Revenge's Season Finale: Emily Is Batman

By Lily Sparks

May 24, 2012

Revenge S01E22: "Reckoning"


THAT is how you do a season finale, folks. Revenge has blossomed since its modest pilot to become a campy nighttime drama, and its evolution into a cinematic, genuinely amazing series has been the real arc of the season. What its success means for the future of TV shows that will come after it is thrilling, because the series has handily proved that ambitious, smart writing and truly great actors are (and will always) be the bedrock of good TV (sorry, Wipeout!) and that culturally there is a thirst for amazing, hilariously florid dialogue that needs to be perennially quenched. Season 1 ended with Emily accomplishing her revenge, then snatched the progress away without re-setting the series, no small feat. As for character development, last night completely justified our love of all our favorite characters.

Revenge has always flirted with the notion that Emily is a heartless sociopath who has no problem emotionless-ly seducing Daniel, blithely choke-holding Nolan, and playing her baby-jail bestie faux-Amanda like a broken-down game of Bejeweled. Watching Emily climb into a rape van in broad daylight and sulkily gas herself with chloroform to find Nolan was our first clue that she was about to emotionally transform into a figure with all the depth and heart of Batman (but with banana curls).

Meanwhile, Conrad burst into Grayson manor and Victoria met him screaming and in a daytime evening gown, obviously. It cracked me up that while Emily and Daniel immediately agreed to move from the beach house to Manhattan after a faked break-in, Victoria was completely non-plussed by the rice-grain-sized microphones investigators found simply riddling her house.

Emily quickly got herself strung up alongside hurtin' Nolan in the white-haired man's DIY torture cell, where Nolan had been spirited away after last week's clobbering. Did anyone feel even remotely worried for her at this point or are we all chuckling at how the white-haired man was playing with fire? All she had to do was point out that she'd programmed an email to be sent to the authorities to make him skedaddle off on a wild goose chase. "These kids and their email!" you could see the white-haired man grumbling in his head. You have to wonder if the ability to back up microfiche and secret documents online and transfer everything safely via email has completely changed the spy game. Like, maybe all the James Bond-types were silently decommissioned back in '99 and their swag cars turned over to IT programmers. You hear music industry types whine a lot about Napster but if you got a bunch of former spies in a room you'd get three hours of slurred speeches about what "bullsh-t" Yousendit is.

Touching moment alert: Emily insisting Nolan get himself safely the eff out of there and their hug. Everyone has jumped on me in the comments since way back when I first mentioned this, but the Emily-Nolan relationship is so much closer to an ideal romance than anything Emily has going on with Red Lobster manager Jack or easily confused Daniel. It's for reals the heart of the show and this finale honored that and gave all you Nolan-Emily 'shippers fuel enough for a thousand fan videos to be made over the summer. I am ride or die for Nolan FOR LIFE and we know Emily is too.

I do have to talk about these shoes. I feel like the show's costume designer jumped out of their chair the second he or she saw that Nolan's shoes would get a close-up and immediately spent the rest of the day at Nordstrom, smelling suede and picking out socks. Spiff factor of 50.

Jack decided to take the day and go into New York City to hand Daniel his million dollars back. I'm sorry, WHAT is this guy's schedule like? He spent the whole season waltzing into people's houses with flowers, dogs, and accusations while the Stowaway stood dark and empty. Don't you have a vat of Lobsteritas to mix before Happy Hour?

I could not have been more pleased to see Emily handle the white-haired man with a stainless-steel axe. A stainless-steel axe! She was looking like a true karate star whipping his ass all over the place, but then, straddling him to administer an axe-handle choke hold, she flashed back to that time she and her dad nursed a baby bird back to life. Such bad timing. Of course, she decided to honor her father by letting Karl Lagerfeld live. Obviously this was the only choice the writers could make, because if she had killed him then and there the series would've basically been over, Emily's revenge complete. But also I honestly respect the choice of making our hero ethically incapable of killing someone. Batman has the same philosophy and the same dual high society/high tech vigilante vibe, and after a whole season's worth of Emily exhibiting some American Psycho edge I'm glad she skews closer to Dark Knight on the Christian Bale's Memorable Roles O-Meter.

