Monday, November 26, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 2x08: "Lineage"

Written by Nikki Toscano
Directed by Christopher Misiano

Marion: “Vindictive bitch.”
Victoria: “Oh, I learned from the best. Goodbye mother. I have no doubt you’ll land on your feet.”

Given that last season we got a flashback within a flashback episode in the shape of “Legacy”, the only thing that has shocked me about this flashback episode is the fact that we seem to be getting a little early in the season (unless there’s another one intended for later) but even for a diversion episode, this had plenty going for it.

For those of us who wanted to know Victoria Grayson managed to be quite the she devil – was it a shocker that it was learned from her own mother, Marion? I doubt it but at least this episode finally explained the way Victoria’s mind works and the warped sense of family loyalty she seems to have as well.

As a parent, Marion is definitely as bad as Victoria, if not a little worse. Sure, she didn’t play a part in Flight 197 but at the same time, she was a woman who seemed to latch on wealthy men and when they spurned her, she killed them (and let Victoria take the rap) and when one of them abused her own child, she threw the child out and married them. Marion’s terrible parenting skills are clearly hereditary then.

With this information on board, it’s little wonder that Victoria turned out the way she did but at least the episode didn’t seem to indicate that her behaviour was acceptable. However the episode did manage to show that Victoria can also pull off a long winded and complicated revenge scheme of her own to a deserving party too.

I thought it was pretty cool that both Victoria and Conrad banded together in order to leave Marion desolate and the fact that the latter’s new squeeze was in on the whole thing was actually a nice surprise too. Marion pretty much had it coming to her and there’s a part of me that does hope we get to see both her and Victoria interact with each other in the present day.

In the present day however, we had Victoria and Conrad as a team, discussing what to do with Daniel being a threat to the company and a target for the Initiative. Conrad sabotaged Daniel’s chances of being a poet in flashbacks and in the present day, it does make sense that he’s currently regretting it. For a sneaky bunch, it’s amazing that foresight isn’t a quality that Victoria and Conrad can rely upon.

Unfortunately it’s also one that might have escaped Nolan due to his flashback showing us that he ended up choosing his loyalty towards David and Amanda/Emily over his relationship with Marco, a former CFO of NolCorp and now someone whom Daniel in the present day wants to use as an ally too. Poor Nolan doesn’t seem to catch a break, even when it comes to his unwavering loyalty for the Clarkes.

As for Emily, in a lot of ways, she almost had less to do in these flashbacks than I thought she would. On one hand, it was nice that she saved Ashley from becoming a victim of trafficking but at the same time, Satoshi seemed to engineer her mission with Russian mobsters in order for her to meet and induct Aiden into revenge school. I know some fans don’t like that element of the storyline but for me, it was fine enough.

I liked the scenes with Emily and Aiden during the flashbacks when they were protecting each other and I’m hoping that actually showing him her Infinity box in the present day doesn’t come back to bite her in the backside but chances are, it will though. Plus, the less said about the dull as ditchwater Porter flashbacks of the episode, the better; though I guess I should say something.

Simple put, Kenny and Nate’s father seemed to be a mean spirited bastard threatening local businesses until one of Carl’s friends killed him but Kenny thinks that it was Carl due to the gun being his. Personally, while it’s nice for the Porters to have a plot of their own, the show could do with wrapping this one up as soon as possible though.

Also in “Lineage”

I noticed there was no beginning/end narration on the theme of lineage, which seemed a little odd.

Marion (to Victoria): “Love doesn’t avail itself conveniently dear. I understand Conrad was married when you met.”

Great casting with Adrienne Barbeau as Victoria’s mother and with the actress who played the younger Victoria as well.

Ashley: “Who are you?”
Emily: “A friend if you let me be.”
Ashley: “I don’t need friends, I need money.”

Emily: “I don’t like this time of year.”
Takeda: “Then your mission should provide much needed distraction. Are you afraid?”
Emily: “No, I’m ready.”

Ashley wanted to work in an art gallery and never actually saw Emily give her the money to flee from Dmitri and Sergei. I guess we’ll get another flashback where they do properly meet then.

Aiden: “You look transformed.”
Emily: “Everything looks different in the harsh light of day.”

Marion (to Victoria): “You may think I knocked you down but you landed on your feet.”

Aiden’s sister Colleen was a victim of trafficking and is presumed dead. I don’t think we needed the bit with his father being a bag attendant at Heathrow on top of that.

Marco: “See, I’m your CFO and you can’t tell me where nearly half a billion dollars went? That doesn’t work for me.”
Nolan: “Marco.”

Marion (to Ben): “It’s lies. Every word of it.”
Victoria: “You threw me out into the streets. I was child. I was fifteen.”

The only characters not to appear in the episode in either flashback or present day stuff were Charlotte and Amanda.

Marion: “I thought you’d at least enjoy taking pity on me.”
Victoria: “Pity’s not a quality you’ve taught me.”

Standout music: Brittany Murphy and Paul Oakenfield’s “Faster Kill Pussycat”.

Aiden: “Double infinity?”
Emily: “A journey with no end.”

Chronology: Thanksgiving 2006 in flashbacks and around late 2012 in present day stuff.

A strong episode. “Lineage” might not have the same bombastic impact that “Legacy” did a few months ago but it was definitely an interesting episode, though an explanation into Takeda’s vested interest in Emily’s revenge plan is probably overdue by now.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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