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Embrace the Hate: Revenge “Endurance” Review

By on January 13, 2014
ABC/Richard Cartwright)


Like an aerial raid over enemy territory, Revenge made Swiss cheese out of the Hamptons last night with Emily Thorne’s recommitment to revenge.

Riddled with phenomenally delicious smack downs, show-stopping reveals, and a refreshing attitude about pacing, “Endurance” flashed viewers a glimpse of a side of Emily we thought we knew, but clearly didn’t.

Right out of the gate, we learn Emily’s memory has returned. All of it. Thank goodness! Watching her pretend to be the beloved daughter-in-law of Victoria Grayson would have been difficult to swallow for more than an hour. But this was only the first of numerous plot points that advanced the storyline at a break-neck pace not previously seen in Revenge.

While carefully guarded secrets may heighten drama over time, the Revenge fairies have proven that secrets with greater punch and a shorter half-life tend to pack a lot more entertainment punch. Speaking of punches … this episode could have been directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Let’s count the smack downs as we go through a rundown of the episode.

Nolan, dressed as a candy cane, visits Emily who says she’s done with revenge forever. Daniel visits Sara at the Castaway and gets righteously sucker punched by a pissed off Jack. (TKI #1). Victoria has Emily transferred to Grayson Prison, er, Manor, then sends Patrick on a mission to get Em’s Infinity Box. Victoria smacks Patrick (TKO #2).

By the way, Patrick has been kicking some ass lately. This isn’t the first time he reads Victoria the riot act, but he’s getting much feistier, and you have to respect that. However, he claims to want information about his past. What does he think Victoria knows? She gave him up … she wasn’t there for his past. So, either he’s lying, or he wants the inheritance he would have had if he was a Grayson. Or maybe he’s even crazier than that … doesn’t want the money, but is willing to kill and bludgeon people in exchange for maternal love and loyalty. Victoria better watch her back. If she stands between Patrick and the maternal love he seeks, she may be the one ending up in a body bag.

In a scene with the best lines of the whole show Patrick makes faux-nice with Nolan to secure a date for later that evening during which he bludgeons Nolan over the head and takes the Infinity Box. (TKO #3). Nolan’s no dummy though, he was only faux-drunk and had already switched out the contents of the Infinity Box. I guess he never thought Patrick would use a block of wood to bust him over the head.

Jack and Carl Jr, the cutest baby in the world, deliver a PuppyCam to Emily at Grayson Manor. Ems learns Nurse ‘I’m a Psycho and I Know It’ Niko is Tekada’s daughter and a friend of Aiden’s, then reveals she, Emily, and Aiden are an item. When Emily further explains she’s done being a revenger, we see the most shocking TKO of all: Niko punches Emily right in the bullet wounds (TKO #4). Holy crap Batman! Who saw that coming?

Now, that belly shot could have easily come off as campy and ridiculous, but guest star Stephanie Jacobson expertly portrays a woman scorned by love and burned by life, especially in her words immediately following the punch when she redirects the blame for her actions. Was she referring to Victoria when she said, That woman who stole all his attention and affection … and this is how she ends up? Wait … what affection? Or was she referring to Emily? Is Niko jealous of Emily’s time with Takeda as well as her relationship with Aiden?

Niko Tekada is a loose canon, people. What, oh what, will she do when she learns Aiden killed her father? One shudders to wonder. Maybe she already knows. She appears to be hiding something when she and Aiden visit Tekada’s house for a little afternoon delight. Though she’s a Japanese woman raised in Sydney Australia by her mother, maybe Niko really is a Japanese Mantis, the intact that kills her mate during sex. Aiden better keep one eye open even when shagging!

Speaking of Aiden, Emily breaks it off with him completely. This was a disappointment as it seemed at the beginning of this episode (and in the last episode) that Emily was genuinely in love with Aiden. It makes sense that she’d break it off if she is to continue her pursuit of Gravengeance (Grayson+Vengeance). She can’t very likely expect him to tag along much longer in second chair.

RELATED | Will Emily’s Instability Ruin the Revengenda? First Details on Revenge’s “Hatred”

Next up, the only incident that begs believability: Victoria tells Emily her abdominal injuries took away her ability to have children. And Emily believes her. WHAT? No way. Ems, what is up with you?! Okay, I get that Emily has to have an impetus for reviving her revenge agenda, but Emily would never swallow anything Victoria said without getting it check out on her own. In order for her to maintain her renewed chilly position in the Grayson mire, she’s going to have to believe that she’s barren … for quite some time. That’s just too far fetched, I’m afraid.

So – what’s next? At the end of “Homecoming” we saw Conrad in cahoots with one of Margaux’s assistants. Is he seeking revenge for Emily’s naming Lydia as her shooter? And what happens when Emily finds out her baby parts are in working order? Either more dirt will surface to kindle Emily’s vengeful fire, or Ems will go in a completely new direction. Either way is fine with me because Revenge has got the fans eating out of their hands after these last two episodes. And, by the way, I was wrong when I titled “Homecoming” the best episode of the season.

“Endurance” was the kick ass-ingest episode of the entire franchise to date. Heart-pounding, breath-stopping, squee-inspiring. The whole shebang. We asked earlier this season if Revenge had been Rejuvenated. You have your answer, people.

Next week it looks like Daniel turns the tables on Emily by throwing a naked Sara in her face. Will her own instability put everything she has worked for at risk? Catch “Hatred” on Sunday January 19 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.