Revenge Mid-season Finale Review: Who Shot Emily Thorne?

By Kaitlin Thomas

Dec 16, 2013

Revenge S03E10 "Exodus"

All season long we've watched with rapt attention as Emily Thorne schemed and finalized her plans to take down the Graysons—Victoria, Conrad, and Daniel—once and for all. This episode was the culmination of two-and-a-half years of red sharpies, thinly veiled barbs, bandage dresses, amazing Nolan ensembles, and emotionless love scenes. And I'd say "Exodus" delivered what it promised to deliver, but, unfortunately, I was left feeling a bit empty inside after it was over. It's not that I disliked the shooter reveal—in fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm actually very on board with it—but I'm worried about where the series goes from here. But before I start worrying about the future, let's chat for a bit about the present.

Let's start with the obvious; Daniel shot Emily after overhearing her confess to Victoria that she wasn't really pregnant and made up the lie to ensure Daniel wouldn't leave her for Sara before the wedding. I've suspected for awhile now that Daniel would be the one to pull the trigger, and I don't want to say I told you so, but I told at least like, one person so (fine, it was my dog. He still counts though, right?). All season long I've been championing for Daniel to discover Emily's a fraud, if only because I was worried that he might be the densest person on the planet and because Emily's emotionless relationship with Daniel has been one of the weaker parts of Season 3. I really needed him to wake up and smell the thorny roses so we could put this drawn out engagement storyline to bed. I know I'm in the minority when it comes to not hating Daniel's character, and I know he isn't necessarily innocent by any means (especially after tonight's reveal), but I've wanted the series to shake up this relationship for awhile now. And this was a good start, because the series cannot survive another season of the same Emily and Daniel relationship drama (I haven't seen the preview for the next episode, so I have no idea what is to come for these two, but  shaking things up for them this way is definitely a good thing in my opinion).

Unfortunately, while I am satisfied with the reveal that Daniel shot up Emily on their wedding day (even if I did roll my eyes a bit), I do take issue with the why of it all. I wish that Daniel's anger had been driven by the discovery that Emily was actually Amanda Clarke and not by his anger that she tricked him into going through with their marriage with a fake baby. I think it would have had a greater and deeper impact on the overall direction of the series if that had been the driving factor of his rage, and not the fact that he married the wrong woman. As I've mentioned several times this season, we just didn't have enough time to get to know Sara, to get to care about her and her burning love with Daniel. I think the actual shooting would have held more weight if: A) Sara had been introduced earlier and viewers were able to bond with the character, or B) Daniel had discovered the Amanda Clarke connection. But alas, I do not write Revenge and the writers have stopped returning my tweets. On another note: I laughed really, really hard at the way Josh Bowman played that scene. It felt over-acted, to be honest. But I suppose that comes with the territory; drunk, angry, and devastated over the possible death of Sara (seriously?) was one of the soapiest ways for the scene to go down.

In addition to taking issue with Daniel's reasoning for pulling the trigger, I also have a problem with the fact that the writers didn't make the more bold choice and have Charlotte be the shooter. In my discussions with other Revenge fans, she was the only other real possibility. Victoria is too cunning and smart. Conrad, while obviously capable of murder, doesn't really have a motive, and Lydia wanted to ruin her, not kill her. Of the people on the yacht, Daniel and Charlotte were the two people Emily had hurt the most over the years, whether intentional (Daniel) or not (Charlotte), so it was easy to narrow down the suspects, but I do think the writers took the easier way out. It would have been more shocking, more bold, and less laughable (seriously, just rewind that scene with Josh Bowman and tell me you don't chuckle a bit at the way he played that entire scene) if it had been Charlotte to pull the trigger. 

She's been a pain in the ass for awhile now, flipping between personalities as often as she changes her clothes, but she is Emily's half-sister. Imagine if she had discovered Emily's true identity in this episode (everything comes back to that). Imagine the pain and the suffering she'd feel at the moment she discovered that she'd been lied to for two years. Imagine the emotions that would have accompanied that moment. I think viewers would have been more willing to buy that reveal than Daniel's, but at least it wasn't like, Declan back from the dead or something.

