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Revenge - Season 3 - Back to the Future or Back to Its Roots?

Revenge came back for its third season Sunday night with a time jump and creative reboot. A number of the plots introduced last season were abruptly tied up, as the creative staff apparently sought to correct the problems of meandering storylines and pointless character introductions that took the show away from its roots – the story of Emily’s quest for revenge against the Graysons.

But did the show go too far in its quick turnaround? I found a lot of last season difficult to get through, but the finale hooked me again. It was action-filled, emotional, and it redeemed a lot of the earlier plots that hadn’t seemed to tie in. An example – Padma. Her purpose suddenly became clear when we learned that Nolan was the patsy. I loved the reveal that there was no initiative – it was Conrad all along.

I loved the cliffhangers. Jack found out that Emily was Amanda. Aiden was possibly dead, or at least something meaningful had transpired between him and Daniel. Victoria’s son came visiting. Declan had died. And most of all, Nolan, who has earned his place in the spotlight by becoming one of the most compelling characters of the show, was finally the focus. I wanted to see Emily’s reaction when she found out that Nolan had been set up to be the new David Clarke. I wanted to see her fight for him, and to watch as the consequences of her actions really hit home. I wanted to see Nolan’s struggle and fear. Instead we fast-forwarded to Nolan’s release from jail.

Let me say that I am 100% in favor of tightening the story. There were so many forgettable tangents last year that started to make the show almost painful to watch. There were the Ryans. Amanda’s pregnancy. The on-again, off-again romance of Declan and Charlotte. Amanda’s fall from the balcony. The return of Emily’s mother. The white-haired man. Helen and her replacement from The Initiative. Padma. Nolan’s other ex. Daniel and Conrad vying for control of Grayson Global. Victoria’s son. Emily’s foster brother and their wicked foster mother. Takeda and Aiden. And don’t get me started on Ashley’s sex tapes.

A refocused revenge story looks promising. While Declan’s death was sad, I’m in favor of the departure of his character and of Ashley, who with dear departed Amanda, were really weighing the plot down. Charlotte’s miscarriage spared us from a few months of another tangential storyline. But still ….

Things that made me go hmmm

- What was the evil plan behind Carrion? The power outage looked like it was setting something in motion – something along the same scale as the downed plane that David Clarke was set up for. Something that would scare the markets and make Conrad rich. Was it just the explosion? How was Conrad expecting to profit from that? Why didn’t Conrad, who seemed unperturbed last season when he heard that Aiden had stolen the Grayson fortune, profit from whatever was planned?
- How did the Initiative (or Conrad’s scheming), which seemed so diabolically thorough last season, get unraveled so quickly that Nolan was able to get out of jail within six months, whereas David Clarke was left to rot?
- How did Emily and Victoria reach the point where Victoria knows that Emily knows that Conrad blew up his building. That’s a pretty serious crime. How could Emily admit to knowing this and not reporting it, and still keep her cover as the innocent girl next door?
- If Aiden’s goal is really to take down Emily (I assume we’ll find out why soon enough), why doesn’t he just expose her secret? “Hey Victoria. Emily is really Amanda Clarke.” Easy-peasy. No need to jump into bed (metaphorically speaking, I hope) with Victoria. Unless he's still with Emily.
- Does Jack have amnesia? In blaming Emily for Amanda’s and Declan’s deaths, he seems to have forgotten that Amanda was killed by Ryan, who was brought into the their lives by his own family’s mess, not Emily’s, and that Declan’s death was the byproduct of Conrad being greedy and evil, and not the result of anything Emily did.

We’ll have to wait and see if there’s a plan behind all of what we saw last night. What do you think about the new season’s start?

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