"Revolution" returns to NBC on Monday, March 25 (10 p.m. ET) and when we last saw our scrappy band of rebels, they were staring down the barrel of a machine gun mounted on a freshly powered helicopter, a very persuasive symbol of the despotic Sebastian Monroe's (David Lyons) dominance.
The Huffington Post caught up with series creator Eric Kripke in January to find out what we can expect from the show's midseason premiere, how our heroes will react to the addition of Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) in the group, which "Supernatural" alums Kripke intends to draft into his new show and why what's to come will "make people cry."
What can you preview about the second half of the season?
I would say in the second half of the season, the revolution really begins. We really explain why the show's title is the show's title. I think it’s just bigger and better and badder. Our heroes really, now that they’ve rescued Danny [Graham Rogers], are gathered together in this impossible struggle against Monroe. They're allied with the rebels and they endeavor to bring back the United States. The odds are radically against them because they're totally outmanned, outdone and overwhelmed: Monroe’s got choppers, he’s got electricity. He’s getting dangerously unhinged after his last confrontation with Miles [Billy Burke] and he’s just ready to burn the house down. They have they’re work cut out for them. It becomes a sort of interesting battle -- whereas if the first half of the season was "Find Danny," the second half of the season is "Stop Monroe." We really get to all of the "Lord of The Rings" stuff that I wanted to get to, which is just epic battles between good and evil. Can family and loyalty survive in the face of overwhelming odds? We’ll break people’s hearts and we’ll make people cry, which turns out to be my deal. I didn’t realize that that is what I do, but it turns out that’s what I do. [Laughs.]
The characters are really fraught and the emotions are really high and it’s got a lot of heart and a lot of action. I think we’re really firing on all cylinders now. The first half of the season there is a lot of trial and error, both logistically and creatively, and you learn what works and what doesn’t. I think we really, quickly found our sea legs and it’s given the writers and I a certain confidence. We also have some wilder revelations coming because we’re not so tentative with the story. We know where it’s going and we feel good and we know it's working and so we’re like," Hell yeah, bitches! We’re going to blow the doors off of it in the second half!"
There's obviously a fascinating history between Rachel and Miles. What can you say about how their relationship will develop?
We’re going to continue teasing it out. We’re going to see that there’s a lot of tension and sparks and love and hate between them. This is really complicated because she’s his sister-in-law. So there’s a history there. Finding those relationships and secrets between characters I think is just really interesting and in a weird way, in genre, really grounds it, because it’s just about the people and it’s about their f’d up relationships. Miles and Rachel, no question, have a f’d up relationship.
Charlie [Tracy Spiridakos] obviously had to grow up fast and be a parental figure for Danny. Now that her mother is back, what's the dynamic going to be between them?
It’s complicated, like every other relationship on the show, because from Rachel’s perspective, when you are away that long from your children and suddenly you insert yourself into their lives again, it’s not all like sunshine and happiness. There’s resentment and confusion and them trying to resume their roles is much more difficult than I think they thought it was going to be. You’re absolutely right, Charlie has been Danny’s mother and so now when Rachel comes in and tries to be mother to them both, it’s not the most welcome homecoming. They’ll want to get along and they all truly love each other, but it’s much more difficult than I think they were counting on.
Danny's role in the first half of the season was more passive than Charlie's. Where will we find him in the second half?
Danny’s is a coming of age story and he really starts to grow up. He went through this terrible experience. He was just a young innocent kid and he goes through this awful situation of his father dying and daily beatings from Neville (Giancarlo Esposito), like, "9 a.m., time for beatings!" and he comes out of it. He’s a really positive energy on the show. He really helps push our heroes forward into aligning with the rebels, standing and fighting against Monroe. Danny wants to stand up to Monroe for all of the best possible reasons, so in many ways he’s the heart; he’s sort of the conscience of our group. As everyone else is getting dark and weird, he maintains sort of an innocence that I think helps inspire our group.
Miles and Monroe's relationship turned out to be such a compelling and integral part of the first half of the season. Did you always envision it that way, or was it something that evolved out of Billy and David's natural chemistry?
I did not count on it being as jaw-droppingly awesome as it was and that has everything to do with Billy and David. We knew that there was a Cain and Abel story to be told. We knew that the main good guy and the main bad guy had a very close relationship and used to be on the same side. We were excited to bring them face to face and have all of those confrontations. When I saw the dailies of that scene of them face to face, [I was] crying -- I did not expect to cry. I didn’t expect to feel for Monroe as much as I felt for Miles and that has everything to do with the performance David gave. I stopped everything, I grabbed every writer, I said, "Watch this” and again, it’s sort of how, in the first half of the season, you learn. I dragged them all in, I showed it to them, I said, "Welcome to one of the centers of gravity of the show." Because their relationship is so fascinating because of what they bring to it; there’s so much affection between them and I think it was always there, a cog in our machine. I don’t think we expected it to be as awesomely kick-ass as those guys made it, and we’re not idiots so we’re just going to keep milking it ...
What's ahead for them in terms of storylines?
We have this amazing episode that I just read the first draft of and it’s great. [It's] written by a brilliant writer named David Rambo. Miles and Monroe have a little skirmish in their hometown. We go back to their hometown [and] we, in flashback, see what they were like when they were growing up in that hometown. Everyone is caught in the crossfire. There are people they know and we really learn more about them. That’s great. Knowing that we can go to that well of the two of them is really encouraging to me.
I'm always so thrilled to see so many of your former "Supernatural" actors putting in an appearance on "Revolution." Is there more of that to come?
They’re great actors and I’d like to bring more of them. I will bring Jim Beaver into this show. He looks like he would live in "Revolution," doesn’t he? It’d be a missed opportunity to not do it. I’ve been really pleased to be able to bring in "Supernatural" alumni and I have a great affection for them, so to bring Mark Pellegrino and Colin Ford and eventually Jim ... I’ll put Misha [Collins] in the show. I’m going to bring a little gang in. Don’t worry, the gang are all going to show up in "Revolution."
Getting to know the Neville family better was another unexpected joy from the first half of the season ...
They’re a good, twisted little family. The definitely put the fun in dysfunctional. It’s really just about family. They sort of exist as our twisted, fun house mirror of a family. By the same respect, there’s great love between them, and Julia, who’s so brilliantly played by Kim Raver, she would do anything for her husband. She would do anything for her son. There are all kinds of very strange energy between dad and son and between wife and husband. She’s got a Lady Macbeth thing, but they all really love each other in their own weird way. It humanizes them. It makes them interesting bad guys. Again, it’s just another iteration of family, which is what the show's all about.
I love that Jason [J. D. Pardo] is still obviously carrying a torch for Charlie despite his father's wishes. Is there more of that to come?
Yes, we keep playing this very fraught, impossible affection for Charlie even though they're on different sides of the fence and very, very star-crossed and with who his father is or who her family is. We keep playing that and Jason comes into direct conflict with his father, and it’s just fun to keep evolving those relationships.
Watch the first eight minutes of "Revolution's" midseason premiere below:
"Revolution" returns Monday, March 25 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.
What are you looking forward to most about "Revolution's" new episodes?