Those are just some of burning questions that remain in play as ABC’s Revenge resumes its addictive freshman run tonight at 10/9c. Below, showrunner Mike Kelley sheds some light on those aforementioned mysteries/theories and teases what’s to come.
TVLINE | Let’s assume everyone has seen the first 10 minutes of Revenge‘s winter premiere. What happens next?
Well, one character is escorted from the show. Once somebody gets “revenged” they have a tendency to come back with a revenge plan of their own, so I will say that much. That’s what you can expect on the heels of Episode 11. We’re trying to expand on the theme of revenge, so it’s not just Emily’s plot to take down everyone. She happens to have poked a particularly stingy beehive this time. A lot of these people aren’t just going to rest on their laurels when they’ve been taken down. We’re going to embrace what revealed itself to be the true nature of this show, which is that it’s an old school soap opera with a super hook.
TVLINE | Piggybacking on that, was it always the plan to have Tyler and Amanda, or rather Ashton Holmes and Margarita Levieva, around as long as they have been?
We have a long-term, a mid-term and a short-term plan for each character that we bring in, and it often has to do with the chemistry of who gets cast and who fits in this world. And without naming names, there have been some instances where we had longer intentions with characters and found that it wasn’t quite working — and not by the fault of anyone or anything in particular — it just sometimes didn’t quite click, and you have to allow for those trap doors. But I would say that Ashton and Margarita brought something to this world, a certain amount of energy and danger and fun — people love to sneer when they are watching them! Especially when you’re dealing with someone like Emily Thorne, who is about as anti as an anti-hero gets because what she does is pretty awful, so you want to make sure you balance that out with enough bad people for the audience [to cheer her on]. That said, we do have a plan for both of them, but how long we draw it out depends on the strength of the performances and how it’s all clicking.
TVLINE | So, it’s safe to assume Amanda will be around for the foreseeable future?
It’s safe to say that she has a lot of cards in her deck. She started off with Emily and now she’s got her hooks into Jack. What’s interesting about this character is that she truly is loyal to Emily. She believes they have a sister-type friendship, and that makes her an asset for Emily Thorne when she needs her.
TVLINE | Speaking of Jack and Amanda, what’s ahead for them? Will he ever become wise to her true identity?
Jack has the purest heart and the best intentions. I don’t think he looks at people and thinks they are capable of the evil doings going on around him. He’s sort of willfully ignorant of the inconsistencies in Amanda’s story, but he really wants to believe her story — he named his boat after her for goodness sake! [Laughs] There’s a lot of wish-fulfillment there. She’ll reveal herself to not be the girl he was hoping she would be — and I actually mean that in the personality way — and it’s going to be a challenge. But she’s also going to introduce to him a bit of spontaneity and danger and bravery that he wasn’t embracing before, so she’s not just going to have a negative impact on Jack. Ultimately, something very big is going to happen in Episode 13 where a decision has to be made between Jack and Amanda, and Emily is deeply involved.
TVLINE | We’ve also heard there may be new character — a guy — coming around who will impact the twosome.
I can say that we are bringing in a number of new characters with small arcs, and yes, somebody will appear and make things complicated. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Are you able to give a sliver of hope to all of those Jack/Emily devotees out there?
That epic draw toward one another that those two actors create when they are in the same frame, we want to maintain that for as long as we can before we annoy anybody. But I will tell you that when and if Jack and Emily kiss for the first time, Jack will be kissing Amanda Clarke knowingly. I can’t tell you if that’s going to happen this season, next season or 100 seasons from now, I just know that the one thing Emily protects is Jack and if it ever leads to a romance — and I’m not saying that’s going to happen — there will be nothing but openness, honesty, truth and forgiveness between them.
TVLINE | Let’s play the “Fan Speculation” game.
Let’s do it!
TVLINE | There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to the relationship between Emily and Nolan. The first is that they are siblings and he knows it, and the second is that they are — or will be — romantically interested in one another.
I would say their relationship is — hmmm, what are the cryptic words I want to use? — deeper than one of them is aware of. You never know who is going to end up with whom, but for now we’re going to explore romantic chemistry with different characters for these two. And I will not confirm or deny any fraternal ties these two have. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Interesting… And the most popular theory currently is that Charlotte and Emily are half-sisters. Care to comment?
The answer to that question is coming very, very soon.
TVLINE | We keep hearing about Episode 15 and the trial, but what’s the plan beyond that installment? Anything big to tease about the remainder of Season 1?
The murder on the beach at the start of this show [was initially] the inciting incident — which is what a show begins with and then there’s the fallout from that. But what’s really neat is that Revenge‘s inciting incident really happens in Episode 15. Something terrible happens and [beyond that] it’s about how all of [the characters] react to what that is. Emily and Victoria are going to find themselves in a situation where they have to work together; some very surprising things about Victoria’s origins will be revealed. It all frees us up to keep moving forward. It’s a true soap and the surprises will keep coming, I’ll tell you that much.