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Revolution 2.02 "There Will Be Blood" Review: Of God and Man

    Revolution 2.02, “There Will Be Blood,” was written by Paul Grellong and directed by Phil Sgriccia. This episode felt like vintage Kripke to me. We had some great dialogue and hilarious pop culture references, and the episode was beautifully shot. I have to admit that I’m already enjoying this season more than last season! Just a few quick words about Sgriccia’s beautiful direction. There were some gorgeous shots done with shadows, such as when Mason’s (Adam Beach) body returns to Willoughby and we focus on the horse’s shadow as he returns to the town as a corpse. The sepia quality and the flickering light in the cages really made Andover’s prison seem like Hell. Given that the theme of God comes up several times in the episode, this seemed particularly apt. And finally, the scene in which Tom (Giancarlo Esposito) executes his plan to infiltrate the US military is beautifully shot by interspersing slow motion with natural speed photography to increase the suspense and disorientation of the scene.

    As we’ve come to expect from Revolution, the episode zipped right along. We’ve already had some of our questions answered even while some other questions are now on the table. So far this season, we are splitting our action into three distinct storylines – which will, no doubt, end with the three coming together in some spectacular fashion. For now, however, we have what’s happening with Charlie (Tracey Spiridakos) somewhere in the Plains Nation; the Nevilles in Savannah; and Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell), Aaron (Zak Orth) and Miles (Billy Burke) in Texas, though admittedly the Texas storyline is also split up.

    The episode picks up with Aaron gasping for breath. He is understandably freaked out by being brought back to life. I loved the dialogue between he and Rachel though when she asks how he is: “A little dehydrated and hungry for brains.” Nice zombie reference! Rachel and Aaron agree that it must have been the nanotech that brought him back to life. Rachel, interestingly, is far less freaked out by the turn of events. Does she know something that she’s not sharing? However, given Aaron’s flashback to Ben’s death and Ben repeating fervently that “Aaron, you’re the one,” I get the feeling there has to be more going on here. Did the nanotech heal Aaron because he’s the “one”? Cynthia clearly sees Aaron as a miracle who has been resurrected. Cynthia (Jessica Collins) and Gene (Stephen Collins) tell the pastor about Aaron’s recover, and Aaron is not happy about being singled out by the pastor. He also obviously has no use for or belief in religion. Orth does a fantastic job playing Aaron. It would be easy to let him become a simple caricature or play him for comic relief, but he infuses the character with humanity and humour. I loved that the story he told to his students was the plot of Ghostbusters!

    Cynthia’s beliefs provide a counter balance to Aaron. Interestingly, Aaron calls her Cyn (sin?) as a short form. She asks him not to treat her like a wack-job for her beliefs. Aaron obviously trusts her because he ultimately tells her the truth. And we get to see via flashback that the bombs dropped because the computer mysteriously crashed just as Aaron was about to stop the bombs. Right after the bombs dropped, Neville bursts in with the troops, the power goes out, and the computers explode...

    Rachel manages to launch a rescue for Miles. She’s unable to muster anyone to help her, until Gene finally relents and brings two others to help her get Miles back. I’m really liking what Collins is bringing to the show. His character is pragmatic but sensible. He loves his daughter yet isn’t blinded by her shortcomings, and he knows when he’s lost the battle with her. I’m very much enjoying Collins’ portrayal so far.

