‘Revenge’ Season Finale Recap: Terrorism Hits The Hamptons and Emily Plays Her Most Major Card
I went into the second season finale of ABC’s Revenge with a whole lot of questions.
What was the purpose of wiping New York’s power out? Was Victoria’s (Madeleine Stowe) long-lost first-born secretly lurking around the Hamptons even though he had been paid handsomely to stay away? What would Aiden (Barry Sloane) do now that he killed his mentor and was on edge about Emily’s (Emily VanCamp) re-engagement? Does Jack (Nick Wechsler) know what he’s doing, dealing with the Graysons? Who wouldn’t survive the year? And good God, did Declan (Connor Paolo) really procreate!?
Since Revenge has been renewed for a third season, though, not everything could get answered, the writers preferring instead to let things dangle for next year, but so much more did than I expected. This was two hours extremely well spent!
Note: Spoilers ahead if you have yet to see Sunday night’s season finale.
A lot did go down in this season finale, despite not everything I wanted happening. I thought it was best to bullet-point the action in order to cover all the ground in a concise recap.
- The Blackout: Nolan (Gabriel Mann) was the only one who seemed to be “on it,” trying to figure out how the blackout was triggered, and more importantly, how to turn the grids back on. Emily caught him up to where the audience was at the end of last week, but not without a few excruciating moments of confused-face first. Then it turns into full-on panic that Aiden would befall a similar fate to David Clarke’s, and that’s what made him double-time his attempts to be a hero and create a fake digital trail of cover for him. The actual blackout, though, was over quicker than it should have been.
- The aftermath of Takeda’s death: Emily was once again heartbroken to find someone she genuinely cared about dead, and though this one didn’t die in front of her, she still felt like she should have been able to prevent such a thing. Still, her mission of revenge was set up because of Takeda, and she wanted to continue on in his memory, so she ended up going through his things to find clues as to who could have taken him out. Like she needed a new name to add to her list; she’s strayed far enough already! But this show needs to stretch its story at least over another season, and the emotional turmoil that will come with learning your boyfriend killed your father figure should be pretty juicy. In Takeda’s box, though, Emily found a photo with a face circled and first wrongly assumed he was the killer and that she’d have to warn her boyfriend he, too, could be in danger.
- Conrad’s political campaign: In the middle of Conrad’s (Henry Czerny) latest speech, the Hamptons gets a mass text message saying “Long live David Clarke,” and that’s when Grayson Global was bombed. Of course, Conrad immediately spun the event to try to win public support. He had already been making a speech about NYers’ strength, and “We are the first responders!” He bellowed at the cameras that were on-hand for his perfect press op. But he also admitted that his son had cleared out the company, which made things stink like the sewage that sometimes floats in the Atlantic, and it was a piece of leverage that it turned out he needed against his son, who told him he wanted out of the company altogether.
- Charlotte’s pregnancy: Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) didn’t make any decisions about what she wanted to do with the baby, but she certainly went on a rollercoaster of emotions about the baby daddy, provoked not by newfound hormones but instead her new BFF Regina (Seychelle Gabriel). It turned out Regina was not getting close to Charlotte just to suck off the teat of fame but because she had a crush on her. She concocted some kind of convoluted story for Charlotte about Declan beating her up and robbing her, and despite Charlotte knowing Declan better than anyone, she believed the story for awhile before Declan called Charlotte to tell him he knew (Victoria dropped the bombshell in his lap)– and that her friend wasn’t what she seemed because she saved a video of them kissing. It was completely childish because unless she was planning to sell it to a tabloid, it shouldn’t matter what she did with it in private, but she was so childish, too, she couldn’t admit to Charlotte what was really going on, and their friendship was not sadly short-lived. But I still wish she had ended up alongside Tyler and Amanda and the Initiative lady and even Takeda as not-so-loved and permanently lost characters.
- The Initiative: Yes, they were still talking about it! But the truth finally came out: the Initiative was just a ridiculous, ominous name given to a group of businesspeople doing shady and often illegal deals for their own best interests. They were hiding behind a secretive group title to avoid being caught and held personally responsible, or you know, tried for their sins. Conrad was in on it the whole time, using it to manipulate his son, among millions. Victoria wasn’t.
- Terrorism in the Hamptons: Grayson Global was bombed. Thankfully the company had been pretty much cleared out, but all that meant was no random extras were harmed in the filming of this episode. Instead, though, a few key characters were caught in the crossfire: Daniel, whose father told the public his son cleared out the building, which made it look like he knew it was coming; Declan, who for reasons unknown (maybe he was lured there by Victoria who wanted to harm him after learning he got her daughter pregnant) or maybe he was following his big brother like the lost puppy that he is, who also was lured there but by Ashley (Ashley Madekwe), and Aiden, who was set up as the terrorist. But after the police investigated, it was actually Nolan they were looking at as the real person of interest.
- The Promised Death: It was Declan! After getting hurt in the bombing, he ended up in the hospital long enough to talk about raising the baby with Charlotte and make Nolan promise to look after Jack, but then he succumbed to his injuries.
