Revenge: Dear ABC, Please Pick Up this Slippery Soap

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?

Comments (43)
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They ned to do something cool with Noland. Otherwise, he's just going to be annoying. I presume he only wanted Jack to try and get under Emily's skin. Otherwise he's just sad.



I think Jack sees Amanda. His brain just won't register it.



Yes Victoria does and there can be no doubt from this ep that Victoria's destructing will be a long fought one fraught with complications, with enough honey to fill a swimming pool.



Yes. We are here for campy drama, not a CIA cheesy comedy. The air-vents? Really, Lily?



Dad's off. Couldn't care less about him. It'll make Jack all brooding and will entice Daniel's sister to Declan but apart from that, his death serves little purpose. However, it does serve more of a purpose than his survival.



PICKUP-PICKUP-PICKUP!!!!! This is why its so good to come into a show late. There's loads of eps and you already know if its worth investing in.
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http://www.cafepress.com/revenge101 is the only site I could fine with Revenge merchandise. Hopefully more stuff will be available soon. I love this show so much.
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@YeOldOne:

Well, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, apparently. (Beware Spoilers if you please!)

For one Victoria's son gets killed (if he's really dead...) I think the first episode will end with the investigation being kicked off. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. First and foremost I'm enjoying the start of a promising and entertaining new series.

@Lily: I'm cool with skipping the "action" scenes. I'm more interested in the other stuff. After all this isn't Human Target or Person Of Interest. ^^
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I'm really enjoying this series. Love Emily on it too. I hope it lasts. It certainly had a solid hold for the second episode despite having a weaker lead-in.



As for her getting into the office, didn't she take his ID badge off his desk? That's what I thought anyway.
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Wasn't even going to watch it, but after all the rave reviews and comments I did and it's pretty good.
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This show is really good but how would they take it into a second or third season?

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I really like the show, and I agree that all is happening really fast.

But we also have to consider that most of the shows, these days, are ending with episode 12th or 13th of season 1. This could be a reason for the fast track.

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Here I was, thinking I was reading one of Tim's articles!



Anyways, the show's not bad at all, but I agree that some of the action should not happen behind the scenes. It would add more suspense if it were to happen chronologically during the episode.
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Was it my imagination or did Declan go into a room on the first floor after his Dad's beating, but then somehow come down from the second floor with his face not all beaten up when Jack got home?
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Yeah that did happen, his father was upstairs as well when he was getting beaten, despite the whole reason for the group coming to beat him was because he texted that girl that he'd have the whole bar to himself.
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Staff
This show is but gossamer, gentlemen, and one mustn't dissect gossamer.
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I'm looking forward to Jack/Amanda. I think their chemistry is amazing, I can't wait for him to find out she's Amanda. Daniel and her are blah because I don't know if she actually has feelings for him or not. I'm guessing she does from the sadface on the beach - but if she full on loved him I think she would have reacted a bit more strongly. But either way, I'm rooting for Jack, because I love Nick Wechsler. Plus their backstory is adorable.
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The series of 11 pictocaptions in a row are not in theme of the scene. And what's with the quasi-ebonics at the end... Yo'? Togetha? Really?
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Ebonics? Are those ebonics? II thought every person of every color of the rainbow was allowed to say "togetha" . Does this mean I can't say "guv'nah" either? Or "Arrr, ye wee bonnie lass" Or y'all or fiddle-dee-dee? What a bummer, because I like sprinkling in other personalities into my personality.
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Yes it would have been cool to see the set up and the take down but then the issues becomes that Revenge would be a copycat solo act of Leverage with a Smoking hot chick for a main actress. Nice how it seems but that wouldn't last long enough to see the story unfold properly.

The directors are doing a great job as are the rest of the crew so lets just hope this keep up as it is now.
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Story structure and pacing need work. How many people is she seeking revenge against? That alone could very well make it finite series. It's either going to be over quick or stretched out too far for anyone to care anymore.



I honestly think it would have been a better summer series of 13 to 18 episodes for perhaps three seasons total, not unlike what LOST became. The first could simply tell the story of her dad being framed and why plus what happens to her as a child. The second season we learn what happens to her afterward and why she went to prison, if that's really important, plus see her become associated with the guy her father invested in and learn who did what to her dad. Then the third could be the revenge season where she starts taking them down with Stowe getting wise at some point and fighting back.



I think we are reaching a point where shows need to be more complete with a definite plan of specific number of seasons and episodes to tell their story. Long, open-ended, ongoing stories don't work well anymore.
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I think the format is great, even though it means we'd only have 23 episode series. I'm okay with that.
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Revenge is awesome I went back and forth on watching it, I just decided to record the pilot on my dvr and give a shot and I was hooked,second best pilot next to Charlies Angels great show
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I am loving this show so far!



I agree- It is moving CRAZY fast, but I kind of like it that way, and kind of think it's necessary, to get people hooked. I hear they will start slowing down(This is not a procedural....just the first few episodes...) around episode 5, to focus on the "Grand Plan" takedown of Victoria, but in the meantime, the FAST pacing allows for "Hooking" people in, which is where so many shows fail.



