After an extended hiatus, the NBC drama series Revolution is back with more action, heightened emotion and even higher stakes. At its heart, the story is about a family (both blood and otherwise) struggling to stay together in an American landscape where every single piece of technology – computers, planes, cars, phones and even lights – has mysteriously blacked out forever, or so they thought. Having harnessed the power of the pendant, militia leader Monroe (David Lyons) sets out to obliterate the Rebels, and if they don’t do something fast, they won’t stand a chance. From executive producers Eric Kripke, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Jon Favreau, the show also stars Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Elizabeth Mitchell, Zak Orth, JD Pardo, Daniella Alonso and Tim Guinee.
While at WonderCon, actress Elizabeth Mitchell spoke at a roundtable about what she thinks about her morally questionable character, how much she’s told ahead of time, where her character is at mentally now, the state of the mother-daughter relationship, what a Rachel-Miles relationship might look like, that they’re shooting the last episode of the season now, and that questions will be answered while a new quest will become apparent. Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
If the capsule is the key into the past, what can you say about the effect it will have?
ELIZABETH MITCHELL: I wish I could. I just can’t. In that capsule are the kernels of what this whole thing is, which we completely tell everybody in two episodes. They want that to be as much of a surprise as possible because it’s a good one. It’s incredibly plausible, which I liked. I thought that was nice, and different than what I thought, which was awesome.
How have your thoughts on the character changed and evolved, as you learned more about her?
MITCHELL: That’s a great question. I’m pretty nosey, so I asked a lot of questions to begin with. I always do. And then, because I’m a dork and a geek and I love my work so much, I write up a thing, and then I say, “Does that make sense? Is that true? Did that happen? Is that possible?,” and they usually let me know by saying yes or no, or possibly, or kind along those lines. I didn’t realize that she’s as moral as she is. That was a surprise. And I know that sounds strange, given how many people she’s killed and what she’s done, but that was interesting to me. And then, you have an anti-hero, in a way, who really does try to be heroic. I love that. I thought that was fun.
Did they arm you with any information that you needed to know ahead of time, before the big reveals came out?
MITCHELL: They didn’t feel that I needed to know things, but I did, so yes, I armed myself. And I think that my five page, “Is this true?,” was helpful and leading. So, that was really good. And then, I had a couple conversations with (show creator) Eric [Kripke], and he’s been really good about it. He knows that I like to know.
Were you bummed that you didn’t get to handle the rocket launcher, or were you relieved that you got to survive?
MITCHELL: It doesn’t seem to end well for those who do, right? You either get thrown against a wall or riddled with bullets. That was absolutely heartbreaking! I was crying when I saw that in ADR.
Rachel gave up the secret to power to save her son’s life, but now he’s dead. What are her feelings about that?
MITCHELL: The thing that’s interesting to me about Rachel, but it doesn’t necessarily make her likable, is that she doesn’t really feel like she has anything to lose, but she’s also fractured. You’re not dealing with a person you can expect behavior from. She would be entirely unexpected. Her grief is at such a level where she’s a completely loose cannon, and I would imagine it’s because she probably just wants to die. I don’t think there’s any worse pain [than losing a child]. So, it’s about making sure that her daughter is all right, and it’s about getting revenge. The rest of it is really fascinating to me. That fractured, damaged psyche is really where all of it gets fascinating to me, as a woman and a mother.
How will that change Rachel’s relationship with Charlie, as far as dealing with their grief?
MITCHELL: I think they’re still at odds. They have great moments of clarity. It helps that Tracy [Spiridakos] is so lovely because we have a great relationship off camera. But, yeah, it’s sad. It seems like whoever is writing this specific stuff has a good idea of mother-daughter relationships because there are moments of true joy and love, and then there’s just two strong women, head-butting. I always say that it’s such a tragedy because you get the feeling that Rachel was a great mother before. How do you come back from that?
The steamy kiss coming up for Rachel and Miles certainly raises the question about whether he could be the father of one of her kids. Is that a real possibility?
MITCHELL: That’s a great question. I’ve asked that, and they haven’t answered, so I can’t even tease. I ask that, all the time. Although, Charlie does look a little bit like Tim [Guinee], so I wonder.
Are you receptive to renewing a romantic liaison between Rachel and Miles?
MITCHELL: That’s such a great question. I think it will be interesting to see what happens between them. Right now, just having that bit of a frisson is nice. Where we pick back up again is great. There’s something there. But, you’re not quite sure if she’s going to kiss him or just hit him, really hard. Not like a little hit, but a good one. I get that feeling from her, all the time.
Rachel is also a manipulator and senses that getting romantically involved with Miles might be a way to get what she wants. Would she use him for revenge?
MITCHELL: Oh, gosh, yeah! If she could get what she wanted through kissing him, she’d kiss him all day. She’d kiss anybody! She kills people, for gosh sakes! She’s morally reprehensible, but it is for an interesting reason. In that way, I can get on board.
Do you feel like she is a character who is capable of redemption, or is she always going to do what she thinks needs to be done, no matter what that does to her?
MITCHELL: I like to think that it would be amazing if she were to get some sort of redemption. Maybe she doesn’t think that she deserves it or that she is entitled to it or that it’s even possible, but it would be excellent to see what happens, if she does indeed get it. That would be very cool.
Has this show made you think about how you raise your kids and the role of electronics in their lives?
MITCHELL: I take away electronics all the time, but I always have. I don’t love it. I understand that it’s prevalent and it’s everywhere, but I like us to look each other in the eye. But, once that genie is out of the bottle, it’s almost too late. That’s all they want to do. But yeah, I think about personal interaction. I spent my childhood outside. We’d come home, and my mom would be like, “Out! Out! Out!,” and we’d be like, “Sure, okay!
What can you say to tease what’s coming up?
MITCHELL: We’re shooting the last episode, right now. Everything that we’ve talked about so far, all of those questions are answered and the backstories are shown. My favorite thing is that they’re shown and not just talked about. I would much prefer to have the audience be able to see things than have us talk about what happens, and that happens a lot with some of these flashbacks, which is nice.
Will a lot of questions be answered by the finale?
By Episode 13, viewers will really learn why the lights turned out?
MITCHELL: Oh, yeah, they will. You really do. In one conversation, sitting across from Aaron, the whole thing just comes out.
Does a bigger quest enter into the equation?
MITCHELL: There’s definitely a quest, at the end, for Season 2, but it’s not so much what we’ve been questing for in Season 1.
Will there be any more big deaths?
MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh, people die all year. They said, “You can’t talk about deaths,” and I was like, “Really?!” People die all the time. Nobody’s safe. I wish they were, but they’re not.