NBC’s Revolution was a massively frustrating experiment for much of its freshman season. In spite of some solid talent involved, most especially showrunner Eric Kripke, formerly of Supernatural, the show largely squandered what goodwill its interesting concept — a mysterious global blackout — initially brought to the table. The show did rally in its second half, answering the big question of what caused the blackout in a relatively satisfactory way, upping the stakes, and shifting the focus onto the talented adult cast and somewhat away from the dead weight of its young and/or pretty contingent. That didn’t entirely make up for the fact that the first half of the season was spent trying to rescue a spectacularly uninteresting character, only to kill him off shortly thereafter. Still, the show’s finale definitely left the world of Revolution in an interesting place, and I’m hoping season 2 will take that momentum and run with it.
The “New Dawn” promo above hints at one of the finale’s more promising elements: the reveal that some contingent of the former United States government has not only survived the 15 years since the blackout, but is planning a return to power. Moreover, they’re willing to take some major steps in order to see that happen, with their loyalist agent Randall Flynn launching nukes at Atlanta and Philadelphia to kick their plan into motion. Add in the possibility that turning the power back on may have had some serious unintended consequences and Revolution’s second season promises to be a huge improvement over the first. And when you factor in the addition of Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape, Defiance) and Ben Edlund (Supernatural, Firefly) to the writing staff, Revolution has the potential to really hit its stride this year…it’s just a question of whether they’ll live up to it.
SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2 BELOW!
The official synopsis for the second season’s first episode keeps up the ominous flag-waving of the teaser, sporting the title “Born in the USA.”
In last year’s finale, our heroes made the treacherous journey to the Tower and were able to turn on the power, but at what cost? The effects of this move prove to be catastrophic for everyone. Now Miles (Billy Burke), Aaron (Zak Orth) and Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) have found themselves in a mysterious small town, in the great nation of Texas, where Rachel unexpectedly encounters an important figure from her past. Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) finds herself on a mission in the Plains Nation while Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) and Jason (JD Pardo) search a refugee camp for a lost loved one. Meanwhile, Monroe (David Lyons) has discovered a gritty role in his new environment.
KSiteTV cornered actor David Lyons, who plays former tyrant David Monroe, and managed to get some season 2 details out of him. In addition to hinting that Charlie (played by actress Tracy Spiradakoszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…) will be after Monroe’s blood, Lyons also confirms that the restoration of the power hasn’t been the clean fix our heroes were hoping it would be.
In terms of the mythology, in terms of what happens in the tower, a lot of the science behind it starts to get scrambled due to the nanotechnology. So, and I’m sorry that I’m being so ridiculously cautious with this, but the nature of the world has been totally changed.
And if anyone was wondering whether the cliffhanger of those deployed nukes was going to get a last-minute reprieve courtesy of a “Aha, the auto-destruct button!” scene, nope; they will indeed hit their targets. Lyons says:
We’re picking it up after the bombs dropped, so there’s been some dispersion of all of the characters. We will find ourselves in very, very different scenarios. The bombs have dropped, and the East Coast of America is now rubble, and the emotional weight of that, to the characters that were in the tower that could have stopped it, is huge, so you see them start to break apart and change. Likewise, Monroe, I think, has a deep sense of relief that he’s no longer at the top of the tree. He’s off roguing his way around whorehouses. That’s a term that Eric uses, not me. I call them ‘ladies of the night.’
Revolution was already a post-apocalyptic show, albeit its apocalypse might not have been as violent as the world of, say, The Walking Dead. With the nuking of the East Coast and the energy-chowing nanobots now apparently running amok, the show’s second season is almost adding a new apocalypse on top of the original apocalypse. As Lyons explains it:
With this show, it’s been almost like a quiet apocalypse, but now that they dropped the bomb, it’s kind of a post-apocalyptic show, because they’ve had one and now they’ve had another, very noisy one … It’s a lot more grimy; a lot dirtier; a lot darker. So that whole world, in terms of the look of the characters, and in terms of the motivation of the characters, we’re getting into that kind of true post-apocalyptic grime. You see humanity at its very best and its very, very worst. So when there’s darkness, it’s very, very dark.
Revolution returns to NBC for a second season on September 25th at 8/7c.