Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen Revenge Season 3, Ep. 14 – “Payback.”
After over a month long hiatus Revenge made a lot of promises for its return. Was it later? Obviously. Sexier? Eh, not so much. But since the last episode implied sexy times between Conrad and Emily, I’m happy to forego that particular theme. Revengier? Undeniably. As long as we all agree that revengier means absolutely ridiculous to the soapiest, most fabulous level. And really, what else could it mean?
In truth, “Payback” felt less like the first episode of the season’s back half and more like the last episode of the front half. So many problematic little plot lines were wrapped up in nice little bows and future plot lines were merely hinted at in the vaguest terms.
When last we left Montauk and its vengeful inhabitants Niko was hunting Aiden for killing her father, Patrick was tracking down his rapist father and Emily was blacking out at an alarming rate.
Thankfully as desperately hoped for expected Emily did not share anything more than a drink and some scheming with Conrad. Unfortunately for Emily, she doesn’t remember the scheming, which is just as dangerous as if she had slept with him. All we know about Conrad’s latest plan is that it involves Margaux’s father and giving his first wife, Stevie Grayson (the incomparable Gail O’Grady), the Hamptons house.
I can honestly say I don’t care what this plan is, if it involves another Mrs. Grayson who can trade barbs and spare with the other Mrs. Graysons running around I’m all for it. Oh and that little bombshell that she’s Jack’s mother? I’m not entirely sure how that worked (like, I get how you can have paternal mystery, but usually people can tell if someone has been pregnant for nine months or not) and I’m not sure its entirely necessary, but on a reveniger scale it gets a perfect 10.
The Niko business, aka the business no one ever wanted, was dealt with swiftly. She lured Emily to save Adien and they fought. Emily easily defeated her and Niko slunk off into obscurity to share a bitter drink with the Initiative and Mama Clarke in failed Revenge plot line purgatory. Cheers.
It was around this time that Victoria realized it had been awhile since she had proved she was baddest bitch the Hamptons has ever seen. So when Patrick decided that perhaps his rapist father was a person he wanted to know, only to see that once a violent monster, always a violent monster Victoria saw her chance. She watched him die on the cold concrete with only his own creepy words for comfort. A fitting end for both the man and the storyline and a wonderful reminder that no matter how many Mrs. Graysons there are, Victoria is still the queen.
But while Victoria regained some of her street cred, Miss Emily’s game has never been shakier. After an MRI (which was one of the best shot scenes in Revenge history) Emily’s results showed that her blackouts are not a result of any head trauma. Which leaves only the distinct possibility that she inherited more from her mother than her steely gaze and stubbornness.
It’s refreshing that in a sea of classic soap opera tropes Revenge is still capable of an original and wholly realized idea. The idea that Emily may suffer mental health issues similar to her mother is a direction I never saw coming, but one that makes a multitude of sense now that it has been brought up. What makes it even better is that it works on both the soap opera level and the rarely visited logical level. I love it when that happens.
But what say you, fellow revengers? Was “Payback” worth the wait or are these family trees getting just little too confusing?
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