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Revenge

Revenge Review: Looks Like the B!tch is Back ...

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Revenge would make a fascinating case study in game theory.

With such shrewdly intelligent players in varying degrees of conflict and cooperation, the outcomes are always in flux. To every action there is an equal or opposite reaction ... or sometimes several.

This was one of those weeks on Revenge where it felt like not a lot happened until the final five minutes, when the pieces finally came together and gave the entire episode a different perspective.

"Resurrection" marked the second coming of Madeleine Stowe's Victoria Grayson, whose return to life is now complete thanks to a complicated plot only the calculating ice queen could pull off.

As usual, Emily Thorne was working her own shadow agenda, putting wheels in motion that influenced Victoria's actions, then nearly watched her plan spin out of control and get her killed.

Critical Phone Call

The show always does a terrific job of crafting a multilayered narrative to keep you guessing the truth (or lack thereof) behind every statement or the hidden meaning behind almost every detail.

Let's break down tonight's developments and how they changed the game:

Emily gained the upper hand on the White-Haired Man (thanks to Clam Cam), and with it confirmation that her mother is alive. WHM was going to eliminate her as part of the David Clarke frame job, but he doesn't always follow orders. Before she could find out any more, Emily somehow let her guard down and had to be bailed out by Aiden.

You can understand why the producers want to keep her hands clean when it comes to full-blown murder, but it was a little disappointing to see her caught helplessly off-guard by the White Haired Mannibal Lecter.

WHM takes more than a few secrets to his grave, most notably why he didn't follow orders. That he and Emily's mom had a connection of some sort seems like a safe bet, but what did he do with her instead?

Takeda's mysterious pupil, seen briefly earlier in the Grayson Global boardroom, will presumably now assume a bigger role in the Revengenda, especially with relations between Emily and her fashionably-dressed, tech-savvy sidekick strained a little. NolCorp business, and a new CFO, may occupy more of its owner's attention.

Nolan was hilarious as always (and pants-less to boot, as an added bonus this week), but we finally saw a glimpse of him at work, and it wasn't all that pretty. His accountant-turned-CFO, Padma is clearly being set up as a possible love interest, and it'll be interesting to see where that goes, both personally and professionally.

NolCorp being audited proves that the eccentric Mr. Ross may want to pay a little more attention to his company (especially with the iPhone 5 release and all), and now that he and Emily both have new Hamptons interlopers taking on roles in their lives, we get a sense that the dynamic duo may be drifting apart for a time.

Emphasis on for a time. Romances come and go, people die and rise again, but Ems and Nolan are forever.

Victoria learned of Conrad's plot to commandeer Charlotte's inheritance, then schemed up an almost equally sinister plot to return to society. Her endgame is far from clear, but you can't underestimate her. Ever.

The Devil himself didn't want you, Conrad says. Please.

White Haired Man Photo

The Devil probably feared being outfoxed and cut her loose. Yet there's still something endearing about Victoria, maybe because she appears so unsure of her own actions, past and present, and is stuck in a loveless marriage to someone even more reprehensible than she is. You know he enjoyed hitting her way too much.

How will Emily respond to Victoria's "Resurrection"? Will Charlotte's growing bond with her influence matters? What is Emily's plan for the Graysons at this point exactly? Does even she know the answer to that?

The first flashback certainly hinted that Kara Clarke was not stable, and may have even kidnapped her own daughter. Yet the full story behind her institutionalization and Victoria's role in that has yet to unfold.

Emily needs Victoria to find out the truth about her mother, yet also wants payback times double infinity. What comes next between the two could raise the stakes - and lies, and duplicity - like never before.

All we have to say is thank goodness the b!tch is back.

Daniel was the only Grayson in the dark tonight, or so it appeared. He did the right thing for the right reasons in helping out Charlotte, even if he didn't know the half of what was going on behind the scenes.

It was also nice to see Daniel and Emily teaming up, albeit with different motives.

Ashley sneered a lot. Especially following Conrad's "family-only" remark.

Jack is the father! Only he's not ... only he totally is! You have to love Emily's maneuvering on this one. Is she hoping FauxManda will come clean and peace out, because she doesn't want to "lie" to Jack? Amazing.

Declan just wants to save money so he can go to college and doesn't have to live in Montauk for the rest of his life, man! Sucks to be him, until his rich classmate offers to ... pay him cash to harbor stolen property?

A little After-School-Special-ish, but we'll see where that goes.

Not the absolute best episode this week, but still plenty entertaining, with enough developments to keep you invested and setting the stage for what will most likely be even more riveting chapters to come.

Here's the promo for next week's all-new episode, "Confidence" ...

