“Revenge” isn’t the best new show of the 2011-2012 season — that title belongs to the now-defunct “Luck” — but one would be hard-pressed to say it was not the most intriguing, at times exciting, and downright most guilty of new television pleasures. This is why the year one soap opera finale it delivered Wednesday night was incredibly disappointing.

Not to say it was all bad. It occurred to me a few minutes into the episode that the show’s main character Emily is somewhat of a real-world female Batman. She’s a billionaire, a wizard with martial arts and weapons, and she hides behind a daytime persona of billionaire philanthropy, all while she prowls that Hamptons at night to right the injustices of her world. It’s even replete with a layered story of her motivation and childhood misanthropy.

At the beginning of the episode, as Emily turns herself in willingly to save strange besty Nolan, I was torn — surely she’s got a plan, right? Well, she in fact did. A great plan — all Batmany if you will, reliant on misdirection, calculation, and realistic but cool gadgets.

But everything past her infiltration into the lair of the white-haired man devolves into a mess. Why did Emily so willingly let him live, after he murdered her father, and was the frontman for an organization that would make her pay for doing so? Her breakup with Daniel and swift switch to Jack felt rushed, out of character, and designed to deliver the OMG soap opera cliffhanger — all of which I loathed.

I’ve been trying to persuade a buddy of mine to watch the show — the Batman elements, terrorists, “Revenge” and badassery — but he’s resisted, holding onto his ignorant belief that it’s a melodramatic soap opera. Good thing he didn’t catch last night’s eppy, because it featured the most overplayed soap opera element of all: the-we-know-you’re-not-going-to-really-kill-that-character-but-it’s-a-season-finale-shocking-moment twist. Yes.

Does anyone think for a moment the show plans to kill off Victoria Grayson, played to creepy perfection by Emmy nomination-lock Madeline Stowe? No. We do not. I’m not entirely sure how they’ll write their way out of this one, but this “shock and awe” red herring was an incredible letdown, and the desperate grasp for some sort of season-ending interest that original writing was apparently unable to generate.

The final twist was something of a true shock though: Emily’s mother is alive. Let that one sink in.

I deduced around December that the season finale would likely feature two shocking moments: Conrad would die (he had to, right?), and somehow, David Clarke would resurface, alive.

Wrong on both counts. Right vein, but wrong spouses.

So to resurrect Emily’s long-thought dead mother is an interesting notion. The thing that nags me is that she died when Emily was six or seven years old, has been largely neglected for this season, and the effect this has on Emily is unknown, other than their biological relation. It would seem to generate a true impact, her mother must be somehow tied into the secrecy and plots, though that remains to be seen.

And did you catch that moment between Daniel and Ashley? That’s happening. Eh.

The finale was a smorgasbord of soap opera cliches and did little to advance the plot, and instead felt like a forced pallet cleanser to what was otherwise an excellent first season. Here’s hoping the show can recover from this lackluster closer and deliver a solid second run.

About The Author

Jason Woods is a Blast staff writer

10 Responses

  1. TMZ

    Not sure what show you were watching because the Revenge finale was anything but disappointing.

    • Eric

      Do you think Victoria is dead? Oh you don’t either? Then let’s all agree that was wasted time.

  2. Barbara

    Agree completely. Why the **** would she leave a terrorist murderer alive then just go home? And yeah, the Victoria thing was stupid.

    • Lurker111

      … Especially after exposing her true identity to the White-Haired Man. Stupid, stupid, stupid. This killed the series for me.

  3. Nosey

    They never showed Victoria getting on that plane. I thought the previous episode (when Sammy died) she knew she really wanted to be with Jack, which is why I think she did go through with killing the guy. She had the evidence to exonorate her father, so killing him wasn’t the worth if he is going to jail. She went there to save Nolan not really to kill. And as far as the pregnancy it could be someone else’s, maybe Tyler, or the guy who killed Tyler. Her mother being alive. . .that is actually a mistery not sure to get around that, unless Emily’s father just “told” her, her mother was dead. Not sure how this plot will be believable though.

  4. False

    I have no idea what show you were watching. I HATE television. I don’t even own a T.V., don’t have netflix, don’t own DVDs and thought the show throughout the season was decent at best, but I decided it would be one of the two shows I watched this season and I probably would not watch it past this season but this finale was phenomenal and makes me WANT to see another season. This is rare. I only watched one season of Lost, one season of Buffy. Other people buy into a show; I give them test drives. I will watch next season and it is because of this finale. I think you were looking for a reason to write a review like this one. I believe you led the evidence, instead of you leading you to your conclusions.

