Emily Thorne is back! And all it took was the death of Amanda Clarke. It seems fitting. The end of this episode really said it all, “no more distractions”. After a stellar first season Revenge fell into the common pitfall of stretching a premise past its breaking point. Revenge was at its best when it was one vengeful ninja taking down one powerful family. All the added “drama” of Initiatives and business mergers were just distractions, and now that Emily has a clear head, hopefully we’ll be treated to more of the magic that made the first season an instant hit.
With that clear head comes a morally ambiguous goal. As I have often lamented, we’ve never known what kind of retribution Emily was seeking for the Graysons, but her collection of evidence did point to a more traditional, life-sentence variety revenge. But, now all that evidence is floating out to sea never to be seen again (until the plot needs a new twist and a coast guard happens upon it), Emily’s endgame is obvious. This was always meant to be an eye for an eye vendetta or perhaps… a son for a father.
As Amanda’s funeral concluded, Victoria shared her musings over Amanda’s death and surmised that it was lucky David was already dead so he didn’t have to suffer the loss of his daughter. Nothing is an insufferable as losing a child she decided as the camera panned over to Daniel. Could Emily really bring herself to kill one of the Grayson children? She’s spent enough time with Daniel for him to mean more to her than a pawn, but it’s doubtful she would kill her sister no matter how useless the actual character is. If she does go through with killing Daniel, she should get to it soon while she’s still filled with righteous rage; because the longer she waits to more obstacles present themselves.
In fact, they’ve already started rolling in. Jack woke up from a coma to find himself a single father and the discovery his late wife was entrenched in lies and secrets. After the incidents on the boat, Jack finally has some knowledge about what’s been going on in the show for the past two years. He thinks Amanda was dedicating her life to bringing down the Graysons (which is more correct than incorrect) and that he should take it upon himself to continue her work (which is more a horrible idea than rational). In his grief stricken state he happens upon the thing everyone with brain cells has been looking for for two episodes: the laptop containing all the evidence of how evil the Graysons are. Of course, he can’t open the laptop so he’s left with letters from Emily to Amanda to incite his lashing out. If he’s this upset to discover that Emily lied about knowing Amanda so well, I don’t think he’d take to kindly to the rest of the information on the laptop or to the discovery of his wife’s true identity. Best that Nolan counseled Emily against disclosing it… for now.
But the biggest hurdle may be yet another character’s arrival. Charlotte’s well meaning stupidity is usually shadowed by Jack and Declan, but this week she took center stage. In an attempt to give Amanda the well attended funeral she deserved, Charlotte randomly contacted a former foster brother and invited him to Montauk. Exit sister, enter brother. Also, did we know Emily had torched a foster home? And if we did, do we know why?
Also, as much as Emily might be done with The Initiative and its shady distractions, they aren’t done with Revenge just yet. They’re still after carrion (reason unknown) and in an attempt to save Padma’s father, Nolan hands it over. I still do not trust Padma. I don’t think I can trust anyone Nolan sleeps with because history has proved that a safe bet. And, it seems Sir Initiative has accepted the Graysons framing of Amanda for the death of Lady Initiative, but if Daniel keeps being so obvious (and let’s face it, he will) they’ll catch on soon enough. Though, I hope they don’t because they really need to just go away.
But the real reason this was such a great episode was the metaphor. Oh, how I love a good Revenge metaphor! All the talk about how the Graysons are responsible for killing Amanda Clarke can be applied to the actual, technically living Amanda Clarke. By taking away her father, taking away her childhood and forcing her down her vengeful path, the Graysons stole away the life she should have had. When Amanda and Jack got married it was the symbol of the life Emily sacrificed, but now the Graysons have taken that away too. Mysterious organizations may come and go, but in the end, the Graysons are the ones that need to pay for what they’ve done and now that Emily has been reminded of that, now that Amanda Clarke is dead and gone, she will rain down her fiery fury until they pay for what they’ve stolen. I can’t wait.
Side Note: If someone dies in a suspicious boat explosion, isn’t it customary to perform an autopsy? And, in said autopsy, when all the DNA is being examined, finger prints checked, and dental records compared, wouldn’t the fact that the woman isn’t Amanda Clarke come to light? I doubt Revenge will explore this path as it hardly seems concerned with being realistic, but the fact the medical examiners are only going off the identification of a teenager bugs me.
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