Revenge "Resurgence" Review: Not With a Bang, But With a Whimper

By Kaitlin Thomas

Nov 11, 2013

Revenge S03E07: "Resurgence"

It was the Fourth of July in the Hamptons, but the episode fizzled out more than it exploded with a sense of urgency. After Emily brought Nolan and Jack up to speed regarding her plans to frame Victoria for her murder last week, "Resurgence" had a "wait and see" mentality. Maybe it was because Emily didn't have much going on this week, the revenging being handed over to Nolan, or maybe it was the lingering sadness Jack felt over the death of Fauxmanda that was keeping him from exploring anything more than a few kisses with Margaux. It could have also been Daniel's redeveloping feelings for Sarah that made the episode drag, but I found my mind wondering during the episode this week, so much so that I didn't even realize the party everyone was going to was for the Fourth until Nolan's red, white, and blue ensemble caught my eye and lit up my life like its own firework.

Now that the Graysons have had their fortune returned to them, Conrad was putting it to good use hiring a public relations specialist to clean up the family image. He probably should have done this in Season 1 when Emily kept outing secrets and turning every event hosted by Victoria into a revenge scheme, but better late than never, I guess? As it turns out, though, the publicist he hired, Bizzy Preston, was the same woman who once outed Nolan to the press in order to save the marriage of a client. Having her resurface in his life after a few years on the S.S. Revenge gave him the perfect opportunity for a little payback of his own. 

While the outcome of Nolan's scheme wasn't as fiery or explosive as one of Emily's—Bizzy was having an affair and instead of outing it and ruining her life, Nolan gave her the chance to end it and save her marriage—the storyline did provide us with more of Nolan's backstory. We knew of his strained relationship with his father, the elder man having passed away last season, but we now know why he was estranged from his son. They'd been on the verge of mending their broken relationship in the wake of Nolan's successes, but once Bizzy outed him in the press, his father never spoke to him again. 

Nolan's situation would have been difficult for anyone, but for someone as lonely as Nolan, for someone who'd just lost one father figure only to lose his actual father (again), was especially hurtful. It makes sense that he'd want to exact revenge when she reappeared in his life, but whereas Emily has no problem destroying the lives of others, feeling no remorse or conscience regarding the lives she ruins, Nolan is a big ol' softie. He's not the kind of guy who can ruin a 20-year marriage out of spite, and it's refreshing to see someone have a conscience after Emily's robotic and mechanical planning have made me wonder if the show even notices the void in the emotional spectrum.

And speaking of voids in the emotional spectrum, Jack, who's been having a dalliance with Margaux for a few episodes, but who's been mostly emotionally unavailable since Fauxmanda swam with the fishes, finally took off his wedding ring and decided to start living his life again. The ring itself has not been directly mentioned all season, but it's been there in every scene, quietly lurking, reminding us that Jack hasn't yet moved on or gotten over her. His life has been on pause for quite a while now, and his removal of the ring this week was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, I just don't feel the sparks between Jack and Margaux.

I'm not against Jack finding love again or moving on or doing anything of the sort—in fact, I very much want him to do just that—but I simply don't feel any emotional attachment to Margaux or her burgeoning relationship with Jack. But if Emily swoops in at any point in the future and tries to make Jack feel bad about living a life that doesn't include her, I think I'll be able to muster up some emotions, because hell no.

Also hell no? The horribly contrived plot device named Sarah. I already mentioned how much I disliked her sudden reappearance last week, but this week Daniel tried to kiss her while surrounded by family and friends at his mother's annual holiday party. Ignoring how ridiculous that would be considering anyone could have seen him and his engagement would have been over, I have several other reasons to be annoyed with this storyline. The first of which is that we've already seen Emily get shot while in her wedding dress, which means we know that she makes it to her wedding. So everything that happens between Daniel and Sarah between now and then will be void of any real stakes. How are viewers supposed to care about whether or not Daniel has feelings for the girl he almost killed several years ago if we've seen Emily in her wedding dress? 

