Revolution showrunner Eric Kripke doesn’t want to hold onto the NBC drama’s central mystery — What caused the blackout? — too much longer. And he’s giving some hints about what the answer might entail.

“We’re talking very seriously about revealing [what caused the blackout] before end of this season,” Kripke tells EW. The answer is something that’s passed muster from a physicist consulted by the producers. So expect what caused the blackout to be at least somewhat scientifically plausible.

“The sweet spot is to find an answer that’s actually scarier than what you were thinking,” Kripke says. “Like, ‘Oh wait, this is not even just about electricity.’ And that’s what we’re designing. I don’t see any reason to withhold it much longer.”

Billy Burke, who plays Miles on the breakout drama, says Kripke’s blackout answer has managed to assure the actors, who have had many of the same questions about why certain technologies no longer function as fans. “We’re asking those questions on a daily basis,” Burke says. “We have conversations on set all the time — ‘What about this? What about that? Wouldn’t that work?’ There always seem to be a technologically sound answer for the questions.”

One fan question about the epic power loss that’s been asked since the pilot — Wouldn’t steam engines work? — was answered in a recent episode that showed a steam train. Another recent episode featuring a thunderstorm resulted in a debate in the writers room over whether lightning would still work (it does).

A giant Revolution revelation makes creative sense. Fans of the show don’t tune in each week for nuggets about the blackout mystery, so it’s really unlikely answering that question will result in a ratings drain. Whereas holding onto mysteries too long sometimes annoys viewers. The show’s characters, frankly, have bigger things to worry about. Noting that the blackout occurred 15 years before the show’s main storyline, Kripke asks, “How much are you sweating what happened in 1997?”

For more scoop on Revolution, check out this week’s issue of EntertainmentWeekly for a feature story on the show.

Episode Recaps

  • TV Show