The news of NBC not airing the second half of Revolution until late March and the reduction of the episode order for Season One to twenty episodes came pretty much at the same time. This was a bit disheartening, but I still feel that Revolution performed so well the first ten episodes that they would have to lose quite a considerable amount of viewers to ruin their chances for a second season.
Sometimes I fear that when networks pull stunts like this, their ulterior motive is to tank ratings. The funny thing? Maybe they were just taking lemons and making lemonade, but Eric Kripke and Jon Favreau actually seemed pretty happy with the set up. Kripke indicated in the commentary on the pilot episode that it gave them a chance to “course correct”…which I hope means what I think it means…but more on that later!
Even with my fear over what NBC had planned for Revolution, they have promoted things that have been keeping Revolution talked about despite the crazy long hiatus. the NBCRevolution twitter is always at it…(albeit sometimes a bit too much Charlie for my liking) and there was recently a cartoon style web series. For me though, the really wonderful surprise, and by really wonderful surprise I mean me jumping up and down while seal clapping and squeeing, was finding out about the live action web series. The series went live with its first webisode last Monday.
The NBCRevolution twitter promoted it virtually out of nowhere. I had no idea it was coming and at first wasn’t sure I would care about it. I was wrong. Instead of giving us random side characters merely “within” the REVO universe, we had a webisode with two of the best actors on television today. Well, in my opinion anyway…
I knew that the web episode would be short–anyone who knows anything about web series will say that you really need to keep a webisode no more than about five minutes or you lose your target audience. This was about three and a half minutes, which means about a three and a half page script.
This actually makes the webisode a fairly decent length scene, and for the most part too long to air during a television episode, because it would slow down the action a little too much. What amazed me too was the sophistication of it. I really shouldn’t have expected anything less, but I was surprised none the less. Maybe I was expecting to see something like a “deleted scene” that we get in the DVD extras…But I wasn’t expecting what we got.
I don’t know how many of you (like all three of you) reading this have ever tried to make a webisode. I have. I made a season of my own little show with just me in front of my Macbook Pro for five minutes each eppie. Between creating beat sheets, working out lighting, dress, makeup (because the lighting, and the camera mean adjustments or you look pale and washed out!), and then the actual “filming” it took HOURS. Just for me. And not even with a script–I seriously think a beat sheet (meaning an outline of things to be done, so more improv than set script)is easier because you don’t have to work on memorization as well.
My reasoning for explaining this is because the scene we were given was like a longer version of a scene out of an episode of Revolution. Lights, cameras–and it looked like two different angled cameras, music, definitely wardrobe and makeup, and even extras. That one scene was probably a good few hours of work. So color me impressed, surprised, and in love with David Lyons and Giancarlo Esposito for doing it.
I was truly in love with the content of the scene as well. Part 1 happened four years before the current Revolution time. On that day, Miles had walked into Bass’s office and held a gun to his head. He could not pull the trigger. Miles ran away. The webisode begins with Neville arriving at Monroe’s office. Neville is nervous, not exactly sure why he has been sent for. Bass is a mess. He tells Neville that Miles just tried to kill him, he didn’t expect it to be Miles to come for him, and that a part of him wished Miles had pulled the trigger. But Miles must have had help, so Bass sends Neville out to find out who helped Miles.
So much was going on in this scene and so much can be speculated! First off, Bass knows they are in a dangerous spot right at that moment because nobody knows the militia, the whole structure of the militia and the republic, better than Miles. Sure Miles mentioned that the militia was “his militia” and that the streets of Philadelphia were “his streets”, but I think that the important thing about hearing it right from Bass is because it is still the MONROE Militia, and the MONROE Republic. Miles may feel responsible for what came about, but I feel like Bass saying this gives the idea more actuality. Miles doesn’t abstractly feel responsible because he was a General. He actually IS responsible.
I found it very interesting that although there appear to have been checks and balances in place that should have meant that Miles just walking in shouldn’t have happened, Bass was surprised that Miles tried to kill him. To me that means that it doesn’t seem like it was maybe any one thing that made Miles change. It doesn’t seem like one thing caused Miles to become angry with Bass and decide that he needed to be taken out. This definitely makes me wonder about Miles. It also makes me feel even more about something that I’ve been feeling about Miles for a while–that he seemed to have taken his own self loathing and redirected it toward Bass. Clearly he didn’t feel Bass had enough of his own self loathing? I mean watch this webisode again. The self loathing is just oozing out of Bass. I just want to hug him. He can even keep holding the gun. Because damn. ahem…where was I?
