Revenge: Eight Was Worth the Wait

Last night I was joined in watching Revenge by a friend who’d never seen the show before. As I explained the show's various relationships and storylines, a couple things hit me: First, in its eight episodes, Revenge has set up a such an interconnected little web of relationships that any two characters entering a room at the same time implies intense drama, which is just good writing. Secondly, last night’s “Treachery” was a classic soap opera—and that is not a complaint. Like a good bartender, last night’s episode skipped all the filler (trimming out CGI and gadgets for once) and expertly stirred up the intrigue.

An amnesiac invalid who is poised to remember a terrible secret, a possible divorce made spicier by accusations of murder, a trashy mystery friend who’s just come to town; these are classic soap elements, but Revenge's cello-heavy musical score and restrained direction keeps things just barely classy. Which is not to say we didn’t get to luxuriate in melodrama last night. Madeleine Stowe’s reaction to Frank’s death included an endless full-face close-up and her reaching for a table to steady herself. Tyler concealed himself mere centimeters behind a door frame to eavesdrop when Daniel told his father he was ready to join the family business. And when Nolan revealed to “Amanda” (now Kara—let’s just call her Kara for the sake of clarity) that he knew she’d killed Frank, he gave us this sumptuous glance:

That is one old-school, solid-gold accusatory stare. God I love this show.

Nolan’s infinity edge pool was the perfect holding pen for Kara, who’s hard body is accompanied by a brain soft enough to steal Frank’s car and drive it to the Hamptons. Emily spent most of the episode cleaning up Kara’s mess and stroking Kara’s hair. Seriously, there was a lot of hair-stroking going on this episode; I don’t often stroke my friend’s locks but maybe I should.

If you tried to stroke Declan’s hair you’d pull back a nub—that thick cap of mink he calls a hairstyle has more body and strength than, well, his body. He’s totally making out with Charlotte now, and someone in this world cares, but not me.

Although Tilda was used sparingly this week, her scenes were among the best. She effortlessly converted Ashley into Emily’s new enemy, and I’m in big favor of this—Ashley has more potential as a villain than some cockney Cinderella. And in one of the more dramatically shot scenes of the episode, we saw Tilda retrieve Lydia’s Gala speech from the shredder and piece it together. This was a prop we had seen a couple episodes ago, so its use was logical AND resourceful, and in two wordless shots Revenge transferred everything Lydia knew about the Graysons to Tilda. Seriously awesome way to show us not tell us!!

Jack, at last, has someone appreciating his Johnny Depp-plus-thirty-pounds flavor. Also, way to work in that Emily used to talk about Jack to her former cellmate all the time. So it's official that Emily hearts Jack, but it doesn’t matter because she’s a borderline sociopath. Yeah, I said it! She’s maintained an intimate relationship with Kara for several years because CCH Pounder told her it would come in handy?

I wish I had CCH Pounder guiding my life, but that’s SOCIOPATHIC. It’s hard to like Emily when the only authentic aspect of her personality is that she's being a straight-up bitch to Nolan. But I guess weird, wooden emotionless fem-bots who keep their alibis in the fridge (timestamped salmon! What a ticket out of jail) are right up Daniel’s alley, because he’s moving in with her (just ask Kara).

The most sympathetic person in all this angst is Victoria. She’s taking care of her ex-best friend/invalid (who’s mental status is purposefully being kept ambiguous), she’s lost Frank and thrown Conrad out, she’s been abandoned by both of her children, and she won’t even let herself put on some sweatpants. Even while sadly eating a peach at midnight, she’s dressed up in platform stilettos. Although I have to say, Madeleine Stowe wrings more pure emotion out of biting into a peach than any other actress could with a dozen Comedia dell’arte masks and a monologue from Medea. Also, it's hard to feel bad for someone with such an organized photo room.

In addition to "Treachery" being my favorite episode of Revenge so far, my first time viewer friend has now season-passed the series on his TiVo. Eight episodes in, that kind of power to engage new viewers and loyal fans really says it all.


Questions:

… So you’ve definitely seen this hotness, right?

… Kara’s pre-drink toast: Does anyone know what language that was in?

… Do you like Ashley better as a villainess, or does she need to chill out and be grateful she doesn’t work at Walmart?

… Is Emily a little coo-coo banana curls, emotionally?

… Is "Treachery" your new favorite episode?

… Is Daniel going to start suspecting Emily of hijinks? (That one eye popped open at the end of the episode!)

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Kara's pre-drink toast: Does anyone know what language that was in?

