Posted 12/15/13 at 11:56 pm ET

Revenge ‘Exodus’ review: Plans going overboard

2.5 Recaps By

The main problem with Revenge‘s midseason finale is that it took forever to get to that certain plot point. You know, the one they’ve been teasing since the premiere. And then again in all the promos since ever. In fact, I’d be surprised if we got more than 60 seconds past Emily getting shot of new footage to hold on to. We know Emily was going to get shot for real, which in effect makes that certain cliffhanger moot.

But what is interesting is just who shot her: Daniel. In a postmortem with TV LineRevenge showrunner Sunil Nayar said that he hopes audiences completely bought that Daniel was in a place where it made sense for him to shoot Emily — that he had been cheated out of a life with his true love, who just tried to attempt suicide, because his wife lied and said she was pregnant. That’s all very fine and dandy, but I don’t think that particularly screams murder. The unfortunate thing with Revenge is that it doesn’t always hold up with the details. What’s much more compelling would be that Daniel heard she was a fraud and saw Aiden use chloroform on his mom.
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Posted 12/14/13 at 2:33 pm ET

It’s safe to watch Revenge again, everyone

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The midseason finale of Revenge airs tomorrow night, and it will most likely be met with middling ratings. After a convoluted second season (paired with a move to a different night), audiences jumped ship on the frothy drama. No one can blame audiences for abandoning what was once a fun summer-in-fall soap turned complicated mess. But something happened during season three of Revenge: it got good again. Everyone’s goals were clear. The stakes were raised. And none of it included superfluous, huge conspiracies (ahem, The Initiative, otherwise known as they who shall not be named). Revenge decided to recalibrate and got to the core of the show — Emily’s revenge, especially onto those it makes most sense for her to revenge. Yes, season three is all about Emily versus Victoria, and it’s been fantastic.

The frame of this season is Emily will be shot on her wedding night and fall into the ocean, seemingly dead. Obviously, there are more episodes this season, so we know that Emily won’t die. (Not just yet, anyway. That could possibly happen in a series finale. Who knows?) But what the frame has done is classic Revenge. We’ve gotten to see how Emily’s plans are unfolding and just exactly how all those plot points move closer toward the inevitable flash-forward.
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Posted 5/19/13 at 11:00 am ET

Re-thinking the TV season structure and doing away with filler episodes

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the americans finale

NOTE: The following post might contain spoilers from The Americans, Chuck, Nikita, Parks and Recreation, Revenge, and Scandal.

After the season finale of The Americans aired, celebrated critic Alan Sepinwall posted his review where his praises were high but his response to the episode’s casual nature was lukewarm at best. He’s not the only one who may have been letdown from the show’s quiet take at a season finale; several people in that comments section felt the same, and others reviewing and recapping it around the Internet may have as well.

It’s May: several tens of series are going to be and have been bowing out for the season during this month, and all of them are going to be trying their hardest to hit their viewers in the gut with cliffhangers, twists, and plot turns. But you already knew that. As viewers, we expect these momentous occasions during finales and May Sweeps — so much so that TVLine does a scorecard every spring. And whenever a finale even so much as stops short of being absolutely explosive, we tend to vocalize how we were let down. And when series decide to write in filler episodes so that their bigger stories can be put off until the finale, we tend to vocalize how we were let down.
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Posted 5/12/13 at 11:42 pm ET

Revenge season 2 finale review: The One With the Blackout

A- Recaps By

Just a short review…

Well, that was a pretty good two hours of Revenge, wasn’t it? It’s as if those in charge have been listening to everyone’s complaints and decided to pack it into the final moments of Revenge’s sophomore season. As we’ve all pointed out, Revenge hasn’t truly been itself this season, getting muddled up in tangents and The Initiative and Padma and so on. During these two hours, the series even tried to eradicate that. Albeit, they didn’t exactly explain away The Initiative all that well (“meh, there was never really an Initiative” uh okay) but who cares? We’ll all gladly take it.

And that’s not even the biggest news. Tonight’s Revenge finale decided to hold absolutely nothing back. Eric van der Woodsen is dead. Yes, viewers, Declan has bitten the dust. And it was one of the more anticlimactic deaths on television ever. After Declan is found to be at Grayson Global, he has to have heart surgery. When there, he records a video for his brother… and them promptly dies offscreen during while under the knife. I know a lot of people were hoping for that one since episode one of season one, so much so it seemed they really just wanted to get him off the screen.
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Posted 3/11/13 at 4:06 pm ET

Revenge ‘Retribution’ review: Fauxneral

B Recaps By
revenge retribution

Just a really quick review…

It’s March and I’m finally not as busy… which means that I actually will start reviewing things again! In the case of Revenge, our previous recapper had other responsibilities, so I figured that I should come in and check in on last season’s breakout hit.

During the show’s second season, plenty of people had been criticizing it for not exactly feeling as it did in season one. Throughout most of it, however, I kept arguing with myself that I didn’t feel differently about the show. It was still entertaining, dammit! And nothing could change my mind!

I was kidding myself. And sometime this year, I finally allowed myself to feel the same; the show had lost itself a bit and became a bit too high-concept. We began watching this show as guilty pleasure escapism, and it was slowly turning into a waning conspiracy theory. So much so, Emily almost-fourth-wall-breakingly states in this episode, “How did I get so far off track?” And it’s a good question, Revenge. How did you get so far off track? This episode (along with the previous episode) seem to be answering, and correcting those derailments. For that, it was a better episode than this season has churned out.
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Posted 1/9/13 at 1:12 am ET

Revenge recap: Justice is served

A- Recaps By

Yay, welcome back, Revenge! The holidays nice and all, but why do my shows have to go on hiatus? There are only so many things to decorate and cookies to eat before you want to sit down to some pretty people exacting cold hard vengeance. Hope everyone had relaxing and relatively scandal-free holiday break.

