We've waited a week longer than we planned to see tonight's all-new Revolution since NBC preempted the hour last week in light of the tragic Boston Marathon bombings, and "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" is worth the wait. Get ready to see a whole different world than what we - and Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) - have been used to since the power went out.
"We get to see the Georgia Republic, and that’s a different world that we haven’t dabbled into," Spiridakos tells Hollywood.com. "It’s a very different place than the Monroe Republic. That’s what we wanted to go for, just to see the difference between the Monroe Republic and that’s not the way that the entire earth is. Everybody’s developed in their own ways and there’s reasons for it."
Tonight is also the beginning of Charlie's journey without her mother since they said goodbye, not knowing if they'll see each other again. "Charlie’s used to not being with her mom. She got her mom back and she leaves again, that’s just what she knows," Spiridakos says. "I think it’s a bit heartbreaking the way that it’s left off, that she’ll never see her again and she doesn’t even get to have any hope that she’ll ever see her again. But Charlie’s tough enough at this point to just be able to pick it up and move forward with it with all these experiences that she’s had."
Charlie won't be completely alone - she's got Miles with her as she makes her way to the Georgia Republic. "She and Miles have grown to be very close," Spiridakos says. "We help each other out. There’s one episode specifically where one of them goes to a darker side and the other is the one to pull them back, so they very much rely on each other. They appreciate and respect each other and that’s a huge thing."
That's certainly a big change from earlier this season when Miles and Charlie first started out. "For a long time, Charlie was just the little one running at his heels, trying to get Danny back, without really understanding the other things that were involved in it," Spiridakos says. "Now that she knows more and has experienced more, they’re at a place where they’re more peers than anything. They’re equal, and he respects her and she respects him."
Miles and Charlie certainly understand each other better now, especially considering Charlie's recent thirst for revenge on Monroe since the death of her brother. "Right now, she’s still fighting for revenge. She wants to get back at Monroe," Spiridakos says. "Her journey will evolve and she’ll go to different places. The grieving process is a funny thing and she’ll go through different stages. The big question for her is will she be able to hang on to her heart and her morals throughout it all or will she lose that going forward. When there’s an opportunity to jump into the revenge spot she will take it at any point in time without asking questions."
That's a tricky situation to be in, since Monroe is a dangerous man with dangerous plans. "Monroe’s got power and we don’t, so the stakes are automatically way higher," Spiridakos says. "But the stakes are always high. It’s always a life or death situation, and Monroe has more over us than we have over him. It’s always going to be an uphill climb for the rebels."
While the rebels are making their way to the Georgia Republic to seek help against Monroe, Rachel and Aaron are on their way to the mysterious tower to try and turn the power back on for everyone. "We’ll see more of Rachel and Aaron’s journey and what’s going on with them," Spiridakos says. And as for Aaron's long-lost wife that he left back when the power first went off, get ready to see her reunited with him in present day. "It is soon. I love that story," Spiridakos says. "Someone said that it was such a coward thing of him to leave his wife. But I think that when you love somebody enough, sometimes you make choices that you think is the best choice for them, whereas an outsider has a very different opinion. I think that Aaron very much loves Priscilla and made that choice to leave her for her own good, feeling that he was holding her back. I’m excited to see that play out."
Revolution airs on Mondays at 10 PM ET/PT on NBC.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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Sometimes a director has a favorite actor that they jibe with whom they cast in a whole whack of movies in a row. Think Scorsese and DiCaprio Wes Anderson and Bill Murray or Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst. It's a sort of professional infatuation that can serve a project well but it can also lull them into self-indulgence. Although this is only the second time that Killing Them Softly's writer/director Andrew Dominik has worked with Brad Pitt it feels like they have a certain camaraderie. The symbiosis previously worked in their favor in 2007's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. This time around they never quite find the same rhythm.
Of course Killing Them Softly has an entirely difference cadence than that golden-hued meditative Western; it's stylishly violent and blackly hilarious. After all the catalyst for this whole affair is a half-cocked scheme cooked up by a wanna-be gangster nicknamed Squirrel (Vincent Curatola) and carried out by a desperate ex-con (Scoot McNairy) and a scummy Australian junkie (Ben Mendelsohn) who steals and sells purebred dogs for cash. Their plan to knock over a mobbed-up card game is air tight (or so it seems): the game runner Markie (Ray Liotta) has confessed to setting up a heist of his own game in the past. The knuckleheads think the card-players will blame him again.
