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 ourselves, 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 and 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 loss 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.