Sunday, January 19, 2014

REVIEW: 'Revenge' Heads Into Hiatus with Emily Trying to Take Down Sara in 'Hatred'

ABC's Revenge - Episode 3.13 Hatred

With tension between Emily and Daniel at an all time high, Emily makes it clear she is not giving up. However, her own instability could put everything she has worked for at risk.

Early in its third season, Revenge was in a tonal rut. It wasn't completely awful storytelling determined to spend time on characters I just don't give a crap about - like the majority of the second season. But it felt like plot elongation to stretch out the time as Emily set up her grand scheme to frame Victoria for her murder on that boat. We all knew that that plan wouldn't go how she wanted it to. But the show spent a lot of time building up to that event. And that event was big and satisfying. For every weird thing that Revenge does, it knows how to end things well. Having Daniel pull the trigger gave the show a revitalized energy in its narrative. The episodes since then have a speedy pulse and aren't afraid of pushing these characters into game-changing situations - even if those "game-changing situation" are more plot elongation to the much larger reveal of who Emily is.

"Hatred" continues that trend as Emily and Daniel continue to face off. This arc has been the most consistent and interesting Daniel has been written in the entire series. He's no longer the naive fool everyone else is yanking around. He now understands the game everyone else has been playing for three seasons now. He still has his moments of naivety - thinking that Sara was safe also living at Grayson Manor for example. I liked Annabelle Stephenson but going forward it's probably for the best to sideline her again. Like Victoria said, she wouldn't be able to handle or throw the punches that Emily or Daniel can. It was a smart takedown for Emily but one that led to immediate consequences by Daniel.

But the show is also heading into a six week hiatus very weirdly. Emily's blackouts intrigue me - but don't really give me six weeks level of excitement. Nor does Nico's discovery of who really killed her father - Aiden. Plus, the episode spends a lot of its time introducing a whole new story about Patrick searching for his real father. It does give Victoria an amazingly emotional moment - a rarity for that character. Madeleine Stowe sells that well. Although it's the twist everyone could have seen coming. Plus, there's no indication of how it will connect to the main story. Victoria and Emily didn't even interact in this episode - and that's the show's go-to pairing! 

Some more thoughts:
  • Emily seriously isn't going to get a second opinion on whether or not she can still have children? That's odd.
  • Between Ana Ortiz in the fall and Brett Cullen tonight, Revenge has an obsession with the cast of Devious Maids.
  • Also, Jack and Margaux are getting a house together with a yard. Whatever. Those characters still feel like they're moving at a leisurely pace. Even though she got to interact with Daniel and Conrad tonight too.
  • And in case you hadn't heard, Margaux will be staying for awhile as the show has promoted Karine Vanasse to series regular for the (not yet confirmed) fourth season.
  • Revenge, like most of us, has forgotten about Charlotte's entire existence this week.
  • What the what?!?! Emily slept with Conrad?!?! Can't say I saw that coming.
  • "Hatred" was the first time in a long time that someone mentioned Conrad's first wife. And what would you know! There she is the final scene.