Revenge Review: Playing With Fire

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Any Revenge fan likely sensed that Victoria welcoming Amanda into the fold, followed by Emily attempting to manipulate this unexpected connection to her advantage, would spell big trouble - even before tonight's episode began with a bloodstain, a fire and a devil in a red dress at Grayson Manor before flashing back 24 hours.

Call it "Intuition."

Yet in typical fashion, the way the events unraveled was surprisingly complex, and the fallout unexpected. The extent of the characters' ulterior motives and machinations never cease to make your head spin.

Cases in point? A pair of absolute mega-shockers involving Amanda and Kara Clarke, with Emily Thorne caught in the crossfire and numerous other side plots developing before our eyes.

Everybody stop hyperventilating yet?

Sad Ms. Thorne

After pressing the sinister Victoria for answers and pushing the envelope farther than ever before, Emily's search for the truth ended with Amanda FALLING OFF THE BALCONY AND ENDING UP IN A COMA.

That was your Revenge Audible Gasp moment of the night, and probably the season so far, but the convergence of Amanda's fall with the arrival of Emily's mysterious mom raised the stakes even higher.

Having outwitted and overpowered Aiden, Kara Clarke was on the hunt for her husband - who happened to be THE WHITE-HAIRED MAN - when news of the accident at Grayson Manor came on the radio.

As her "daughter" lay unresponsive, we saw Kara by her bedside in the episode's closing moments, with her true offspring looking on through the glass. The stunned look on Emily's face said it all.

Not only is Kara alive, and right here in the flesh, but Victoria's chilling portrayal of her was confirmed via flashback. Two decades ago, a clearly deranged Kara ALMOST DROWNED YOUNG AMANDA.

That's a lot to take in, and would probably prompt a lesser Revenger to quit the biz or at least take a sabbatical as she processed it all. Emily was overdue for a good cry, and having watched these unforeseen consequences of her agenda unfold in such devastating and stunning fashion, she finally broke down.

We know she isn't backing down, though, and will likely lean on Aiden more than ever.

How much did/does he know about Kara? How much does Kara know about the Initiative, and how connected are the Graysons to its shady dealings (as Conrad's meeting hinted, at least to a degree)?

With the introduction of the old visitor log, is Victoria on the verge of figuring out that Emily is the real Amanda, or at least that the two are linked? And what really happened between Vicki and Kara?

Speculation will run rampant I'm sure, but one thing's for certain: Kara is a force to be reckoned with. Jennifer Jason Leigh brings a terrific wild-eyed Single White Female unpredictability to the role.

Madeleine Stowe might have to step up her crazy game in the coming weeks, as this has only begun to shake out. Enemies, allies and wild cards in constant flux and harder than ever to identify.

The battle lines are not clearly drawn, and the players are still figuring out the game. Let's take a look at where some of the other Hamptons regulars and interlopers stand after this evening's events ...

Jennifer Jason Leigh on Revenge Photo

Nolan was forced to dig deep, and not just into his financial records for the IRS. The pink-suited tech wunderkind learned that his father, who has not been a presence in his life for years, had died.

Gabriel Mann is terrific and showed a new dimension of his beloved character, who we know relatively little about, although it's hard not to miss him being by Emily's side as he was throughout the night.

Aiden and Padma (and to a point, life) have driven a wedge between this dynamic duo, at least for the time being. Both new characters bring something to the table, but it's just not the same.

Will Nolan uncover more than he bargained for in that storage locker, or was that merely a diversion? Whatever the case, hopefully he and Emily reconnect soon. Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Also potentially significant: Padma stumbling across David Clarke's investor check.

Daniel is determined not to be pushed around. Someone took his former fiancee's advice and started mixing it up with the best of them. What is his endgame? Who is he lying to? Does he even know?

All TBD, but it's fun to see him come out of his shell a bit, and to see some scenes with Ashley that actually make one care a little about their relationship. Hot? Not? Who's playing who? Discuss!

Jack is totally getting played, that's for sure. The guy Dec robbed is making a play for the Stowaway, and as usual he's too naive to realize it. Not that we blame him too much in this case, considering.

He's a father now! Congratulations, Jack! And sorry, man. Only an episode this wild could make that feel like an afterthought, but it pretty much did. What the heck is the poor guy going to do now?

What a lot of us would probably like to see is for him to start putting the pieces together. How long can he be blind to everything going on around him? An enlightened Jack would be a lot more interesting.

All in all, a solid episode tonight. Part soap opera, part melodrama, part suspense thriller, part whodunit and even part comedy, Revenge has it all. It just keeps getting more addicting here in Season 2.

A few closing thoughts and stray observations before turning it over to you:

  • Emily VanCamp always has great style, but her hair and dress were amazing tonight. Also, the shorts at the beginning were an unexpected, fun surprise. Thank you, Revenge costume department!
  • When's Amanda going to wake up? Should we start a TV Fanatic pool?
  • "Twins?" "Just the one." Gotta give FauxManda props for that classic.
  • Victoria's face as she told Amanda to "OPEN IT" ... Un. Real.
  • The Beaver Dam? Best. Strip. Club. Name. Ever.
  • Aiden and Ashley ... anything there (besides great accents)?
  • That poor maid.

Here's ABC's first promo for next week's episode, "Forgiveness" ...

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


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (348 Votes)

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


My sweet Nolan, I am soooo happy that he found someone, only thing is, now, will she be a problem...She found the investment that David Clarke made... I am NOT happy. The guy deserves more, not just be Ems's wing man ! Daniel, I like him now. If he keeps this up, he might become a powerful ally against his family... OR NOT ! lol
I cannot wait for the rest !!!!!!!!!


