Revenge: Sabotage


"Every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it's the heart."

And thus Revenge continues its splendid course correction of an arguably uneven sophomore season. There were times when I felt the show lost its way this year, but Mike Kelley is thankfully showing us that he was merely reorganizing the chess pieces for an ever wackier year of vengeance.

I'm most pleased by the fact that pretty much everyone on the show now has a purpose. The first half of the year really struggled with all kinds of useless side-plots that had nothing to do with the main arc. However, with this episode, the writers managed to integrate Padma as well as the Stowaway plot (thanks to Conrad's involvement) into the show's core narrative in a satisfying manner.

First off, I continue to be quite pleased by Helen Crowley as the driving antagonist of the season. As I mentioned last week, Revenge really needed a tangible face for The Initiative and she's quite effective at it. Emily and Aiden's intricate kidnap plot proved to be extremely compelling and I'm really looking forward to seeing how this will affect Crowley's dynamic with Aiden. The biggest compliment I can give The Initiative arc now is that it doesn't feel cheesy anymore, and that's really something special after the cringe-worthiness of the first half of the year.

Thankfully, almost everyone on the show seems to be orbiting around the same arc at this point. From Amanda bringing Charlotte and Conrad into play, to Padma being revealed as an Initiative mole, everything feels much more cohesive now. Suffice to say the latter development, while not exactly shocking, was a sorely needed twist. Now I'll actually care the next time Padma has something to say.

In addition, Victoria proved more than adept at holding her own (as always) with all the machinations going on around her. I enjoyed her chemistry with Dylan Walsh as Grayson Global's competitor Jason, and particularly the fact that she subtly nudged him towards the Stonehaven investment. Let's see if the romantic sparks between them will carry on as well.

And finally, I can't believe how much I'm rooting for Emily and Aiden as a couple, particularly with the latter's heartbreak at Emily's current status quo. They actually feel like the show's endgame couple now which is quite the achievement as I was sure the writers were going to position Ems with either Jack or Daniel. Well done, writers.

Vengeful Bits

- Can I just say that I have just about had it with in media res openings? If I see "two days earlier" one more time, I just might snap. It was fine the first time Alias did it, but now it's just overkill. Why is it so hard to use this narrative device properly?

- Loved Emily listening in on Daniel's conversation with Helen from outside his office. I miss sneaky Ems.

- Epic Madeleine Stowe line-delivery of the week: Sabotaaaaageeee (cue evil grin).

- Loved Nolan playing Tetris as Daniel rambled on and on. He's such a kid, that one.

- What's up with Conrad's shorts? This is the second week in a row and I'm getting nauseous.

- Very cool twisty scene with Helen Crowley watching Ems and Daniel on the phone while simultaneously spying on them through her hidden camera.

- Aiden, Nolan and Emily (Team Takeda) playing Bond characters: hilarious.

- Helen and Emily being all nice and touchy with one another was pretty crazy and awesome. I always love it when full-on enemies act so deceitful. It's the show's charm.

- I can't wait for Amanda to go nuts again soon. Her obtaining a firearm in this episode was the first step on that path, I'm sure.

- Even Ashley's in on everything now. And for once, she didn't annoy me as I was amused by her urging on Conrad's political career.

Devious Delights

Conrad: Jason brought by a box of Cubans to commemorate my retirement.
Jason: Is that what they call corporate exile these days?

Victoria: If you're not going to do anything to thwart these devils, I will.
Conrad: And how do you intend to do that?
Victoria: Sabotage.

Conrad: (To Ashley) Blackmail, of course. Is there anything that isn't beneath you?

Nolan: (To Emily) Oh wow, looks like Fauxmance Part Deux is a runaway success.

- Intricately constructed and highly-engaging, this was an all-around outstanding hour of Revenge.

4.5 out of 5 fauxmances.

Previously posted at Nad's Reviews.

6 comments:

ChrisB said...

Great review, Nadim. I agree that the pieces of the puzzle seem to be coming together in a very real and satisfying way now.

I thought the Padma betrayal was telegraphed pretty clearly when she set Marco up, but it does give that character something to do. And Amanda with a gun? you know what Chekov said...

CrazyCris said...

Poor Nolan, first Marco now Padma... can't catch a break, can he?

You're right Nadim, the show is finally back on track!

I never truly believed in a Emily-Daniel endgame, after all her objective is to take down his family! What guy would be ok with that (plus all the lying and deceiving) no matter how dastardly his family? And Jack is so involved in Amanda now, plus would alos have to get over the whole being lied to... Nope, Aiden makes much better sense! Go Team Takeda! :o)

PlatinumRosebud said...

Nice review, Nadim.
Enjoyed this ep, too.
Lots of things happened. :)

With Ems and Aiden, I just hope that Aiden doesn't get too carried away with the green-eyed monster (jealousy).
Team Takeda is really something.
Now, let's continue in kicking the bottoms of The Initiative.

I think Amanda will snap later.
It's her family we're talking about.
Let's not let that very expensive 2nd hand gun go to waste. :)
She's a Mama Bear that shouldn't be played with by those Smuggler Bros.
I think I like Nanny Declan in this ep. :D

Writers, may I request for an honest to goodness partner for Nolan?
I'm not picky, a girl or a boy will do; whoever will make him happy again and not used.

Oh Daniel, the pawn.
I am a bit worried that he'll be so caught up in having a lot of power backed by The Initiative that he might start using violence to get his way.
Tsk-tsk-tsk.

I hope that the rest of the season will be a likey-likey ep like this one.

Anonymous said...

Called it about Padma..the girl was too good to be true..We'll see when Nolan finds out. Ashley was fun this week. Who knew?
Go team Takeda.
Nice review.
Anna

Billie Doux said...

What's up with Conrad's shorts? This is the second week in a row and I'm getting nauseous. Please tell me Bermuda shorts are *not* coming back. :)

celticmarc said...

Aw crap Billie.

I wear shorts and bermudas all summer long. And part of the Spring. And part of the fall. And inside my apartment all year long. Do you prefer hairy or hairless legs ? Lemme know, cos' I'll shave.

(yes, pants at the office; except for the above paragraph) (hairy or hairless do NOT apply there and then)