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Revenge “Illumination” Review

Revenge Illumination 3

Revenge hasn’t been at its best this season. The focus on Emily’s revenge against the Graysons that made the first season so fun has been muddled a bit with shady terrorist organizations and terrible side plots. But the last couple of episodes have gotten things back on track to some degree, so I thought I’d check in with a quick look at the last night’s episode “Illumination” (spoilers for this episode and season in general below).

The big plotline for Emily this week involves her foster brother Eli showing up in town. He has come to the Hamptons for Amanda Clarke’s funeral and it doesn’t take him long to figure out that Emily is really his former sis. Despite Emily’s best efforts to get rid of him pronto, he seems to want to stay around and finds himself the co-chair of a new foundation started for Amanda Clarke by the Graysons. Nuisances like Eli seem to make Revenge a bit more entertaining (Tyler and Mason come to mind), so I am curious to see how this one will play out. I’m very happy they didn’t drag out him figuring out Emily was Amanda. I’d normally be all over the chance to see Emily “revenge” someone that was getting in her way, but this guy seems to have helped her a lot when they were young, so you know maybe that isn’t best. Or maybe he needs to just irk me a little more because when it comes to this show my morals much like Emily’s are quite questionable.

Meanwhile with the giant anchor of a plotline involving the Ryan brothers behind him, Jack’s story has taken a good turn. While it hurts me to see him angry at Emily (though I can’t blame him), I really like seeing Jack with a bit of an edge. Maybe even hatching some revenge (!) plans of his own. I’m not sure exactly where he is going to go with this. And maybe it ends up being a failure for him (he might be over his head in this crowd), but it is such a huge step forward from the mess he was involved with earlier in the season.

Not mentioned in this review, some (unintentionally funny bits involving Daniel drinking, brooding and getting into some kind of bar scuffle.

Not mentioned in this review:
Some (unintentionally) funny bits involving Daniel brooding, drinking and getting into a bar scuffle

There’s also a lot twisty turn-y stuff going on with the Graysons, Aiden and the Initiative. The important takeaway from this part of the show is that the Graysons are hiding their money away in the new foundation they started and that Emily and Nolan plan to hop in there and take it all away with Nolan’s super awesome computer program (I don’t think hacking works the way it is portrayed in Revenge by the way). That is until he runs into his nemesis who coded the security for the foundation’s online accounts (or something like that). More importantly his name is Falcon. Typed fa1c0n. Yeah I know. At first, I rolled my eyes too. And then I realized I was watching Revenge and decided this is the kind of stuff I want from the show. I’m not sure who Falcon is, but he was involved in setting up Ems’ dad too and seems ripe for a takedown.

Some other quick notes:

  • Aiden and Emily’s getaway revenge home seems pretty awesome. Even better was Nolan’s line when arriving at said location: “So this is where Aiden-san waxes off.”
  • I like the idea of them starting a love-triangle storyline between Declan, Charlotte and Eli because the show has really been lacking in awful sideplots since the Ryan brothers/bar subplot ended. Declan is always good for dragging the show down a bit, so he was the obvious choice for this.
  • Revenge has still yet to convince me the Initiative has been worth having in this show. I guess they had to do something to lengthen the initial premise that seemed rather limited, but this really hasn’t bared any fruit for me yet.
  • This post started as one of our new “Mini-reviews” we plan on using going forward which would be less recap-y than say my Fringe ones and much shorter. This one ended up somewhere in the middle, so I’m posting it as a full review since it certainly leans that way. Still working out that balance I guess.

“Illumination” wasn’t quite on the level of the two episodes that preceded it, but I still think we are in a much better place than before Amanda’s death (who died in human and boat form now that I think of it). I still think the show could do to sprinkle in some nice classic takedowns from Emily more often and the Initiative is still just sort of hanging around, but I think the show is back on track for the most part. Plus Falcon and Eli seem at the moment to be better additions than the Ryan brothers (have I mentioned I hated that subplot?). Let’s hope the season finishes strong after some stumbles this season.

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