Revolution S1, Ep2 – “Chained Heat”

 

In "Chained Heat", Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) protects her kids from a thief.

In the future, even people in three piece suits will try to steal your little red wagon of food.

I was a little concerned when I read the title of Revolution‘s episode this week – “Chained Heat” – because I am old enough to remember sixties exploitation films. But we’re okay – no women’s prisons so far.

We start with a flashback, a week after the blackout took place. Charlie’s family is taking it onto the road; off to the country where they will hopefully find food, peace and quiet. Dad loads a gun and tucks it into his waistband. And this is definitely not going to be a walk in the park.

Mom is getting Charlie ready to begin their trek and drops an anvil of foreshadowing. No matter what happens, Charlie has to keep an eye on her brother Danny. Like that time in Target. Except in the future Target will be pillaged by marauding hoards, with nothing left but an endless supply of form-fitting shirts for men. Thankfully.

There’s still a lot of exposition and set-up to get through but right of the bat, this week’s episode seems to be moving at a smarter pace. There’s a lot of ground and three separate storylines going on – each with their own splintering off and new characters – so there isn’t time to waste.

The look of the series is also a lot crisper. The art direction and set design of Revolution wanders into Old West circa 2012 now and again, but it’s beginning to work as the signature of this version of our world.

Sword fight! Uncle Miles and C.Thomas Howell – what? C. Thomas Howell! – are dueling it out in a rather attractively seasoned adult sort of way. Miles wins (duh) and Charlie stops him from skewing the unconscious bounty hunter to death. Miles calls her a pain in the ass because her morals and very existence are cramping his style. Miles is my favorite.

Miles fights off bounty hunter, played by C. Thomas Howell on Revolution

Take that Ponyboy! Miles (Billy Burke) fights a Bounty Hunter (C. Thomas Howell). Spoiler alert: Miles wins.

Maybe Villain Nate is following our Heroic Team through the woods; they end up in a town where Miles needs information about someone named Nora. Before he can get it, the room turns into an old West saloon, complete with cheesy dialogue, shadowed figures and a call to (another) duel with C. Thomas Bounty Hunter. Whoops – no, Charlie and the British chick are hostages and Miles has to surrender. He doesn’t mention it but he really, really thinks Charlie is a pain in the ass.

Fight scene! Uncle Miles gets an upper hand over C. Thomas (again) and he spills the beans about where Nora is. Then Miles breaks his neck. Wow. After the hostage taking, Charlie seems less upset about Miles killing him but still, she’s not getting the whole “war and violence” thing. And now C. Thomas Howell is dead before his name shows up in the credits. I don’t know, I think he should speak to his agent about that.

On the Militia trail with Captain Tom, assorted dudes and Danny, the puffy haired bore. There is posturing and exposition from Captain Tom, who terrorizes a farmer for having a weapon, threatening him with death if he doesn’t turn over his shotgun. There is home searching and tension and then shooting as the farmer pulls out another weapon and shoots one of Captain Tom’s men. The captain doesn’t take this well, shooting the farmer dead. They recover an American flag – which Captain Tom orders burned.

I guess in the Monroe Republic, we don’t fly the stars and stripes.

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