Revolution: The Complete Second and Final Season DVD Review : A Lack of Direction Leads the Show into Cancellation

Learn what ultimately turned the lights out for good on Revolution.
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At the end of Season One, which was reviewed by Greg Barbrick, Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Aaron (Zak Orth) succeeded in their quest to turn the power back on by shutting down the nanites that had been suppressing the use of electricity. But to their dismay Randall (Colm Feore) took advantage of the situation and launched nuclear missiles that obliterated the cities of Philadelphia and Atlanta, forcing the two scientists to flip the switch again and turn the power back off.

When Season Two begins, it’s six months from the event and the group is scattered all over the country. Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) is off hunting down Monroe (David Lyons) in the Plains Nation and tracking him to New Vegas where he’s become a no-named cage fighter. The Notorious Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) and his son Jason (J.D. Pardo) are off in search for their wife and mother who was last seen in Atlanta and presumed dead. Aaron and Rachel are living in Willoughby, Texas because Rachel has become mentally unstable and bringing her to her father seemed like the only way to help her, while Miles (Billy Burke) tries to track her down.

When Miles arrives, he finds that the small town is beset by bandits and outlaws. Knowing that his friends and the woman he loves are there, he has no other option but to stay, even though he knows that whenever Rachel and himself get together bad things always seem to happen around them. But little do they know that there is an even greater threat coming to town. An army calling themselves The Patriots has landed on American shores and is claiming to be the United States Government returning from their exile in Cuba.

At first, The Patriots are welcomed as returning heroes to Willoughby, but Miles is suspicious about their motives and quickly learns that they are an occupying force behind the nuclear-missile strikes. They must be stopped at all cost and will require the ruthlessness of Monroe and Neville to accomplish the task and begin a new revolution.

The five-disc set has four special features along with the typical “Deleted Scenes” and a “Gag Reel” that consists of the cast laughing in the middle of saying their lines.

Revolution: Heading West” is an interesting roundtable discussion on the series as a whole with writer and co-creator Eric Kripke, director Jon Favreau, and various other series writers. It’s not just your typical feature. Kripke actually explains the reasoning behind the storylines, why they decided to focus on one specific town, and a lot of other key factors that the audience is never privy to.

“Impact Revolution: Conversation with the United Nations” is a feature about how the writers used stories and experiences from United Nation members that were involved with third-world countries that actually don’t have power in the 21st century.¬†“United Nations: The Mission Continues PSA” is a short documentary on how the people of Nepal are using small hydroelectric plants to bring electricity to small villages.

“2013 Comic-Con Panel Q & A with Cast and Creators” is the Comic-Con panel without the sometimes-annoying audience questions. The questions are there, but in text format instead of listening to the actual fans asking questions.

It’s always surprising when a show is the gem of the network in Season One, like Revolution was on NBC, and then midway through the second season it gets cancelled. It’s even more surprising when the show was created by Eric Kripke and produced by J.J. Abrams.

Season Two was much better at being a character-driven show. Having settled down in one major setting made for some interesting pairings as characters that may not have had time to interact previously when marching on to complete their quest in Season One had time to get to know each other and let the audience do the same. While this was good for character development, there was so much of one setting that it felt like the overall storyline was going nowhere.  With a country as vast as the United States why would anyone focus on one small town in the middle of nowhere?

Ironically, the nanites that brought about the end of advanced civilization were also the downfall of the show. In Season Two, the nanites became a character. They were self-aware and became their own artificial intelligence with their own nefarious purpose. Throughout the season, they kept playing with Aaron’s mind, leading him along by the nose and taking over host bodies. They became such a distraction that they began to consume the entire show and took away from everything else going on which was far more interesting.

There were a lot of good things about Revolution. The premise was original. The characters were well developed. Nobody was safe as many important characters were killed off in unexpected ways. But it was the lack of direction and focus in overall plot and the injection of too much science in a world with no power that ultimately turned the lights out for good on Revolution.

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