Tuesday, October 02, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 2x01: "Destiny"

Written by Mike Kelley And Mark B. Perry
Directed by Kenneth Fink

Emily: “Some say that to believe in destiny is to dismiss the role of free will but self determination cannot prevail in the presence of fate.”

Yeah, when it comes to destiny, I do believe you have to make a lot of your own and seeing as Emily has been deciding the destinies of many of the people that have wronged her family, it seems that she must do as well to a degree.

Last season was all about avenging the father, this one seems to be more about avenging the mother. If this show gets a third run, it’ll be interesting to see who else in the Clarke family needs to be avenged but I did like the change in David flashbacks for ones of Kara Wallace Clarke.

First of all, the casting choice in Jennifer Jason Leigh is a pretty good one and while she didn’t especially have a lot to do, we were given enough to see why Emily will continue her path of vengeance for another 22 episodes. Also, I am not surprised that once again, the Graysons are responsible for someone’s undoing.

It might not have been them who placed Kara in the Angel Of Mercy hospital but it was certainly Victoria who was paying secret visits to Kara and also Victoria who more or less put Kara in the firing line around the same time that Conrad had placed David in it too. The Graysons really do know how to keep it in the family when it comes to ruining people.

I’m going to assume the possibility that Kara is perhaps alive somewhere, given that David definitely seems to be dead and that probably Victoria and our White Haired Man know her whereabouts. Emily and Nolan didn’t waste time in planting a bug in Victoria’s new digs and the ending at least gave Emily a heads up she previously didn’t have with WHM.

Victoria being alive was hardly that much of a shock to the system, especially given that the producers themselves didn’t make much of an effort in teasing it out but at least Lydia is no more and a case to undo Conrad is still being built against him while he does his best to gain control over Charlotte’s inheritance.

Victoria faking her death made sense to me, given what she’s currently attempting to accomplish but what I found interesting was the fact that she confided in Charlotte that she was alive and that the latter then mentioned it to Emily after being framed for taking drugs when she didn’t.

I kind of like a lot of the reversals in this episode compared to last season. For instance, Victoria confiding in Charlotte instead of Daniel is as interesting as Daniel and Conrad butting horns with each other over money, Victoria and women like Ashley and Emily and also how Emily is spending this season getting closer to Charlotte rather than Daniel. It’s all definitely very interesting to watch.

That being said, while Conrad’s campaign to keep Charlotte confined to rehab also makes a good amount of sense (given what he’s trying to achieve), it does seem a little too cold even for him. He’s usually been able to get Charlotte on side in the past – I guess with the world believing that Victoria is dead, it’s harder for him to do so anymore.

Another interesting aspect of the opening episode as well was Emily’s continued training with Takeda and new guy Aidan. While I wished they had kept the previous actor playing Takeda in the role, I do actually like Aidan enough as a character and I’m looking forward to seeing how his back story evolves over the course of the season as well as his motives for wanting to keep Emily on track with her own mission, changeable as that has become.

Of course, not everything in this episode worked well. My misgivings about the series perhaps becoming too conspiracy like for it’s own good aside, I can’t decide which couple I found more boring to watch – Jack and Amanda or Daniel and Ashley? It’s a boredom made more painfully obvious when all four characters have more spark with Emily than with each other as well (particularly as Emily/Amanda are slightly more hostile with each other). Hopefully their plots improve within the next few episodes.

Also in “Destiny”

Madeleine Stowe’s name was kept from the opening credits in order to surprise her return. I’m glad the show didn’t drag it out.

Jack: “Watch it.”
Declan: “I am watching it and I don’t like what I see.”

The episode opened with the Amanda boat being sunk and a dead body discovered. I guess we have this year’s Fire & Ice.

Charlotte (to Conrad): “What would be too much would be losing a second chance to honour her. I already missed mom’s funeral, don’t take this away from me too.”

Aidan: “Amanda.”
Emily: “Don’t call me that.”
Aidan: “I’m not the enemy.”

Declan doesn’t seem to like Amanda all that much and it seems that Takeda has been training her to be Emily’s ally. Emily might have made a mistake in planting the idea of Jack getting Amanda to do a paternity test though.

Conrad: “Five o’clock already?”
Daniel: “Somewhere, like you taught me.”

Emily: “Only two people can answer that question. I need to get close to the Graysons again.”
Nolan: “Good luck with that after you broke poor Spaniel’s heart.”

Conrad seemed to imply that Ashley is cheating on Declan while Charlotte’s doctor is also under his payroll and making Charlotte’s life impossible. He found the burner phone Victoria gave her.

Amanda: “I knew you wouldn’t stay away.”
Emily: “How could I when we have so much to talk about?”

Takeda (to Aidan): “If you fail, the mission is over for both of you.”

Nice echoes of the memorial service with Emily/Ashley’s meeting mirroring the same between Emily/Victoria from the “Pilot” as well as having Dominik’s Unfinished painting auctioned off.

Jack: “What do you want me to do?”
Declan (re Amanda): “Tell her you’re not in love with her.”

Victoria (to Emily): “What in the hell are you doing here?”

Nolan taking up boxing, weight training and karate to defend him was nice. Calling himself “Southpaw” made me laugh and he also has his own home in escrow, which kind of sounds suspicious. Plus, he planted a Clam Cam in Victoria’s cabin.

Jack: “If I could go back in time.”
Emily: “But you can’t. We can’t.”

Victoria: “I’m not sure I deserve this kindness from you.”
Emily: “I’m just so happy you’re alive.”

Standout music: “Into The Black” by The Chromatics at the end of the episode.

Emily (re Graysons): “What they did to my father, they did to my mother too.”
Nolan: “And now they’re coming for you.”
Emily: “Good, let them.”

Chronology: Months from the events of “Reckoning”, given that both Emily and Victoria have been regrouping for different reasons.

As an opening episode, “Destiny” certainly kicked things off to an interesting place. It’ll be interesting to see what other twists and turns this show can provide for Emily’s ongoing saga against the Graysons but it does need to make sure it doesn’t become too convoluted for it’s own good though.

Rating: 8 out of 10


Evi @ sexta-feira said...

I'm happy to start this long day with your comprehensive reviews!

I found this episode predictable but still, it didn't bore me to death. Pregnant Amanda is really annoying to me, as well as Jack's younger brother. I liked Nolan's slight stylistic changes. Although his character was one of my favorites last season, his hair and clothes kind of distracted me.

I hope it'll be an interesting season.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Thanks, glad you enjoy them.

I think it will be interesting but Amanda and Jack need better material.

Nolan is still awesome as always.