WOW !!!!! It took me 2 days to watch season 1, and this morning to watch season 2... But DAMN I love this show. Emily is very complicated. I understand and very much approve (LOL) but sometimes I hate her... the way she often treated Nolan, whom I looove, and Amanda... AWFUL ! And this time she pushed too far. Poor Amanda...well at least Ems got what she wanted ! She found her mom, only to find out that the woman tried to kill her ! SHIT ! Sooo Victoria was telling the truth...sooo rare. As for her, same, I am supposed to hate the woman, but in a twisted way, I sometimes find myself rooting for her !
Jack, honey, what did Declan put you into... I am thrilled to see the new Charlotte !! Hope it lasts ! As for Aiden, please, I WANT MORE !!!! Gosh the man ROCKS. I want him with Ems now !!!


FINALLY, a good, maybe even great, episode. this is what i have been waiting for all season. so made at emily for putting amanda in danger, i knew nothing good would come of it. i so wanted to jump into the screen and slap her a couple of times. both amanda and the baby could have died and for what? for information that she miraculously remembered at the end of the episode anyway. i wasnt suspecting padma before but now i am. why is she so interested in david clarke's investment check? and what is up with the guy going after the stowaway? is he working for the graysons or is there something special about the pub that we (and jack) dont know?


For the first time I saw how much Emily really misses her family and how much of a trauma this is for her. Revenge is one thing, but she is still human. And I have to say, I was so glad Aiden was there for her! The guy untieded himself and bleeding the first thing he does is call Emily. Guys, I am thinking of switching ships!


OMG! What an episode!!!!!!!! I thought Amanda would just tumble down the stairs but falling of it? and she is in a coma? Emily's mom was married to the WHM? She came to the hospital? Wow, the show deserves a standing O for that episode! I am amazed with what I saw. I am enjoying this new love sl for Nolan, he deserves to be loved, although wasn't he happy when Emily thanked him and actually said :No, really, thank you? I don't ship them as a romantic couple, but she is definitively important to him. So its going to be interesting how much time will he be able to spend with her and Padma. Will those two get along? Can't wait for that! Emily went overboard as usual with her manipulations with Amanda (sorry, bad reference!) but I still felt so sorry for her at the end of that episode! For the first time I saw how much Emily really misses her family and how much of a trauma this is for her. Revenge is one thing, but she is still human. And I have to say, I was so glad Aiden was there for her! The guy untieded himself and bleeding the first thing he does is call Emily. Guys, I am thinking of switching ships!

Anna maria

I don't know if it's only me but I always felt like Nolan and Emily had a brother sister sort of relationship but this ep, the way he was surprised Padma cared, mad me think that that was actually what he wanted Emily to do, and never did, and that he actually loved her.. I don't know.. That being said, I was really pissed at Emily for srewingwith Amanda's life, I don;t know why she's so nice an kept helping her, if she only knew all the lies Emily told her! I feel so bad or her, I hope she wakes up and she and Jack can be a happy family with the baby and maybe move away later..they deserve it, and Jack's not right for Emily any way.. she belongs with Daniel, but I'm really digging Aiden for now! Ad omg her mother married to the evil guy who wanted her killed and tried to kill her, how could she leave her alone with Amanda?! Hope she doesn't try anything..and one more thin, I really hope DDeclan and Ashley are in that boat when it sinks!


Nolan deserves his own storyline as a character. If he continues to remain in Emily's shadow he will only be known as "Emily and Nolan" and lack growth as a character. Im not saying that they should never be friends or plot together, im just saying that each cahracter deserves his or her owm spot and plot in the show.If anything, this will bring them closer together and you know what they say "absense makes the heart grow fonder" As for the love interests (Padma and Aiden) shit happens; life happens. Relationships give characters new dimension and layers; in Nolans case,he becomes more useful to Emily (acting like a crutch and a last minute choice- a secret weapon) and he doesn't have to live in emily's shadow to do that. Its a show and don't take it personally.


As much as i like Emily and Nolan together, its good for him to have his own storyline; let him branch out a little. Nolan exists beyond Emily and has his own shit to deal with and i think we should acknowledge that as fans.


What an episode! I have to watch it again. I think I missed some things. At first I disliked FauxAmanda, but now I'm beginning to like her and feel sorry for her. RealAmanda/Emily is really pushing her, and she genuinely does not want to do certain things. She really loves Jack, and the baby is really his (although Emily made her feel it isn't). The name of this show is so correct because Emily is not letting up and doesn't care who she hurts once she gets her revenge (but I still root for her). I wish she'd lighten up on Amanda though. Great ep. Going to re-watch.


Amazing episode! I'm loving Kara shes definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with Im excited to see how that plays out. I think she is going to screw Emily over-it should be interesting.... Right now I find the whole Jack/Declan arc to be a bit annoying and taking away from the rest of the story but who knows where thats gonna go. I love the Conrad Victoria bickering its epic!! As far as Daniel and Ashley I really dont like Ashley shes such an opportunist and a player I used to like her now shes just annoying. Keep the spoilers coming, loving 'em! Best part of the whole show is that my husband is too embarrassed to admit it but hes totally into it so he'll quietly come sit down next to me and watch it... mwahaha I've converted him into the world of TV dramas....

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Revenge Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes


Victoria [to Amanda]
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Is that worry I detect in your voice?

Conrad [to Victoria]