Unfortunately for them Jackie Cogan (Pitt) is called in to investigate the matter. His record is impeccable his glasses mirror-slick and his hands steady. His technique is of course to kill his victims "softly " from a distance. "It's so embarrassing " he comments to a middleman played by Richard Jenkins to watch his targets plead and cry and lose control of their bodily functions. It's just as embarrassing to see his colleagues lose their mettle like Mickey (James Gandolfini) a gangster he called in to help out. Mickey is a dogged drunk and a womanizer who's given to rapturous platitudes about a prostitute he knew in Florida. "There's no ass in the whole world like a young Jewish girl who's hooking " he tells an increasingly frustrated Jackie. Grossly funny scenes like this the scatological problems one encounters while driving dog-napped pups across country and an explosion gone awry are outweighed by a weirdly bloated narrative that makes pits stops so characters can loll in junkie nods to the tunes of the Velvet Underground.
The changing political climate of the era is used as a clumsy foil for this underground economy. At first it's interesting and makes you feel a bit clever to notice the TV in the background playing an old clip of George W. Bush droning on about the economy or a huge political ad on a billboard looming over a desolate area. As time goes on Bush is replaced by Obama (first as senator later as president) on TV but nothing really changes for these people or their situations. Midway through it's obvious and by the end overbearing especially as Jackie lectures Jenkins's lawyer (and us) about why the system is as screwed as the characters. "America's not a country it's a business. Now f**king pay me " he tells Jenkins's Driver in an echo of the classic Goodfellas line uttered by Liotta.
Dominik has only made three films but he's a formidable writer and director with a keen eye for assembling ensemble casts. It's possible that time and multiple viewings will treat Killing Them Softly as well as it has The Assassination of Jesse James or Chopper but for now it works better as a character study or perhaps a showpiece for its talented performers than an overall experience.
Before we get into the real meat and potatoes of this episode (the gang make their way through the Philadelphia underground, experiencing hallucinations along the way. There, we're done! And in time for some ZEP), I wanted to float an idea by everyone. Not so much a theory, which requires evidence and engagement, but a way of looking at Revolution that I think, for me anyway, helps explain so much of its aversion to being a good show.
Revolution is structured like a video game. Think about it: Each episode since the first has been centered on a particular mission or world, much like you see in… well, any game ever. A train heist. Last night, a subterranean reconnaissance mission. And these plots so dominate the episode of which they're a part as to convey a sort of "You are here!" mentality that's only broken by 1-2 errant B-Story scenes (last night, Rachel's Walter White bomb-building). The show's made no bones about Miles' Han Solo role. But he could just as easily be Master Chief or Tommy Vercetti, guiding you at the same time you're controlling him to explosive victory.
The weird thing is when I view an episode like last night's through this video game lens… it actually makes the whole experience go down much smoother. You can forgive more. Where on another show, 42 minutes spent just traipsing beneath the city occasionally but not fatally hallucinating might suggest a show that just fundamentally doesn't have many stories to tell, here we need it. How else are we going to defeat the Monroe Mecha-Bot that emerges next week if not for a major HP augmentation in the wilds outside his castle?
(I'll be returning to the "Revolution is a weird video game" well throughout the rest of the season, I'm sure. We've got to write about something, right?)
Nearly 90 percent — felt that way, anyway — of the run time of last night's episode was devoted to the gang making their way through the abandoned Philly speed line. Enlisting the help of a local chapter of Rebels Against Monroe, Miles led the way to a potential showdown with his old buddy. Which would have been great if they'd gotten there! This idea that in order for a show to be "important," it must move glacially slow through plotlines is so absurd. Even the greats have fallen prey to it, sure. But that doesn't mean something can't be done in the future.
