Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen Revenge Season 3, Ep. 3 – “Confession”.
As much as people clamored for the return of the red sharpie, the evolution away from that kind of revenging was inevitable. There are only so many people its plausible to believe warrant a private take down. But if Revenge ever abandons the art of revenging in a band-aid dress at an exclusive Hampton soirée we’ll know we’re in real trouble.
This week Nolan’s house warming served as the perfect revenging backdrop. Victoria decided it was time to unveil her secret weapon: Aiden. For her part, Emily saw it as an opportunity to announce to everyone the Graysons are completely bankrupt. As delicious as that was, it was one of many missteps Ms. Throne took this episode.
As Daniel admitted to Margaux, he has spent his life being controlled by a domineering woman. If it is imperative for Emily’s master plan that she marries Daniel (and all signs point to that it is), unsheathing her claws in front of him seems risky. Emily and Victoria have gone toe to toe numerous times, but never so publically and Emily has never been so blatant in front of Daniel. He’s had enough of his mother’s brand of viciousness; I doubt he wants to marry into more of it.
It was clear that Emily was shaken by Aiden’s reappearance in her life and for a moment I began to question my certainty that Aiden was still working with his former ninja lover. But Emily is just a really great actress. As I (and everyone else) expected, Aiden had returned in order to help Emily. Divulging their relationship to Victoria wasn’t the exact plan, but earning her trust and gaining access to Grayson Manor was. So I guess the ends justify the means, even if Daniel is pulling away from his fiancée. I’m sure Aiden is devastated his revenging has caused this side effect.
Surprisingly this was the first time I wasn’t fully rooting for a revenge ninja reunion. For the past two years the attempts to throw Emily and Jack together have seemed too forced and unnecessary. When Jack was a dopey bartender hopelessly pining for childhood crush he did little more than annoy me. I’ve always appreciated that he represents Emily’s missed life, but a great love I never felt. But, now that he’s up to speed on all the revenge shenanigans he and Emily are finally on equal footing. It helps that their chemistry has improved, but for the first time I really bought that Jack may be the great love of Emily’s life. I’ll probably never revoke my Team Aiden membership, but at least I understand this love rhombus (thanks ABC!) a little better.
What I’m still failing to understand is what Emily hopes to achieve with all her revenge. Nolan implied this week that Emily’s goal has always been to clear her father’s name. But if that was always her goal she’s gone an odd way about it. There have been plenty of times she could have merely threatened and blackmailed people into exposing the Graysons. Much like what she did with Father Paul this week.
Charlotte’s rejection coupled with Emily’s incessant talk about repenting and clearing one’s conscious before death (along with some pill switches I assume mimicked the effects of Huntington’s Disease) Conrad was fully ready to atone for his sins. Conrad has been the one constant evil of Revenge (even Victoria has gotten some redemptive moments, mostly flashbacks), but these last two episodes have provided a lot of depth to the character that I appreciate.
However ready Conrad may have been to confess, Victoria was not in the mood. She had a point. It’s very easy to think confessing is a good idea when you know (or at least think) you’ll be dead before any real punishment can be doled out. But when you’re looking down some real hard time and plenty of public embarrassment it seems pretty selfish. It’s the exact reason the Graysons have never come clean before.
Victoria vowed that if Conrad got into that car and turned himself in, along with Father Paul, it would be the last thing he did and as Emily headed home she came across Conrad’s car smashed into a pole and Father Paul dead (or perhaps in a coma?!) on the side of the road. Did Victoria find a way to crash a car? It has to be easier than blowing up a plane. Or did the pills Emily was slipping Conrad work a little too well? If the blame can be laid at Emily’s feet, it’s one more tragedy in long line that can be attributed to her vendetta.
Again this episode found Emily being implored to find forgiveness in her heart and abandon her revenging and again this advice was ignored. I find it hard to believe this show will end this season (just shy of the syndication mark), but if it continues the writers will have to find a way to make this revenge feel necessary again. When even the characters are pointing out how little sense it makes in the face of the heartbreak its caused, its gonna take a lot of convincing to buy a continuation.
But the very fact these questions are being addressed gives me hope that the writers are dedicated to returning this show to its former glory. It’s already on its way.
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