  5. False

    Also, lets see how many things you didn’t mention:
    Why would anyone care about David Clarke’s wife if she wasn’t important in a way Emily does not yet know. Much like she didn’t know the white haired man killed her father, she, and you, have no idea what the story behind that is. Next, fake Amanda, whose baby is that? It’s been pretty clear throughtout the entire show that Emily has had feelings for Jack. It’s kind of ridiculous for you to act as though it was sudden and rushed.
    Emily was also acting under the assumption that she could finally let go of the Greysons. It doesn’t seem forced for her to finally reveal to Jack her true feelings that it has been obvious she had through the entire season.
    It’s also ridiculous for you to claim that her attraction to Jack and quick to react emotions are out of character. This entire season, she turns on a dime any time she has new information. Her latest information was that her father was finally going to be cleared and she was finished with her quest for Revenge. What WOULD Emily do then? She would react. She’d move on to the next item of business. She’d get on with whatever it was she felt she wanted to get on with and it was foreshadowed throughtout the season that she was in love with Jack. It was exactly the opposite of out of character.
    Do I think that they will kill off Victoria? Not sure. The writers didn’t know Grey’s (I don’t watch the show, but I heard) was going to do a plane crash with survivors for their finale, so, perhaps, if they choose to take that route, it won’t be as fresh as they hoped.
    Personally, I hope they DO write her off the show. I think that it was starting to come out that she had less to do with David Clarke’s situation than Emily originally believed and perhaps Emily will find things out that not only make her feel closer and sorry for Victoria, but perhaps a little more Revengy about the ordeal.
    Also, has it occured to you that perhaps, someone…..cough cough….Daniel…..will want to exact his own Revenge on whoever did this to his family. With his mother dead and his sister at least trying to commit suicide, with his father on one end and with Emily on the other, you don’t think this is setting up the second season for a twisted web of more revenge with deeper layers? Why wouldn’t they kill off Victoria? That would be a fantastic move.

    I think your review is short sided at best. Good luck with your career in writing.

  6. TVaddict

    I have to agree with False’s comments. This was a fantastic finale in my opinion. From the onset Emily had 3 objectives; destroy (not kill) the people responsible for her fathers death, prove her fathers innocence and rekindle her childhood sweetheart romance with Jack. She thought she had met all three objectives by halfway through the finale:
    1) She destroyed the Grayson name, and therefore the lives of those responsible. Remember that Victoria emerged to be on David’s side so although she personally didn’t get on with Victoria, she made sure it was Conrad and the White Haired Man who would go down. When she went to kill the WHM, she realised that by doing so it went against what her and her fathers relationship was all about and I suppose potentially her fathers name would be further tarnished through her if she was exposed as a murderer. She only shared her true identity with him as she was planning on killing him at the time. The show is about revenge so him going to jail with Conrad is fine by me.
    2) The evidence that would come out at the hearing would exonerate her father. As above, no further work needed her.
    3) she started to rekindle her romance with Jack but Fauxmanda came back with a very big spanner in the works, in the form of the pregnancy.

    As for a cliff-hanger finale, we now see that all 3 objectives need a lot more work to be met (from Emily’s point of view):

    1) with the 2 key witnesses killed, Conrad and White Hair will walk free
    2) The evidence to exonerate her father has been destroyed
    3) Jack and Amanda are pregnant, no chance of her getting him back.

    So what am I looking forward to? Whats on my mind?

    1) Either Victoria changed her mind and got off the place before it took off, or Victoria will be dead but used in the backstory to the latest revelations about Real Amanda’s mother (as they did at the end with the security footage). What was/is her mothers involvement? It looks like there’s a whole load of people she needs to take revenge on before we close this chapter.
    2) New evidence exists, we don’t know what this is and I reckon that it’s not all on this footage, but instead referred to and she will need to go and find it throughout series two.
    3) Is the baby Jacks? Possibly not. If not, how is she going to come clean to Jack about who she really is and how will he react? Will Fauxmanda beat her to it?

    as far as I’m concerned there’s loads of potential her and a thoroughly AMAZING finale to keep us wanting more.

    • Eric

      Bullshit. The entire series, it has been establishes that David Clarke never wanted Revenge. So this entire series has been Emily going against what her father wanted. Now she gets the chance to kill the man that personally killed her father, and she was like, meh? Bullllshit.

      Second, why would she just let the man live knowing her identity, knowing he works for a powerful terrorist organization, and not be afraid of the reprisal. That is terrible terrible writing.

      The writer of this is right about two things–the crappy soap elements. That baby storyline is stupid and unwanted.

      And finally, anyone that believes Victoria is dead is stupid and shouldn’t be watching television anyway. Or they should be watching a show this bad.

      • TVaddict

        Dude, I put on my opinions and thoughts to engage in healthy debate so do you mind pulling back on the insults?
        At the end of the day, they are writing a show about a good girl turned bad after learning her father was framed. Plenty of revelations have come out of the woodwork that would screw with anyone’s minds. I like that she isn’t perfect, but from a TV point of view, I agree that at the point of letting white hair go, I’m silently yelling at her to stop being so stupid. I personally didn’t think “the writers got this so wrong” as I see it as her character flaw given that she’s made many wrong decisions throughout the show. Besides, I’ve seen that storyline in hundreds of shows and movies… a chance to kill your arch nemesis but you can’t/won’t/don’t go through with it.

        I don’t watch soaps so that’s why I didn’t comment on that part of the article.

        I think killing Victoria off would make great TV. It’s not done very often but when a main character is killed off in the first series it really shows bold writing and can have excellent results because of the shock factor. I DIDN’T however say that I believed she is dead, I suggested that she got off the plane, however IF they did kill her off, I don’t think they would pass up on Madeleine Stowe’s acting skills so was offering a potential way of keeping the actress in the show.

        Finally – who are you to call me stupid and say what I can and can’t do in my spare time? If you feel that the show is that bad then why read reviews about it’s finale? Switch over to another station, watch something that holds your interest, and get into a debate about that finale.

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