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Revolution 2.11 "Mis Dos Padres" Review: What We Do For Family.

    Revolution “Mis Dos Padres” was written by Rockne S O’Bannon and Ben Edlund and directed by Michael Offer. This is Offer’s first time behind the camera on Revolution but his lengthy resume contains other action-oriented fare such as Arrow, Last Resort, and Longmire. I have to admit I was pretty excited to see what O’Bannon and Edlund would produce as collaborators, and the dialogue and action didn’t disappoint.

    There are now four distinct storylines, and I’m assuming they will all come together before the end of the season. Grace (Maria Howell) is finally able to put all the pieces together about the nanotech. They are communicating with Aaron (Zac Orth) because they were built using his code, but they are also communicating with Grace and Priscilla (Maureen Sebastian). Warren, Grace, and (Elizabeth Mitchell) built the “body.” Grace draws the analogy that the nanotech is everywhere and has a mind of its own, so is essentially like God.

     With the re-emergence of Priscilla, I feel like Cynthia was just a cheap plot device, who had to be killed off to free Aaron up to return to his wife. After all, Priscilla’s husband took their kids and left her, so she’s free now too. They’ve also pretty much re-imagined her character, or at least made her more sympathetic. I always had the underlying feeling that she was with Aaron in the past because she was something of a gold-digger, after his money, but here we learn that she actually helped him write the code while they were at school together. They were also helped by their friend “Peter.” So it looks like we have two more potentially important characters to be introduced in this storyline: Peter and Warren. Aaron looks particularly upset when Priscilla brings up Peter – what does he know? Are they dead? With the other side? Do these names ring a bell for anyone else? Orth gives yet another impressive performance, especially in the scene in which he tells Priscilla about Cynthia.

    We also see that Charlie (Tracy Spiradakos) and Gene (Stephen Collins) manage to get themselves into trouble. Of course, for once Charlie is the voice of reason. I have to say that I loved her coming to rescue Gene and just rolling her eyes and saying, “You’re just like Mom. You never listen!” For once, I didn’t feel like this was wildly inappropriate – as Gene does. Charlie has actually grown up in a very different world than Gene or Rachel. Gene and Rachel are loose cannons who act without thinking. Spiradakos does an excellent job of channeling Charlie’s exasperation in this one, so unlike last season, she didn’t come off as a petulant child, but as a put upon adult.

    Naturally, Gene ends up getting them both captured by Truman (Steven Culp). However, the mysterious camp and Gene’s dead friend (Lloyd Welliver played by Ken Edwards) are not at all what they seemed. Instead, the town has been infected with typhus.  Truman preys on Gene’s love of the town to get his help. This doesn’t answer what they were injecting into the oranges, however. Did they start the epidemic? Can the nanotech stop it? Is that Truman’s end game – to flush Aaron back out to demonstrate how much control he has over the nanotech?

    In Washington, Tom (Giancarlo Esposito) grows increasingly suspicious of Julia’s (Kim Raver) commitment to them as she is clearly enjoying her new husband’s new position. Meanwhile, Jason (JD Pardo) wants to kill Doyle (Christopher Cousins) because he’s the one in charge of the re-education programs. Pardo turns in a strong performance as Jason is determined to exact revenge for what was done on him. Jason also shows that he knows how to push his father’s buttons as he points out that the guy who is screwing Mom is also screwing him. I’m hoping that Tom may finally be seeing Julia’s true colors and may actually put Jason first. Jason got the papers from Allenford (David Aaron Baker), so I’m hoping that Allenford was acting shifty in the last episode because he’s trying to rescue his own son from Doyle’s program and will come to Jason’s rescue.

    Julia is full of excuses for not letting Tom into Doyle’s office. But Tom wants to know is she can’t or won’t protect him. Julia doesn’t actually turn Tom in when Doyle’s office is broken into. Perhaps my favorite line of the episode (and there were many in this episode – thank you Edlund and O’Bannon!) was Tom assuring Julia that “This poker face, IS my face.” Jason shows that he is better than both his parents, and Pardo shines again in this last scene in which he calls his parents on their self-serving scheming, imploring them to have some thought for the greater good. Hopefully, they will at least try to rescue their son.

    Rachel and Miles (Billy Burke) try to come to Monroe’s (David Lyons) rescue, but he’s determined to rescue Connor (Mat Vairo) from his surrogate father, Nunez (Joaquim de Almeida). This plot thread carried the most Edlund and Kripke fingerprints for me, particularly in the dialogue – “You’re a dick” is just one example. I also loved how they managed to get a bunch of classic rock into the episode by having the pieces performed by a band in Spanish – two good ways to get around licensing issues – well done! So we get awesome versions of “Black Betty,” “Born to be Wild,” and “After Midnight” to go with last week’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”

    Monroe tries to get closer to Connor by telling and then showing him that blood is the strongest bond you can have. Monroe rightly anticipates that Nunez will turn on Connor, but I thought the plot of Miles trying to rescue Monroe and then letting himself get recaptured and getting Miles captured in the process was just too contrived. Miles even calls him on it, pointing out that he’s only been his dad for five minutes and Monroe is no Cliff Huxtable (nice reference to The Cosbys). Monroe throws Charlie back in Miles’ face. I found this a curious exchange, and wonder if it is a red herring or another clue that Charlie may be Miles’ daughter.

    I also had my credibility stretched by how Connor managed to go from being so trusted to having Nunez turn on him so quickly. It’s hard to believe that Connor lived that long under Nunez without making any mistakes. I wasn't convinced by Nunez's apparent jealousy that Connor chose Monroe over him. It's not as if Connor was planning on leaving with Monroe. Even though Monroe demonstrates his love for Connor with his own blood, it just didn’t seem that believable that Connor would flip that quickly. It’s interesting to see Nunez being the psychotic, ruthless leader who is obsessed with not letting people see him as weak as that was Monroe just last season. In fact, Monroe’s stoicism is firmly in place as he attempts to show no weakness even as he is whipped almost to death. Which brings up another quibble I had with this episode. If he was whipped that severely, he would barely have been able to walk out of the prison let alone fight his way out.

    However, the escape is exceptionally entertaining with a terrific fight scene. I loved Monroe proudly pointing out how well Connor is fighting and Miles having to tell him to focus. Leaving Nunez alive seems like a pretty major mistake. It will be interesting to see going forward whether Connor and Monroe will be better than the sum of their parts or whether the Monroe Republic will rise from the ashes as just as ruthless and oppressive regime as it was in the past.

    In the end, the four story threads all build on what it means to be family. We see that the nanotech just wants to know its parents. Aaron and Priscilla are reunited – will they become a family again? Tom may have to decide between Jason, his son, and Julia, his wife. Is Allenford more concerned about his own son? Charlie tries to come to her Grandpa’s rescue, but he may be about to agree to help his town, which he sees as his family. And of course, we have Monroe finally getting to know his son, and Connor giving up his surrogate father for his biological father.

    What did you think of the episode? Do you think Julia is going to put herself on the line for Jason or Tom? Is she just out for herself? What’s next for Aaron and Priscilla? Do you think Monroe and Connor together are going to be trouble? Were you convinced by Connor’s change of heart? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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