On the winter finale of Revenge – the best night time soap since Dynasty – Daniel shot Emily in the gut after she confessed to Victoria that she faked her pregnancy and had been playing their family for the past two and half years.
In the mid-season premier we learned that Emily really did lose her memory. The episode also introduced Niko – Aiden’s former flame, and Takeda’s daughter. My favorite moment was when Lydia poured wine on Victoria’s throne and Vic went for the neck. Kudos to a stellar prime time soap making use of the classic cat fight.
The cat fight as a plot device is much better suited for scripted dramas than reality television, because here we have trained, professional actors exercising their craft, as opposed to grown, insecure american adult women acting out their issues for a check and fleeting internet popularity while setting horrendous examples for their children.
My second favorite moment was when Jack went to the hospital to visit his bestfriend/THE-LOVE-OF-HIS-LIFE. We can all agree they belong together right? Naturally, Jack’s visit made an emotional connection for Emily, allowing her to feel safe enough to recover her memory. Because that’s just how soap operas work. It was a little over the top when Emily squeezed the locket so tightly her nails dug into her palm until she bled, but okay. Theatrics. I get it. Emily is hardcore and her history and destiny are intense.
All season I’ve been wondering what the hell was going on – as far as everyone turning on Ems and shutting her out. It seemed like everything was going to get in the way of her plot. Then, she gets her memory back and decides to give up. I’m sitting there like, what’s going to happen now!? When Niko literally punched her in the gut I gasped because I wasn’t expecting that and it seemed a bit harsh But she had a point.
The most superb and best part of Sunday’s episode wasn’t Emily’s stunt press conference – though what a graceful return to her usual smooth out-maneuvering of the enemy! No, the real highlight came right at the end. The last scene was set in perfect stillness. Emily and Daniel facing one another on either side of Victoria. Emily matching Victoria’s cool, calculated delivery of bullshit. Her slow and spaced speech as the camera panned out from Victoria really added to the tension. And even as I was totally enjoying Emily being Emily again, anticipating the revelation of her next move, I was totally feeling Daniel’s agitation with the circumstance. I especially enjoyed the hint of super-fleeting approval Victoria may or may not have had for Emily for protecting Daniel, and for saying she’d grown accustomed to the lifestyle.
One of my favorite things about a story is the potential for interpretation. Characters are, or should typically be, carved out clearly into their identities to the point where the audience usually knows what to expect from/of them. But sometimes there are moments where you wonder. Obviously Victoria is protective of her son, and has never approved of Emily. But does she actually, fully loathe her? Or does she seem to despise Emily so strongly because she sees herself in her daughter-in-law, and she hates the woman she’s become? At the same time, I wonder that Victoria wouldn’t admire and respect their shared traits were Emily married to anyone else.
Anyway, all of it was superb!
I don’t know what’s going to happen with Niko and Aiden, or Jack and Margot and I don’t really care. I’m sure Niko will probably whoop Aiden’s butt when she finds out he killed her father. And, eventually Margot and Jack will have to break up because a) no one believes that a poor pub-owner and a french magazine publisher are actually in love, and b) he belongs with Emily.