Meanwhile at the prestigious Hogwarts School of Wizarding, Charlotte cyber-bullied the eff out of the curly haired Yonkers ho. Declan got so miffed, but truly his ethics are as thorny a bramble as that tangled mop atop his head if he thinks he can claim moral high ground after lying in court about Jack, mooching off Gramps Grayson, and narc-ing Charlotte out to the principal.

You know who's also confused about equity in relationships? Daniel confronted Emily in a huff about kissing Jack. Emily, fresh from fighting for her life in a sleeper cell, broke off the engagement. (Better to do it now, before Ashley gets an official commission.) Daniel is so easily lead in any direction, but TRUTH: If I were faced with the choice of boxing up my house to escape a break-in I knew hadn't happened or going through a break up, I probably would have skipped boxing too. It's physically and emotionally exhausting!

And if she hadn't broken off the arrangement we would have been robbed of maybe my favorite moment on TV ever: Victoria showing up and gently insisting Emily open her engagement gift. Like, hats off to Van Camp for keeping a straight face as Madeleine Stowe explained she had given her a box of nothing. A BOX OF NOTHING! The high-level bitchcraft SLAYS ME. This is the most hilarious thing I've ever seen happen in a drama. Not just an empty box, but like a box with a little white satin scoop in it to clearly emphasize where something would be and was not. I'm sorry but this is all I am giving anyone for the next three years. Christmas, birthdays, Kwanzaas are about to get HILARIOUS. Also you know Ashley had to hot glue that satin into a crocs box while she was still an assistant.

Good thing Ashley's getting promoted to Grayson Girlfriend!! I heartily approve of this match. If Victoria was horrified by her son marrying a hot billionaire who lived next door, how much more awesome will it be when she finds out he's making moves on "the help," her former assistant and no-longer-saddest-party-planner Ashley? And don't tell me Victoria’s dead. Bitch, please.

Let's talk plane crash. For one, Victoria's heroic turn in demanding that the wrongs be righted: a sparkling glint of ethical transformation. Her ruthless bullying of Lydia into testifying Conrad with the immortal line "...it will make your taxi bounce seem like a week in Saint Tropez" is maybe my favorite combination of words ever. Conrad telling her point-blank that the plane would go down and her telling him that she would see him in hell and swirling around in a white trench—like, chills upon chills upon chills. If Hermes had a milk, this storyline would have been weaned on it. The build-up was cinematic as hell ("seeeven devvvvills alll aaaroundyou") and genuinely suspenseful. However, the newscaster said "there seem to be no survivors" and the Graysons are a resilient bunch. Let us not forget this season began with Daniel being shot on camera, so there's a lot of wiggle room in that "seems." I think Victoria seems way too important and beloved of a character for her to go out like this. Even if we did see the white-haired man fiddling with the brakes.

Americon works this poor guy overtime! Doesn't the company have anyone else in the area who can do this kind of monkey work? Shouldn't he be in the hospital with a concussion? He must get some sick days. What kind of cottage industry is the Initiative that it can't bribe a few private plane technicians?

If a Grayson is going out, I'm much more worried about Charlotte than Victoria. Victoria will climb through the seaweed and appear at Emily's door, singed, furious, and looking somehow vaguely 29-ish as she always does. I have to believe that.

The other big shocker: Amanda returned and she's PREEEGS!!! Don't worry, it's not Jack's. The only question is who is going to ask for the DNA test first, Nolan or Jack? And to be honest, this is actually another couple I'm secretly rooting for. WHAT OF IT?! She and Jack have crazy chemistry and Nolan and Emily need to combine fortunes and become secret superheroes. WHAT OF IT?! Nolan backed up the evidence that went down with the plane. OMG! Did you catch Nolan saying that about Jack and then telling Emily not to do anything "revenge-y"?! RIDE OR DIE!!! The awesomest.

