Post Mortem: Revenge Boss on Why [Spoiler] Shot Emily - Plus, Scoop on that Memory Twist, Victoria's Upper Hand, Aiden's Past and More

Revenge Why Daniel Shot EmilyIf you’ve yet to watch Sunday’s Revenge, avert your eyes now. Spoilers ahead!

Since the start of Revenge‘s third season, we’ve known that we would eventually get to see a twice-shot Emily Grayson, née Thorne, plummet off of a yacht to a (theoretically) watery grave — but the identity of the trigger-puller has remained a secret… until now!

On Sunday, ABC’s primetime sudser revealed that the person packing the pistol is none other than… our scheming leading lady’s new hubby, Daniel!

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That’s right, a drunk and disgruntled Danny Boy — who, having just learned that his beloved ex, Sarah, has tried to take her own life — overhears Victoria and Emily discussing the latter’s fake pregnancy, then confronts his betrothed over her incessant lies and, without hesitation, retrieves the loaded gun she has nearby as a means of faking her death. She immediately apologizes, but it’s (way) too little, (way) too late: He’s already shot her. Twice.

When a very-much-alive Emily doesn’t meet Aiden at their planned rendezvous point, he and Jack — who’s come to say (another, better) goodbye to his childhood sweetheart — happen upon her bloody, discarded wedding gown. Daniel, meanwhile, watches his missus float away and returns to the party as if nothing has happened.

At a recent press conference, Revenge boss Sunil Nayar discussed the near-fatal twist, revealing why the show chose Daniel as the shooter and what’s next for an amnesiac (!) Emily. The EP also previewed Victoria’s next move now that she (for once!) has the upper hand on her daughter-in-law, and multiple “amazing cliffhangers” ahead.

QUESTION | Talk about the decision to make Daniel the shooter.
We played around with lots of different options… We had about three different people that we were really seriously considering and then tried to make it work… We just wanted to do the one that’s the juiciest and that ultimately changes the show as much as possible. We wanted to almost paint ourselves into a corner where you think, “How on Earth are they going to get out of this?!” because we’ve established so many realities that we can’t deny are true now. I think that we found elegant ways out of these problems that really give us tons more story going into the back half of the season.

QUESTION | Who else was under consideration to pull the trigger?
We toyed with so many different people. There was a time that we played out what if it was Aiden who shot her, and then we realized that that just would seem so incongruous with the couple that we know them as. So even to try to think about getting him to that point didn’t really work. We obviously toyed with the idea of Victoria shooting her, because it’s so delicious and wonderful, and then we had Lydia coming back… So we teed up everybody we could think of as the shooter and just saw which had the best prize when it happened and the best dramatic merit coming out of it, and Daniel really was the answer to that question each time we looked at it.

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QUESTION | How will Daniel’s actions impact him in the episodes to come?
He’s tormented by the nature of what he’s done. You even get a sense after he shot her, there’s this flicker of regret. He [committed] a brash act. He’s been completely betrayed. It’s not like you don’t understand the impulse to do it. Carrying through with the act was the big moment for Daniel. He will have to wrestle with the demons of what that means and wrestle with the fact that now, he’s learned the truth about this woman that he’s given his heart over to back and forth over the last couple of years. You’re going to see a real transformation in him. There’s a regret that will come from it initially, but then it will grow into a strength, a hardening in Daniel Grayson, because the person he trusted the most has really upended the nature of that trust. It’s going to be a great journey we’re going to put him on.

QUESTION | How did Josh Bowman react to the shooter twist?
He was blown away… Once we knew were doing the storyline, we thought, “We have to talk to Josh before anybody,” because from his acting standpoint, we wanted to give him as much time to prepare for it and make sure he was nuancing his performance as he got up to it. He was obviously very concerned, because it’s a big move, and we kept assuring him, “We’re going to get you to an emotional place where we’re going to believe that you did it,” and hopefully all you guys [watching] actually believed that he got there. I think he did. He did a fabulous job, but he was knocked out that he was going to be the shooter. But also, in a very legitimate way, we wanted to make sure we were going to attend to the nature of his character going forward, and it wasn’t going to be for simply sensational [effect] like, “Holy moly, I can’t believe it’s Daniel”; it actually informs his character going forward, and the dynamic between Emily and all of the Graysons. With his input, we really got to the right place for it, and you’ll see where we get to going forward.

