R evenge, Season 3 to date has been consistently a step up from it’s all-over-the-map second season, but suddenly it looks like the clear mission to right the wrongs of it becoming a budget version of Batman is starting to slip off the rails.
The entire episode kind of revolves around what Revenge is at its very weakest with – boring supporting characters. Any network drama seems to be littered with these stock waifs and handsome deadweights – actors with uninspired writing and even less inspiring delivery who appear to do nothing but prolong the shelf-life of our favourite shows by keeping the “good stuff” padded out across 22 episodes.
Spoiler Alert – Spoilers Ahead
What a faster paced show like Alias largely understood was that at its core, the success of the show was based on the three-to-four central characters….but most importantly the dynamic between two rivals. This is also true of Revenge, except this show seems more than willing to ignore that and give supporting cast members heavy screentime instead.
Not only do we suffer the attempted bitchery from the toddler class in the form of Sara finally striking back (snooze) but we also are once again subjected to the deeply misguided introduction of Niko Takeda as Takeda’s daughter, clearly in town with a revenge plot of her own. Niko is played to the hammy 9s by un-engaging Stephanie Jacobsen, and could actually be the worst character the show has ever had.
The problem with Niko is that from the second she appeared onscreen, you could absolutely predict her character trajectory without fail. Of course she was not to be trusted, of course shes Takedas daughter – and of course shes to blame for Emily’s blackouts….probably – and shes proven herself weak and flimsy; more interested with shagging Aiden than actually standing up for herself.
Revenge did successfully cull Sara this episode, but it kind of feels like a carousel of supporting actors now, with Niko a few episodes ago joining and now the original Mrs Grayson as one of the cliffhangers at the end. The other cliffhanger was inevitable. Emily is implied to have been sexing Conrad.
The blackout plot has almost immediately worn out its welcome, and the dynamic between Emily and Daniel is an uncomfortable twist for the show rather than one which benefits it. I really do understand that they introduced the plot of sterilizing Emily as a way to reignite her hate for the Grayson’s….but one has to wonder how we got so far that such a drastic and ludicrous plot twist has to drive what was the core fundamental of the show forward once more.
At its core, Emily should be subversive in her approach – and that has been stripped away. She’s smart and resourceful – so why can’t she craft a plan to win the Grayson’s back over and slip the dagger in for once and for all?
It feels like after the shooting on the boat, Revenge is suddenly clutching to anything it can grasp to give it new direction. From blackouts to amnesia to new characters – and I’m keen to see in episode 14 if the show can successfully recover or if we are going to have the joy of watching Margaux LeMarchal drive home just how ludicrous and unbuyable it is becoming to see false publications run in television show.
Poor Jack feels like he has less screen-time than any of the female supporting riff-raff combined lately, and whilst Margaux is not quite the deadweight on the show that say, Sara is (given that she is at least played gamely by Karine Vanasse) she isn’t exactly Madeline Stowe.
Speaking of which, Madeline Stowe’s Victoria is becoming soft. For a woman who is supposed to be the villainous dragon of the Hamptons, she’s doing very little in subterfuge lately, and the whole season appears to be softening her by giving her a relationship with Patrick.
Perhaps Emily’s real strike in the heart of the beast should be to kill Patrick….another superfluous character, but whos role has been written as such that he could have legitimate strategic value to the show as a whole when he goes.
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