Early on in the Revenge Season 3 premiere, Emily utters the fantastic line, “And let’s never say the words ‘Carrion’ or ‘Initiative’ ever again.” It’s a phrase most of the Revenge viewing audience can support, but it also speaks to the attitude that the current creative team behind the show is approaching this season with. As I watched last year’s finale, I actually thought it made good headway toward refocusing the show and getting rid of some of the elements that dragged the second season down (and icing Declan for good measure since he has been hurting the show from the get-go). But that wasn’t enough for new showrunner Sunil Nayar who spends much of the premiere tying off old storylines while trying to steer the ship back to its Season 1 roots.
“Fear” starts this year much like previous seasons with an “in media res” opening. Here we see Emily shot on her wedding day and then fall into the water below. Involving Emily gives this flashforward scene more oomph compared to last year’s tease. I always figured it was a more minor character that got killed off aboard the Amanda in Season 2 and while Emily will likely be fine despite the shooting, we still get the mystery of who would do this to her while we make our way towards her wedding day.
After that opening, we head back to present-day about six months after the end of last season and two months before the wedding to come. Emily is picking up Nolan as he is being released from prison. They are back in the Hamptons and don’t waste any time before getting back to their revenging. This week features a classic takedown that manages to jettison Ashley from the proceedings and the show as whole apparently which Revenge will probably be better for. And it also ended up getting Conrad Grayson wrongly diagnosed with Huntington’s disease which is actually pretty messed up. It was a rather clever plan Ems and Nolan hatched which included everything from using Ashley’s blackmail request of being set up with a well-to-do Hampton-er to Nolan parachuting into a party (which was pretty awesome). We even got a classic red “X” out of the deal and it was all just a whole lot of fun.
Another thing I was wondering going into the season was how things would be between Emily and Jack after last season’s excellent cliffhanger. I was kind of hoping for an Emily/Nolan/Jack team to be going after the Graysons which would be cool and keep Jack from falling into another ill-fated-Season 2-bar-esque subplot. But it seems that is not to be yet as Jack has understandably not gotten over all the lies that Emily has been telling him these past couple years. I’m sure the kiss to rejection sent ‘shippers crying into their pillows. While I also want Emily and Jack to be together in the endgame, I am patient and can wait for this to come about (which I still think it will). Jack also gives her an ultimatum to finish all this revenge-stuff by the end of summer or he will reveal her secrets which helps to put a little urgency into the situation.
A few more things worth noting:
- Some new characters have joined the fray: Victoria’s son Patrick and Daniel’s old friend Margaux. Not sure what part Patrick will play though Margaux’s seems a bit on the nose.
- Despite running as fast as they can from so many Season 2 plotlines, Aiden has returned and looks like he will be on Victoria’s side for the battle against Emily though who really knows.
- With Declan dead and Ashley gone, the title of THE WORST character on Revenge seems wide open again. I’m sure someone will take up the mantle. Is Charlotte the leader at the moment? I don’t know what the hell they were doing with her this week.
- I’m always a little lost on whether to call her Emily or Amanda when talking about Revenge, but I guess Emily it is until she is truly revealed maybe. At least the other Amanda/Emily isn’t around to make this issue even trickier.
- The plan is to write weekly reviews for this, but who knows. I will see how it goes.
Even at the lowest points in Season 2, I found myself enjoying Revenge. Having said that, I can still appreciate the attempt to return to the greatness of the first season. The excising of certain characters and stories should be a plus, but this episode felt a bit weighed down by trying to distance itself from some of those past issues. But that problem should pass before long and I could see some of that classic Revenge shining through in the premiere which is a plus. This was a solid premiere for the new season and I’m excited to see where this goes as the year continues.