QUESTION | Speaking of Josh, what are your thoughts on him recently saying he wanted to be killed off the show this season?
Josh had gotten himself into a space, because he knew he was doing this storyline, that some of the darkness was in [his remarks] in a way. He had just such a commitment to where his character was going that he, in his mind, just let it go to the nth degree. When he was just talking to [the reporter], he let his imagination get away from him a little bit, just because he was living in the darkest place his character’s ever going to be. Coming out of it, anybody could die on Revenge at any time, so it wasn’t an insane thing to say, but we love Josh and obviously we have plans for his character.

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QUESTION | Has Emily really lost her memory, as the promo for January’s episodes suggests?
She has at the moment lost her memory of all of it, and you’ll see how we play out the amnesia storyline. Because obviously, it’s quite the soap opera trope. [But] what we’ve done with it is [do it] the way that Revenge would do it: in a way that’s extremely satisfying… We wanted to do it, but in the way that the show is capable of doing things, where you never know who’s telling the truth at any given moment. So, we play with the amnesia idea in many different ways, from the first episode back, that you’ll be happy about.

QUESTION | That said, how will an investigation into Emily’s shooting play out?
There are a couple different people who become primary suspects. Obviously, Emily’s not a benefit to them in the nature of the investigation, but they will have evidence on the boat that they’re pursuing, and then they’ll have photo evidence of what Margaux is doing on the boat, so that Voulez is primary in the investigation, and again, in classic Revenge style, you’ll see how one person becomes a real suspect, and then it shifts over to someone else’s focus.

QUESTION | What happens now that Victoria knows a little about who Emily is?
We wanted to set up things so that we have a greater knowledge of who Emily is going forward, and Emily will then slowly understand that the circumstances of what she can do are now drastically different also… Seeing this photograph is the catalyst that starts Victoria on a journey to really have something on Emily… VictoriaWeddingShe has no idea that she’s Amanda Clarke at this point in time, but she at least knows that this woman is not on the level and that some of her suspicions are actually correct, which gives Victoria a great engine going into the second half of the season. She now has the power in the relationship, which she hasn’t had obviously in the first half of the season.

QUESTION | And Emily still wants to take down Victoria?
She definitely still wants to take the Graysons down. That will never be a mission that leaves her, but again, with Victoria knowing who she is, and as we play things out coming back, she’s going to understand that the way that she has to go about this is going to be completely different than the way she’s done it in the past.

QUESTION | Will we see Emily quickly stripped of her Grayson name with an annulment?
It’s tricky. We looked into the rules of annulment in New York, and it requires, interestingly, a degree of fraud that has to be committed. Daniel actually has the grounds for annulment much more than Emily would at this point in time, but you’ll see coming into the next episodes that that’s actually not the best option for him at this point in time.

QUESTION | Emily’s humanity has been called into question quite a bit this season, particularly by those she cares for most. Will that continue to be explored post-shooting?
She’s a person who’s been created by circumstance, and so we’ve tried to explore in the first half of this season what her mission has turned her into in some ways. And then answering who shot her and why, we wanted, in the second half of the season, to really answer the humanity of Emily Thorne, to get back to the girl that was destroyed by what the Graysons did, to get back to the family that destroyed her. The examination of the first half of the season was, what are the merits of her mission, and what has it turned her into, and then post-shooting, it’ll be, who has she now become, and how does she see what her mission is and who she is with respect to it? It’s the real humanization of her you’re going to see in especially the next three episodes coming up.

QUESTION | Do Jack’s actions at the end of this episode signify a “reset” for him and Emily moving forward?
Yeah, we’ve had Jack really scrutinize the nature of who Emily is and what Emily’s doing, but he will come to see in the aftermath of the shooting that it’s really his ultimatum that’s led her to be in this position. There’s a bit of culpability that he has for it, so you’re going to start seeing the thaw between Emily and Jack as we get into the second half of the season… It’s a bit of a more equivalent relationship moving forward.