- A Second Death?: When Daniel showed up at Emily’s, only to find Aiden there instead, the two got in quite the pissing contest, only they used fists to settle the score. Daniel had a lot of pent-up aggression from a combination of things with Emily, Aiden, and his father, and unfortunately he took all of his shortcomings, frustrations, and insecurities out on Aiden, who tried to convince Daniel to let Emily go. Now, we didn’t actually see Aiden get shot, but during the fight, Daniel did find Emily’s gun, and later, Daniel had blood on his shirt. You could argue that blood could be from a fist-fight, sure, but Aiden isn’t the kind of guy who wouldn’t finish the fight if he could, just ask Takeda!
- This is Jack’s Uninformed Plan: Jack still thought he could trust Victoria for a good chunk of this finale. He was naive enough to think she didn’t know about David Clarke being set up, and he was naive enough to let her in on the fact that Ashley was in on things with him. But Declan’s death was the fuel that propelled him further down the road of personal revenge. He pulled a gun on Victoria to get her, and the audience, to realize how serious he was about things. He told her she had to be the one to tell Charlotte about Declan, and he was off to see Conrad about actually shooting someone.
- Emily and Aiden: As aforementioned, Emily was not happy to learn her boyfriend killed her father figure. She saw the bruises on him and figured it out before he could admit it, which made things worse. He tried to claim Takeda had his own agenda because his fiancee was on the doomed flight, and that, too, added up against him. Still, Emily promised to still help Nolan prove Aiden was innocent of any framing Daniel was attempting, which got a lot harder after the events at Grayson Global, which Daniel of course assumed was Aiden’s doing. Aiden tried to convince Emily to leave with him; he wasn’t quite going on the run, but he was still getting the hell out of the Hamptons while the heat was on him. She couldn’t, or there’d be no season three.
- Emily and Daniel: After an episode with an engagement party, Emily and Daniel didn’t spend much time together, so nothing really changed overtly in their relationship. But emotionally, the toll of everything took its turn on her, and she wouldn’t be able to deny Daniel’s involvement in things simply for his bloodline. The most important thing to come out of her time with Daniel tonight was that while she visited him, it provided a plot-pushing-forward moment where she recognized an IT guy as the guy in Takeda’s photo and realized something was about to go down.
- Emily and Jack: Though Jack demanded Emily stay away from his family, she couldn’t keep him far from her mind. When Nolan IDed the guy from Takeda’s photo through facial recognition software and got a match that the guy was an assassin of sorts– she worried he was after Jack, who was sent to Grayson Global on a fool’s errand by Ashley. She searched the building, amidst the smoke and debris until she had to literally be pulled out just to make sure he was okay. But he was too distracted to consider what that meant. It wasn’t until she tracked him down going after Conrad that things got really interesting. She was hell-bent on keeping his hands free and clean of blood; she never wanted him to get so mixed up in this mess. She did the only thing she could to get him to be sweet ole Jack again: she told him the truth. That she was Amanda Clarke. It was the cliffhanger moment, but I have to imagine there’s going to be a lot of initial disbelief from Jack, assuming she’s only saying things to confuse him, and then anger at being duped when she manages to prove her real identity. If I had to put money on it, I’d say her lying to him is only going to push him further away as it not only taints his memories of his childhood friend and long-time love but also his recent wife, for whom he had very real feelings (and you know, a son!) regardless of her name.
- Patrick: Home alone, Victoria couldn’t work up the words to tell her daughter about Declan, but she had a much bigger problem on her hands because her first-born son finally came a knockin’! Literally. He is in the Hamptons now, but how long has he been there!?
OMG!: Would they really make Daniel a killer? Sure, it would make him waaay more interesting, but it would remove not only an important Revenger ally but also a personal complication. And removing too many conflicts makes a story take a back step.
Thank you, TV gods: Ding, dong, Declan’s gone! They trimmed the fat, for sure. Now they just need to bump Ashley off, too, and the show will be a lean, mean, interesting story machine.
Awk-ward: Emily and Victoria actually had a conversation about how alike they are. We were all thinking it, but it’s not something we wanted, or expected, to hear aloud.
Hotness: You could hear congestion in VanCamp’s voice, but despite being under the weather, she delivered an on-point performance through all the emotional ups and downs and looked great doing it.
Fab-u-lous: Nolan still gets all the best lines. Tonight’s gem was about his only post-apocalyptic survival plans being to “call Emily.”
Can. Not. Wait.: Yeah, I should care about what Emily’s revelation means for her and Jack, but honestly, I just want to know who the new eye-candy will be next season aka who will they cast as Patrick? Or did they already cast someone; what if Patrick is the IT guy/assassin!?
Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 8 – They finally officially got rid of the Initiative, set up a juicy story for Nolan, killed the useless Declan, and had Emily reveal herself not only to someone important but the most important one. If only these things hadn’t taken so long to happen, I would have graded the whole season this high!