    I was really disappointed that we lost Adam Beach’s character within the first few minutes of the episode. However, Mason’s explanation for why he became sheriff was classic. Mason became a sheriff  because his father had told him about a great Texas Ranger from Dallas/Fort Worth called Walker – which of course, is based on the Chuck Norris tv show! Miles keeps a straight face as he tells Mason that Walker’s “legend is known far and wide.” Miles almost escapes but he can’t leave another prisoner behind and gets recaptured, but not before taking out a number of Andover’s men in a great fight sequence. The scenes with Andover (Matt Ross) are incredibly creepy – even Miles finds the guy creepy! Andover was apparently about to be arrested for child pornography when the power went out. The police were on their way to the Jessop Academy for Boys where Andover was headmaster. The power going out meant that the evidence on his computer was destroyed and he wasn’t arrested. It also meant that all the boys under his “care” were stranded away from their parents. Miles describes it as Lord of the Flies – another great pop culture reference. In another reference to God, tying this storyline to Aaron’s, Andover saw the blackout itself as a message from God “to be free and to do whatever he wants.” Andover breaks Miles’ right hand to prevent him from fighting – I’m really hoping the nanotech will heal him too! Or at least that he’s ambidextrous! Miles wants to know why Andover is so far south, but he never gives us an answer to that question... Meanwhile, in the final scene, we get to see what’s behind the red door. Andover has a woman who he’s giving blood transfusions to. Mason clearly wasn’t a compatible blood donor while Miles is. Perhaps the nanotech will miraculously cure her? This final wrinkle really had me identifying Andover with the Governor on The Walking Dead – anyone else feel that vibe?

    In an interesting twist, we see Garrett (Jason Douglas), one of Andover’s guards, sending an encrypted message to Allenford (Nicole Ari Parker). He uses a wax seal depicting the all-seeing or illuminated eye of Masonic lore. The eye has a long history and is also referred to as Lucifer’s eye. The symbol of the eye hovers over the Great Pyramid on US currency. It symbolizes an unfinished situation. Furthermore, Lucifer does not wish to see the pyramid completed and this symbolizes the a new reign of man and global dictatorship. Lucifer’s eye is also a reminder that people are actually responsible for the bad things that happen to them and that God is not responsible. This discussion ties nicely back to Aaron, who clearly doesn’t believe in God and Andover who does. The symbol may also provide some good hints to what is actually going on with the returning US government.

    Tom, of course, provides some excellent insights as a political strategist himself. Esposito’s very first appearance in the episode was fantastic. Kudos to Sgriccia for being patient and capturing that entire long-ish sequence as Tom goes from being a friendly drunk to being the sharp strategist – his face and indeed his entire posture change during the transformation. Last week, I thought we had seen the last of our duplicitous villain, as he told us what he was about to do. But this week it’s harder to say who was more surprised, Jason (JD Pardo), Jason’s friend, Allenford, or me when Tom shot Jason’s friend instead of Allenford! Tom, of course, is on to them. He finds out that before the blackout, Allenford worked for the DOD, and he’s sure she knew Randall (Colm Feore). Tom’s convinced that they were in on dropping the bombs. As he tells Jason, “Create a problem; provide the solution.” And that’s exactly what Tom proceeds to do – he creates a security problem and then provides the solution. Allenford, to her credit, doesn’t immediately trust “Edgar” when he tells her he used to be an American and he’d like to be one again. Allenford responds that she’ll have to keep an eye on him.

    Meanwhile, we see how far the US threads have infiltrated the continent already when Charlie is captured as she is about to shoot the captive Monroe (David Lyons). Adam (Patrick Heusinger) tells her he’s bringing Monroe in alive to collect the bounty on him put up by the US government. I’m already liking Adam because of his smart mouth and its ready supply of “Kripke-sims” like “asshat” and “cram it douche.” In addition, he’s got great fighting skills and the fight with Adam, Monroe, and Charlie was great. Lyons, of course, delivers his usual solid performance and I’m really looking forward to seeing where they take his character this season. His scene with Charlie is terrific when he is so clearly torn up with remorse over the bombs having been dropped. Realistically, he was powerless to have stopped them – one way or another Randall was going to find a way to launch those bombs – but Monroe has internalized that guilt. I’m very much going to enjoy his redemption arc.
    So much to love about this episode – and the reason for this somewhat lengthy review! Any thoughts on what is killing the rats? And wasn’t that a creepy scene? Especially the sound effects of them crunching over their bones – EW! Did you like this second episode? What do you think Andover is up to? Is Neville fooling Allenford? Is it the nanotech or God or a combination responsible for Aaron? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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