And speaking of Declan, let's talk about Jack for a minute. When we began this journey in 2011, I think we all thought Jack would have ultimately played a larger part in the series than he has recently. After Season 1, the series became less about Emily and Jack and more about Emily's ultimate revenge plan. In "Exodus," Jack and Emily shared a rather emotional goodbye, but naturally, Emily ruined it by bringing up Fauxmanda and how she was with her when she died. Jack wasn't wrong when he angrily yelled that Emily had taken everything from him. Because barring Sammy the Wonder Dog, if Emily had never come back to the Hamptons, his life would probably be at least 40 percent less shitty. Sure, he wouldn't have Baby Carl (where is he?), but he also wouldn't be wrapped up in Emily's scheming and he'd still have a brother. That being said, we do have Jack to thank for speeding Emily's plan along. If he hadn't given her the ultimatum at the beginning of the season, who knows where we'd be at this moment. I shudder at the thought.

So where does Revenge go from here? With Daniel being the shooter and not some wackadoodle tertiary character (lookin' at you Tyler!), this will surely shape the rest of the season, and probably the series. I'm just not sure how much life the series has left in it. Since Daniel doesn't know that Emily is actually Amanda, and because Emily didn't take down the Graysons, the series could continue on into a fourth season should ABC renew it. The choices the series will make when it returns in January will decide that, but for now, let's talk about the consequences of Daniel's trigger happy moment on the yacht. 

Everyone had to have heard the shots ring out, and obviously Emily is missing, so will Daniel just lie and pretend he didn't try to murder Emily over faking a baby? He didn't seem at all concerned about leaving her to die in the ocean, which actually bothered me. I know he was drunk and angry, but Daniel isn't a remorseless murderer, and he pulled the trigger in a fit of rage. The fact that he just watched Emily disappear in the water felt very un-Daniel like to be honest. So where does this leave them? Obviously Emily isn't going to die, so these next few episodes are crucial. Will she come to in a hospital somewhere and be all, "WTF, BRO? YOU SHOT ME?!" I mean, I'd complete understand her if she reacted that way, but it's not exactly her style. She's a planner and a schemer, so I'm sure she'll work something out, but it's going to have to be damn good if the series wants to continue on this path and live to see another season. As for Daniel, he's well on his way to becoming his father, now more than ever, and I could see him become cold and calculating like Conrad in the wake of this incident, while Emily could become even more like Victoria. I kind of love the idea that they become trapped in a two-sided loveless marriage as a result. BRB gotta go write some fan fiction.

The bigger question, however, is probably, "Where does this leave Victoria and Emily now?" Both Vee and Lydia know Emily is a fraud, and after Aiden knocked Victoria out, she's going to be hella suspicious when she comes to. I'm sure that photograph of Emily is long gone now, but you better believe that Vee's quest to ruin Emily will be even stronger now. I hope this means a return to form for the queen of the Hamptons, because I've missed her. She really deserves to win something soon, so I hope Santa's reading this and gets me what I want for Christmas. 

All in all, I think this was a pretty satisfying fall finale for Revenge, even if the Daniel reveal seemed a bit too soapy at times. It will ultimately take the series in a new direction and hopefully breathe new life in to the entire show. I think we can all agree something needed to happen regarding the Emily and Daniel relationship, and although I still would have championed Charlotte being the shooter, Daniel is probably the next best thing. Let's hope the writers can take this moment and build upon it. 

P.S. I still hate Aiden.


– Nolan Ross is still the best thing about this series. He was simply amazing in this episdoe from walking Emily down the aisle to dancing with her at the wedding to that shot of him sadly leaving her for what he believed to be the last time. Gabriel Mann deserves a lot of credit for portraying one of the few characters on Revenge with an actual heart. Bravo, man.

 It was great to see Justin Hartley back as Patrick, but it's ridiculous that Nolan couldn't track him down in Manhattan when Conrad was able to find him and get him to Hamptons in like four hours. I look forward to where this storyline will go in the second half of the season, even if it might end badly for Nolan now that Patrick found his safe and got all weird and suspicious on us.

– How do you feel about the Lydia/Conrad developments? I've been going back and forth, but I think Lydia will bring more excitement back to the series. 

 Nolan's best outfit this week was obviously his wedding attire. I mean, come on, people. Duh.


