Revenge Season Finale

Revenge 1×22 – Reckoning

"Just stay where you are and do not do anything revenge-y until I get there."

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It’s the rare television show that knocks it out of the park in its first season. In fact, many don’t really flourish until their second outings (Buffy being the perfect example of this). Others such as Lost and Alias, had masterful debut seasons that were just brilliant on every level. For me, Revenge undoubtedly belongs to the latter group. While its character work may not be as layered as Lost‘s first season, and its plot twists not as jaw-dropping as Alias‘ debut, Revenge applies its special dose of soapy thrills and vengeful machinations quite amazingly.

Β This season has been a joy to watch, a thrillingly enjoyable crusade as one badass protagonist sought to avenge her father’s demise. I’m happy to say that the finale was a pretty spectacular hour of television. It might not have resolved things to the degree that I would have liked, but it was exciting and satisfying in a manner that more than made up for the lack of closure.

First off, I can’t stress how much Emily Thorne proved to be an absorbing lead this year. Played to perfection by Emily VanCamp, the character was refreshing in her unwavering commitment to vengeance. Yet, her facade gradually began to crack over the year which set the stage for her sparing the White-Haired Man after their thrilling battle. While I would have liked her to go through with it, I can’t deny that the seeds had been planted for this event and now Emily undoubtedly finds herself exposed in a manner she never was before, effectively raising the stakes for season two.

The relationship that most benefited from this finale was undoubtedly Emily & Nolan’s. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the character when the show began, I’ve slowly grown to really admire Nolan and his loyalty to Emily over the course of the last few episodes. The finale felt like a true culmination of a relationship that was both genuine and strangely familial.

One relationship that I would have liked to see more of was Emily and Daniel’s. Their breakup scene was exquisitely acted, but I still wanted Emily to reveal the truth to him (or at least to Victoria or Jack for that matter). I understand that the show does have certain limitations if it intends to stay on for a while but it was still slightly disappointing for me.

Interestingly enough, for once Charlotte & Declan didn’t ruin an episode. Certainly their storyline was the weakest as always, but it was nonetheless amusing to watch Charlotte adopt her mother’s malicious ways so effortlessly. Still, I hope that overdose will yield the results we’re all hoping for.

Now the real meat of the finale comes with the fantastic final sequence set to the soundtrack of Florence & The Machine’s fitting tune “7 Devils”. The plane crash itself was a marvelous development to hold us over until September although I’m pretty sure Victoria isn’t dead. Actually, I hope she isn’t because Madeline Stowe is too good a talent to let go of so soon. Here’s hoping our sexy demoness made her way off the plane at the last moment (seeing as how Conrad did warn her after all) and our favorite mistress Lydia is revealed to be the crash’s deserving victim.

While I wanted Revenge to end on a mind-blowing cliffhanger to really bookend the year, I was nonetheless certainly intrigued by the reveal that Emily’s mother is still alive with some sort of link to AmeriCon Initiative. I just hope this storyline is handled carefully because it has the potential to really ruin the show. This isn’t Alias; I want Revenge to retain its focus as one woman’s revenge story and not turn into a hodgepodge of shadowy organizations and spy-mommies. Of course I’ll reserve any judgements until next year because the show has yet to falter and thus deserves the benefit of the doubt.

In other news, I do hope Takeda comes back next year as I was hoping for some answers where he’s concerned. There’s still so much to learn about Emily’s Revenge-school years and his actions halfway through the season. Nevertheless, I’m guessing he sent Amanda back (with the baby in tow) so we’re bound to get some information soon. Speaking of our favorite psycho, her return was quite the jaw-dropper; albeit a bit too soapy for my tastes.

Vengeful Bits

– Very “Lost” like opening with the closeup of Emily’s eye. I quite liked it.

– Emily self-chloroforming into a flashback was strangely cool.

– I love that even when in chains, Emily maintains her tough-as-nails exterior.

