Revenge: Sacrifice

Posted on February 19, 2013

We’re not sure why so many of you begged for a Revenge review from us last week, because we haven’t felt like we’ve offered up anything worth talking about in the way of show analysis this season. We could be magnanimous and place the blame on Revenge+S2E14+4ourselves, but this is the internet and we’re all about snap judgments and the avoidance of responsibility here, which means we’re happy to blame it on the show itself.

We feel like we’re returning to a well-beaten horse by making this point, but season 2 of Revenge has largely been a failure. The creators felt they needed to expand the story and wound up pushing it in directions the audience never seemed all that interested in. In fact, you could look at all the disparate plotlines, from the Initiative to Nolcorp to the Stowaway, and sum them all up thusly: NOT the Graysons. Any time this story gets away from Emily Thorne’s vengeance against the Graysons, it stops having a reason to exist. If the creators feel the need to expand the storyline in order to give the show some long-term life, so be it. It’s not an idea without merit. But so far, everything they’ve attempted has been a boring non-starter. We really only managed to learn Helen Crowley’s name at right about the time she was leaking all over the guest house floor, so unremarkable was she as a character, let alone a foil for master manipulators like Victoria and Emily. All the woman did for ten episodes was put on and take off sunglasses and raise Revenge+S2E14+6and lower back seat limo windows. When we find ourselves looking back fondly on Amber Valetta’s wooden, rooftop-plummeting performance from last season, you know something’s gone wrong in the supporting character development.

But who knew killing the imperious bitch would provide the show with such a shot in the arm? All indications are that the story arc is playing out exactly as the creators intended it, but we couldn’t help feeling that the death of Helen Crowley excited the writers’ room and they all realized around the same time what makes the show great and what it needs to get back there. It’s like once Helen’s body hit the floor, the writers said, “You know what? While we’re at it, let’s put the kibosh on this whole dead-end bar plot, have Aidan get over his sister issues, position the Graysons as the Supreme Evil they were always meant to be and — oh, what the hell. Let’s kill off someone Emily loves, just for good measure.”

We never would have thought that the death of Fauxmanda would wind up being so emotional; that she would wind up so central to Emily’s story that the loss of her feels like it will have real repercussions down the line. All that baby drama and Jack drama was kind of tedious to sit through (like pretty much every scene set at or near the Stowaway), and we felt like the character’s high point came when she fell off a 2nd floor landing at yet another disastrous Grayson party. But that final scene in the water was truly heart-wrenching and for the first time since the beginning of the story, we feel like Emily’s in serious pain and distress over the Revenge+S2E14+8loss of her sister-in-secrets. Peripheral and supporting characters have died on this show before, but none of their deaths made us fear what was coming next. The Graysons have repositioned themselves as a family to be reckoned with – and they’re only stronger now that they’ve brought Daniel fully into the fold (the little shit) and Conrad’s making a play for the governor’s mansion (ludicrous as the idea may seem). They’re back to being an irresistible force – and with Amanda’s death and the Graysons’ attempt to frame her for Helen Crowley’s death, Emily has every reason to bring the full force of her immoveable object self down on their heads like a storm cloud. A storm cloud of REVENGE.

We’re so excited, we’re mixing the SHIT out of our metaphors!

See, writers? It’s not hard to give the audience what they want. More of this, please. Oh, and if you can keep having Ashley mouth the most outrageous bitcheries at Victoria every time she enters a room, that would be lovely too.

Rest in Peace, Fauxmanda, you crazy killer stripper. Emily really should’ve gotten you a “BEST SISTER EVER” coffee cup at some point.

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  • JosephLamour

    I’ll miss that girl and her oddly sexy sort-of-drunk-but-not-really voice. It’s super depressing that she died because she wanted a necklace that she could have easily retrieved after the boat sank. It’s not like all of her friends don’t have millions upon millions of dollars to hire someone to get it.

    I also love how they found a man to replace Helen Crowley in The Initiative that has gotten more work done than any other person on the show.

    • http://twitter.com/Goldielox73 Goldie

      If you’re talking about Burn Gorman who played Trask, do you mean work as in plastic surgery or work as in what his character accomplished?

