The first episode of Revenge series three was everything we could have wanted, full of drama, endless questions and as gripping as ever. We left season two full of questions and cliff-hangers: Nolan was arrested for treason, Declan dead, Charlotte pregnant and Emily revealing she was the real Amanda Clarke to Jack as he attempts to assassinate Conrad. For somebody who doesn’t watch the show it seems like a messy plot which just wouldn’t work, but if you watch the show, you know these huge intricate plots combined with brilliant acting is what makes it work, and for those reasons, the first episode of season three was everything fans had hoped for.
It opens with Emily in what looks like a wedding dress on a yacht being shot as she cries out ‘I’m sorry’, then you rewind to two months earlier where the episode really begins. People will probably argue that using flash-forwards is tired effect, as it’s become a key part of the Revenge plot, however I think it works just effectively in it’s third season as it did in it’s first, serving as a teaser of what’s to come to keep the viewer hooked.
This episode kicks of in summer in The Hamptons, and the planning for the Grayson’s Memorial Day party. Victoria has spent the summer getting to know her long lost son Patrick and riding horses, and it’ll be interesting to see how he ties into the next season. Charlotte has come back from Europe with bangs and extra bitchy, Jack returns from…wherever he’s been and gives Emily an ultimatum (she has the summer to carry out her revenge, and then disappear forever) and Emily is still set on having her revenge against all the people who caused her father’s downfall.
One of the more touching scenes is where Emily picks Nolan up from prison when his names been cleared, mirroring the flashback scene from previous series where Nolan collects Emily (then Amanda) from jail. This episode also marks the exit of Ashley Davenport, where Emily and Victoria team up to take her down, which I think is great news as Ashley’s character had grown stale in season 2, and it was time to get her a great storyline, or get rid of her.
The main Emily-takedown of the episode, however, was with Conrad Grayson. Although at sometimes ridiculous, with Nolan parachuting into a party so that Emily can have a vial of unnamed liquid to drug Conrad with, and then Emily managing to hack Conrad’s hospital records so it appears that he has Huntington’s disease, but these huge takedowns were what made season one of Revenge so magnificent and engrossing to watch. The writing of the series is at it’s best when Emily is bent on revenge, not when we’re looking at the relationships of other sub characters (bar Nolan, who will be and will always be the most interesting, outrageous and hilarious character in the show), so this is where the season opener really shone.
There were flaws, like Charlotte returned from a summer in Europe where her baby has magically disappeared and we’re only told that she’s lost the baby, no further information, and the scene where Nolan parachuted into the party to get through security undetected. And at points the influx of new story lines can be hard to keep track of, but these flaws and how hectic the plot is has always been something I’ve loved about Revenge.
8/10 – The third season managed to rid itself of many of the more flawed plot lines of season two, such as Carrion, and shows Emily back to the manipulative-yet-lovable character that we all rooted for in the first season. There were sadly some rather over the top scenes (Victoria playing ‘Clair de lune’ on the piano, really?) but the episode as a whole got me excited for the new season, and to see what happens to Emily/Amanda in the next few months.
Revenge season three airs on E4 on Mondays at 9:00 m.