Episode 10: Power
By: Carlos Uribe
Revenge is a show about Emily Thorne and her quest of revenge.
The best part about this episode of Revenge is that Emily takes out her red pen and crosses out a person involved in the case of her father. That person is the judge that presided over her father's case, Barnes. He had ignored evidence of a tainted jury because he didn't want a single mistake on his record. He has shown up to the Hamptons because he's being considered for a Supreme Court nomination. He had stood in the way of an innocent man having a fair trial which justifies him for a takedown. Emily manages to use all the information she has in order to come up with a brilliant plan on the fly. She gets the abused wife of the judge to come out in the open and reveal what she knew about the tainted jury. Making matters worse for the judge is that she also showed the bruises he gave her to the general public. In one stroke, Emily practically killed Barnes' chance of getting appointed to the Supreme Court. It doesn't matter that the wife has no evidence about the jury tampering-being an abusive husband is enough to tarnish his reputation. This season has been at it's best when it returns to the show's roots and it's promising that the first episode back after the mid-season break has some actual revenge in it.
This doesn't mean that the episode ditched the serialized storylines that have been developing for a while. Daniel's position in the company is making him a puppet to the Initiative. They're having him look for secrets within his company that will secure his position. What he doesn't expect is that his mother has struck an alliance with Emily. Victoria has realized that the best way for Daniel out of the company is to have him step down as the CEO. The only real path to manipulating him is through the one person he still loves and listens to: Emily. Emily agrees because she can use this access to continue to extract her revenge. The only person stepping out of the fight is Conrad because he believes his son to be to inept to be useful to the Initiative. Conrad is merely waiting for his son to mess up so that the board welcomes him back with open arms. This struggle for the Grayson company continues to remain entertaining but it's also good to see that it's drawing Emily back into the Grayson world. Having her be separate from it works for a while but the show works best when Emily is forced to interact with Victoria. Simply look at at the scene where Victoria gets Emily to agree to get Daniel to step down from the company: the show simply becomes sharper and more exciting by simply having them be in the same room.
The episode even has a significant development with the Initiative plot. Aiden is able to get in contact with Helen. Helen has acted as the face of the Initiative for the viewers and she has allowed the organization to be more than just a concept. She reveals that Aiden's sister is still alive but only promises that the two will meet again soon enough. This development allows Aiden to get a narrative drive to get his sister back which might put him in conflict with Emily. It's also a plot point that is accompanied with Helen being protected by a whole group of soldiers. We don't see these men-merely the red laser dots that appear on Aiden's chest when he threatens to kill Helen. A problem with the Initiative is that it's power seems to have no limits. This makes it hard to take an organization seriously when it seems like it's literally capable of doing anything. Allowing the viewer to find out just enough about the organization to get a better grasp of it's power isn't a bad thing. Without the limits, it simply feels like lazy writing to create a powerful organization that can do anything the writers demand of it. It also makes it hard to fully realize it as a villain to root against.
The problems with the Initiative non-withstanding, a massive setback in this episode has to do with Jack and Declan. It is an absolute bore. It takes the great forward momentum the rest of the episode builds and screeches it to a halt. I simply have stopped caring. What happened in this episode? Declan discovers that the evil brothers are using the Stowaway to transport drugs. Jack decides to call the cops only they don't find it where Jack said they would be. The drugs end up on the Amanda and Jack gets arrested because it's his boat and he confessed to it when the police suspected Declan. It makes no sense that they would do this since they presumably know that Jack had called to tell them about the drugs and who they belonged to. When this plot is making me want to fastforward to the rest of the show, then that's when you know that it needs to be resolved quickly or even dropped. If Jack were to simply go back to the Stowaway and this plot never referenced again, I wouldn't lodge a single complaint about continuity.
Power is a pretty great return for Revenge. It has a great takedown by Emily, a fun alliance between Emily and Victoria, and the Initiative plot moves along. The series is still having some problems with it comes to the Initiative but what's really killing it is that Jack and Declan story. This would have been a pretty amazing episode if it wasn't for those evil brothers. It's understandable to give Jack and Declan their own proper stories but it would be nice if they were actually interesting.