On Wednesday’s fall finale of Revolution, the source behind Aaron’s special abilities is revealed to be… a small child?
Technically, it’s nanobots coming to Aaron in the guise of a childhood friend. When he turned the power on, he woke up the ‘bots and so they wanted to protect him, the little boy explains.
After Horns shoots Cynthia, Aaron commands the child to kill all the Patriots, who go up in flames, but the A.I.-like tech stops short of healing Aaron’s girlfriend. He doesn’t understand why Aaron would want him to leave and then come, kill and then heal, etc.
Below, co-showrunner Rockne S. O’Bannon breaks down what the “dangerous” nanobots mean for our heroes. Plus, he previews Miles’ romantic future with Rachel, Monroe’s search for his son and Neville’s changing agenda in light of reuniting with wife Julia.
TVLINE | Talk to me about the thinking in the writers’ room behind the nanobot twist.
The nanobot twist is something that really launches us into how we’re viewing the latter half of the season, which is kind of its own standalone event. People should be prepared for the last part of the season to really crank up all the show’s mythology on all sorts of levels. [There are] very big plot moves relative to the nano, but also in terms of the Patriots and what their game is and all the lengths that we have to go to to stop that. Character relationships — all that stuff is going to be wildly dialed up. The nano is one of the most exotic ideas about this world. [Aaron is] the perfect front man to lead us into that world. Where the nano takes him upcoming is fascinating and extremely emotional. We’re really going to be putting Aaron through the ringer in that regard.
TVLINE | When the little boy says, “You woke us up,” referring to when Aaron turned on the power, does that mean that technology was awake in the world, not just in Aaron?
Yeah. The nano is everywhere. There’s trillions of them. They not only infuse the atmosphere, but our bodies, as well. But it was Aaron’s actions at the tower that initially signaled him to be special. And then there’s other things that we’ll discover. There are other reasons why Aaron has been singled out by the nano.
TVLINE | Has the nanotechnology now developed a mind of its own?
It certainly seems that way.
TVLINE | It seems to be able to think on its own, because it’s making decisions.
Yeah. There was a hint of that when Aaron saw Ben a while back. But at that stage, the nano was young enough or new enough that it could pull Ben from Aaron’s memories, but it couldn’t really do much more than appear to him. Now, in Episode 9, it’s managed to manifest, but manifest as a child, someone who Aaron knew from his youth, representing the nano as a young entity. It chose to come to him as a child who is very curious and asks lots of questions and to be a little bit petulant and potentially maybe even dangerous.
TVLINE | Has the nanotechnology abandoned Aaron for good?
It surely seems like that, coming off of [Episode] 9. But it’s still out there. Another potential takeaway from [this episode] is: We want to go away and think about what we’ve just experienced. [We're] not sure how we feel about Aaron’s individual actions, but also what that means in terms of how human beings act and react to things. There’s a potential for an uncertain, possibly judgmental nanotech that’s out there, and the danger is, it’s literally everywhere.
TVLINE | And Aaron can’t control it anymore.
Yeah. It would do his bidding because it chose to help him and do what he wanted it to. But now, at least as of the climax of [Episode] 9, it’s not going to do that for him anymore, at least in the short term — which is a huge relief for Aaron, obviously, but also a very scary proposition. If it’s not relating to him in any way, what is it thinking? What is it doing?
TVLINE | One last Aaron-related question: Is Cynthia definitely dead?
There are deaths and resurrections on our show. As of the conclusion of [Episode] 9, yes, she’s dead. But I can’t promise that there won’t be some really unique twists and turns in regards to that.
TVLINE | Neville and Miles have been fighting the Patriots on two separate fronts. Are the two groups going to intersect and team up?
There’s a natural magnetism involved in terms of always wanting to bring our characters back together. They are fighting the Patriots on two different fronts with two different agendas. Neville just got this gigantic whallop in discovering that Julia’s still alive. That becomes a major twist in his motivations. Avenging her death is his entire reason for going after the Patriots and wanting to assassinate the President in particular. He was totally on track to follow that mission, a very personal mission, and now suddenly, here’s Julia showing up as he’s approaching the White House.
So the next few episodes are really very fraught as he reunites with Julia and his agenda shifts, relative to the position that she’s in now with someone very high up in the Patriot hierarchy. It’s always bubbling under the surface, that notion of how and when are our characters will start to come together and clash. You can certainly expect that to be happening some time as we get into the latter half of the season.
TVLINE | What’s in store for Monroe in terms of his search for his son?
Monroe, as we met him at the beginning of the season, was a lost soul, someone who had lost his nation and, essentially, his reason for being. Discovering that he has a son really lights a fire under him. That becomes a strong passion for him. He’s a man with a very strong mission. That sets him off on an adventure, in which he entangles others of the team to join him to seek out and reunite with his son, whom he’s never met and has no idea what situation he’s in. It’s really quite surprising what he discovers.
TVLINE | Miles’ confession in this episode turned a page for him and Rachel. How will their relationship evolve?
Despite all the fronts that they’re fighting on… there’s a real opportunity for their attraction to each other to take root and blossom. Viewers can look forward to seeing that occurring in the midst of all the fraught Patriot action. It’ll be nice to see that relationship starting to solidify.