TV REVIEW: A Revenge Role Reversal in the Season Premiere

Our favorite soapy delight is back with a revengeance!

Revenge experienced its own “Renaissance” in the season premiere – a rebirth focusing on the three R’s – Revenge Role Reversal. We left last season with Conrad dead, Aiden dead, and David Clarke very much alive. We pick up six months later and our two faves really are gone while Dad of the Year really is back.

The triumvirate that is Emily, Victoria, and Nolan are front and center, back at the core of Revenge playing with lives like Greek gods ruling from Mt. Olympus. When our trifecta of terror is up to no good, Revenge is at its best. It was at its best tonight.

 

About that Revenge Role Reversal

Queen V is narrating in the opening, “It was after my husband’s death six months ago that I learned to make my peace,” even with Emily Thorne. Can you say Emmy nod this year? Victoria is not waxing philosophical having turned over a new leaf. No, she’s spewing this BS to her docs in the Emily orchestrated looney bin she’s been committed to.

Seeing Victoria suffer in the crazy house does feel right; she had to pay for that pillow to Aiden’s face. We all know he deserved an epic death like Mr. Miyagi returning from the grave to administer a ninja star to his pretty throat. Preferably, as he exited the shower. But alas, we’re left with Emily finally, finally getting her revenge, Conrad is dead and Vicky’s locked up. All is right with the world, right?

Nolan, looking plaid and paisleytacular tonight, even says, “You know what they said about the girl who gave up revenge. She lived happily ever after.” If only it were that simple, Mr. Ross. Emily has gotten her just desserts but at such a cost we’re left wondering if there’s even a teeny bit of heart and soul left to find that fairy tale ending. When she remembers a tender scene with Aiden, we feel her pain. The Revenge writers rip our hearts out further, taking Emily back to her place and making us relive the discovering of Aiden’s body on the couch scene. Creepy David Clarke is lurking in a dark corner watching her, planning what?

Was Aiden Emily’s only shot at happiness? He was the only one who truly understood dark, hoodie Emily. Will first love Jack step up and give our girl a happy ending? Maybe, just not tonight.

Emily and Nolan share a moment. (ABC/Danny Feld) GABRIEL MANN, EMILY VANCAMP
Emily and Nolan share a moment. (ABC/Danny Feld)
GABRIEL MANN, EMILY VANCAMP

 

Upgrade Jack

Jack’s been upgraded from bar owner to police officer in the span of six months. I thought he was the one behind the bars? Now, he’s wearing the uniform (nice) and recreating a cop version of Top Gun getting dressed with hunky new partner in a locker room. Jack as a police officer is every shade of crazy, but where to begin? First, he’s probably broken so many laws that school crossing guard would even be out for a new career choice. Second, he seems a little mature to be accepted into the police academy. Finally, wouldn’t his first act as a cop have to be to arrest his childhood love? But that uniform and hopes of another locker room scene trump all, so we’ll just go with it for now.

His first big assignment is to take cute partner to an Emily party and show him around former-Grayson manor. He’s got to stop super cop from arresting Charlotte when they spy her snorting coke with slimy Gideon, Margaux’ brother. Charlotte’s traveling down a dark path not over the Jack kidnapping and definitely not over all the Emily betrayal. Jack and Emily are determined to help her although it’s Nolan who comes in for the save cluing in Margaux about Charlotte’s shenanigans who in turn clues in Daniel.

(ABC/Danny Feld) NICK WECHSLER
(ABC/Danny Feld)
NICK WECHSLER

It’s Just You and Me Kid

Nolan and Emily are on point in “Renaissance” as besties who have each other’s back no matter what, even if it means calling each other’s BS. Nolan has to serve Emily a dish of realism when our girl will not let her need for revenge go. In a turn that shows how broken Emily has become, it’s Nolan who gives her a verbal slap in the face when she needs it. Now that Miss Thorne has her personal revenge completed, she’s taken to seeking revenge on others’ behalf. She’s found a sad girl with a dead fiancé and sets up an elaborate plan to bring the fiancé’s killer to justice.

The highlight of the plan involves collecting the guilty together in an over the top party. Best scene of the night goes to Nolan as he makes a Gaga-worthy entrance riding atop an ivory chaise carried by a gaggle of gorgeous pool boys. He’s channeling his inner Hillary Clinton and taking pant suit to an entirely new level of paisley wonder.

Fun party time is put on hold when Nolan calls Emily on her crazy saying, “Em, you’re scaring the hell out of me. It’s time for you to be who you really are.”

“This is all I have left,” she admits.

She doesn’t want to hear it; she realizes just how twisted the whole revengenda for others is. She tells him to get out.

Because no one can stay mad at Nolan for long, Emily calls him. “Can we talk?”

“Are we making up or breaking up?” he asks.

Emily tries to explain that she felt for the girl with the dead boyfriend… she could relate.

“You’re a snowflake, a unique, bloodthirsty snowflake,” Nolan says. He’s such a charmer.

In the line of the night, perhaps of the season, Emily admits, “I’m an addict. The thirst has become a part of me. I don’t know who I am without it. Maybe I don’t want to.”

 

 

Prison Break by another Grayson

Victoria Grayson finally gets out of crazy girl lock up with the help of a sprinkler system, a clear plastic umbrella, and a truly looney fellow crazymate. Predictably, she heads straight for Emily’s place (her former home). It took ya long enough Vicky! Just a reminder, but Conrad was out of jail in about six seconds. It took you six months?

Emily is having her make-up call with Nolan when her doorbell rings. We know who it is, and even Emily doesn’t look too surprised.

Victoria confronts her nemesis and talks about the choices Emily has made, how she should have just told the truth about being Amanda Clarke from the beginning. “Instead you chose revenge. Now it’s my turn,” she warns before leaving.

Emily looks almost happy. Is our heroine somehow fulfilled now that she has someone to scheme against. Is her self worth so intertwined in revenge missions, she can’t be happy unless on one? She’s going to have to wait her turn to take another crack at Victoria because as the Grayson beauty left the manor, she’s grabbed from behind by former love, David Clarke.

After three seasons of Emily seeking Revenge, the series had to re-energize and re-focus. It did tonight with “Renaissance” where Emily had to live with her revenge success and with the heavy price that came with her victory. So what did you think of this Revenge reboot? Did you relish Emily in the driver’s seat and Victoria scrambling to escape from crazyland?

 

Random Notes

Oh, those Clarkes! David’s got his knife and Emily’s got her red Sharpie.

Who didn’t smile when Victoria finally got to to use the phone, calling her old house for some help but got Emily instead? When Ems tells crazy lady to calm down, she’s sorry for the wasted call, every Revenger cheered.

In the Nolan/Margaux conversation, Nolan hilariously confesses, “I’m afraid I’ve succumbed to gossip.” His “Charlotte is not the most stable little pony,” ranks right up there too.

Could Daniel get any smarmier? No, I didn’t think so either.

Revenge airs Sundays on ABC at 10 pm.