Emily's quest for payback was underway from the start, but still largely in the shadows. When a confrontation with Frank ended with Lydia falling off the roof, Revenge gave viewers the first real game-changer.
Amanda's identity-switcher made her debut on the show in epic fashion, cementing her place in Revenge lore. With Frank Stevens closing in on Emily, Amanda took him down - by bashing him in the head repeatedly as he tried to warn Victoria.
King of Cool he may bem but Nolan Ross was no match for the White-Haired Man, a villain who choked our favorite character by the neck and abducted him until Emily came to the rescue with her unparalleled martial arts skills and good looks. Seriously. She looks amazing even when (especially when?) beating guys up.
Few moments in recent TV history compare to Victoria Grayson, dressed all in white, walking in slow motion up the stairs to that fateful plane with the music of Florence + The Machine blasting. The fact that we got the chills despite knowing full well that Madeleine Stowe would never be killed off speaks volumes about that scene.
Just as Emily prepared to come clean to true love Jack about her real identity and reason for returning to the Hamptons, Amanda returned to town ... pregnant. Very, very pregnant. As if Ems' life wasn't complicated enough ...
Declan Porter was an ancillary character whose death many saw coming and who was quickly forgotten by many viewers, but the impact of this subtly lingers. His loss at the end of Season 2 pushed Jack and Charlotte, in their own ways, further over the edge.
Emily's mentor Takeda was shrouded in mystery, then awkwardly re-cast, then revealed to be more involved in the overarching Season 2 storyline than anyone realized ... only to be dispatched by his own pupil Aiden. That surprising twist has made for one of very few loose ends from the sophomore campaign that has yet to be resolved, with lingering hints that it may come back to haunt Aiden still.
As Revenge scrambled to undo the damage of a second season that got way, way too big in scope, the writers cleverly crafted the infamous "Initiative" to be the brainchild of Conrad Grayson himself, thus positioning the family patriarch as the villain we already knew him to be - just with more political power and guile than we realized.
Right after Conrad's reveal about the Initiative, Emily dropped a nuclear bomb on viewers - and Jack - that was 10 times greater. Telling Jack the truth about her identity to stop him from shooting Conrad, this game-changer carried into Season 3, with Jack basically hating Emily, who questions her own actions, then hastens her plan to take down Victoria and nearly gets killed in the process.
In true Revenge fashion, when someone gets in the way, the only way to deal with them is to get rid of them. That was true for both Emily Thorne and the Revenge writers when it came to Ashley Davenport, who overstayed her welcome and was quickly dispatched ... we don't even recall to where, it was that fast!
Not long after Father Paul saw the light at the end of the tunnel of Revenge, and had us believing he convinced Conrad to confess, Patrick assisted mommy dearest by tampering with the brakes (which we initially thought was the work of Charlotte) and getting the priest killed. Conrad survived, and Patrick's endgame remains a mystery to this day.
True love never dies. Sara, the girl Daniel almost killed when he wrapped his car around a pole, returned with a vengeance in Season 3 to woo Danny and then some. In surprisingly complex fashion, she played a key role in throwing off Emily's plan, which she altered in a way that only further altered Daniel's psyche and fueled his rage.
The mid-season finale gave us our answer to the “who shot Emily Thorne?” question that the premiere posed, and the result was a shocker in that we never thought Daniel would be the one to pull the trigger - yet given the way the season unraveled, it actually made perfect sense.
She's been outed as a grifter, though not as the daughter of David Clarke, and for her next act, trapping the Graysons in the most unhappy of unions in exchange for her silence about being shot. We can only imagine how that's going to play out now that the secret is (mostly) out and both sides full-on HATE each other ...
A person's true identity can often be difficult to discern, even to themselves, causing one to question their character, their calling, their very existence. For most, time provides clarity, but for others, these questions remain unanswered for an identity cannot be fully defined when it is a guarded secret.