There's always a slim chance that Emily doesn't marry Daniel and steals the Graysons yacht, but come on, like that's believable. Add in to the equation that I also don't believe Daniel's feelings for Sarah have been rekindled in the span of a week and we've got a boring, contrived storyline that is going nowhere. It doesn't matter that Charlotte and Victoria have teamed up to try to use Sarah to keep Emily from marrying Daniel either, because we already know what happens. And because those two women feel like they've been neutered lately. Charlotte thinks she's a player in this game, but she still comes off as a petulant teenager, and aside from Victoria's takeover of the gallery, she hasn't really had much to do this season. She complains about Emily and Daniel and wants to stop this marriage from happening, but nothing she does feels like it has any stakes either.

The absence of any real threats is a constant problem for the series and it stems from Revenge's typical opening scene flash-forwards. They always seem like a good idea at the time, and they create a fixed timeline that the series has to build to which generally keeps the action on track, but it also often means that plots that might have once been cause for worry or concern are deemed null and void simply by the fact viewers know the ending. I remember feeling this same way in Season 1 when we were waiting to find out whose body was found on the beach. Early on it seemed like there was a good possibility it was Daniel, but as time went on, and as fans took a liking to Daniel, it felt obvious when we found out it was Tyler and not Daniel who died. And I feel the same way here. Right now we know that Emily is shot in a wedding dress on her wedding day, so anything that happens between July 4 and August 8, whether Daniel has feelings for Sarah or not, doesn't really matter. Would I like the show to surprise us and pull a switcheroo? Yes, of course. But this season has been pretty flat, so I'm not holding out much hope for a last-minute save.


– It felt a little strange to see Emily and Nolan acting like last week's entire episode didn't happen, but I can't say I didn't enjoy seeing their friendship again. A little continuity wouldn't hurt, though.

 Conrad is writing his memoirs, and if there is a God, that book will be published in our world. I love this idea so much, because he's such a great soap villain at this point.

 Nolan is trying to track down Patrick, but the trail has been pretty spotty. I have a feeling that's because Patrick is a pretty good liar and con man and knows how to cover his tracks. But still. Poor Nolan.

 Nolan's spy glasses (!) caught Daniel attempting to kiss Sarah, which means Emily will probably be doubling down on her efforts to keep Daniel next week.

 “It’s the Fourth of July. The day we Americans celebrate ridding ourselves of the British.”

 Nolan's wardrobe was so spot-on this week, but I have to give his red, white, and blue party outfit the cake. (I'm working on getting a full body shot, because the red pants really made the look).



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  • tamaracassill Dec 13, 2013

    Emily is so... she is crying ooh Im gonna miss my sister bla bla - are u kidding me? When have you even seen her last time? How about spending time with her if she is so important? She hates u at the moment and you dont even care.

    Nolan and Emily annoy me a bit. Look Im happy they are friends again, but that 180° change in 2 min.? Its like nothing happened in the last epsiode.

    I really like Aiden and I always wanted him and Emily happy ( after she started to hate Daniel) But somehow it feels weird now.. and come on, its not gonna happen. Thanks writers for destroying another male character I once loved

    Vicky: are u out of your mind. Like come on, youre a evil person but Sarah nearly died because her drunk son hit her with a god damn car and you treat her like shit?

    Nolan - sorry but if your dad doesnt talk to you anymore cause youre gay.. he is kind of an ass

    Magaux I like u.. but that 4th of July dress was so ugly - thank god Jack took it off ;) I like those 2 together
    How funny is it tho: they are like 1000 candles and a bed/couch on the terrace with 1000 pillows (romantic) and they are acting like this would always would be there and its not special at all

    Daniel and Sarah: I like it, even Daniel is stupid to kiss her there also it goes too fast - but once again not his fault - the writers fault
    And gooood Emily I hate u for saying: oh i better make him love me again ... cruel soo cruel!

  • rinoaangelstar Dec 06, 2013

    I really don't understand why you review this show. you clearly don't like it, as you never seem to have anything good to say about it. i read the 'once upon a time' reviews, and even when she calls them out, it is clear that she at least enjoys watching the show. please, please let someone who cares review, so that it is thoughtful and considerate to those of us who do like the show.

