If you are into NBC’s new J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke drama ‘Revolution’ even half as much as I am, you’ll be left with the desire to just torture the two creators/executive producers for more answers and more episodes right now, by the time you get to the end of this story.
After hearing it all from Mr. Kripke himself, I am in fact bringing you the goodies for what’s next in the post-blackout, apocalyptic world that Mr. Kripke and J.J. have lured us into. Yes, I call him J.J.. After all I HAVE been a slave to his show writing/producing ever since “Felicity”. Long enough to define it an addiction and be on a first-name basis, I’d say, especially if we count in my utter obsession for Alias. And Agent Vaughn. Or rather, my TV husband Michael Vartan. (What, we all have a TV husband. And yes he’s mine, don’t even try.)
Particularly important in this case, because I know how J.J.’s and Kripke’s shows generate a group of very devoted, faithful (aka obsessed, just like me) fans, who keep trying to solve the plot puzzles they come up with: BEWARE… SPOILERS AHEAD. If you know anything about J.J. and Mr. Kripke, you know that “major” in their case means just a general indication of where things are going, conceived to only make us more curious about what the heck it is we’re going to see next and, in short, make us even more dependent on the drug they feed us for those 42 minutes of TV a week.
But still, there are MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ if you don’t want to know anything about who will appear again in episode 7, or what major change of story there is in episode 10. Ok? Good. Captain Neville (the absolutely fabulous Giancarlo Esposito) in person will come torture you if you complain after this warning.
Before we get to the majorly spoilery part, a word from Mr. Kripke on how it happened that Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips) went from series regular to series dead character in the span of a few episodes. Not that this is anything unusual for Mr. Kripke’s or J.J. Abrams’s shows. I got used to reciting “don’t get attached to anyone who isn’t clearly someone the entire show depends on” with J.J.. Remember poor Danny on Alias? Barely had the time to appear, and BAM! Having a forever-lasting bath in his tub before we could even savor all his hotness! Anyway, Maggie lasted longer, but still bit the dust quickly and unexpectedly. And here’s why.
Eric Kripke: “Anna Lise is a wonderful actress and I love that character, it’s … I sort of have a bad habit in the shows that I run, of killing off the people that I love, and I think Maggie was one of those. We decided internally that, very early on… that it was really important to show that this world had very real stakes and it was truly dangerous, and you’re not close to hospitals, you’re not close to paramedics, you’re not close to help, so we wanted to show that. It was purely a creative decision, [made for the purpose of] giving this world a real sense of danger… we think that’s honest to the world we’re trying to create here.”
So long, Maggie. Now let’s please get to the part where I get to know who this Randall dude is and what he wants? Yeah, as if. But, there are glimpses of what’s to come in that story, too. And you guessed it, Randall dearest is smack in the middle of the biggest mystery and biggest piece of mythology on the show. Together with Grace (Maria Howell), who is his prisoner for… we don’t exactly know what reason. YET. But Grace is indeed coming back. How?
Eric Kripke: “I can’t reveal too much because she’s right in the dead center of where the mythology is [me and probably all of you: YOU DON’T SAY!]. I can say we continue to explore and expand that mythology. I think we see her again in episode 7, and we see who Randall is, this person who kidnapped her in episode 2, and we get to learn more about him.”
Pause. Now wait, he just gave away that we see who Randall is in episode 7 as if nothing was? Ok then. I was wondering if he was going to be like Rambaldi on Alias, the name we hear, but we don’t really ever understand if we’ve met him or not until the end. Now I want to jump to episode 7. Rats, J.J.. You always get me. Hooked like fish with bait. Brace yourselves, as Mr. Kripke had more to share.
Eric Kripke: “She (Grace) is in a dangerous position right now with this character Randall. Right now we’re really dropping breadcrumbs for it, because in the second half of the season Grace and Randall and what they’re in the middle of is going to become a much bigger story.”
Hell. I bet Randall is Darth Vader himself. Just thinking about how his ominous presence created fear in a scene where we didn’t even SEE him makes me imagine he’s Darth Vader. (Now watch him be played by Danny De Vito). Although he’s definitely got company. It’s not like Captain Neville and General Monroe (David Lyons, who scarily remembers me of Sark — I mean David Anders — on Alias) are little innocent lambs. Though one of the two may have been, in his pre-blackout life. And we’ll meet Neville’s wife, Julia. Played by whom? None other than the gorgeous Kim Raver. Look, I love Esposito, but how did insurance adjuster Neville land such a gorgeous wife?! Seriously.
Eric Kripke: “What’s interesting about the black out in the show, that we want to explore more and more as it goes on, is what it transformed for so many people, and who they were in the old world has nothing to do with what they are now. There was a bit of it in the pilot, that Neville’s this violent man in the post-blackout world, but in the pre-blackout world he’s an insurance adjuster. He was pretty mild-mannered and maybe a little submissive, how did he transform into the violent psychopath he is now? Right now we’re planting Kim (Raver) for a couple of episodes, and we’ll see how she was a normal housewife pre-blackout and how post-blackout transformed her into a Lady Macbeth.”
