Did Revolution's creator just tell us why the lights went out?

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

Why did the lights go out on NBC's Revolution? During a conference call with journalists, Revolution's creator and executive producer Eric Kripke talked about his new show and actually may have spilled the beans on what the sci-fi show's big secret is. Or did he?

[Spoiler alert!]

Maybe he's just pulling our chain and giving us a red herring. But stop reading if you don't want to know. Seriously, stop reading!

In Revolution, something causes the electricity around the world to go out permanently. The action takes place 15 years later as Charlie, the daughter of two of the few people who knew what was going on, goes on a quest to save her kidnapped brother from the local militia, who've taken over and have become the bad guys.

When asked about the origin of the blackout, Kripke said, "The longer answer is, there was a phenomenon that we have up our sleeve as to what caused the blackout, and what you saw in that globe shot is an accurate representation of what we are working on. Right now we're currently in the writers' room. We're talking dangerously about revealing that secret before the end of the first season. So again, it's my philosophy of not being too precious with anything. So we may reveal the secret sooner than later. ... Yeah, the secret of what caused the lights to go out.

"I just know that for me the longer you drag out an answer ... the more pressure there is that that answer is the greatest answer ever given in the history of man. And frankly, I'm just not that smart," he said.

Kripke has created his share of TV shows, including The CW's Supernatural, and he knows a little something about secrets.

"We've designed a mythology that, even if I do answer the question about what caused the blackout, it leads directly to a bigger and scarier mystery. So anyway, for me it's about keeping the mythology moving at a good pace, and not dragging anything out too much," he said.

Kripke went on to talk about the missing Grace and the mysterious Randall (each of whom will become a prominent part of the story as the season presses on); when we'll finish up with the quest-for-Danny storyline (episode 10); and our journey to learn exactly why the show is called Revolution.

But when Kripke was asked how likely the power going out actually was, he said this ...

"We did some research. [What we found was] electric magnetic storms, solar flares ... have the possibility to knock out the national grid. And what we found, they were saying, at least in some of the articles I read, that because we're entering a period of increased solar activity, there's this insane statistic, which is the likelihood of ... a storm being generated that's big enough to potentially do this over the next ten years is a crazy percentage. It's like 10 percent. That's not to say that it actually will do it, but they're saying that the potential exists, which for me is terrifying," he said.

"There was a solar storm that caused the grid to go out. God, it was somewhere in Canada. It was a Canadian city. It might have been Montreal or maybe Quebec. It knocked out their grid for days, and by the last few days they were having a difficult time maintaining social order," said Kripke.

So, could solar flares actually be the reason the lights went out on Revolution? Or does Kripke have another reason he's "dangerously" close to revealing?

Kripke promises that we'll find out more on tonight's episode, "Sex and Drugs," which delves more into the character of Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell), Charlie's mom, who does seem to know something about the big secret. "We reveal some things. But basically, Rachel is obviously holding on to certain secrets about why the power went out, and we'll reveal in the next episode ... a little more about what she, in fact, knows about the blackout."

What do you think? Is it solar flares? If so, what's keeping the lights off? What's your theory?