      If you mean plastic surgery, I don’t think so.  He’s a little thinner than he was on Torchwood which is giving his face a bit of a stretched look but I don’t think he’s had any work done.

  • VestigialMe

    I read that the writers realized they messed up by taking the focus off of Emily and have been working to fix that since the Winter break. I’m excited to see where it goes from here and I’m excited to see OWEN from Torchwood. That was a surprise, but he definitely has the look for a sinister organizations go to guy.

    I also absolutely adored the soapiness of Victoria putting on Helen Crowley’s outfit and rolling up the limo window. Also Emily zooming in on a picture to see one of the brothers staring at the camera while in the boat. Moments like that are why I can’t hate on the show. They’re just too priceless for words.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    Maybe now she can settle for an ‘I (heart) my fake dead sister’ mug for herself. Where is the Laptop, by the way?

    • TropiCarla

      I am wondering about the Laptop myself. I hope she has a backup – Nolan would’t be worth his salt as a tech-genius sidekick if they don’t have one. I have a sneaking suspicion that those diving scenes are of Emily though – looking for it.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        I thought the diving might be Emily, too. I tend to multi-task during this show & didn’t know if I missed an explanation of its true whereabouts. Yeah, Nolan should have a Zipdrive or supersecret Cloud tucked away somewhere.

    • blondie707

       I’m assuming the laptop is in the broken air conditioner at the Stowaway because they focused on it so much in this episode.

      • Kristin McNamara

        Oooh, interesting! I hadn’t thought of that location specifically, but I AM definitely convinced it wasn’t on the boat. That dude (or Jack for that matter), would’ve found it. They tore that place apart.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        Haha! Yeah, I forgot about that, it’s totally in there! There must be dum-dum gas being piped into the Stowaway-’let me put the Laptop in the air conditioner during the hot Labor Day weekend because 1. It would completely break the a/c unit. or 2. The a/c unit was already broke, but I’m sure nobody will think to call a repairman to fix it during the hot spell!’

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      I was thinking it was behind the broken ac unit in the stowaway and that’s why it stopped working. I’m pretty sure Nolan can rig a new one up in a jiffy! 

  • Sobaika

    This show received a much needed jolt. I’m skeptical but I’ll take what I can get.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clydette-Wantland/673315286 Clydette Wantland

    Fauxmanda’s death finally made Emily’s character a real person.  Very good scene!!  Well done.

  • conniemd

    Totally agree. Best episode all year that hopefully refocuses Emily’s wrath on the evil Graysons. Will Emily learn that Conrad sent whats his name Ryan after faux Amanda to get back the laptop making him responsible for her death?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/H356ZGKVANYFEGWUZ3CEUR2LMY Flonche

       Didn’t Ashley tell her at some point? Correct me if I’m wrong

  • gabbilevy

    This episode was one long string of “Finally!” moments. Except I surprised myself by being sad about Fauxmanda’s death, because I hadn’t realized I’d become such a fan. Jack is still dull as dishwater but it seems like the show wants to position him for an eventual reunion with the real Amanda Clark so we’re probably going to have to get used to that. I’m not shipping her with Aiden or Daniel either; the only guy that’s been able to go toe-to-toe with Emily is Nolan and their love is not a romantic one.

    The scene in Daniel’s office when he and Victoria played their little script was delicious. I’m thrilled the show has figured out the Graysons are their best assets.

    And I toooootttallly squeaked when OWEN!!! showed up. Love him!

    • pop_top

       Who’s Owen?

      • gabbilevy

         The same actor that showed up as Mr. Trask in this episode played Owen in Torchwood, the Doctor Who spinoff.

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      I actually don’t think she wants to reunite with Jack. I think the beach wedding and her seeing Aiden made her let go. It seemed to imply closure! Or maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part. 

