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Revenge

Revenge Season Premiere Review: They're Coming For You

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"The story I have to tell is far from over." - Emily

The only problem with Revenge's riveting first season was a potential one: Could the fervency of Emily Thorne's quest for payback against the Graysons be replicated over more than one year?

Based on May's game-changing season finale and tonight's premiere, the answer is an emphatic yes. "Destiny" set the stage for what looks to be another intense chapter of this uniquely high-end melodrama.

Like last season, it began with a glimpse of a shocking event hinting at the demise of a core character, then immediately flashed back three months to begin a 14-episode exploration of how we got there.

That's where the similarities end, however. Despite occasionals homage to the previous summer in the Hamptons, we're in uncharted waters after a premiere that answered some questions but posed many more.

Emily on a Boat

This fall, Emily's priorities have shifted from ensuring the Graysons' ruin to uncovering the truth about her mother. For the rest of the characters, the circumstances have dramatically shifted as well. Let's recap:

Victoria lives! We all knew that was coming, but the immediacy and nature of the reveal still made for a legitimate shocker. As did her ordering the white-haired man to "eliminate the liability" 15 minutes later.

So does Charlotte! Again, not a major surprise, but her being in on Victoria's secret was a fun twist. She's been clean 60 days since OD'ing, but remains locked up as a pawn in Conrad's master plan.

As a result, she reached out with a whisper to an unlikely ally, giving us our first glimpse of "The Stare," a.k.a. Emily VanCamp's signature Revenge look, in Season 2. That was probably the highlight of the night.

Emily and Nolan reunited. And it felt so good.

Vindictive enough to credibly battle the baddest of the bad - even welcoming her adversaries to bring it on - yet still sweet and innocent enough to keep you on her side despite any devilish deeds, VanCamp sells the show as always. That's a fine line to walk, but she steals every scene with girl-next-door-gone-wild aplomb.

It helps that her enemies totally deserve it, of course.

As the breadth of the conspiracy widens, she's only become more compelling, as has Gabriel Mann's Nolan, whose quirky loyalty, lovable awkwardness and hilarious commentary are indispensable to viewers, and to Ems.

He may soon have competition in the sidekick department from Aiden, however. This mysterious new character was briefly introduced in Japan and instructed to help Emily "complete the mission" by Takeda.

All we know of him so far is that he's (presumably) aware of why Emily is in training, and that he cut her loose during her attempt to conjure up memories of her mother by coming perilously close to her death underwater.

The mission is over if he fails, apparently. Whatever that means. Emily seemed hell bent on facing off with the white-haired psychopath even before she eerily saw him conspire with Victoria. When Round 2 inevitably goes down, will Aiden have her back? And will Nolan become jealous? Things could get awkward, especially if he moves in for real.

Pinned By Emily

Daniel and Ashley are together. Or so we're told. We didn't really see much of them as a couple, with the Grayson still pining for Emily (maybe), defying his father (probably) and mourning his mother (definitely).

Conrad is even more evil than we thought. From his unveiling of the "Victoria Unfinished" painting to the constantly callous comments, the family patriarch cemented his reputation as a morally bankrupt individual - and this was before his plan to institutionalize his daughter and secure her inheritance was revealed. Diabolical.

Jack is in bad shape. And totally not the father. We were all thinking it long before Emily put it out there as her latest salvo against Amanda, and her response when confronted - that she went "away" - wasn't exactly convincing.

Is there any way that baby boy is Jack's? More significantly, do you buy the chemistry between Jack and Emily? Last season it felt uneven at times; perhaps they'll build a more consistent rapport if Amanda takes a hike.

Declan is ... still on the show. Good guy, looking out for his brother. Not so good at keeping the Stowaway up to code. That's mostly on Jack, but come on guys. You had all winter and spring to fix the place up.

Overall, it was a terrific premiere that left you glued to the screen, guessing and hungry for more, with plenty of eye candy and laughs to boot. Revenge at its best. A few stray observations on the Season 2 premiere:

  • Last season? Whale cam. This season? Clam cam! Love the marine theme.
  • Will we get to meet Emily's mother in the present day? Or will Jennifer Jason Leigh will appear in every episode only via flashback, as James Tupper did as David Clarke last season?
  • Friday, Gabriel Mann explained to me how Nolan's new haircut is emblematic of the character's new outlook. Expect to see more of NolCorp, and his personal life, in the coming weeks.
  • How awkward is it when shows re-cast characters, as is the case with Takeda? Hiroyuki Sanada couldn't have been replaced on merit, so Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa has big shoes to fill.
  • Victoria's "Resurrection" goes public next week. Promo below:

What do you think? Whose body will be found off Block Island? Who got Amanda pregnant? Will Emily finish off the white-haired man? How awesome is Nolan Ross? How happy are you that Revenge is back? Comment below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (457 Votes)

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

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Omg please bring season 3 out soon i need to know if jack survives the gun shot . Cant believe amanda is dead ....

