Revenge S1E20: Legacy

Posted on May 10, 2012

Last night’s flashback-within-a-flashback story was a big plate of fudge. The end.

What? Too obtuse?

Oh, fine: it was a big plate of fudge because it was fun to see the parade o’ hairstyles (even if Victoria’s been sporting essentially the same hair for 20 years now) and have all the Grayson players (including the ones long removed from the board) in one place again, getting bitchy with each other. It was fun to see an Amanda who cried and yelled and generally didn’t know what the hell she was doing. It was fun to see Victoria hiss “YOU ARE DESPICABLE!” in Mason’s ear. It was fun to see Nolan be Nolan. It was fun to peer at Jack’s wig, waiting for a little furry creature to emerge from hibernation. A chipmunk, perhaps. Or a prairie dog. And when it was over, we declared, “That was fun!” and went back to staring idly at walls and ceilings, waiting for the next episode of Revenge to air.

But when we got up this morning and started thinking about it, we realized that this was probably the most disappointing episode yet and it took us this long to realize it because we’d been distracted by all that fudge. Too much fudge, like too much fun, isn’t always good for you and it occurs to us this morning that, like a plate of fudge, last night’s episode was just a sugar bomb of momentary fun that didn’t advance or add anything to the story. It was the first real case of narrative wheel-spinning with this show and it inadvertently answered a question we posed last week; namely, what will the show’s structure be in the long-term? If Amanda gets her final revenge, then the story ends, so how do you advance the story without getting her to that point too soon? Now we know: pointless flashbacks.

Did we learn anything we didn’t already know or that we needed to know? Not really. Was the story advanced in any whatsoever? Definitely not. So yeah; fun, but ultimately a little pointless. And if an episode like this had come somewhere in the first half of the season, it might have served a better purpose, but putting it so late in the season makes it feel like what it is: filler until we get to the finale. This does not bode well for a Season 2, although we have some hope that the hiatus after the finale will give the creators some time to figure out what the structure of this thing is going to be going forward. Then again, it doesn’t fill us with confidence about the show’s long-term prospects that they seem not to have figured this out by now.

We’re not cranky! Really! It was fun! But let’s face it: it was an episode without any real purpose or meaning in the larger story. At the very least, they could have told us how she met Revenge Sensei and got her Hamptons Batman training. A sort of “Dark Emily Begins.” That would have been more fun than watching Victoria’s deer-in-headlights rage-face again (although that one truly never gets old) or waiting for a family of squirrels to emerge from under Jack’s hat.


[Photo Credit: ABC]

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  • Sobaika Mirza

    I find myself insanely attracted to Jack (Who is that actor? Where have I seen him before?) but I had to give myself pause when he came out with that White Stripe’s hair.

    We have also found someone more annoying than the Porter boys: that useless girlfriend.

    •  Did you watch Roswell?  The actor that plays Jack (Nick Wechsler) played Kyle Valenti on that show.  It bugged me too when I first started watching Revenge.  It wasn’t until someone else here at TLo mentioned it that I figured out where I’d seen him before.

      • Sobaika Mirza

        Wow, you’re right, totally forgot. I suddenly feel old. 

        He was infinitely better on Roswell too (that might be my inner pre-teen talking). At least they gave him stuff to do.

        • GenXcellent

          And he’s Brad on It’s Always Sunny…although hard to recognize him without the wasp stings.

        • Haha, OLD!  I was a 20-something mom with a four-year-old and I loved that show.  Imagine how old I feel.

          And Buffy!

          • Sobaika Mirza

            Oh, Buffy! One of the very best television experiences. 

            Roswell was… not. But it’s fun to see what those actors are doing today (Heigl, Emilie de Ravin, and Dumb Jack Porter).

          • I know!  Buffy’s been off the air for (OMG!) nine years and I’m still obsessed with it.  I’m SO happy for Joss and his Avengers win.

          • I know!  Buffy’s been off the air for (OMG!) nine years and I’m still obsessed with it.  I’m SO happy for Joss and his Avengers win.

  • SaraLaffs

    So I guess this was Revenge’s version of a clip show.

  • Jessi03

    Jack’s hair had me die laughing every time he was on screen.  I love that flashback Victoria is shot under the softest focus lens on the planet.  I really wish this episode had come far earlier in the season, but it was nice to see all of our dearly departed under one roof again. ETA: Nolan! So sexy pre-Hamptons. I could just eat him up with a spoon.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Yes, Nolan! Did anyone else squee at his leather jacket?