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

         I picture her setting Jack and Carl up somewhere far away and safe, and (hopefully) that would be the end of them. Declan and Charlotte can take over the Stowaway (because the writers aren’t going to let that storyline die, as much as we would like them to).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/H356ZGKVANYFEGWUZ3CEUR2LMY Flonche

    I find the Initiative subplot is, on the contrary, all about the Graysons. Before the Initiative had a face (namely Helen Crawley), it seemed remote and abstract, now that we can put 2 faces on it (1 dead one, 1 botoxed to death), maybe 3 (I don’t trust Padma yet), it makes it even more threatening.
    Also, I enjoyed the whole Nolcorp story because it brought more substance to Nolan. I also saw it as a “rite of passage” for Daniel to swing to the Dark Force, so, to me, that is indeed very Grayson-related. Remember Emily almost got exposed when Groucho CFO went to Daniel with the info that Nolan gave her half of his company back in 2002. Groucho had given Nolan the choice of either telling him where the half-bil’ vanished to in 2008 or he would give proof to Daniel (the David Clarck check) that Grayson Global actually owned Nolcorp. Even though Emily had cleared the off-shore account in 2008, Daniel specifically said all info on that account could easily be tracked down. So Nolan caved in to save Emily from being busted by the Graysons.

    Same for the Stowaway plot: you KNEW this was going to end with the Graysons having more blood on their hands, and Emily was pivotal in that (the laptop she owned, the check she signed).
    So yes, I think it was all kept in focus, while putting more meat on the base story with a new and refreshing reason for Emily to be all reveng-y with the Graysons.

    Apart from that, it was funny to see the lovebirds wake up on a boat that’s already underway full speed (who was steering while they were shagging??) and hear Jack tell Mandy to have breakfast while he gets them going. Hellooo Gilligan, watch for that dock in Nantucket!

    • http://twitter.com/Goldielox73 Goldie

      My question is how far is it from Montauk to Nantucket by boat?  It was at least an overnight trip but it seemed to take Emily and Nolan FOREVER to catch up to them in that speedboat.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/H356ZGKVANYFEGWUZ3CEUR2LMY Flonche

        The caption for the sunk boat in the season premiere said “Block Island sound”, which is only a stone’s throw from Montauk, so they really spent time finding them more than they did getting there.

  • MilaXX

    They still need to trim some fat from that cast . Jack & Declan would be a good start, but since Jack is supposed to be her “twu luv” he’s probably going to be around. Still can’t they send Declan off to college? Padma can go as well. Tighten the cast, now that the boat is gone, have Jack sell the bar. If they want to keep him, have him work for Conrad. I’m still watching, but it’s almost out of habit because the good moments have been few and far between this season.

    • WhiteOprah

      I’m personally not rooting for a rekindled relationship with Jack.  I really do find him dull.  Now Aidan on the other hand- I would like to bread a piece of that off for myself.  ;)

    • WhiteOprah

      I was wondering if I was the only one who is bored to tears with Jack and wants Emily to be with Aidan.  If I were her I would definitely be breaking off a piece of that.  ;)  

      • MilaXX

         
        oh I agree, Jack is dull as dishwater. I just get the impression that
        that storyline is one the writers want to keep since he’s a part of her
        happy childhood before dad was framed

      • Inspector_Gidget

        I really can’t imagine a scenario at this point that allows her to wind up with Jack.  She’s been lying, posing and toying with him from the beginning.  She helped an impostor trick him into marrying her, for cryin’ out loud!  She’s far too much of a schemer for someone so straight-laced.
        Now Aiden.. hell yes!  She needs a baby daddy who keeps chloroform in his briefcase. Also, woof.

      • Alyssa

        I too want Emily & Aidan to stay together…they understand each other. Jack is boring, dumb & I’m ready to not have to deal with him anymore. Declan as well. Let Charlotte use trust fund money to send him to college or something…I don’t care how he gets there!

      • YolandaHawkins

        Jack is so boring I involuntarily yawn each time he’s on the screen.  In fact I just yawned writing his name.  I’d rather Emily not focus on Jack or Aiden and remain focused on exacting REVENGE on the Graysons.  And she and Victoria need more screen time.  And yes, Aiden is hot.

  • Funkykatt

    I am wondering if the body will wash ashore, and somehow it will be realized she was an imposter. 

    • RussellH88

       I’m still waiting for the strawberry allergy to rear its ugly head. I want a scene at a dinner party where someone offers Emily a strawberry and she smiles and says “No thank you, I’m allergic”, cut to Victoria’s head jerking in her direction and we get the siren effect from Kill Bill as she puts the pieces together in her head.

