Revenge "Homecoming" Review: Like Sands Through the Hourglass
I'd like to begin this review with a moment of silence for a dearly beloved Revenge character who passed away during last night's very sudsy "Homecoming." He wasn't very talkative, but he was a staple around Grayson Manor. Seen in nearly every episode, he was as much a part of the Revenge family as Conrad or Victoria.
R.I.P., Queen V's Throne.
Lydia, in a true fit of bitchiness, dumped red wine on the poor chair after having the audacity to call it uncomfortable. How very Lydia of you, Lyds. (If anyone has a .GIF of that moment, I'd be eternally grateful.)
But let's revisit that scene a bit later and chat about the rest of "Homecoming" first, because—and I know this might shock you—I liked it. Oh yeah, I rolled my eyes several times during the episode, like when Emily was bleeding out on the boat and told Aiden she just wanted to run away with him instead of getting medical care for the two gunshot wounds in her abdomen, but those soapy moments are to be expected with dramas like Revenge. The show's been a little too ridiculous lately (see: fake baby), but I think "Homecoming" managed those melodramatic moments well. In an episode that was almost solely focused on Emily's amnesia, it would've been fairly easy for the series to completely devolve into some sort of Days of Our Lives version of itself, but the episode played its cards fairly well.
Building off the momentum of "Exodus," this episode picked up almost immediately where we left off before the holidays. Emily was dying in the water, Jack and Aiden were frantically attempting to find out what'd happened, the Graysons were being shuffled around the police station like they lived there—because let's face it, they probably should all have private cells by now—and then there was poor, sweet, baby Nolan who thought everything had gone according to plan when he saw the news report that Emily was missing. Raise your hand if you just wanted to reach through the TV and pull him into a tight hug because he didn't know what really happened on the yacht. I know I did.
The Nolan and Emily dynamic is still the beating heart of Revenge. Even when everything else is flailing in the water, their friendship keeps it tethered. Even when I was bitching about the writers reaching to make storylines connect in the first half of the season, their relationship kept me sane and reminded me why it is I enjoy this show so much in the first place. Because there's a true love, respect, and understanding that flows from their friendship. Emily is so often cold and calculating that it's sometimes hard to like her and see good in her. But then you see her relationship with Nolan and you're reminded that the emotional heart and soul still beats. While Jack and Aiden were running around this week, Nolan was getting shit done. He stormed over to the hospital like he owned it (and he did pay for half of it, so he kind of does), and when they wouldn't let him see her, he left a cell phone behind to make a mobile hot spot so he could hack into the hospital's system and find out what was going on. Yay technology, but also yay Nolan!
Fans are always going on and on about shipping Emily with one of the several men in her life, but the only real man in her life is Nolan. Jack, Aiden, and Daniel could all fall off a cliff and while the show would maybe suffer a few setbacks, I don't think I'd even care at this point. Because Nolan's the one person who hasn't let Emily down throughout the course of three seasons. He's one of the only non-expendable characters on this show anymore. Emily and Nolan rely on each other when they're in need, and I don't know that there will ever be another person as important to Nolan as Emily. "Emily is my family," Nolan told Victoria in the hospital, and I think if the situation were reversed, Emily would say the same thing about him.
That being said, I realized during the hiatus, and even more so as I watched the events of "Homecoming" unfold, it is highly unlikely that either of their characters will ever get a happy ending. Emily is destined to fight this battle against the Graysons, but even after it's over, and even if she wins, what will she have left? Her plan to frame Victoria failed, but even if it hadn't, she still would have had to walk away from everything she knew. She would have run away with Aiden, but she'd never have been able to go home again. She'd never have seen Nolan again. She'd never have seen Charlotte, the only blood family she had left. All of those things would have had to disappear along with the Emily Thorne identity. And while the show almost has to end with Emily finally exacting her revenge, I don't think it's possible that she'll ever be truly happy.