  • Comments (270)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • DavidGordon2842 Oct 18, 2014

    Hello every one i want to use this forum to thank arigbo for bringing joy into my marriage , i have been trying to get pregnant after my miscarriage 6years ago , but to no avail until i contacted Dr Arigbo, of Arigbo spell temple and Dr Arigbo made a cleanse and pregnancy spell for me , thanks to Dr Arigbo am a proud mother of my baby boy and am expecting another baby very soon , you can contact Dr Arigbo on email (arigbospelltemple@gmail. com) or call +2347060960158
    for all your spiritual and family issues

  • annatteresa Feb 16, 2014

    Sorry guys… but from all the 4 boys in Ems life I still think its Daniel.. Most of you will not agree with me but, eventhough that, I’ll explain why:
    First of all, I will take off the most obvious of the 4: Nolan. Why? Because he has got a brother/sister relationship with Ems. I really think he is the one who loves her more and so does she…But in a family kind of loving. If we think, Nolan is like the only family she has and the one who she can ALWAYS count on…. So I think it’s stupid to think that there will be a Nolan and Ems love relationship as a couple. Nolan and Ems will always be like family…They will always support each other, even when they don’t agree with each other, because that’s what family does.
    As for Jack, I really think he is a nice guy, but it would be such a cliché to put them both together, Ems raising Amanda’s child, with her husband, living the live that should have been made for her…NO! It’s too much stupid for me… I’m sorry, but I can’t buy it! Of course Jack represents a lot for Emily, as he makes her remember her happy childhood. But she remembers him, when she returns for revenge… All the time she was preparing for revenge she kinda forget him… her revenge was much more important. Furthermore, Jack needs to move forward, to regain a life… He is also a love fool. First Amanda, now Margaux. I think he is fascinated by Emily, as he was by Amanda, because she was his first love and was taken from him. The thing that make all this alive was Sammy, that represented an everyday reminder of her. But I really think they are really different from each other. He is the guy who wanted to leave to fight for peace. He is kind of lost while Emily is much more determined. I think he is the good boy, but is the guy every girl want for best friend. Emily needs more than that. She needs revenge and, at the same time, she needs to settle, and to restore peace with herself. I can only see a friendship here. It may sound stupid, but I would rather see Jack with Charlotte than with Ems…
    Aiden… I really like Aiden! And I was on Ems / Aiden team since he appeared on the show… I thought they really connected, since their objectives were the same. And also because they are much more alike: they both have a good side and a bad side, so they could really understand each other in a way that no other person could ever understand. But then I’ve come to realize this: they both are connected by revenge, but they are different: at first, Aiden wanted to revenge his sister and father murders; then he finds out that his sister is dead, and he wants Emily to forget her revenge because “that’s not the way”… he wants her to gave up everything to go with him and start a new life. Can he make her change her mind? NO… Then he stays and insists in helping her, then he goes and then he returns again… always for her! I think we all know he wants to be where she is and he is willing to change his life in a minute for her… But does she ever changes her plans for him? NO…I think he is the perfect couple for her when we talk about revenge, and fight and that stuff. They suffered the same, they were trained the same way, they bound their forces to be stronger and that’s why it works. But they don’t feel the same way. Eventhough Emily seems more coldy than Aiden, he is capable of killing and follow with no regrets. If Emily ends up with him, they will understand each other, but they will never move on. The objective was to destroy the Graysons and to move forever… No more Nolan, no more nothing… Just Aiden and Ems at Maldivas! I think at this point of the show she is not capable of leaving all behind, especially Nolan, with whom she has such a true relationship; not to mention that she has Charlotte and it was never explored in the show. So, I think there’s a lot more to be done. And Aiden, all he wants is to leave forever with Ems…On the other hand, I think he will really fall for Niko, and he will have to struggle with the fact of having killed her father. (I hope he can have a happy ending!)
