Guys, I think Revenge has out WTF-ed itself! The Season 3 finale elated me probably as much as it frustrated me, which is more than I was expecting, honestly. It successfully rebooted the series for Season 4—not that the show necessarily deserved another chance after the mess it created in Seasons 2 and 3—while also tying up storylines that were seasons in the making. But despite the eye-roll worthiness of several of the episode's developments, "Execution" felt a bit like a return to form in how quickly it set up and knocked down several pins within 42 minutes. For the first time in what feels like forever, the show moved at a pace faster than that of molasses. So let's talk about it!
As we all know, Revenge is at its best when Emily and Victoria are at each other's throats. The show put Vicky on a leash for the first half of Season 3, much to the disappointment of fans everywhere. But after Emily was shot in the midseason finale, Vee's been back in fine form, and the case was no different in "Execution" because Victoria confirmed that Emily was actually Amanda Clarke! Plus, Emily stopped playing nice and WHACKED VICTORIA WITH A SHOVEL. Thinly veiled barbs, icy glares, and complicated machinations only get you so far. I can't remember the last time I actually cheered during an episode of Revenge, but I've never been more excited about a plot development on this show as I was when Emily had finally had enough of Victoria's bullshit and responded by whacking her with a shovel. Finding out that Emily'd had her committed to the looney bin was just the cherry on top of the deliciously evil sundae.
When Barry Sloane joined a new ABC pilot earlier this spring, the writing was on the wall. When it was picked up to series last week, it confirmed what I already knew: that Aiden was going to die in the finale. It's no secret that I've never liked the character, but I do wish the series had been able to write him out without killing him. Unfortuantely, his death was necessary to spur Emily into action. Now that her father's name has been cleared, Revenge needs a new revenge mission, and with Aiden's death, the show has more than enough hatred to fuel its plot engines in Season 4.
Now, with all that said, it must be stated that I was definitely more fond of Aiden's midseason departure when he disappeared to the Bahamas or whatever, because I would much rather think of him drinking mai tais on a beach surrounded by scantily clad women as opposed to remembering that final image of him sitting propped up on Emily's couch, mouth agape with lifeless eyes. I don't want to know how Victoria managed to move his body (she had to have had an accomplice, right?), but Aiden did deserve better. I mean, death by paralysis and smothering? The dude at least deserved to be stabbed with a katana or something!
A BOY AND HIS DEAD HOOKER, THE DANIEL GRAYSON STORY
I won't even pretend to care about Daniel, Margaux, her brother Gideon, or the complicated and stupid storylines still revolving around Voulez, so I'll make this short: Gideon partnered with Nolan and proceeded to get Daniel wasted on absinthe, paid a girl in coke (was she a hooker? I don't even know, and to be honest, I don't even care), and somehow she ended up dead in bed next to Daniel. Revenge has too many plots going on right now to even pretend that this one is interesting, and it would've bee smart to drop whatever the hell this cracked-out soap storyline is. But this development made me laugh, I have to say. Way to embrace your crazy bullshit, Revenge.
OMG THEY KILLED CONRAD / WTF, DAVID CLARKE IS ALIVE?
If Michael Scofield had David Clarke's number, Prison Break would've been a made-for-TV movie. Apparently it's SUPER easy to break a terrorist out of prison, guys! I feel very, very safe right now. Conrad was only behind bars for like 24 hours before David simply paid off a security guard and had him help Conrad escape while disguised as a priest. Given Conrad's sins, having him masquerade as a man of the cloth is all kinds of wrong, but, like, in a way that just felt so right.
I don't mind that Conrad escaped, but I think bringing back David Clarke is a huge mistake. It weakens Revenge's entire structure and foundation. Emily wanted revenge for what the Graysons did to her father, and with Conrad behind bars and Victoria locked up in a psychiatric hospital—essentially doing to them what they did to David and to Emily—she had everything she wanted. But surprise! David Clarke wasn't murdered at all! He was just on vacation in the Catskills! And now he's murdered Conrad! Henry Czerny was often the best part of Revenge, and I'm not exaggerating when I say the series will be far less exciting, far less talented, and far less fun if Conrad is actually dead.
And guys, I'm just throwing this out there, but I think David Clarke is an A-hole. Victoria told Emily that the man she remembered was very different from the man she loved, and I think we've seen that. We all thought David was a pretty cool dude who just happened to be framed for murdering a bunch of people—and yes, it's probable that he really was that guy prior to going to prison—but he's not that guy anymore. He might not have been the terrorist Conrad painted him as in the media, but he is a murderer. He's definitely not the man Emily remembers, and when she inevitably finds out, I have a feeling she's going to be conflicted about his resurfacing.
It makes sense that he had to lay low until his name was cleared, but it was also kind of a dick move to make his daughter do all his dirty work. Could you imagine how much smoother this entire revengenda would have been if he'd just partnered with Emily in the first place so she didn't have to comb through his diaries to find hidden meaning? David Clarke is not going to win any Father of the Year awards, is what I'm saying.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Revenge has essentially hit the reset button for Season 4, but at what cost? Emily thinks she's won this battle, but that's debatable. How many bodies had to drop for her to accomplish this goal? How many sacrifices did she have to make? How many pieces of her soul did she give up/how many horcruxes did she have to create in order to get to where she is? I personally don't think Revenge earned a fourth season, or that it needed a fourth season. I would've been happy with Conrad behind bars and Victoria in restraints, but ABC didn't ask for my opinion. But at least the finale did a swell job of tying things up, which is more than I would have predicted at the beginning of Season 3.
And so, here are some questions to think about until the show returns for Season 4 in the fall: Is Conrad really dead? How did David Clarke survive? What has he been doing all this time—needlepoint, home-brewing, binge-watching Prison Break? How long until Emily discovers the truth about her father? How many patterns can Nolan actually wear at one time? Is Jack going to jail even though he's actually the person who released Charlotte? And for the love of God, why is Charlotte so, so, so, so, so terrible?
AIRED ON 5/11/2014
Season 3 : Episode 22