We are now into the fourth episode of the “course correct” and I continue to find myself underwhelmed. I am still hoping for a turn around. I am invested in the Miles and Bass storyline and I really hope that the writer’s room doesn’t take the easy way through this with just killing Bass off. The day after the episode aired I took off and I spent the morning writing up another “Letter to Kripke” regarding my disappointment over the episode. I posted it on my blog, and it appears more than the usual number read, so I wanted to post it up here so everyone could comment. Here is the letter:
You know those times when you are just so mad that a calm flows over you? It is an anger almost like depression when you begin to wonder if you really loved what you thought you loved, or if you had somewhere along the line fallen in love with an idea of the thing, and not the thing itself? This is how I am beginning to feel about this “sequel” to the original ten episodes of Revolution.
I say sequel because there was a certain kind of flow in the first ten. We had a huge break, and now we are getting the second ten of season one. But doing the season like this makes it look more like a season one and two. I feel like you are trying to make an HBO series out of this.
You see, HBO generally has a good thing when it begins. As a matter of fact, I would count the first season of Deadwood and the first season of Rome, actually the first season of the Sopranos and of Game of Thrones as well, as not only some of the best first seasons of television, but some of the best seasons of television in general. Ever. Revolution was never HBO quality, but it interested a lot of people early on. It had its flaws, including a power out sequence that made no sense, but there was a lot of good (if not sometimes over the top) stuff in there. Then you decided to use the hiatus to make the show “bigger and badder” than the first half. You wanted to give it that umph you felt was lacking for the first ten. But in so doing, you did something that I, to put it bluntly, just don’t think is working…You turned the second half of the first season into a “sequel”.
One of my absolute favorite movie franchises of all time is Wes Craven’s “Scream” series, created by Kevin Williamson. Through his amazing scripts, and out of the four movies Williamson wrote all but Scream 3, we see so much truth about the industry. We see so much about what it is that movies are attempting to do–the good, the bad and the psycho killer ugly. My favorite movie of the franchise is actually Scream 2, which speaks volumes about sequels and how they are done. Eric, please go and watch this movie, because you are falling into ALL the pitfalls of sequels.
How is this happening? LIke HBO does with their second seasons, you have expanded the world, made more icks, killed more people, showed more fight sequences, brought in more characters. Yet you still only have the same 43 minutes an episode. Sure, you’ve sped up things, but at what cost? I’ll tell you–at the cost of character development. Instead, your characters are taking on a caricature feel–this one is too angry, that one is too crazy, this one is too scared, that one is too out of context for words…
We started off the episode with Monroe opening fire on Neville’s closest assistant. The way it is done is that Monroe doesn’t think he can trust this man any more than it turned out he couldn’t trust Neville. He had given Neville his trust years before and now that was destroyed. But in the end, all you have done is had Bass “shoot the messenger”, a tired cliche of despotic tyrannical leaders. It is the hallmark of a “Big Bad”, of an “Evil Overloard”. You have Bass not only send the nuke to Atlanta, but also approve of its detonation over the wire when Alec was not responding, validating that Bass is in fact the one who wants this done, not that Randall was doing it under the guise of Bass’s wishes.
These horrific acts of Bass’s are supposed to dwarf Miles’s own horrors, sending the man who was like a son to him to die, once again showing Miles’ lack of care over his family. Apparently you want him to be the hero because “he’s trying”? I don’t know where you went to Sunday School, but in my classes, I was told that the “road to Hell was paved with good intentions”. Miles winds up killing this “son” figure, but he wasn’t strong enough to get on the radio and tell Bass he did it.
I hate that you seem to have chosen Miles for a redemption he doesn’t deserve and doesn’t want and left Bass with nothing, sinking further and further into psychoses. How can he not? He has lost everything. You want us to feel that the heroes have the odds against them, but I just don’t see it. To me, everything seems against Bass. Everyone hates him and/or uses him, The minute he tries to be nice people take it as a weakness. Everyone is so in Miles’ corner, the only problem he is having with redemption is that he knows he doesn’t deserve it. If you ask me, the better story would be Bass’s redemption, that he seeks himself, because after all this shit, losing his family, losing his best friend, (next week we’ll probably find out he lost women, too), losing his faith in himself and the country he constructed, and then becoming outright tyrannical, finding himself again on the side of good would be a truly heroic journey.
Instead, I fear you’re going to have Miles hold true to his desire to burn down Philly, and have Bass play the violin while it happens.
I understand that every man has to take responsibility for his own actions at some point, and that blaming what Bass has become all on Miles directly opposes that view, because it would mean that I don’t believe Bass is a man capable of deciding things for himself. This is entirely inaccurate. I hope that Bass will be able to look into that abyss and say that only he can save himself and start down that path. I also want Miles to stop with the pity party and weak attempts and take responsibility. And not in some stupid fabricated way like this new “are you ready to be a general again” crap.
In closing, Eric, please take your head out of your ass and get back to what you are good at, character relationships, before you ensure that a second season is all NBC offers you.
As always, your humble fan,
As predicted, NBC did order a season two, so provided everyone makes it through the season, they will have a job next year! I’m overjoyed about the renewal, but I seriously hope someone reigns in Kripke a bit. In my opinion, something just isn’t working for me regarding what is currently going on. Monday’s episode was written by Paul Grellong and directed by Nick Copus.
