Zak Orth, Elizabeth Mitchell, Billy Burke
For everyone who gave up on Revolution last season, it might be time to reconsider. The NBC series returns Wednesday (8/7c) as the gritty, post-apocalyptic drama it was supposed to be before becoming overwhelmed by pendants, nanotech and nuclear bombs.
"It was inevitable, I think, when the storyline is everyone scrambling to try and get the power back on they have to start scoring some victories, which means there has to start being some power," creator Eric Kripke admits to TVGuide.com. "But by the end of the season, around the time that we had drone strikes, I was watching along with everyone else and asking myself what is this show about? I just don't know what this show is about anymore."
For Season 2, the showrunner decided to move away from the power and refocus on the emotional core of the series. With Miles (Billy Burke) and Co. spread out across the continent, Revolution's new season will center on how they each struggle to find themselves and each other in the wake of the recent world-shattering attack. And once reunited, the characters will be faced with the question of whether they can put their previous disagreements behind them and work together to defeat the new big bad, The Patriots.
Viewers got brief glimpses of The Patriots in the end of Season 1 and unlike with Monroe (David Lyons), no one will have much sympathy for the new baddies on the block. "They are very different bad guys from what we've seen in the show before because they work through mystery and conspiracies. And they sort of worm their way into every storyline and every character in our show, even though the different characters might be spread across the continent," Kripke says.
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In addition to warding off the new evil, Miles' motley crew will also be facing a much vaguer danger. "Our heroes changed something ... and in a lot of ways changed the laws of physics and the laws of reality," Kripke explains. The extensive power of the nanotech will be evidenced in the premiere and for one character, it becomes a focal point of a life-or-death investigation. "There's also a really healthy mystery this season. I'd say a more sweeping and gripping mystery than last year because last year was simply like, hey jeez, should we turn the power on? And it's a really binary problem. ... This one is the reality around us is changing in inexplicable ways and we have to sort of catch up and realize what we've done and maybe how to stop it," he says.
Unfortunately, not all of our heroes will be in a good place to face these issues when Revolution picks up six months after the events of the finale. "They set out to save the world and I think they made it so much worse," Kripke says, noting that while this is great for storytelling, it's not so great for Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell). Season 2 will find the former screwdriver-wielding scientist struggling with the guilt of all the lives lost in the Atlanta and Philadelphia bombings. And while she will have her father (Stephen Collins) around to assist in her recovery, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) will be long gone.
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The naïf-turned-warrior will finally get the chance to step out of her parents' shadow and become her own woman this season, a decision Kripke and the writers came to after listening to the hordes of fan complaints. "We had a lot of conversations about Charlie because I think Tracy is killing it and I think she's executing exactly what we're writing, so the issue was forcing us to look at, well, what are we writing?" Kripke says. This lead to the realization that by keeping Charlie in close proximity to Miles and Rachel, her character would always be dealing with parental issues, making her seem younger and weaker than she was. "So we thought it was important to remove her from her family and let her be her own person and let herself be somebody who's confident and can handle themselves after everything she's learned from Miles in Season 1," Kripke says. "So I think you'll see a recognizable Charlie, but a much more grown up one."
This season will also find Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) and Monroe changed men after the fall of the Republic. With his wife Julia missing and presumed dead in the attack, Neville is a mere shell of the egomaniac he used to be. Thankfully, the introduction of The Patriots will give Neville a reinvigorating sense of purpose, though it has the potential to push Jason (JD Pardo) even farther away. Monroe, on the other hand, is living aimlessly undercover, channeling his unhappiness into every vice one can indulge in. "He's in pretty sh---y shape. He lost everything," Kripke said. "And so he gives into his baser drinking and whoring temptations ... and then has to, like everyone else in this show, pick up and stand up and dust himself off from the events of Season 1 and get back into the fight."
And with a common enemy against them, Monroe will find himself fighting alongside Miles once more, something the former enjoys far more than the latter. While the pair attempt to work out their complicated relationship, Monroe's presence poses a dark temptation for Miles, who constantly struggles to stay on the right side of the moral divide. "In a lot of ways, it's as though Miles is an old addict who's on the wagon, just the addiction here is violence and despotism. Then his old using buddy shows back up into town and is like, 'Hey man, let's party.' So that's a dangerous situation for Miles to be in," Kripke says. But even before Monroe comes back into Miles' life, the former general will be harboring a dark secret of his own, though Kripke remains mum on what it could be.
Are you excited to see Miles and Monroe team up again? Will you give Charlie another chance?
Revolution returns Wednesday at 8/7c on NBC.