Revenge S1E21: Grief

Posted on May 17, 2012

Aw, man. Revenge, why you gotta get so complicated? We can’t keep track of what the hell’s going on anymore. It’s like Game of Thrones in shorter skirts and higher heels. Can’t we just, for at least a little while, let this be about Clarke-style justice raining down on Grayson heads?

Let’s play a game of “I want … I need,” just like the Grayson family does, okay?

We want … this show to remain ridiculously entertaining and campy.

We need … this show not to turn into some grand mythology that leads us down a million dark hallways and cul-de-sacs, eventually losing sight of the whole point in the first place.

No, really, Revenge. We need that. Because with the introduction of The White-Haired Man and something called The Initiative, a cold ball of fear formed in our stomachs. This is so not what we wanted or signed on for. We wanted Emily and Victoria, in bandage dresses, slapping each other for 42 minutes every week. The Initiative sounds like the bad guys in a Fringe episode and that is SO not what we want out of this show.

Worse, each new bit of information about the conspiracy behind David Clarke’s death just causes us to lose interest a little bit more because each new bit of information tends to take us away from the Victoria/Emily relationship that defined the season’s first half. We realize shows need to expand their scope in order to survive, but the laser-focus of the first dozen episodes of Revenge was a huge part of the appeal for us. We should have been tantalized by the first mention of The Initiative, but we literally groaned out loud.

Don’t even ask us to explain Daniel’s inexplicable 180 degree spin. He’s just bad now, and that’s all there is to it. Certainly makes Emily’s eventual (we hope) betrayal of him all the more sweeter. But hey! We’re finally sort of on board with the whole Jack thing, even though we’ve argued extensively that they have no chemistry and that a smart gal like Emily shouldn’t tie herself down to a dumb guy like Jack just because of some childhood memories. But y’know, any guy who can openly sob at the death of their dog automatically becomes just a little hotter, amirite?

R.I.P. Sammy, the Unlikely Long-Lived Dog. Your death scene made us cry and we think you deserve a special Emmy.

And look, if we HAVE to sit through something called The Initiative – if you writers absolutely HAVE to expand the story out into grand(er) conspiracies – then can we please not waste any time with Declan and his totally uninteresting lady problems? Who gives a shit?  Less Declan and less shadowy conspiracies, please. More scenes with Victoria slashing paintings and verbally slapping the heavy-lidded Amber Valetta.We NEED it, Revenge. You’ve made us addicts and now you’re trying to slip us some methadone. Boo.

Oh, and one more thing: Can we FINALLY make Ashley into the bitch we’ve been teased with all season? All she does is smirk and then get slapped by Victoria. She’s got some juicy-as-hell info now and we better see her use it.

Also: Nolan is more awesome than ever and we can add world-class disguise skills (a mustache!) to his repertoire.


[Photo Credit: ABC]

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  • MilaXX

    I KNOW! The worse thing this show can do is get too complicated.  I say NO to the initiative and yes to Ashley being more scheming.  I need this show to stay a campy soap.

  • lilibetp

    Yeah, that mustache really didn’t provide all that much of a disguise for someone who’s been on tv and such.

  • hellomissmadeline

    When Declan started crying the first thing that popped into my head was TLo is getting their water buffalo moment! Oh and I will never ever be able to get on board with Jack that guy is the textbook definition of a dolt. 

    • Kristin McNamara

      that’s exactly what i was thinking when it became clear he was going to cry! “omg water buffalo! will he or won’t he sound like one….?!”

  • The Initiative will always make me think of the “big bad” from Buffy season 4.  It was not that great of a story line in Buffy either.

    • Jessi03

      I just wrote that same thing!  I should have read your comment first.  No vampires and secret government tests in Revenge, please.

    • Sobaika

      Will The White-Haired Man create a robot/demon hybrid? Will Emily realize Jack is an Initiative Operative? Will Daniel start wearing a lot of camo?

      Stay tuned.

      •  They will have to start neutering things as well.  Harmless Spike was the best part of that season.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        Since the actor who is playing the WHM was in 24, I hope we’re not going to see that show’s preposterous plotlines pop up.

        • Spicytomato1

          Haha, maybe they can use 24’s main gimmick and show what’s happening in “real time.” That always bugged the crap out of me with 24.

  • Ted

    We need a gif of Victoria smirking while drinking tea. 

