‘Revolution’ Executive Producer Rockne S. O’Bannon Talks About the End of Season Two

Rockne S. O'Bannon Interview
Stephen Collins, Elizabeth Mitchell and Rockne S. O'Bannon (Photo © Richard Chavez)

By Rebecca Murray

As Revolution cast members Elizabeth Mitchell and Stephen Collins and executive producer Rockne S. O’Bannon were attending the 2014 WonderCon in Anaheim, CA, Eric Kripke was pitching the network ideas for season three of the dramatic sci-fi series. NBC hasn’t confirmed whether the show will return, but Revolution has really found its footing with this second season which O’Bannon promises will go out with a bang.

[Warning: The death of a key character is discussed so don’t read any further unless you are caught up on the second season.]

Rockne S. O’Bannon Interview

What can you say about the rest of the season two episodes?

Rockne S. O’Bannon: “[…]Everything absolutely comes to a head in these last four. Everything for this season and actually for these two seasons, there’s things in the final episode that actually harken back to the beginning of the series. You can almost look at these first two seasons as kind of like the first chapter of an epic saga, and things take a big turn in episode 22, not only for our characters but just in storytelling itself. You have to take a step back and look at it as kind of a grand, mythic saga. We really just turned the corner from chapter one into chapter two. All of the characters, there’s something life-changing for each of them. We saw a kind of hint of that in the last episode with Charlie having to kill Jason. That obviously sets her on a course. But it’s a real curious change in her which you wouldn’t necessarily expect, which is good. And then the episode upcoming, Miles is the one who has this very significant life-changing event. And then Rachel’s kind of our lightning rod for both of our key story threads, one of which is the nanotech and the other is the patriots. And so, yeah, she’s kind of attacked by both sides, by both of the storylines which starts her down quite an unusual path. So, no, they are really just really big episodes.

For me the fun is I wasn’t on the show the first season, I was doing my own show, and then I came on the second season. I was a fan of the show the first season so for me it was like I was a fan who gets to write my own show. It’s so much fun to see the plan for it, to see where it’s all headed.”

Jason is the son of two powerful people. What are the repercussions and how will the tensions shift as we go through the final episodes?

Rockne S. O’Bannon: “Yeah, the number one thing in the first two minutes of the following episode Miles makes the point, ‘You know who we have to get before he gets us is Tom Neville.’ When Tom Neville finds out, obviously there’s at least two levels of dynamic going on. One is he’s lost his son who he’d obviously always had love for him and great hope for him, but took him completely for granted. ‘I’ll hug him when all of this is over.’ Now that’s all gone – that’s part one. Part two is when he finds out who is the one who did it, just his natural instinct for revenge. He’s lost in this season the very thing that drove him initially which was his family. It’s gone. It’s going to make for a really interesting free agent next season, but a free agent who’s coming from a place of real anger.

I think one of the things that to me is exciting is I really enjoyed his journey this season because we got to have a Tom Neville story because he was off on his own. He’s been the hero of his own storyline. But I just always loved Tom Neville as, like you saw in the pilot, the supreme kind of villain character. And so this is an opportunity to really spin him back into that. I just can’t wait to see Giancarlo [Esposito] get his teeth into that.”

The buzz online is that JD Pardo’s character’s not really dead. Is he dead?

Rockne S. O’Bannon: “We have the advantage that we have the nanotech which has proven itself able to bring people back. Having said that, we’re incredibly judicious about not just waving our magic wand and saying someone’s alive. That’s not to say that JD hasn’t returned to the set since his demise, let me put it that way. But, yeah, again where he fits into the puzzle these last four episodes is absolutely and key to spinning us into the next season. That’s all I’m saying.”

Monroe is kind of getting the taste again of wanting to be in power. Does that come up again in these last few episodes? Is there a power struggle?

Rockne S. O’Bannon: “There definitely is. I mean, these last four episodes the patriots make their ultimate play. They really make their last push and it all centers on Willoughby, which has been kind of a punching bag all season and is now just threatened in the most extreme way. But, if our people can take down the patriots, there is an infrastructure that’s been built and prepared for a real long time to then be leaderless. I think Monroe starts to see that because he’s a man with great ambitions to rebuild what he had, but to do that from the ground up again would be incredibly hard. But to do it with the foundation of what the patriots had could be easy. I think, to me, that’s one of the things that’s keeping him in the fold with our folks. Plus, he really is hoping to obviously lure Miles back as a sidekick. They really have a really interesting kind of complex friendship. It’s the deepest friendship relationship that either of them has, but it’s obviously incredibly fraught. It’s good fodder for what we’re doing.”

Is it difficult to find the right balance when figuring out what direction to go with Miles?

Rockne S. O’Bannon: “This season, for us, was really about that, was a man who was pulled in both directions. Obviously, he’s very drawn to protect his family but on the other hand would love to just kind of bow out and not be part of any of it.”

How much does the nanotech play out over these last episodes?

Rockne S. O’Bannon: “Nanotech is huge. It’s been kind of studying mankind, specifically through Aaron. But these last few episodes it starts to kind of suspect that having studied the humankind for a while – and even though we are its creator – it starts to find us sorely lacking. And what exactly does that mean, because it’s not a matter of just destroying humanity but what does it mean and how do you relate to your creator when you begin to suspect that your creator is less than you are? Those two stories which have been building separately but paralleling all season collide essentially at the end.”

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