Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 1x03: "Betrayal"

Written by Salvatore Stabile
Directed by Matt Earl-Beesley

Emily (re Kingsley): “Well, I’m stunned. I guess you can't tell with people, can you?”
Victoria: “Indeed. Goodnight, Emily.”

It’s nice to see that the chances of Victoria warming to Emily aren’t going to happen anytime soon. Hating Emily is one thing but what will Victoria actually do if she gets a clue that Emily happens to be Amanda Clarke after all these years? Well, it can probably be as worse as Emily’s nightmare of exposure.

I loved that Emily had that nightmare of Victoria piecing her real identity together and having the FBI take her down. I loved it for the simple fact that it should be a signifier to Emily that unlike the likes of Lydia, Bill and this week’s target, Kingsley, Victoria is one person that Emily is going to have difficulties in taking down after all.

Granted Emily did manage to get a few things over Victoria this week – first with getting Daniel to visit Sarah the cocktail waitress in rehab and then outsmarting her when Victoria arranged for Emily to bump into Mike Davis but Victoria’s slippery as hell and Emily would do well not to underestimate her at any turn.

I was wondering what the connection between Emily and Lydia’s ex-husband Mike was going to be and it’s smart that instead of Emily being Mike’s mistress, she ended up being the one who introduced him to his new girlfriend, Cameron. I have to admit that was a nice move on the show’s part but then again, it probably wouldn’t have been in Emily’s interest to sleep with the partners of the people she’s planning to take down either.

Victoria’s hostility for Emily though is also underscored by the episode attempts to point out how much she was in love with David Clarke. Victoria was so in love with the bloke she kept the earrings he got her all those years ago and had also tried to get Kingsley to exonerate him, only for Conrad to ensure that the corrupt lawyer/senator did the exact opposite of that.

And once again, we’re presented with a rather unsympathetic villain. It’s been three for three, which probably does mean that Victoria was the only person in David’s downfall to actually feel bad about it. At least Tom Kingsley seemed to have more of a back-story and personality than Bill did, which made him at least more noteworthy in Emily’s plotting.

Getting Nolan to mess with his presentation and arranging it so his pregnant mistress would be within proximity of his wife was impressive for Emily. Because of her actions, Emily managed to effectively nuke Kingsley’s chances of continuing his career as a senator, ruined his marriage and if her threat was anything to go by, some public humiliation will be coming Kingsley’s way as well for some good measure.

As for Nolan – he was actually sought out properly by Emily this week and while she’s a bit of a bitch to him, at least she’s beginning to realise that he’s an ally worthy of her hand. If Emily is smart, Nolan is also another person she’ll choose not to underestimate. Yes, he’s a great guy to have in your corner but I don’t doubt he’s also an unpleasant adversary to have as well.

Speaking of Nolan, it’s nice to see him trying more and more to reach out. I liked that he shouted a round of drinks for Carl’s wake (yes, they killed Carl off) and I also liked that he seems to have a genuine liking for Jack. The only thing I wish Nolan wouldn’t do is to try and buy that friendship. Something tells me that Jack would probably get along more with Nolan if the former put his money away.

As for Declan, he seemed more than happy to feed off Nolan’s generosity, especially when it came to getting even with Adam. Now that Declan has proof of Adam cheating on Charlotte, I guess he will probably use it at some point to break them up. The fact that he didn’t straightaway is actually an interesting move on his part.

Declan’s still probably my least favourite character on this show but I found his reaction to Carl’s death rather interesting. He’s mad at his father for what, exactly – not being there enough for him, not succeeding more? I know Carl brought a lot of debt to the bar but it did seem incredibly harsh that Declan wouldn’t even help Jack scatter their father’s ashes though. I also don’t doubt that it’s an action Declan will later come to regret.

As for Jack, I really enjoyed his scenes with Emily and Sammy this week. Emily seemed to drop her icy guard with him as well with him but I fear the more time she actually spends with Jack, the more it’ll be likely that he’ll also piece together who she really is. That being said though, they do have a wonderful rapport with each other.

However the nagging thing is that Emily also has a wonderful rapport with Daniel too. Hr motives for getting him to apologise to Sarah might have been selfish but effectively, she actually helped him and has inadvertently become a good(ish) influence on him. That’s also probably why Tyler was added into the mix of the episode, so that he could become a bad one for Daniel. I’m not sure what to make of the character right about now, except that I wouldn’t especially trust him all that much.

Also in “Betrayal”

Three episodes in and our first major(ish) character death – aside from the opening scene of the first episode. I kind of wished we had gotten more on Carl before he died.

Victoria (to Emily): “Amanda Clarke. How long did you really think you could fool me? You must be as stupid as your father.”

We had three flashbacks in this episode – one with Kingsley/Conrad/Victoria, one with David in jail and then another with Victoria and David in bed when he gave her the earrings.

Kingsley: “Did you come here to help me finish what I started?”
Emily: “I’m a big believer in finishing what I start.”

Emily (re tablet hacking): “Can you do it or not?”
Nolan: “With my hands tied behind my back if you tell me.”

Okay, three episodes in and Nolan’s fashion sense is definitely a little on the eccentric side of the scale. He’s probably the most brightly dressed character on this show, outside Victoria and Ashley.

Daniel (re Sarah): “You think I’m a bad person?”
Emily: “I think people who make mistakes should own up to them. You should talk to her. Tell her what you’re telling me now.”

Tyler: “I’ll go see if your party planner needs a hand.”
Victoria: “Her name’s Ashley in case you were wondering.”

Daniel offered to take Emily out shooting after spotting her gun. I did like the way Emily casually brushed off having the gun in her possession.

Ashley (re Nolan): “Is he bothering you again?”
Emily: “Like a swarm of gnats.”

Nolan: “You got what you wanted. You already destroyed a man’s career.”
Emily (re Kingsley): “I want to destroy his life. If he had done the right thing, he could’ve saved my father but he chose not to, so down he goes.”

Standout music: Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez’s “A Twist In The Sky”.

Emily: “For the innocent, the past may hold a reward but for the treacherous, it’s only a matter of time before the past delivers what they truly deserve.”

Chronology: Not long after the events of “Trust” I take it.

It’s been three episodes and while this show has a certain format that may or may not need spicing up here and there, “Betrayal” still managed to be a rather solid episode. I like the humanising of Victoria to temper her bitchiness and Emily still remains an intriguing anti-heroine but some work is needed on the likes of Ashley, Conrad, Charlotte and Declan as the show progresses and I want to see Emily go further in her pursuit of vengeance as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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