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Review: Revenge’s “Homecoming” Was the Best Episode of the Season

By on January 6, 2014

With several scream-out-loud moments and enough razor sharp twists and turns to knock your spinal cord out of whack, Revenge’s “Homecoming” lands a triple triumph that makes the first ten episodes of set-up well worth the wait.

Most shocking were Lydia’s divinely inspired redecorating of Victoria’s beloved Queen Anne chair and Emily’s startling admission that she’s David Clark’s daughter. Now, what could throw a wrench into the mix more than the later little juicy tidbit? Finally, the best line during the hour was delivered, as expected (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it people), by Nolan ‘Snarky Quip King’ Ross. Asked if he can hack into the hospital’s mainframe, Ross replies, “Give me enough time and I’ll make the toilets flush in Morse code.”

When we left off before the holidays, Emily and Daniel had finally taken the plunge. Considering how things turned out, it wasn’t the plunge that any of the characters expected – team David Clark included. Let’s review the biggest surprises and hiccoughs of the wedding of the century episode, then continue to the explosions from this one.

First, Lydia insinuating herself onto the honeymoon boat. Oh, no she di’n’t! Oh, yes she very much did, people. We now pronounce you QBOC (Queen Bitch of the Century), Lydia. Why Victoria didn’t scratch her eyes out is beyond comprehension.

Danny Boy got trashed at the wedding, learned of his true love’s attempted suicide, and overheard Emily confessing to a faux pregnancy and years of conniving to get back at the Grayson family. Then Daniel shoots Emily … for real. And she’s really injured. Um. Whops. Why did I think there were supposed to be blanks in that gun? Didn’t Emily’s daddy teach her anything about gun safety?

Emily makes it to the buoy awaiting her in the water, but doesn’t accompany her bloody bustier to the beach where Jack and Aiden await her, leaving us all to wonder if she will end up as the real or Memorex version of her bad self when she wakes up in the hospital. Will that choice even be hers to make, or will her damaged frontal lobe take over?

Revengers, there have been numerous moments this season when Revenge seemed to be on a slow dirge toward oblivion. New management had come to town and some changes were made, but was it enough to reboot this sudsy drama toward the promise of a fourth season? Well, wonder no more. The new sheriff is indeed in town and he’s armed with a script and acting assets designed to shoot all kinds of holes in our understanding of the predictability of Revenge’s life in the Hamptons.

The Revenge 3.0 team has proven capable of turning on a dime in response to viewer reactions, or has it all been a brilliant plot? Three cases in point: Lydia – she’s awesome, gorgeous, and we want her back, and voila – here she is. Patrick – he’s delish and fans love him. Bring him back, voila again. Yay! We need some genuine people: okay, here are two deceptively complex characters masquerading as window dressing at first, but who add just enough spice to the mix to keep things interesting: Margaux and Sarah.

But … what of the Revengenda? Can Revenge regroup while taking us in a new direction provocative enough to keep viewers on the edge of their seats throughout the season, and then back for more in the fall of 2014?

“Homecoming” answers that challenge with a resounding battle cry and a powder keg of surprises for us.

A two cent recap: Emily is found once her crapped-out homing beacon garter belt engages once more. Aiden realizes she needs real medical care or she may die, so he assures she’s discovered, but not before she tells him she just wants to leave and be with him. Maybe she really, really did love him after all? But wait, The Graysons are all questioned about their alibis and Victoria looks like the most guilty at the party. Margaux has the pictures to prove it … and implicate someone else. But who?

What kept us on our toes during “Homecoming?” Here’s what was expected in comparison to what Revenge 3.0 delivered:

Expected: Emily is playing everyone. Surprise: Maybe not. Or, could it be that she’s even playing us? Her panic when faced with Aiden in her room was genuine and scary. But, she recognized Aiden on the boat, why doesn’t she recognize him now and isn’t this proof that she’s faking amnesia. Not really, folks. Loss of memory can come from the swelling of the brain which continues after a trauma. It’s believable that Emily really didn’t recognize him at all, even though she did earlier. And that revelation to Charlotte about her father – if Emily truly has sufficient cerebral trauma to be suffering from transient global amnesia, there’s no way she could have created a whole new scheme and made all that stuff up, right? What now, Batman? I’m on the edge of my seat, here.

Expected: Margaux, Jack, and Victoria look at the pictures from the yacht and notice there’s someone else missing during the time of the shooting. Surprise: It wasn’t Daniel they noticed missing … it was Lydia. Okay, this is not as surprising as we might think, but they did have us going for a while.

Expected: The Grayson’s prohibit Nolan from seeing Emily. Surprise: Nolan pleads with Patrick in front of Victoria, revealing a covert romance. Expected: Victoria is stunned and walks away in tears. Surprise: Patrick rebuffs Nolan with finality. Really, this could have gone either way, but the reveal was a bold move, giving us further insight into Patrick’s nature and more angst for Nolan.

Expected: Patrick walks in on Nolan locking away the Infinity Box. Surprise: Patrick doesn’t kidnap or harm Nolan à la white haired man of yesteryear. The frightening aspect of Patrick’s burgeoning understanding of Emily’s true nature is his proclivity for attempting murder to protect his mother’s best interests. Dear Patrick is beginning to look more like the psycho we suspected when he first arrived on the scene, no? Well, as long as we get to keep him, I’ll buy that for a dollar.

Expected: Daniel admits to Vic that he shot Emily and plans to turn himself in. Surprise: Victoria doesn’t use the information against Conrad – she goes straight to him and insists they frame Lydia. Okay, framing Lydia isn’t such a surprise, but why didn’t she use this to screw Conrad?

Expected: For a moment it looked like Conrad might turn around and frame Victoria since she wasn’t in the photos either. Same old boring song, right? Surprise: He goes along with framing Lydia – just when we thought those two would finally find happiness together, Conrad and Lydia.

Expected: Conrad goes to Lydia and spills the beans, tells her to stay right where she is, then gives her the kiss of Judas. At this point it looks like Lydia’s goose is cooked again. Surprise: Conrad sends Lydia off to parts unknown, but allows her to look guilty so Daniel cannot be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Expected: Jack can finally tell Emily who she really is. Surprise: He tries to convince her she’s Emily Thorne. Why, oh, why, Jack? Spill, then take her out the window and head for the hillbillies and the baby boy!

Two last shockers: It turns out Aiden has been sexting an old flame who shows up in nursing garb and almost slips Emily something lethal, or so we assume. This new girlie says, “use me, I’ve saved your life before, nothing has changed between us,” then kisses Aiden whose reaction is completely unreadable. What the hell?

Finally, the visit from Jack stirs a memory for Emily. She tells Jack that Daniel shot her. Booyah and Bazinga times infinity. Well done, Revenge. Well done.

Queue the angsty ominous music and set your DVR for next Sunday night at Revenge’s new time slot. “Endurance” is set to explore a ‘mentally and physically broken’ Emily next Sunday January 12 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

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