      • Funkykatt

        Oh yes, I forgot all about that, touche!

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      I think Emily goes and retrieves the body. I mean they show a funeral next episode. 

  • WhiteOprah

    I was surprised how sad I was when Fauxmanda died.  I did feel that all that last scene was missing was Celine Dion singing “My Heart Will Go On”, though.  

    • pop_top

       I kept waiting for someone to tell Jack that they’d “never let go.”

  • http://twitter.com/Goldielox73 Goldie

    I’ve been in that minority that is rooting for Emily and Jack to get together (never liked Daniel, but I’d be okay with Aiden) so I’ve always been kind of Grr! about Amanda.  I was kind of disappointed when that fall didn’t kill her.  So, imagine my surprise when I started crying when she died.  As for her going back for the necklace, it was sentimental to her so she didn’t want to leave it behind.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

       I never bought the “happily ever after” with Fauxmanda and Jack either, but I didn’t expect it to go down this way. I was definitely shocked and saddened to see her die… one of the few people who really loved Emily and was loved in return (as messed up as that relationship was).

  • RussellH88

    I saw a recent interview with Madeline Stowe and she said that the writers are going to reposition Victoria has the main villain once again, and an interview I read from Mike Kelly has led me to believe that maybe he realized that the show needs to refocus on Emily vs. The Graysons so hopefully the last two episodes are the beginning of that.

  • Scoobydrew

    Oh how I loved  Fauxmanda … for all her whackadoo, she really did love Emily and would do anything for her, much more than Emily would do for her and I don’t think Emily realized what she had in that little killer stripper till it was all over – after all, she went back for Emily’s necklace not some piece of Jack crap. I’m hoping that Emily says “Screw the Initiative – I’m going for Grayson.” 

    Poor Charlotte. 

  • Scoobydrew

    Oh, and what is with Lame Jack that all the women in his life have to step up and kick ass for him.  He is such a damsel in distress!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1628084941 Jeremy Ponniah

      That’s what I love about Jack though- he let’s Emily be a strong, powerful woman.

      The opposite occurs whenever Aiden is with her- she reverts into an incompetent and emotionally vulnerable mess who needs a man to save her. It astonishes me that society still clings to gender roles in determining what makes a good relationship. Emily wearing the pants in her relationship is 100% what I want to see.

      • mike__tv

        Preach! 

        • Scoobydrew

          as a mystery writer with a female heroine  - I absolutely agree with you about women being strong. First rule of writing for me is  my heroine ALWAYS saves herself, no one else is responsible for her … I just think that the same principle should apply to Jack – granted he’s not the brightest crayon in the box, but he is functional, and what have we seen .. Fauxmanda and Emily pulling his butt out of the fire every time … I’m saying it would be nice if Jack stepped up to the plate on occasion.  It’s not about clinging to gender roles, it’s about a stronger person makes a more interesting character.  We’re supposed to care about Jack,  but I don’t, a lot of people don’t and that’s because he’s not a good character.  It often seems that Jack is not invested in Jack so why should I be? Why would Fauxmanda, who for her craziness, was still pretty kick ass, love him? Why would Emily? 

          Case in point, when did Charlotte become more interesting? When she started to stand up for herself.

          • bellesprit

             Exactly, Scoobydrew. It’s great to have strong heroines who save the day for themselves & for others. But I want their romantic interests to be strong too. In other words, the love of her life *could* save the day; but our heroine does it herself–or with him by her side. In this show, Jack is a huge problem for me as a romantic lead. He is so boring, stupid and weak. In the early days of the show, he had a bit of a spark. Perhaps the writers will realize this character needs major life support–and not just some weepy scenes so Emily can comfort him.

            By the way, your comments make me want to read one of your books. You know your stuff.

          • Scoobydrew

            Well thank you! It is something that I feel very strongly about — my gal makes a lot of messes, but she also cleans them up. For a long time women on tv, in books etc … have been people that things happen to, not who make things happen. I like that Revenge has a lot of strong women, but I do have to question why two strong women would care about such a mush.  Jack should never save Emily, and honestly neither should Aiden – but he should be able to do something besides stand around looking forlorn and lost. 

