Revenge entered Season 3 Sunday night with a new showrunner (goodbye Mike Kelley, hello Sunil Nayar!), a new agenda (goodbye The Initiative, hello Emily’s primary mission!), and a ton of burning questions (What happened to Charlotte’s baby? What’s really going on between Victoria and Patrick? Will Conrad get a second opinion?)
Below, Nayar tackles all of those queries, and also previews what’s ahead for Nolan (love!), Aiden (war!), Conrad (soul-searching!) and much more.
TVLINE | The dynamic between Nolan and Emily seemed noticeably warmer in the premiere. Was it important for you to remind the audience that these two people are friends?
Absolutely. They’re the core friendship of the show. He’s the one who was tasked by her father to protect who she was, and now she’s the one who’s tasked to help him grow into who he can be. Their dynamic is one of the things we’re exploring as the season goes on — and not just them as sort of Batman and Robin. But as real friends.
TVLINE | Nolan mentioned he was putting his cyber-hacking days behind him, so what can we expect from him in terms of helping Emily?
You can expect a little bit more of a hands-on Nolan. And, of course, electronics are his addiction. So although he swears it off, we’re going to see, in an enjoyable way, if he’s able to keep swearing it off.
TVLINE | But NolCorp is done, right? No more Manhattan commute for him?
NolCorp is gone. It’s a moment of renaissance for him, really. It’s an opportunity for him to be kind of the billionaire he wants to be, as opposed to the person who’s got to be stuck in an office dealing with all of the crises of last year. We just want Nolan to enjoy his life before he begins his next endeavor. And you will sort of see how he’s taking steps with his next endeavor in the first half of the season. But for the moment, he’s just happy to be home, happy to be in the Hamptons, and happy to be back with Emily.
TVLINE | What about romance for him this season?
There’s love down the pike for him, absolutely.
TVLINE | With a man? Woman?
I’m going to keep that under my vest at the moment, but I will just say it’s going to be a wonderful surprise and it’s an amazing relationship. The chemistry Nolan has with the person he’s with is electric.
TVLINE | Is it with a character we’ve met before?
It’s a character you will have met by the time he starts his relationship.
TVLINE | Talk to me about the decision to have Charlotte lose her baby?
It would have been really hard to pick up with Charlotte six months pregnant and try to think of stories that would come from that. We wanted her to mature a lot [this season]. As you saw in the premiere, she’s a very different Charlotte.
TVLINE | She has bangs now.
She’s got bangs! [Laughs] It was our desire to grow her up. She was so great the first couple seasons, but she was very much the daughter of the Grayson family. And with Declan gone, she has a chance now to become the woman we wanted her to be. The stress of what happened with Declan is what led to her miscarriage, which led to her leaving high school and going to Europe to find herself. So when she comes back, she understands what it is to lose people. What it is to love people. And what it is she wants in her life – to be independent. That last scene we had with Victoria and Charlotte where she basically says she’s moving out was a big step for her, because we didn’t want her to be trapped in Grayson Manor. We’re going to see a very different, very independent Charlotte. And one I don’t think we could’ve seen if she had a baby going into this season.
TVLINE | The miscarriage wasn’t made implicitly clear. All we knew was that she lost the baby, leaving open the possibility that she terminated the pregnancy.
She miscarried. We weren’t intending to imply that she had an abortion at all.
TVLINE | Have Charlotte and Patrick met before? He instantly knew who she was.
He and Victoria started up a relationship [during the time jump]. And Victoria has shared her life with him. He’s aware of who her children are and, in a very sweet way, has been looking forward to meeting his siblings. He was prepared to meet Charlotte, but certainly not under the circumstances that he did. We see Charlotte taking a step towards becoming Victoria in the way that she treats him.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about Patrick and Victoria — what’s the deal there? She seems to have an extreme attachment to him.
[Laughs] What we’re seeing is that there is an intimacy and almost an openness Victoria has with Patrick that we’ve never seen her have with anybody, especially not with her [other] children. Her life is so fraught with the history that she shares with these people. With Patrick, there’s almost a clean slate. So we’re seeing a Victoria who is almost vulnerable. And with that vulnerability comes a kind of proximity that I think when people see it it is surprising. And it is a little bit dark and wonderful. But certainly there’s no element of incestuousness to it.
TVLINE | You also erased Conrad’s political career. Why?
Part of it was we didn’t want to trap Conrad in Albany all season. But we also wanted to set up a storyline where we see how wonderful Emily is at her takedowns. He didn’t just get taken out of the governorship — he believes he has [Huntington's] disease. This was a bit of a nod to the pilot where she did the same thing to Conrad, but we took it a step further and made sure it had psychological and physical ramifications that will cause him to examine who he is and who he wants to be. So, in tandem with bringing him back to the Hamptons, where we certainly wanted him, we wanted to make sure that we [embarked] on a storyline that allowed us to get to know this man a little better that we have.
TVLINE | Is he going to get a second opinion?
[Laughs] No. He doesn’t get a second opinion at this point in time. But you’ll understand as we go forward why that is the case.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about Aiden’s decision to join forces with Victoria against Emily — he meant that, yes?
TVLINE | He’s not secretly working with Emily?
He will state at the beginning of Episode 2 exactly what his opinions are about Emily, and you will see what he’s planning to do.
TVLINE | Emily and Daniel’s wedding – will that be the fall finale?
Yes. That’s our big December cliffhanger.
TVLINE | Will it end with the shooting? Or will we get a little bit of information beyond the shooting.
You may get a little bit of information beyond the shooting.