The first episode rated great. The second rated at a 2.7(3.3 for the first episode). If "Revenge" stabilizes here(Which I predict it will), or better yet, grows beyond the 2.7, a full season pickup(and beyond!!) is very possible.
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Love it.
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it's good so far!
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Second episode was an improvement, hope they can keep it up
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I'm officially hooked on Revenge. And although I like Daniel, I'm totally hanging for the inevitable Emily/Amanda and Jack hook-up. He named his boat after her! One thing I would love to see is Emily have a little more fun! I get the whole 'tortured past' thing but c'mon girl, enjoy your sweet revenge every once in awhile!
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This I must say is a hit but its still early.........

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The set-up for this show allows for the perfect, eclectic mix of procedural and serial elements.
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I love this show! I would like to see more behind the scenes stuff as you put it though.
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I don't think Jack is creepy, he just feels that Emily is his friend Amanda. Great episode, however it's a bit disappointing that we know how things are going to end. We know that Jack's brother will end up with Daniel's sister. We know that Jack will shoot Daniel. We know Nolanstill won't know about the plan at the wedding.



But there can be only so many acts of revenge. Unless it's not all about Emily.
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"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?"



After seeing the camera pan across the boss man's ID tags and key card when she was talking to him and later when she was in his office alone, I suspect she stole them and let herself in.
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I was disappointed with the first episode, but I saw sparks of hope last night. The pairing of Jack and Nolan could be fun. Declan's puppy love storyline has real potential. And it's clear that Victoria is in full villain mode. However, the whole torpedoing of "Uncle Bill" took all of 2 seconds and felt a little false. And I'm wondering if Emily's revenge is a little unsatisfying. Before the show debuted, I was expecting this to be a show about a woman who was out to kill off her enemies. That may sound a little harsh, but getting revenge by separating rich people from their money only seems temporary and not very fulfilling. And it sets up the potential for all of Emily's victims to team up and take her down!
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Staff
I had the same expectations going in, that she was literally going to off a bunch of people, but I guess the Count of Monte Cristo exacted non-lethal revenge as well, preferring to let his enemies languish in misery/destroy each other. And in a way, that's just good story telling. However we are on exactly the same page about how fast Uncle Bill's financial defrocking took. But apparently the producer says they are going to stick to the one-person-destroyed per episode system. Questionable!
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Didn't like the pilot too much but I really enjoyed last nights episode. I still think that some characters are boring (daniel, daniel's sister, the british friend), but I am cheering to know more about Nolan, Amanda, Mr. Grayson... One of the few new shows that got me on board this year!!!

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I'm worried that with it being in the waiting to get canceled slot on ABC's schedule (Wednesday at 10) it is doomed to fail but so far its been one of the most interesting new shows and one I looked forward to. I think Emily van Camp is great as the lead so this has nothing to do with her but I wonder if this isn't the lead role that Sarah Michelle Gellar should have fought for. Compare the character of Amanda/Emily to boring Bridgette/Siobhan on "Ringer".



Damn Madeline Stowe looks gorgeous.
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I agree, most of the new shows have disappointed but Revenge snuck up on me and I found myself really looking forward to the 2nd ep which didn't disappoint. I have only one hope, Daniel can't be dead!!!
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Only 2nd episode and im an addict ;p
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i love this show .. i cant wait till next week to see what will happen ...
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This show is good, but it's made better by the fact that Max Martini and Keith Harris are guest stars. I've met Keith, and he's great. I'm glad he's in something!
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Def a great soap... with potential for Daniel not to be the dead one on the beach, even for Emily's dad to have done a runner? i thought too taking down the fund manager was quick but at least no time to get bored... lots of characters who are a bit obvious but interesting... So much better than Ringer which is a disappointment in contrast....
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Could we please get someone besides Lily to do the Revenge reviews? I can already see it's going to be like her True Blood reviews with a ton of stupid pictures and sub-par commentary. Great show though, revenge on half a town is a great premise for a serialized drama. I'd like to see couple brutal, seemingly accidental deaths thrown into the poison/financial ruin methods.
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I too would love to see some accidental deaths.
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I bet Jack will be wrongfully suspected, idiot, didn't leave the body on the beach... I would like some more bad girl stuff too.
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By far the best new show of the season i think. What i want is to see some of that behind the scenes stuff as you mentioned but not spend all that much time on it like you said. I kinda like how they ended this episode showing you how she did it but maybe just show a little more and instead of like 15 seconds give us like 90.



Also i want to have Nolan and Emily be on the same team and not become enemies at some point in the series. I think Nolan is an awesome character that needs to get more screen time so we can learn more about him and why no one likes the richest kid there.
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Great second episode. Emily is one of my favorite new chic of all the fall shows. I do agree with you like Lydia, all the people who's lives Emily destroy's will come crawling back sometime this season. Oh Victoria she should definitely leave stuff alone because it's going to be real funny when Emily takes her down a notch. Speaking of Victoria it seems that Emily's dad and her had a lil something going on. I wonder what or who made her turn him in?
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Jack suspects shes not who she says, although he doesnt know why. Did you notice the way he was looking at her? The dog knows who she is and that will lead him down the path to amanda
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