Monday, January 7, 2013

Revenge "Power" Review

Revenge darted in different directions through the first nine episodes of the season, and the show lost direction. "Power" brought focus back to Revenge. Emily got revenge on someone who looked the other way when the jury was tampered with during the David Clarke trial. The Initiative did more than sit in a dark room, staring at a screen, wearing expensive black business-wear. The Porter brothers continued acting stupidly. Fake Amanda is becoming aware of her boyfriend's troubles with the Ryan boys, suggesting she'll get a little violent. Simply, this was a less convoluted episode of Revenge than others this season.

Emily's vengeance against the aspiring Supreme Court Judge was a departure from her other cold and cruelly executed revenge plots. Nolan used to try to reach inside her conscience to make sure she really wanted to go through whatever plan she hatched. Emily glared at him like she'd destroy his life for asking the question. Emily's changed since the series began. Love changed her, the return of her mother changed her, and the arrival of Accent Guy changed her. Takeda worried her humanity would destroy the plan when it was the plan that threatened to destroy her humanity. So, Emily worked through the struggle of coldly getting back at those who hurt her and her father while trying to avoid hurting the people she cared about. It was impossible. Nearly everyone she cared about got hurt. The wife of the judge, Patricia, is someone Emily reaches out to and touches in her plan. The old adage about the powerful abusing their power happened in Patricia's marriage, wherein her husband beat her. Emily reached through to her with a story about what Amanda Clarke endured post-trial and how she couldn't defend herself because she didn't have a voice. Patricia has a voice and purple bruises along her arm to show what kind of man the judge really is. It's a rare moment of catharsis for another character in the Emily-centric revenge plots. Emily's seemingly reached a place where she's able to executive cold, hard revenge whilst retaining an aspect of her humanity that connects her to Jack, Nolan, Accent Guy, and even Daniel Grayson.

One piece of writing that suggests Emily's still slightly colder and cut-off from others is her decision to reconnect, romantically, with Daniel, at the behest of Victoria, who worries the Initiative will corrupt and ruin her son. Emily relents, stages a break-up with Accent Guy for Daniel to witness, and the dance of re-bonding and healing between the formerly engaged couple begins. Daniel's like the Ophelia of Revenge. A bunch of nonsense happens around him that he doesn't understand. He doesn't understand his spouse and they broke apart. His mother is treacherous and as trustworthy as a hyena. His family confounds him, and Emily's bound to be more distant from him than before. Daniel's guaranteed to walk around scenes signing Elizabethan tunes as Conrad and Victoria stare quizzically at him. The purpose of Emily is for his protection, but Daniel processes information horribly, and so he around February sweeps, he'll turn heel again. The Initiative's already pulling his strings, baiting him to look deeper into the company to learn truths. Daniel's fatal flaw is misplacing his truth in women he thinks of as trustful.

So, power is the theme of the episode, but what's intriguing is the emptiness of power in Revenge, i.e. it's a totally illusory thing. Who actually has power on the show? Daniel's the head of a corporation with its balls in the hands of The Initiative. He's as powerful as a Raw General Manager. Emily seems like the most powerful person in the Hamptons because she's in disguise and knows about everyone and can affect everyone. The smallest grain of sand can disrupt her calculated plans for Revenge. The Ryan brothers think they're in control of the Porters now. Declan's misguided attempt to put the bros away for drug trafficking put Jack in jail. It's nonsense. Lurking out of the Ryan brothers review is crazy Fake Amanda who won't hesitate to protect her family. Now it seems the image of the sunken ship will involve the deaths of the villainous brothers. If we learned anything from the Daniel fake-out, it's that Revenge loves fake-outs. Power's a flimsy, illusory thing. The characters that feel they possess it don't, and those who feel they don't probably like. Nolan's an example; he's under the nose of Daniel in GG, but he's able to use the computer systems to do some damage. Marco, his ex-lover, has old computer code of Nolan's, which will, most assuredly, pop up again.

Revenge's return from a brief hiatus wasn't bad. Crazy Jennifer Jason Leigh didn't appear, the story is moving forward in a sensible and coherent way, and Emily is an actively engaging character once more.

Other Thoughts:

-Previews indicate Ashley Medekwe will be back next week. That's good.

-Victoria stood on her patio and watched Daniel make out with Emily, which was weird in and of itself, but weirder because of her creepy smile.


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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.