    The same way, I think Emily will really fall for Daniel. It would be such a fresh air for the show, and also good for Emily to understand that collateral damage can also affect her… It is a risk to play with others feelings, because we never know how our own feelings will end up. So it would be good if she could fall for him. After all, he loved her from the very first day, not knowing who she was, where she came from, and more important than that, not wanting to know… He fought with his parents for her, and deep inside he always knew he loved her more than she loved him. But she trusted her against everyone. Even the thing with Sarah, I think it was his way of making her jealous, because Emily looks very cold sometimes… And Sarah returns because of Charlotte and then Victoria uses her for her own benefit, in order to destroy Daniel’s wedding. Daniel never mentioned Sarah, so it’s kind of unsupported this returned and sincere love for Sarah. It’s foolish! I think it was important for him to know that his parents were not correct (once more) with her and when trying to fix the things he thinks he is still in love… It should have been pre marriage nervous breakdown. I really think he loves Emily! We can see that Daniel is the character that is more developed since the beginning of the show. He was just a boy, and turned to a man… and all because of Emily. For good and bad, Emily was the one that make him fight and grow up. She always had his life on her hand to use as she wishes, until the day he realizes she is not so trustful and he shoots her after the wedding. The shoot meant that all his beliefs and hopes were also dead… and when we lose our beliefs and our hope is gone, there’s nothing left… So he is kind at the point of Emily when she started. But as I heard once in one song, “one must die to be born again, to sow in the dust and return; one must be wheat and only then stubble. we must grieve to learn to live.”
    I think that from now on we will see a different Daniel. Emily isn’t dead and he will have to struggle with the fact that she is alive, with the fact that she betrayed him, with the fact that he has shot her and the fact that he still loves her, but hates her at the same time. In my opinion, I think it will not be easy and many of us are going to hate Daniel, because I think he will make her suffer and will try to revenge on her. But there is a straight line between love and hate /anger and in my opinion, this is nothing but love (mixed with anger). We hear Ems saying that the only thing she wants now is to leave (and it’s the first time this happens in all the show, what is really surprising because from what we have seen so far, she does not fear anyone… So why is She starting to fear Daniel if she never have feared Victoria or Conrad?!?!?! Weird… I think her feelings are starting to get confused, because deep inside she knows she was really bad with him since the beginning and after all he has his reasons to hate her). Eventhough. Emily will choose to stay…
    We also need to see that she has had already some good opportunities to take the Graysons down, but she never did it and, in a certain way, she never left Daniel. And now they will have to live as a couple, and as a couple they will learn and discover the things they have done to each other. I think Daniel will be aware of all that happened because he will discover that she is Amanda Clarke and will be on Emily side. Well, to be honest, I think he was always, even if she has never told him her story…For the first time she will be able to talk to someone about who she really is, without masks, and they can hate each other as much as they want to, since they both have reasons. But sometimes love comes from heaven, while other times comes from where we least expected… Right now they are supposed to hate each other, so they can be exactly what they are. And Daniel is not a bad guy, neither Emily (apart from her Revenge plans)…I think Daniel will be on Ems side when he finds out all the story, which I think is going to happen the opposite way he wants: as he starts to dig further and further in Ems life, trying to find things to support his hate feelings he’s going to find out the her true story, and her true reason and will start to help her. As for Emily, she will want to hate him, but she can’t… He was always there for her and she betrayed him. So, with baby steps, they will connect and make their own story. I really think that’s the only way Ems will have her happy ending: She takes down the Graysons because they will have no one on their side: Charlotte is her sister (so It’s a Clarke), Daniel is her husband, and even Patrick might be with Nolan. That’s the biggest revenge she could ever have,,, Because only Victoria and Conrad are guilty and they should be alone in the end. That’s retribution!
    All her father wanted was for her to forgive. She begins season 1 by saying this is not forgiveness… But I think that at some time she will have to move on. And moving on couldn’t be with Aiden, because he is connected to her revenge from the beginning, nether with Jack, because is too linked with her past and also because of Amanda, or Nolan because he is too connected with her father… The only guy capable of making Emily born again is Daniel.

