Revenge: Power

"The greater the power, the greater the potential for abuse."

This morning, I read an interview with Mike Kelley, the creator of Revenge, and he promised that the second half of the show's sophomore season would return with a renewed sense of purpose. It's no secret that I wasn't impressed by the first half of the year but after watching this episode, I have to say that it looks like Kelley genuinely plans on fulfilling his promise. This was indeed an immensely satisfying hour of Revenge.

Let me reiterate: Revenge is back. I think my biggest beef with the show this year was the fact that Emily's quest for vengeance was starting to take a backseat to the whole Initiative fiasco which grew consistently convoluted as the season went on. While it was still entertaining, Revenge wasn't the masterful soapy thriller it was last year. Thankfully, Emily's red pen of doom has returned, and our favorite anti-heroine is back to x-ing names off her hitlist in highly dramatic fashion. In fact, I didn't realize how much I'd missed her weekly takedowns and Judge Barnes proved to be a particularly intriguing victim with his involvement in the David Clarke trial. The episode's highlight was the incredible speech by his abused wife that culminated in her stripping and revealing her bruises to the world. The sequence seriously gave me goosebumps.

The newly-formed partnership between Victoria and Emily is also a development I'm especially excited about. Stowe and VanCamp's chemistry has been a highlight since the pilot, and putting them in each other's crosshairs once again is bound to be highly entertaining (and destructive to everyone in the vicinity). The duo's successful manipulation of Daniel was delightful to watch as the Grayson heir continues to be exploited by almost everyone around him. I can't wait to see what plot this unholy alliance hatches next.

And finally, I can't believe I'm going to say this but for once, I was actually entertained by the Porters and their Stowaway drama. Now that Charlotte and a drug ring are involved, the stakes have been elevated considerably. The fact that Jack found himself in prison at the end (as he thoughtfully took the hit for his brother) is just icing on the cake. Color me actually impressed that they managed to finally give this storyline some weight after a slew of atrocious hours. Now can Emily please clean this mess up? And is Amanda ever going to go snap again? I could do without her caring for a crying baby as she's much more fun stealing identities (and boyfriends).

I also have to mention that The Initiative plot finally gained some momentum as Helen began blackmailing Aiden. I loved the shadow sequence with the lasers pointed at Aiden as the show was sorely in need of a tangible antagonist for our crew to go up against.

Vengeful Bits

- Emily and Aiden's opening fight/sex scene under the moon was pretty darn cool.

- I can just picture the Devil shuddering in his sleep as Victoria and Emily shook hands in epic fashion.

- Emily's evil slow-mo smile & walk away from Daniel was deliciously evil.

- Can I just point out that Madeleine Stowe is finally hot again? I guess the work she had done on her face this season has finally settled in. She finally outshone Emily again!

- Loved Emily sparring with Barnes over dinner. It's always great when Miss Thorne mingles with the elite and takes them down a peg or two.

- Victoria's "Oh god help us all" as Conrad considered politics was hilariously delivered by Stowe. The woman can definitely pull of comedy well.

- Did we always know Emily was put in abusive homes as a child? I don't remember that nugget.

- So will Helen lead Daniel to discover the truth about Emily?

- The ending was outstanding with Emily accepting a job offer at Grayson Global and then kissing Daniel as a proud Victoria and a bitter Aiden watched on. It's getting complicated folks!

Devious Delights

Emily: What a lovely view of my beach-house.
Victoria: I hardly noticed.

Conrad: If they sold stock in irony, I would be richer than the Sultan of Brunei.

Nolan: (to Aiden) Well, bros before hoes only works if he's not still in love with the ho, bro.

Nolan: Not that it's any of your business, but I'm following the orders of my child-boss.

Emily: Power can be hoarded by the mighty or stolen from the innocent.

- A promising return to form from Revenge.

4 out of 5 red markers.

Previously posted at Nad's Reviews.


Anonymous said...

I have my doubts as to whether this show will actually fully regain form. In my view, that may be a generic problem, though. All shows that I can think of that deal with a young, tough woman out to avenge the wrongs done to her or her loved ones (e.g.: Revenge, Nikita, Alias and Veronica Mars) seem to run out of steam after their second season. After that, plot lines just become more and more contrived or forced. Some, like Alias, may even survive several more seasons, but the old, nail-biting suspense just isn't there anymore after that. Maybe that should even be Billie's 11th rule of television: Young tough hotties, out for revenge, have a short half-life...unfortunately ;)

ChrisB said...

Great review, Nadim. I agree that it was a joy to have the show back on its old form with Emily taking someone down. It's been far too long and the judge had it coming. But, to manipulate his wife into doing it may be the height of success for our anti-heroine.

More Victoria/Emily bonding, please. It's so much fun to watch.

PlatinumRosebud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PlatinumRosebud said...

Nice review, Nadim.
I would like to order some actiony eps involving Ems and Aiden vs. The Initiative.
I so miss Ems in action.
Also love Ems early morning "foreplay" with Aiden. Ha! Ha!
I'm with you in getting a kick on Queen V's "oh god help us all" on Conrad.
It's like bringing a petulant kid down a couple of notch. :D
A bit of a puzzle with the Marco storyline.
It maybe possible that Marco is connected with The Initiative.
Re: The Stowaway Bros, I too, would like to have Amanda take a swing on those drug dealing boys.
Remember, she committed murder to protect Ems; what more with her little family.
The camera angles in this ep are top notch; it captured all the hidden agenda of the characters.

Nadim said...

RoseBud I actually didn't notice the camera angles but that's an intriguing point. I feel like watching it again and catching them :)

And yes we need some kickass action again. Ems, Aiden and Amanda versus the Initiative folks. I can just picture that explosive finale!

Anonymous said...

I think Padma is in league with the Initiative..she's too sweet to be true..This week she was absent..Yay.
Fun episode with intriguing twists and turns. Will Aiden be truly heartbroken if Ems cheats on him with Daniel for her Revenge scheme?
Love Nolan as ever.