‘Revolution’ Series 1 Episode 4: ‘The Plague Dogs’ Review

‘Revolution’ takes a trip to Kansas – kind of…

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This week’s instalment continues to deliver more twists including a first sacrifice – the death of a major cast member, and a couple of ‘Wizard of Oz’ references highlight the longing for family and the desire to return to a home, pre-blackout.

Miles, Charlie and Nora reunite with Aaron and Maggie. En route to their rendezvous, Miles and Charlie capture a soldier and before setting him free with nothing more than a knockout punch, pump him for information about Danny and Captain Neville’s whereabouts. They come across a pack of dogs and when Aaron is injured, Maggie is forced to kill one of the dogs.

In a series of flashbacks we find out how Maggie came to meet Ben and his family. Just before the onset of the blackout she is seen skypeing with her kids in England. The power went out just after she said ‘No’ to their pleas for her to read them something from ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’. Her feelings of guilt increase after several attempts to get back in touch with them fail. For years, she treks across several States trying to board a ship back to England with no luck. She finally loses hope and attempts suicide when Ben finds and rescues her.

It would seem devastating to see the owner of the dogs attack the group and stab Maggie. Alas poor Maggie, we knew her … actually not so much. In this episode she channels the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy with her warning to Miles about the need for family and an undying yearning to return home herself. She was a medical doctor and we’ve seen her cool competence, shown moreover this week when she calmly tells the others that she’s severed an artery and is bleeding out. Four episodes in and Anna Lise Phillips’ character suffered from poor character development. The fatal twist however seems to herald the first glimpse that the plot is now at cruising altitude and we can now sit back and enjoy the ride.

Unfortunately, Revolution hit turbulence as we stumble across another of the Wizard of Oz-esque reference. During a twister Danny and Captain Neville become trapped in a building and the roof collapses on Neville. At this point, we half expect Captain Neville’s part in the tale to end here but offering a twist in a twister, Danny rescues him only to be put back into cuffs. Just as well given that Esposito is still, only just, one of the show’s few saving graces. It would come as no surprise if shortly after his exit viewer numbers began to plummet quicker than a crashing balloon.

Through the magic of more flashbacks still, it is revealed why Rachel left Ben, Charlie and Danny and ended up in Sebastian Monroe’s custody. Shortly post-blackout, Rachel promises the family to be gone for just a few months in search of much needed supplies. She in fact sacrificed herself for Ben and her children and left to go to the Monroe militia headquarters where Miles is. At the time he was a general in the Monroe militia alongside Sebastian Monroe. She is puts in handcuffs and is subsequently tortured by Sebastian for information about Ben, wanting to know what Ben was working on when the power went out, why he was working for the Department of Defence and how he knew the blackout was about to happen when it did.

It leaves us in flashback with scenes of Rachel’s sacrifice and it’s beginning to feel like Revolution has levelled out with a tad fewer brand new audience-insulting goofs. A lot of the acting is still irritatingly drama 101 but we grin and bear it. For now. As best as it can, Revolution may have finally hit its stride, leaving us wanting to know what’s coming next. Good effort. Do please keep ‘em coming.