Revenge Review: Save The Date

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After ditching show creator Mike Kelley, casting the scorching Justin Hartley and promising never to mention Carrion or the Initiative again, hopes were high for Revenge Season 3. But tonight's premiere felt a little like a hot mess instead of just hot.

"Fear" had some stellar moments, but fell just short of the awesome mark, thanks to the introduction of some storylines that just don't make sense.

Christa B Allen, Emily VanCamp Josh Bowman

Revenge Season 2 was all over the place, bogged down in the Initiative and Carrion. Emily got away from her red Sharpie and all but abandoned her Revengenda. A jealous Aiden Mathis diverted her attention.  Charlotte was, well, Charlotte. Useless. Whiny. Unnecessary.

But the end of season 2 showed promise. The story was shaken up. Emily returned to her original plan to take down the Graysons. She and Aiden had an understanding about why she was with Daniel, even if neither of them liked it.

Charlotte got pregnant and then seemed mildly sympathetic. It was so like mother, like daughter.

And Emily told Jack the truth about her identity, causing him to rethink everything he knew and ultimately stopping him from murdering Conrad Grayson and leaving baby Carl fatherless.

With all of that in mind, this premiere had potential. The previews for it were gripping and exciting. And misleading. (Which is what I suppose previews are supposed to do to an extent, right?) There was a lot about tonight that didn't work at all, but also a bit that did.

So, let's meander our way through the set-up for season 3, shall we?

Daniel can't find a job. He doesn't want to use his father's connections to find one. Or Emily's connections. He doesn't have a job. But they're all living like they're still bazillionaires. Daniel doesn't have a job because Daniel doesn't need a job.

And then there's Patrick, Victoria's long-lost, heart-of-ice-melting son, played by the one, the only, Justin Hartley. Patrick has made Victoria a changed woman. He's brought love back into her life. She's happy Victoria! It's weird. 

And then Charlotte walks in whining about how they don't own a house in Paris anymore and oh, well, look at that. Not pregnant. No baby. The writers dropped that story like the execs dropped Mike Kelley, probably because Charlotte being pregnant was a stupid idea in the first place. I'm not saying teen pregnancy doesn't happen. But I am saying that as a plot device and a way to try and make Charlotte relevant, it was lame. 

So Charlotte gets indignant about the new brother in her mother's life and visits him at the South Fork Inn right after he's stepped out of the shower. He's wearing a towel and never so much as makes an attempt to indicate that his sister is in the room with him. It was weird. A gratuitously shirtless Justin Hartley being bullied away from the Hamptons by his half-sister Charlotte.

While Patrick was settling into the Hamptons, Jack was busy being anywhere but there. Emily's visit gave us one of the best and worst moments of the night. 

He explained that he understood why she did what she'd done. He got it. Then he kissed her. And she kissed him. And it was GOOD. But Jack felt nothing. He called her out, rightfully, on the collateral damage left in her wake, and then said he felt nothing for her at all. She had cost him too much.

I was crushed, honestly, even though I know Jack and Emily can't be together right now because the show would be over. Jack Porter's been kind of a scruffy doormat for two seasons, but there's something about his salt of the earth persona that makes him hot. Emily and Jack = end game. He'll come around. But not until he's made things difficult for Emily by speeding up her timetable.

She has until the end of the summer to exact her revenge on the Graysons.

To start, she sets a date to marry Daniel: August 8th. 8-8. Double infinity. Then she enlists Nolan's help to smuggle some sort of poison into her Memorial Day celebration.

Nolan, ever one to make an entrance, smuggles her poison into the party by skydiving in to avoid the metal detectors at the perimeter. She gives that poison to Conrad forcing some sort of attack which reveals he has...wait for it...Huntington's disease.

And that's the point at which I realized this show doesn't care if it has any accurate grounding in reality at all.

Huntington's is a serious disease. If you want to see how to handle a storyline dealing with Huntington's, watch House. Conrad Grayson apparently has a terminal illness which he knew he might have because he said his father had it and it was just never a big deal until then. And because it's a genetic disease, there's a decent chance that Daniel has it, too. 

Huntington's is not the kind of disease you use as a plot device on a show like Revenge. On Revenge you say "our tests are inconclusive." This isn't the kind of show that will try to educate or inform about the realities of Huntington's. It's the kind of show that will make light of it by brushing what is a serious and devastating reality for people under the expensive Persias rug.


So let's talk about what worked.

Nolan always works. That goes without saying. Hooray for being out of jail, Nolan! Thanks for the one-liners for the Revenge quotes bank! 

The opening sequence with Emily on the boat being shot by an unknown assailant. It worked because it was intriguing. I'm curious about it. Was that a dream? Or was that a flash forward to something that has yet to happen?

