Revenge Boss Reveals Plans to 'Solidify' Victoria as a Villain and Clarify The Initiative's Big Plan

Revenge Season 2 SpoilersThis Sunday marks the return of ABC’s Revenge (at 9/8c) — and the beginning of a return to form for erstwhile Big Bad Victoria Grayson.

“My big goal [for the rest of] this season is to reset the revenge element between Emily and Victoria, and to really solidify Victoria as our villain once again,” creator Mike Kelley shares with TVLine. “She’s quite gray in a lot of ways this year. She’s evolving, which is good, but when her back is truly against a wall, she’s capable of some pretty terrible things.”

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And terrible things we’ll see throughout this latest batch of episodes, which find “Emily and Victoria forced to work together for their own purposes — even [as they are] keeping secrets from one another,” Kelley previews. Ultimately, he adds: “Everything we’re [currently] doing between the two of them is leading toward greater conflict in order to reset and refuel the series for some time to come.”

Also receiving a slight tweak in the second half of Revenge‘s sophomore run is the increasingly twisty — and at times convoluted — Initiative plot. Kelley is firm in his belief that there “needs to be a heavy, dark force” on Revenge — which this evil corporation (?) no doubt is — yet concedes that “the show was never meant to be about a grand conspiracy in Alias or Homeland terms. It’s a smaller story about a girl out for vengeance to get the people who killed her father. What she really needs is the identities of those people and she’s going do anything she can to get them; that’s what her goal is here.”

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Which means that the focus of the show will now be to “make sure that [The Initiative] is not as nebulous; that we understand, specifically, what they’re doing as it unfolds, as well as how it involves Nolan, Padma, Aiden, Daniel and everybody… It will tie everyone together.

“The show only works when it all leads back to Emily,” Kelley affirms. “The more successful outings where The Initiative is concerned aren’t when we’re podding other characters off in their own Initiative story. Rather, it’s when Emily’s involved and we know exactly what’s at stake, what the crimes are and what we’re doing.”

Still, Kelley enthuses, “Everybody just needs to hold tight a bit for a little clarity on The Initiative… All in all, I feel like once this season is taken in as a whole and everything is understood — meaning you know what you’re watching and what you’ve watched — it’s going to feel as satisfying, if not more so, than the last.”

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  1. Christa says:


  2. Andrew says:

    Boy, what a relief it is to hear that! I thought my favorite show would never be as it was in season one. It’s really reassuring to hear Mike Kelly tell us this, because I had some serious doubts about this new season.. Can’t wait to see what’s up his sleeve this last half of s2!

    • Allyson says:

      I was a bit disappointed with the first half of season 2. It felt like the show lost its’spark. Now, it seems they are tweaking and reneregizing show again. I love this show and I am glad they will return to the show’s roots.

  3. Nick says:

    Good, as much as I liked the first half of season 2, I miss em’s red sharpie

    • Kristen says:

      I miss the sharpie too

    • eventually she’ll need a new phtoograph. it’s doubttful that all the people in the one she has now are actors the producers intend to come bring back to develop into full-fledge characters. we might have seen all of those already, so every once in a while they need to refresh the revenge agenda using photos with new people. I suspect that we’ll see her acquire a photograph of people from the Initiative that will become her new targets, as well as expect for that to happen every one in a while as long as the show is on the air.

  4. K says:

    I’m glad that he is giving us this info and being public about his grand scheme of things for season 2. However, since he is the creator and writer, the fault does fall squarely on his shoulders as he should never have allowed the Initiative story to become the center of the plot and to be so convoluted. So happy they are resetting the show back to its original design.

  5. sara says:

    She’s not the hero of the story? Apparently I’ve been watching wrong.

  6. Eli says:

    Will someone remind me why the initiative blew up the plane and how that is tied to the money laundring?

    • S says:

      I don’t think there was ever a concrete “why” for the plane being blown up. The Initiative is essentially a terrorist organization and blew up the plane. Conrad was laundering money for the Initiative. At least that’s what I’ve gleaned.