– Nolan telling Emily to “kick his ass” followed by a hug was a wonderful moment for the two.

– Fantastic fight scene with Emily & the White Haired Man. Wonderfully filmed and choreographed. The axe in particular was an excellent touch.

– Creepy/cool moment as White-Haired Man winks at Emily through her spy-cam.

– Victoria slapping Daniel: always satisfying.

– Conrad seemed genuinely sad kissing Lydia goodbye.

– There was a real sense of dread as Emily & Nolan drank champagne in honor of her dad. Things were just too perfect halfway through the episode, as they so often are in finales.

– I quite enjoyed Declan telling Charlotte off.

– Victoria revealing her engagement present to be an empty box and then wishing Emily “the best of luck in her future endeavors” was just oh so cold.

– Who here actually believes the baby is Jack’s? The man is obviously too kindhearted to question it.

– Emily breaking down outside the bar broke my heart. She’s just been so restrained all year long and VanCamp is beyond amazing.

– We’re never gonna get rid of Ashley huh? She’s bound to find herself on Emily’s hit-list next season if she shacks up with Danny-boy.

– Gorgeously framed shot of Emily staring at her infinity box in front of the fire. She seems so broken. Definitely the most iconic shot of the season.

– Victoria looked quite badass walking up that plane in slow-motion. Loved spotting the White-Haired Man doing God knows what to the aircraft.

– Conrad burning the picture of the two women who betrayed him is a very sinister moment in retrospect.

– Nolan made a copy of the evidence: thank God.

– “Let it play.” Brilliant ending as Emily’s stone-cold intensity resumes once more.

Devious Delights

White-haired man: I might let your friend live.
Emily: Actually, he doesn’t concern me.
Nolan: Gee don’t sugarcoat it Emms.

Victoria: I have done some heinous things in my life. But now I have the chance to write a terrible wrong and nothing and nobody, not even you my darling son will stand in my way. Do you understand?

Jack: Are you okay?
Emily: I’m fine. You should see the other guy.

Charlotte: Has getting retribution ever made you feel better about yourself?
Victoria; Yes, when the other party deserved it.

Conrad: If you board that plane, it will be the last thing you do!
Victoria: Then I guess I’ll see you in hell!

Conclusion
Thrilling and strangely satisfying, Reckoning is a fitting finale for this year’s strongest new show.

Nad Rating
A

11 comments

  1. Oh wow, this said a lot of the things I was thinking. As always in incoherent blabbers (that I like to refer to as bullet points):

    – Amanda returning pregnant with “Jack's” child is definitely too soapy for my taste as well but we all know how these shows love to drag out the end-game couple and cash in on all the viewers longing for it to happen
    – I sure hope Victoria isn't dead! It would definitely be a huge loss I'm not sure the show could take at this point. Is there any intel / gossip about her coming back as Vicky in season 2?
    – I found the Declan / Charlotte storyline too Gossip Girl for my taste. Publishing the girl's (let's call her Jane Doe) incriminating photos and sending it to everyone in school… Queen B anyone? But it is interesting to see her grow into her mother
    – I wonder why the white-haired man did not reveal Emily's real identity to Conrad. That seems a little bit flaky at the moment, but it must tie into the role her mother plays in The Initiative
    – I think I like Emily's mom being part of The Initiative. Irina Derevko (and Lena Olin of course) was one of the highlights of Alias. There was so much ambivalence surrounding her, and Revenge really thrives on ambivalence like Emily constantly straddling the line of morality
    – I have to agree about Nolan and Emily's relationship being the highlight of this episode. I love the way that is blossoming
    – They definitely have some 'splaining to do where Takeda is concerned!
    – “Still, I hope that overdose will yield the results we're all hoping for.” Evil!

    Loved this review Nad! Keep 'em coming πŸ™‚

    P.S. Scandal is definitely on my to-watch list.

