By Jessica Michele Herring ( | First Posted: Sep 25, 2013 01:52 PM EDT

(Photo : Nino Munoz/NBC)

Last year, many wanted to write off NBC's post-apocolyptic drama "Revolution." But fair-weather fans may want to reconsider changing the channel. When the drama returns tonight it will be darker and grittier, with more desperate characters. 

Executive producer Eric Kripke spoke to TVLine about the upcoming changes for the characters in "Revolution," including the return of the power outage and a new, ostensibly "patriotic" enemy. He also shared that Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) will go off on her own. 

Kripke shared that the power will be off again because it only stayed on long enough to get the nukes in the air. Therefore, season two will begin with a very unfortunate scenario: the power is off, and there are bombs in the atmosphere. "The power's going to stay off. The pendants are not working," Kripke said. 

Kripke revealed that the show will go beyond the quest to turn on the power and delve deeper into character development. "We can just push through to another layer of character and storytelling, because the quest to turn the power on and the quest to turn the power off is both limiting and it's not what the show's about, in my mind," Kripke said. "It's about these characters and all the different facets of what it's like to live in this modern, primitive world, and those were the stories we were interested in exploring."

He also revealed the new enemy in season two, a nefarious group called the Patriots. Kripke said that Patriots are "this insidious conspiracy of people who are draping themselves in the American flag, but they're not America. They're planting their tentacles in all sorts of different storylines, and our heroes have to realize what they're up to and stop them."

"It becomes a more interesting story of trying to uncover the mystery and conspiracy of what this dark force is up to," he continued. 

He also shared that the dynamic between Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell), Miles (Billy Burke) and Charlie will be "shattered." Last season's finale was devastating for the show's three heroes; they weren't able to turn back on the power, and it resulted in many more deaths. 

"They have a very realistic reaction to how bad everything went," Kripke said. "Charlie splits from the family. So a character who spent Season 1 doing nothing but trying to get her family together finds herself unable to be with them, and she peels off on her own." 

Rachel will be having a pretty tough time this upcoming season. She will suffer a nervous breakdown, and season two will pick up when Rachel is coming out of a very serious "occasionally catatonic state." Hence, Rachel will be very fragile next season, and not in the best state to face a new enemy. 

Rachel may eventually find comfort in Miles, with whom she shares an undeniable chemistry. Yet, there will be a lot of obstacles that will impede their romantic connection. "They have a really painful, fraught history that involves cheating on Miles's brother, and we're pretty sure there was at least an extended period of torture somewhere in there," Kripke revealed. "And yet, they still find themselves drawn together. So we'll continue to play that out."

As for Rachel's daughter, Charlie, she will come into her own. Kripke said that Charlie will separate from her parents to "go off on her own and be her own person and grow up and have sex and just be an adult."

"So she's both a more wounded Charlie and a cooler and more comfortable-in-her-own-skin Charlie," he continued. 

There will also be a number of new characters this season. A few characters will be from Rachel's hometown of Willoughby, Texas, which Kripke said is a reference from "The Twilight Zone." Rachel will be brought back to her hometown after her breakdown, in which viewers will see her father, Dr. Gene Porter, played by Stephen Collins ("7th Heaven"). 

Aaron (Zak Orth) will settle in Willoughby, where he will have a new love interest played by Jessica Collins ("Rubicon"). "She's a really interesting character, because she's intelligent and funny and also devoutly religious," Kripke said. "There's a lot of people who have a real, reasonable point of view on God, and we thought it was interesting to explore that - especially in this world, where they've returned, in so many ways, to a simpler time."

As for Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) and Jason (JD Pardo), they will head back east to find Nevill's wife. That is when viewers will see the devastation on the East Coast since the cities of Philadelphia and Atlanta were lost. There they will meet a new character, Secretary Allenford, played by Nicole Ari Parker ("Soul Food"). She is a Patriot who oversees a refugee camp. "She starts, like all of the Patriots [do], with this very benign mask, but there's something much darker beneath it," Kripke shared. 

Bass (David Lyons) will not be faring well this season. His city is gone and his forces are discombobulated. So when the season opens, viewers will see a man in the depths of despair. 

"He's indulging in women and alcohol and trying to drink and screw away the pain," Kripke shared. "We find him in a really surprising and fun place, and that's very much the opposite of the guy sitting in a giant office in Independence Hall. He's in a much grungier, grimier place, as are all our characters."

Revolution's second season premieres tonight, Wednesday, September 25 at 8 p.m. on NBC. 

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