My wife and I have been watching Revenge since the very first episode. We haven’t missed an episode or a season since. In it’s newest season however the show is starting to fizzle in my opinion.
When the show first started I wondered how they were going to continue. The show seemed to start with a self imposed expiration date. The name of the show and the whole plot had one goal. The show was about Amanda Clark who assumed the identity of Emily Thorn for the purpose of exacting her revenge. Revenge on the people who were responsible for framing her father for a crime he didn’t commit. Her biggest target was the Graysons but there were many others on her list of people who played a part in the framing of her father.
The show was great. Emily was trained in combat with stealthy ninja skills. She had her revenge all planned out. There was the all powerful “Initiative” that operated in the shadows and was the organization that orchestrated the downing of a plane. The act was seen as an act of terrorists and David Clark was singled out as the mastermind and sent to prison. It was fun to watch as Emily put her plans in motion and we met different characters. We cheered when she accomplished one of her goals marking a red “X” through one of the people on her list. We bit our nails when her plan went sideways and she might be found out.
Jack was Amanda’s childhood friend and we can tell that they are destined to eventually end up together. The story twisted and turned with new revelations and new characters. Nolan brought the technology aspect to the show with elements of hacking and electronic gadgets. There were many cliffhangers and changes throughout the seasons. The girl Emily spent time with in juvie coming back and assuming the role of Amanda Clark. Jack Porter falling for her and having a baby with her. After they got married however the fake Amanda Clark was killed. Aiden whose sister was held by the Initiative and was the reason he joined in Emily’s quest. He and Emily fell in love but eventually Aiden was removed from the show.
Now in it’s fourth season I believe the show has changed dramatically. The whole reason for Emily’s revenge was for her dead father. Except her father wasn’t dead after all and David Clark re-appears. The Graysons had been decimated by Amanda’s plans. Conrad Grayson was dead, Charlotte Grayson Emily’s half-sister sent away to rehab and Daniel Grayson dying. It left only Victoria Grayson. Then entered Malcolm Black the reason David Clark was still alive and a major criminal and all around bad guy. Malcolm Black is killed and David Clark’s name cleared so Emily’s whole quest for Revenge doesn’t exist anymore. This is the problem as I see it.
The show tries to continue by throwing all the remaining main characters into different scenarios. It tries to create reasons for Emily and her team to exact revenge on wrong doers. Except there isn’t the same level of excitement anymore. There isn’t a character we can get behind as we could in the beginning. We could root for Emily because even though her plans hurt people we knew what she had been through and why she was doing it. There is no more excitement of Emily executiing her carefully planned attacks. She used to be two steps ahead of her adversaries and that edge is now lost.
It’s too bad because it was a good show with great characters. However I think as it stands now the show will not be around much longer. Unless they re-create what they first had when the show began it will be hard to keep going how they are going now. Emily has wronged many people in the last 4 seasons so if a relative comes to town. It has to be someone that was hurt as a by product of her plans. An innocent which would make the family member seeking revenge justified in the same sense that Emily/Amanda was when the show started. Also bring back the initiative. The thrill of this powerful organization in the shadows was great. An organization that required Nolan’s tech skills and Emily’s stealth skills to stay ahead of them.