And this is the second major television epic of Americans nuking ourselves in the last 10 years, "Jericho" (CBS, 2006-2008) being the first. It is a new direction. It is the canary in America’s coal mine.
With Abrams, it is all hidden, just as the Russian novels of the mid-1800s told one story but were often about something else, hidden beneath the eyes of the censors. And like Turgenev and others then, much of Abrams’s work (not counting the "Star Trek" gig) portends of American destiny. And it does not look good. In "Revolution" the dire Monroe Militia has commandeered much of the East Coast and brought it under fascist control. But the Georgia Federation remains free, well-organized, well-governed and wealthy. The Texans are notoriously unpredictable and the Plains Nation rustic and dangerous. But the hippie-ish Joe Biden Liberation Front — “Joe Biden’s biography” is the rebels’ password — looks to the California Commonwealth, where Ben Affleck is governor, possibly to begin again.
And I hope Affleck is watching because there is hope in this epic as it presents, I think, a vision of America awakening again in the West maybe in the coming seasons. The subtitle of Revolution is “evolution.” In the season ahead it might be a fair guess that the tribes head west to Texas and to the California Commonwealth to find their suitable freedoms. And Ben Affleck would make a great governor of California.
The new season of "Revolution" kicks off Sept. 25, just at the time Congress enters what will be one of its most combative seasons — no coincidence, maybe. Congress and pundits should tune in because even the last episodes of the "Star Wars" saga suggested an impotent and irrelevant Congress seen through a glass darkly, and a fledgling tribe (“Druidia” to Mel Brooks) striving to be born free.
This season perhaps we come face-to-face with ourselves; then we knew in part, and now we will know in full.