him is that he’s good at killing.
Maggie and Aaron insist on going with Charlie to find Miles and eventually save Danny. While going to get water, Charlie runs into a boy named Nate. He was awfully polite for someone in this terrible future. Charlie doesn’t let Aaron and Maggie know that she saw him, so they continue on their journey to Chicago. They then happen upon a plane, they decide to sleep in it over night. There are some cute pop-culture references here, Aaron says that he owned a plane because he worked at “a place called Google.” And all Charlie knows about it is that it’s “a computer thing.”
While asleep on the plane, the trio are ambushed by three men. Maggie manages to poison two of them with spiked whiskey. The third one is trying to rape Charlie, but is stopped dead in his tracks by Nate’s arrow. The following day, they continue on their journey to Chicago, with Nate in tow. Maggie pulls Charlie aside and tells her not to trust him. But Charlie, being naive, responds with “They can’t all be monsters, some people have to be alright.” Charlie wanting to see the best in people right after it is shown that Maggie keeps poison in her pocket is no accident. This is a beautiful example of how different the character are when raised during the blackout or being thrust into it as an adult.
The people in Chicago are not doing as well as Charlie and her family’s little town elsewhere in Illinois, they all appear to be homeless and there is a lot of fighting. The four of them make it to The Grand, the famous hotel/bar that Miles Matheson is known to be staying at. After telling him that Ben is dead, Miles admits who he is, and agrees to talk to Charlie alone. Miles says that Monroe is looking for him because he thinks that he and Ben knew something about what caused the blackout. Charlie’s strategy to get Miles to come with her was “because we’re family.” Miles not only scoffs at this and tells her he doesn’t know her, but he doesn’t think it’s worth saving Danny, some kid he doesn’t know, to risk his own life. Danny is just bait, and he won’t fall for any tricks.
Miles grabs Nate’s wrist and pulls down his sleeve, showing that he is militia. Nate runs off, probably to retrieve more troops. Miles forces Charlie and her band to leave, but insists on staying himself. Nate returns with the militia, they are instructed to bring Miles back alive. Cue insane battle sequence: Miles pulls out a sword and takes out half a dozen men. He then grabs a one-handed crossbow and kills a few more men. They didn’t lie when they said that Ben knows how to kill. Of course, Charlie comes back and shoots another man, she had never really left. When Charlie was pinned down and about to get killed, Nate shows up to save the day, yet again. They leave us questioning his allegiance.
Danny’s story is much less interesting. Here’s the quick summary of his adventure: he managed to unscrew the pipe that he was handcuffed to, and knocked out the guard watching him. He suffers another asthma attack due to the pollen in the air. He wakes up in a bed with an inhaler and a woman training a gun on him. The lady refuses to tell Captain Neville that Danny is there, but he was an insurance adjuster in his past life, so he knows when people are lying. She lets him in and he captures Danny before he has time to escape. After Danny is gone, the lady opens her secret attic (which has about five locks on it). She pulls out a USB stick like Ben’s and plugs it into a computer, and a lightbulb turns on. She (and therefore Ben) harnessed the power of electricity. She sends a message on a computer to an anonymous user letting them know that the militia was at her place, but they didn’t find “it.”
And to end the episode. there is another flashback. Miles and the other man in the car, Bass, head back to base. When he is called by his full name, it turns out that Bass is Sebastian Monroe. Clearly Miles has a stronger relationship with General Monroe than he lets on.
Revolution definitely shows potential. There are already some well-established characters, some who have clear intentions and others who don’t seem to have a clue of what they want. The plot is left open-ended enough to head in any direction, but not enough so that it could get easily lost. We know that there is electricity still available in this post-apocalyptic world, and it’s definitely intriguing to know why the woman can access electricity, and even more intriguing to know why the blackout occurred in the first place.
Though there are many ways that this show can get off track and fail, I think that it shows great potential. And I can definitely put my faith into a show run by Eric Kripke and JJ Abrams.
Posted on September 6, 2012, in Pilots, Revolution, SciFi, Fantasy, & Horror and tagged aaron, ben, blackout, captain neville, charlie, chicago, danny, electricity, maggie, miles, militia, monroe, nate, nbc, neville, pilot, premiere, revolution, scifi. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.