Oh yes. Did Miles have help? What would have happened if Miles had pulled the trigger? Considering that Miles seemed to be the one to begin the vigilante ways, and Bass points out he “always was” a General, I get the feeling now more than ever that Miles is more the hammer than a ruler. Maybe he didn’t want to run it at all, he’d rather be out fighting. So my question becomes did Miles ever really want to take Bass’s place? Bass seemed to think that if Miles had killed him Miles would have done it to take over…but from what we’ve seen of Miles, I almost doubt it. We can’t really say yet what Miles would have done if he had killed Bass. What’s to say he wouldn’t have turned the gun on himself? I just get that impression that Miles is (or at least was, and now may be changing because of Charlie) the runner. Or at least he became the runner at some point. LIke Bass said, Miles always stayed with him and never ran (Nobody’s Fault But Mine). So that brings up another point. Has Miles essentially made Charlie the Bass character in his life? If he didn’t run before when he and Bass were like brothers and he could find the strength to be there for his best friend, has Miles now put Charlie into that role? Does Miles see that he has abandoned his best friend? Or is he still projecting his hatred of himself on Bass because if he didn’t he couldn’t live with himself? And if that is the case…Does Miles (even subconsciously maybe) understand that his fixation with killing Bass is really just because the person he really wants to shoot is himself?
So many thoughts! But unlike me with way too many thoughts and mucho plannage, I just don’t think Miles had that big a honkin’ plan regarding what he was going to do once he killed Bass.
Not that I’m trying to glorify Miles, or make him this deep character. I don’t really see Miles as having a huge process for deciphering his feelings. That seems more like something Bass might do. What upsets me the most about the way Miles went about trying to kill Bass is that it’s like Miles was treating his best friend like a rabid dog. He had gone too far so Miles had to put him down.
The scene also made me wonder a bit about Kipling and Rachel. Bass sent Neville out after anyone who had helped Miles. This is why Neville would know about who was left that Miles could turn to if he came back to Philadelphia. Which raises the question, did he keep Kipling alive as bait, or did Kipling NOT choose between Bass and Miles? We know from the conversation Bass and Miles had during the Trenton Campaign (again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine) that Kipling had told Bass that they were running low on bullets. Maybe Kipling stayed neutral. Or maybe he refused to go against Bass. As far as Rachel, maybe Miles was surprised that Rachel was still alive because he knew that Bass had hunted down people who helped Miles and because she was a relation, she would be included. Or, maybe there is something else there. I still think there could totally be something up between Rachel and Bass.
I suppose here we see the beginning of Bass’s paranoia, although I do have to remind all about that cliched expression–Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you…I always felt that calling MacBeth’s tragic flaw his paranoia was a cop out. MacBeth’s end was tragic because of poor planning and shoddy execution of the plans he did have. Each time he was worried someone was out to get him, that person WAS out to get him…
In this webisode, we see more of Bass, trying to stay in the character of “General Monroe”. He is desperately trying to maintain the outward appearance that he is in control, but we know that he is devastated, exposed. I can’t help but hope that there is special meaning in this. That maybe Eric Kripke has fallen in love with David Lyons’ acting as much as I have. Kripke mentioned in the commentaried pilot episode (check it out at www.nbc.com
if you haven’t already) that Monroe has been a bigger part of the story than he thinks he initially intended because of David. I’m hoping that these extra insights into Bass are being done with the idea of a redemption story arc. (and fingers crossed that this may be some of the “course correcting” Kripke was talking about) I would love to see Bass and Miles on the same side fighting to make the world right again!
I am so excited about these webisodes! They more than help fill the time while we wait for the new episode March 25, 2013…they actually help bring us more into the characters and the story!
I have a lot more to say, but my review is longer than the script for the webisode! Let me know what you think and let’s get some dialogue on where we think the story is heading! Thanks for reading!
And in case you wanted to rewatch before commenting: