With only a few episodes remaining in its second season, Revenge kicks into high gear and channels Revolution for its final twist of the evening. But seriously…what the hell just happened?
Let’s bitch it out…
Phew! After a meandering second season, it’s like showrunner (and series creator) Mike Kelley decided that his final batch of episodes should go absolutely crazy. Any complaints about the show being boring or dull must automatically be disregarded as ‘Engagement’ has it all: death, blackmail, power outages and enough eye rolls to sink the Amanda. This is the Revenge we fell in love with last year! It’s like the son you gave up to go to art school in Paris then paid off for $5 million dollars showing up at your doorstep…or something else…maybe something slightly less specific.
One of the most basic, simple things that this episode does well is put characters we love (or love to hate) in conflict with one another and let them go at it like cats in heat. Emily (Emily VanCamp) and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) have spent a season seemingly avoiding each other, and all of the sudden have a ton of opportunities to interact and spit in each other’s faces. ‘Engagement’ offers a plethora of opportunities to exchange catty remarks and hurl underhanded insults at each other. And it’s fantastic.
Many online commenters have lamented the amount of screentime these nemeses have had together this season and this episode demonstrates exactly what we’ve been missing: the juicy bitchiness. S1 of Revenge was all about Emily taking on the Graysons and actively plotting their downfall. With these Em/Victoria scenes, it feels like a return to the series’ roots and makes us once again invested in this conflict. There’s no Initiative, no Ryan brothers, no Padma (*shudder*) to distill the impact of these two powerful women trying to take each other down using their wits and words. Ah the power of the female-centric soap opera. I bow to thee.
This isn’t to say that the developments focusing on the Initiative are less interesting. Well…alright…if we’re being honest it’s still uninteresting, but only because it lacks a focal point (we still don’t know anything about them, or why they use the Graysons, or what they want). Still, if we’re going with all style and no substance, then those final images of Aiden (Barry Sloane) and Nolan (Gabriel Mann) accidentally activating Carrion and the New York skyline going dark is pretty impressive, right? Suck it Revolution! This promises to be all kinds of fun and mischief. It’s why we love season finale time, right? Because batsh*t crazy stuff like this happens.
Unfortunately hidden amidst the awesome is some random stuff that’s not as effective. Does anyone really understand what happened between Takeda (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Aiden? Takeda poisons Daniel (Joshua Bowman) against Aiden so that he’s fired from Grayson Global so that Aiden can’t spirit Emily away and distract her from fulfilling her REVENGE! destiny? Alright, but why did they have to come to literally fatal blows? Not only does this conflict seem to come out of nowhere, it makes Takeda seem like a disposable villain. Who knows, maybe he really, really hates engagement parties and they bring out the killer in him? Not sure how others felt about this, but for a master sensei, he sure was easily dispatched. RIP Takeda – your character deserved more.
- Victoria makes some pretty masterful plays. She leaks the audio from her meeting with Alison Stoddard (Jessica Tuck) and in the process more or less secures Conrad’s “death sentence” Governor job, then incriminates Conrad in the leak in order to butter up Jack (Nick Wechsler) and play him like a fiddle! Now she’s got even more dirt on her dirty husband. It’s all in a day’s work for the Ice Queen
- Speaking of Conrad, that is one shitty looking attack ad Stoddard put together on him. Who made this: kindergarten kids? No wonder Connie’s leading in the polls
- I never realized that it wasn’t clear to Jack that Em and Daniel broke up because of him. Didn’t he think it was odd that the day after an engaged woman kissed him she mysteriously ended her engagement? Oh Porter boys…so cute, but so dumb. Good thing Ashley is around to exposition things out
- Side Note: Has anyone figured out who Ashley (Ashley Madewke) is really working for? I’m still unsure whether she’ll flip on Jack for Conrad. Oh, am I the only one who cares? Okay, I’ll be over in the corner with the dunce cap
- Finally, because I know we all care so much: Charlotte (Christa B Allen) is preggers with Declan’s (Connor Paolo) bastard. Unless she got pregnant from frenching that stupid friend of hers? You guys…did she get pregnant from French kissing??? Or maybe sitting on a public bathroom stall??? No? Declan’s it is
- Victoria (after Daniel announces his second engagement to Emily): “That sounds so…repetitive”
- Daniel (when Victoria suggests that she doesn’t make the same mistake twice): “Like bastard children?”
- Victoria (to Jack, dismissing Emily): “Your timing is perfect because Emily here was just leaving”
- Nolan (offering Aiden a job): “You could be my bodyguard and I could be your Whitney.” That’s a little flirty. Is bi-Nolan back? Marco, call your agent.
What are your thoughts on ‘Engagement’: are you overwhelmed with the amazing eyerolls on display in the Ems/Victoria scenes? Do you care that Carrion has been activated? Do you want Charlotte to die in childbirth? Do you want Declan and the stupid friend to die in some “running out of air” accident in the locked ATM? And who’s watching baby Carl if Jack’s tending bar??? Comment away below
Revenge airs Sundays at 9pm EST on ABC