I’ve criticized Revenge quite a bit over the course of the last year, but there’s no denying that ABC’s soapy thriller has been on an absolutely phenomenal streak with these last four episodes. In fact, their awesomeness almost makes the missteps we had to endure worthwhile.
The thing that’s so great about Revenge at the moment is its brand new status quo. Things were getting so darn tedious with Emily running around in circles and the Graysons getting dumber with every passing week. But now, the show’s a completely different beast with Emily assuming a more antagonistic role and the Graysons hot on her trail. Much like The Good Wife, the decks have been reshuffled to glorious effect.
Just take Emily and Daniel’s current relationship. It’s so utterly twisted and far removed from what we’ve grown accustomed to, and the show is all the better for it. Whether it’s Daniel urging Emily to walk in on him and Sarah in bed, or our favorite antiheroine calling on Sarah’s mom to shatter her daughter’s dreams, the various machinations at play were wonderfully devious to behold. In addition, they’ve allowed Emily to really embrace her duplicitous side to maximum effect. I said it countless times in the show’s debut year: when Emily is this unapologetically deceitful and malicious, Revenge ends up being like nothing else on television.
I can’t remember the last time Emily’s voiceovers made so much thematic sense, because the theme of “hatred” was clearly manifested in every one of our storylines this week. I especially loved the added emphasis on Victoria. Watching the queen divulge her multiple rapes and her haunting backstory to Patrick was tremendously hard to watch, but it was an Emmy-award winning performance that was delivered to gut-wrenching perfection by Madeleine Stowe. Within that one sequence, I actually bought Victoria and Patrick’s relationship, and the the former villainess rose up as a figure to root for. After all, her traumatic past perfectly conveys why she’s so vindictive and hateful today, and it adds an excellent dimension to the character.
Interestingly enough, Emily began blacking out thanks to her gunshot wounds and the plethora of traumas she’s witnessed. This lead to a number of odd flashes and cuts throughout the hour that made me question what I was seeing. First we saw Emily swimming (and almost fainting) before we cut to her od dream-like fight with Aiden. And in the episode’s final moments, Emily woke up in Conrad’s bed after a vicious fight with Daniel. Obviously the writers enjoy torturing us by insinuating that Emily and Daniel’s dad slept together, but I’m sure there’s more to the story, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve cooked up. Call me majorly intrigued.
Niko continues to be a brilliant addition to the cast, and I adored her finally finding the Katana. It would have been too far-fetched for her to buy Nolan’s goose-chase, so I was glad to see she wasn’t a total idiot. I’m beyond excited see Takeda’s daughter raise hell, and killing off Aiden might not be the worst thing in the grand scheme of things.
On a final note, Revenge is off until March and I just might go nuts. Today, the show is straight up momentum and I couldn’t be happier. What an outstanding turnaround.
– Emily asking Niko to cauterize her wounds with a hot poker (without something to bite down on) was freakin’ badass. What a woman.
– Emily called Sarah “Earthy” and “trash”. She’s totally another Victoria now and I love it. Even the hair and the outfits seem more sinister.
– Justin Hartley had his best scene yet in the car with Victoria as they watched his dad.
– Thanks to Nolan, Emily now knows that Aiden and Niko are a thing. Uh oh.
– Bravo Margaux; throwing Daniel under the bus thanks to Conrad’s offer was the best thing you’ve done all year.
– Hilarious scene with Niko slicing fruit and creeping Nolan out.
– Victoria’s panic attack was beautifully played. Good job Stowe.
– Awesome move by Nolan trying to send Niko to Russia to hunt down Declan Porter’s killer. I so don’t miss that little brat.
– Jack wants to move away with Margaux – thrilling subplot as usual.
– Loved Emily watching on with malice as Sarah broke up with Daniel.
– Was anyone else seriously praying for Emily to kick Daniel’s ass after he forcefully threw her on the bed and bragged about “sterilizing” her? I also hated the rape-y vibe to the whole thing. Kick his ass Ems, now.
– The episode’s final moments were quite intriguing with the arrival of the first Mrs Grayson. Hmm.
Emily: When I was a child, my father woke me every morning with the same phrase “life is a great sunrise.” The words shaped the way I saw the dawn. But after my father was taken from me, the morning sun burned like fire. That’s when I learned what hatred is. And that it would greet me each day to come.
Victoria: You’re poking a dangerous bear though.
Daniel: I can handle Dad.
Victoria: I’m talking about Emily. She is waging psychological warfare on this family, and you are foolishly taunting her with your infidelity.
Daniel: Well after the hell that bitch has put me through, she deserves to have her nose rubbed in it.
Victoria: That’s a fine strategy if it’s just the two of you but you brought Sarah onto this battlefield. She is a soft target and Emily will crush her. I know because I dismantled Conrad’s first wife in a similar manner.
Margaux: I assume Satan will want the corner office.
Conrad: I have no desire to punch a clock… just my boy.
Victoria: Did you know deep down, I hate tea? My mother was a fan of instant coffee. She was a vulgar woman who murdered her lover when I was 15.
Nolan: You said you wanted your Femme Nikita to taste vengeance.
We Must Be Killers by Mikky Ekko
A harrowing and powerful hour of Revenge. For the first time in a long time, the show makes sense and I can see it going on for a while. Incredible.