And as to the idea of "hallucinations," here triggered by a lack of oxygen in the tunnels… I'm not sure what new information we gleaned. Miles had a dreamscape reunion with Monroe; Charlie found herself on her dad's couch, talking to him like it was no biggie. Aaron was reminded once more he's a COWARD! SUCH A COWARD. But it's all old hat, outdated and misplaced as a "look how these characters have grown!" mechanism. Plus Nora gets fake-dragged into the water in one room like she's Luke Skywalker battling the dianoga in the original Star Wars, which is both a nice homage and wickedly, wickedly offensive to me on every level.
ZEPPELIN. TWO SONGS. The episode was called "Kashmir," so of course they played that. Anyone remember what the second (or first) song was? Kashmir had minimal impact considering it scored a known dream scene, which was a bummer. How do you blow your shot at "Kashmir"?
Under Monroe's careful eye in Philadelphia, Rachel continued to build what she was telling people was a pendant amplifier — something that, in military hands, could effectively control an entire army. Turns out she was actually building a TIME BOMB like a loco person, hoping to snare Monroe in the blast in the process. You'll have to try harder, Rachel! But then, in a move fit only for Walter White, she guns down the doctor who'd offered a dissenting opinion and possible replacement status. In all seriousness — one of the first interesting things to happen on this show!
Little surprise to the fact that one member of the Rebellion camp turns traitor (or had turned traitor) and guns down several rebels before they can finally get aboveground. But Charlie, aka Katniss Everdeen — she's got that spark that won't go out and before long, she's tracked and killed the guy with her bow and arrow. Great work.
Some other stuff happened. It didn't matter so much. I'm fully confident that next week's Fall Finale will at least offer excitement, which we're always begging of this show. Until then…
[Image Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC]
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S3E6: Well, this week’s episode of Glee wasn’t as bad as I expected. With all these storylines swirling into greater and great plot points, I feared that the episode would continue the Season 2 overload pattern. For the most part, the writers seemed to juggle the overwhelming amount of plot pretty well – though there are few points they could have done without.
”Why would someone assume I’m a friend of Ellen just because I’m mannish and highly aggressive and have short hair and wear only track suits, I coach a girls sport and I married myself? It just doesn’t make any sense.” –Sue
Let’s start with the storyline that needed some serious trimming. Bieste is all atwitter about spending so much time with Cooter, but while her…vigorous…description of her last date with the recruiter seemed to elude to sex, it seems that in reality, Bieste won’t even let Cooter hold her hand. This is a problem because Sue is looking for a way to keep voters from dismissing her because her rival’s campaign ad says she’s a lesbian – and Cooter happens to be an old booty call of Sue’s. Naturally, he’s the one she chooses to call, even though she could have apparently had Matt Lauer or David Boreanaz. Really, writers? Throwing these names in isn’t funny – and how much did Fox pay you to throw in a Bones star? The result is the pair parading around in front of Bieste kissing and being photographed for the local papers, and that leads to Bieste singing “Jolene” – a real improvement on her last song of choice.
However, even when Sue loses the election to Burt Hummel (what a small victory for what should have been a showdown), she still wants to date Cooter and he’s into it. Bieste confesses that she’s in love with him and that she won’t stop fighting for him. I do like that Bieste not only has to get over her intimacy issues, but she also has to come out of her shell to fight for her man, but it using Sue as the other woman because as Cooter says, he’s a “grown man” and he needs more, is just too much. It doesn’t make sense. I personally don’t see any reason Sue would date Cooter; they’re nothing alike other than the sports connection. It all just seems like an attempt to make Sue relevant again when we know that the real problem is that they overused her comedic talents early on and we’re all just a little weary of her schtick.
”You do realize that you’re forcing me out the flannel closet.” –Santana
Finn vouches for Santana when last week’s slap threatens to get her suspended. He wants her to compete at sectionals, and if she’s suspended, she can’t do that; so he uses this act of mercy to force her into participating in another New Directions/ Treble Tones collaboration: lady music week. He’s determined to get her to accept who she is – she isn’t so determined. Despite his and the club’s earnest efforts, including Kurt and Blaine’s favorite song to make them feel accepted, Santana is as cantankerous and unappreciative as ever until Finn finally tells her why he’s so concerned: he doesn’t want her to die. Okay, lets elaborate on that a bit. He saw that a kid from one of the It Gets Better videos – a series that helps young gay teens understand and accept their sexuality even though it seems impossible – recently committed suicide and Finn fears that when Santana grows tired of hurting others with her words, she’ll hurt herself. The rendition of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” that followed was a bit odd – slowing down a song doesn’t make it deep – if you ignored the well-known lyrics and only gave heed to the emotional cues, the connection he forges with Santana is pretty powerful. And the fact that this comes right after he says he’ll always have a space for her because she was his first doesn’t hurt either. It doesn’t take long until all the girls are defending Santana in the hallway from a dumb jock before bursting into “I Kissed a Girl,” which was fun, but I’m once again suspicious about the fact that high school kids are singing Katy Perry lyrics like this. It seems that the song is more of a way for the other girls to attempt to understand Santana than it is an anthem for accepting being a lesbian – the song’s about loving the idea of the experimentation and being open, not accepting one’s sexuality in a serious, real way. But I guess I get where they were coming from.
