Revenge: Union

"I promise I will take a wrecking ball to every bit of this pathetic life you've chosen."

Oh lord, this was astounding. In fact, it was the season's first perfect episode.

Brimming with the kind of emotion Revenge used to deliver on a consistent basis in season one, this was a glorious hour that further elevated the season into a whole other level. Suddenly, I'm not worried about the show anymore.

What an enlightening hour for our protagonist Emily Throne. VanCamp produced her strongest scene ever in the cemetery with Aiden as she spoke of her father and pleaded with Aiden to stay by her side. I can't remember that last time I loved a scene from the show this much. It was immensely satisfying after watching her steely resolve for a season and a half. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the writers completely broke Emily down during that magnificent wedding scene. Having Amanda and Jack's wedding intercut with Emily and Jack's pretend union as kids was simply genius (and heartbreaking) on every level. Wow.

Victoria was also on fire in this episode as this was probably my favorite episode yet for the character. Madeleine Stowe was beyond superb here as she scrambled to save her son and finally came out of the shell she'd been hiding in all year long. The moment she shot Helen was simply epic and proved that Mama Grayson is indeed a badass. The character seriously had a ton of brilliant moments from leading Daniel to safety with a phone-call (as The Initiative listened in) to casually stepping over Helen's body as she made herself a drink.

Seriously, this episode was incredible.

Vengeful Bits

- Wow, I really missed baby Amanda.

- I knew Aiden's sister had died years ago.

- So Aiden's dad loaded the bomb onto the original plane. Did we know that already? Because it's a pretty cool link between our two revengers.

- What a wonderful flashback between Victoria and David back when he was in prison. I enjoy anything having to do with their affair.

- I'm sorry but the dumbest thing of all time is Emily actually using the word "infinity" as her password. I won't believe it and it's pathetic to expect us to. She's supposed to be a brilliant mastermind. Surely you could have found another way, writers!

- Amanda was quite sneaky, blackmailing Conrad with Emily's evidence.

- I'm glad Nolan confronted Padma about being a mole. I could care less about her hostage daddy.

- I got seriously creeped out when Vicki revealed the truth about the Initiative to Daniel as nasty old Helen Crowley watched on.

- Emily's tears during the wedding especially with the "ring" really got to me. Bravo Miss VanCamp. You are truly talented.

- Funny how it seemed like Emily didn't care about Daniel "breaking" up with her after everything else.

- So Helen didn't bring her sniper bodyguards to the lion's den? Really?

- Gorgeous shot with the Graysons standing over Helen's body.

- I love the fact that Emily and Aiden are back together again. They make an awesome duo.

- Pretty cool horror-movie ending with Nate on the boat with Amanda and Jack. So who's gonna die next week as we reach the premiere's flashforward?

Devious Delights

Ashley: Victoria do you mind? We're actually in the middle of things.
Victoria: And fully clothed. How refreshing.

Aiden: I'm sorry if I'm not as cold and calculating as you. I can't just turn my feelings on and off like the flick of a switch.
Emily: Is that what you think? That I don't feel? That I don't miss my father every single day? That I don't mourn the life I could have had? But that's why people like you and me fight. Because it gives us something to live for when everything else has been taken away. I thought you understood that. I thought we shared that. We can do this together Aiden. Don't go. Aiden, don't leave me alone in this.

Nolan: Let's just say in the wrong hands, Carrion would have millions of people wishing I'd never taken "intro to computers" in fourth grade.

Victoria: You monster.
Helen: Takes one to know one hmm?

Helen: It's empty.
Victoria: (Raising a gun) This isn't.

- Emotionally charged and gripping, this is one of the finest hours Revenge has ever produced.

5 out of 5 pretend weddings.

Previously posted on Nad's Reviews.


CrazyCris said...

Question: do we know if Amanda returned the laptop to Emily's hideout?

One thing I don't get is Emily feeling so devastated about "losing" Jack to Amanda when supposedly she's so in love with Aiden?! Otherwise, yes the beach scene was very moving! But not half as much as the cemetary with Aiden (which I also saw coming -his sister's years-old death- several eps back)

We know someone is going to die when the Amanda goes down... will it be Nate? Jack? Amanda? All of the above? There had better not be a "break" next Sunday, I want that question solved!!!

How creepy was the idea that Daniel is now fully involved in his parents' bad business (murder etc.)? How wonderful that he called Emily to "get rid of her" to protect her!

ChrisB said...

What an amazing episode! A lot of emotion, covering the full spectrum and I found myself tearing up in one moment and then gasping the next.

Interesting how the writers are moving Charlotte more and more towards Jack and Dec, making her a member of their family and not her own. It's an interesting dynamic.

Wonder how Jack is going to react when he discovers the truth about Amanda and Emily. His love is so tied into the past that he shared with that young girl. If he doesn't go down with the ship, and something tells me he won't, that is going to be fascinating to watch.

Jane said...

