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MAR
2
2 YEARS

'Revolution' at PaleyFest: Season's Mysteries, Including the Blackout, Will Be Answered

Four months will have passed when NBC's post-apocalyptic drama returns to TV. Executive producer Eric Kripke, joined by J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau and castmembers, said the break gave them the chance "to re-attack" the show.

Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams
Paley Center for Media
"Revolution" executive producers Eric Kripke, left, and J.J. Abrams at PaleyFest 2013

The revolution is about to begin.

Revolution, NBC's high-concept, post-apocalyptic drama returns after four months off the air on March 25 and executive producer Eric Kripke re-affirmed what he said in January -- that the break afforded the writers "to re-attack" the series. "Creatively, I think it paid off," Kripke told the crowd Saturday evening on night two of PaleyFest, declaring that the "second half is better than the first."

Kripke was aware of some of the gripes regarding the first half, because he felt them, too. As a viewer, there was a "certain impatience," he recalled, adding that the remaining 10 episodes was a chance "to open [the world] up." And open the world up they will. Though the first 10 episodes focused mainly on Monroe's (David Lyons) militia, Revolution will venture into territories, such as the Georgia Federation led by President Foster (Leslie Hope), whom Kripke called "badass," "steely" and "strong."

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One of the biggest tweaks? The show's pacing. "We didn't move the story fast enough," he admitted. "We were treading water a little bit." Expect many of the main mysteries, like why the power went out, to be answered early on -- even as early as episode 13. Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell), Charlie and Danny's mother, holds the key. Though it might seem too soon, the producers admitted that it was nearly impossible to drag out that particular mystery now that Rachel is ingrained in the group. "Rachel knows what happens and she's with the heroes," Kripke justified.

There was one thing Kripke regretted: the look of the pendants. "Looking back, I wish the necklaces weren't on the nose," he said.

The audience at Beverly Hills' Saban Theatre was also treated to the first eight minutes of the return (the 11th episode of the season), and if the sneak peek is any indication, there will be more action and fighting. Kripke noted during the panel that Revolution will have a "much more epic scope" to it, with "emotions more fraught."

Seven noteworthy items from the panel, which included EPs J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau and castmembers Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, David Lyons, Daniella Alonso and J.D. Pardo:

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Everything will be answered: All those questions that you have about Revolution? They'll be answered by the end of season one. Here is what will be addressed: Why the blackout happened; Miles (Burke) and Monroe's history; the characters' histories; the whereabouts of Grace (Maria Howell); what Randall (Colm Feore) wants with Grace; and why Miles and Monroe turned on each other. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Every question that was introduced in the first 10 episodes will be answered, and more questions will be asked, Kripke said.

What is the endgame? Technology will slowly creep back into the show. Does this mean the world will be restored with power at the end of the season? Not so much, according to Kripke: "Maybe ultimately at the very end." Moments later, he deadpanned: "If it stays on forever, it becomes a very exciting single-camera sitcom."

Is Miles redeemable? Kripke noted that had Revolution taken place five years earlier (10 years after the blackout), "Miles would be the bad guy." Though Burke questioned whether his alter ego has gone too far down the rabbit hole to get out, Kripke countered his argument: "He's totally redeemable because he's trying. Trying is the thing. He's trying to be better."

How will Charlie and Danny deal with their mother? Now that Charlie (Spiridakos) and Danny (Graham Rogers) are reunited with their mother Rachel, it will cause tension, especially for Charlie. She will have a lot of "anger and resentment" toward Rachel.

Is there hope for Monroe? It might be harder to justify Sebastian Monroe turning good. "He's more toward the blackish-gray," Lyons joked of where his character lies on the redeemable spectrum. "There's a void in him that can't be filled," he said. "Can he be mended? I'm not so sure."

A happy reunion? Aaron (Zak Orth) will have a scene with his wife, whom he abandoned years prior, in an upcoming episode -- and it will be in the present.

Unlikely duo: In an "oops" moment, Lyons accidentally let spill that Monroe and Nora (Alonso) have a scene together in a future episode. Let the speculation begin.

It's all about family and emotion: Sure, Revolution has genre appeal, but family is at the heart of the story. "It's a family show," Kripke said. "It's a good way to ground genre television." Abrams agreed, saying the reason why he was attracted to it was because it made him "feel something."

Revolution returns March 25 on NBC.

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