So yes, so many amazing developments: fake Amanda's fake Jack baby, Ashley and Daniel making eff-me eyes, how is Victoria going to escape that plane crash, possible teen funeral episode, and above all the most exciting question the series left unanswered is who is going to play Emily's mysterious "fiery" and possibly evil mom? It's truly the biggest opportunity for an actress between the ages of 38 and 50 on primetime TV. Will Emily's mom be:

Two-time Tony nominee Laura Linney?

Humanitarian minx Sharon Stone?

Pulitzer Prize semi-finalist Teri Garr?

Cultural commentator and Women's Rights Worker Courtney Love?

America's MILF, Blythe Danner?

Bi-curious wunderkind Felicity Hoffman?

CANNOT. WAIT. FOR. SEASON.TWO.

So, clearly, the most entertaining show of the year had the most entertaining finale of the season. This nation is still SHOCKED by how much we needed this show and I am forever grateful that I got to see it unfold from pilot to finale and talk about it with you guys. Double infinity grateful.

QUESTIONS:

1. Victoria: How will she survive?

2. Charlotte: down for the count?

3. What was your favorite line from last night?

4. Did you notice how many lines last night were lifted from revenge movies? Kill Bill and Princess Bride just to name two.

5. Faux-Amanda's baby is Jack's or no way in haaayuhl?

6. BOX OF NOTHING: bitchiest present ever!?

7. Are you glad Emily didn't kill the white-haired guy?

8. Emily's mom: What's up with that?

  • Comments (172)
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  • RagingNaruto Jul 11, 2012

    1. Who knows but she will, she must have seen the plane going down coming, Conrad basically said so.



    2. Charlotte, hm possibly but also doubtfully.



    3. "I'm proud of you Emily."



    4. I did not.



    5. Well I hope to god not!



    6. Pure Victoria, loved it!



    7. I'd prefer he died, but not at the cost of Emily's morality.



    8. Gonna be one tricky story, I just hope she can be a trusted ally.



    & No way on Nolan & Emily, they're way more like Brother & Sister. Totally Jack & Emily :)

  • Draconax Jun 17, 2012

    Fuck, my mother and I watch this show religiously, and we are on pins and needles waiting for season 2. What a fantastic finale! Very much looking forward to seeing how things work out. Really hoping Charlotte is dead, because for whatever reason, I found Deckland-Charlotte to be the cutest couple in the world, and I'd like to see Deckland rush to her side after he hears about her suicide attempt. But alas, we will have to wait and see.

    As for Emily's mother, I'm very anxious to find out just who this woman is, and how far this whole conspiracy business goes. Season 2 can't come quick enough!

  • zampognaro Sep 16, 2012

    Really hoping Charlotte is dead?

  • VickyNich Jun 15, 2012

    I'd love to see Connie Britton as the mom. I reckon she'd be able to play the sweetness and light vs evil perfectly in the same way Emil Van Camp does.

  • AdelaideLeung Jun 09, 2012

    Lily, as a fellow Nolan-Emanda shipper, I'm so happy to read your Revenge reviews!



    And as the "sibling"/"related" speculation has been brought up everywhere, I have to ask...what exactly would be so interesting or exciting about Nolan and Emanda being related? They are already allies and Nolan is loyal to Emanda...what would it change for them or add to the show?



    And to me, "same hair color" does not brother-sister make. Jack and Amily are both brunettes, does that make them related? (BTW, I do root for this couple too!...I think they have great chemistry).



  • Atlantida Jun 09, 2012

    Well, to me it would be very interesting. It's clear now that there will be no sexual relationships b/w them. Sorry, but it's true)) He treats her like a sister. And she treats him like a sh...t, the last episode excluding. Now their relationships (one of the best parts of the show, imho) have became pretty stable. It would be very interesting to see her reaction to these news!



    Of course, their hair colour doesn't prove anything - I mentioned it as a reason why I started thinking in this direction))



  • revenge723 Jun 06, 2012

    I say Blythe Danner for "emily's" mother. She appears the right age and has similar enough looks to pass as her mom,

  • MimoPingpanth Jun 06, 2012

    Hey, Atlantida, you've got a point there! It is odd that Nolan cares so much for her despite the fact that she was mean to him for such a long time. It explains why he was willing to risk his own life for her when he went to the white-haired guy disguising himself as the cable guy that night. The puzzle pieces do fit!