Personally, I like season two more than I liked the first one. It's less schematic and therefore seems more mature. And so does Emily – we’re learning, inch by inch, that she’s not as impassive as she appeared, that she, in fact, cares about something other than her mission. Thanks to it, she seems more human and, for me, much more likable.
Besides, I never particularly liked Emily’s relationship neither with Daniel nor with Jack. Jack and Amanda are good together and I’d let them stay this way, and Daniel is good together with Ashley or Grayson Global or whatever, I don't care very much. I adore Emily's relationship with Nolan but it's clearly non-romantic… Therefore, for me, season one lacked a relevant love interest for Emily. And Aiden... Aiden is just perfect for her. I adore that couple. I both love and fear the way she puts her trust in him because if one of them is going to betray the other, I'd say it will be him. Emily wouldn't hurt him, just as she wouldn't hurt Nolan, Jack nor Amanda. And Aiden already deceived her once and, as much as I dislike happy endings, I just don't want him to do that again. Clearly he's one of very few people who can actually hurt Emily. That scene in the cemetery was heartbreaking, partially because it was the first time we’ve seen Emily losing it. The way she spoke to Aiden was so emotional that I couldn't help the tears gathering underneath my eyelids, and finally flowing as Emily said, her voice breaking, 'I thought we shared that'. When she got to ‘Aiden, don't go' I could hardly trust my ears. Because, when it comes to her mission, I, just like Aiden, had considered Emily to be cold and calculating. Finding out she's not only so much more than that, but also able to open up like that in front of someone made me take to her a lot more than I ever had. And that only proves that our steely Emily is vulnerable to someone and therefore prone to get hurt by him.
As for the wedding scene, I don't really think it was 'losing' Jack to Amanda that made Emily come unglued; I don't believe she's into Jack now. He was just part of this life she could have had if her father hadn't died, the life that she mourns. She knows she'll never have him, not in this lifetime, and I'd say she's come to terms with it. And I think she’s honestly happy for Amanda and Jack, she wishes them the best, she wants to see Jack happy for the sake of their past and maybe she even has some feelings for him, but I regard them rather nostalgic than romantic/passionate. Last but not least, while listening to Amanda’s vow, Emily kept looking and smiling at Aiden, as she noticed him on the rocks. I think she wants to believe that she, too, deserves that love and hope and security Amanda was talking about… just not with Jack. And as Amanda said to Jack, ‘with you my life is complete’, Emily still looked at Aiden, nodding her head. Isn’t that a sign enough?
When it comes to the Amanda’s cruise, I bet it’s Nate who’s going to die. They wanted us to believe it would be Jack, just as they had wanted us to believe that it would have been Daniel in season one. We could see that Charlotte and Declan were viewing photos taken that day; they made some in front of the boat too. Maybe they’ll notice something suspicious there and send a rescue team led by Emily. Or something.
Ok, I think I’m done. Sorry if my comment’s too long-winded; I don’t expect it to get much attention from anyone anyway, I just needed to express my thoughts somewhere. :)

Billie Doux said...

Jane, long fan episode dissection comments are always welcome here, and we do read them!

PlatinumRosebud said...

Ei, Jane.

Thanks for sharing your analysis.

The "death in the boat" maybe Nate.
And our dear o'l Mandy might have a big hand on it.
Let's not also forget that Amanda is a fighter and a survivor.
She'll do anything for the people she truly loves.

Ems' emotional scene at the beach is quite a symbolism.
Her giving Amanda the "toy wedding ring" is her way of letting Jack go and at the same time, she's telling Amanda that she's is truly happy for her and Jack being together. Seeing Aiden at that moment also gave Ems an assurance that at last, she can have a stab at happiness with Aiden.
Aiden's coming back to Ems has cemented (i hope) the bond they have for each other.

Nice review, Nadim.

A very enjoyable ep with of course Queen V providing the stone cold and calculated murder; with a very steady hand, too. :)

Panda said...

Ah, loved this one! The first great episode in a long time.

I liked what you said about the steely resolve breaking, Nadim. It's those times that we see her become Amanda again that we really remember what the show is about.

It was the first episode that felt like the show that we loved last season, not the convoluted mess of the past few months.

Nadim said...

Totally agree Panda. It has been such a convoluted eason that this felt like the first great episode that truly reminded me of season 1. Yes we got the red sharpie a couple of episodes back but the emotion was lacking until this hour. Brilliant!

And Jane, although I don't prefer season 2, I loved reading your comment. It's nice to hear different opinions and realize that there are probably many people like you that also prefer this season to the first due to the reasons you mentioned. Actually my aunt whom I recently got addicted to the show, shares your views as well! So you're not alone! Do keep commenting on the future :)

Thankfully, we've reached a middle ground with this hour which pleased all of us equally in awesome ways! More episodes like this please!

Yane said...

Billie, that's good to hear, espacially from you, as I'm a big fan of your Buffy & Angel reviews!

PlatinumRosebud, you're right about Amanda; I wonder if she still has this gun she bought a couple of episodes ago...

Nadim, I'm glad you enjoyed exploring my point of view and, should I have any noteworthy insights in the future, I won't hesitate to comment :)

(I modified my nickname a bit 'cause I've noticed another Jane's comments and I am new here... well, new in the comment section anyway)