“Revenge” Season One: Awesomeness from Beginning to (Especially) End (Non-spoilery first half for anyone curious about the show)

Okay so I was trying to figure out some kind of cohesive way to write about how kickass the finale of my favorite new show of the season was, and realized that my brain is FAR too discombobulated, due to all of the SHEER AWESOMENESS THAT IS “REVENGE”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To quote Nolan,

O.
M.
G!!!!!

This is how strongly I feel about the matter, that I’m willing to risk my reputation as a Serious Writer to squee the night away. Because, omg.

So rather that try to form a cohesive essay, I will just share with you my favorite things about the episode. Which is pretty much the whole episode. I am going to divide it up by spoiler and non-spoiler, because I really want everyone to be able to read about the show, remain unspoiled, and go watch it on Hulu Plus, like I did! And/or buy the DVDs on August 21st, like I am going to!

Because, seriously? This show is amazing. All the mesmerizingness of a good soap, with all of the artistic craftsmanship I could ask for in a show. And y’all know how seriously I take my television shows! Emphasis on “my,” as, while I can veg out to E! and a “Next!” marathon with the best of ’em, I haven’t had cable in a while.

Anyway, but I also want to geek out over the awesome deets (cool kid lingo TM Lyndsey) with fellow fans, so I’ll WARN YOU WHEN THE SPOILERS SHALL COMMENCE.

NON-SPOILERY REASONS AS TO WHY I LOVED THE “REVENGE” FINALE!

1) My jaw literally dropped. Several times, throughout the ep. And I’ve been rewatching “Six Feet Under,” AND reading a really dark and awesome book. So that the “Revenge” finale got me so many times, complete with bugged-out eyes, is saying a lot, IMO.

2) Great flashbacks! David Clarke is amazing. As is little kid Amanda. And by the finale, the flashbacks flow seamlessly with present time. It’s impressive.

3) Charlotte Grayson. More in the spoiler section, but Christa B. Allen rocks pretty hard, no?

4) Don’t want to risk spoilers, so I’ll just say for now: great, great finale. Some shows, it can be like, do I really want to get invested in a show, only for it to crap out on me? “Revenge” does not crap out on us. Totally the opposite. It was one of the most satisfying finales I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch, capping off an already amazing season.

5) I cried. Now, this is nothing new, for me to cry at television. But in this case, those kinds of tears were shed at the penultimate episode. In the case of the finale, I actually cried at how good it was. Maybe because it’s based on The Count of Monte Cristo, but something about the craftsmanship of the show at large, and how climactic it all was, satisfied me on a deeper level that I don’t often get, even from my most beloved of shows.

*********NOW FOR THE SPOILERS!************

1) Nolan, normally so eloquent, says BOTH “OMG” and “revenge-y”!!!!!!!!

2) Emily and Daniel FINALLY break up. They sucked as a couple, IMO. While Emily’s real feelings for Daniel were a great catalyst for the entire season, as she did seem to care about him very much, I was never a ‘shipper. Daniel’s a decent dude at heart, but weak, and in no way prepared to be with Emily. I loved the moment when Emily called Daniel out on not only changing, but becoming his most loathed adversary: a Grayson. Emily’s always so full of self-shame & -blame, often for good reason, but it’s true that Daniel sold out. I look forward to seeing Josh Bowman in the next season. He was great as a good guy in S1, but I have a feeling that he’ll be an excellent S2 villain/ambivalent, like Lindsay from “Angel” with a more sympathetic back story.

3) Unanswered questions galore!
– Is Jack the father of Amanda/Emily’s baby?
– Are Madeleine and Lydia really dead?
– Is Charlotte?

4) And speaking of Charlotte, I mentioned her in the non-spoiler section, but I’d like to say again how awesome I think Christa B. Allen is. I’m always impressed by realistic teenagers, of which Lauren Ambrose is the reigning queen. Allen manages to portray a truly sympathetic character, because even when she’s being a stone-cold beeyotch, there’s so much more going on, that she is great at portraying just with her eyes. I loved that from the beginning, even though how she got with Declan was so Hamptons-privilege-y, that she really liked him, for him, right away. When she watched the television and called Declan, her desperation was heartbreaking.

5) And speaking of Declan, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a character quite like him on television. He would have been a pushover on many shows, and he’s a mush, but he also has a spine. I wished he hadn’t had such a strong one when Charlotte called him in aforementioned 3), but I like seeing teenagers on television not just let people they like walk all over them, and what Charlotte did to Yonkers girl was awful, so I can’t blame Declan for telling Charlotte never to call him again.

6) We’d seen a lot of Human Emily/Amanda, but mostly in flashbacks, and in bits and pieces, except for when she was a kid, when she was all human. While I enjoyed the hell out of Emily VanCamp throughout the season, I really hadn’t seen her in much before this show, so I wasn’t prepared for her flawless switch to vulnerability, when the time called for it. It started especially in “Grief,” the penultimate episode, and continued through the finale. I don’t know which made me cry more, her choosing not to kill white-haired man so as to honor her father, or her breaking down once she realizes she’s lost not only Sammy, but Jack. The two things that connected her to the child that had been essentially murdered along with her father.

7) I love “Ems”/Nolan as BFFs! So many shows have will they/won’t they romantic tension. In “Revenge,” it was friendship tension. Nolan’s been one of my favorite things about “Revenge” throughout the season, and it was awesome to see the two of them finally just love each other. His reaction to Emily’s getting rid of white-haired man, then effortlessly escape from her chains, was stellar.

8) The ending montage was nothing short of spectacular. I’ve never seen a Season One finale that pulled out quite so many stops. I mean sure, “Buffy” had its heroine die, and that was great. But this finale left us with potentially a dead queen, a dead princess, and a dead lady-in-waiting. Pretty epic. I loved the bridal imagery with Madeleine Stowe dressed in white and boarding the plane, ready to meet the love of her life in the same sky where he died. She looked afraid, but finally at peace — happy, even. More like Flashback Victoria. And my song+TV-montage-loving-heart was bowled over by the use of Florence and the Machine’s song, “Seven Devils.” I’d never heard this song before, but it was perfect, and I’ve listened to it twice since watching the finale yesterday.

9) Even if Victoria, Lydia, and/or Charlotte are dead, on “Revenge,” that doesn’t mean we say goodbye to the actors, necessarily. Lots o’ flashbacks.

10) In the beginning of the season, I and a lot of viewers were like, how can this last more than one season? Many suggested that the show pull a “Glee” and scrap the cast once the story was over, and in the case of “Revenge,” move on to a different storyline of elaborate revenge. When the show got renewed for a second season, I was super psyched, but worried that it would stretch out what should have been a tighter storyline. The best I was hoping for was that it would be like “Veronica Mars,” and keep the characters, but have a new mystery for the second season. Instead, “Revenge” finished the season like a superhero movie or something! Just when you think things are all wrapped up, you realize that instead, so much more has been triggered.

And I can’t wait to “Let it play” next season.

“Tick-tock.”

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One Response to “Revenge” Season One: Awesomeness from Beginning to (Especially) End (Non-spoilery first half for anyone curious about the show)

  1. Pingback: 5 Reasons to Watch “Parenthood” | judisunshine

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