NBC's Revolution premiered last week with some shocking developments. But creator and executive producer Eric Kripke promises things are only going to get worse for our heroes as an insidious new invading force tries to take over the United States.
In the show's second season, it “was time to move on to our phase-two storytelling, which was Randall and who he represents and these mysterious figures down in Cuba. We wanted to really clear the playing field to allow them to come in. It was Rockne O'Bannon who, I think, had the definitive point. He says, 'A really good way to reset the chessboard is to blow it up with nuclear bombs.' So that's what we did. It both brings the world of Revolution back to basics and makes it more dangerous, because not only did they fail to stop the nukes, but the power went back off through some mysterious circumstances that we'll unveil throughout the season,” said Kripke in an exclusive interview with Blastr.
“For all intents and purposes [the rebels] opened that Pandora's box” by trying to turn the power back on, said Kripke. “They all feel really culpable for this door that they opened and for this really almost inhuman invading force that is now insidiously flowing through and getting their hooks in everything in North America.”
In the premiere, we saw how things had changed after several months had passed for the characters after “Patriot” Randall fired bombs at Philadelphia and Atlanta -- Miles was seen covered in blood after obviously killing someone, Rachel was trying to recover from a mental breakdown, Charlie was on the road and hunting Monroe, Aaron found love, Monroe was doing the fight club thing, and Neville was looking for his wife near the destruction of what was once Philadelphia with his son, Nate.
However, things are about to take a big turn that will lead them into a new fight. And we're not talking about Miles getting kidnapped by that scary dude or Aaron mysteriously coming back to life after being slashed by one of the scary dude's people.
The Patriots will become a major focus for the main characters, who “all feel for various reasons that they have to try to stem this tide and stop this threat. It's been really useful for us and fun, because it's been nice to take the issue of power off the table for at least a little bit. I can't say it'll never come back again, but the idea that it's off and it's going to stay off, and you better just get your sword and figure out how to deal with the threat that's coming at you, has led to more dire and higher-stakes storytelling,” said Kripke.
“The President is introduced as this sort of shadowy figure who's moving up into the White House. I think probably by midseason he'll show his face. It's an interesting story we're telling this year, this conspiracy, because for all intents and purposes the President is the Big Bad of the season, and these Patriots that he represents are really insidious because they wear this star-spangled mask and wrap themselves in the iconography of America. But they're not. They're this sort of twisted Blackwater-meets-hell thing that got cooked up in Guantanamo over the past 15 years, and their plans for the United States are dark and nefarious and twisted and mysterious. But they're remarkably intelligent. I mean, Randall was the first one of them that we met. So basically there's a thousand Randalls down in Cuba,” said Kripke.
The Patriots “are now sweeping up into the United States,” he said. “These guys work in subtle and mysterious and manipulative ways. You get much more of like an X-Files kind of conspiracy.”
It won't take long before “our heroes have to suss out how and why, and nobody else believes them, because to the average person, it's like, 'Hey, it's great! The United States is back!' And it's only our heroes that know that something much darker is going on. So it puts them in a really interesting position for some pretty fun stories,” said Kripke.
As for the themes we can expect this year, as "anyone who watches Supernatural knows, it took me until Revolution to really realize that I clearly have a series of interests, because I keep going back to them over and over again. I'm just really interested in good guys who do a lot of bad things and bad guys who are very sympathetic and understandable. Apparently I'm also extremely interested in super tight brother-like relationships with a healthy homoerotic subtext,” quipped Kripke, with a nod to the relationships between Supernatural's Sam and Dean and Revolution's Miles and Monroe. “Apparently that's my deal. So I'm going to need to get some therapy and work that out.”
As for his own brother, things are just fine. “Yeah, everything's going great with him. It's like, I rarely try to kill him. All seems good. We have a very healthy, normal relationship, so I don't know where any of this is coming from," said Kripke.
In the meantime, possible therapy aside, when it comes to Revolution, “we're only using this kind of science fiction hook to tell very relatable stories about the human condition. In this world without power, I think we all end up asking ourselves, 'How would we survive without any of our conveniences or comforts? How would we live and find food and protect our loved ones? Will humanity come together, or will it fall apart? Will we give into savagery and cynicism, or will we embrace what's hopeful and good about us?' It's really a show that asks those questions all through the lens of this one particular family. It is and will always be -- no matter what the short-term plot stories are -- it will always be a story about family. It's about this very fractured, imperfect, complicated family just trying to figure out how to find each other in the dark."
Here's a look at tonight's episode of Revolution:
Revolution airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
What do you think of the new direction the series is taking?