Revenge: Illumination

Posted on March 18, 2013

Once again, we feel ever so sorry that we didn’t get to last week’s recap. It’s not because we didn’t enjoy the episode. Quite the contrary, in fact. We’ve loved the last two episodes if for no other reason than they introduced the character who will forever more be known to us as Dominique Deveraux; Revenge+S2E16+3Emily’s (or rather, Amanda’s – can we go back to calling her Amanda now that Fauxmanda is dead?) foster-brother, Plot Contrivance.

Oh, sorry. His name’s actually Eli. We get those two so mixed up all the time. We are henceforth referring to him solely as Dominique, however.

But really, we do kind of like him as an addition to the story. For one, he’s essentially repeating Fauxmanda’s arc of being the person from Emily’s past who turns out to be more trouble than they’re worth, but instead of being a killer stripper in the Hamptons, he’s something that’s rocking that community even more: a black man in the Hamptons.  But he’s got Ems’ number and she seems pretty backed up against the wall by his presence, especially since he’s shown himself capable enough to essentially steal the co-chairmanship of Victoria’s hilarious new charity, The Dead Stripper Daughter of My Former Disgraced Lover Foundation, away from her. Now with Daniel making at least his 5th or 6th attempt to grow a pair of balls, and Conrad’s plan to hide the Grayson money among the charitable funds collected for The Dead Stripper Daughter of My Wife’s Former Disgraced Lover Foundation, the status quo seems mightily shaken up. Add Jack, who’s on his 8th or 9th Revenge+S2E16+9attempt to grow a pair of brain cells (and failing spectacularly once again) and Charlotte, who has moved on from throwing herself at the working class to throwing herself at the only black man she’s ever seen up close in her life, and you’ve got a rollicking fun time.

Who knew that yanking the focus away from the Initiative and nasally women who speak through limo windows could only benefit the show? EVERYONE.

Fauxmanda’s death added a much-needed shot of true drama and emotion to the story, and the way practically everyone involved in the story now is either exploiting her death or reeling from it, it’s probably one of the best ideas the creators ever had for Revenge 2.0, which has been all about expanding the story past the Clarke/Grayson war, only to realize that it has to be all about the Clarke/Grayson war. There’s a newfound sense of “We’ve been wasting our time” to the proceedings, helped along by Emily thoughtfully stating “We’ve been wasting our time” in several scenes. We dig it. It’s a low-level form of meta-self-criticism and it works. There’s still a lot going on that we either don’t care about, like practically anything to do with Grayson financial maneuvers, which the creators always seem to think is fascinating to the audience. Creators, remember classic Dallas and Dynasty. The business deals could have been written in crayon or cut out of felt shapes Revenge+S2E16+10they were so basic and easy to understand. Simplify.

But really, this was just fun. Not too much bullshit about the bar, or Carrion, or Padma, or The Initiative, or the Ryan brothers. Just Emily Thorne vs. Anyone Who Gets In Her Way. More, please.

Oh, and one other thing: we totally dig Aiden’s swanky BondCave as a new hangout for Emily. Now that there’s a renewed narrowing of focus to their partnership, the “James Bond teaming up with Batman” undertones have shot through the roof, especially with Nolan as Robin.

“Holy Matrix, Hamptons-Batman! It’s the nefarious FALCON! What are we going t–

Could you stop making out with James Bond, Batman? This is serious.”

 

 

[Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/ABC]

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