So basically Neville has nothing on his wife, if the Shakespeare comparison is to be taken literally. And Neville turned into a killer because wife was tired of suburbia life and wanted some spice and some power? (I’m just broadly moving the Macbeth concept into Revolution world, here). Of course Mr. Kripke didn’t answer THAT question, but the fact he compared Mrs. Neville to Lady Macbeth? Quite telling, if you ask me.
Now, here comes the major revelation about episode 10. It is about the ongoing storyline with Danny (Graham Rogers) and where it’s going. And what comes next. I wasn’t kidding when I said major, so make your decision now, if you don’t want to know, skip the next part.
Of course, most likely episode 10 is the episode before the Christmas break. Which means that, if I know JJ any, it will have one doozy of a cliffhanger at the end and leave us all picking up our jaws from the floor. And waiting for a month and a half before knowing what goes on next. Can I say I hate them for baiting me like this? And for writing shows I love? Yeah, I think I can.
Back to us. We’ve been dealing with “the quest for Danny” ever since the pilot, and of course we’re right in the middle of it (quite literally, counting episodes, you’ll see why in Mr. Kripke’s comment). It’s only natural to wonder how long this is going to last and whether this will be a season-long arc, right? Well, apparently not season-long. At all. Also, apparently just a “prologue” before we get to the main chapter of the story. I’m sure y’all can imagine my face while I was hearing this. (hint: WTF? What? How? When? WHY! Gimme the new episodes now!)
Eric Kripke: “I can answer how long we can keep the Danny quest going and I can give a very specific answer to it. We can keep the Danny quest going until episode 10. And then we shake things up. They catch up to Danny in episode 10 and we climax that story, because we can’t keep that story going forever, and we never had any intention to keep that story going forever. It was only a way to introduce and bringing the audience into the world and introduce them to the characters on a nice, clean, simple storyline, kind of the prologue to a much bigger story. By episode 10 we need to fade that prologue out and move to the next chapter of the story, which explains why the show is called Revolution.”
I need a moment to recover from all this. And there’s more on Danny, and of course on his mother, Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell). And what’s in Monday’s episode.
Eric Kripke: “Everything changes when Danny finally arrives in Philadelphia which is this Monday. General Monroe now has Rachel exactly where he wants her, because she cares about her son a lot, so she will reveal things that she hasn’t revealed to him yet. But she of course is smart and heroic, and is desperately searching for a way out of the predicament that she is in.”
I’m sorry, every time I see Monroe I just picture Sark. The fact they brought in the “suit & glasses” doppleganger last episode didn’t help. (If you never watched Alias… forget it.) I truly thought I was in the middle of a Sydney Bristow torture scene. Except, strong as she may be, Rachel is no Sydney Bristow. Or Monroe would have had his ass kicked before he even realized he was holding her captive. Let’s just hope sooner rather than later it is HER turn to be set free. Either that, or just get it awwwn with Monroe, Rachel? Hubby is gone, and you know what they say: if you can’t beat them… kiss them!
And now, for the final piece of “I KNEW I was right when I went back and tried to re-read what Grace was typing on that computer screen”, your last clue, courtesy of Mr. Kripke. Were you wondering if the way the lights went off on that globe in the pilot was a clue on what caused the blackout or just a nice effect that producers liked? (As if they’d ever do anything just ‘cause on their shows. I know my chicken. But still.) Wonder no more.
Eric Kripke: “You should look for clues everywhere, is the short answer. The long answer is, what you saw in that globe shot was an accurate representation of what we are working on. We’re talking dangerously in the writers’ room about revealing that secret (what it is that caused the blackout) before season one is over, we may reveal that sooner rather than later.
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 men, and frankly, I’m just not that smart. [Bahaha! Not only is he a great screen writer, he’s also funny!] I prefer that we answer questions quickly and then ask more questions. We designed the mythology so that, even if I do say what caused the blackout, it opens the door to a bigger, darker mystery.”
And if you thought I had more to share… think again. Yes, you’re going to be left wondering what on earth we should expect now, just like I was. Such is the life of the J.J. (and Eric Kripke) fan. Now, before we all go examine every little detail that can help us solve the puzzle, may I say this was one of the most satisfying interviews I took part to in terms of contents. And one of the most dissatisfying in terms of my phone line quality, that kept cutting me off. Hmm… were the big bad wolves of evil on Revolution messing with my phone? I’m not sure, but either way, it’s been swell. I hope you had fun reading this just as much as I had hearing it! Until next time, lovelies!
Don’t forget to check out a new episode of ‘Revolution’ on Monday at 10 p.m. on NBC!