Revenge Season Premiere Recap: Save the Date

Revenge Season 2 RecapThe Initia-who?

The first episode of Revenge‘s third season gets rid of everything unpleasant about the last go-around (adios, Carrion!), introduces some intriguing new folks (bonjour, Margaux and hellllllo Patrick) and reminds us why we rooted for Emily Thorne in the first place. (That last one comes via a huge assist from Nolan; if Revenge were a Nicholas Sparks novel, Mr. Ross, you would be its true north. But then you’d also probably contract a fatal disease or die in a horrific accident, which would seriously bum me out.)

But the more things change, the more they still really get off on drawing Red Sharpie Xs over faces. In that vein, this week’s episode harkens back to the series’ spectacular first season – right down to its takedown-of-the-week — but Revenge isn’t quite there yet. Still, there’s promise! So with high hopes and nostalgic hearts, let’s review the major developments in “Fear.”

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RED WEDDING REDUX? | The season opens with Emily, wearing a wedding gown, holding a glass of bubbly and sailing into the sunset on a festively lit boat. Someone approaches – we don’t see who it is – and she tearfully says, “I’m sorry.” A gunshot sounds, and two bullets hit her in the midsection, sending her tumbling off the back of the craft. She bleeds in the water… and we rewind to just before the previous Memorial Day weekend, where an un-Swiss-cheesed Emily and Daniel are being all lovey-dovey at their Manhattan roofdeck pool.

He credits her for planning the upcoming holiday party in his mother’s absence – and for convincing most of his family to attend. We learn that Victoria has been MIA for about six months; Daniel says he hopes his mom is in “such a dark, lonely place, we never hear from her again.”

RIDE THE PONY | Sorry, Daniel; Victoria is not in a pit of despair. In fact, from the sunlit, slow-mo shot of her astride a galloping horse while Justin Hartley rides beside her, she’s been killing time in a Smallville fanfic. As the scene progresses, I’m confused. Hartley is playing Patrick, the son Victoria gave up for adoption when he was a baby, right? So why are they flirting? Why has she squirreled him away from the world for the past six months? And why, when he kisses her on the cheek, does she make what is undeniably a sex noise?

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Their not-kosher canoodling is interrupted when Charlotte shows up, sporting blunt-cut bangs and a super-flat, definitely not-pregnant belly. In a conversation so loaded with exposition it would make Rupert Giles polish his glasses in silent awe, they establish that Charlotte graduated high school early, miscarried Declan’s baby and has been in Europe for a while. Charlie assumes the stud she saw leaving the stables is her mom’s new boy-toy, and Victoria doesn’t disavow her of that notion. Later, Vicky tells Emily that she “has no doubt” that Patrick is her firstborn and that the hottie has “changed my heart.”

But then Charlotte swings by the South Fork Inn, where Patrick has decamped in advance of Conrad’s return to the manor, and warns/threatens him when she learns they’re half-siblings. He heeds the bangs; the next time Victoria stops by, she finds him packed up and ready to leave. The conversation they have is much more like a lovers’ spat than a mother-child guilt-trip, and he leaves town.

‘NOLAN 2.NO’ | In my favorite scene of the episode, Emily picks Nolan up when he’s released from jail. You know things are bad if Noles’ fashion choices look more 8-Mile than GQ, but that small detail is completely forgotten by the way Gabriel Mann makes the dialogue almost an afterthought in his haste to have Nolan hug Emily. So sweet. Love them.

More clunky explanation alerts us that he embedded a fail-safe in Carrion that ferretted out the Initiative members and exonerated him. “Let’s never say the words ‘Carrion’ or ‘Initiative’ ever again,” Ms. Thorne suggests. So say we all, Ems. So say we all.

Making good on a debt she owes, Emily buys Nolan a sweet bachelor pad. “For serious?” he coos. (Heh.) While toasting the new abode, Nolan gets caught up: Jack’s been out of town since she went “all birth-name” on him at Conrad’s victory party, and NolCorp has “gone the way of the flip phone.” In fact, Mr. Ross wants nothing to do with cyber-skullduggery anymore. But that doesn’t mean he won’t find new ways to help an old friend…

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IT’S EM’S PARTY AND I’LL (NEARLY) DIE IF I WANT TO | Gov. Conrad “Artic Pools” Grayson rolls to the Hamptons for Emily’s party, an event Nolan also attends – but parachuting in and then removing his tearaway jumpsuit (!) to reveal a natty summer ensemble. The dramatic entrance, aside from being awesome, allows him to bypass the strict security measures on which Conrad insisted. Nolan slips Emily a vial, Emily surreptitiously dumps the contents of said vial into Conrad’s water, and soon he’s passing out while giving a speech.