Her relationship with Jack might not be as strained as it once was, but it is highly unlikely that the two of them will ever get their fairytale romance. Obviously, Daniel is over Emily's shenanigans and hasn't been a true love interest since the middle of Season 1, and Aiden, well ... just what the hell is up with Aiden anyway? He claims to love Emily, he claims that everything he does is basically to aid her and be with her, but—and we all know my feelings on Aiden, so I won't rehash them now—who the hell is Niko? And what has she been pumping into Emily's system? She was interrupted before she could inject her again, and now Emily is slowly regaining her memories. Was Niko responsible for Emily's short-term amnesia? Don't get me wrong, I am beyond thrilled that we didn't have to sit through several episodes of Emily not knowing who she was (the amnesia was was clearly just a plot contrivance for Emily to let her parentage slip to Charlotte), but I don't think we can just take this at face value. Niko is up to something, and I don't want to accuse anyone of anything here, but homegirl is shady.
She healed Aiden after he was shot by Daniel at the end of Season 2, but there's obviously something deeper there than just a doctor/patient relationship. If their conversation wasn't already suspicious, that kiss she planted on him was enough to make everyone sit up and go, "Wait a freaking second here, sir!" Is she a past lover of Aiden's who wants him back? Is she just really friendly and doesn't understand personal boundaries? Either way, Aiden's no longer the shiny best boyfriend ever that some people want him to be (though he's never been exactly trustworthy, if you ask me). You just can't trust a man like Aiden. He's too mysterious, and you never know if what you're seeing is real. You never know if he's got an ulterior motive and that's what makes him dangerous. And the same can be said about Patrick.
Every single relationship Nolan has had since the first season has failed for one reason or another, and it seems his fling with Patrick will fare no better. As fun as their dynamic has been, Patrick cannot be trusted. He's always holding something back, and now he's gone and told Victoria about Nolan's safe and its contents, and while my heart broke a bit for Nolan in that moment, this is exciting. We've been waiting all season for Victoria to regain the upperhand (or at least I have), and it seems she's well on her way. Discovering and then confirming that Emily lied about being pregnant to trap Daniel into marriage was just the tip of the iceberg, but it also started a chain reaction inside Victoria. Something woke up inside her in that moment. Her suspicions were validated and the icy queen of the Hamptons is now making an attempt to reclaim her life, her son, and her bite.
And speaking of Daniel, thank God he already told Victoria the truth about shooting Emily. I would have smashed something if we'd have had to sit through several episodes of Daniel looking moderately constipated while stewing in his own guilt/grief/whatever. I don't want to jinx anything here, but if the series continues to travel at this speed, I think Revenge will only continue to get better. It's built some great momentum with "Exodus" and "Homecoming," but it was stuck in a rut for several weeks as the episodes moved at a snail's pace. Now that the wedding has come and gone, the series is heading in a new direction, and it feels like it's had new life breathed in to it. Daniel is hard and unforgiving in the wake of the shooting, and while I'd argue that this seems out of character for him, he's also just had a blindfold removed and is seeing things clearly for the first time. It's also made him more exciting to watch, so I am going to allow it. Conrad is finally feeling real emotions at having to betray someone he loves (Lydia) in order to protect his son, and Charlotte is now suspicious of Emily as the latter let it slip that David Clarke is her father. All of the puzzle pieces are finally coming together for Revenge and while I think the series still has a ways to go before it's safe to say it's back on par with Season 1, it's definitely making strides to pick itself up and get going on the right path again.
– LOLOLOLOLOL at Emily's reaction to Aiden in the hospital room. Amnesia Emily is my spirit animal. GTFO, Aiden!
– Lydia took off and is now the prime suspect in Emily's shooting. This is kind of sad, because I've been enjoying her antagonistic relationship with Victoria.
– When do you think Charlotte will discover that Emily is actually Amanda? My money is on the end of the season.
– I'm really, really excited to see this new Daniel. He's so cold and chilling. He's becoming a real Grayson now.
– I cannot deny Nolan's sassy red pants. They are very clearly the winner of everything this week.
– What did you think of "Homecoming"?
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