Revolution wrapped its fall episodes last night with a victory and a setback for our heroes. The good guys are finally all together, with Miles and Charlie having rescued kidnapped Danny and Rachel. But the devious Gen. Monroe now has the electrical power to command a high-tech military force. What’s planned for the second half of the season? In an exclusive interview, Revolution creator Eric Kripke talks about last night’s hour and how things will change (and improve) for the second half of the season. Kripke addresses the four-month hiatus, reveals what mystery will definitely be solved in the spring, and what key characters will be doing. “We have bigger and better stuff coming,” he promises. Here’s the scoop:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Was there ever a version in your head where Miles goes, “Yeah, I’m re-joining Monroe”?Eric Kripke: What we love about Miles is half of him is light and half is shadow. If this story was set a couple years ago he would be the bad guy. You never want to lose sight of that. Just because Miles was able to face-off with Monroe in this particular encounter and maintain the heroic side of his personality doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again. So even though he was able to resist the temptation, that temptation is still there. Even moreso when he starts to fulfill his destiny and becomes a leader for the rebels [in the second half of the season]; he starts to fall into his old bloodthirsty patterns again. … There’s also a lot of important pieces in last night’s episode that move the story forward. We’re setting up how pissed Monroe is going to be in the second half of the season; how personal Neville is going to take Miles’ assault on his wife. And [we hinted that] Rachel and Miles have a very secret history.
I gotta ask, since I’m seeing this comment on the boards: How could Rachel forget to grab the pendant on the way out of the room?Kripke: We shot a scene where Rachel goes, “We have to go back and get the pendant,” and Miles says, “We can’t go back, they’re shooting machine guns at us!” We ended up cutting it for time because we thought, maybe wrongly, that when there’s a room full of five people shooting machine guns in your direction that you can’t run toward those machine guns.
What’s your favorite episode of the first batch?Kripke: For me it was a tie between the last two. Obviously every first season is learning curve. But I thought episodes 9 and 10 fulfilled the potential of what the show could be in different ways. Nine, in terms of being a thorough examination of character and it broke the show’s format and had those hallucinations. And episode 10 showed the slam-bang swashbuckling size of what this show can do. I don’t know any show on network television that can accomplish that much scope and ambition and manage to do it successfully. And then I handed [the production team] episode 11 and it’s about battles with helicopters, and they’re like, “What are you doing to us?” And I’m like, “Bad news, you’ve proven you can pull it off.”
You mentioned the learning curve, what more have you figured out since the last time we spoke?Kripke: The biggest lesson we learned is we need to move this story forward a little faster. We’re still going to have the same format where each episode is centered around a single event so it has certain self-enclosed elements to the storytelling. But sometimes in the emotional arcs and serialized arcs we treaded water maybe a little too much without revealing either new character moves or emotional revelations. We went a couple episodes too many where we didn’t move the ball forward significantly. We’re trying to correct that so that every time somebody tunes in they get a satisfying story and also a big “what the hell” moment.
The show is taking a four-month hiatus until it returns in March. What are your feelings about that?Kripke: I’m hopeful. One thing it really does that’s useful is it gives the writers a half-minute to breathe and really craft the second half of the season in a way it deserves. That’s an unprecedented luxury for me, to actually take a minute in the middle of the season and re-access without always being rushed toward deadline. And I think the show supports that cable format — run 10 in a row, take a break, and then run another 10. Creatively it worked out for us because the second half is such a different show than the first half. The second half really is a revolution, they’re starting this war. I hope the time off doesn’t dampen any viewers enthusiasm because we have bigger and better stuff coming.
Staging a revolution is a pretty big venture. Can you give us an idea of what specific characters will be focused on?Kripke: Charlie and Miles are really going to be focused on the war against Monroe. Miles leading the rebels gives them a fighting chance and Charlie is right beside him. Rachel and Aaron will focus the ongoing mythology in terms of revealing why the lights go out. I can reveal now that we do reveal it, now that we’ve written that scene. And reveal how to turn them back on.
You’re not that deep into production on the second half of the season, so can we assume that revelation comes fairly early?Yeah in the second half it happens sooner than anyone is thinking it will happen.
As the season went on, some characters got increased screen time like Nora and Rachel. While others like Jason and Danny were seen much less compared to the early episodes. Is that deliberate and will that continue after the break?It’s actually not deliberate. I think we have something, like, 174 characters. When you’re servicing all the different storylines, certain stories take the front burner and others will move to the back. But it’s always shifting. Those two have stories [in the second half] that move them to the front burner.
Is there anything else you can tell us about what’s to come on Revolution?Just that we think the second half of the season will be better than the first. Bigger, more dire, more emotional. It’s about launching this battle against Monroe in earnest and really questing to turn the power back on. It’s exciting for the writers to get past the smaller prologue of the story — which was to find Danny — and really moving to bigger, more exciting and more dangerous issues. We think the show is getting better and better.