Revenge is back, bitches!
After a sophomore slump dogged by silly, tortuous storylines, fatuous characters, and a helpless heroine, the ABC soap delivered a bold, satisfying and shocking mid-season finale last night.
Even the fateful boat catastrophe teased all season had a legit payoff. If the only casualty had been ex-con Nate Ryan, star of the season's most boring subplot, I probably would've tuned out forever.
But Revenge had something else up its sleeve (besides Nate's severed arm!): the death of Amanda Clarke!
With melodramatic perfection, Fauxmanda uttered her last words in her alter ego's arms before slipping into the sea. The scene was so reminiscent of Jack Dawson's tragic fate in Titanic that I'm surprised Celine Dion didn't provide the soundtrack.
Victoria Grayson said it best: "The bitch had it coming."
I feel that way about Fauxmanda, but Victoria was really referring to the Initiative's Helen Crowley, whom she shot dead last week. Tonight she was positively purring when she donned her victim's clothes, briefly assumed her identity, and later used her possessions to incriminate "that vicious opportunist" Amanda Clarke.
Victoria saved her finest performance for Daniel's office, hamming up her outrage at Helen's dastardly deeds for the Initiative's video surveillance cameras. Her victorious secret smile as she stormed out was classic Victoria Grayson.
Even Conrad got his groove back, announcing his gubernatorial candidacy at the Graysons' annual Labor Day bash. Only this year, Emily Thorne was too busy navigating the high seas to join in their celebration.
After looking at one of the wedding photos, eagle-eyed Emily realized that Nate had concealed himself as a stowaway aboard Jack's boat, and she enlisted Nolan to help her rescue the honeymooners.
Bonus points for this episode's brisk pacing and intricate plot points. Even Aiden and Padma, usually irritating characters, enjoyed an exciting scene. With Aiden's encouragement, she demanded proof that her kidnapped father was still alive. Trask, Helen's Initiative stand-in, was happy to oblige, delivering daddy's finger in a neat package.
Still, The Amanda crew provided most of the action. Everyone except Jack, who spent most of the time whimpering.
C'mon, son! Have you no dignity? At least the sorry barkeep managed to release the lifeboat before Nate shot him. Instead of escaping with her injured groom, the new bride stayed aboard to finish off Nate. Or something.
No worries: Nomily to the rescue! Thanks to Declan's laptop, Ems and Nolan had a Skype-row seat to the thrilling events! Using their high-powered binoculars to find the gravely injured Jack, Nolan agreed to rush him to the hospital while Emily took off in the lifeboat after Fauxmanda.
All aboard, Cap'n Emily! Tag-teamed by the juvie girls, Nate ended up shot and half-submerged in the flooded cabin with gas streaming from the ship's propane tank. But just as the sisters in crime were about to escape in the lifeboat, Faxumanda turned back to retrieve her necklace. You know, the one her BFF gave her when they first switched identities.
Fauxmanda glanced in the cabin just in time to see Nate flick his Bic. Bravo, sir! Mad appreciation for a bitter dying man with a sense of humor.
Anyway, boom! While Nate's various body parts sunk with the wreckage, Fauxmanda surfaced just long enough to expire in Emily's arms. Thanks to Emily VanCamp's A+ weeping, Fauxmanda's death was moving and poignant, even while "My Heart Will Go On" sounded in my head as she slipped into the water.
I, for one, am not going to miss Fauxmanda. She reminded me too much of Faith, my least favorite character on Buffy, and her Amanda served as a constant reminder of Emily's failure. Hopefully, our heroine can now focus on what she does best: exacting revenge. It's time that girl bought a new Sharpie and put it to work!
1. Are you going to miss Fauxmanda?
2. Do you wish Jack shared his bride's watery grave?
3. Where do you think Fauxmanda stashed Em's computer?
4. Will grief and anger add new dimensions to Jack's character, or will he be more insufferably sad and pathetic than ever?
5. What dastardly scheme does Emily have in store for Charlotte? More diaper duty?