Revenge‘s season three premiere took off righting the wrongs of the previous lackluster season, jumping ahead six months to make (most) things right again and set the stage for a return to the show that hooked me in the beginning. Gone are the Initiative and Carrion (which Emily has promised will never be mentioned again), gone is Charlotte’s pregnancy, and Conrad is forced to step down as governor. Unfortunately the premiere also saw the departure of Ashley Madekwe’s Ashley Davenport (who I wish they’d found a decent story for). With the correction of so many mistakes (with new showrunner Sunil Nayar at the helm), Revenge delivered a solid season premiere that has me optimistic about the season ahead. I can’t even remember what last season’s so-called enticing flash-forward was supposed to be, but this one has me really interested. Blushing (not really blushing) bride Emily is shot three times by an unknown assailant, one she issues a very heartfelt apology to, and falls from a yacht into the ocean. I’m holding off on theorizing on this, but I’m so excited to see how Emily gets out of that one.
As far as new characters go we get Margaux (Karine Vanasse) an old friend of Daniel’s from France who may or may not be flirting it up with him from time-to-time. I certainly hope I’m not supposed to feel any kind of anxiety over a potential Margaux/Daniel pairing as I just want Daniel to disappear. I suppose a deviation from his adoration of Emily would cause some problems for her though as this season now hinges on Emily and Daniel’s (infinity themed) wedding at the end of the summer. Though she’s probably got some secrets stashed somewhere, Margaux appeared pretty likable, only tainted by her affiliation to Daniel.
Also joining the cast is Patrick (Justin Hartley), Victoria’s long-lost son who she’s spent the past six months with in solitude, going horseback riding and taking part in other mother-son bonding activities. The borderline incestuous attachment Victoria has with her children was in full force with Patrick as she desperately tried to cling to him as he departed the Hamptons. The twosome’s rampant glee at being around one another plus Charlotte’s assumption that Patrick was Victoria’s secret boyfriend only added to this.
Whatever’s next for Patrick, now that Emily knows he’s around, he’s certainly going to find himself wrapped up in her plans. But how his wide-eyed innocence is going to fare in the Hamptons has yet to be seen. The place is overflowing with cynical, judgmental rich people but Patrick’s an apparently decent freelance painter who actually has to work, and he can’t imagine someone being the kind of cruel and manipulative Charlotte assures him Victoria is.
Speaking of working, none of the Graysons are doing that. Everyone’s unemployed, including Conrad by the episode’s end. Their only source of income was his position as governor, and Emily’s schemes nipped that in the bud. I suppose it doesn’t really matter if it comes out that Conrad’s Huntington’s diagnosis is false since it only served to force him out as governor, a position Emily astutely notes he never should have had to begin with. The governor plot was the most ridiculous part of season two (in a season that included a weird Hamptons bar revenge something and a computer program to destroy the world) so it’s great to see that being set aside in favor of whatever’s coming next. Whatever it is, it can’t possibly be worse than expecting me to believe that Conrad Grayson could honestly be elected governor.
I’m also glad to see that the Emily/Jack relationship has been shelved at least temporarily. It’s a relief for Jack to have an arc that isn’t focused on dumb dealings at the Stowaway or his crush on Emily. The Jack that wants Emily to recognize the collateral damage of her plans and wants her to get it over with as soon as possible is a Jack I can almost tolerate though his ruse of being in love with Emily was unnecessarily cruel (albeit understandable as he blames her for both Amanda’s and Declan’s deaths). By making Jack knowledgeable about Emily’s intentions, but putting him in opposition, there’s conflict that is far more interesting than what this show had been pumping out for the two of them previously. The childhood love story has never been strong enough to build these two characters and their relationship on, but if Revenge is going to insist on maintaining the push-and-pull of Jack and Emily the least it could do is add some layers. After two seasons of being consistently annoyed by Jack, the premiere left me not minding him at all.
Per usual I strongly objected to Daniel’s existence and Aiden’s shadowy reappearance doesn’t have me interested at all. We’ll have to wait and see to discover why he’s suddenly bent on destroying Emily. He was another part of season two I could have done without, but he and Emily didn’t part on necessarily bad terms. If he’s after her now because of her refusal to run away with him, I don’t understand it. We’ll either get more context next week or Aiden’s going to be eye-roll inducing for another season.
Emily crossing Ashley’s face out of a photo signifies our return to season one’s blissful revenge plots of the week. With Nolan and Emily more set on finishing this thing up than ever (and plotting on the beach together drinking alongside a crackling fire) the season looks like it could be returning to the greatness of its freshman season. Fingers crossed.
Leave your thoughts on the season premiere in the comments.