Monday, October 29, 2012

Revenge "Forgiveness" Review

Aiden, AKA The Accent Guy, asks Emily if she remembered what she came to The Hamptons for. Emily silently nods. The question is one I've had all season. Does Revenge remember the main purpose of the show? Just as Emily's been distracted by her mother, the show also got distracted by various storylines like NoleCorp, the Graysons nonsense, Declan and Jack walking into a bad situation with a scruffy individual. There's been a whole lot less avenging than in season 1. I know, I know Revenge is about more than a girl's desire for revenge. The mere fact Accent Guy asked Emily if she remembers her original mission demonstrates how far the plot's veered from it.

"Forgiveness" is another dull affair in a dull second season. Forgiveness is the theme. Conrad and Victoria forgive each other enough to marry in order to avoid testifying against one another in a court of law. Amanda forgives Emily for lying about the father of her baby. Emily confessed Jack's the father, and she lied for her own selfish reasons. Amanda forgives Emily's mother, who thinks Amanda is actually Amanda and not Fake Amanda. Emily stands outside, listening and weeping. Wealthy scruffy man forgives the debt owed to him by the Porters if Jack agrees to sell the bar. So, much forgiveness, hugs and handshakes happen in "Forgiveness." It wouldn't be Revenge, though, without possible backstabbing treachery. Padma's inquiring about David Clarke's Grayson Global contract, which unsettles Nolan and Emily. Aiden uses the knowledge to pitch a power play for Daniel to assume control of Grayson Global. The plot becomes extremely convoluted in a a short space of time, which doesn't help when I'm distracted by weather conditions outside.

The mystery of Kara Clarke is temporarily lifted through helpful flashbacks and earnest apologies in a hospital room. Jennifer Jason Leigh's performance is still all kinds of crazy. One wouldn't trust her with a butter knife much less an infant not even a week old. The revelation of her attempted drowning of little girl Emily added tension and suspense to instances when Kara held the baby. Would she drop baby Carl? Would she yell 'Go Long' to Emily and spiral the baby down the hospital like she's Tony Romo? No, Kara quietly holds the baby while Emily looks horrified. Other flashbacks show a contrite Kara hours after the attempted drowning. David told his daughter about Mommy being sick to explain her absence. The sickness is a self-diagnosis. Kara urges her husband to tell Amanda she died because it'd be simpler than the horrible truth. Maybe Kara is reformed. I doubt the sanity of any person who's true love is the silver-haired man, though. Plus, it's Jennifer Jason-Leigh in the role.

Emily's emotional catharsis is complicated by the structure of the show. She cannot directly confront anyone about their roles in her pain. She's filtered through Amanda in this episode, giving little cues about the way to respond to Kara. One scene is particularly hard to gauge for Emily. Kara apologizes for what she did. Emily listens and cries. She cries because of the apology and because of her inability to tell her she's her daughter. The same emotional texture carries over to the paternity scene when Emily confesses her lie. Jack thinks he's with the love of his life, since childhood, but Fake Amanda's playacting. The happiness Emily wants is happening to other people. Emily's plan essentially dictates she exist alone. Accent Guy desires a more personal companionship with her, arguing she needs someone. The first scene of "Forgiveness" ends with Emily pushing him away, explaining he stayed the night because he happened to be there; anyone else would've been in his spot if he wasn't.

So, it's interesting to watch a woman hell-bent on revenge lose every thing or one she cares about in the process. Nolan challenged her conviction to help her consider the consequences of it. Will it be worth it after all, when the Graysons are put down and her father's avenged, if the people she loves are gone? This question is really the only worthwhile aspect of Revenge. The rest is nonsense.

Other Thoughts:

-My least favorite character, Mason Treadwell, on television returned. He's going to figure out if Amanda's actually Amanda. Blah.

-Padma and Nolan ate breakfast along the shore line. Padma's an impossibly attractive person.

-What's going to happen when Kara learns Emily and Accent Guy killed her man? She should learn around February sweeps. The Crazy will return then.


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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.