    • ZmaX says:

      They have not explained it yet. I assume they are a secret American based terrorist group, using their power they have here in the US to help foreign terrorists.

      If you remember the flashback episode this season, they revealed that Aiden’s Father was used to put the bomb on the plane. So i’m sure as the season progresses we’ll find out more bits of info about the Initiative.

  7. shuayb says:

    This! Excited beyond belief. I always knew that Victoria would be the villain of this story and I am so very very glad that they are making that clear now.
    Also I knew that they would eventually explain the Initiative to us and not make it Aliaseque. I think Mike Kelly is smart enough to learn from the writers and producers of Alias not to go down that route.

  8. Sarah says:

    One of my main problems with this season so far has been the terribly slow pacing. It’s constantly felt like they’ve been purposefully dragging things out, much unlike the first season, which really clipped along at a nice pace. And they’ve strayed a bit too far from the dynamics that made the show so much fun to watch last season. I’ve really missed the Emily/Nolan friendship, which has been sidelined many times this season as they’ve gone their separate ways to interact with somewhat boring new characters. And the whole bar storyline with Jack and Amanda is just dull as heck, as is pretty much the entire relationship between those two characters. They really shouldn’t have brought her back into the picture. I mean, I understand why they did it, but she’s really outstayed her welcome on the show and serves very little purpose now. I really hope they trim down on the bloated cast soon and get rid of some of the dead weight, her included. Declan, Padma and Ashley could also go the way of the dodo and I think the show would be better off. They just drag episodes down and take time away from the really interesting characters like Emily.

    • Sarah R. says:

      I agree that it seems slower than season 1; however, that can happen when giving a back story, which I felt answered questions in my mind.

      As for characters that seem useless, like faux Amanda, sometimes they are used as a catalyst. There is a purpose for each character, whether we as viewers like it or not. I’m not a fan of faux Amanda, but she does serve a purpose and don’t forget how fiesty she can be.

      Regardless of the pace, this is the only show that captivates my attention.

      • Sarah says:

        I still believe the cast has become too bloated. There are too many characters pulling the show in too many different directions at the same time. I know Mike Kelley says that everything will eventually connect back to Emily, but frankly things never should have strayed from her in the first place. This show always works best when it is very Emily-centric, as is demonstrated by how much better the first season was so far. I think they tried too hard this season to expand the show beyond Emily, for whatever reason, but have now thankfully realized what a big mistake that was.

        • Liz says:

          I feel like the show is better when it focuses on the core characters–but not just Emily. Core being Emily, Nolan, Victoria, Jack and Daniel. The show has a great supporting cast, and it would be a shame not to use them. So I don’t have a problem with Kelley giving such characters their own sub-plots. Actually, I prefer it,

    • Claire King says:

      I agree totally Sarah eventhough I am not sure where you are watching the show, I am in Ireland so I think we are a little behind the US. Either way, I think Revenge is the best show that has aired in a long long time, I look forward to it every week and, if I can, I watch it live as opposed to recording it. Emily is superb, as are all the main charachters. I do like Daniel but I am having difficulty believing him as a cut throat, razor sharp business brain. Please please get rid of Ashley, she is just annoying and really her charachter has few redeeming qualities (apologies to the actor who plays her), I’m kind of on the fence with Amanda, I think I would probably like her if she wasn’t with Jack, as he is meant for Emily!!!!. Also, we need more of Nolan/Emily, I just love him, so gorgeous in a nerdy, quirky sort of way.

  9. mia says:

    I’ve always seen Conrad as more of a villain than Victoria. She’s not a nice person, but she’s quite a victim herself.
    I’d love to see Emily + Victoria team up to destroy Conrad or the Initiative – an organization that made them both suffer.