When we left off before the break, Emily and Aiden had hooked up and were making out on a regular basis, and that very agreeable trend has continued this week. An episode that opens with a sexy sparring-match turned into a sexy…um…sex between our favorite revenge ninjas can’t be bad. Side-note: I was MIA during the last couple of episodes before the break due to Life Things, so I didn’t get to comment on how heartbreaking and adorable it was when they snuggled after Emily asked if they’ll ever be able to have a normal life. I like their relationship, so I find the rest of the episode a bit distressing.

The Initiative

So the Big Bad of this show has shifted from being the Graysons to The Initiative. We’ve seen a much more sympathetic side to the Graysons this season. We’ve seen Conrad standing up for Victoria and their (rather dysfunctional, but still) loyalty to each other.
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Posted 11/6/12 at 9:07 am ET

Revenge recap: ‘Til arrest do us part

A+ Recaps By
revenge dance

“If we choose to, we can live in a world of comforting illusion. We can allow ourselves to be deceived by false realities. Or we can use them to hide our true intentions.”

From the first line of Emily’s opening monologue I knew this was going to be a badass episode. I mean, come on, how perfect is this theme? The signature schemes and deceit are fully ramped up and epitomized by Conrad and Victoria Grayson’s marriage of convenience. As the episode begins we see the Victoria doing her makeup and preparing for her wedding, her sickly sweet fake smile plastered to her face.

The Setup

The next couple of scenes involve some classic plotting: first between Daniel and Aiden, who are trying to get solid intel on David Clarke’s investment in Nolcorp, and then between Emily and Amanda. Emily is coaching Amanda on their cover story for her lack of the scar Treadwell creepily noticed. She also has a master plan to take him out of the picture and get some sweet revenging done in the process.

Back at Grayson manor, Kara is still kind of creepy and mentally unstable and fishing for information about Gordon Murphy. We see a flashback to the two of them being the most adorable mental patient and hired killer you have ever seen.
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Posted 10/30/12 at 3:41 pm ET

Revenge recap: What’s a little attempted murder between friends?

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So it seems like Emily is still trying really hard to come off as a hard-ass bitch despite the fact that she is pretty much an emotional train wreck right now. Before this season, if you had told me that Emily can cry I would have laughed and told you that her tear ducts dried out years ago. Then the last three episodes happened. At the start of the episode she wakes up basically spooning with Aiden after breaking down in his arms the night before (aww) but then she tries to write it off like, “you could have been literally any person on the face of this planet and I would have let you comfort me. Victoria could have walked through the door and I would have sobbed onto her cold, perfectly postured shoulder.” I get why Emily is pushing Aiden away and all, what with his past betrayals and the general question of whether he is really on her side, but come on. Look at him. And his face when he’s like, “are you ok?”

Nolan’s feels are a bit hurt when he finds out that Kara is back, and he shows up to find out WTF is going on and make her feel like a terrible person because she didn’t even know that his father died.
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Posted 10/24/12 at 6:00 pm ET

Revenge recap: Memories better left forgotten

A- Recaps By

This week we see the culmination of all the harm Emily’s vendetta is doing to Amanda’s would-be normal life; Daniel starts getting a little sneakier and a little smarter; the mystery man Declan robbed becomes more mysterious; Nolan starts an adorkable relationship (thank you Zooey Deschanel for the existence of that term); and we learn some pretty terrible things about Emily’s mother.

Like last week, Amanda is extremely resistant to Emily’s plans when Emily requests that she bring David Clarke’s journal (fabricated by Emily) to Victoria in an attempt to guilt her into giving up information about Kara, Emily’s mother. Emily once again manages to enlist Amanda’s help by bringing her in on the fact that she is not just seeking revenge but trying to find out what happened to her mother. Amanda has just moved out of Jack’s place and into Emily’s thanks to Emily’s scheming the week before when she put the journals on Victoria’s radar in the first place.

Let’s talk about Jack. He seems pretty torn about Amanda leaving and later in the episode still refers to Amanda as his girlfriend. He is also dealing with the backlash of Declan’s recent terrible judgment. As it turns out, the man Declan robbed is working with Declan’s creepy stealing things friend in an elaborate scheme to get Jack to sell him his bar.
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Posted 10/17/12 at 10:40 am ET

Revenge recap: Family time with the Graysons

A- Recaps By
Press conference

Another Sunday, another scandal in the Hamptons. Tensions are high(er than usual) in Grayson Manor, Emily’s old flame is in the picture, Declan is now officially a hoodlum, and a cute and relatively normal person is crushing on Nolan.

Hello, sexy British ninja.

This was a very flashbacky episode, giving us a peek into the history between Emily and Aiden that was apparent in ep 1. As suspected, he was a fellow student of Takeda and they made out etc. when they weren’t busy learning martial arts and fighting off wolves. Seriously, why did you ever leave Revenge School? He ended up ditching her for revenge, leading to some really helpful life advice from Takeda about burying any love or compassion deep, deep inside a black cavern in her heart where sunshine and happiness will never touch it. So getting dumped by Aiden was part of what made Emily the warm, cuddly person we know today.

Emily gets back at Aiden by knocking him out after he kills the White Haired Man and literally dumping him. As in he wakes up in a garbage truck. He goes on to spend the rest of the episode tracking down clues from the WHM’s possessions that will help Emily in her mission, including bringing her the pilot box from Victoria’s plane.
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