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Revolution Is Off to a Brilliant Start

Revolution is the new show I've been waiting for with the most anticipation this fall. I'm going to admit up front that I'm a diehard Eric Kripke fan. I love what he did for the long arc on Supernatural, so when I heard he was teaming up with JJ Abrams, I was pretty much sold, sight unseen. I have to confess, I've been a big fan of almost every one of Abrams projects too. Sometimes having high expectations, however, can lead to disappointment, but in the case of Revolution, I got exactly what I was hoping for and more.
There were some nice shout outs to fans of Supernatural. Two guys driving down the highway in a muscle car with AC/DC blasting in the first five minutes had me smiling. The story begins with family members dying and others going on a quest to reunite with missing family members. Planes crashing shortly after that had me thinking of Lost. In fact, in short order we were 15 years into the story, and the pace barely slowed for the entire hour. We meet our main characters Miles, Charlie, Danny, Maggie, Aaron, and Neville quickly. Charlie and Danny lose both their mother Rachel and father Ben, Miles brother, in the first ten minutes. In fact, we only see Rachel in the opening scene during the power outage.

Danny, we learn, has asthma and this is a very powerful device for driving home the full ramifications of what being without power might be like. It's easy to take modern medicine for granted, but for these people a simple asthma attack becomes very much a life or death situation. Luckily, Maggie has medical training, but the precariousness of their existence is obvious.

Not everyone has adapted to this new world. Aaron was formerly a successful employee of Google, yet here he is almost useless. Charlie accuses him of being afraid of bees - he's allergic; there's a difference! And in another shout out to Supernatural, Aaron bemoans the fact that with $80 million in the bank, he'd trade it all for a roll of toilet paper. In the Supernatural episode "The End", Chuck advises a character in a post-apocolyptic world to hoard toilet paper. It just so happens that Chuck was played by Rob Benedict who was also on Abrams' Felicity. Catching all the inside shout outs looks to be a great part of the series.

The story quickly becomes a quest for Charlie to reunite with her estranged uncle Miles to rescue her brother Danny from the militia that is being headed by her uncle's former partner. One might have anticipated that these plot elements alone would be teased out for the entire season, but we quickly find ourselves in Chicago with a family reunion of sorts. We also learn by the end of the episode that the necklace Ben entrusts Aaron with as he's dying is somehow connected to a mysterious woman who has a similar necklace and access to power! And wasn't there a necklace of some importance in Supernatural too? While there are lots of mysteries opened up in the pilot, we also get a satisfying number of answers.

The show promises to have lots of satisfying action of all kinds. The massive fight between Miles and the militia that come to take him away is masterfully shot and executed. There is much to look forward to in this world where only the militia have guns and even they don't seem to have that many. I see lots of sword fights and hand to hand fight scenes coming up and hopefully, this episode has simply set the standard. The special effects are top quality - the eerie shots of all things mechanical covered in encroaching greenery and half submerged buildings are very realistic. Jon Favreau brings his considerable big-screen directing talents to the pilot to very, very good effect. I can't wait to see what next week's episode will bring us! I do know that Kripke will keep this story on track. Viewers will need to pay attention to details because there will be clues left along the way that will be seamlessly woven in, and I'm betting we'll get a great pay off by the end of the season!

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