  • Spicytomato1

    The Initiative. Funny. I haven’t watched the episode yet (and obviously didn’t card about spoilers) but it sounds like the writers are taking a page from the JJ Abrams playbook for sure. I don’t watch Fringe (not for lack of desire, just lack of time) but the name/connotations smack a little bit of The Rambaldi Device (Alias) and, of course, the Dharma Initiative (Lost). 

    I agree that maybe this is not a direction the show should take…but apparently they feel they need to do it for longevity’s sake. And Alias did manage to combine some fun fashion moments, albeit not exactly Hamptons-esque, along with the intrigue so maybe it can somehow work?

    • Southern Belle

      I was obsessed with Alias and was a loyal Lost fan. Revenge is just not set up to be the spy/conspiracy thriller that Alias was. You knew from the beginning of Alias that there was intrigue and an eventual mythology. JJ Abrams set that up from the pilot when Sydney stills the Rimbaldi device.

      Lost was just a conspiracy wrapped in a conspiracy and packaged as an arch-type show. It still confuses me to think about it.

      Also note that Fringe, Lost and Alias and Buffy the Vampire Slayer all shared writers. Those are the best examples of conspiracy shows in the past two decades. To my knowledge, Revenge doesn’t have any of those writers. A few of those writers are now producing/writing Once Upon a Time.

      Dear ABC: DON’T DO THAT WITH REVENGE. I can’t handle another show that messes with my mind like Lost did.

      • Spicytomato1

        I actually could handle another show like Lost, I loved every head-messing moment of it. But you are right about Revenge. It is not, nor should it try to be, either Alias or Lost. 

  • Kari Bodrey

    I have just decided, with absolutely nothing to back it up, that Nolan’s aunt Carol is Emily/Amanda’s mother. 

    • That’s not a bad call, considering Emily’s mother came up in the conversation with her out of nowhere. We thought that was a little odd but couldn’t put our finger on why.

      That would make Nolan her cousin, then.

      • MissAnnieRN

        I totally agree. That was my immediate thought as well.

    • Kristin McNamara

      ITA. that idea immediately popped into my head during that scolding scene.

    • CarolinLA

      But Carol didn’t meet David Clark until he came to work for Grayson Global and by that time, Amanda was 6 or 7.  And Emily also told Carol that all she remembers about her mother was how sick she was before she died.  Maybe Carol knew the mother.

  • Jessi03

    “The Initiative” will forever be the government sponsored military strike against vampires, demons, and werewolves in Buffy.  Please don’t make them a part of Revenge.  There are enough vampire shows out there.  RIP Sammy.  You made me cry and I almost thought Emanda was going to tell Jack who she really is when you died.  

  • miagain

    Wouldn’t it be great if they wrapped this baby all up next week.  And then continued with Revenge, but with a whole new revenge, new story line, new actors.  new new new!!

    • Spicytomato1

      And the continuity could be that the previous season’s revenger could be the next season’s trainer/mentor! Takeda could pass the baton to Emily, and so on and so on…

      • miagain

         Well that is simply brilliant!!  Then they could become a “thing” and in a few years, one big giant summer blockbuster!

    • NinaBoo

      I think shows should be more like telenovelas.  Cram tons of drama/camp/delightful nastiness into a series but have it run a season or two, at the most.  Sell the shit out of it while simultaneously working on the next one.  It allows for creativity but doesn’t devolve into throwing crap to the wall and seeing what sticks.  Don’t get me wrong…telenovelas are crappy but they’re fun and people are devoted to them.

  • Allyson Wells

    Wait… you guys are watching Game of Thrones and aren’t blogging about it!???!! Please please please consider doing at least a post or two! I’d love to hear your thoughts on Season 2 so far. If you couldn’t tell, i’m slightly obsessed 🙂 

    • Sobaika

      Seconded. No one I know watches the show OR reads the books so I have no one to geek out with. Help me, TLo and the Bitter Kittens.

      • Allyson Wells

        You may already know about this, but Alan Sepinwall does great GOT recaps on under What’s Alan Watching. His posts and are strictly about the show, but he also set up a message board for discussions about the books + show.  I’d still rather hear TLo’s take on it though!

      • Another Game of Thrones fan here! Although, would there really be much to blog about weekly?  *runs to hide*

        P.S. If Jon Snow ends up dead from those “daggers in the dark” (book 5) I will be mightily pissed… Arya and him rule 🙂

  • Joshau Norton

    The show is fun when the bad guys are getting zapped. If the writers start adding Byzantine plots and Emily constantly being one-upped by everyone I’m going to have to reconsider my Wednesday night viewing preferences. Maybe the writers should review the hard knocks lesson learned from “The Killing 101 – What NOT to do”.