It was Russian - pronounces as "Za schastyie!", means "For good luck!" I'm Russian)
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Part of Your World = Made me laugh out loud - hard. That was brilliant.

Just watched the video - tons of fun but was expecting something plot driven. Just was adults who pretend to be teens & 20 somethings having a pillow fight which was cool.

I have mixed feelings about Ashley. I really thought her and Emily were friends (Emily picked up her dry cleaning for her, goes out and has cheap margaritas with her, helps plan an event, etc.) And I don't like it when friends start stabbing each other in the back.

Real Emily (aka Kara) is crazzzy there is no doubt. Fake Emily (aka real Amanda) I don't think she's crazy. I think she's working the system.

Treachery was good but not my favorite. Charade has that still.

I think if Daniel does suspect it will be that Emily is cheating on him with Jack (he won't see the revenge stuff).
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FWIW,page 37 of the current "T" New York Times Style Magazine is an ad featuring Tilda Swinton,and though blonde she is looking a LOT like Ashton Holmes/Tyler.
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Kara's pre-drink toast: Does anyone know what language that was in?





It was supposed to be polish....but, well, it wasn't ;) her accent and pronunciation were hilarious :)
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As noted here,the actress was born in Russia,though there's no reason the character would know Russian or Polish.
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i have come t the realization that everyone on this show is a sociopath

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What about our own McDreamy, Daniel? Such a nice guy.

...Until now.

....Okay he's definitely going to go all Douglas Sirk within 2 episodes.
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Seriously, this is a show without a hero. its a group of angry, selfish, deceptive people lashing out at each other....like all the best TV.
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russian is my guess...cause i think the actress is?

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As I noted before,she was born there in 1980 but moved to the USA in 1991.
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-Wish i could be part of your world=GENIUS

-So now what,is "Kara" going to be a female Tilda? Is she going to kill offDaniel?

-I love madeleine stowe with all my heart. Huge talent.

-did anyone notice how this time conrad had his own cup of tea? Nothing better than a nice cup of Hamptons tea.
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Awww thanks!! With your avatar picture I'm sure you got the reference. Conrad did sport a teacup. I'm going to start sipping my malt liquor out of tea cups as well, such an air of class.
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Emily continues to be really obnoxious with her only true ally Nolan which makes me wonder why he puts up with it. Only people one accepts this kind of treatment is family.... Is Emily Nolan's half (or full somehow) sister and that is why the guy loyally bears her grumpiness?
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I never thought Emily/Amanda treated Nolan obnoxiously. It's really taking me by surprise that people would point that out. I actually like their conversations a.k.a sexy banter! I bet Nolan likes them too.. I'd say he's the kind who'd really be into being treated roughly. Why else would he be so fascinated by Emily/Amanda? If she would come up to him saying "would you do this for me, pretty please? Thank you, Nolan, you're the best!" He'd probably either suspect foul play (fouler than usual, that is) or that she's losing her edge.



Nolan doesn't like simple things and Emily/Amanda is the epitome of complicated. Making her "nice" would just ruin things for the both of them!

Don't. change. a. thing.
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I think they insinuate in the pilot that he's got absolutely no friends/ family (hence he has to buy Jack via a boat to be his bro) So I think we're supposed to see Nolan as this guy who's fascinated by Emily's schemes and kind of just wants to be involved. The problem is, they cast a very charismatic guy who is easily the most likable person in the cast so the idea he has a hard time making friends seems laughable.
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Agreed. I think that's why I love Nolan but I cannot fathom why no one else in Revenge world does. It literally makes no sense, because he's very charasmatic and surprisingly loyal etc, he's an all around decent guy compared to some of the others around. He just wants in with Em.
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The official teaser text for the next episode says that "Emily's closest ally has turned against her"...does this mean Nolan?...and she consults "her mentor" (the Japanese-executive guest character mentioned a while ago in the press,another rival for the "Abbe Faria" role to her Edmond Dantes,I suppose).
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I think that Emily is trying to keep herself from liking him because she thinks it could interfere with her scheming. Nolan and she go way back, he was the one picking her up after being released from prison. I don't mind it that much that Emily is pushing him away. It's understandable when he knows her vulnerabilities (and he likes to scheme himself remember him pushing Jack into her way). Nolan is a bit socially challenged as it often happens with extremely intelligent people and then he's got tons of money which makes it difficult to recognize if someone is really into him or his money. I like the dynamics between Emily and Nolan. If they were thick as thieves already it wouldn't be half as entertaining as it is now! :)
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It actually makes perfect sense. I pretty much agree with that...and I love their dynamic, anytime they share screentime together it's bound to be interesting to watch...and I also agree that they can't be besties immediately and yet...I find myself occasionally annoyed with how she speaks to the guy. I think there is a way to pull off the annoyed I don't want to be bothered with you thing w/o it coming off as ungrateful to. For example..I watch Leverage and I love Eliot, Parker, and Hardison. Eliot treats the other two like they get on every last nerve that he has but, he also manages to joke around with them and he's protective of them and they have nice family moments too. With Emily they rarely show that slip of her guard where she actually does find herself liking Nolan before she puts her guard back up again, it would make it more authenticate and add that extra omfph to their dynamic w/o making her appear ungrateful/mean or bitchy or altering what is an already relatively good dynamic as is.
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I have to say, Ashley is the most boring character in this show. And i find her becoming a villain, even more boring.

