How was this not the season finale?
I’ve been having a crisis of conscience lately; did Revenge deserve to survive past its debut season? That first year was wonderful, but the premise was so needlessly stretched out in the second season (especially with all the Initiative crap) that I’ve often wondered if the show would have been better off with a proper ending in season one. Yet now I realize that Revenge needed to stumble, because we’re finally getting to tackle previously unexplored facets of the ever-complex Emily Thorne.
I think what affected me most this week is the fact that I found myself truly sorry for Emily’s predicament. Confession did a remarkable job of showcasing the enormous ramifications of Emily’s vendetta which began in the pilot. Now more than ever, she’s alienated so many people in her life (Charlotte, Jack, Daniel etc…) and by the end of the hour, her mission has suffered another blow with the death of Father Whitley. It’s heartbreaking to see where her path of vengeance has taken her, and I’m as invested in Emily’s plight as I’ve ever been. Kudos Sunil Nayar (Revenge’s new showrunner) for turning this ship around, because I was vastly detached from the proceedings in season two.
Truly, that final sequence was an utter jawdropper; Emily arrives to the scene of Conrad’s decimated car, and stumbles on to Father Whitley’s lifeless body – a death that she inadvertently caused by pumping Conrad full of pills. Thus Conrad escapes confession, AND death as he walks out of the flames in the episode’s final moments. The whole sequence is marvelously constructed, and worthy of a season finale. I’m beyond pumped that we’re only three episodes in, because when the stakes are this high, we’re usually in the final stretch of the season. Well done show.
Confession always gave us another crucial development: confirmation that Aiden is in cahoots with Emily. Honestly there’s no other way this storyline could have gone, and this is a tremendously satisfying turn, putting everything that happened before in perspective. The final sequence on the beach was downright beautiful, as Emily learned about the gunshot and poignantly touched her fellow avenger’s wound. I do hope Aiden ends up being Emily’s endgame love (I’ll say it again: Jack is as exciting as a mop).
– I kind of wish Charlotte stabbing Conrad wasn’t a dream, and that she offed herself immediately afterwards.
– Loved devious Emily appearing to Father Whitley in the confession booth with her blackmail offer. She should do this more often.
– Victoria noting that it’s a shame Patrick didn’t get to see their European “homes” before they sold them = #FirstWorldProblems
– Did I detect a hint of sexual tension between Nolan and Patrick? We know absolutely nothing about the latter, so I guess anything’s possible. Let’s see if the writers can surprise us where these two are concerned.
– What’s better than Emily trading barbs with Victoria? Emily trading barbs with Victoria AND Patrick. Damn.
– I really enjoyed the added focus on Emily and Conrad’s dynamic this week. It’s weird how they haven’t shared that many scenes together since the show started.
– The tension between “fellow child laborers” Jack and Marguax was amusing to watch. I’m interested to see how the latter will further integrate in the show’s main arc going forward.
– Charlotte told Emily she’s becoming a Grayson. Ouch.
– Victoria’s laugh when Daniel proposed she works for a living – priceless.
– Victoria and Aiden’s slow motion walk was incredibly soapy and satisfying. And the full-on verbal sparring match with Emily revealing the bankruptcy? Epic. VanCamp balanced her performance so well, that you could kind of tell she was putting on a show with Aiden.
– A gem of a scene: Emily crying as Whitley tells her that he understands what she’s trying to do as he knows what it feels like to be framed. “I urge you to let go and move on, before you lose yourself.” Powerful words father.
– When Emily thanked Jack for taking care of Charlotte, I realized that the latter’s existence does have a purpose: ultimately, Emily has to end her journey by assuming a maternal role with Charlotte. Right?
– Standout scene: Victoria telling Aiden that she wants to “unravel the bitch”. More than ever, it really feels like the battle lines have been drawn. God bless Madeleine Stowe.
– So much witty banter this week (See below). I’m impressed.
– Loved the fight between Victoria and Conrad. Part of me really thought he’d get pushed down the stairs (Amanda-style). Another awesome touch: that perfect family portrait behind them contrasting Victoria’s screams, slaps, and vase-throwing.
– Interesting tidbit: although Aiden is working with Emily, he deviated from the plan by telling Victoria about his fling with our heroine. I guess someone’s still jealous.
– Beautiful cinematography with Emily and Aiden at the beach. “For once I have faith”. Stunning.
– Did Conrad cause the crash? That seems to be a recurring theory online, although I’m pretty sure it was an accident since Victoria did foreshadow it when she warned Conrad of driving with his illness (his license was revoked).
Emily: I’m sure you’ll find a way to make amends with your family in these final months together.
Conrad: Months? I was hoping for years.
Emily: Of course… we all are Conrad.
Nolan: I’m not asking you to build Seal World, just an enclosure on the beach with I don’t know five or six dolphins for people to swim with.
Daniel: (to Emily) Look, we both know her goal is to blow us apart. I just wish you wouldn’t give her the ammunition to do it.
Charlotte: A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not why ships were built.
Daniel: You don’t trust me?
Margaux: I trust myself more.
Emily: I’m sorry if money is a sensitive topic for you right now Victoria – seeing as how you have none. If you ever need a loan, I would be happy to assist.
Emily: I’m short of faith these days.
Emily: (to Conrad) I was always drawn to the Old Testament God–the one who avenges. If you sinned, you paid a price. That seemed fair to me.
Victoria: (to Aiden) I’m more than capable of finding money elsewhere. But I am not capable of finding anyone who disturbs her the way you did last night. So you are staying. And together we’re going to unravel and destroy that little bitch.
Victoria: (to Conrad) Contemplating a burial at sea?
Conrad: I’m turning myself in to the authorities.
Victoria: So your psychosis has progressed.
Victoria: You son of a bitch (she slaps him).
Conrad: Thanks for the memento sweetheart.
Bones by Ms Mr
A revelatory and almost-perfect hour of Revenge; one of my favorites in quite a while.