    • Liz says:

      I really agree, I’m kind of upset that Kelley has chosen to continue with the “Victoria as a villain” storyline. What was the point of making her sympathetic if he’s only going to use the character for evil purposes? Victoria’s actually my favorite, she’s such an interesting and multi-dimensional person and Stowe plays her very well. I liked the direction Kelley was heading in with Victoria, and now I wish he stuck to the course laid out in the first half of season 2.

      • Neptunia says:

        Maybe they’ll turn her back into a villain but give her a motive for her nastiness, say she’s doing it to keep Daniel safe. That would still allow her to play the deliciously ruthless character that we know and love but give her a reasonable motive. She’s doing it for the sake of her kid, even if that means other people have to die or be ruined, it’s to keep Daniel away from the Initiative.
        I think that logic has always been part of the Victoria character, even if she was starting to show some heart, she’d doing anything for her kids, or at least what she thinks is right for her kids!

    • Josh says:

      This has always been my thought….A lot of what Victoria has done has been for “her children”…It’s the only reason she went along with the plot to frame David. I had always hoped the show would have them team up in the end, so hearing Victoria will become the “central villain” doesn’t make me excited and more or less, solidifies that I’m going to be dropping the show :-/

      • iMember says:

        Victoria becoming the villain doesn’t eliminate the possibility of Victoria and Emily eventually teaming up – something I’m patiently waiting to see happen. We’re already getting to see them working together now, but eventually I think Emily’s secret will come out and Victoria will work with her seeing as she loves David Clarke still.

    • Jeremy says:

      Of course Victoria had Freudian excuses for why she is the way she is today. That still doesn’t justify the terrible things she’s done in her life.

      She wasn’t only complicit in the framing of David Clarke, she took the active role of bribing every person in their inner circle to keep the secret. She had Amanda, a completely innocent child, institutionalized for her entire childhood for absolutely no reason other than to prevent her from seeing her father ever again. She used her affair with David Clarke, after Conrad found out, to participate in framing him. And that’s not even bringing in to account the ruthless elitism she showcases which makes her such a great character.

      I really dislike the idea of taking the really juicy villains, turning them into good guys and having them “join the cause”. The good on the show can’t outweigh the evil- in fact it shouldn’t even match it. The odds in Season 1 were entirely against Emily and they should remain that way or become even more intimidating. Emily came to the Hamptons to destroy the Graysons, all of them, not to forgive them. She already has a handful of allies and she doesn’t need anymore.

      Both Victoria and Daniel deserve to be taken down and I don’t want them anywhere near Emily’s revenge team. The Initiative need to be written out and the Hamptons elite need to take back over as the bad guys.

      • Deme says:

        ICAM! You stated prefectly why I want Emily to level this family, mainly Vicky. What she did to lil Amanda is made worse by the fact that Vic’s mom did it to her (institutionalized) and she hated her for it. That woman is a witch of the highest order. She used her loved for David Clarke to help destroyed his and his daughter’s life. I have never felt one ounce of sympathy for her. She is THE VILLIAN!

  10. nikki says:

    How is Conrad more of a villian than Victoria? Victoria is a slut who screws everyone to get what she wants. Conrad is a dumbass who is in love with her.

    • mia says:

      I always forget that ‘slut’ is a synonym for ‘villian’!


      Who cares if she’s a shut; considering where she’s come from, she’s had to use what tools she had to get anywhere. And even if she didn’t, even if she just really liked sex, who gives a crap. Slut doesn’t equal villain.

  11. rumenrose says:

    Conrad loves too easily.just look at his and Lydia’s relationship and how quickly he proposed to her. But I think he is quite pragmatic in his relationships

  12. darcywilson says:

    I think that this season of Revenge is going to be like Ringer from last season, very boring and slow to start off, then it’s going to get unbelievably convoluted in the middle but slightly more addictive before a big payoff in the last several episodes that ties everything together and sets up the next season to in a very new direction that looks to be more promising than this season.

  13. Keenan says:

    Wow! So much backpedaling! Good to hear i guess. At least they know what they need to fix.

