Tuesday, December 02, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 4x09: "Intel"

Written by Karin Gist
Directed by Wendey Stanzler

Ben: “I wanna learn about the mysterious Emily Thorne.”
Emily: “Well, then I wouldn’t be mysterious.”

Emily and Ben. Like two other pairings in this episode (or three), this is not a relationship that will probably go the distance as both of them clearly have an angle for being interested in the other. While Emily later admitting to approaching Ben to get information on his boss, Ben himself doesn’t strike me as someone whose interest in Emily is purely romantic either.

This is probably a good thing as there’s nothing in the way of chemistry with either character but it’s also worth pointing out that Ben seems to have a problem with Jack and maybe part of his interest in Emily is to rub his partner’s nose in it while at the same time, Ben did seem suspicious in Emily’s interest in David Clarke as well.

Then there’s Jack and Kate, which like last season with him and Margaux could’ve been another reasonably inoffensive pairing. Except for the bit at the end where it was revealed that Kate’s in cahoots with the men after David Clarke, which has now made her a tiny bit more interesting than before.

Keeping with the doomed pairings – Daniel made at least two half arsed attempts of trying to get Margaux (one on his own, the other after Emily dismissed him as a coward – kind of), only for the latter to point out his shortcomings and inform the audience that she’s pregnant. I guess Daniel should be relieved that unlike Emily last season, Margaux at least isn’t faking it.

However while the Daniel and Margaux stuff wasn’t too riveting, I have to admit that I like Daniel a lot more recently. His bar scene with Emily at the beach club (officially the new Stowaway I take it?) was a riot and I loved that he didn’t mince words when pointing out that Victoria and David’s relationship was doomed.

While it’s easy to pile the blame solely on Victoria’s feet (notice how quickly she abandoned her promise not to go after Emily anymore), David should take responsibility too. He lied to Victoria several times in the episode and while he did somewhat come clean about Malcolm Black at the end, he probably didn’t tell her every single detail either.

Speaking of Malcolm Black – I really do hope that he lives up to the hype because we have to wait another three episodes before he actually shows up on the show. While it does feel like the show is rewriting some bits of its own history in order to give this mysterious character super prominence, I will admit that I’m pleased the show seems to be going somewhere hopefully interesting now.

As for Nolan – he’s everyone’s friend, isn’t it? When he’s not castigating Emily for torturing a guy or calling David out on a piss poor apology, he also realised that he might have misjudged Louise and decided not to go through with helping Margaux. I’m not sure where else the writers can go with the character, but Louise’s scenes with Nolan are a lot more fun than I was expecting them to be. I think I want her to stay for a bit longer.

Also in “Intel”

I just realised that a) Christa B. Allen is no longer a regular and b) Brian Hallisay actually is.

Kate: “I’ve never been called a perk.”
Jack: “I doubt that.”

Ben mentioned having an ex-wife who used him to deal with her past. Now there’s a parallel between him and Daniel if ever there was one.

Louise: “Tell you what; you never forget your first mental institution. In fact, I did self medicate with some hot nutty boys.”
Nolan: “Your words, my life.”

David: “I owe you an apology.”
Nolan: “You owe me a reputation.”

Emily really went for it with the torture (well, as much as network television will allow) but I was amused that Nolan drugged the guy with a nanotech tracker.

Victoria: “I keep waiting for a blowback but it hasn’t happened.”
Daniel: “Not yet.”

Louise (to Nolan): “Where I’m from, you claim the deer you shoot.”

I’m guessing we’ll end up seeing Louise’s politician brother in the second half of the season, won’t we? Also, it’s only now we learn that David/Victoria have five million in a random safe?

Nolan (to David): “You’re right about Emily. When it comes to you, she can’t stay out of it.”

Standout music: Rae Morris’s “Skin”.

Daniel: “I deserve a better answer. Why?”
Margaux: “Because I’m pregnant.”

Chronology: From where “Contact” left off.

Credit given where it’s due – “Intel” was the third episode in a row this season I enjoyed and while the Malcolm Black thing does seem a little trite (is he really anymore threatening than Conrad was or another Initiative waiting to happen?), at least it means that the show will have a direct focus/threat for the second half. Plus, the promise of a main character in the next episode has potential too.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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