QUESTION | How will all of this impact Aiden?
There’s definitely still the triangle of Emily and Aiden and Jack, and Aiden’s definitely still in the picture. But his plans have obviously gone awry. His future’s just been upended, and Emily’s going to have to stay in the Hamptons for a little bit, so it’s confusing to him. There’s another great introduction into the nature of the Aiden backstory that takes him into the future that shakes things up between him and Emily, too.

QUESTION | Will Sara be back? And will we learn whether she actually tried to commit suicide?
Sara’s not gone yet… And you will find out in the episode back what actually happens to Sara.

QUESTION | And how long will Lydia be sticking around?
She’s sticking around for a little bit longer. She’ll play a big role in the episode back.

QUESTION | What’s next for Nolan and Patrick?
We always knew that we were going to bring back Victoria’s son and that he’d become a love interest for Nolan, and the two of them have been so great together. Frankly, what we’re going to do is we’re really going to put them through their paces when we come back. Happy relationships are all fine and dandy, but that’s not where this show thrives. Patrick, seeing that there’s this space between this painting that Nolan obviously bought from his mother, is going to have him call into question with whom his fidelities lie, and the answers are going to really cause a lot of great conflict in the Victoria/Patrick/Nolan triangle.

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QUESTION | What’s Charlotte’s journey in the second half of the season?
She will slowly come to see Emily in a different way, which is going to cause that rift between the sister that she’s always tried to get closer to. We want to give Charlotte a love interest in the second half of the season, because now that she is more of a woman, it’s time to acknowledge her as such. We have a way that we could do that that will also create more conflict in the world of Emily and Nolan also, but we want to keep her going, because she’s been fantastic this year, and we love our new Charlotte.

QUESTION | Will we continue to see takedowns of the week moving forward?
Definitely. We’re not going to get rid of the takedowns. We’ve done them sparingly and with the right impact when we do it. Again, now with this new Emily, we have a different sense of how a takedown is going to work, so we’re not giving them up completely.

QUESTION | Are there any major cliffhangers planned to conclude your three-episode run in January?
Oh, yeah. When you get to the end of that Episode 13, there are three, maybe four amazing cliffhangers that we’ve got built up that will carry you into March… Now that we’re past [the wedding], and we’re to the place where Daniel has shot Emily, where Victoria’s figured out who she is, where Patrick’s seen where the infinity box may be hidden, we can get into the more salaciously, revenge-y, interpersonal stuff now. [Our new] 10 pm [timeslot] will give us the opportunity to show you the darker colors of all the people.

QUESTION | Now that some of Emily’s secret is kind of out, is this the beginning of the end? How many more times can her revenge plans be thwarted?
What’s interesting is that there is so much story left to tell, surprisingly, and again, one of the things this episode is helping to do is to change the nature of how we can [tell that story]. But definitely, that is one of the things we’re talking about, that Emily needs a measure of success by season’s end, just so we understand that she is good at what she does. That’s one of the things that you can all know: We’re working… to make sure… you’re satisfied by the nature of what she’s doing as we get into Season 4.

QUESTION | So, you’re feeling good about the future of the series, renewalwise and whatnot?
We all feel very confident that there will be a fourth season of the show, and obviously, we’re already trying to think of that now. We all have a belief that the show could go on as long as we keep changing the parameters of what the show is. The show has legs to keep running for a long time, but obviously, we all hope, and I would imagine even at the network, too, that when the show is going to finish, that we have a chance to finish it correctly, because it would be so unfun for us and for the fans to to not have a resolution. So we definitely want to make sure this is a story that has an ending when it’s done.

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164 Comments
  1. Jirynka says:

    I miss season one. “The show has legs to keep running for a long time…” Imho the show should have only one season. First season was so dynamic. It was so smart. Now it seems, Amanda is unable to finish the job. Second season did not make mutch sense. I was hoping for improvement and now…this was The Masterplan? I know she had to change it a little bit, but I am sorry, this was dump. I am not saying everything should go according to plan but… I feel like it is just about the money now, it’s all in “lets make it longer and longer” style. And – is it just me or are all characters starting to be annoying in season 3? I loved the show and it truly pains me.