If it was a dream, was she imagining herself as FauxManda, dying in the water? Because that would make sense. If it's real, the real Amanda dying in the same way that FauxManda did is quite poetic. And if it's real, who shot her?

Aiden popped up in the end and he appears to be teaming up with Victoria to take Emily down. I spent the entire episode wondering what had happened to him since the last we saw him, Daniel was planning to shoot him. Apparently Daniel's a bad shot which was great for Aiden.

So does Aiden really want to take Emily down? Or is he still part of Emily's plan? 

Two points to Revenge for the intrigue with the opening and closing scenes. They were great bookends to the episode and made me forget about all the mud in the middle.

What did you think about tonight's Revenge season 3 premiere? Was it all over the place or a great way to kick off another summer in the Hamptons?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (357 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


I only liked two things about this premiere - one, Emily is finally given a deadline with her revenge AND two, the show managed to make me forget all the awful things about s2 and sort of apologize for their shit in just one line - no more about carrion or the Initiative - AMEN! Now about Aiden - curious way to end the episode, do I really believe he would be teaming up with Vicki against Emily, nope. That would be totally OOC, but given how this show can be with its writing its anybody's guess.


Nicola, good job! You were definitely paying attention! I was a little shocked at Jack's cruel comments to Emily, till I also noticed his pained expression as he turned away from Emily. I was glad to see that he's just trying to distance himself from her, but that he still cares. Loved the addition of Mr. Hotness himself, Justin Hartley! They can show him shirtless any day in my book! This epi was all over the place, but it's only the first episode, so I'll give them time to spin out the story.


so it's only natural she'd be different and react to things differently now. The Jack and Emily scene was pretty hot, even though I've never been a fan of them! And all I can is I love Nolan so much!


I don't really understand what the big deal is of them using Huntington's disease... If it wasn't that, it would have been some other disease. Also, I'm fairly certain we've heard mention of this disease being party of his genetic history in the past, so then that would make sense that Emily chose for the results to show that. I don't think it's a plot device at all. It just seems ridiculous that the particular disease itself is causing people to question the validity of the story. The next episode's description is talking about Conrad learning to deal with his mortality. So no, it's not like he's just brushing it aside like it's no big deal. He was in shock and trying to deal with it all. All they told Daniel was that he'd have to be tested for it. What can he do until then? He doesn't have to be freaking out either. I think Charlotte's lack of concern and caring is all tied in to what's happened to her. She's become a changed character. They're evolving her to have more of a backbone, so it's only natural she'd be different and react to things differently now. The Jack and Emily scene was pretty hot, even though I've never been a fan of them! And all I can is I love Nolan so much!


Why did they ditch the CREATOR of the show? Season 2 was awesome. Period. I hope season 3 won't suck now.

Miranda wicker

Regardless as to whether it was Conrad's father or grandfather who had Huntington's, that's not the sort of disease a person who carries it just ignores. It's completely implausible that Conrad would carry Huntington's and potentially pass it on to his son and just shrug it off like "Meh. NBD." I'm really, really irritated that of all the medical issues in all the world they could have used, they chose that one. The way it played out last night isn't at all even sort of realistic. And I did hear that Charlotte lost the baby. I just thought it was sort of convenient when they realized the idea of her being pregnant was a dumb story line in the first place. And also mildly offensive to insinuate that she'd suffered no emotional side-effects as a result of losing her boyfriend and their baby. Maybe we'll get there.


@Nicola Thank you! Someone actually watched the show, and was able to follow along.


that kiss literally killed me!! i could not believe that happened at the end and jack was so mean ... but then it looked like he DID care for her after he looked away ... ahhh! good one revenge! totally got me on that one! looking forward to this season!


I am quite confused about the Aiden situation right now is he seriously planning to take take down Emily or is it his and Emily's plan..............This episode was seriously big time mess all except Jack.Poor fellow is now confused more than ever.His brother died , his wife who he thought somebody else died and now Emily dropped the bombshell about her being Amanda Clark...........He is the most stressed fellow on this show right now.Feeling really bad for Jack.


This episode felt all over the place. I thought it was just me at the beginning and I'd get into it as the episode went on but 5 minutes before the credits I was still as lost as I had been at the beginning. Nolan and Emily's scheming and plotting revengenda makes everything good though. What a way to make an entrance!

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Revenge Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

[to Nolan] Let's never say the words Carrion or Initiative again.


Fear. It's a fire that burns from birth in even the coldest heart. It motivates and paralyzes the best of us or is used as a weapon by the worst. But when your path is one of treachery and deception the greatest fear of all is that the truth is absolute.