"The revolution and the battle against Monroe really begins."
That was the party line Sunday at Revolution's panel during NBC's winter TV previews, as executive producer Eric Kripke promised reporters that the second half of the series' freshman season will actually begin to deliver on the promise of the title.
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When last we left Miles (Billy Burke), Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and the rest of the gang, they had escaped Monroe's (David Lyons) clutches only to come face-to-face with his fleet of helicopters — all thanks to Rachel's pendant amplifier, which provided power to his new army.
Impending battle aside — and there will be many on several fronts — Kripke says that at its core, Revolution is a family show and in the second half of the season, the Matheson family will be tested. "The story becomes about can this family — some of them are related by blood, some of them are just related by loyalty. Can they stick together in the face of these overwhelming odds and this overwhelming danger?" Kripke says. "And can you maintain your soul when you're a warrior?"
"This is The Waltons with swords," he adds. "We really want to make sure it always has an incredible amount of heart."
Check out what else is in store for Miles & Co. when the series returns this March:
1. Taking a break: The series has been off the air since the end of November, but the producers actually see the long hiatus as a good thing. "When the idea came up, I was enormously relieved," executive producer J.J. Abrams says, recalling all the repeats during the run of Lost. "A lot of the shows I'm watching on cable run this model, and I like to voraciously watch episodes running continuously and I'm really excited that Revolution has the opportunity to do that," Kripke adds. In fact, this break gave them the ability to tweak the story moving forward and speed up the pace of the stunning revelations. "We wanted to have a second half that was bigger and better and more exciting."
2. Danger ahead: The series will pick up exactly where it left off, with Miles & Co. starring down the barrel of Monroe's chopper guns. "We don't take away that card that we gave as a cliff-hanger," Kripke says. "Monroe does have choppers and does have a limited form of power. Giving him power was more about making him an unstoppable force that your heroes are totally outmanned and overwhelmed as they're trying to battle against him." However, the promo below shows the gang may find some power of their own to retaliate.
3. Expanding the world: "The focus which we've seen so far has actually been very limited within the Monroe Republic. In the second half, we start to slowly, but surely expand the world," Kripke says. Before the end of the season, they will cross into Georgia, a place that has some commodities that the Monroe Republic doesn't have for good reason. Kripke also noted they'll eventually head out west.
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4. The future: The producers already know where Miles, Charlie and the gang will find themselves by the season finale, but remained mum on what that would look like. "We definitely have the season's end mapped out, we're working towards it right now," Kripke says. "As much as I had on my previous show, I have a multiple year [plan]... but they're only cocktail napkin sketches... There's really no end of the stories we can tell."
5. Injuries: There's a chance some of our favorites may not come back whole, but that might not actually be written into the script. The cast has started to take on more horseback riding and swashbuckling sword fights, but that doesn't mean they're total pros yet. "Almost got my rib broken and almost broke Billy's nose," says Giancarlo Esposito, who plays the nefarious Capt. Neville.
6. Too much power? Now that power is possible, Abrams and Kripke recognize that it goes against the initial premise of the series, which is why the former says Revolution doesn't plan to flaunt it. "The genie is put-back-in-the-bottle-able," Abrams says. "They are able to tell stories that will give us these moments and peaks that you know this power exists, and this power is out there, and it's a part of what this incredible struggle is and the conflict that you'll see. You'll be able to see that really what the goal is, is that the power is possible. Will it remain on constantly all the time way too early? Based on what Eric has brilliantly pitched to us, the answer is no."
Check out a sneak peek of Revolution's return, airing Monday, March 25 at 10/9c on NBC.