  2. MTB says:

    First off, I thought there was not going to be a love triangle? Every show has been there and done that. Revenge sells out. Now we have the dreaded amnesia? REALLY? Another cheap sell out.

  3. Diggy says:

    The fact that the show runner gets excited for the amnesia “trope” tells it all. Revenge has become cliche after cliche after cliche & that’s why it’s stuck in the mud & has no edge. What is the audience supposed to care about at this point? Where’s the fun? I think the focus of the show should turn 100% to Nolan & have the rest of the characters float in & out of camera in the background choking each other or fighting with each other or hacking each other with various sharp implements like an old Abrahams/Zucker movie (Airplane!) cuz that’s all it seems they’re up to lately, the same indistinguishable “I’ll get you,” “no, I’ll get you you” noise. Quite sad. Season 1 of Revenge was some delicious fun.

  4. b says:

    Better than the first seasons fall finale. Victoria knowing Em is and has been up to something and Daniel shooting her are the shows best OMFG twist ever!

  5. Ameera says:

    In my opinion, the show has become a bit of a drag for me. I loved the show since episode 1, but now it feels like their stringing along the audience and the storyline just for the sake of getting another season. The story line is good, and I like the idea of Emily getting amnesia-it’ll give us the opportunity to see Emily’s true personality, without being blinded by hatred and revenge. I’m just hoping that the writers will realize that if they continue to add some more plot devices and cliff hangers (that totally goes against the storyline) they will lose some audiences. I, personally, need the show to end-or at least Emily’s storyline. The show could go on, but with a different character and storyline. Now I just simply want closure.

  6. Ally Oop says:

    Overall, I think this was a really good finale. The show is much better in Season 3 than Season 2 but not as good as Season 1. The show needs to restore the multidimentionality of all the characters to bring it back to Season 1 standards. Looking forward with crossed fingers to see how that plays out. They say Daniel will be darker and I hope that means smarter but at the same time more layered–we need to see some good sides too–if he turns into Connor then I’m done.

  7. Maryann says:

    Revenge did not start off as a soap opera. It was modeled on the classic Count of Monte Cristo. All of the characters were three dimensional. Emily could be rooted for as actually being justified in what she was doing, and as being a good person at heart. Daniel was in shades of gray, and Emily was conflicted in that she actually had feelings for him, and felt some guilt over what she planned to do to him. We could really *care* about the characters.

    Season 2 was still good, and they ended the season with some really delicious twists — like the gasp-worthy scene in which Emily told Jack the truth. And I really feel they did away with a big part of the mystery of the show when they just totally dismissed the initiative.

    This season? The show has well and truly devolved into just a mediocre soap. We most definitely need the old showrunner back! None of the characters are three dimensional and Emily is no longer someone to care about; I actually felt a moment of being on Daniel’s side when he shot her. She has certainly ruined Daniel’s life, as completely as the Graysons ruined hers. I can feel for him being drawn to a truly genuine girl who actually loves him.

    But my biggest complaint about this season is that everything is plot driven, and nothing is character driven. All the characters have become just plot mechanisms, and none of them — with the possible exceptions of Nolan and Jack — are three dimensional. Bring back a conflicted Emily who is not as evil as those she seeks to bring down! If she is no better than the Grayson’s, why should we care who wins!

    • Maryann says:

      One additional issue…One of the things that made the first two seasons really good was that Emily was always a winner and always in charge of her destiny and her plan. Now she is just a floundering little girl who really is not competent at what she is doing. I want to see her plot through to the end and succeed, all the while staying human enough for us to care about — not have everything come unraveling to such an extent that the show no longer knows what it is about.

  8. Maryann says:

    Ok, here is a question I really need an answer to. Since when did VICTORIA become Emily’s main focus of revenge? In the first two years of the show, Emily was focused on how to make Conrad pay for framing her father. All Victoria did was keep her mouth shut; in the end she even tried to turn Conrad in herself. Wouldn’t that at least make Victoria and Emily somewhat on the same side? What did I miss, or has the writing just become that inconsistent?

