Revenge‘s third season has been an examination of collateral damage in the Hamptons’ elite in their wars against one another. First Amanda and Declan’s deaths drew a large line in the sand between Jack and Emily and rightfully so. Emily’s revenge targeted Daniel’s love story with Sara and compelled him to shoot her on their wedding day. Part of the intrigue of Revenge is that on some level, everyone deserves what’s happening to them, but the real meat comes in the examination of who deserves what and to what degree.
Emily did wheedle her way into the Grayson clan and fake a pregnancy to keep Daniel, but she did it to maintain a vengeance gig targeting the family that ruined her father and her childhood, and Daniel was very aware (and very fine with that) when his parents revealed it to him. Now his shooting has taken away Emily’s ability to have children (and he’s gleeful about that, too) so now Emily’s revenge is more focused than ever. Aiden killed Takeda so Niko hating him for it and wanting vengeance is perfectly understandable. Conrad is perhaps the worst person on the show , but he and Lydia fancied themselves in love and thanks to Victoria and Daniel, he lost her so it’s not strange that he wants to turn his wrath on them. It’s a vicious cycle of payback with potential to turn into some vengeful arena death match that will leave only one vengeance-obsessed person standing.
The show’s called Revenge after all, and everyone’s got something to be angry about.
The relationships between the characters are as tense as they’ve ever been, with the Graysons aware of Emily’s duplicitous nature and Daniel trying to taunt his new wife into a divorce by shoving his renewed affair with Sara in her face. But the Emily the Graysons know is a low-level grifter (not a revenge machine who demands that Niko cauterize her wounds with a hot poker) so Daniel’s not prepared for the kind of hell Emily’s prepared to unleash. Reeling from the news of inability to conceive, she’s on a warpath disguised by persistent claims of being in love with Daniel and wanting him back that will surely (hopefully) end in Daniel’s death before the season is out. At this point, after both her past and her future have been marred by the Graysons, Emily’s willing to do whatever she has to in order to get back in the game and ruin the Graysons completely.
Hopefully Daniel’s moved up on her list of people to crush. Though he’s slighty more interesting now that he has a vague idea of who Emily is, he’s still annoying. He’s turned the naive and spoiled entitlement and Danny-knows-best attitude that’s usually reserved for his spats with his parents onto Emily. Daniel’s neither a match for his parents (he didn’t even believe Conrad when he said he was going to come after him) nor for Emily, especially not with his drunken and violent outbursts that will sooner lead him to a casket than any kind of success. At the moment, Emily isn’t deviating from the script of loving him so he’s still serving a purpose, but his “soft target” of a girlfriend was in Emily’s sights immediately. Because silly Daniel put her there.
Enter Sara’s disapproving mother. Though her absolute disowning of Sara was harsh, it was fitting for Revenge‘s soapy goodness and achieved Emily’s goal of getting Sara out of the Hamptons. Sara’s always been a wishy-washy character so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her return after this newest bout of conscience has left her, but for the moment Emily’s destruction of Sara’s relationship with her mother, and promise of doing worse, sufficed to get rid of her.
The only person who saw that coming was Victoria who was too busy dealing with Patrick and his paternal drama to do anything about helping her other (and let’s be real, less loved) son with his marital problems. After a shove in the right direction from Nolan, Patrick located his father, Jimmy. All the signs pointed to the circumstances of Patrick’s conception not being anything to be happy about. Initially I thought Patrick was a product of Victoria’s assault by her one of her mother’s boyfriends, but following Victoria’s face-to-face meeting with Jimmy in a bar and subsequent panic attack, she revealed to Patrick the true circumstances of his conception: Jimmy raped her.
Victoria is the only one of Revenge‘s characters (besides Nolan) who manages to remain consistently interesting and compelling. Between the show and Madeline Stowe’s portrayal, Victoria never ceases to fascinate. Part of her intrigue comes in the form of her terror-filled past which adds some understanding to her ferocious clinging to the life she’s gained in the Hamptons. She’s the reigning queen and has power she never had as a girl who, despite her best intentions and numerous attempts, kept running straight into people who wanted to hurt her. Now as Victoria Grayson who has carved her edges to points, she’s dangerous and formidable, and it would be very difficult for anyone to force Victoria into the role of victim ever again. Hopefully Jimmy won’t be back, though the casting of Brett Cullen implies differently. If he does return, the only way watching all his scenes with Stowe won’t make me cringe is is his return facilitates a revenge gig of Victoria’s own.
Also trying to get her revenge on was Niko who had a big Aiden-shaped buffer to contend with. With Nolan’s help, he directed her to a man in Moscow named Hoffman who was responsible for the bomb at Grayson Global that killed Declan. It almost worked until Niko discovered her father’s missing katana underneath Aiden’s bed and realized Aiden was his killer. Though Niko’s definitely not going to let Aiden get away with it, I hope she and Emily become more allies than enemies as Emily could use a good lady friend to help her get back to peak physical condition and cauterize more wounds.
Keeping his promise to come after Daniel, Conrad’s alterations to the magazine’s final issue were explained with the addition of a single sentence that allowed him to sue the magazine for libel. In exchange for Conrad dropping the suit, Margaux kicked Daniel to the curb. Conrad’s still terrible, but he’s a more tolerant terrible when he’s turning his wiliness on Daniel. If there’s anything that can make a character on this show more tolerable, it’s putting them in league with Emily, and that even applies to Conrad. Though Conrad and Emily’s apparent team-up will definitely push the less formidable pairing of Victoria and Daniel (which is pathetic only because of Daniel) closer to a figurative, and possibly literal, grave, Emily could be going the same route.
The season has been as examination in the ways Emily’s plans get away from her and end up hurting others, and on her wedding night, herself. Adding blackouts to the mix isn’t going to add any stability to the proceedings, but it sure ramps everything up. With Emily perceiving her future in shambles and dealing with the physical weakness that accompanies her injury – I doubt her tears after Daniel attacked her in the bedroom were because she was in pain – she’s grasping onto whatever she can, and now it’s Conrad. Perhaps it was always inevitable that Emily would ally with one of the people she hates to help destroy other people she hates, but where this will lead her is the big question. An unstable Emily is not a flawless planner which is vital if she wants to take out the Graysons and be there to bask in their misery. One misstep, and Emily’s could be bullet-ridden and floating in the ocean all over again.
- Charlotte wasn’t in this episode, and I didn’t notice until Victoria mentioned her mother which reminded me of last season’s flashbacks which reminded me of the stellar casting of a young-Victoria who looked just like Christa Allen.
- Why did Aiden think it was a good idea to grab Emily roughly and hiss angrily at her when he knew her to be disoriented?
- With Karine Vanasse’s appointment to series regular for season four, we’re in for more of hers and Jack’s bland and unmoving love story, but at least they’re showing some initiative in moving to an actual house and leaving behind that tiny, above-bar apartment. Meanwhile the supremely wealthy and perpetually drunk and whining Daniel is still living in his parents’ house.
- I refuse to believe that Emily had sex with Conrad because that’s a soapy line even I don’t want to cross.
- Revenge won’t return until March 9, where it moves to a new 9 PM timeslot after that new show about dead people coming back so until then.
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