  2. Thank you Tots. Too bad it took you the whole season to start commenting regularly. We'll have to wait until September now!

    I've read quite a few interviews with the show's creator post-finale. Of course he's asked about Victoria countless times and he efficiently evades the question. I think it's pretty much common knowledge that she'll somehow survive because he says all is not what it seems blah blah… and really they wouldn't kill off their only Golden Globe nominee (and hopefully Emmies this summer).

    By the way here's been quite a bit of speculation over who could possibly play Emily's mom and go toe-to-toe with Victoria next year. One suggestion that I loved is Michelle Pfeiffer. Wouldn't that be brilliant!

  3. Just when you think the show is coming to an end and all pending issues resolved, you are surprised to find that many loose ends are created which beg for a second season. I loved every single episode of this show and I just can't wait for its comeback in September.

    I am certain Victoria did not board that plane. Just like the show started with us thinking that Danielle was killed, the show also ended presumably with Victoria dead from that plane crash. The resemblance is noteworthy

    I agree that Nolan and Emily's relationship was the highlight of the season. We are introduced to Nolan as a rich socially awkward man but as the season progressed we see just how loyal and kind-hearted he really is. I also like his relationship with the Porters.

    It is also disturbing to see how the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. During the season we see how Charloette and Daniele dislike their family dynamics and rebel against it. Surprisingly Daniele is morphing into his dad and Charlotte her mom. I really hope they learn from their parents' mistakes. What they stand to earn from mimicking their parents's tested and failed ways is unclear at this point.

    I was surprised to see the white-haired man load those detonators on the plane after his last encounter with Emily. One would think he give up his evil ways in return for having his life spared. I can't see why he is still loyal to Conrad.

    The lengths Conrad would go to save the family business is truly staggering. It is not his family he protects as he claims. Grayson Global is more important than anything it seems.

    I cant wait to find out who Emily's mom is. For a second I thought Nolan's aunt is her mom. What role she has to play next season is a real mystery at this point.

    Finally I believe that Daniele and Emily's relationship will somehow flourish as part of Emily's quest to avenge her father. Her desire to revenge is certainly stronger than ever now. Amanda back in the picture really annoyed me. I doubt that baby is Jack's. Once it is all over Jack and Emily should be together.

    I absolutely love Revenge. I wonder what surprises and twists the authors have up their sleeves. With the bars set high I hope the new season meets and exceeds expectations.

  4. Mahmoud I can't tell you how happy I am that you started the show and fell in love with it! And your comments were extremely insightful and entertaining to read! I'm looking forward to discussing season two with you on a weekly basis! Woohoo soon soon soon!!

  5. What an Amazing discovery nadim!amazing show, the cast, the storyline, everything..i enjoyed each and every episode which is kind of rare, the storyline is written in a certain way that keeps you hooked and anxious to watch the next season.

    Emily Vancamp is a hell of an actress, in the same scene she can be both, the weak,sweet “amanda” and the revengeful “Emily”, everything changes with a certain look. I loved how to writer didnt give her the killer title, while she had the chance to kill the white haired guy she changed her mind. I liked the fact that she broke up with Daniel , she actually stopped being the good girl finally she made a statement regarding the relationship as per her thing with Jack,i loved seeing her standing outside the bar looking at him. Of course it is too soon the have a happily ever after, that's why amanda appeared, and sometimes i feel like hitting jack for being so dumb,because he's like all over amanda,and in love with her idea.

    I love the relation between emily and Nolan, because she really needs a friend among everything that's happening, i love nolan's part, turning out to save the day, well this time when he recorded the evidence he saved the season! and promised us with a second one!

    Moving to my favorite character in the show Queen V, the villain, who at the end turned out to be not much a villain. I loved all her roles and especially the scheming ones. How she deals with everyone and that smile is always on her face, it was so refreshing to see her trying to uncover the truth, this shows that she has a good heart after all. i dont think she was on that plane, and died because i can't believe that the show might go on without madeleine stowe, it shouldn't..

