May 18, 2012 - 9:24am
BY PROMA KHOSLA AND KAYLA UPADHYAYA
ABC’s juicy and thrilling new drama “Revenge” follows the mysterious Emily Thorne and her plot to destroy the lives of the wealthy socialites who framed her father for a crime he didn’t commit. Daily Arts’ Proma Khosla and Kayla Upadhyaya track the progress of Thorne’s vendetta every week and recap “Guilt.”
Kayla: The second I saw Emily digging that grave, I knew that we were going to see the end of Sammy the 865-year-old dog. What I didn't expect was the strong emotional reaction I had to his death ... well it was really more of a reaction to Jack's never-ending loneliness. And then they inserted that beautiful, cheesy flashback amidst the grieving and I lost it. Sammy, as implausible as his existence was, was one of the only remnants of Emily’s life as Amanda ... other than Jack, of course. What are your feelings on the kiss?
Proma: There is something about the death of a loved one that just makes people want to make out. Blunt, sorry, but it’s a strange TV trend. My reaction was more to Jack as well, because as much as we criticize him for it, his attachment to Amanda is a central part of his character, and Sammy was the last thing tying him to her as well. Without Fauxmanda and Sammy, he really does have to grow up and move on with life.
Kayla: Yes, and hopefully he’ll do just that because his nostalgia — though deeply heartbreaking — makes him kind of pathetic. Now, I really did enjoy this episode, especially since we had some good ol’ Emily Thorne manipulation going on, but I’m very worried that the show might be starting to outdo itself. I think introducing the white-haired man was a great move, as it poses the question we’ve all been wondering about our little revenge-loving antihero: Is she really capable of killing someone? But then the white-haired man started babbling about something called the Initiative, and I got worried because I don't want this show to start getting overly complicated with shadow organizations and complex reasons for Conrad's involvement with terrorists. Even though there have been a million twists and turns throughout the season, it has really been about the Graysons taking down David Clarke and Emily plotting and executing her revenge. It’s straightforward. Don't go messing that up, show!
Proma: The premise is interesting and complicated enough without adding layers of betrayal beyond the Hamptons. It’s very “Lost” season four, and that’s an awfully tricky place to be.
Kayla: Exactly. Actually, “Buffy” season four similarly overcomplicated its story by introducing a super-secret government operation also called the Initiative. So that name just evokes unnecessary complexity in my mind. The reason we love “Revenge” so much is because we love the characters. Introducing a bunch of puppeteer-like evil folk who are orchestrating the scandals does nothing to further our relationships with the main characters.
Proma: So while the white-haired man is supposed to strike fear into our hearts and Emily’s, I’m much more interested in Victoria stabbing at paintings and exchanging loaded glares with Lydia.
Kayla: Yes! I loved Lydia’s unexpected reappearance, though it raised a few questions. I’m not exactly sure why she would go back to Conrad considering his involvement in her near death ... but like Victoria said, she’s an opportunist, and being with one of the richest men in the Hamptons certainly has its perks.
Proma: More than anything, I think she just wants to defy Victoria, and now she can finally do so openly.
Kayla: Here’s one thing I am definitely having a hard time buying: Daniel’s turn to the dark side.
Proma: DANIEL. I once found his ridiculous naiveté kind of cute, but now he’s getting on my nerves. Admittedly, Emily was not her smooth self during the wedding planning meeting, though. She got a little too excited.
Kayla: That's actually one of the reasons I like the white-haired man’s arrival: It has Emily on edge. As for Daniel, I just don't get it. I don’t think he has it in him to be as evil as his father. For a split second, I wondered if he was playing Conrad with a plot to actually take him down ... but he doesn’t have that in him either. I think the writers are trying to make Daniel more than just a pretty face, but in their haste to make him more interesting, they seem to be skipping the buildup and development.
Proma: He seems to have finally chosen sides with regards to his parents, though. Unfortunately, they’re still playing him like a fiddle. The look on Victoria’s face when she realized Daniel used her for evidence was just heartbreaking.
Kayla: So heartbreaking. Victoria has her faults, but she’s also blamed for a lot of things that are more so Conrad’s doing than hers. I’m kind of bummed about Charlotte’s addiction therapist, because I thought she was turning into a little Victoria in training with all the lies and manipulation and it was finally making her interesting! I care not at all about Charlotte/Declan drama.
Proma: Charlotte had a very wise line: “The only way out is to leave.” OH WOW. Genius status, Ms. Grayson. Declan and rando-from-school were the least interesting thing in this episode. Charlotte catching her in Declan’s clothes? Come on, writers. Way too easy. And dumb.
Kayla: It’s like they’re not even trying to make them have real story arcs. I thought they were really going somewhere good with the pill addiction, but it hasn’t amounted to much. On another note, your man Nolan was awesome this week. The way he played Emily was so sneaky and brilliant. Also: Aunt Carol!!!! So wise.
Proma: NOLAN, MY LOVE. Oh, he was brilliant. It seems every week he does something to make Emily realize that he is a true friend and worthy ally, and then we start the next week with her back at square one, not appreciating him. But this time he outdid himself with the spying and the lying and the bugging and the sneaking. I feel like a proud mom.
Kayla: Plus, he had one of his killer lines: “You may be a lot things: a black belt in karate, an impeccable dresser, and a certifiable sociopath, but you’re not a killer.” Emily Thorne, in a nutshell. He knows her better than anyone.
Proma: And he was complimentary, as is his style. I just realized, I didn’t actually talk about the kiss when you first brought it up. Now that Daniel is being a brat, I’m happy to root for Jack, but that could be catastrophic to the Revengeda. I was just waiting for the post-kiss guilt revelation: “Jack ... I need to tell you something ...” But it never came.
Kayla: I don’t think that will happen this season (only one more episode left, oh no!), and I have no clue what the circumstances would have to be for her to blow her cover to the man who is quite incapable of keeping secrets and letting go. I’m all for love triangles, so long as they don’t detract from the actual story. I wonder what little miss Ashley is going to do with that piece of intel ... she is a woman who tries not to ally herself with others unless she sees an advantage, so I’m not sure she’ll tell Daniel just yet.
Proma: Whatever she does, I am positive it will make us dislike her more.
Kayla: Most likely. People need to leave the scheming to Victoria and Emily because they are bound to look weak in comparison!
Proma: Amen to that. Looks like next week will be full of scheming from all ends, though.
Kayla: How do you cap off a season that has been this explosive and thrilling? I guess we’ll find out.
Proma: With blood, apparently!