Monday, March 25, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 2x17: "Victory"

Written by Dan Dworkin And Jay Beattie
Directed by Colin Bucksey

Emily: “Do you have any idea what that fire did? My whole life could’ve been different, Eli.”
Eli: “I know it was selfish and I’m sorry but I’m trying to make it up to you now.”

Last week, Eli very much came across as a massive thorn in Emily’s side and this week, he managed to keep us guessing, which is nice when you think about it. In fact, to a large extent while this episode was riddled with clichés, it actually managed to make me care about Eli that I sort of wish that things had played out a little differently here.

In other words, I’m kind of sad to lose him so early. Even Kara managed to get up to seven episodes before being hastily written and in the space of three, Eli seems to have gone from being an annoyance to actually forwarding the plot a little, endearing himself and quickly exiting the scene. If only other characters had managed to accomplish that much in less episodes.

The fire Amanda started as a child that landed her in juvie has been something of a discussion point with Emily for a while. It started her whole revenge agenda and the fact that Eli did it doesn’t automatically take things away from Emily but it did make Emily wonder herself how things would’ve played out had she known that her foster brother started the fire she was blamed for all those years ago.

Another interesting aspect of this episode was Meredith Hayward and not because she was another adult figure who failed or abused Amanda’s trust as a child but because it wasn’t Emily who actually managed to destroy her world – it was Eli and that alone, redeemed the guy for me.

Eli wanted to make amends to Emily and he certainly went about it with publicly humiliating Meredith at the Stowaway as the press got to see just how bad she was at her job and also for managing to lock her in the same cubby hole that Meredith herself had locked Amanda, Eli and other kids time and time again.

More importantly, Eli also got Meredith to admit to concealing letters from David to Amanda whom she later sold to Mason Treadwell and Emily finally got a much needed advantage from the wily writer as well – a secret kid. Yes, Victoria having a secret son might be truly a case of the writers making stuff up as they go along but it’s something that finally has given Emily the upper hand, so I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Speaking of Victoria – even more of a low blow than usual sending Daniel that picture of him and Emily with two bullets. Her desperation to control him really has taken even scarier heights but Daniel’s hardly showing great judgement given that he told Emily about Aiden being set up as the fall guy for Grayson Global either. On the plus side, at least Daniel seemed genuine in his desire to keep Emily out of the Initiative’s grasp, though Emily doesn’t really need his help on that matter.

As for the Initiative – was anyone shocked that Trask managed to outsmart both Nolan and Aiden and managed to get his hands on both Padma and Carrion? Nope, didn’t think so but I do find the lack of empathy for Padma from some of the show’s fans a little much though. I know she’s not a fan favourite and while I don’t really buy her and Nolan as a couple, I do feel bad for her and I’m also hopeful she doesn’t end up dead but right now, it’s not looking too good.

On the plus side, at least Nolan was encouraged by Emily to keep trying to find Padma and the obvious connection between the mysterious Falcon and the Initiative was made pretty clear too. However, during this whole subplot, Aiden sometimes did feel more of a hindrance than a help but even he can’t be blamed for things going wrong with the drop off.

As for Jack – he’s getting smarter. He confronted Kenny about the speedboat and managed to get recording that could cause problems for the Graysons. Not going to the police for the time being is a smart move on his part, given that Conrad could easily turn a situation like that to his advantage but either way, it’s nice to see Jack getting a more interesting plot for a change.

Also in “Victory”

We really do need more sharpie scenarios. It was nice seeing it here when Emily crossed Meredith’s face out.

Conrad: “Good morning, Miss Davenport.”
Ashley: “Not for you it isn’t. Your polling numbers are abysmal.”

If you look a bit closer, it really does look like both Meredith and Michelle from the first season could be related.

Eli (re letters): “I wanna get them back for you.”
Emily: “Why?”
Eli: “Because I once made a promise to always look after you and Hayward deserves to be punished.”

Nolan: “The plan is to shoot people?”
Aiden: “Not people, Nolan, terrorists.”

Nolan placed Carrion in a turtle flash drive but the Initiative sussed out the tracking device and left it for him at the warehouse.

Aiden: “You’re not killing anybody.”
Nolan: “By association, yes I am.”

Eli: “Now we’ve come here today to tell our stories.”
Meredith: “Then tell them what you did to your dear little sister? Tell everyone how you started the fire at my house and let Amanda Clarke take the blame for which she did five years at juvenile detention. Tell them.”

Chronology: A couple of days from where “Illuminated” left off.

A solid episode and certainly more engaging than the previous two. “Victory” wasn’t as shocking as ABC were hoping it would be but it definitely was interesting and again, it’s nice to see Emily finally gain something of an upper hand against Victoria as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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