    Of course charlotte and declan's storyline might as well end up, this is not a show for teenagers story!

    At the end, I can't wait till the next season, it feels great to watch such show and so refreshing to feel engaged with its storyline..
    Season 2..Hurry Up!!!!

  6. Haloush! I'm also so pleased that you in addition to Mahmoud have become such a big fan of the show over the last few weeks. It really deserves all the recognition and success it deserves because it had SUCH a powerful and well done debut season.

    People have been talking about Madeleine Stowe all summer long and I also agree that they wouldn't dare kill her off. She's such an important part of the show and one of the reasons I love it so much. She obviously got off the plane at some point and I can't wait to find out how!

    And yes we've discussed it a lot already but PLEASE someone kill off Charlotte & Declan. Although Charlotte got a bit more bearable at the end when she started turning into a mini-Victoria, her and the little boy-toy slowed down the show this year.

    And finally yes Emily VanCamp is superb! She balances the sweet and evil sides to her character so perfectly. Probably one of my favorite characters on TV from the last year! Can't wait to see what “her next move” is (that's the new marketing campaign)!

    Looking forward to discussing more with you next year!

  7. Impatiently waiting for season 2:

    – Victoria: Was she or was she not on the plane that crashed?

    – Charlotte: Was her overdose fateful? (I wouldn't mind if she gets killed off the show)

    – Emily: Now that she ends up alone, will she try to fix things with Daniel?

    – Ashley: 1 word REBOUND (useless and annoying)

    – Amanda: I did not dig the “preggers Amanda” twist but i'm hoping that it will be properly embedded in the plot

    The above points shall be discussed soon πŸ˜€

  8. I agree Nad about Faux-Emily's pregnancy. But the baby probably isn't even hers so we have those fireworks to look forward to!

    And Ashely has to be the single most annoying TV character of all time! (Actually no it's a 3 way tie between Ashley, Charlotte, and Declan. The 3 of them could have been on that flaming plane for all I care).

    Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚ Looking forward to discuss season 2 with you!

  9. Just finished binge-watching the entire first season of Revenge, and have been reading every one of your reviews! Before I start with Season 2, I just felt like I had to comment on what a brilliant, heart-stopping show this is. In a way, I'm glad I didn't watch it back when it was originally airing because some of the episodes had such jaw-dropping cliffhangers that would've killed me had I waited a whole week for a new dose of vengeance!

    After watching all 22 episodes, one thing is certain: Emily VanCamp is insanely addicting to watch. Her mix of “badass” and “sweet” is thoroughly entertaining and she knocks every single scene right out of the park! I can't think of a single bad episode during this entire season and while I loved this finale, I think I might've loved the penultimate episode a bit more. But those scenes with Emily and Nolan opening up a bottle of champagne and “celebrating”…wow, made me smile my ass off. These two have a beautiful relationship just like you've said.

    I was wishing Emily would tell Jack everything, and even when she walked into the bar I couldn't think of a single thing that could've possibly come between her and the truth…and then Amanda walks in, WHAAAT?! Ugh, I sincerely hope we won't be seeing much of her in Season 2.

    I've heard that Season 2 was bad in terms of quality, but I'm still hoping I enjoy it enough to get to Season 3 and follow your reviews week-to-week! So glad I started watching this!

  10. Hey Chris,

    Awesome news that you finished season one (and you've been reading my reviews hehe). Season two had a noticeable dip in quality but since you're prepared for the worst, I think you'll still enjoy it. Do comment on my reviews whenever you strongly agree/disagree as I'm interested to see how you find the season since we usually see eye to eye on so many things!

    Keep me updated, and enjoy πŸ™‚ Can't wait till you catch up to season three! (beware the spoilers, don't read up on the show online please. There are a couple of surprises you REALLY don't want to ruin).

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