    • Spicytomato1

      Not to digress too far off topic, but what’s wrong with The Killing? I don’t watch it but sometimes catch the last few minutes prior to Mad Men. It seems cryptic.

      • Joshau Norton

        TLo did a pretty good deconstruction of the series here:

      • CarolinLA

        PLEASE watch the original Danish series of “The Killing”.  I downloaded it – all 20 hours – because it’s not really available in the US.  STUNNINGLY great.  (It’s called Forbrydelsen.)  The American version is shit.  Now back to our original programming…

  • The dog playing Sammy deserves an Emmy. Cried liked a baby. The writers do need to return the story to its root and not crazy off shoot plots and multiple sub plots.  Seriously send Declan to boarding school in the Switzerland! His character is worthless to the show.

    • CozyCat

      During that scene I turned to my cats and kept telling them how much I loved them. 

      They were completely confused:  “Why are you getting so upset about a DOG?” 

  • Frankly I’m still sick of Jack.  He’s short of Emily in every way and literally too.  Declan is more interesting than he is. 

  • Southern Belle

    Throughout this season, I’ve felt that Ashley Madekwe (Ashley) was sadly under-used. Compared to her role in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, her character has been wasted. I just hope this part draws more attention to her, because she’s a good actress who deserves a better part. 

    • Sobaika

      That’s good to hear, at least. On Revenge the most work they’ve given her is to huff impatiently and smirk suspiciously. Hope the second season works on expanding her character.

  • Please let’s keep this comments section on topic and about Revenge, thanks.

    GoT is fun but we really don’t want to write about it at all.

    • Allyson Wells

      Oops… sorry!

  • This needed/needs to be a one-season show. It’s coming off the rails, and while I love all the actors, the next season of “Revenge” should be an entirely different story. Use the same actors, if you want. I’d love to see Madeline Stowe being the one plotting REVENGE on a bunch of familiar faces, all with new storylines. Instead, we’re turning this into “Alias.” Yawn.

    • Little_Olive

      Really, why not be brave and have the change occur (the ‘revenge’ be apparently successful) like it never does on TV, so we can see a whole new chapter in the lives of Ems, Victoria and the gang. It would be original and, if written right, very gripping. 

    • CarolinLA

      There’s a LOT to the plot that we don’t know and one item is who Conrad was laundering money for.  And WHY did they bring down that plane?  I also love the introduction of Carol to the storyline.  Emily needs someone older in her life that has her back.  Someone to replace her father a bit.

    • marywv

       Isn’t that what they’re (thankfully) doing with American Horror Story. And I agree… they can only keep this storyline going so far. It’s getting to the ridiculous point. I too am onboard with more camp, less ridiculous thriller drama. I want to see Emily in a great wigs and stilettos plotting someone’s undoing. Nothing too serious.

  • Little_Olive

    THANK YOU!! While thew show falters (hopefully just a bump in the road), your reviews get better and better.

    And I love that I was right about Nolan all this while. He rocks!  

    Declan could have his breaks cut and fall off a cliff for all I care -and that would be his biggest contribution to the story. 

    Ems, please honey, go back to being a suspiciously-well-trained-for-their-age soap opera heroine and not a female Jack Bauer .         

    • Little_Olive

      Oh and The White Haired Man With Ice Blue Eyes is sooo “the albino guy” in The Firm. Wrong.  

  • Le_Sigh

    Damn you TLO!  DAMN YOU TO HELL!  I totally started watching Revenge because of you and have been sucked into the campy fudge-platey fun of it all. 

    I too, would like Ashley do something truly bitchy to justify that constant sniffy smirk on her face – and to see it also get slapped off at some point.  I’m hoping she does turn into a wild-card player – partially because its been heavily hinted that’s what she wants to be, but also for some delicious bitch-fights ensue.  Maybe she’s turn into an unlikely frenemy ally for Charlotte – I can see her manipulating her to further her own needs, whatever they are.

  • I can see why they are bringing “The Initiative” in, there has to be some way that Conrad got in bed with the terrorists, right?  But I hope it will be a minor blip, not take over the show.

    I’ve always liked Jack more than Daniel.  I don’t think he’s dumb just not as experienced as the rest of the people he finds himself hanging out with now.  He spent his whole life hanging out/working in that bar with normal people.  Until recently, he probably never imagined people could do the despicable things the Greysons do.  I think he’s starting to slowly catch on.

