NBC needs a strong showing from "Revolution" when the freshman drama returns at 10 p.m. Monday.
The series depicts a world that has lost electricity, and NBC lost a lot of energy after the show took a break in late November.
Freedom fighter Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), the spirited heroine and the show's strongest asset, is back to battle forces bent on domination. But Episode No. 11, called "The Stand," contains a twist that may put off fans who've sweated and fretted about Charlie on her quest.
Series creator Eric Kripke defended the twist. "It's exactly the right type of shocking development that really ramps up everybody up emotionally for their mission in the second half of the season," Kripke said. "It really emotionally escalates everything."
"The second half of the season is such a different mission and quest and energy than the first half that it really does feel like a natural break," Kripke said. "I think people will be able to jump right in and watch one recap and remind themselves where all the characters were and then dive in. I won't see 'Game of Thrones; for literally a year and then I'll watch one 90-second recap and be right in the middle of it."
Kripke said the four-month break was good for the show, because writers, producers and actors could explore what was working, drop what wasn't and improve the show.
"The show's better because we took the break, so therefore I'm glad we took the break," he said.
When "Revolution" aired in the fall, NBC was riding high. But the network has plummeted in recent weeks. Even so, Kripke didn't sound worried about NBC's problems.
"Like any good player, we just keep our head down and focus on our game," he said. "We're coming back with 'The Voice.' ... And we're very, very happy and grateful to have such a monster hit as our lead-in. And so we're hopeful that we'll come back strong. Again one, because the episodes are really strong. And in my mind, I love the first half, but I think the second half is better, no question. And we have a helluva lead-in, so those things are all reasons for hope."
Will fans agree that the episodes are better?