    Last but not least, maybe Ems can get pregnant again… We should remember that she has make Conrad believe for a long time he had a terminal disease. Maybe the Garysons are doing this to her. But, even if it’s true, she lived in foster care homes all her life… and she had suffer a lot. Maybe she could adopt a child and make him / her a happier child. It’s much better than having her raising Amanda’s child… For God’s sake!
    Of course the show will have more seasons, and many things will have to happen first, but I think that’s the only reasonable way until the show’s finale…

    It’s only my opinion! And I still may change it… It will depend on the next developments. I can’t wait to see… But I really hope I’m right!!! It’s the first time I’m wishing really much things go like I predict, because I think it would be real…
    I am really sorry for Aiden, because I supported him since he appeared…But hopefully he will have nice end J

  • RuanHuman Dec 25, 2013

    Hi Kaitlin, huge improvement in your reviews in the last two episodes, thanks for balancing out your negative commentary with some humour. This was a great episode, I just HAD to root for things to go horribly wrong with Emily's plan. So now she's Emily Grayson... stuck again!!!!

  • clark0978 Dec 23, 2013

    Love the last pic LOL!. At the wedding, there was a woman with a red hairdo that was amazing! Where do they get all those extras from?!

  • Ujpesti Dec 21, 2013

    LOLZ! I love this show! Revenge and Scandal are the best comedies on tv right now!

  • Kiwirevengefan Dec 22, 2013

    Comedies? I agree they are the best two shows, but they are not comedies! Although sometimes we laugh AT the show rather than WITH the show. :)

  • kennfree Dec 26, 2013

    Oh please. With the amnesia on the horizon, this show, along with Scandal and its histrionics ARE the best comedies on TV.

  • Tadaia Dec 20, 2013

    I think that Nolan is either testing Patrick or setting him up for something. He called him there to get him away from Victoria. I believe he's got something up his sleeve.

  • leonlak Dec 22, 2013

    His rectal sleeve you mean ?

    Seriously, I think Patrick is going to try and break into the wall safe and steal whatever he can. The guy's a hustler.

  • ShintiaSilvia Dec 19, 2013

    I love emily n aiden

  • aritzaga Dec 18, 2013

    I agree with you. Charlotte and Daniel were the only 2 real options as to who the shooter was, but I also thought that this would happen because one of them had discovered the truth, not for the stupid excuse they came up with (as stupid as the fake pregnancy story btw).
    I guess the writers are doing their best to reach the 4th season goal, but Revenge has lost its freshness and the whole revenge thing is taking way too long. There are shows that should have a 1-2 season plan and leave it at that! And Revenge is one of them!

  • isparkle Dec 18, 2013

    I love this show but I must say I was not impressed. The whole Da I'll shooting thing seemed so ridiculously unbelievable. The lie of pretending to be pregnant does not show sufficient motivation to shoot someone.. Even if you are drunk.. Now if he found out who she really was that would be different. Basically I agree with what you said.. And yeah Daniel acting remorseless afterwards.. Very weird and totally unbelievable so it kind of ruined everything.

  • Sw33tEscape Dec 19, 2013

    I kind of disagree. If he'd found who she really was, what would cause him to shoot her? Finding out that she lied to him, manipulated him, and was using him. Well, finding out she lied about the pregnancy and hearing how she talked to him mother made him realize the exact same things (that she lied to him, manipulated him, and was using him) so he shot her.

  • ark1317 Dec 20, 2013

    You may be right, but I think that even if he realized he was being manipulated it would have been so much different is he knew Emily's true identity:
    In the show, he realized Emily is a social climber that used him and manipulate him so marry into the Grayson family...
    If he knew her real identity, I think that his idea of Emily would be of someone much more dangerous, manipulating him for darker purposes, to say the least

  • isparkle Dec 19, 2013

    Well you do raise some valid points there. I guess it really does depend on how you look at it. When you put it like that, it sounds more believable for sure..

  • cosminmoise13 Dec 18, 2013

    I really hate the writers for what they did to Jack... he was my favorite character and now he doesn't seem to fit in the show anymore. What the hell people?!?!?!

  • chris17blue Dec 22, 2013

    get rid of Aiden = problem solved :D

  • lovetheocean Dec 18, 2013

    I totally agree with you about Jack. I loved Jack and Emily together. When their beloved dog Sammy died and the two of them got together for a brief second before fake Amanda came back I loved the chemistry between them. I have been waiting since then to have the two of them find their way back to each other, but it has been one stumbling block after another. I know there was chemistry between Em and Jack, but they have ruined it. I don't like Aiden or the French girl. I don't see chemistry between Em and him, and I certainly don't see it between the French girl and Jack. You are right - what the hell people?!?!?!

  • See More Comments (99)