I’m just going to say it: what a freaking letdown! While the sinking of the Amanda has never been as interesting as the identity of the Fire & Ice shooting victim from S1, ‘Sacrifice’ still manages to throw under expectations and completely disappoint.
Let’s bitch it out…Was there anything surprising in that entire hour? After last week’s episode, when there were twists aplenty as Nolan (Gabriel Mann) confronted Padma (Dilshad Vadsaria) about her ties to the Initiative and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) shot down Helen (Wendy Crewson) in cold blood. Suddenly Revenge felt vital and exciting and unpredictable again; all of the adjectives that we got used to using in S1 but haven’t gotten much use in S2.
Alas, it seems that ‘Union’ is the anomaly as ‘Sacrifice’ breaks out the obvious narratives and cliche without any of the barbed bitchiness or impressive Alias-like escapism we know Revenge is capable of. Raise your hand if you didn’t know that Nate Ryan (Michael Trucco, wasted in a thankless thug role) and/or Faux-manda (Margarita Levieva) would bite it? Alright, hang your head in shame.
Things took a turn for the worse during last week’s cliffhanger when Nate hitched a ride on Jack (Nick Wechsler) and Faux’s honeymoon aboard the Amanda. Boat drama is hard to do well and, as Ringer infamously demonstrated in its pilot episode, exceedingly difficult to film convincingly (everything frequently looks like it’s filmed on the lake from The Truman Show). Unfortunately ‘Sacrifice’ doesn’t nail either: the hostage sequence is passable but familiar, the FX looks borrowed from Once Upon A Time and the rescue attempt by Nolan and Emily (Emily VanCamp) is laughably executed.
It’s the inconsistencies that sink (couldn’t help myself!) the episode:
- Jack and Faux wake up to find Nate aboard the boat and a few scenes later it’s nighttime
- Emily discovers there’s trouble afoot by conveniently discovering Nate’s face in a wedding picture that Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) is looking over (great timing!)
- Nate shoots out the lock on the boat, but when Faux wakes up later it’s miraculously working again
- Nolan is somehow able to track the location of the boat from his laptop despite neither boat being anywhere remotely near a cell-tower
- Nolan deduces that Jack has been shot when he can only see Nate shooting on the computer monitor, not where the bullets go
- Ems and Nolan discover Jack’s dinghy floating in the middle of the ocean in the dark even though it has no tracker (dumb luck)
- Nolan dumps Jack’s body off at the hospital and hops back in the speedboat to find Emily without answering any questions or running out of gas
- Petty thug Nate arbitrarily decides to commit suicide by blowing up the boat, despite not having any reason to do so
The episode is full of more continuity errors and gaps in logic than the hull of the damn boat! It essentially boils down to this: everything is telegraphed, predictable, incoherent or just plain stupid. Considering this is meant to be comparable to the first season’s huge mid-season episode, ‘Sacrifice’ is an epic fail.
- Considering the ridiculousness of other capers she’s been involved in, this is a really pathetic way to get rid of Fauxmanda. Not only is it not heroic (way to die for that stupid friendship necklace, dumba*s), it’s not even all that memorable (killed by one of the Ryan brothers? Ugh…that blows). I’m sure it will prove narratively convenient since the Grayson storyline positioned her squarely in the Initiative’s sights, so this eliminates the problems associated with the recent murder of Helen
- Speaking of the Initiative: with Helen all rolled up in a carpet and squared away (what did they do with the body exactly?!), there’s a new handler in town: Mr. Trask (the elaborately named Burn Gorman of Torchwood fame). The botox-faced newbie makes a similar entrance to Helen, announcing himself at the Labour Day party and making thinly veiled threats within seconds. He should fit right in with this crew of jackals
- The long-awaited reunion scene between Ashley (Ashley Madewke) and Ems completely fizzles. Ash essentially swings by the beach house to inquire about Faux’s whereabouts and Em shows her the door. Considering the animosity these two have for each other, file this encounter under ‘Yawnsville’
- Aiden (Barry Sloane) gets the enviable role (please note the sarcasm) of working with Padma to draw the Initiative out of hiding (not knowing that Helen herself has already been rolled away). Considering how well things worked out for his sister, Padma should be worried about her kidnapped father. Also: nobody cares
- I died laughing when Em blows up the oh-so-conveniently non-pixelated face of Nate in that wedding photo. Oh lord, that was priceless!
- Admittedly the sight of Ems crying while cradling a lifeless Faux in the slowly sinking dinghy is powerful. I just wish that the episode preceding it had been executed with the same care so that that emotionality felt earned
- Finally, are we all in agreement that the laptop is behind the broken air conditioner? Yet more obviousness!
- Victoria (justifying her decision to kill Helen): “The bitch had it coming.” This is the kind of dialogue that the show needs more of!
- Connor Paolo’s Declan (throwing Victoria shade by turning his back on her after she greets him): “Hello”
So baby Carl is potentially an orphan with a dead mom and a father on the operating table (oh, who are we kidding? Clearly Jack will survive). Will Kenny Ryan (an unseen JR Bourne) seek out REVENGE! for his brother’s death? How will this recent loss affect Em’s plot? What’s the deal with Trask and how will the Graysons deal with him? And will Ashley ever get to do more than wear blazers with shoulder pads and run errands? Comment away with your thoughts
Revenge is taking three (!!!) weeks off to fire its writers and bring on competent staff (we wish!). It returns Sunday, March 10 at 9pm EST on ABC with Ems going after her sister in order to get the Graysons. Umm, haven’t we already seen this episode?