Revenge

Sundays 10:00 PM on ABC
Revenge
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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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BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!

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glad revenge is back on my screen, and i was surprised by how much i liked the emily/charlotte scenes...imagine if she joined the emily/nolan group :D

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Hey, I wish you all would stop guessing. You might hit on the real story line, then the writers will have to change it to something less exciting. You're the same people who probably guess ahead that Little Red Riding Hood really isn't dead, but just waiting in the Big Bad Wolf's stomach until he woodcutter comes along.

Beverly brooks

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? The body still a question for me. Yes! I think Ems will definitely finish off the white-haired man maybe end of season. Nolan...He is just so Nolan. I love this character. Now how happy am I too be able view Revenge, totally!! Thrilled. So glad but at the same time wish for a different time than Sunday night.

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I, too, am glad Revenge is back. Slow, confusing (when did the 'Amanda' sink?) start, especially with a new Takeda and is Aiden new (?); but when Emily was back to her old self, it took off good and fast!! I like the possibility that the white-haired man is on Emily's side (maybe even protecting her mother & father....but then again, who would leave their daughter suffering in Juevie?) and is only playing along to help the Graysons to their final demise by being their muscle. Don't like the Jack/'Amanda'/Declan storyline, so they can be eliminated. And hope Amanda and Aiden have more chemistry and leave poor, spoiled, drunken rich-boy, Daniel, to his own demise. Grayson can have Ashley; Nolan and Charlotte wil forever be 'Emily's' best friends. Good review, Steve!

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Damn! The show just keeps getting better. I hope it blows away every other show in its time slot, which is a highly competitive one. There are few TV programs that I never miss (watch at regular time or Tivo it). Revenge is one of them. It's a great escape from the daily pressures of real life. And these days there aren't many shows that do that.

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Loved the episode. Glad Nolan is back. He adds just enough humor to keep the show from becoming a total nighttime soap opera. Isn't it fun to have 2 villains (Conrad and Victoria) you love to hate? I refuse to get hung up on conflicting details. This show is just plain fun to watch!

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I do agree about the confusing parts with the white-haired man, so he didn't REALLY try to blow up the plane? That was all part of some semi-secret government plan? Yes of course he knows the truth about Amanda/Emily, so why is keeping the secret, especially when Victoria now wants her taken care of? That whole plot has to be cleared up as to who really is and who he really works for, if Victoria is still going to eventually bring down her husband, then it would see the white haired man and whoever he really works for would in fact be out to get her since he and his buddies would be implicated....one of the things I love about this show, you actually have to think!

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So happy this show is back, I love how the relationship between Noland and Ems has developed over time, she is still in charge but she really counts on him *almost" as a partner. Noland always gets the bets lines in show, also love him getting into shape and learning to protect himself from other evil white haired men! When I watched last Thurs recap, they showed the preview of Charlotte whispering in Amanda's ear, I was sure based on the look Em's gave her that she told her that her mother was alive. Who's dead, well it says Amanda on the boat at the bottom of the sea and that was that navigational tool that Jack had in his hand, so going with Jack, and chemistry between he and real Amanda has always felt forced, just do damn glad this show is back

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I'm confused about the white haired man. Wasn't that the same guy that Emily fought with and ultimately released (to honor her father) at the end of last season? If so, he knows that Emily is Amanda because she told him she was. If he really did kill her father, why is he protecting her by not revealing her identity to either of the Greysons?

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.