    • Jack’s hair and face were ridiculous, but I almost laughed harder at Conrad’s hair. That was some serious jet black.

      I want a gig with Revenge’s stylist. The wigs alone would be so much fun.

    • Was I only the only who yelled “its 2002, not the early 90s!” when that came across the screen?

      Though I suppose small seasonal towns is where grunge went to die.

      • I thought the same thing! And the backwards cap… WTF? He looked like an extra in a Faith No More video…

  • Funkykatt

    Jack looked good to me too. WOW.

    • MissMariRose

       Hard partying former juvenile delinquents probably aren’t concerned about legal drinking age. They might even have fake IDs.

    • Spicytomato1

      I thought of Lost, too, which I loved btw. This was very different because in Lost all the characters came from different places and it was fascinating to see when/how their lives would collide. Here, everyone’s lives are pretty much already enmeshed so the same level of anticipation and curiosity just doesn’t exist. For me, anyway.

  • Spicytomato1

    Yes it was a plate of fudge, but not even good fudge, in my opinion. It’s like it was made with a low-quality brand of cocoa and therefore wasn’t all that enjoyable even at the time of consumption. I found it kind of boring and not-in-a-good-way cheesy. 

    Sigh. I was worried last week that the show was losing me, this really week did nothing to reignite my interest. Looking back, I think I’ve enjoyed the mini-revenges better than the larger arc alone. And even Faux-manda, as grating as many people found her, added more spark than I’ve seen as of late.

    •  Faux-manda is fun, sassy and saucy!!

  • Actually, I thought this episode opened up many possibilites. We learned when the Conrad/Lydia affair began, we have a set-up to Jack & Declan’s mom being involved, we see the Victoria/David romance begin. While I wouldn’t want a lot of flashback going forward, I have no problem dipping into history to further the story along.

    Good to know Jack has always been a loser in love.

    • Dorrie Crockett

      Plus, James Tupper in a tux! The only thing I didn’t get was the payoff for Jack’s girlfriend knowing about his mom chiseling their house out of their dad. Was that resolved and I missed it?

      • adnama79

        I’m wondering if the Season 2 arc will be – got revenge on the Graysons, but omg, Jack’s mom!  Gotta get her!  But wait… I’m deeply torn about revenge on Jack’s mom.

        And the girlfriend will come into play.

    • NinaBoo

      I was hoping the young Declan might be forced to cry so we could hear what a baby water buffalo sounds like when it’s stuck in the mud.

  • Jack’s hair was the best!  Where is the Smash recap?

    • MilaXX

       Pretty sure they’ve given up on SMASH

  • hellomissmadeline

    Jack is the living worst. No more needs to be said.

  • MilaXX

    yep filler & fun time for the show’s wardrobe and costume department. Actually now that I think about it, it cements one thing in my mind. Amanda’s dad was kind of a dick. Sure he didn’t commit the crime they framed him for, but he was sleeping with his neighbor’s wife and in business with this whole shady lot. I don’t think dude was squeaky clean.

  • I think that we’ll get more of this in season two (ie: flashbacks to her ‘Kill Bill’ training). Like you, in my recap I questioned whether this is the right time to schedule a flashback. But in truth, I wouldn’t call the episode a waste of time because there were a few incidentals that can still turn up (Jack’s sleazy bartender gf: how likely is she to return).

    Plus: Jack’s wig! That’s gotta make the episode worthwhile all on its own!

  • MissAnnieRN

    I got tired of watching and went to bed deciding to just read the recap in the morning. It appears I missed nothing.

  • Akh621

    I don’t think the creators knew whether a full 22 episodes would be ordered when the show premiered, so they probably are scrambling a bit. I really enjoyed it, but I love fudge

  • GenXcellent

    I liked this episode…I actually think it would be fun for the show structure to do one like this each season, so we can go back to before Emily was near-perfect, when she was still learning the revenge craft, gathering info, connecting with sensei, etc.  No, it didn’t really move the story forward, but I didn’t mind that.  And Jack’s 2002 girlfriend has got to have something to do with future episodes…or have we seen her before?

    •  I suspect we may see more of the girlfriend, though it was worth it to have her there, just to watch Nolan flail about in her grip. 🙂

    • Adriana_Paula

      I liked this episode too…and now we know where Lydia’s photo of cater-waiter Amanda came from.

  • The preview was awesome

  • oohsparkley!