  • ark1317 Nov 17, 2013

    I just want to say that I understand this opinion that since we know the ending, the in-between in pointless. I really do, and it's true.
    Still, for me knowing the ending is really not enough. Even if I know that Emily makes it to the wedding, it's important for me if Daniel marries her even if he's in love with Sarah, that's another level of pathos in my opinion.
    Also, in season 1, I was genuinely afraid until the end that Daniel might have died. I mean, Revenge was so smart and umpredictable, and it was also a new show that could have been cancelled, so I wasn't so sure that Daniel was going to be spared.
    Apart from these considerations, I'm liking this season very much!

  • LucaMaltaglia Nov 15, 2013

    After a series of good episodes this was really a downer. As they rushed things between Jack and Margaux (here however the subplot of Jack's dealing with and ultimately letting Fauxmanda go was not badly done), they sudden development between Sarah and Daniel is too sudden to be believable. Also, why should we care about Sarah?

    I feel that Patrick's leave has left a void: Victoria and Nolan shone less.
    I am not a Aiden basher but here I was really irritated by his uselessness. Besides, I really do not feel any chemistry or connection whatsoever between he and Emily.

  • SesseKitty Nov 15, 2013

    I'm not feeling the sparks between Jack and Margaux either. And I don't know what they did to Jack this season. I think it's the hair probably. He used to be like this perfect hunk of handsomeness and it's almost completely gone. The whtie suit earlier this season was horrible, he looked like some kind of sad mobster.

    I actually kinda like Sarah and the way Charlotte is starting the whole scheming thing but I have to admit that this falling-for-ex is happening waaayy too fast and the stakes aren't as high as they should be because of the flash-forward in the beginning of the season.

    Nolan is still great, what a big softie. His glasses were ridiculous, I totally would have bought a camera that sent a signal to a computer but they actually had rewind and pause buttons on the frame too, made me giggle.

  • itsmemadie01 Nov 14, 2013

    I still watch this because I wanted to know what's gonna happen to Nolan and please do not put scarf on him. Seriously, I don't know what Emily is trying to do she have already have evidence to take the Grayson down and their money, why can't she execute that freakin' revenge ... It's really a pain to watch a show where I personally do not feel any sympathy for the main protagonist.

  • RuanHuman Nov 14, 2013

    I still find my mouth shaping into guilty smirks when I watch this show

  • amykappel1 Nov 12, 2013

    The story had been running in progressively bigger circles with every season, and going nowhere fast. Most characters are all over the place with the exception of Nolan, Jack, Charlotte and baby Carl. I was actually bored with it the last few episodes and do have to agree that promos have been misleading. "I love this show!" but it's slowly everting into "I loved this show" which is sad for a story with so much potential.
    To the die hard fans, ratings do not lie and it has nothing to do with what this reviewer wrote.

  • dude19 Nov 12, 2013

    I have to disagree. I really liked this episode and I love where it's going.

  • MirelaPilipo Nov 12, 2013

    The woman who played Bizzy Preston is THE WORST actress that I've seen on television in the last 10 years. And that's saying something considering my unhealthy obsession with TV shows.

  • leonlak Nov 13, 2013

    Not to mention that she is about THE ugliest woman to ever be seen on Revenge to date. She looks just like the Crypt Keeper from Tales From the Crypt - a human skull with no flesh and some hair on it. Her teeth look like a bad denture job.

  • chris17blue Nov 12, 2013

    Ha-ha, I somewhat agree. But the worst acting I've seen in the last couple of years on TV has come from Kathleen Rose Perkins on a episode of Person of Interest titled "Reasonable Doubt". Also, Kaniehtiio Horn who recently played Dorothy on an episode of "Supernatural" was as equally as bad.

  • MirelaPilipo Nov 13, 2013

    Yep, they were awful too. But Ana was just so "over the top" (I guess because she's used to comedy) and she just looked like she was trying to remember her lines and everything she said was like she was reciting. For example, in her scene opposite Emily, while Emily's delivering her own lines, Ana's just got this expression of "ok it's gonna be my turn to say something soon so I better make it good". Acting is essentially reacting and if I was in Emily's shoes, I don't know if I could've gotten through it. I would've asked them to just put a neutral extra while I do my lines and then insert Ana in editing.
    How on earth do these people get these parts? Connections I guess. But yeah...TERRIBLE!

  • dude19 Nov 12, 2013

    What are you talking about? Ana Ortiz is awesome.

  • MirelaPilipo Nov 12, 2013's an EMMY worthy performance! O_o

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