  14. John says:

    Making Victoria a villain again? I think burnt that bridge by bringing her mom back in the flashback episode and showing she’s the victim

  15. Neptunia says:

    I agree that this show works better as a small, revenge plot and not a large character, conspiracy.
    I hope the Jack/bar storyline is wrapped up soon, never really cared about that one. I’d like to see Jack and Amanda brought into Emily’s revenge plot, maybe Jack finally recalls something about Emily that makes him remember that she’s really Amanda. I hope the Aidan character is either shown less or just killed, I’d like his screen time to go to Nolan. I’d like for Emily and Daniel to get back together or at least spend more time together, they hardly interact now.
    I hope they can make the Initiative more interesting because right now it’s the main story and it’s not at all compelling, except that it brings Conrad and Victoria together, which I always enjoy. I love when they work together in defense of their kids, especially when they snark back and forth at each other!
    I love Revenge and hope it can come back to it’s exciting season one pace and story telling, it was my favorite show last year, so I’m keeping the faith!

  16. nikki says:

    The sad thing is that Revenge was great last season. It was cheesy but still fun. The only fun part now is Conrad and Victoria. The rest is frustrating or boring.

  17. Ella says:

    So excited for the return of Revenge & Once Upon A Time! Glad to hear that Revenge will be solidifying Victoria as the main villain. I live her sparring with Emily and can’t wait to see more.

  18. Michael says:

    SO glad they are retooling that initiative plot. I was about to take ‘Revenge’ of my DVR. It has been so lackluster compared to the first season. I am very glad the showrunner notices how uneven and confusing this season is. I am now looking forward to the rest of the season.

  19. Jared says:

    Revenge has definatly lost its spark in season 2 and has been all over the place. I’ll leave this show alone for now and watch NBCs Deception.

  20. i stil llove the whole show I wish Jack and emily would get together. don/t like the faux amanda

  21. nick1372 says:

    It looks like the upcoming episodes of Revenge will combine elements of both seasons. That’s perfect!

  22. sladewilson says:

    Here’s what I didn’t like about this article: why just blatantly tell us that Victoria is the “big bad”? Wouldn’t it be a ton more fun to just do it and have us (the audience) witness it and drink it all in? I’m kinda hoping it’s one big set up and Vicky isn’t the big bad they say she is and throw someone else in the mix that really will put Em through her paces….

  23. Sluga says:

    well that’s good to hear but I hope they won’t do this only to find a way to get the character off the show this season. I know Victoria will pay with life as all the other villains in the show at some point, but i really hope she will last as long as the show runs.
    Victoria, Conrad and Nolan are the only truly well written and entertaining characters, Revenge wouldn’t have me among its followers without them, especially Victoria.

  24. JJ says:

    I’m glad Mike Kelly is listening to fans, and acknowledging it, in regards to the initiative and the show being a little slow this season with most wanting more Emily centric and more Nolan. Victoria can be the villian and due to the flashbacks, he can later justify it any way he wants.

  25. IC says:

    I enjoy the show immensely! Love the characters especially Nolan and Victoria. Madeline Stowe is absoultely perfect for the part! Unlike most of the people who have left their comments here, I really would love to see Aidan & Emily stay together. In my humble opinion, not only do they have a history with Takeda, they were amorously involved before as well. Daniel & Jack do not have the chemistry that Aidan & Emily have, nor are they even half the men that Aidan is. Do wish to see Jack & Amanda join the “E Team” in fighting the Graysons and the initiative, after all they too have been touched one way or another from both of the aforementioned villians.

    • Deme says:

      Aiden does make the other two seems like boys. Looking back at S1, the original triangle seems so infantile, teenagey. This relationship with Aiden feels more grown-up and mature. Not to mention she’s not lying to him.

  26. JMH says:

    What I don’t understand is how Cora’s husband (the white haired man who truly killed David Clark) knew that Emily is the real Amanda but didn’t share it with Conrad nor Cora? If anyone can help me understand this, I would appreciate it. Looking forward to new episodes in February!