It’s a classic tale: Boy meets Girl; Girl frames Boy for murder; Boy’s Daughter seeks revenge years later. You guessed it; I’m referring to ABC’s hit series, Revenge, the modern remake of The Count of Monte Cristo. While I’m all for vengeful, kick-ass heroines, the protagonist in this series isn’t living up to the show’s title. Emily/Amanda (Emilda? Amandily?) is not any closer to receiving retribution from the Graysons than she was in season one. She should really get a refund from Revenge Camp.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love this show. I love Nolan’s terrible revenge-y puns, the dramatic, wordless stares that precede commercial breaks, and how no one says “goodbye” before he/she hangs up the phone (seriously, what is up with that?). I understand that if Amandily did exact revenge, all those things I love would end. The series would no longer exist, unless Charlotte and Declan got a spin off series when they enroll in college.
But I’d still like to take a moment to review a few missed chances for revenge on Revenge.
1. Frame Daniel Grayson for Murder
Every Revenge-phile knows Emily/Amanda’s greatest weakness is her compassion. Still, rule 101 in Revenge Camp: don’t fall in love with your enemy’s son. In episode 118, “Justice,” Daniel Grayson is imprisoned and likely to be convicted for Tyler Barrol’s murder. This could have been the perfect opportunity to weaken Grayson Manor. Victoria’s soft spot is her kiddies. Remove them from the picture and Vicky becomes an easy target.
But does Amandily seize the opportunity? Noooo. She frames henchman Lee Moran as the killer. Daniel Grayson gets off scot-free.
2. Kill the White-Haired Man
In the season one finale, “Reckoning,” Amandily comes face to face with her father’s killer: The White-Haired Man. Not only did The White-Haired Man murder her father, but he kidnaps and tortures Nolan Ross and attempts to murder him and Amandily. But when she has him pinned to the ground with an axe, what does she do? Torture him for more information regarding the Initiative? Kill him for, you know, revenge? Nope. She remembers some dumb bird her dad helped her save so she lets The White-Haired Man free.
And it’s not like The White-Haired Man repents his evil ways. If Amandily had killed him, the SEC files would have made it to Washington safely on that plane. David Clarke’s name would be cleared and the Graysons would go down. Luckily, Nolan Ross backed up those files. Wait! Nolan Ross backed up those files!! Turn them over to the Feds!!!
3. Turn Victoria Grayson Over to Feds
OK, OK, we all make mistakes. Amandily let her compassion get the better of her in season one, but she’s learned from her mistakes, retaken her Revenge Training Course, and returned to the Hamptons with her eyes on the prize. So, naturally, when she discovers in the season two premiere, “Destiny,” that Victoria Grayson is hiding and in cahoots with The White-Haired Man, Amandily immediately turns her and the backed up SEC files over to the Feds. Right? Right??
Wrong. Amandily is too busy trying to find her mom to deal with details like, you know, avenging her father’s false imprisonment and murder.
4. Set Up Conrad Grayson for Murder of the White-Haired Man
Technically, Amandily does set up Conrad Grayson for the murder of The White-Haired Man in 206 “Illusion.” She just lacks some follow through to really make those murder charges stick. Did I miss something? Did Nolan lose those SEC files? Turn them in, already.
Anyway, the Initiative pretty much hands Conrad a get-out-of-jail-free card.
5. Let Kara Murder the Graysons
But no opportunity for revenge is more perfect than episode 207, “Penance.” Kara Clarke is literally about to execute both Victoria and Conrad, mob-style, but Amandily sends Aiden in to thwart her. Right now you’re thinking, “That’s her mom! She can’t let her mom go to prison!” But Amandily is like a bajillionaire. She can hire an A-list attorney that will get Kara off on insanity charges. With the Grayson parental unit out of the way, Amandily could easily manipulate Daniel Grayson, now head of Grayson Global, to get to the Initiative.
The main reason Emily/Amanda continuously fails to achieve revenge is that she’s very vague on what she considers revenge. So that, and Emily/Amanda’s compassion, gives the writers some wiggle room to delay the eventual end of the series. Because if Emily Thorne did get revenge on Revenge, what would I do with my Sunday nights?