Season three premiere erases season two
The most shocking reveal from the Revenge season premiere is that only one line from season two still matters: “I’m Amanda Clarke.” Everything else, every way that the show went haywire, has been wiped away. Charlotte’s baby? Gone. The Initiative? Poof. Carrion? Flown the coop. Ashley? Buh-bye. Governor Grayson? Sent home sick. I can’t remember any other show erasing storylines so completely.
“Let’s never say the words ‘Carrion’ or ‘Initiative’ ever again,” Emily says when she picks up Nolan outside the prison. “Amen to that,” he responds.
So do we. New showrunner Sunil Nayar dismissed most of these unpopular storylines in the first five minutes. Perhaps to mock how silly Conrad’s political story was from the beginning, Nayar had him hinting at presidential aspirations before the alleged onset of Huntington’s Disease forced him to resign. Poor Ashley was the unsuspecting victim in Nayar’s final clear-cutting. To really drive a dagger through season two, Nayar paired Victoria and Emily to turn aside her last desperate attempt to stay in the Hamptons and deport her to television Narnia, although her deliciously sexy accent will always have a place in this writer’s heart.
In that same scene outside the prison Nolan takes Emily’s left hand and asks her the question that returns the series to its roots: Are the “rules of engagement” to Daniel still on? Of course they are. She is trying to delay setting a wedding date while Daniel looks for a new job. What will happen between now and then looks to be the guts of season three. Indeed, in the next scene Emily boldly proclaims that if all goes as planned this year’s Memorial Day party will be the last the Graysons ever attend.
This is the most welcome news we could have asked for. Revenge is back where it began with Emily plotting the Graysons’ demise.
To tell that story it appears the third season will model itself after season one with a teaser followed by a jump to two months earlier. This is a great decision, one I speculated about last month. Revenge has been best when it is building toward a specific point in time. This season it is two months from Memorial Day, which will line up to be just before Emily and Daniel’s decision to get married on August 8. All that remains for the timeline is to see if the third season ends there or pivots the way season one did after the fire-and-ice engagement party.
The last topic I want to cover before hitting some Memos To A Character is the possibility for the show’s end. The pilot opened with Emily quoting Confucius’s famous quote, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” In this episode she tells Nolan of her intention to exact her ultimate revenge on her 8-8 wedding day. As he draw’s Emily’s interlocking infinity symbols in the sand, he calls it, “A fitting end to a path of revenge.”
Is the show trying to tell us something? I wrote last year that it needs an end date so it can know how much time it has to tell Emily’s story. Surely this can’t be the reason for the premiere to be talking end game, but it had a definite impact on what happened. Jack gave her an ultimatum to finish her plot this summer and leave town or he will out her true identity. Remember that Emily will be shot in her wedding dress two months from now. Will it be the second grave Confucius refers to? If so, who is in the first? And if that is something we see in season three, what will be left for season four??? Time will tell, and that’s why this year’s premiere has me excited for what’s to come.
Now, Memos To A Character.
Dear Emily, you really did get shot in the tummy. I’m sorry this happened to you. I was wrong to speculate you might be wearing a vest because when you were floating there in the water (wait, you float?) you sure were bleeding. I hope medical attention comes quickly because you will lose a lot of blood from those wounds.
Dear Victoria, a warm welcome back to you. “Emily. It’s a shame you still feel the need to drop by unannounced.” That is the you we know and love. Not really sure what you mean but judging by the look on your face it isn’t a compliment nor a welcome.
Dear Patrick, what’s your deal, bro? We only saw the back of your shoulder last season and you kept your mom company while her husband settled in up in Albany. But why you no stay when he come home? Are you out of the story for good or just waiting for the right time to hop back out to the Hamptons?
Dear Jack. Sigh. You weren’t your usual dumb self so I will give you some credit. How about your kiss with Emily though? That was pretty intense and breathy, I hope you had some mints. I was relieved that despite how great it looked you said you don’t have any feelings for her. You know I don’t like love triangles, so thanks for that. I don’t know why you want Emily to get her revenge over with so fast but it at least will help the story move, so thanks for that, too.
Dear Aden, you prick. Your quest for revenge not only failed to save your sister, it failed to get you Emily as well. But you did get to take out your anger on Takada so have a Coke and a smile and shut the front door, okay? That means go away.
Dear Padma, you are so still dead.