'Revolution' Season 2 premiere - 'Born in the USA': The land of magic fireflies

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billy-burke-revolution-s2-premiere.jpgThe power did not stay on for long, it is apparent within a few seconds of "Revolution's" second-season premiere. But those few minutes of electricity at the end of last season have set up what could be a fundamentally different show.

Whether it's a fundamentally better show? That's an open question. But in shifting the focus from a quest to getting things back the way they were to living in the world as it is, there is a chance to open up "Revolution" to some interesting storytelling.

So we should probably start at the end, right? It's not every day that you see someone come back from the dead, as Aaron does in the final shot, presumably thanks to the nanites/magic fireflies that gathered around him earlier. After being slashed across the chest by a member of what Miles calls a "war clan,"* Aaron dies for a while. Just not for good.

(*"Cult" might be a better word. The group's leader (Matt Ross) comes across as a cut-rate, creepier Ben Linus, and his Others are a lot more murder-y than those folks on "Lost.")

What's going on with the nanites? No clue. There was some discussion last season about how they were helping keep certain sick people alive post-blackout, but no one ever mentioned reanimation.

The premiere's other compelling thread follows Tom and Jason Neville -- no surprise there, given that Giancarlo Esposito's character, and the dynamic with his son ( JD Pardo), were among the more consistently strong elements last season. The show picks up several months after the power surge, and Tom and Jason have made their way to a refugee camp in Savannah, Ga. Tom fervently hopes to find news of his wife there, and Jason, essentially, is along to make sure his dad doesn't crack up.

Into their midst sails a majestic-looking ship bearing the flag of the United States. It's carrying a group of emissaries claiming to be from the real U.S. government and saying that the Monroe and Georgia republics launched the nukes on one another. They also have plans to get what's left of the East Coast back on its feet. Tom obviously knows that's not how the nuclear strike happened -- and that's kind of cool for the questions it raises.

The rebels who were trying to restore the United States last season were presented as idealists. There's no reason to doubt their motives. But if it turns out they were fighting for an ideal that the people from the ship -- who, presumably, sailed up from Cuba where we saw the exiled president in last season's final scene -- don't actually represent that ideal, then "Revolution" might really get to embody its title.

Oh, and Charlie is chasing Monroe across the Plains Nation. That happened.

What did you think of the "Revolution" premiere? Do you like the new setup?

Photo/Video credit: NBC