”That song was mainly about babysitting for me.” –Puck
Towards the start of the episode, Puck chooses to sing a Melissa Etheridge song for lady week – “I’m The Only One” – and while it seems he’s singing to Quinn, she starts to notice he’s actually crooning for Shelby. He quickly covers it by saying it was about babysitting Beth. Right. Quinn invites him over to her house so they can sleep together but he turns her down because he says she’s insane and more high maintenance than Rachel. And while he’s covering that up, it doesn’t take long for Shelby to ask him to come to the rescue.
Beth hurts her lip and is in the hospital and Puck rushes to Shelby’s side, where he quickly takes charge of the situation, saving Beth from a possible long-term, ugly scar. This apparently whips Shelby into a frenzy because they end up sleeping together, but it’s not long before she says it’s a mistake and he storms out calling her a coward. Maybe it’s the all powerful nature of Idina Menzel, but there’s some part of me that wants this to work out for the two of them. As least he’s 18. That makes me feel a bit better about the way this series is directing me.
Hurt and angry, Puck takes Quinn’s initial sex offer, and she tries to sleep with him without protection so they can have another baby instead of getting Beth back. He realizes that him getting her pregnant is the reason she’s so screwed up and he tells her she’ll get out of Lima and that she’ll be great. They seem to be on good terms again as he holds her and then tells her his big secret. We don’t see how that goes, but we do see Quinn crying in class the next day and shooting daggers at Shelby. Something tells me we’re about to have a squealer on our hands.
”Rule wisely, rule fabulously.” –Kurt”
Kurt is losing the election to Brittany and starts thinking about possibly stuffing the ballot boxes in order to win. He needs the presidency to get into NYADA. Despite her clear lead, Kurt wins by a ridiculous landslide – and by ridiculous, we mean he won by more votes than there are McKinley seniors. Figgins threatens to suspend him, but it turns out that Rachel did it. Kurt could lose everything, but she says she can’t go to the principal to save Kurt because she might get suspended. It’s clear that she wasn’t helping Kurt, she was helping herself – like she says at the start of the episode, she needs “her gay.” Meanwhile, Kurt won and lost an election in the same day and has to smile and congratulate Brittany on her victory while simultaneously celebrating his father’s election and sending his NYADA application sans student council victory. He could come out an all around loser, but this is Glee so we know that won’t happen.
Rachel confesses to Figgins, but it will go on her permanent record – uh-oh NYADA – and she’s not allowed to participate in sectionals. Maybe she can listen on the phone and cry like Schue did back in Season 1.
”It’s selfish of you to make me feel uncomfortable.” –Santana’s Abuela
Santana’s parents are supportive when she decides to come out for real, but she still needs to tell her grandmother – someone we hear her mention time and again. Her abuela is obviously extremely important to her, so it’s heartbreaking when Santana pours her heart out to the old woman and she does nothing but kick Santana out and lecture her for speaking such scandal out loud. It’s very obviously the writers’ way of emphasizing that while many people are open and accepting of other forms of sexuality, that prejudice is still out there and it still holds some people back.
Even so, Santana busts out the final tune of the episode: a K.D. Lang song called “Constant Craving.” It’s a bittersweet end to what seemed like a small cross section of what Santana must really being going through, but it’s hard to give a single story line much more depth or attention on a character-saturated show like Glee. We’ve come to expect it at this point, but it’s just hard to put up with when the stories at hand could be so much more poignant.