  9. abz says:

    I remember somewhere in the episode that Emily said the reason she was targeting Victoria for her fake murder was because when in jail Victoria facing murder charges would definitely lead her to turn on Conrad to somewhat save herself and thus killing two birds with one stone.

  10. Rhazes says:

    Ehh, Amnesia. Can I watch just 1 show where someone doesn’t get amnesia. Writing is almost as bad as greys anatomy.

  11. adona says:

    Recyling stories:
    1- Emily will have amnesia and will be welcomed, don’t that remember you anyone? Lydia..! When she falled out the balcony, she returned to the Graysons Manor amnesiac.
    2- Daniel shot Emily, another repeating story. Everytime they need a bad shooter the writers chose Daniel: Tyler (s1), Aiden (s2), Emily (s3) none ended dead because of Daniel. He has to be hated by the viewers, it’s his fate!
    3- Four years ago summer time, Daniel drunk, crashed his car, and injured his girlfriend. Summer 8/8 Daniel drunk shot his new wife and run.
    4- Amanda was shot on a boat and drown in the ocean, and Emily Thorne was shot and dead in the ocean. But as these girls have nine lives, next episodes we will welcome Emily Grayson, the new revenger.

    Emily’s humanity:
    1- To see the broken girl, Emily has to be amnesiac so the viewers will root for her again. I’m calling that a joke.
    2- Jack the true love man, they are keeping him alive to reminder us that Emily used to be an innocent girl. I really don’t care about him. Aiden, nothing to say about him except useless.

    • adona says:

      I think if Emily is failling for now it’s because she let those men (Jack, Aiden) enter in her life. They were distractions ; they are thornes. She could have success without them by turning Daniel against his own parents. She is rushing things since they are putting their noses in her plan. Get rid of them!

      • Amanda says:

        Turning Daniel against his parents would not be revenge enough worthy after everything the Grayson’s have cost her. Which is everything, by the way.

        • adona says:

          After everything the Grayson has cost her? What things? I don’t have any pity for Amanda Clarke aka Emily Thorne. Ok, her dad is dead, but her mum is alive and she doesn’t care. She has a sister, and she doesn’t care. She had a friend Amanda, and she framed her. She has plenty money, and she is wasting it. She has already succeeded by ruining Graysons lives, and she still angry at them. They were bankrupt and she returned the money. Victoria and Conrad relationship are broken. What does she want? Justice, I don’t think so. What do fans want? What does that mean Revenge, how can she measure her revenge success: Shooting the Graysons? Torturing them? I don’t understand her quest! Hey writers bring back alive David Clarke, this is the only thing who will stop this sociopath. She is deranged and I don’t root for her even if they will show us her humanity side.

          • Amanda says:

            Ok Daniel shipper! You’re ridiculous. You’re theory about Emily having revenge just by simply turning Daniel against his parents is awful. She does not love him! She would be the one suffering in that scenario having to stay married to someone she doesn’t care for.

        • adona says:

          @Amanda, Hello shipper of nothing, you better be asked SN to employ you as you seem so great at making story line. If you don’t mind I will tell him you are more than competent. I maintain my version and love has nothing to do with this: turning Daniel against his own parents could be an angle the wirters missed to explore.

  12. DavidSask says:

    I have to agree with the fans that this is never ending fake-outs with little answers on this show and even though season 2 has been forgotten the ludicrous daytime soap plot lines aren’t working in the shows favour either! Give this show 1 more season to have an ending and syndication but no more than that!

  13. Dian says:

    With amnesia story line they want to show us Emily’s real personality. This season will be all about dark side of people and it is boring. Emily gets an angle,Daniel turns to evil,Aiden who always helped Emily and loved her will show his dark side( like a jok). Jack will get close to Emily and… I don’t like this story.How is it possible Daniel hears Victora and Emily but he doesn’t see Aiden who cut off Victoria? How is it possible Emily takes off her wedding dress with two bullets in her tommy? she comes out from water, she takes off her dress then she goes to coma and gets amnesia LOL.

