Revenge: Dear ABC, Please Pick Up this Slippery Soap

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Revenge passed my "second episode test" like an obsessive-compulsive A+ student on No-Doz. In a few neat strokes, "Trust" set up some great dynamics and established a brisk pace.

Awesome Dynamic #1: When Lydia was x'd out last week and strong-armed off a yacht, I thought she was off the show. Not even close! She's basically going to blackmail ex-lover Buster Keaton and make life difficult for the Graysons. Which is good, because her face is so pretty its scary. Also, this means each person Emily “destroys” will rise up, like a hydra, as a whole new set of problems. This bodes well when it comes to Revenge convincing ABC that it deserves a full-season pickup.

Awesome Dynamic #2: Little Bro Declan's romance with Charlotte is heating up. A lot of adolescent anxiety got dredged up when she appeared with a pack of rich boys and he had no boat. I felt bad for him after he played it all cool only to find out his brother had skedaddled with the yacht, so when he was later clobbered by the same bunch of polo shirt-clad models, I felt absolutely terrible for him. Also, it took waaaay too long for his dad to come downstairs and rescue him. What was he doing up there, pouring scotch into his ears?

Awesome Dynamic #3: Nolan and Big Bro Jack are wingmen! They'll be a regular Goofus and Gallant at the many sparsely decorated events of the "Hamptons." And this means lots of Jack hitting on Emily while she stares at him and waits for him to leave.

Awesome Dynamic #4: Victoria's dialogue got RAMPED UP, camp-wise. Some of her lines sound like she's being directed by John Waters. "I think I'm in the mood to stomp a few DIVETS!" "Daniel, pull yourself together, you’re a sweaty BRUTE!" "I rode Steeple Chase when I was at boarding school at Montpelier." Madeleine Stowe is too subtle an actress to let slip the reins and plunge into camp so early, but by the end of the season I expect her to be wearing a mink turban and throwing Ming vases at her secret police.

Awesome Dynamic #5: Cheerfully meddlesome British BF pretty much broke into Emily’s house! Whuh-oh! What if she stumbled across Emily’s trinket box or her piles of secret stock documents? Also: Apparently Ashley Madekwe is an authentic English actress who is incredibly accomplished, played Catherine Earnshaw at the Royal Academy, and is very much the real deal. My problem with such rumors is: That would mean I was way wrong last week. Me, wrong? I am never wrong; this is the truth that keeps the sky from falling down and crushing the earth. So I will just keep implying/insisting she is an Orange County girl who watched Mary Poppins two times in a row until someone shows me a birth certificate. That's a reasonable way to settle an argument, right?

All in all, well done, Episode 2! Revenge is already a better show, and it started relatively strong. Now here is what I hope to see in Episode 3:

Emily doing the cool stuff. Once again, we saw an insert shot of her mysteriously typing away in the broker's office after hours. How did she get in? How did she get out? A thirty-second montage of her crawling through the air conditioning ducts or using her prison skills to shiv a cleaning lady would suffice. I know this is essentially a social manners thriller, but all the cool subterfuge is happening off-screen, and as a result I feel a little cheated.

Take yo' time, show! I like seeing Emily taking down billionaires like mice under a lawnmower, but I wouldn't mind if it took her two episodes to topple a stock mogul. We could have seen the set-up in this episode and the resolution next week. After all, the hardest battle bears the sweetest honey of victory, according to Viking carvings.

More of Emily and Daniel togetha! Granted, there was a lot of Emily and Daniel this episode, but I like them a lot. I want to hear more about his bad boy backstory and that time he wrapped a car ‘round a tree.

Questions:

… Is Jack being a bit of a creepster with Emily, or is he a stone cold hunk?

… Does Victoria have Camp Icon potential?

… Do you want to see some of Emily’s behind-the-scenes breaking-and-entering, or are you cool with the show skipping it?

… Declan was adorable this episode. Did he kill his father with teen angst, or will dad pull through?

… I know it's still early, but do you think Revenge will get picked up for the season, or will the network give it the old heave-ho?

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