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

         I don’t think he’s “letting” her be a strong woman. He just doesn’t know what the hell is going on.

  • http://twitter.com/cornekopia Shawn EH

    Sounds like it’s time to start watching again!

  • http://twitter.com/AlisonSigman Alison Sigman

    *Sigh* I deleted it from my DVR and now you go and make me want to watch it! Thank goodness for OnDemand I suppose. And I won’t take Fauxmanda’s death as a spoiler, I take it as an exciting event to look forward to; like fireworks on 4th of July.

  • Zippypie

    I didn’t mind The Initiative idea, but to have Conrad and Victoria as their pawns and victims completely defanged them as villians and, to me, that was the whole failure of this season so far.  How can you defang such juicy villians you spent a whole season developing?  It was such a stupid error on the part of the creator/writers.  So when Victoria shot Helen, I was fist-pumping FINALLY! And this ep certainly cemented that the show is going back to where it needs to go – back to being about Emily’s revenge and not some silly cerebral ill-defined mystery villian in control of all.  If they want to keep that in the background, fine, but keep it in the friggin’ background please and don’t let the Graysons be victims.  It’s so unappealing.  I want to see Victoria scheme and plot, not cower and whine.

    I actually got teary at Fauxmanda’s death, surprisingly.  I think that Emily has lost the first person since her father that really mattered to her, and she didn’t even realize it until it was too late.  That is sad.  Too bad Jack didn’t die too, but of course, that can’t happen.  I like MilaXX’s idea to trim down the cast, get rid of the bar scenario, pack off Declan (speaking of dead weight) and have Jack work for Nolan. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1628084941 Jeremy Ponniah

      Why get rid of the bar? Sure, there can be no more plots centered around it but why eliminate a key set/location which worked so well in the first season? The Stowaway is a really ambient place where Emily and Nolan could come there and discuss their plans while in proximity to the beautiful coastline (and Jack, though we apparently disagree on that). I want more beach/Hamptons/Montauk scenes and less Manhatten!

  • Inspector_Gidget

    I am happy they seem to be getting back to the sort of body-stashing, setup-framing action that made the show fun in the first place.  THANK GOD the Bar Boys are out of the picture. Let’s not return there, please.

    It was a little funny how Keystone Kop the brother in the boat was — letting Fauxmanda completely get the drop on him 2 or 3 times, peering out the window during their photo session — but it was overall a fun episode.  Let’s hope they continue this course correction.

  • Inspector_Gidget

    And what’s going on with them going off the air for several weeks *again* after only two episodes?  Was this the Half-Mid Semi-Season Demi-Finale?

    • http://twitter.com/Goldielox73 Goldie

      It’ll actually only be one Sunday we’ll miss.  I think because the Oscars are this Sunday.

  • http://twitter.com/deathbyjava deathbyjava

    I watched Revenge in the first season religiously and then dropped off completely in the second because everything got so far away from why I loved the show so much in the first place. I happened to watch this after finishing watching Once Upon a Time – and boy, this episode brought back the tone the show set in the first season. and OWEN! From Torchwood! I’ll be watching again next week for sure!

  • Kristin McNamara

    I loved this episode. The one nagging question I had (not that I should really focus on this.. suspension of disbelief is basically Revenge’s subtitle) but how did Brother Grimm have a lighter that still lit, after (presumably) pulling it from his submerged-in-seawater pants? Ah well. Glad he’s gone. Jerkface.

  • http://twitter.com/BattyMamzelle Cate Young

    Nothing publicly scandalous happened at this party!

  • neofashionista

    Its funnny while I totally agree with your assessment that Season 3 Downton has been a FLOP
    I have truly been entertained by this season of Revenge and particularly liked this episode which I thought was cleverly concluded

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    I am so glad I don’t have to hear about the stupid Stowaway anymore. Ugh. I DVR’d the show just so I could ff through those scenes with both pair of the dumb and dumber brothers. Blah. 

  • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

    I’m just now getting caught up on Revenge, but I LOVE how this episode brings us back to one thing: Emily getting all REVENGE-Y on the Graysons. Forget all of the alliances between the Graysons and everyone else on Emily’s side. It’s ON now, bitches.