At the hospital, Conrad’s doctor – who was also a guest at the party – gives the sad news that the Grayson patriarch is suffering from Huntington’s Disease. Everyone is shocked… except for Emily, who planted the false test results in Conrad’s file. (Side note: I feel like in Season 1, we would’ve later learned that the doc was in on it, too. The fact that he isn’t felt like a bit of a letdown here, no? Also, even though the illness runs in his family, wouldn’t Conrad inevitably get a second, untampered-with opinion that would countermand what the ER doc told him? And finally, Emily poisoning Conrad for her own gain: sly nod to Season 1 or lazy retread?)

When someone leaks the governor’s ailment to the press, he has no choice but to resign. And when Emily makes the family think Ashley was the source of the scoop, she and Victoria team up to send the hustling Brit packing. (There’s a lot more subtle threatening and fabulous shoes involved in the “Davendeported” plot, but it’s pretty meh and we haven’t even gotten to Jack yet, so let’s bid Ashley Madekwe a fond, you-were-never-properly-used farewell and move on, shall we?)

JACK’S BACK | Emily goes to The Stowaway, which hasn’t yet opened for the season, to talk with a newly returned Jack. He’s very guarded as he muses about all the times she could have told him her true identity – aw, he brings up the night of Sammy’s death and now I’m sad – but he’s moving toward her and bringing up his hand to frame her face and they’re totally going to kiss! The liplock is pretty hot, but he steps back and is stone cold as he tells her he wasn’t sure of his feelings for her until this moment, “and I’m sorry, but I don’t feel anything.” Damn, Jack. With a dismissive tone, he informs his childhood love that he’ll keep her secret, but “It’s just me and Carl now. Leave us alone.” She runs out, understandably upset.

My esteem for Jack’s newfound hardass-ness dies a little when he pops up on Emily’s porch a short time later. How can she leave you alone, Porter, when you won’t stay away? He surmises that she was behind Conrad’s collapse, then makes her feel guiltier by reminding her that Amanda probably wouldn’t have died if it weren’t for Emily. He demands that she wrap everything up by the end of the summer, then leave for good.

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GUESS WHO’S BACK? | With Jack’s mandate in mind, Emily returns to Daniel, who is barely holding it together as he Googles his dad’s disease. (Side note: I can barely believe I’m typing this, but I’m kind of moved by Daniel’s plight here. Did Em slip something in my water?) Emily announces she wants to get married on August 8, a date Nolan later notes is the double eights in her infinity tattoo.

Meanwhile, over at Grayson Manor, a perturbed Charlotte announces she’s moving out (new haircut, same wild mood swings, eh Char?). Victoria barely notices, but she perks up when she thinks Patrick has returned. Nope! It’s really Aiden, who says he’s after the “same thing as you: looking to destroy the girl next door.” Dun-dun-dunnnnnnn!

Now it’s your turn. Are you feeling good about the new season? What did you think of Margaux, Daniel’s French friend? Have any early theories on who shot Emily? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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84 Comments
  1. iMember says:

    HOLY you know what! Talk about Season One glory, Revenge came back guns blazing!! Excellent, excellent premiere. I couldn’t be more excited for this season!

  2. Elyse says:

    loving the new eye candy Patrick :)

  3. CJS says:

    And this is how a season premiere is done.

  4. Dr. M says:

    Doh! I didn’t come back after the awful season 2. Now you all are making me want to dig this up on demand.

    • Elyse says:

      check it out!! it was awesome. last year it became a DVR and watch whenever show for me but it’s back to a show I want to watch live every week!

      • Dr. M says:

        Thanks, Elyse (and everyone). The episode is as good as everyone is saying.
        To think I almost gave up on this show too soon.

        It did leave me hoping this is a final wrap up season though.