    I’ve seen a theory that, perhaps, Daniel isn’t bad but thinks he’s working toward a greater purpose.  He made mention of a deal he made with his dad for 100% transparency which Emily seems not to know about.  Maybe he’s just trying to save his family.

    OMG, Nolan!

    *sobs* Sammy!  I had a dog that lived to be 20ish (she was an adult when we got her, not exact on the age) so it’s not outside  the realm of possibilities that he could live that long though large dogs tend to have shorter life spans than small one.

    • NinaBoo

      When Daniel said, “I have a plan for that “(Jack)” I rolled my eyes.  I turned to my stuffed bear and said, “Oh, you just know he’s going to shove some money at Jack.  Great plan.”  Since when has Jack EVER shown he can be bought off.  At least Victoria and Conrad were creative in their skulduggery.

      •  And it was a pretty ham handed handoff. NOLAN is better at this than Daniel is…

    • CarolinLA

      Conrad was laundering money for someone and now we know it was The Initiative.  It’s a little lame to bring in a shadowy group of what I’m sure is all white men but I’m willing to go with it for now.

  • J L A

    Did I miss something? Was the Fauxmanda plot ever resolved? 

  • n a

    What about Nolan tho?  Didn’t see him in the previews for next week. The white haired man (after resetting all his weirdo clocks) attacked him!  Red Herring? 

    • They want you to wonder about Nolan until next week, more dramatic that way but there’s one thing in the preview that could be a hint.  Emily says “If I don’t come back, tell Jack I love him.”  I don’t know who else she could be saying that to besides Nolan.

  • frances rossi

    1. So Emily finally shows some grief – poor thing, she loved Sammy! I hugged my dog (girl Sammy, coink) tight during those bits.
    2. What’s with all the clocks in WHM’s house? I’m not deep enough to project but TLo?? I’m waiting. (also, ouch! what’s going to happen with Nolan?!?!?)
    3. What was Ashley doing at Emily’s house that late in the evening anyway? Doesn’t she have a wedding to plan?
    4. Yonkers, I’m from Yonkers. She’s a bout as Yonkers as I’m the Duchess from Cambridge.

    • CarolinLA

      RE:  #2 – Nolan realized that the clock was off in the video he was watching so he suddenly knew it was on a loop and he’d been figured out.  That’s when WHM came up behind him.

  • joe_tey83

    I think by the end of the season, it will be revealed that Emily is a vampire slayer. And Jack is a vampire. And Daniel is a werewolf. And Nolan is a elf.

    • Spicytomato1

      Team Nolan, even if he is an elf!

  • TotallyDorkin

    The therapy game was “I like… I need”. Maybe you should pay closer attention if the plot is so hard and difficult for you to understand. Then again, being a fashion blogger does not particularly scream “intelligent and perceptive”.

    • Adriana_Paula

      That seems entirely uncalled for.

      • TotallyDorkin

         This blog is pretty much entirely composed of uncalled for bitchiness. They can dish it out, but they can’t take it?

        •  Angry Revenge fan is angry!

        • Spicytomato1

          There’s dishing out in a funny, judicious and not personally malignant manner, like TLo. And then there’s dishing out in a manner befitting a middle school bully. Maybe you should pay closer attention if you can’t figure out the difference.

    • joe_tey83

       It’s not that the plot is “hard” or “difficult” but that it’s unnecessarily complicated and incoherent and does not make for a a satisfying drama or entertainment eventually.

      Implying TLo as not “intelligent and perceptive” simply by basis of them being fashion bloggers is just… wrong. How does fashion blogger necessarily equate not “intelligent and perceptive”? Don’t get it. Can’t somebody intelligent has an interest in fashion and blog about it?

      They can be bitchy. Sometimes. And, your response to that is, ‘I will be bitchy Right Back at them.’ How does that make you any better? What are you trying to get at here? That we should all bitch at each other cause we are all bitches? Don’t get it.

  • Qitkat

    The Initiative
    Whaaat?? I must have dozed off and missed that. Geez, now I have to go back and watch this episode again.
    Sammy the Dog. Best actor on the show! I cried too…

    • Redlanta

       I think I dozed during that part also.  Wonder if her Oriental Seinsai worked for Initiative?  He seems to use Emily more than help her.  Just loved how Charlotte could buy a kilo of coke on the street!!