  • Atlantida Jun 06, 2012

    Exactly! I mean, he is good, and kind, and just awesome, but he is not saint!



    But I really don't remember all these time frames... To prove my theory, real Amanda shouldn't remember that she had a brother. It means she should be younger than Nolan - fits. But it also means that her mother left Amanda just after her birth - that's why she doesn't remember having a brother.



    BUT! My friend told me that Amanda's mother left when she was three years old, and this fact was mentioned in first episodes. I don't remember it, that's why I ask - maybe anybody has a better memory and could prove me wrong?

  • Atlantida Jun 04, 2012

    Ok, I was re-watching the last episode for the billionth time, and a shocking notion came to my mind: is there the tiniest opportunity that Nolan is real Amanda's brother? It was just that scene: they sat very close to each other, their hair was of the same colour in the deem light, and he told her that her mother was alive... And I immediately got all soap-y (hey, Nolan!) and added: "And I'm your brother!"



    It's crazy, I know, but it just fits in so perfectly! When their parents divorced, the girl stayed with her father, and the boy stayed with his mother. And it explains all this far-fetched plotline with Nolan visiting David Clarke in jail (why did he start doing it once again?), and David leaving all his money to a complete stranger (because he was such a trusting person after all this betrayal), and Nolan helping Amanda again and again (although even if you're the best person on earth you give up after a chocking thing usually), and why does Nolan love her so much anyway? He doesn't look at her as a man looks at a woman, he wants her to be with Jack, but nevertheless he loves her after knowing - how long, a couple of months? (They almost didn't see each other beforehand.)



    Ok, it's a very far-fetched theory, I know, but if we don't count all these time limits, it suits! But I don't remember/know their age, so of course more attentive viewers will now destroy my theory with a few words))

  • RerakisMatthe Jun 03, 2012

    Revenge: The best drama tv show since lost!!!

  • shootingstar609 May 31, 2012

    I never for a second thought it actually was Jack's baby that Amanda is carrying. For one thing it's way to convenient, her just showing up out of the blue like that. My theory is that when Amanda left the Hamptons she went somewhere to parts unknown and met up with some unsavory characters, like she used to know (or currently knows) from her days as a stripper before Frank found her and dragged her into this mess they call life in the Hamptons. So, when Amanda gets into trouble with whoever she's been hanging around with she decides to run back to the Hamptons in the hopes that someone will help/hide her. And, of course, Jack is only too willing to oblige when she tells him she's pregnant wit his baby. Since he's a stand up guy and all. Then we have the whole thing with Emily telling Jack who she really is and he will not believe her since he has who he thinks is the real Amanda back already. This will lead to a major blow up between Emily and Jack in which Nolan will be forced to choose sides between Jack and Emily, which could be very interesting. Then this situation where everyone is mad at everyone else will continue for a little while until the person Amanda is running from shows up in the Hamptons to find Amanda, which Jack will not let happen. This will lead to a fight or some sort of confrontation/showdown between this person/people who have come to find Amanda at the end of which people will have had their asses kicked and Amanda will be exposed as a fraud. After Jack tells Amanda to leave, which she reluctantly will. After that whole situation, Emily will have another go at telling Jack the truth or Jack will realize on his own that Emily telling the truth all along. Either way there will be some sort of "coming together" between the two of them.

  • estella87 May 30, 2012

    1. The news were faked by the SCC agent after Victoria told him Conrad would blow up the plane.

    2. Will definitely be back next season, maybe sent to rehab? Anyway Declan will feel guilty for not taking her call.

    3. Too many to count! :D

    4. Did not notice, have to rewatch those movies in English.

    5. Don't think it's Jack's baby, but whatever. Maybe the writers will surprise us?

    6. Definite YES.

    7. Not sure yet. I would have loved to see her turn completely evil instead of being on her half-hearted revenge-driven quest. But I guess we need a heroine we can love, or something.

    8. Looking forward to that storyline.

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