  5. Nick says:

    ITS BACK!!!!

  6. dude says:

    Great premier! Although I’m not crazy about them brushing off Charlotte’s pregnancy. That was ripe with story potential so I hope they have something great planned for her otherwise, that was a waste of a miscarriage.

    • Michael says:

      Could the timing work where Charlotte gave birth overseas and is keeping her and Dec’s baby a secret from her family? (WHO could blame her!?) It’d be nice to think Jack’s son and Dec’s kid could grow up having each other to lean on.

  7. Leondre says:

    DING DONG THE WITCH IS GONE!

    But in all seriousness, the premiere was fantastic!

  8. GS says:

    It was awesome! Glad to see those horrible storylines are gone! I love Em with Daniel. Have never understood the so called love for someone from when she was 10. That’s just stupid and she has zero chemistry with Jack. Can’t wait to see what’s in store though. Great start!

    • Chloe says:

      Totally agree! I was hoping boring Jack would stay wherever he was or better yet, go down with the ship. But like a bad penny, he turned up. At least Carrion & the Initiative are gone.

      • Radha says:

        Same old, same old griping about Jack. It’s called soulmates. Look up the meaning of the word. And Daniel is the one who is boring. And she doesn’t LOVE Daniel.

  9. someone tell me where to watch it! eeek! i need a link!

  10. Revenge is back!!! Great episode!!

  11. Renger says:

    Ashley’s exit was quick but necessary and Emily is back on the revenge track

  12. PFitzDC says:

    Liked the premiere up to the last few minutes….WHY are they bringing back dreary Aidan?! I thought they were jettisoning all the lousy plotlines from last season…. Less interested in staying tuned now….

  13. DramaMomma says:

    Margaux is going to annoy he crap of me. Ashley with a French accent.

  14. Carmen says:

    Love the show, love Aiden but WTF is he doing helping Victoria.. I do not like that twist at all as he really is the only man that Emily could be herself with and they loved each other. Grayson brat Daniel is just a drag….

  15. Maryam says:

    Why is Aiden back?! I can’t stand him.

    • Valerie says:

      I was really hoping that the new showrunner would realize that Aiden was one of the big mistakes they made with the show last season. I’d be onboard with him being back if he truly did turn against Emily, and he made her work a bit harder to take people down. But alas, I doubt they’ll be so creative with him.

  16. Justin says:

    Loved. It. It’s like 2011 again! Just not a fan of (last season’s) Aiden. Ugh..

  17. Mika02 says:

    Man that Kiss with Jack was awesome I don’t believe him that he feels nothing. I think I’m going to like Daniel with that french girl. Aiden has lost him mind. Good Riddance to Ashley. Sad that they got rid of Charlotte and Declan’s baby. Nolan’s back baby. So many good and juicy stuff.

    • Ing says:

      I totally agree! Loved that kiss! It was so hot! I don’t believe for a second that he felt nothing. Did you see those glassy tear filled eyes when he turned away when she ran off? It certainly looks like they are setting up a Jack and Emily by the end. Aiden betraying her like that? There is no way she would ever forgive him for that. Doesn’t seem like its part of Emily’s plot either. This will be interesting to watch.

      • neha says:

        I’m pretty sure Aiden’s just pretending to befriend the enemy to get back on Emily’s good side. The writers have said that Aiden and Jack are Emily’s two true loves, so I doubt that they would him truly betray her.

        • Mikael says:

          It would completely go against what he said last season about Emily taking down the Graysons and then coming back to him when it’s all over. Why would he suddenly turn on her when he knows that she’s just pretending with Daniel? Maybe he’s just trying to speed up the timetable?

        • Natalie says:

          I hope your right. Emily and Aiden belong together. Jack is so rude to her and really should have forgiven her by now. He should understand why she did it. And he definitely lied about not feeling anything when they kissed because that’s not what it looked like!