    It was a fun episode. Luv fudge.  Jack’s wig was a scream.  I love long-haired men, but I prefer the short-haired Jack.

  • Your recaps give me hope in humanity. Thank you. Squirrels, indeed.

  • I liked this episode. There was a lot of new footage and I think one of the goals was for the writers to ID new future victims for Amanda’s Revenge.  I did not understand why Conrad and Victoria’s “staff” were putting up more  Xmas decorations on New Year’s Eve in the dark though.

    • adnama79

       And why was bartender girlfriend putting up tinsel on NYE?

  • doloreshazes

    If I remember correctly, the creators initially weren’t sure they would get more than a half-season run. Have they gotten a second season order? If so, I have hope that they’ll be able to plot out what needs to happen with dear Hamptons Batman in advance and give us lots juicy reveals and almost-camp-but-not-quite stone cold bitch-faces along the way. It does seems like maybe they’re scrambling to make the plot thicken ever since they were granted more eps to finish out the season. But it can get better! And I think it will! I hope that they see that a place that they really have room to go forward is in the Emily-Nolan dynamic. Any tiny moment of warmth and sympathy or jokiness between them is a much needed little dose of relief from the great, but occasionally exhausting, tones of paranoia and Grayson drams. That seems like it could get more complex. And more wacky Nolan “I move around on the Kinsey scale” hijinx! Boy needs some scheming and sexing and generally flailing and failing at it to do. 

  • toby1319

    When 2002 Jack first appears, he has normal eyebrows. Next time he appears, it’s back to his swishy, plucked eyebrows.
    Whatever the makeup department bribed him with to run their pencil over his eyebrows wasn’t good enough to sustain continuity.
    What a diva!

  • adnama79

    Season 2: 
    Dealing with Charlotte – victim in the season 1 finale?  On Emanda’s side?  Spending a season waffling double-agent style – get Emanda back for ruining my family/stick by Emanda ’cause my “family” is a bunch of douchebag murderers

    If Victoria isn’t dead, she’ll be plotting to get Emanda back – after a few episodes to even figure out who Emanda is

    Jack’s mom did something bad and Emanda has to decide if she wants revenge or not/how to get revenge w/out hurting her now-budding-romance w/ Jack

    Fauxmanda drama

    Nolan without a shirt.  Who cares why?

    Protecting Nolan’s aunt from some unidentified person who is seeking revenge for the revenge brought on the Graysons

    And finally – how Emanda stays the eff out of prison

  • adnama79

    I don’t like literal fudge, but I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.  Fun and a nice pace break.

  • claudemtl777

    I’m not worried about the shows long term prospects…Truth be told, I’ll take a quality show that wraps up in one or 2 seasons over one that peters out over several years, like desperate housewives.With the elements introduced last week, i can see another good  season, after this one.
      I enjoyed the flashback episode for what it was. It gave me a better knowledge of the characters, which can be as important as furthering the plot. I can see other flashback episodes in the future. 

  • This show would be a lot better of they followed American Horror Story’s idea of a self-contained story each year. Then they wouldn’t have to pad it with filler, and every episode could be thrill filled as we hurtled to the season finale concluding the story.

  • my favorite line: “its like we have all been casted in 10 little indians, I wonder who will be the last to fall?”

  • Tafadhali

    I was mainly disappointed that Jack’s was the only really crazy flashback hair we got. Maybe it’s ’cause I was raised on Friends, but when I get a flashback episode I expect terrible perms! All over the place!

    That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this, mainly because I’m a sucker for character moments, and it was nice to see Amanda in that transitional phase to Hamptons Batman and especially nice to see Nolan going around, being all completely un-Hamptons all over the place. But I would watch a show that was entirely Nolan Ross’s Awkward Attempts at Friendship!, so.

  • tressexpress3366

    We came to the series late & just saw this episode.  I must wonder, though, if this doesn’t serve to add more Q’s.  In the scene where she’s reading the journals on the floor of the beach house, the first one she opens has the line about CM coming with more evidence.  Wasn’t that what Nolan had in his safe?  Perhaps at some point he steals that back from her… did you see is face when he was told outside Jack’s bar that he should have family he’d be spending the holidays with?  His aunt would have been in hiding & maybe he decided he couldn’t trust Amanda to not drag her out from hiding for info.  Just a thought…From what I’ve seen, I think the creators have everything in control… and that this ep is right where/when it needs to be. JMHO.