What did you think of tonight's Revenge? Comment below!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (376 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Way, way, too much plot thrashing around. Story is going far from the primary plot -- and why all the unrelated sub plots?? Season one's sub plots were tied to the main revenge plot. What has some dude's attempt to take over Jack's bar got to do with anything?? How does Nolan's new associate/assistant/lover/mystery woman tie into the Amanda Clark story?? There's enough twists and turns with the Graysons and the Clarks -- cut out all the extra bull. Also, get rid of faux-Amanda and the baby story line (no way it adds anything to the revenge plot).

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1. Declan wants money to go to college? He's too stupid to get into college.
2. Jack is a self righteous jerk.
3. Faux Amanda is a tragic figure. Just wants someone to truly love her. Instead is used by faux Emily and Jack.
4. Nolan. One cool dude.
5. Faux Emily. Headstrong, vengeful user, who resents any help/advice. I love her character.
6. Daniel. Too trusting, so he is lied to by everyone, every chance they get. Love him and faux Emily together. Good counterweight to faux Emily cynicism.
7. Victoria & Conrad. Perfect sadistic/maochistic couple.
8. Charlotte. Deserves a better family, and boyfriend (Declan).

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We love the show. The twists and turns of a fabulous script. Look forward to every episode.
The video is gritty, real and shot with real artistry. Just one thing that leaves us turning up the audio to high. It is hard to understand what is being said a lot of the time. The background sound sometime overshadows the voices.
Our friend who are fans also raised the same audio issue.
All your loyal fans

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The only thing that doesn't make sense in this show is any story-line/scene involving Jack and Declan! I always want to forward their scenes and get to the real show which to be honest only concerns Emily, Nolan, the Graysons or anyone else who falls under Emily's plan of revenge. Why are the writers trying to shove Jack being Emily's true love down our throats! I mean realistically there is no sense in this relationship and a serious lack of chemistry. Jack is such a dull, boring a weak character, he should not get as strong and awesome a woman as Emily! Daniel and Emily on the other hand are great together, there seems to be actual love and chemistry there and Joshua Bowman and Van Camp's real life relationships makes their chemistry even better if that's possible!

Egrey

And that is why I love this show

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Why dont we know the WHM's name...... could he be Emily's father....?????

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I couldn't be more mind-blown! I think Revenge is even better this season if that's even possible and it has totally taken on a darker and more unexpected turn. I for one cannot wait for Emily's mother to spice up the heat. Keep it coming, ABC and you might just have produced the best show ever.

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Was under the impression Jack and Emily were very good friends but if Jack ever finds out what Emily did about that paternity test how could he ever forgive her.Can't see how Daniel can ever forgive Emily and all her lies.She should end up with someone completely different otherwise the storyline won't make any sense. The way she treats Nolan is over the top and would love to see him give her some tit for tat.

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Victoria's plan was genious! Ems was right, she wouldn't let go of Charlotte that easily. I actually feel bad for faxmanda, I don't think Em should have lied to her..especially if she tells jack and jack then maybe won't was anything to do with his own kid! I really don;t get why they just can;t leave jack and fauxmanda alone, daniel is so muchbetter! I loved seeing them working together again..and he clrearly still loves her! Ashley the betch has got to go! I liked the rest, I don't get Ems wanting to exonerate the white haired man either but I at least he's dead now. I'm really curious about what happened to her mother, did she become his lover? Where is she now? I still don;t understand how ems met Takeada and what his role is, and with this new gu it's even more confusing! I hope they explain it asap! And hopefully he won;t pull ems too apart from Nolan because I love them together! I love Dilshad Vasaria from Greek but I think her storyline here seemed so irrelevant..only to pull Nolan away from Em as well..but wasn't he gay?

Serenityq2

"Jack is the father! Only he's not ... only he totally is! You have to love Emily's maneuvering on this one. Is she hoping FauxManda will come clean and peace out, because she doesn't want to "lie" to Jack? Amazing." so not amazing. Emily is a total jerk and i don't get why people like her. like Takeda said she's totally lost her focus and has become her enemy messing with people's lives ugh! get Jack (the guy you want but only when someone else wants him) to lose his child just so you can have in your back pocket whatevers.
this episode was a disappointment compared to episode one.
the writers on this show write like a bad soap opera: the women are only strong when they are being bitches but then they cant back their words up with action even when they have all of this martial arts training or a weapon.
now nolan is straight all of a sudden? we get it you're ABC but you shouldn't have bothered to introduce the gay aspect if you didnt have the balls to continue it.
i am curious as to the full story of Emily's mother. she is becoming more and more interesting everytime i see her. i think she is alive and had a relationship with the white haired man. the way he said he was sorry for having to kill Emily, he kept Emily's secret and the way he treated Kara in the hospital, there is some emotion there. hopefully next week will be better as Emily spends sometime with suitor number 3 (they didnt make his character a guy for nothing)