Revenge "Hatred" Review: All's Fair in Love and War
Oh boy, was Revenge on a bit of crack last night or what? It makes sense given that it was a mid-season finale and the series won't be back until March, but "Hatred" was full of, well, hatred. But it wasn't just Emily and Daniel fighting it out, as I had assumed it would be. The theme extended to Victoria, who was dealing with her own hatred of the man who raped her, and Conrad, as well, was dealing with his own shit as he moved out of Grayson Manor after Emily confirmed it was Lydia who shot her and the last sliver of his heart shattered forever. So hatred was spreading like herpes all over the Hamptons, and only a few people remained unscathed (but let's talk about them later, because happy people are boring people).
A psychological war between Emily and Daniel actually has the potential to be far more exciting than Emily's slow-burning seduction and romance with him ever was, but I think it'd be more effective if I thought Josh Bowman could make an evil Daniel believable. It's hard to take serious the scenes in which he's supposed to be threatening, because, well, he isn't. Henry Czerny pretty much has it down now, and it's why Conrad is so menacing. Perhaps he can give Josh some advice, because when I'm laughing during a scene in which I should actually be worrying for Emily, it really takes away from the series. And I wound up laughing quite a bit during "Hatred," especially in the scene in which Emily walked in on Daniel and Sara in bed. Really, bro? Really, that's how your going to win this war? Good one. That's high school level crap. It's going to piss Emily off, but it's not really going to do much else. And in the end, Emily won the battle, anyway.
Bringing Sara around the house was pretty amateur crap, and after Sara attempted to out-bitch Emily by the pool, Emily played dirty by tracking down her mother. And I was so happy that she did, because as I mentioned last week, Sara is too smart to be doing something so stupid with Daniel. Home-wrecker connotations aside, this is the woman Daniel nearly killed in a drunk driving accident and who had to pay for her rehabilitation on her own because his family is a horrible waste of space. Sara should never have been in this situation in the first place, because she always came off as a self-confident woman who was too smart to fall for Daniel's shit a second time. I'm not saying the characters on Revenge are all that realistic or even that smart most of the time, but what self-respecting woman would allow herself to be put in that position? (A lot, actually, but just go with me here.) If you were nearly paralyzed and then left on your own, would you be so quick to open yourself back up to the monster who did it? Sara might not have known Daniel was the one who shot Emily, but that's beside the point here. Daniel nearly ruined her life, and there she was, willingly letting him back in?
I never thought Sara was a great addition to the story given the way she was introduced so quickly, not to mention her entire existence was a plot device, but I also feel like she doesn't deserve to be dragged through the mud this way. Daniel claims he loves her, and I think he does, but he's been using her as a pawn in this war against Emily. I think it would have only been a matter of time before she wised up and realized this, too, because Emily certainly wasn't going to go anywhere, which means that war of wills wasn't going to stop. It's about time someone escaped the clutches of the Graysons unscathed (well, this time, not that time with the car accident), so good for her for realizing the truth of the situation.
(You can't really tell in this photo, because I cropped Emily out, but Madeleine Stowe, is the best at throwing shade. Maybe Josh Bowman could also take some lessons from her.)
As for Victoria's storyline with Patrick this week, I think it was a good story to keep with the overall theme of the episode, but the tone of it all didn't mesh well with the tone of the Emily and Daniel A-plot, which made the transitions quite jarring. Victoria isn't often defenseless, and it was kind of wonderful to see her let her guard down, but I think this particular storyline could have been saved for another episode. Of course, then we wouldn't have had Patrick's angry painting and that would have been a shame, wouldn't it? Nothing expresses anger quite like angrily throwing paint on a canvas and then smashing glass and lighting the place on fire, so, um, well done! I think Patrick is hurt and angry about his life and about how he came to exist, and probably just about a lot of things really. But like I said, even though it kept with the hatred theme, this storyline could have been saved for a time when it would have received the proper amount of screen time to make is resonate with viewers. As it stands, it took the backseat to the war brewing between Emily and Daniel and therefore wasn't give its due.
And lastly, the only people not touched by hatred this week were Jack and Margaux, who are apparently so in love with each other (JACK, SERIOUSLY?) that they're going to move in together (JACK, SERIOUSLY?) after Jack buys a new house (JACK, SERIOUSLY?). I am all for Jack moving on and being happy, but this is like, within four or five months of meeting Margaux. I don't even know how long they've been dating. Revenge is obviously not a show based in any world where there's common sense, but oh boy, this is going to blow up spectacularly in the coming weeks, right? Especially with Margaux on the outs with Daniel now that he's been ousted from the company by his own father as revenge for shooting Emily and thereby ruining Lydia's life. That sounds like it doesn't make any sense, but I assure you that's 100 percent correct. No one can be happy for too long on Revenge so I see this plan falling apart before the season is over. Does anyone want to place any bets?
Hatred was obviously the theme of this week's episode, but it's also the basis for the entire series, and so for all my problems with the series, I'm at least happy that everyone's showing their true colors at last. Emily's thirst for revenge is fueled by the hate she feels toward the Graysons for destroying her family (and now the future possibility of having her own family), and Daniel's thirst for destroying Emily is fueled by hate and the knowledge the she's lied to him for the last three years. Victoria and Conrad obviously can't stand each other, and now Niko has discovered a katana under Aiden's bed which means she must know he killed her father. And you just know Charlotte's off somewhere hating someone for something. There's really no one left in the Hamptons who hasn't been touched by hatred at this point. I don't know much about the real Hamptons, but I don't think I ever want to go there based on what I've seen here. But it'll be interesting to see where these characters go when they return in March. And I'm interested in seeing how much life Revenge has left in it because hatred can only fuel a fire for so long. Until March!
- LOL @ Aiden keeping the katana under his bed, especially after Niko moved in. He had plenty of time to move it from that hiding place too. That's bad writing, writers! Not even Aiden is that dumb.
- I am assuming Emily's beginning to lose chunks of time (rage blackouts?), but I'm very confused by this new development. First, she somehow made it from the pool to Nolan's to confront Aiden without knowing how she got there, and then she went from being threatened by Daniel to waking up in Conrad's bed? I don't necessarily like what the show is trying to insinuate in that last scene, but I also just want to know what is happening to Emily.
- JACK, SERIOUSLY?
- I couldn't decide which look of Nolan's I liked best this week, but I really did enjoy the white with orange pants look, for some reason. I think it's the orange pants. I don't think we've seen him in those before, have we?
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