“For me, the story was never about what caused the blackout,” Kripke said. “It’s not just based on one particular mystery – it’s based on these characters, and this world that the characters have these adventures in.”
That world: a post-apocalyptic landscape 15 years after a blackout destroyed all forms of power. Following the November episode that also doubled as the show’s winter finale, Monroe had achieved enough power to unleash some deadly helicopter missiles on our characters who were on the run from the Milita, having just broken Rachel out of Monroe’s confinement. The action reunited the until-then absent mother with her two children, bringing kidnapped Danny back into the fold.
Among those questions – where is Grace? What happened to Randall? And what is the dangerous history between Miles and Rachel? While Kripke mentioned the storytelling would move at an “aggressive red-blooded pace,” viewers shouldn’t worry that Revolution will run itself into the ground answering questions.
“We’ll learn more about Grace, why Randall brought her there. The place where they are…it really starts to become very important to the story, to the point where it starts to have its own gravitational pull, figuratively. And every characters gets drawn closer and closer towards it, because what Grace is doing there is so important.”
Another character who becomes more important in the second half of the season: Elizabeth Mitchell’s Rachel Matheson, whom viewers were slowly introduced to over the course of the first few episodes. And fans itching to see more of Charlie and Danny’s mother shouldn’t be disappointed.
“I do get to do more action-type stuff, and I have a wonderful time,” Mitchell said excitedly. “In the second half of the season, she’s really trying to patch her family back together and trying to figure herself out. She’s defending her child against the worst. Rachel’s quest is specific and she’s proactive…she’s making a straight line towards what she needs to do.”
Does that raise the stakes for Rachel? “I can’t imagine how my character’s stakes get higher,” Mitchell admits. “She wants to be with her children…and she wants to kill Monroe. But I think that Rachel is someone – in my mind – who is such a tragic figure. She’s tried too hard to do the right thing for so long. I think that her mindset is on survival, and her mindset is on revenge, and in a horribly awkward way, her mind is on parenting…which she is not very good at. But at one time, she probably was. I’m always amazed she doesn’t just burn out and extinguish. I’ve enjoyed her sociopathic intensity, but I always go back to the mother in her, and I’m fascinated by that.”
Though Revolution has been off the air since late November, Kripke isn’t worried about the hiatus’ impact on the show. “Anytime you’re off the air for four months, you hold your breath and you hope that fans come back. But we take solace and encouragement in a few things, which is that there’s a long history of genre television really working with these large breaks in between, like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. And because the second half of the season is such a different mission and has such a different energy than the first half, it really does feel like a natural break. It feels like its own particular season of television, and that the first half was a prologue, opening up into a larger and more epic story.”
That “larger and more epic” story takes off almost immediately upon the show’s return, where in the final moments of season premiere, Kripke teases a moment that is “an insane neck snapper of a twist. It’s just so awful and wonderful, and you kind of can’t believe you’re watching it. There’s tears and knives and it’s just awesome.”
“The break gave the writers and the producers and the actors a minute to really explore what was working about the show, and what wasn’t working, and how to make it better,” he continued. “It allowed us to make a better quality series. The show’s better because of it. I loved the first half, and I think the second half will be even better.” Mitchell agreed.
“I was intrigued by it as a nerd,” the actress said with a smile that could almost be heard over the phone. “I think you’ll be satisfied.”