As the first season ended Miles and company did not have nary a moment to enjoy capturing the tower technology to turn on the power. Randal, Monroe's late-coming technology "czar" revealed his agenda using the power so he could launch a thermo-nuke orchestrated destruction of Atlanta, Philadelphia et al.
As the second season begins with a short recap, there seems to be a chance that some of that nuclear holocaust was averted due to the power being cut at just prior to impact. Or did it? Miles, Rachel, Charlie, and Aaron find themselves at Rachel's father's place. Cities hardly exist any more, but small pockets of people live in a few make-shift towns just trying to survive the new threat of theiving and killing courtesy of many small gangs. It's a strange mix of weary people who are suspicious. Charlie is peeling off from the others and she's newly focused as a one woman deathsquad in her desire to hunt down and kill Monroe. Miles is reminded of his fear that he is bad for Rachel courtesy of her father. Miles wrestles with his situation as he deeply cares for Rachel, but inwardly believes he does need to leave. Rachel is trying to come back from crippling guilt and the mental condition heaped upon her by it - she feels she is largely responsible for the power going off in the first place.
The story telling isn't exactly linear here. It seems to start 6-months after the nuclear event, but it segues, possibly, back and forth to maybe up to a year ahead? Seems a bit clumsy, but this new season has a much grittier and darker feel in which this jumping around, time-wise, helps build some much needed realism of a fractured hardened survivors.
Of course we need some good sci-fi to bang against the realism of hopelessness. Enter Aaron because he's got the pendant, but more than that: a brilliant inquiring mind. After bottoming out declaring the power will never be back he seems to be descended on by a pack of fireflies. This starts Aaron's mind cranking, but with what we'll have to wait and see. While this is going on the post-nuke aftermath has almost reduced Tom to a shell of his former self. He can't find his wife and is despondent. Here's a nice turn-about, Tom's son slaps the $#!+ out of him as a wake-up call. Tom relents his death wish. Charlie has found Monroe, he's living and fighting for pay as Jimmy King. Charlie will bid time for whatever she's got planned for the time being as a first attempt to kill him fails. But even as Aaron has some kind of possible new knowledge, he's cut down by an intruder. Aaron, shockingly, dies. It's just not clear what all of this means at this moment. Miles attempting to find Aaron's killer is captured by a warlord. Oh yeah, here's the big sci-fi I thought might be needed: Aaron comes back from what we thought was dead. Game on as Revolution is definitely a bit different and is ramping up accordingly.
Season two opens a bit slow with all the required stories woven to catch viewers up to what the writers now have in mind. Nonetheless, it is going in a good direction, perhaps, as Revolution now has the ability to overhaul itself with lessons learned and the ultimate struggle for survival with infinitely more desparation.