'Revolution' midseason premiere spoilers: Eric Kripke and Elizabeth Mitchell talk Season 1 return
"Any time you're off the air for four months you hold your breath and you hope fans come back," Kripke says during a conference call to promote the show's return. "The break gave the writers and producers time to explore what was working on the show and what wasn't and make it better. It allowed us to make a higher quality, better series and that's the thing I have to put as my first priority. The show is better because we took the break."
Although it's been four months since audiences saw the midseason finale episode "Nobody's Fault But Mine," the midseason premiere "The Stand" picks up right where the action left off. Miles ( Billy Burke) and Charlie ( Tracy Spiridakos) finally found Danny ( Graham Rogers) and rescued both him and Rachel (Mitchell) from Monroe ( David Lyons). But Monroe used the amplifier Rachel gave him to launch a full scale attack with helicopters on the fleeing rebels.
"The first half [of the season] and trying to find Danny was prologue to a much larger and more exciting story," Kripke teases, later adding: "I love the first half but I think the second half is better, no question."
Here are five things Kripke and Mitchell told us to expect when "Revolution" returns:
Major questions -- including what caused the blackout -- will be answered
"That's pretty much my m.o.," Kripke says. "Start answering questions and then ask more and then answer those. That's what viewers can expect in the second half of the season. I really favor an aggressive red-blooded pace for storytelling. In episode 13 [airing April 8] Rachel reveals pretty much every single thing there is to know about why the blackout happened. Every time I watch that scene it's like -- wow, we're just saying it. It goes against many of your baked-in showrunner instincts, not to have a single scene that reveals everything in three minutes."
As Kripke explained during the show's PaleyFest panel, executive producer Jon Favreau encouraged taking a risk with Rachel's big reveal, and Kripke ultimately decided "Revolution" could afford to go there. "For me the story was never about what caused the blackout," he explains. "For me the show isn't based on one particular mystery. It's based on these characters and this world and this transformed landscape they have these adventures in."
And the trend will continue throughout the season. "I'm literally turning in the season finale [script] later today," he reveals. "I think we answer most if not all of the questions."
We'll learn more about Miles and Rachel's history
"I have a scene in the moonlight next to water with Miles that's probably one of my favorite scenes, as much for the silences as for the words. It was simple and lovely and exactly the kind of thing I like to play and to watch," Mitchell says.
"We can spoil that part and say it hints at a deeper more fraught and complicated history between Rachel and Miles," Kripke allows. "It's mostly done in looks and so much is conveyed with very little dialogue."
"It's lucky that we get to explore [their relationship]," Mitchell adds. "It's deeper and richer than I first thought. There's a theory that people come together because of shared pain. I think that Rachel and Miles at their heart -- their sorrows are very much the same."
Mysterious scientist Grace (Maria Howell) returns in a key role
"At the end of episode 7 and 8 we revealed that Randall ( Colm Feore) had brought her to this mysterious location," Kripke says. "With episode 11 we start to reveal what that place is, why Randall has brought her there, what he wants from her and the story progresses from there. The location where they are starts to become very important to the story to the point where it starts to have its own gravitational pull, not literally but figuratively. Every character is drawn to it because it's such an important location and what Grace is doing there is so important."
Charlie and Nate (J.D. Pardo) are going to get closer
"[Nate] goes through some seismic shifts with his father [ Giancarlo Esposito as Captain Neville], with his relationship with the militia," Kripke reveals. "Charlie has a front seat to a lot of those really dramatic turns. There's this static friction between both of them that draws them closer. And then we blow it all up because these types of relationships and shows are about the push-pull of will they get together or won't they and the obstacles they have to face."
Rachel may be free from Monroe, but her problems are only just beginning
"The things that happen in the first episode back...," Mitchell says cautiously. "My character's stakes -- I'm sure they could get higher but I can't imagine how. What she wants to accomplish, what her goal is, protecting her family. It's amazing she doesn't just burn out."
"The final moments of episode 11 are such an insane neck-snapper of a twist," Kripke teases about a pivotal scene involving Rachel. "It's so awful and wonderful and you can't believe you're watching it. There's tears and there's knives. It's just awesome."