Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 1x21: "Grief"

Written by Mark Fish And Joe Fazzio
Directed by Randy Zisk

Jack (to Emily, re Sammy): “Every day has been a gift. I was starting to think he was gonna live forever. I can’t do it. I don’t know if I have it in me to say goodbye to him.”

Oh, Revenge, I bloody hate you now. Seriously, if this had been a human character, I would’ve been sad to see them go (more than others) but Sammy, really? That just felt like too cruel a trick to play on this viewer alone.

I know there might have been some plausibility issues with how long Sammy has lived for but I definitely couldn’t have been the only one who cried when the poor dog died. Both Jack and Emily were in buckets and while it could’ve been a saccharine step too far, both Emily Van Camp and Nick Wechsler actually managed to make it a very real show of grief.

I’ve lost a family dog before, so the way both Jack and Emily reacted was totally believable. Your pets really are like another member of your family and for Emily and Jack, Sammy was a strong link between them. When Jack said he wished Amanda was here to help him bury Sammy, I did find myself wanting to shout, “she is there” at the screen but I refrained from doing so.

Seeing Emily’s reaction to Sammy’s passing and the flashbacks of her playing with him, Jack and David as a child were fantastic. Sammy’s death made Emily evaluate whether or not she wanted to kill the White Haired Man who bumped off her father more than Nolan and Carole’s attempts of trying to get her to see straight.

Of course the moment Emily got that moment of clarity was the same one where Nolan got attacked by our mystery assassin as well. For the record, I don’t believe that Nolan is dead despite the ending of this particular but once again, I do believe that Emily has gotten herself into a sticky situation by underestimating her latest object in her quest for vengeance. For that record so did Nolan when his cable man disguise obviously signalled his doom here.

Speaking of underestimation – how convenient was it that Ashley managed to see Emily and Jack kiss as well? Actually, I’m not really worried how Emily is going to spin that one to Daniel because the way he’s been acting, he kind of deserves to lose her as well. Although I can understand Daniel becoming more like Conrad, I don’t necessarily like it though.

The way both him and Ashley were steamrolling Emily into making their wedding into a PR job for the Grayson family reputation annoyed me just as his attempts to buy Jack off with a cheque and guilt trip Victoria into handing over her evidence on Conrad was similarly off putting but I think that’s because a) I actually want Daniel to be decent and b) he doesn’t pull it off as well as either of his parents.

As for Conrad and Victoria, the sparring between the two of them in this episode was my favourite thing ever. I loved the family therapy session where instead of trying to be supportive to Charlotte, they used it as an opportunity to shame each other yet and I also loved that Lydia was caught in the middle as well.

Like Ashley, Lydia seems to think she’s a tough cookie but the truth of the matter is that Victoria doesn’t have to do a whole lot to actually take her down. If I were Lydia, I’d probably be collecting as much cash as I could find and hightail it out of the Hamptons before becoming a casualty in Conrad and Victoria’s war with each other. Of course I’m smart, which unfortunately is a quality that Lydia seems to lack in this situation.

Speaking of lacking, my patience for Charlotte is at an all time low now. She treats Declan like dirt for weeks (and yes, I know he’s not innocent) and then gets into a strop with his mate from Yonkers, who was actually a lot of fun in her few scenes. Oh and buying harder drugs is clearly a smart move, Charlotte, bravo dear.

Also in “Grief”

Classic misdirection at the start of the episode with Emily digging a grave which later turned out to be for Sammy, not White Haired Man.

Emily: “For most, the final stage of grief is acceptance but for me, grief is a life sentence without clemency. I will never accept and I will never forgive, not even after the man who killed my father lies dead at my feet.”

Nolan’s clearly as subtle in his disguises as Emily is with Burt Simmons not being the most convincing of cable men.

Jack: “Do you think I don’t see right through this?”
Daniel: “See through what, Porter? It’s a cheque, not a shoe bomb.”

Victoria: “You look good, Conrad.”
Conrad: “And you look like a demonic succubus.”

Conrad using Dominik’s naff painting as a means to hide vital evidence wasn’t a smart move given how easily Victoria managed to find it.

Nolan (to Emily): “You may be a lot of things – a black belt in karate, impeccable dresser and a certified sociopath but you’re not a killer.”

Victoria: “We used to be such good friends, what happened?”
Lydia: “You held me hostage at Grayson manor after your attack dog threw me off the roof of my own apartment.”
Victoria: “Well, you certainly have a knack for landing on your feet, don’t you?”

I should’ve mentioned in my last review but the show has been renewed for a second season and will be airing in a Sunday timeslot from now on.

Emily: “Trust me, Daniel, I couldn’t forget your family if I tried.”

Charlotte: “Mom, what have you done?”
Victoria: “Nothing I wouldn’t do again.”

Standout music: Gabriel & The Hounds “The World Unfolds”.

Emily: “They said grief occurs in five stages. First there’s denial, followed by anger, then comes bargaining, depression and acceptance but grief is a merciless master. Just when you think you’re free, you realise you never stood a chance.”

Chronology: Presumably around January 2012 or a few days since the end scene of “Legacy”.

Now this was a wonderful episode. Sammy was probably the unsung hero of this entire show and his departure in “Grief” definitely provoked the right reaction as well as some wonderful character moments from Emily and Jack. I loved this one.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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