Revenge: Sacrifice


"Poor girl. She chose the wrong enemy."

There was a lot riding on this one. I so wanted to love this episode as we'd been building up to it all season long but too many things pissed me off. Nevertheless, I won't deny the impact this hour will have on the rest of the show as it was a necessary step in Revenge's evolution.

Amanda is the first true casualty of Emily's war. The show needed this sense of urgency and turmoil and her death was absolutely necessary in the grand scheme of things. However I wish we'd gotten here with more finesse. The whole boat scenario was painfully contrived and all the back and forth was awkwardly put together. While the ramifications of this episode will undoubtedly be a turning point for the show, this hour just felt clumsy.

On the bright side, Amanda's death sequence was spectacular. I loved the flashback to the two girls' juvi days culminating with Emily finally being able to express her love to Amanda. It's satisfying to see Amanda as more than just a tool in Emily's arsenal, but a loyal friend who ultimately meant a lot to her. The show had strayed a bit too much from its original premise (and lost its magic in the process) so I'm glad things got personal again after the coldness of the Initiative arc. I'm hoping this will restore a lot of the show's heart (which it tapped into perfectly in last week's standout hour) and Emily's quest back to center-stage.

The Graysons were pretty great in this. It's awesome to see our trio on the same side (well pretty much) and fighting back against the shadowy organization. Vicki, Connie and naive little Daniel spent way too much time scrambling this seas instead of taking back their power like they've done in the past week. Speaking of The Initiative, I do like the new face of the company (Mr. Trask) who's immediately much more threatening than Crowley the crone. I'm not too sure what to make of Victoria trying to frame now-dead Amanda for Crowley's death but I guess this means Emily won't be on their radar anytime soon.

I read a theory online that Padma could be at the top of The Initiative hierarchy. If only that turns out to be true because at the moment I'm not invested in her daddy plight at all. Pairing her with Aiden might prove to be an intriguing move but I sadly still don't care about the girl. She takes away valuable screen-time which Emily could put to better use striking people off her hit-list.

Vengeful Bits

- Victoria taking Helen's place in The Initiative car was genius. But why didn't we see the aftermath? The show simply cut to the next morning with her back home. What happened in between?

- Nolan calling Aiden "Mr. Bean" made me laugh.

- Who else caught the stunt doubles on the wide-angle boat shots? I used to love doing this on Buffy.

- Emily spotting Nate on the boat through a picture on the laptop was laughable. I get that Emily had to find out but there should have been a smarter way to accomplish that.

- Love Victoria and Daniel acting in front of Initiative cameras. And her little smirk as she stormed off was priceless.

- Daddy's finger? You know Padma just because he's fingerless doesn't mean he's not d-e-a-d.

- The green-screen with Emily and Nolan on the speed-boat was atrocious.

- So where's the laptop now?

- I have MAJOR issues with Emily struggling to beat up a petty thug just for the sake of drama on the boat. She's supposed to be a ninja warrior!

- Awesome scene with our sinister Graysons on the iconic balcony.

- Emily VanCamp has been on fire these two weeks. Seriously the boat goodbye and her letting Amanda sink into the ocean was stunning and so very moving. Did anyone else get flashes of Titanic?

- What a powerful and gorgeous ending with the red flare shining above a shattered, broken Emily.

Devious Delights

Victoria: (about Helen Crowley) The bitch had it coming.

Victoria: Conrad your gall never ceases to repulse me. Overt flattery aside, this extravagant soiree marks not only the beginning of your farcical political career, but the end of summer.

Mr.Trask: And then?
Victoria: And then I told her to get the hell out of my house. Now, Mr Trask, I would encourage you to follow that advice.

Nate: Who are you?
Emily: You'll never know!

- While I loved the outcome of this episode, I do wish it was more impressive as a whole.

3 out of 5 sunken Amandas.

Previously posted on Nad's Reviews.

8 comments:

CrazyCris said...

Farewell Amanda! Would have preferred it to have been Jack, but your death will serve to move along the series nicely (read: violently)!

For a moment there I truly thought she'd pull through...

I wonder how Emily and Nolan are going to justify their rescue to the police? I'm sure questions will be asked!

And is the Initiative really stupid enough to buy the theory that Amanda killed whatshername when everyone knows that was her wedding day and she had just sailed off with her hubby Jack (poor guy!) on their honeymoon? Just look at the timing guys, impossible!!!

Of course the big question is: WHERE is Emily's laptop?!?!?!? And WHO is going to find it?!?!?!?!

Great review Nadim!

Morgan India said...

I was honestly in tears at Amanda's death. When Emily said "Oh my god, I'm so sorry," I may have let out a sob. EVC and Margarita did a fantastic job with that scene and as one of my favourite characters, I'll be sad to see Amanda go.