Monroe does not take Neville’s betrayal well, and people he can trust become fewer and fewer. Miles tracks the nuclear bomb into Atlanta and finds something potentially more dangerous to him than the nuke. Charlie learns a little more than she wanted to know about Miles. Rachel and Aaron’s travels reveal even more about those pesky little nannies.
I already explained a lot about my issues regarding what has been done with Monroe in my “letter”. For me, I feel that there has been a move to the show feeling like maybe they made us too sympathetic to Bass, and now they have to make him seem like a Big Bad Nasty. The truth is, show, it’s too late to pull that. You haven’t given us any kind of a degradation of character. He was coherent, and Miles just would say that he was crazy. We got the impression from the show and from the web series that people thought Monroe was crazy because he thought he could turn the power back on. Instead of people deciding that maybe he isn’t crazy because he did turn the power back on, the PTB still say he is crazy, and it just didn’t make sense. So now we are given this additional information that is supposed to show how crazy and evil he is. Show, you didn’t show me a realistic decline of character. Now all of a sudden, you are telling me I’m supposed to call the man who never really cared for family and has hurt everyone he has met a “hero” and the person who genuinely seemed to care, and lost loved ones, and eventually loses pretty much everyone he has ever had faith in, I am supposed to call a villain. I’m having a difficult time with this…
I will say though that in the scene, Bass’s hurt over Neville’s betrayal and defection was very well done. David brought so much into this scene where others may have just made a two dimensional baddie moment. He was able to portray frustration, pain, a tinge of instability… you knew it wasn’t easy for him–finding out about Neville, or taking out Neville’s most trusted aid. He downed one drink and started on the second before he shot the Captain. It seems he really thought about it, but at this point he knew how it would look that someone as high as Neville defected. Neville was the man Bass entrusted after Miles betrayed him. If he doesn’t gain control over this situation right away, he may lose control over everything.
It could be my Northernness, but I have to admit I found the whole impression of the Georgia Federation a little difficult to swallow. Ok, you got me–yes, it would be warm there. But without electricity, wouldn’t they have problems with refrigeration? Wouldn’t anyone reliant on any kind of refrigerated medicine die? Wouldn’t there be serious issues with keeping crops from rotting? Wouldn’t there be a bug problem with the loss of factories creating insecticides? Wouldn’t there be some kind of lactose deficiency from the lack of any kind of dairy? Where did they get the money to invest in all this steam power? Where did they get the scientists and engineers to construct it? Many of the schools that would create such scientists and engineers are up here in the over-educated North. Wouldn’t it be more likely that we would have created that? Why is it that with the bastion of education the North possesses, the Monroe Republic would seem like a third world nation compared to Georgia? And why would anyone stay in the Monroe Republic if the other republics were really so much better off?
I still wonder if they eat people in the Georgia Federation. I couldn’t help but notice that the scene where the President showed MIles the troops she wanted him to bring into the Monroe Republic bore a scary resemblance to when Saruman showed Grima the Orc Army…I really hope Miles says no.
In this episode we meet another person who, similarly to Charlie, Miles took under his wing. Miles apparently felt close enough to Alec that he gave Alec a family heirloom–a knife that his grandfather brought back from Korea, then his father had in Viet Nam. This says a couple things about Miles actually. First, it shows that Miles thought of Alec like a son. That was the closeness they had. It also means that Miles had dedicated himself to this soldier’s life and he had no intention of having a family of his own to pass on the torch.
Miles thought this much of Alec, but that didn’t stop him from giving Alec up to the Texans. We are given the impression that Miles just decided to give him up because he was identified and they had to give the Texans a fall guy to prevent war. He didn’t consider other options, he didn’t fight to save this soldier that was the closest thing to a son he had, he just handed Alec over. Again in this episode, we see just how little family means to Miles. It does make one wonder just how safe Charlie really is with Miles. He kiddingly says that her mother told him to take care of her so he was going to put her in front of a nuclear bomb, but really, how smart was that?
And then we had Jane taking out the Militia soldiers with that weird “magical” thing she has. Shooting them with an arrow would have done the trick too, and without the LOST element. But anyway, through the Jane scene we did find out more about the nannites. I feel like we need even more back story about that. Instead of shutting down electrical currents in human beings, they actually keep human beings alive? But not really? clearly not all nannites can do this, or no one would have died since the electricity went off. It appears that capsule Rachel took out of Danny had these benevolent nannites that kept him alive somehow. Similar benevolent nannites kept Jane’s lover, Beth, alive even though she had stage 4 cancer. But turning back on the power means killing all these nannites? Including the benevolent ones? If I recall correctly, this miracle surgery that worked with Danny was a couple years before the blackout, which means that Danny had these nannites in his body keeping him alive while the power was still on. How does that work with this new “nannites all die” thing. The writers are parceling out information–we need a lot more.
And…what about Nora? I haven’t really been a fan of Nora at all, but since this “course correct” started, Nora has been given next to nothing to do. I feel like her story was totally side lined when the writers decided to utilize the chemistry that Elizabeth and Billy had in front of the camera together.
Monday’s episode looks like it will be a big Bass and Miles storyline ep, so I’m hoping to love it. Let me know what you thought of the episode! Since I’m a big Monroe supporter, I’m sure there are plenty of Miles fans out there that may have another opinion on the ep. Sound off and let me know what you think is working, and what you think needs to be changed for season two!
Screencaps from grande caps tumblr.