As for Emily, she is nowhere near being a sociopath. She might have major trust and control issues, but she made it clear in a previous episode that her plan did not include harming Daniel. A sociopath wouldn't have those restraints.

Actually "Tilda" is more of a sociopath than Emily.



Also, theres a very subtle difference in Emily whenever shes around Jack compared to when shes around somebody else. Showing that she does indeed have emotions, which she is trying to shut off.
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Good point, good point. Tilda is definitely more of a sociopath. However the fact Emily has had a friendship for several years because CCH Pounder told her it'd be a good idea--a little more calculating than i need Emily to be. I like it when she manipulates the Graysons, not her vulnerable stripper cellmate.
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Ashley is supposedly "Emily's best friend" yet they only met the previous winter,I assume that the acquaintance was "part of the plan".

Senator Kingsly said "Miss Thorne was a senior volunteer on my last campaign",if he's a US Senator that would be six years ago (NY State Senator,two).Just how long has she been cultivating connections with connivance in mind?
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Ashley needs to chill out because I dont know what she expected when got the job. Daniel seems to be already suspecting Emily and the seeds of doubt are planted. If he starts to be more suspicious, he could be a real problem.
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They've been a bit fuzzy on just what Ashley's job iS.I thought she was an event planner...someone clients call up to organize things for them.But now it seems she's the Graysons' salaried social secretary.
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Ashley definitely needs to chill out and be grateful she doesnt work at walmart. definitely. But that just means she's a great villain cos i love to hate her, and therefore want to see her suffer in walmart clothes.
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Good episode, just could not get with Ashley doing a 180 just like that! No where in previous episodes did she have an aversion to the Graysons or anyone! This looks like something the writers just through in! Probably making her out to be a bad guy who gets killed so they can get her off the show! Tragically that will suc because I would like to see more of her!
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I'm glad there are other Ashley fans! Thanks for the Ashley love!!! Howevs, I think Ashley as a villain is necessary to keep her around- her purpose in the first few episodes was explaining each new character to Emily(aka the audience) as Emily began living in the Hamptons. If she has more motivations that will put her in more storylines.
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The tost was in russian, when Kara says "za shchastie", which in russian means "for happiness".

I loved the episode, but I'm afraid that after 8 episodes, I still can't force myself to like Emily/Amanda, perhaps because for me she still is the extremely annoying Rebecca from Brothers&Sisters, I don't know. Her attitude toward Nolan irritates the hell out of me, and most of the time I feel the urge to slap her into realising how ridiculous she is being.

Oh yes, and Tilda...teehee, love the nickname...can't say the same about the character. Horrible envious weasel, and now ganging up with Ashley? Well, I guess they have their jealousy in common.