  14. Gems says:

    I like this show & enjoy following the different roads it’s taken us on. Unless they give Aiden a better story line, he is of no use. I’m liking everything else. I don’t mind the amnesia storyline. She will probably use it to her advantage over time. I only wish for Nolan to find true happiness & for Charlotte & Emily to become close. Daniel has always had a personality as if he’s sedated so why would he be any different now. I think we are all too critical. As if we could do any better. Sit back & enjoy instead if always complaining people!

  15. Syd says:

    I like the show and am addicted, for better or worse. But what can the outcome be? Aiden getting killed off, Emily with Jack…that seems like the logical cute conclusion.

    I can buy the Sara/Daniel connection but I have a hard time with Jack attracting rich girls.

    Maybe Josh Bowman has the same feelings about this as Jessica Lange has about American Horror Story.

  16. Hung up on revenge says:

    I would gave liked them to finding Emily really pregnant and losing the baby due to Daniel. More guilt and he could not easily turn his back on Emily. I know I’m in the minority, but I liked those two together and had hoped they’d run off to Paris. I like Daniel loving Emily, not despising her.

  17. Love Revenge says:

    I guess Lydia was the one we saw in the hospital with her head wrapped up. I wondered if it might have been Amanda but who knows. With everyone coming back from the dead there is still hope for Amanda and Declan.

  18. jeddie lynn says:

    ok.. I read Daniel was supposed to be killed off on season one finale but fans loved him and he wasn`t..think I remember seeing him shot at the beginning of season one previews.,,writers saved him..as far as I can tell.. VICTORIA is the one that should have her REVENGE.. this woman whole existance is held back by CONRAD` power over her.. I truly believed Victoria loved DAVID CLARK and once she find out EMILY is also DAVID`S daughter as well as CHARLOTTE.. VICTORIA will team up with the real AMANDA/EMILY to distroy CONRAD once and for all. this should be in the final season of REVENGE. PACTRICK is so sexy..I want nude scenes please!! frontal ..is that asking too much if u`re showing it past 10 pm. I almost quit watching it when PATRICK was missing from the show. also need to see CHARLOTTE be more real..get a life..have sex for goodness sake and what makes the show unrealistic is the africian/american cleaning women walking around in the backgound with a cleaning bucket at the HAMPTONS. LMAO I know sum real life black bi**hes and they can be evil.. get a HALLE BERRY on the show. my only real suggestion would be.. lay off the help and hire a real AMERICAN/AFRICIAN actress to spice it up! ..REVENGE..please end with sum class..VICTORIA IS THE QUEEN!

  19. Bethany says:

    Please, nobody cares about Charlotte’s love life. Are there people who like her ??? I mean, really ??

  20. susan says:

    Plz give Aiden more storyline, I absolutely love the James Bond side of him… I am rooting for Aimily all the way, love their on screen chemistry more than Jack :)

  21. Tony says:

    I fear that Revenge is going the way of Lost, over complicating the story line and killing the show

  22. Deb says:

    There’s something I don’t get. When Daniel sees Sarah in season 3, he states that he never saw her or was allowed near her during the time she spent in hospital/rehab for her spinal injury. However, in season 1 episode 3 called Betrayal, Emily convinces Daniel to make amends with Sarah and she drives him to the rehab place so that he can go talk to her. Victoria’s bodyguard even has picture proving that the pair was there…so I don’t know why Daniel tells Sarah something like: Oh, when I saw you at the bakery I was in shock, not seeing you since the accident bla bla bla…he was supposed to already have made peace with his past…the drama doesn’t make sense at all.

  23. Mary Ann Thomas says:

    I used to love watching “Revenge” but the story line has gotten too twisted and unbelievable. I am hoping it will end this season as this is the last one I am watching.

  24. tessa says:

    Sara back is bad, uncalled for. Daniel shooting emily a no go maybe if sara did the shooting, so dissapointing daniel needs to o know the truth bout his family deeds he loves emily =-O

  25. Adam says:

    Here’s how they should have written it…Emily finishes her revenge in season one. Season 2 Aiden shows up and Ems helps him with his revenge. Season 3 could flash to the future and have someone’s child try to get revenge on Emily or some other character. The show could go on several season utilizing different characters getting revenge for differing reasons and tying them all together in some massive arc that no one sees coming.

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