Revenge: Pilot

"When everything you have left is stolen from you, sometimes all you have left is revenge. Like I said, this is not a story about forgiveness."

The Revenge pilot is a supremely confident hour, capably setting the show's tone and crafting a world that's inherently mesmerizing and instantly addictive.

What makes this series premiere work so effectively is the fact that it dares to make its lead protagonist so darn sinister and vengeful. I love how unapologetic Emily Thorne is in her quest for retribution. It's plain refreshing in a television landscape populated by goody two-shoes protagonists. The bulk of the praise undoubtedly lies with Emily VanCamp, who shifts from sweet to venomous in the span of a second and is unwaveringly convincing while doing so. And while it's heartbreaking that her father asks her in his final letter to forgive the people that wronged them, I adore the fact that she just doesn't have it in her. And really, with flashbacks this touching (I love little Amanda's relationship with her dad), you can't but root for her to succeed and get the payback she deserves.

The rest of the cast is fine, but it's Madeleine Stowe who is most impressive as Victoria Grayson. Not only is she gorgeous, she's formidable and duplicitous to boot. The scene in which she completely obliterates Lydia on a public scale and exiles her from the Hamptons is pure lethal awesomeness. And of course, what I appreciated most about her is the fact that with one revelation (she and David Clarke loved each other), the character automatically gains another dimension and becomes more than a one-note villain.

Vengeful Bits:

- The opening flash-forward is a very intriguing start, particularly Victoria's bone-chilling screams and slow-motion run to the scene of the crime.

- I love the cinematography with Amanda at the beach as it transitions to her childhood.

- Heartbreaking scene as little Amanda's father is taken away.

- Emily has the infinity sign (that's engraved on her house) tattooed on her hand. Talk about commitment.

- I adored the use of Angus & Julia Stone's music throughout the pilot. All of their songs are magnificent creations that do a splendid job of setting an ethereal and melancholic mood.

- I died of laughter when Emily faked sympathy and asked Lydia if her "husband" was okay.

- So poor peasant / childhood sweetheart Jack has Sammy now. Nice little touch.

- Loved Victoria practically snapping Conrad's head off at the hospital and barking: "Don't do it again."

- Epic moment as Emily reveals the affair oh-so-subtly in front of Victoria.

- Emily and Daniel have great chemistry (no wonder they're dating in real life).

- Emily's red marker hit-list? Deliciously evil. I want one now!

- Love the flashback revealing Emily poisoning Conrad in disguise.

- Pretty cool final moment as Victoria asks for info about Emily. The battle is on...

Devious Delights:

Charlotte: (To Victoria) Mom, you're too young and too pretty to be this senile.

Victoria: (To Lydia) Don't let them see your weakness. That's the first thing they'll use against you.

Lydia: You must come from a family of polar bears because that water is ice cold.
Emily: Only at first, then you can't feel anything.
Lydia: Sounds like my marriage.

Emily: Amanda Clarke no longer exists.

Emily: They say vengeance is a dish best served cold. But sometimes, it's as warm as a bowl of soup.

Absorbing and downright irresistible, the Revenge pilot is a captivating introduction to the show.

4 out of 5 infinity tattoos.

Previously posted at Nad's Reviews.

3 comments:

CrazyCris said...

You guys are doing Revenge now? Fabulous!!!

Emily THorne and Victoria Greyson are the backbone of this show and they are AMAZING!!!

PlatinumRosebud said...

Allo, Nadim.
It's great that you are now doing the double infinity thing. :) I love this show and Emily Van Camp is television's new a**kicker. Emily Van Camp's and Madeline Stowe's onscreen battle of wits is truly marvelous; kudos to the writers who brings in surprises practically every week. Looking forward to season 2. What more can our Butt-kicking Gal will bring us into? Great writing, great photography and most of all, great fighting chemistry between Victoria and Emily/Amanda. Keep those reviews coming, Nadim. Have a downright nasty day. Hahahaha.

ChrisB said...

Great review Nadim.

I started this watching this show a while ago, then the move interrupted the process. I decided I would start again and I was even more intrigued by the pilot this time around. It very subtly lays the groundwork for what follows.

A lot of the characters seem to be tropes (the anti-heroine, the poor man with a heart of gold, the handsome prince, etc.), but they are so cleverly written that they have much more than the one dimension. I agree with your assessment of the reveal of Victoria and the watch -- in one shot, that character becomes much more nuanced.