Revealing Revelations

NBC's Revelations opened to strong ratings. I also gave a somewhat positive review of the first installment, here. Unfortunately, the last two episodes focused less on questions of faith and skepticism, and more on Satanists and the sexual tension between the Nun and the Skeptical Scientist. Frankly, I do not think that Satanists pose all that much threat to the civilized world. Nor do I think it is Satanists who will usher in the "end times." And when the Skeptical Scientist suggests that the Nun change into something less conspicuous to avoid their pursuers, does it have to be a "sexy" red dress? That's all that was available in all of Rome?

And the use of scripture by the Nun and other religous characters to prove we are in the end times is less than convincing. There is the old "war and rumors of war" bit. And the Skeptical Scientist meekly seems unable to point out that there have always been wars and rumors of wars? Yet the Nun makes no reference to Biblical prophecy regarding the creation of the State of Israel. Now, wars have been around forever, but Israel was created only 50 or so years ago. In fact, this is one of the core arguments of modern end-times literature.

Or how about this one:

Rev. 9:

7The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. 9They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.

Does that sound like attack helicopters? Armored like horses prepared for battle? The pilot's helmuts being like "crowns of gold?" The pilot inside the helicopter being the "faces" that "resembled human faces?" The blades on top and/or back being like "women's hair?" The breastplates of iron seems self-explanatory. The sound of their wings like the thundering of chariots remind anyone of the deep thump-thump-thump-thump of a military chopper? The tails being the aft section of the helicopter? Perhaps chemical weapons sprayers?

Now I do not know if attack helicopters is what is described in Rev. 9. I am not much into end-times prophecy. But if you are going to make a show purporting to be about the Book of Revelation and the end times, why not use some of the prophecies that end-time focused Christians actually use? They are at least somewhat more convincing than what we see in Revelations.

As I said in my first review of the show, I do not expect it to be a mouthpiece for Christian end-times theology. But I would like to see it have the end-time Christians in the show act more the part. Ultimately, however, the show seems to have settled on being nothing more than a horror-mystery that uses religion as a loose explanation for its supernatural elements. It started as more of an exploration of the nature of faith and skepticism; which is why I enjoyed it. With two more episodes under its belt, however, Revelations is fast losing my interest. The nature of God, faith, religion, Satan, good, evil, and doubt are not really explored. The show has a religious advisor, but for the life of me I cannot see what she is doing to earn her money.

I do hope the show turns back around. It has three more episodes left in the miniseries.

UPDATE: BTW, Revelations is being rebroadcast like crazy. It is impossible to miss. In addition to NBC, USA Network and Bravo will be showing the latest episode again. Also, I have seen it rebroadcast on the SciFi channel.


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