Can't wait to see what happens next!
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For a few episodes now, I've been thinking that the one who shot's Daniel in ep 1 is Tilda in a rage moment after trying to talk him out of the engagement and confessing his love only to receive a big loud "EWWWHH NO!"; he is the one "borderline sociopath" to me, so I will stick to that idea cause i really don't think Jack is capable to kill anyone, never the less now that Kara seems to be his new love interest, who I really really hope stays in the Hamptons for a long time too, at least untill Jack falls in love with her and forgets all about Emily/Amanda. Would be great to see Emily jelous of Kara if that happens, then she would have even more reasons to get rid of her for good, maybe this time she can get her hands dirty. Kara means trouble from any angle you see her. Ashley as a "nice" girl is WAY to bland for me and forgetable, making her an ally of Tilda she might just turn out a little more interesting, besides, once Emily finds out Ashley ain't her friend anymore she will feel lonely and maybe just maybe will be a little less bitchy to Nolan and go back to stroking hairs with Kara.
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rich people have nothing better to do than wreck other peoples lives......typical!
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I honestly thought Emily and Kara had something more going on! The hair stroking thing just felt oddly inappropriate, even for juvy besties. And yet, not as inappropriate as Ashley turning her back on Emily. Seriously. That was totally uncalled for because she has no good reason to go against her! Poor people in this show are such a pain.
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Ya had to say the stroking between the two really felt a bit more 'intimate', and I'm not just saying that because I'd love to watch those two make out all day. If I ever saw my GF doing to best friend what Kara and Emily were doing, I would immediately be asking when and where I can watch them go at it.
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Juvie besties! hahaha I want one. The more I think about it, the sadder Ashley is as a character. Dating a weenie who regularly stands her up and cheats on her, planning the ugliest parties on network television, and constantly whining about not being a billionaire. Chill out Ashley! Maybe do the Peace Corps or something and adjust your mental attitude.
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Kara's going to be trouble. But she may have a use if Tilda decides to have it out for Emily. So that could be fun. :)
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Where has the dog been for the past 2 episodes?
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seriously. probably dying? Someone mentioned its like 389 dog years old.
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Rehearsing for his "Jack,I'm telling you,this one isn't Amanda,THAT one's Amanda!" scenes.
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So good. I like this Kara stuff.
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Kara's toast was in russian.... the actress is fluent in the language and i guess the writers decided to use that
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You said its in russian. I'm saying its polish, by the way, in both languages sounded the same (za shchensye). Polish script za szczcie. I can't write in russian 'cos i don't have Cyrillic keyboard.
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I am Polish and I assure you it was not my language :) In my opinion, it was Russian.
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Thanks!!!! good to know.
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So when a character who says she's never been outside the USA is played by an actress who spent her first 11 years in the dying USSR,isn't it unrealistic to let the latter fact show?...why would Emily the American orphan have learned Russian?
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She might have learned it in the bar she was working in? Or from some Russian client probably? You don't need to be in Russia to learn a few Russian phrases you know.
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how long before kara dies.... i give her one max. two eps
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Found an interview on Futoncritic with Revenge creator Mike Kelley in which he says of RealEmily (Kara),"we carry her all the way through in the back nine",so she'll still be around in episodes 14-22.
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i hope she's around for a long long long time but I kind of agree with you. To make things interesting, I'll say three episodes.
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A recent news story says they are CURRENTLY CASTING a character ("Lee") who "comes between Jack and Amanda"...so she'll be around for episodes not filmed yet (it was Tweeted that Ep 8 began filming Oct 4,for an idea of the lead time).
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Those ultra-rich Graysons settled for a strip-cut shredder,to their cost...cross-cut shredders start in the $50 range.

Ashley is best as the quirky foil,if she starts scheming she'll get hurt by the pros.

I hope Charlotte stays innocent,even if she gets hurt.
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Clinically speaking Emily is not sociopathic at all. That hat would mean for example that she wouldn't be able to plan ahead, fail to conform to social norms, a reckless disregard for her own safety (and that of others) furthermore she would have a low level to tolerate frustration, she would lack remorse, she would be callously unconcerned for the feelings of others and repeatedly fail to sustain consistent work behavior... But I must say that Tilda/Tyler could be the perfect sociopath here. Emily is just on a mission and tries to keep her feelings shut down like dissociating them (which isn't healthy either but not as dangerous as a real sociopath). If Emily had really an Antisocial Personality Disorder Revenge would have been a bloodfest already. ^^ I think that somewhere ahead there will (or might) be a turning point for her. It didn't take Jack very much to get under her skin so there is definitely some hope for Emily, but that's just me.
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Borderline? I'm only watching because I'm counting on her being a complete sociopath.
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I'm only watching because I hold out hope she'll get over the sociopath thing eventually.
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Who's Tilda?
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If you read her early reviews, Daniel's best friend is being compared to Tilda Swinton, I guess she decided to stick with that name!
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Lily don't you have a problem with the fact that CCH Pounder's character never destroyed all the pictures and files connecting Emily & Amanda? Or at least moved them off site? Was that just to kill Frank (thank God) off? M*
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Oh no no no no I would never dissect this show too closely. Ever since the pilot, when Emily appeared in a uniform and wig and poisoned Conrad's soup, I give logistical practicality a pass on this show. Emotional logic is the only thing they're being consistent with...if you try to follow the emails, paper trails and obvious links that are overlooked your head will explode. (My ears bled) Good sleuthing though & great comment.
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The "Becky" nametag on that uniform,at least,was borrowed/swiped from the South Fork Inn waitress she spotted just after she saw Conrad go upstairs to Lydia.
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