  • Spicytomato1

    Thanks. So it seems the main issue was that people were upset because the killer was not revealed at the end of the first season? That doesn’t seem particularly egregious if they want to create a major cliffhanger from season to season…don’t many shows do that sort of thing? I feel like I must still be missing something 🙂

    • Qitkat

      Maybe I’m not the one to answer since I only watched the first two episodes of the first season of The Killing, but I just found it slow, tedious, not particularly well-written or compelling, and boring.

  • CozyCat

    The (possible) comparison with Alias is really on point.  That show started out as a really compelling melding of fun spy stories with more serious drama about family, friendships and loyalty.  Then it got so tied up in the Rimbaldi nonesense and lost its way.

    I’m hoping that the new turns here are more “organic.”  After all, the terriorists have always been out there and it’s not unlikely that Emily would eventually cross their path. 

    But the Greyson’s aren’t completely down for the count:  notice how they are demonstrating their survivial skills, bring Daniel into the fold and using the wedding as a PR ploy.  You can see Emily’s a little at loose ends about how to handle this phase.  Will she marry Daniel?  What will it do to her if she joins that hellish family?  My guess is that season 2 will find her much more vulnerable and less able to simply “X” out her enemies

  • kckris

    July 19 last year, I had to put my yellow lab, Hewey, to sleep.  He was 11 and I’d had him since he was 7 weeks old.  This episode tore me to pieces and I literally went and grabbed my other two dogs and cried and hugged and kissed them.  There should totally be a warning with the other Parental warnings issued before shows if animals die.  I fast forward through Bambi…and forget Nemo!  I have no idea what happened the rest of the show, because the minute Sammy was missing, I had an awful feeling and stressed about it the entire time.  I’ll just get caught up next week.  Now I’m going to go and hug my doggies close.  BOOOO this episode!

  • GTrain

    I guess I’m an evil person because I couldn’t roll my eyes back far enough in my head for the Sammy Death Montage.
    And I want none of this Initiative mess.

    • Florence Overton

      LOL, me too – I used the time to reply to a text message on my phone. 

    • Hai Yen Nguyen

       I laughed out loud when Jack whispered through sobs, thanking Sammy for teaching him how to love.

  • turtleemily

    I was spoiled for Sammy’s death and was still bawling through the whole thing.

    • Le_Sigh

       ME TOO!!!  Poor pups 🙁

  • CarolinLA

    Was Conrad married before Victoria?  He said something last night to Lydia about third time being the charm.  

    • 3rd time trying to dump victoria maybe?

    •  Yes.  He was still married when he met Victoria in the art gallery.  I think he talks to Daniel about it when Daniel told Conrad that he was going to marry Emily.

  • mobrule

    i find it incredibly hard to believe that emily/amanda wouldn’t realize right away that her friend “ashley” is someone she should keep in her pocket, which would be so easy considering how obviously ambitious she is (throw a little money, private “important” business, and opportunity her way) and USE her! instead she side-lined, ostracized and made an enemy out of her. dumb, dumb, dumb. and emily/amanda is not supposed to be dumb.

  • I totally cried when Sammy died too, and I want Emanda and Jack to be together, so I found their long awaited kiss totally hot! I wanted her to admit to him that she is the real Amanda Clark, but they will probably drag that out for as long as possible before she finally tells him. How about Jack working with Emanda to take down the Graysons? Now that is something I want to see! She can be the brains behind the operation of course, but I totally think he would go along with that, especially after he learns that she is the real Amanda.

    I have a solution for getting rid of Declan and Charlotte. Have them get in a car crash and die. Charlotte can be driving and be high on painkillers. Doubt it’s going to happen though.

    I agree that Daniel now sucks, and watching Emanda be romantic with him ever since he became his father’s bitch has made me cringe.  Love Nolan and totally freaked out when the white haired man broke in to his house. Nolan better be okay! Hamptons Batman needs her Robin!

  • Ah, a shout out to Game of Thrones!  If you think the series is convoluted, try reading the books ’cause things have been more or less simplified through the tube.

  • TAGinMO

    “You look good, Conrad.”
    “And you look like a demonic succubus.”

    I DIED. Henry Czerny should just go ahead and hang it up now, because I doubt he will ever again in his acting career get to deliver another line as magnificent as that.

    And you could tell he knew it, too, what with the way he sort of rolled the “you” around on his tongue before he spat the rest of the line at her.

    Top-notch camp, flawlessly delivered. Bravo, Sir.