I got a kick out of seeing Burn Gorman as Mr Trask. Although he barely moved his lips.

Henry Czerny's Conrad seems a little too much Thomas Norfolk from The Tudors for me to take seriously. Add a mustache and British accent and bam! Instant Tudor-ication.

Anonymous said...

Bye Amanda..you were fun. Getting Titanic vibes from Emily being forced to let go of Amanda too. So what's next?
Anna

PlatinumRosebud said...

Nice review, Nadim.

Never thought i'll be so sorry to see Mandy go.
I've come to like this Emily loyalist girl.
Now, we'll truly never see those cut-off shorts on Grayson furniture. :)

I'm with you, CCris.
Jack would have been the one better off the story.
But I also agree on having Mandy go for a much higher story impact especially to Ems.
Amanda's demise would double Em's anger; especially once she discovers the Grayson Trio's frame-up on Mandy for Helen Crowley's murder.

The mystery of Em's missing alienware (I think) laptop.
Hmmmm...
I have a feeling she passed it on to someone.



ChrisB said...

Does it make me a bad person that I was more upset by that gorgeous boat burning than I was by Amanda's death? It does, doesn't it.

You nailed the problem with this episode, Nadim. The way the writers got Nolan and Emily out on the water was simply laughable and the green screen was so bad it completely took me out of the show. All I could think about was that I was watching two people pretending to be in a boat. Absolutely no sense of urgency at all.

I do think the set up for the rest of the season was done well, but could we please have another red pen episode? If we can't, could we let Charlotte have the laptop? Let's give her something to do besides shag Declan and hold the baby. So much for standing up to her family. There she was smiling and clapping. I'd love to believe that she is now playing a game of her own.

The establishing shot of NYC (with Padma getting the finger) made me smile. The helicopter circles around a building with a distinctive green roof. I worked in that building for eight years.

Nadim said...

Thank you all! Really glad we're all on the same wavelength as a lot of people online thought this was the BEST.EPISODE.EVER which I just do not get!

And Chis it's quite cool that you worked in that building!

Yane said...

Let me just say that last week, when I wrote about Emily’s rescue, I was just teasing... Also, the fact that the whole situation was so easy to see through indicates that it was but prosy. Amanda’s demise might have been touching but it didn’t efface the sense of anticlimax.

There was one more thing I was concerned about and meaning to write last week but decided it was ridiculous. I still believe it is, but as my concerns just grew, let me share them. Now that Amanda died, Jack is single again. What’s more, Emily promised Amanda that she would take care of Jack and the baby. Please tell me that doesn’t mean that Emily’s going to end up with Jack. It would be way too cliché and that’s the other thing, beside happily ever afters, that I truly resent.

And even without this whole love side of the story, I still think that killing Amanda was offhand. Her thread was just getting interesting, with the Graysons and the Initiative. On the other hand, now that they’ll think their problems are solved, they will be off their guards which may make things easier for Emily… But what things, exactly? With Amanda dead, Jack shot and the baby partially orphaned, I guess she’ll have to take care of some non-revengy stuff. Unless she finds out that Conrad was implicitly involved in the whole situation, which may canalize her despair back at the Graysons…

I had some thoughts similar to yours, Nadim. Also liked Victoria and Daniel acting in front of the camera (and then there were Amanda and Jack acting in front of Nate, which was gripping too, but wasn’t there too much acting in front of someone in that episode?), had the same response to Padma’s fingerless daddy (although, if her father was dead, wouldn’t his finger be rotten and stinking? But then again, even if he was dead, they could have had preserved his body somehow… ew.), got flashes of Titanic. When it comes to what happened after Victoria got in the Initiative’s car, I think she just let the driver take her somewhere he used to take Helen, got off the car, waited for the driver to leave and went back home. I don’t suppose Helen Crowley used to get talkative with her chauffeur.

I have a question of my own (a couple, actually): Where were Aiden and Padma during the conversation with Mr. Trask? Why was this box already there? Why didn’t they open it earlier? Does this all mean that the Initiative knows Padma’s working with Aiden now?

Uh, that episode left me confused. In general I didn’t like it very much. All that screen time on the open sea made me feel nauseous. And there wasn’t even one scene with Emily and Aiden together (that videoconference doesn’t count). Besides, I’m quite concerned about what happens next. If Emily hooks up with Jack, I think I’ll stop watching… Ok, I won’t, but I SO don’t want that to happen.

Paul Kelly said...

All I could think was (a) How quickly did Nolan hack that webcam and (b) Who cares where the laptop is; surely whatever is on it will be backed up anyway? Cloud storage? Blu-ray? CD? Memory stick?

I didn't notice the terrible green screen, meaning I must have been half asleep, because even my Mum mentioned it and she hasn't seen an episode of the show in her life.