Well, it's official. The television executive gods have spoken, and
is no more. It's bittersweet news, because while it's easy to understand why this happened, the show still had its moments and a slew of likable characters (the least of whom is a murderous psychopath).
We'll still get to see how things play out in the endless quest of he who hath the mustard gas maketh the rules, and on the bright side, it appears it will wrap up in series finale mode instead of a season 3 cliffhanger. I'm not sure if they filmed two separate episodes, but it appears producers saw the writing on the wall.
I attribute the cancellation to a couple main factors, the most glaringly obvious of which has been my chief complaint all season long, that there's no goal, no endgame, no objective, to season 2. It can't be to beat the Patriots, because there are just too many of them spread out over the nation for a group of six or nine or 17 to have any chance against. Plus there have been so many characters switching sides and changing motivations that any chance at a cohesive front is lost.
NBC cancels Revolution >>>
The saddest aspect in the blame game is that Revolution has devolved so much from the original premise that made it such a wildly anticipated series in the first place -- what would life be like if there was no electricity? Could we survive, and what would civilization look like? I'll accept there would be some violence and power grabs, and I'll even go along with the government being responsible and having a failsafe to turn it back on.
But where I get lost is the ever-present Lost-ing up that many series feel the need to interject these days, with conspiracies abound and more questions than answers. Plus it's really tough to pair that perceived depth with self-aware machines that rip off a number of easily identifiable movies (Terminator, iRobot, Inception, The Matrix, to name a few). The nano story line is probably the most interesting and occasionally offers a nice thinking-man's break from the never-ending violence and murder, but it's also the most obnoxious and least believable about a post-apocalyptic society.
Happy Memorial Day -- Have Some Gas!
Still, we've got a couple episodes left to dissect as we ride the Revolution train to the end of the tracks. And that's an appropriate analogy, because "Memorial Day" is all about a train heist. And the subsequent heist as the heisters become heistees. Because we're a fractured group that could really go for some unity in our respective bromances.
With Marion now all aboard with the rebel cause, she recruits a couple of the good ol' townsfolk of Willoughby to help out. And by a couple, I literally mean two. And one of them is Joe, the father of young cadet Dillon (who I have been inexplicably referring to as Kyle for the last eight weeks or so), who Miles so courageously killed to protect the life of Texas President General Bill Carver in Austin.
Miles is trying out the whole "good guy" thing, so he decides to trust Joe and to eventually tell him that he fatally shot Dillon. You know, when it's the right time. But first, we've got a train to steal! Marion snooped around Truman's office and found a picture of Carver and a calendar with tomorrow's date circled, and seeing as they've got a train car full of mustard gas (see: yellow cross on side), there must be an assassination plot via chemical warfare attack in the works. So before the gas goes to Austin, Miles and co. will take the train.
Another Unlikely Alliance
Tom, still distraught over Jason's death and Julia's perceived off-camera demise, joins forces with Monroe and Connor on a mission to trail a path of destruction to DC that will make Sherman's march look like a 10K. It's music to Monroe's ears, as is the news delivered by New Vegas guy (who is sick of not killing people) that their former conspirators are planning a heist.
All Monroe ever really wanted was weapons of mass destruction anyway, so they plan to let Miles, Charlie and Gene do the dirty work before carrying out a theft of their own.
It goes off without a hitch for the most part, save a few dead Patriots, but gunfire rings out after Tom points his weapon at Charlie and Miles intervenes. Monroe then stands up for Miles, which pisses off Connor, and the ensuing shots pierce the train car and reveal it is empty and all was for naught.
America the Beautiful
Back in Willoughby, Truman gives Marion a necklace and tells her he loves her before a big Memorial Day event in town. There, she is stunned to find members of the Texas Rangers present, as well as President Carver himself. Truman announces US President Jack Davis and an alliance between the Patriots and Rangers to suppress the threat of the California territory, which is apparently carrying out attacks aided by Miles and Monroe.
Marion follows a soldier to the attic of the building, where the Patriots are planning to release the gas into the ventilation system, willing to sacrifice the entire town to take out Carver and start a war between Texas and California. Truman finds her up there, says he really does love her, and then fatally stabs her in the side. He takes back the necklace as the Patriot fiddles with the gas handles.
Miles, Monroe, Charlie, Gene and Joe set off to save Willoughby, leaving a knocked-out Tom lying in a crumpled heap while Connor and Vegas dude stay back out of spite and a lack of motivation to participate in a suicide mission. It sets the stage for an epic battle for the town, which will likely have little to no impact on the rest of the nation or world, even if they manage to kill President Davis. But we'll tune in anyway.
Rachel Pisses off the Nano
Rachel passes on the train heist in order to search for Aaron and Priscilla, who she finds in a house that stands out from the rest of the abandoned properties by blaring Starship music. Nano Priscilla touts her successes of the catatonic Patriots wearing gas masks, the elderly woman brushing her hair clean down to the skull and the rat room of contentedly controlled rodents. It's a scene that disturbingly reminds me of the network version of the House of 1,000 Corpses.
Rachel slaps Priscilla and calls the nanites her science project, and she reveals afterwards, while Priscilla goes out for more test subjects to perfect human control like she did the fireflies, that the smack was to see if Priscilla could anticipate things before they happen. But she can't, so they can surprise her.
When she returns, they lure her to standing water and Aaron electrocutes her. The real Priscilla emerges for a brief period, but the nano takes back over and declares that now, it is really angry.
Onward to Gas Town and the hopes that the series wraps up in a respectable and appropriate way. Like the mass extinction of the human species. Or the lights coming back on. Who knows what Miles and Monroe are capable of when faced with the end of their own pretend existence? Make like the nano and survive? Don't have to worry about upsetting any viewers now, so let freedom reign.
What do you hope happens in "Declaration of Independence"? What's the ideal way for this to end for you? And are you disappointed the show got canceled? Surprised? Where do you think it all went wrong?
You can watch the series finale of Revolution next Wednesday at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)