          • Nosey says:

            I think he has forgiven her, I just think he believes they are not for each other, forgiving doesn’t mean he has to be w/ her, I also believe he is protecting his son, he lost every other family member and doesn’t want to lose his son, he said to her it’s just me & Carl now(keyword now). . .this lead me to believe he did not want to lose the only thing he had left, not that he did not forgive, as much as I want Jack w/ her together, he nor his son does not need to be in the middle of this, I believe he meant everything he said, even when he said he felt nothing for her

      • Lizzie says:

        I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy yet so sad! I think he’s ultimately watching out for her. Just like he didn’t want Amanda to be involved he doesn’t want Emily either. Ugh so sad. French girl go ahead & break up Daniel & Emily. Loved Ems & Nolan

      • Natalie says:

        You’re so right. Maybe Jack’s trying to make himself not like Emily when he really does.

  18. alistaircrane says:

    Good riddance to Ashley! She was the show’s most annoying character.

  19. LaLa says:

    Meh . . . it was OK.

  20. Tahonia says:

    And so, has Aiden definitely gone over to the dark side?

  21. Amy says:

    This episode was miles better than just about anything from last season. Also, I had to say that I loved the recap. This line was so great –> “In a conversation so loaded with exposition it would make Rupert Giles polish his glasses in silent awe…” 2nd place goes to –> “she’s been killing time in a Smallville fanfic…” Hilarious.

  22. NL says:

    Loved loved loved the Jack and Emily kiss… Hoping to see more of them together this season, on better terms though…

  23. Dee says:

    Buffy reference……….. you are a recapper after my own heart <3 (Side note, Marc Blucas (Riley) almost played Emily's dad!!) fantastic ep!

    • Lisa London says:

      He did in the pilot, right?

      • Amy says:

        He did in the original pilot (as in the version shot and shown to the network for pickups), but if memory serves, that was not the version that aired on ABC. They reshot the scenes with James Tupper in the role, so as far as what TV viewers have seen, it’s always been James Tupper in the role.

  24. neha says:

    Michael Ausiello definitely undersold it in his video – I thought it was back to the glory of season 1 and definitely had a sense of urgency in it. This show was never perfect, but it was a great primetime soapy guilty pleasure. And, it certainly delivered on that tonight. I loved the 8-8 reference, too. Is anyone thinking that Patrick might end up not being her real son, since it seems like the only test she’s done on him is through “her heart and eyes”?

  25. luli says:

    You do the best recaps in tvline, Kim! Thank you!

  26. Tams says:

    Jack/Emily kiss!!! Hot!! Finally. Sure was a steamy kiss from someone who feels nothing. Poor Em though. His brush-off kinda kicked her in the gut. Really hoping they can find their way back to each other again. Nolan is best part of show. Hands down! Glad this is back.

  27. greysfan says:

    Revenge is well and truly back! Lets hope this season continues that way

  28. Lisa London says:

    “In fact, from the sunlit, slow-mo shot of her astride a galloping horse while Justin Hartley rides beside her, she’s been killing time in a Smallville fanfic.”
    Just burst into loud laughter – I’m reading this at work at lunch time…

  29. Gert says:

    I am in the minority here. I was underwhelmed, and found the whole episode almost cartoonish. I was unable to get past the botox treatment, the actress who plays Victoria had had done. I kept waiting for her forehead to move when she talked. The whole episode seemed so rushed, and not explained very well. For the first time, I actually disliked Emily’s character. I am with Jack on this one!

  30. Sandra says:

    Is it possible that Daniel is the child of Victoria and Emily’s father?

    • Katherine215 says:

      So Emily has been sleeping with her brother then?! I don’t think so. We saw David and Victoria meet (in flashbacks), and she mentioned Daniel so he had to already be born.

    • rae says:

      No, it has already been established that Charlotte is the love child.

  31. Naomi says:

    Loved the new episode, really brought back the glory days before plotdevicewhichshallnotbenamed.

  32. SouthernBelle says:

    I’m confused. After Kimberly Roots saw the premiere she said that the relationship between Victoria and Patrick was “Really. Not. Okay.” I didn’t really see anything to indicate what she was referring to. Did anyone else?

  33. Natalie says:

    I really wasn’t pleased by the episode. I feel like all the cliffhangers and storylines from season 2 were hardly addressed or just thrown out – build up and suspense with no payoff – Charlotte isn’t pregnant anymore. Nolan gets right out of jail. Conrad’s not governor anymore, something half of season 2 was about. Grayson Global is gone.

