Hell Hath No Fury: Revenge “Hatred” Review
Last night’s “Hatred” baptized Revenge in a blaze of creative ruthlessness. The celebrant’s name? Emily Thorne. You thought the last two episodes of Revenge were fan-freaking-tastic? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, people, and “Hatred” is proof.
A labyrinthine jumble of whirlwind kinks and twists, the third post-Bullets to the Bustier episode let loose a cascade of roundhouses that defy enumeration. It was exciting and fantastic and such good entertainment that it would be easy to overlook the skill and creativity of the individual performances that made up such a ride–but we’ll discuss in a moment.
“Hatred” played out as if the writers surrendered the script to a game of Dungeons and Dragons, rolling the dice to determine player and strength, then flipping over one card of revelation, and another to determine reaction. And it worked brilliantly–providing such surprise that it’s clear Revenge has been rebooted.
Let’s just hit the highlights, if that’s even possible in a thousand words or less. Emily asks Niko ‘Femme Nikito’ Tekada to cauterize her wounds. Nolan ‘A Million Miles Past Sorry’ Ross provides Patrick with proof of his paternity. Margaux ‘I’d Sell My Soul For To Advance My Career’ LeMarchal finds her article on Lydia had been tampered with and folds like a paper napkin when Conrad offers to drop the charges in exchange for buying Daniel out. Emily finds Danny ‘Kind Of A Ho’ Grayson in bed with Sara ‘I’m Not Trash’ Munello and enlists Mother ‘I Disown You’ Munello to drag Sara away. Patrick ‘PattyCake’ Osbourn uncovers his biological father’s identity and stalks him to a bar, but Vic ‘I Hate Tea’ Grayson stops him in his tracks with a very convincing story of a vulgar and murderous mother who exposed young Victoria to rape, stalking, and abuse.
After learning Aiden and Niko are shagging like rabbits, Ems goes swimming even though she’s severely wounded. #BadIdea She blacks out or almost drowns or something strange (??) and wakes up at Nolan’s house. Aiden tries to send Niko away in search of Tekada’s killer, but Niko finds a Katana under Aiden’s bed and will probably not leave now. Daniel threatens Emily’s friends. Emily awakens in bed to find Conrad emerging from the bathroom after an assumed shag. Conrad’s first wife flies into town on a private jet.
Once again, Stowe, VanCamp, and Mann are the superstars of the episode (not necessarily in that order), each crafting performances that are simply a joy to watch.
Victoria: a woman you love to hate, and hate to love, but just can’t help yourself because she’s convincingly sympathetic, then swiftly venomous in the blink of a tear-filled eye. Her tale of Patrick’s conception was portrayed with the sensitivity due such a tragic experience. However, one can’t help but wonder if she made it all up! In doing so, she successfully dissuaded Patrick from pursuing his father, a man who will not get the opportunity to refute her allegations. But wait … will Patrick kill him?
Victoria; she’s an adorable kitty cat with big brown eyes and creamy skin that will steal your heart, then scratch your eyes out the moment she feels threatened.
Emily: the anti-ingénue who perfects audacious vindictiveness without sullying it with the stink of nastiness. How does she remain beautiful, poised, and seemingly pure while bitterness boils in her gut? Emily has been changed by her sterilization. The first proof being the fact that she’s failed to confirm this diagnosis. Again I say, What the hell, Ems, what the hell? Now she’s bent on hardening herself with a single-mindedness that eschews any and all emotion or rationality, as evidenced by her desire to have her abdominal wounds cauterized (!!!) and her love for Aiden excised like necrotic flesh.
In “Hatred,” Emily is suffering from some kind of neuropathy which has her either blacking out and, it seems, unable to distinguish between waking and dreaming states. Are we going to find that some or all of this was a dream when all is said and done? And what is she going to do, if anything, now that she knows Aiden and Niko have been shagging like rabbits? And did she really sleep with Conrad? *Involuntary shudder* Say it ain’t so, Ems, we beg you.
Nolan: quippy and sultry as warm caramel with a pureness of heart and an understated deliciousness that make a person want to put him in your pocket and take him home just to listen to him speak all day. It appeared at first that he was mentioning Aiden ‘Man Whore’ Mathis to upset Emily, but then his facial expression exuded surprise and remorse. He thought she knew. This was a well-played Ah, shit! moment for Nolan.
Right behind these three comes Patrick whose pain has always been apparent but whose complexity has only begun to reveal itself, Daniel who finally straps on a pair and goes to the mattresses in what promises to be an ongoing attempt to free himself from the talons of matriarch and mate, and Aiden who has burned every bridge and God only knows what will happen to him.
From the opening blood-stained hand to the arrival of Conrad’s first concubine, er, wife, “Hatred” highlighted each of the three main characters giving requisite screen time to Daniel, Jack, Margaux, Patrick, Aiden, Niko and Sara to keep the presentation from seeming too heavy handed.
Well done, Revenge, well done.
Catch Revenge’s next episode “Payback” Sunday March 9 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on ABC.