Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 2x14: "Sacrifice"

Written by Mark B. Perry And Joe Fazzio
Directed by Stefan Schwartz

Emily: “I’m so sorry.”
Amanda: “Don’t be. You’ve given me the one thing I thought I’d never have – a real family.”

One of the sad realities about this show was that at some eventual point we were going to end up losing a character of great importance. First there was Sammy towards the end of the first season and now sadly, Amanda Clarke (or the real Emily Thorne) is no longer with us and that’s a heartbreaker for me.

Especially given that Amanda was certainly more interesting than other characters but at the same time, it made sense to kill her off. For a while now, Emily has been too fixated on the Initiative and Aiden and not spending enough time dedicating herself to Victoria and Conrad’s deserved destruction. After the events of this episode, both of those Graysons are even more deserving of whatever revenge Emily really can muster up for them.

Granted their involvement in Amanda’s storyline this week was the decision to frame her for Helen Crowley’s murder but at the same time, it was also Conrad who had managed to sick Nate onto Amanda and Jack during their honeymoon and he certainly ramped up the tension by telling Nate to reclaim the incriminating laptop as well.

As a villain, Nate has been nowhere near as fun and interesting as Tyler was last season and to me, his death was long overdue. This episode finally did the right thing by revealing that he was the male body found on Jack’s sunken boat and while Nate managed to wound Jack, he did also manage to get the shit kicked out of him by both Emily and Amanda before blowing up the boat and causing the latter’s death.

I’ve enjoyed Emily and Amanda’s relationship throughout the last season and a half and it’s a shame that this episode brought it to a conclusion. It’s the most interesting relationship on the show aside from Emily and Nolan’s partnership and Victoria and Conrad’s toxic marriage. The scene with Emily comforting Amanda as she died is definitely one of the saddest the show has managed to pull off as well.

I liked that Amanda thanked Emily for giving her a real family as well as ensuring that the latter promised to take care of Jack and baby Carl. Emily finally admitting she loved Amanda as well was a sweet moment too, because from Nolan and Aiden, Amanda has been the only person Emily has been honest with at this point in the show. Amanda will be missed as a character but her death had better ensure that Emily’s focus gets back to the Graysons now.

Speaking of the Graysons, I like that Daniel and Charlotte continue to actually display some genuine morality and standards. Charlotte didn’t want to be part of her parents latest charade and Daniel was disgusted with Amanda being set up for Helen’s death and made into a target by the Initiative.

Victoria and Conrad’s knack for survival might be oddly admirable but this episode further examined why ultimate both of them need to pay for the lives they continue to destroy in their wake. They may be fascinating characters to watch but they’re also extremely abhorrent people. This time I really do hope that Emily takes them down, especially given that Ashley made her privy about Amanda’s blackmail attempt with Conrad.

Last but not least, I know Padma and Aiden’s scenes were cited as the least interesting and while I agree, at least they had a point to them. Aiden was right to try and use Padma as a means of getting to the Initiative but he did show some genuine sympathy for her plight with her father. That might not make for compelling viewing but it at least served a purpose, though I’m not entirely convinced Padma’s father is still alive, even if she did get his finger sent to her.

Also in “Sacrifice”

Some more of the footage from the opening scenes of “Destiny” was used in order to fill out what was going to happen this week.

Conrad: “Congratulations, Victoria, with one bullet, you’ve slaughtered us all.”
Victoria (re Helen): “The bitch had it coming.”

I’m guessing now Emily’s laptop is in the air conditioning box at the Stowaway, hence the script drawing attention to it a few times.

Amanda: “Just promise me you won’t hurt Jack.”
Nate: “Cross my heart, hope to die.”

Victoria: “I’m not ashamed of you, darling, I’m proud of you.”
Charlotte: “Well, I appreciate the sentiment but I’m sorry I can’t fake any more Grayson smiles.”

It was kind of nice seeing Ashley reaching out to Emily about Amanda. I liked seeing that side to her character as well as her disbelief over Conrad’s Gubernatorial campaign.

Jack: “What are you doing?”
Amanda: “Saving you.”

Victoria: “Conrad, your gall never ceases to repulse me. Overt flattery aside, this extravagant soiree not only marks the beginning of your farcical political career but the end of summer and therefore our personal entanglement.”

Trask, the new guy of the Initiative is played by Torchwood actor Burn Gorman, who I like but I’m not sure if he’ll be as interesting as Helen was to be honest.

Nate: “Who the hell are you?”
Emily: “You’ll never know.”

Liked the flashback with Emily and Amanda explaining the significance of the necklace Amanda had to back for but once again, unconvincing wigs with Emily Van Camp.

Emily (to Amanda, re necklace): “I’ll be back for this and I’ll be back for you too, I promise.”

Daniel: “What about Amanda Clarke?”
Victoria: “Poor girl. She chose the wrong enemy.”

Chronology: It’s Labour Day as was mentioned several times in the episode and also due to another Grayson party as well.

Well, “Sacrifice” was certainly a cracker of an episode. Without a doubt, it’s easily the best episode this season and certainly one of the best the series has produced so far. Amanda’s death definitely added some renewed vigour to the show. I’m certainly going to miss her as a character though.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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