    Jack’s boring again and doesn’t want to take the Graysons down anymore. I was hoping he would team up with Emily and Aiden and have a love triangle while trying to get Nolan out of jail and destroy the Graysons.

    The Initiative is taken down just because Nolan had conveniently put a fail safe in it. It doesn’t seem like it would have been that easy to do it. I actually liked having the big bad Initiative looming over in season 2.

    I’m glad Ashley is gone. I think the long lost son storyline is going to be boring and cliche. I don’t like now Charlotte seems to be more of a brat now.

    I’m really happy Aiden is back though. Him and Emily are awesome together. I can’t stand Daniel. How can Emily stand faking it with him? How can Aiden want to destroy Emily now? I guess he really can’t handle rejection. Him and Emily ended on good terms anyways; what changed? And will they tell us what happened between Aiden and Daniel in the season 2 finale?

    • Mika02 says:

      I was kind of hoping it would be Em and Jack against the world but ok with this as long as we keep getting steamy stuff like that kiss.

    • Justin11 says:

      What I loved about this premiere is that it re-established Revenge as a twist on primetime soaps -similar to season one- instead of taking itself too seriously (as in season two) or -simply- being one.

  34. Paloma says:

    Awesome premiere. Except, I agree with everyone else, why did they bring back Aiden. I know they wanted to have some revenge push back against Emily, but Aiden is awful and boring and there are enough other interesting characters that we really don’t need him.

    Furthermore, he knows that Emily is Amanda Thorne, so if he wanted revenge, he just has to pull that rabbit out of his hat, hand it to Victoria and deed is done. If he truly hates Emily that much, then why drag it out. Stupid move for the show.

  35. PJH says:

    Couldn’t be happier to see Aiden back!!!!! He and Emily are awesome together! Jack need s to exit permanently exit from the show.

  36. Sokratis says:

    It was a bittersweet premiere for sure. On one hand, it was the best episode since mid season 1, and its laying out a great storyline.

    The bad news is however, that all signs point to this being the final season. Surely Im not the only one seeing the writing on the wall?

  37. Nolcorp says:

    I think that the whole thing would be more interesting if she really fell in love with Daniel,that would make it harder for her to revenge on his family. It would be great to watch forbiden (from her perspective being in love with an enemy) love that i hoped at the begining when she beat that guy and said : this is for jack and this is for daniel. Jack is not my choice, he is way to boring and stubborn,he is like a lady in trouble always being saved by emily and that is so anoying because he is a guy. So to make it clear, i only watch the show because of NOLAN :) -just kidding i love him so much, the best character ever in my opinion.

  38. Liz says:

    I totally think that em and Aiden belong together no question. (Great onscreen chemistry even though Daniel is freakin hotttttt I guess I also wouldn’t mind seeing her with jack either) I really hope that Victoria bites it and Conrad. Here’s what I think. Jack shot Emily( but she won’t die/ better not) and Aiden is secretly going to help bring down the Greyson’s and then Daniel and frenchie are going to seek to avenge his parents and bring out new characters that thicken the plot..

  39. rae says:

    Okay so Aiden better not really be on the witch’s side! I think he is the best love interest and he was the only thing worthwhile from season 2.

  40. Alice says:

    The french speaking actress is terrible. The first sentence is thick french accent then goes to regular speaking. That an Aiden will be the thorns of the season

  41. Ashley says:

    Are they going to resolve the Aiden/Daniel season finale cliffhanger, where Daniel left with blood on his shirt? Is that why Aiden turned on Emily (if he isn’t lying)? I completely missed Charlotte saying she miscarried, what did she say?

    • Anne says:

      When Charlotte first arrived back and met Victoria in the stables, Victoria mentioned her losing Declan and the baby. Not sure if anyone actually used the word miscarriage though.

  42. Teigan says:

    Hating on Aiden right now.. He better be playing Victoria!

  43. Anne says:

    Great premiere, following a great finale. Really happy to see the show is getting its groove back. Love that Ashley is gone, love that Aiden is back (I’m convinced he’s still on Emily’s side, because those two, that’s just true love). Daniel is kind of boring, but I guess he needs to be around to allow Emily to stay close to the Graysons. Also, Jack and Emily: no chemistry whatsoever. I was totally convinced when Jack told her he felt nothing, there really wasn’t anything there.

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