Revenge 2×01 – Destiny

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Revenge was undeniably my favorite new drama of the past year so I obviously had high expectations coming into the season two premiere. This year will definitely make or break the show and at the moment, it could really go either way.

While it’s so great to have Miss Thorne back, my fears for the show unfortunately seem to be coming true. Much like it did in the finale, Revenge is starting to veer away from the story of one girl’s quest for vengeance in the Hamptons and into the whole conspiracy angle with shadowy agencies and shifting allegiances. That might work for Alias but here it comes at the expense of Revenge’s uniqueness which was somewhat grounded. I know it sounds like I’m harping on the show but I’m still immensely attached to many of the characters and relationships. Emily’s complicated dynamics with both Daniel and Nolan are highlights.

Nevertheless, I understand that a show has to evolve and I think it will still manage to subvert my expectations and produce another great year. We’ve got so many intriguing elements to deal with from Victoria’s new purpose to the truth behind Emily’s mom and what happened to her. Moreover, that ending was fantastic with Emily & Nolan catching the White-Haired Man with Victoria, culminating with our favorite kickass heroine uttering a single spine-tingling line: “Let them.” Suffice to say, I’m definitely pumped.

Vengeful Bits

– The year begins with another flash-forward. This time the Amanda boat is decimated under the ocean and a body is found. I’m not especially excited for that but I did love the chilling transition (and cinematography) to Emily bound underwater.

– So let me get this straight, Ashely thinks she’s Victoria now? Kill me now.

– Jack and Declan are still as boring as ever. A pity…

– Emily and that red dress. Wow! Emily VanCamp is looking mighty fine this year.

– I really appreciated the various nods to the pilot particularly the boat scene and Emily spotting a frenemy in slow motion. Last year it was Victoria now it’s Ashley.

– Emily and Nolan as roommates? Hilarity ensues. Can’t wait.

– Loved Emily asking Jack if he’s sure the baby is his. We’ve all been thinking it. Let’s just hope Takeda ain’t the daddy. My money’s on his protege.

– Will you look at that, they made Charlotte mature, interesting and finally likeable. Who would have expected that after she was the worst character on the show last year? An impressive achievement to be sure.

– They sure dragged out the Victoria reveal. I don’t think anyone ever believed they had the guts to kill her off. Not enough screen-time for her in this episode as far as I’m concerned.

– Another excellent nod to the pilot with Emily on the pier being watched by someone on Grayson balcony. This time it’s Daniel not Victoria.

Devious Delights

Emily: Wanna go for a drive?
Nolan: Sounds vaguely Revenge-y.

Nolan: (At Victoria’s memorial) Creepy. You think she’s somewhere looking up at us?

Emily: What they did to my father, they did to my mother too.
Nolan: And now they’re coming for you.
Emily: (smiling) Good. Let them.

Must Download Tune
Into The Black by Chromatics

Conclusion
Although Revenge is changing a bit too much for my taste, the premiere was a nonetheless intriguing hour of television.

Nad Rating
B-

8 comments

  1. I thought it was all right. I kind of like that they've jumped into this bigger arena, and that Emily's sort of a small fish in a big pond at this point. Nothing particularly new happened, the writers are so far just replaying certain things that made season one so good, but I wasn't exactly disappointed or anything. Unless that's something hardcore fans like yourself would be more likely to feel? Eh. Excited for more Jennifer Jason Leigh, though.

  2. It's changing a bit too much for me but I'm still enjoying it and I have faith in Mike Kelly and the rest of the writing team. I have a feeling this season will actually surprise me and turn out to be even better than the first! And yes while I wasn't initially excited for Jennifer Jason Leigh's casting, I saw how effective she was on Weeds and I'm definitely intrigued.

  3. Great review Nad!
    But I'm not quite sure what you mean by shifting allegiances. It's pretty much still Emily seeking revenge against the Graysons. But I trust your insights into these matters ๐Ÿ˜‰
    To get things straight: it was actually Victoria who orchestrated the plane crash to implicate Conrad right? Since we saw the white-haired fellow just before the crash and then at Victoria's safe house. But we also saw Conrad in season 1 finale telling Victoria that if she boards that plane it will be the last thing she does.
    I'm curious as to when Emily and the white-haired man will have another showdown and whether Emily will muster enough courage to actually finish him (she couldn't in season 1 because her dad told her never to harm)
    Also looking forward to are the leads that Emily will get that lead her to her mom. It is a true mystery and I'm really looking forward as to how it unfolds throughout the season.
    I'm not sure what role the man with Takeda has to play at this juncture. Obviously he has endured similar hardships as Emily so I wonder how he could help her on her quest for revenge.
    Two things I don't like so far: the relationship between Amanda and Jack. Obviously the writers choose to keep her now since any relationship between Emily and Jack will surely not materialize before her quest comes to an end much like we though it did in season 1 when the plane crashed and then Amanda suddenly showed up. The other thing I don't like is Ashley and Daniel; I just don't get it.
    It is great to see how Daniel is standing up to his dad but disappointing is how Conrad is using Charlotte's doctor to keep her locked in. Amazing what love for money can do to a person.
    Really looking forward to season 2. I wonder how Emily and Nolan will succeed with their mission. Sounds revenge-y to say the least!

  4. Hey Mo,
    By shifting allegiances I was mostly referring to Victoria who finally looked like she was going to work with Emily only to send WHM (white-haired man) after her at the end.

    As for the crash and who set who up, it's all so confusing and muddled on the moment (I think purposely) and I'm hoping everything will be revealed soon!

    By the way did you notice that they recast the actor who plays Takeda? The other one was unavailable this year! It's a very jarring albeit funny move!

    Agreed about Ashely and Daniel. What a useless couple. Ditto for Amanda and Jack but I at least see the thematic relevance of that with Jack thinking he's finally rekindled his love with his childhood sweetheart!

  5. I'm a bit puzzled on how come the white haired guy did not rat out Emily to Conrad and/or Victoria.
    Code of Silence between warriors? Intriguing!
    Is Takeda been replaced by a different actor? If so, I like to old one better. More corporate looking. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I agree with your thumbs down for the two ill-paired couple. How about exchanging them? hahaha! That will be wild! Imagine Ashley in Jack's bar, not to mention his bedroom; and Amanda draping her legs in cut-off shorts on Grayson Manor furnitures. :o))

  6. Hahhah I just literally laughed out loud at the image of Amanda in Grayson Manor! That would be just hilariously epic! And yes the old Takeda actor was a better fit. This guy is a bit too cartoonish and moustache-twirling evil-y.

  7. It was a good episode although a bit slow, maybe to set up future things. But welcome back, Emily Thorne.

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