Revolution made its series debut on Monday night, giving viewers a dark glimpse into what society would look like in a future without electricity and technology.
Executive produced by J.J. Abrams and directed by Jon Favreau, Revolution begins present day with a planet wide blackout as planes fall from the sky and cars grind to a halt mid-gear. Already aware of the blackout, Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee) hurries to his suburban home to protect his family, wife Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and their two young children, Charlotte and Danny.
15 years later after the blackout and the Matheson family struggles to survive, hardened by a life without electricity. Their village is laden with crop beds as young children make their way to an old 18th century style school. Without the convenience of electricity, society has reverted back to days gone by. It’s not the technologically advanced 21st century we once envisioned. Even the town doctor, Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips), uses rudimentary medical procedures to help the sick.
Soon the arrival of Captain Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) of the Monroe Republic militia divides both the town and the Matheson family. Ben is quickly arrested but the young asthmatic Danny refuses to let his father be taken. After struggling with the militia, Ben is shot, killed, and Danny arrested in his father’s place.
Now it’s up to daughter Charlotte “Charlie” Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos) to rescue her brother with the help of the doctor who can treat Danny’s asthma.
Joined by Ben’s friend Aaron (Zak Orth), Charlie and Dr. Maggie sets out to look for Danny who manages to escape militia custody but faints outside the home of a woman named Grace (Maria Howell). Although electricity was drained from the planet 15 years earlier, compassion is still alive in the future as Grace nurses Danny back to health before the arrival of Captain Neville and the militia.
After a bit of passive-aggressive convincing, Grace hands Danny back to the authorities. But there’s an important reason she does, one that becomes clear in the final scenes of the Revolution pilot.
Charlie tracks down her Uncle Miles (Billy Burke) in what is now a run-down Chicago. For anyone who has seen the 1976 film Logan’s Run, specifically when the characters find “Sanctuary,” the future looks somewhat similar with aging, decaying landmarks taken over by weeds and vegetation, including Major League Baseball’s Wrigley Field.
Although the Revolution future reflects a backward descent into the past, it’s oddly refreshing to see things we can relate to from present day. Unlike most sci-fi shows that keep you at a distance with complex technological advances, Revolution gives you an unlikely but relateable world that you’ve either seen before or heard about in history books.
As Revolution continues, Charlie unknowingly leads Monroe Militia member, Nate (J. D. Pardo), to her Uncle Miles. It’s here we learn that warlord Sebastian “Bass” Monroe is on the hunt for the elder Miles who takes on an entire militia battalion by himself. And just when you thought he was cornered, Charlie swoops in to save the day with (what else?) her crossbow. And like Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, Charlie becomes the latest female character to brandish a bow as her weapon of choice. At the same time, Nate comes to Charlie’s rescue as well.
But as we come to find out, Uncle Miles and the warlord “Bass” share a connection that goes back to before the blackout occurred. The pilot ends with two huge twists: a flashback where Miles sees his old military friend Sgt. Monroe and Grace at home in her secret computer room where she powers up an old computer with the aid of an energy talisman.
What did you think of Revolution?