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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