I don’t even know where to start, because that was inspired.
First off: Aiden’s positively harrowing murder. Honestly I was tremendously taken aback by how this development came about. I’d been anticipating the Brit’s death for a while now, but I never imagined we would see Victoria physically suffocate him with a pillow. This brutal act certainly erased any ambiguity Victoria had left (much like Conrad’s vicious murder of Pascal a few weeks back), and it unequivocally positions her as the show’s full-on Big Bad. Sadly, this move also renders Victoria pretty unlikeable (part of me always maintained somewhat of an affinity for the evil Queen). But now? She’s just despicable, which made the episode’s final sequence all the more satisfying.
Yes, I am of course referring to Emily hatching yet another one of her brilliant plots – this time institutionalizing Victoria in the very same asylym that traumatized our heroine as a child. Watching Victoria howl the words “She’s Amanda Clarke” endlessly was a haunting sight, punctuated by Emily’s badass final strut (ushering in a new era for the show). Simply put, Revenge managed to flip its entire status quo on its head. This had been my dream for quite a long time, and the show will undoubtedly come back as a completely different beast in season four now that the Grayson saga has been completely exposed (and David’s name has been cleared). Which leads us to….
David Clarke is A-L-I-V-E. This is certainly a jump-the-shark- moment, and I honestly feel like it should have been avoided. Doesn’t this twist completely undermine Emily’s agenda and the entire show along with it? I know that’s what the writers were going for, but I don’t exactly seeing it working because it feels like we were invested for nothing. Nevertheless, I will reserve judgement regarding this bombshell until the show’s return next year. On the bright side, the move was well executed with David Clarke revealing himself on the highway and fatally stabbing Conrad. Herny Czerny you will be missed, although I think we had enough of you. Plus, you got a great swan song by buying your way out of prison decked out in Priest-garb. Hilarious.
Sadly, Execution wasn’t perfect. It’s unfortunate really, but the writers evidently still have no idea how to handle Charlotte. Wouldn’t the character and the show improve tremendously if Charlotte finally discovered Emily’s identity? Having her cause trouble on the periphery is extremely frustrating. Instead of feeling riveted by her ratting out Jack to the authorities, I was pretty much rolling my eyes the whole way through. Oh Declan, why didn’t you take your irritating girlfriend with you?
Although they didn’t get too much screentime, I also hated Daniel and Margaux’s subplot as they dealt with the arrival of her brother Gideon. I must sound like such a broken record, but Revenge does NOT need so many new characters popping in and out. It pains me that the writers are oblivious to this incessantly recurring misstep. Am I supposed to be intrigued by Gideon and Nolan setting up Daniel as a prostitute-killer? It just feels like a distraction from the main plot. Again, it would do the show a hell of a lot of good to kill off Daniel and Charlotte (and this week was the perfect opportunity).
Finally, let’s take a moment and reflect on Emily VanCamp’s downright phenomenal performances the past two weeks. I completely bought Emily’s proclaiming that she was finally “ready to love” although it was sadly far too late. The sequence in which she stumbled onto Aiden’s body was just remarkably powerful. Aiden’s open jaw, his terrified look, Emily’s screams – it was all stunningly realized, and VanCamp’s work was masterful. Give this girl some awards.
– Emily’s fight with Vicky’s David Clarke stalker might be the single most impressive fight scene the show’s ever done. Kudos.
– The manner in which Victoria murdered Aiden was admittedly brilliant. She has Dr. Michelle poison him (leading to his paralysis), before choking him to death. One fascinating moment in between: Aiden lunging at Victoria and her retaliating with a desperate plea (Do it!). I guess Vicky has a death wish after all.
– Terribly sad touch with the tear streaming down Aiden’s lifeless body.
– Haunting moment with Victoria hearing Emily’s screams from Grayson Manor.
– Heartbreaking scene: a lifeless Emily draped on her bed and telling Nolan that she never really loved anybody besides Aiden. Did anyone else kind of want the IT whiz to give her a hug? Would have been perfect.
– Fascinating touch with Emily letting the authorities believe Aiden’s death was a suicide so she could handle the matter herself.
– Series highlight: Emily slamming Victoria across the face with a shovel. Seriously, that moment was three seasons in the making and it was freakin’ glorious.
– So Charlotte figured Jack was the “kidnapper” after he touched her? Good lord.
– Loved Emily threatening Dr. Banks and ensuring her help in the episode’s final scene as they both turned the tables on Victoria.
Conrad: Bless you, my son. The riches of heaven surely await you… in your checking account.
Emily: I love him. And I never loved anybody.
I so want to give Execution an A+, but Charlotte and Daniel’s storylines prove that this finale fell short of perfection. Nevertheless, this was a sensational and intensely riveting hour. And for the second week in a row, it’s one of Revenge‘s finest episodes ever. What a comeback.