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I surely hope they make a Revenge season 3. I want to see loads more!!!

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I just want to know how faux amanda is picked up by Takeda one minute then back and pregnant the next. Didn't Takeda 'take care' of her?

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i hate this ashley girl

Serenityq2

me and my roommate were SHOCKED when Victoria opened the door. i thought we were finally rid of her oy vey. the baby is definitely Jack's, i never thought otherwise, he is the only guy she has been shown to have relations with. i hate that everyone is making Amanda into this villain just because of her past but they love Emily when they have the same background and Emily (with her one note emotion self) has done FAR worst then Amanda ever will. lets not forget if it wasnt for Amanda Emily's little scheme would have been over before episode 11. Amanda is the only character on the show that i actually like (jack is too indecisive and boring, and nolan and emily are as stuck up as the graysons). i only really watch the show for the schemes and action as everyone on here is morally corrupt.

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Daniel is clearly wrong for Emily. He learned what his father did to David Clarke and went right along with the coverup. He is sold out and clearly turning to the dark side. The chemistry he HAD with Emily was only on the surface. She was mostly faking an their whole relationship seemed shallow. Em and Jacks connection is much deeper and would be very fulfilling should they ever end up together. The only reason it might appear they have less chemistry is because she is holding back. Just because they are not oogling each other from across the room with lustful desire does NOT mean they chemistry. Ems + Nolan = classic. Love that he moved in. New Charlotte is better than old Charlotte. It was startling to see a new Takeda but this one is nice and intimidating and in my opinion believable as a revenge coach. I love how Declan just throws the truth out there. I think Ashley and David are a PERFECT match. They are both beautiful, rich and sold out. They deserve each other. I REALLY HOPE JACK IS NOT THE FATHER SO HE CAN KICK HER ANNOYING LYING BUTT TO THE CURB!! How did Victoria survive the crash??
What is the white-haired man's game?
What is Takeda's game?

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I am so excited revenge is back on. Absolutely love this show. I am hoping that Daniel was the one on the boat. I don't like Daniel. He is a spoiled rich asshole. He does exactly what his evil mommy and daddy tell him to. I hate spoiled rich people. I also hate people who can't stand up for themselves and do only what others want them to. Daniel takes no responsibility for his actions.
Jack on the hand is a respectable stand up guy. He does what is right and does what he wants to as long as it doesn't take away from his responsibility. He does want to go to Haiti i think it is, but his responsibility is the bar, Declan, and the baby. He is trying to do right and take care of his responsibility. He is not passing it off to anyone. I absolutely love Jack. I will be pissed if it is him on the boat.
They teased us last season with Daniel, I'm sure they are teasing us this season with jack.
I hope Charlotte and Emily conspire with each other. I love their relationship. After all they are half-sisters even if Charlotte don't know it.

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Did anyone notice that there were 2 dead bodies on Jacks boat? 1 wearing what appears to be Jack,s checked shirt and a 2nd body wearing a long sleeved White shirt. Amanda (wearing jacks checked shirt) maybe? Person in the White shirt possibly Conrad or Daniel!!

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I absolutely love the relationship between Ems & Nolan. She's such a b!tch to him most of the time & yet he's still so eager to help her in any way possible. We know that she really cares for him (as a friend), but it's just so fun to watch their I interactions/conversations. Even though he's older, Nolan reminds me of a little brother who absolutely adores his older sister even though he treats him like crap. I love those two. On another note, I hope Ems takes down everyone except for Charlotte -I like the idea of the two of them becoming friends or partners in crime somehow.

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Exciting first episode......i t hink Daniel is adorable( he and Emily are/were an item in real life, thus the chemistry), but Jack is sexy and s hould be with Emily/Amanda.......I like Nolan, but only as Emily/amanda's friend and protector,not lover.......Ashley s hould GO!!!nothing good about her.........Declan and Charlotte should get together......Charlotte and Emily/Amanda s hould become good friends and protect each other against Grayson, and his schemings, and bring him down.

Revenge Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

[on Victoria] You think she's somewhere looking up at us?

Nolan

Nolan: What are you gonna do?
Emily: Play a hunch. I need to get a camera in there.

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