Revolution: Ties That Bind Review -

Revolution: Ties That Bind Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Episode: Ties That Bind (Season 1, Episode 8)
  • Starring: Daniella Alonso, Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Zak Orth
  • Written By: David Rambo and Melissa Glenn
  • Directed By: Guy Bee
  • Network: NBC
  • Series:

Revolution: Ties That Bind Review

Lies are thicker than water

By Chuck Francisco     November 13, 2012

Revolution: a show about saving siblings. The big reveal for next week details Charlie and Myles rescuing all twelve of Aaron's brothers from an evil militia Toblerone factory. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Putting aside all pretenses of joking, this week's episode fired on all cylinders and is exactly what was needed to cement the show into the "great" category. There was high level political intrigue, technological mystery, compelling action, villainous menace, and solid acting all around. I know I made a joke at his expense, by Aaron has a spectacular moment facing down Myles. He's made a tremendous blunder in allowing the pendant to be pilfered by Nora's sister (to be turned over to Monroe), and growls for Myles to get our of his face. All of the anguish comes through in his delivery; Zak Orth deserves a high five. 

On the subject of the pilfered pendant, it's clearly made of sterner stuff than is normally found at Kay Jewelers. Bludgeoning it with a sword pommel doesn't so much as leave a scratch; it still gleams brightly in the sun as it's turned over to Monroe. Now that he's in possession of one of the coveted pieces of technology, it appears Rachel can complete some sort of device for him. I'm purely speculating here, but it seems as though Rachel is building a miniature version of the incomplete machine which Randall is keeping Grace captive within. Perhaps it's a larger version of a localized dampening device, which blocks out the electricity disruption field? I'm still running under the assumption that the field, being co-oped by the military originally, is satellite based.

Curiously, Randell has a set up straight out of The Matrix, with banks of cool looking computer displays feeding him real time information. Does his pendant allow all of this to be powered, or does he have his own localized dampening device? Either way, these computers give him the ability to track the whereabouts of all the pendants. A quick count shows seven spread across the country. Since Randall is now in possession of at least his and Grace's, and no two of them are right next to each other on the map, it means the total is likely nine. There's plenty to mull of and speculate on, 'Luters, which is definitely one of the strengths of the show.

The intrigue is also heating up, with Mrs. Neville showing herself to be a politically jockeying tigress, eager to be the power behind the throne. Isn't it quite convenient how she was able to uncover a traitorous son to the rival officer who suggested her son be sent on a suicide mission to California? Certainly it saves her son from having to depart, but it also places Neville in a much greater position as trusted advisor to Monroe. She also can't help but begin sowing seeds of discontent within her husband. In a way it's very much what The Walking Dead writers where trying to have Lori do in season two, only here it's actually very well thought out and works. 

While we're on the subject of Philadelphia, the heart of the Monroe Republic, how is that our motley band of fugitives plan to actually get into and freely move about within the city? The militia might only have rough descriptions of Aaron, Nora, and Charlie; but they all know exactly what Myles looks like. This isn't just a garrison of troops on the outskirts of some small town. This is a massive city with hundreds or thousands of troops, who have access to "The Armory" of Philadelphia. Military grade automatic weapons trump crossbow and sword every way you slice it. Perhaps the power of licensed Led Zeppelin tunes can blast a hole in the hearts of battalions of militiamen? The preview of next week's episode was indeed amazingly compelling, in a fist pumping sorta way. With the great strides we've seen so far, and the strength of this week's episode, I expect we're gonna have our sox knocked off next week. 

I'm anxious to hear your speculative theories, dear Mania readers. Please, share them below. See you next time.
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Saturday Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a horror co-host of two monthly film series at the world famousColonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA (home of 1958's 'The Blob'): First Friday Fright Nights andColonial Cult Cinema. You can hear him on awesome podcast You've Got Geek or follow him out onTwitter.



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rogue188 11/13/2012 9:32:43 AM

Man, this show is getting better and better. I am not sure if satellites are disabling the world, or the machine Randell has underground. Who knows? I want to know more about the other parts of the country. Its obvious Monroe is going to get offed at some point, and Neville will take over. Just the how and when is in the fun of the details. Isn't there only two episodes left in this season? They have a lot to wrap up!

TheSilentKiller 11/13/2012 11:27:39 AM

 I'm really digging this show too, but there is some lazy scripting. For example, when they set off the explosions to rescue Nora's sister, all the troops just walked away and left her unguarded? Even my wife called BS on that one. There's usually about one of those moments every show.

Also, I'd really like to see Myles kill more of the big bads. He seems to be knocking a bunch of low-mid tiered guys off, but missing the payoffs with some of the bigger bosses. I'm really hoping this will turn into a big ol' Game of Death fight-through at the end.


rogue188 11/13/2012 1:25:14 PM

My money is on Myles killing Monroe.

hanso 11/13/2012 1:55:29 PM

 Has Charlie become tolerable?  If not I'm still out.

CyanideRush 11/13/2012 2:40:14 PM

Believe it or not, Hanso, Charlie has become tolerable.

hanso 11/13/2012 9:31:10 PM

 Cyanide, if i get some free time im going to check a few eps out.  U better be right :)

TheSilentKiller 11/14/2012 5:31:30 AM

 @Rogue. I thought that too, but I think it more likely that he doesn't kill him, and the season finale payoff is having Gus Fring take over the militia. 

vagabondster 11/14/2012 7:16:46 AM

 My main peeve is why at the end of the ep Myles didn't kill Schlosser. He was down, Miles could've grabbed his sword or a gun and killed him. Problem solved. I was also expecting Schlosser to be Nora's dad (star wars anyone? lol). I don't think Monroe's going to be killed off. They're going to play the high level intrigue for a while, perhaps a season or two before a regime change comes. The whole Grace and Randall thing has a Second Foundation feel to it too, and I like that. Read Asimov if you wonder what I mean. Overall. The series is coming along nicely, they're building to a nice season ending finale, like Heroes was. I just hope, unlike Heroes, that season 2 isn't ho-hum.

wish 11/14/2012 7:57:10 AM

Fuck that I wouldn't call her tolerable yet!  She has had some good moments and at least this episode wasn't a total dedication to her "manning up" so she was restricted line and character wise.  BUT the show is becoming more tolerable to the point where its worth suffering her a few seconds here and there to see the rest of the story.  They need to get bigger than this brother and sister story, so far it's dominated the series and it needs to expand and focus on the overall picture.  The ratings took a dive on Monday as part of it's steady decline, so if I were you Hanso, I'd wait until the spring and see if it gets renewed, cuz if it doesn't, then don't waste your time!

Also, if they want people to believe that there is validity in the story, then they are gonna have to get the actor that plays Aaron to start losing weight, they've been walking for weeks and they don't carry the pounds of crap food that it would take to make him as fat as he is, he's got a belly like he's carrying twins and not one other character or extra on this show is even chubby!  I don't care how good his character is getting, being that fat in this world is just too much to ask anyone to believe. 

rogue188 11/14/2012 9:43:36 AM

Hanso, Charlie is tolerable. She has definitely been less whiney the last two episodes. Holy crap, Wish! My thoughts exactly. That dude has been on the road for quite a while and being so big is not very realistic.

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