Friday, May 17, 2013


Episode 21: Truth: Part One
Episode 22: Truth: Part Two
The Season Finale
By: Carlos Uribe

Revenge is a show about Emily Thorne and her quest of revenge.

Spoilers Ahoy!

I'm not sure where to start as a lot happened in the finale. There was an explosion, two deaths, pregnancy drama, an arrest, an electoral victory, a blackout, an assassination attempt, a break-up, significant shifts in relationships, and Emily telling Jack her real identity. We also get to find out what the Initiative really is while revealing the dark secret behind Takeida. This is basically a very busy finale that it's shocking that it had time for some really goof character beats and relationship moments. There were a few times where the finale dragged down as it had some scenes that just didn't capture the energy of the rest of the finale. The good news is that most of the finale was very entertaining and I was completely pumped by the end of the episode for the next season. Truth is a two-hour season finale that thankfully aired on the same night. I'm not sure I could have handled the explosion cliff-hanger that would have been at the end of the first part for a whole week. On the other hand, I'm not happy that I have to wait for the whole summer to figure out what's going to happen next. Nolan has been arrested, two characters are presumed dead, Emily is telling the truth to Jack, and the Grayson family has just gained a lot of political power. There's a lot of promise that season three will be able to course correct by having Emily focus on taking down the Grayson family rather than having it's focus be all over the place. If that's the case then the third season of Revenge should be able to take this drama back to the reputation that the first season had earned.

Let's deal with everything that happened. The first is the blackout that started at the end of the last episode. The first part of the finale is largely dealt with the characters having to wait out the blackout. Declan is stuck in the bank with Regina, Emily and Nolan have to try and hack into Carrion, and Daniel walks Charlotte over to the campaign headquarters even though it's fifteen minutes away. We even get a good scene where Daniel makes a mistake by trusting Victoria. The blackout takes place over five hours but we luckily don't spend a lot of time. Once the writers have shown us how each character reacts to the blackout, they quickly push towards the end. The lights turn back on and the drama is back on. Victoria instantly betrays Jack and Ashley. Emily and Nolan discover that Aiden killed Takeida. We learn that Takeida has been sponsoring their revenge agendas because his fiance was on the plane that blew up. He had sent Emily down her path so that a prominent family with ties to the Initiative could be taken down. This basically implies that he has a whole bunch of people who are working at taking down other such families which should hopefully mean that Emily doesn't have to worry about the Initiative anymore. Aiden gets arrested by the police when he tries to cross the Canadian border but his request for a lawyer is turned down as they set him free. It's a big twist when Nolan gets arrested.

Does the twist makes sense? The Initiative had made a video where Padma implicates Nolan as the Initiative before she was killed. His visits to David Clarke and the text sent right before the explosion at Grayson Global give him motive. It's his program that hacked into security and his computer where Aiden had accessed the Grayson funds. The series had led us to believe that Aiden was being set up to take the fall but it was really Nolan. It's a nice twist that largely works except for one thing. It's revealed tonight that Conrad has joined the Initiative. That's why he's not worried that Aiden stole all of their money. He knew the bombing and blackout was going to take place so he had bought the stocks from companies would benefit from them. He had even used his connection to the Initiative to ensure that his campaign headquarters was within distance of the Grayson Global bombing so that he could be seen as a leader on election day. He took advantage of the disaster for financial and political purposes. What's even better is that his whole family discovers that he's been playing them. They turn against him as they've had to kill because they thought they were protecting themselves. So why is this a problem? Conrad has been pushing for Daniel to frame Aiden for the crime. If he knew that the scapegoat was actually going to be Nolan, why did he bother with Aiden? The twist might have largely made sense but it also felt a bit rushed in it's execution. One minute Aiden is in jail and the next minute Nolan is being arrested. There was very little transition and it felt like it was crammed into the episode rather than an organic development. Having Nolan in jail is a good thing as it will basically motivate Emily to seek revenge even more and give her a secondary goal of clearing his name. She needs her hacker friend and their bond has been built this season for precisely this purpose.

So Conrad wins his bid for Governor. There was an explosion at Grayson Global and a blackout that were caused by the Initiative. Who is the Initiative? It's not a shadowy organization that was trying to manipulate the world stage for unknown purposes. It's simply a collection of businesspeople who realized there were large profits to be made in disasters. Since they're basically impossible to predict, they cause these disasters to happen and then make a lot of money from them. Conrad's condition on having his company help the Initiative was to be one of them. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the one who suggested they blow up Grayson Global since he was no longer in charge of it and because of his political aspirations. His company blowing up and a chance to appear like a leader? That sympathy and image would secure his place for the Governor's mansion. He did ensure that none of the employees or his son were in the building so there were no casualties. Just a lot of fear that's going to help the security companies he has stocks in. His life does come under danger because he had tried to kill Jack in the explosion and because of Declan's death. That's right: Declan dies due to the explosion because Charlotte had lied to him. She had pretended to be with Daniel when she was with Regina. Since Declan knew his girlfriend was pregnant, he wanted to talk to her so he went to look for her at her brother's office. He was doomed but he did get to see Charlotte smile at him before he died. He might have died young but at least he was as happy as you could be under the circumstances. A little note is we don't see his body so who knows? His death might have been faked. Anyways, Jack soon learns that his brother is dead and his response is to go to the campaign headquarters to assassinate Conrad. Only Emily stops him by admitting she's Amanda Clarke. Jack has some flashbacks as he finally connects the dots in his brain and recognizes her. It only took him two entire summers to actually do so and who knows what the consequences of this reveal will be.
The second death might be Aiden. He basically broke up with Emily this week as he realized that while she was willing to leave her revenge path for Jack, she wasn't willing to do the same for him. She does point out that things are different now since Amanda has died. Aiden is disappointed as he basically has to start a new, undercover life on his own. He does get arrested trying to cross the border but he's soon let go. He tries to confront Daniel by trying to get him to break up with Emily but they get into a fight and it's heavily implied that Daniel killed him. Do we know this for sure? There's no body so it might be true or it might be a misdirection. It's certainly an interesting twist if Daniel did kill him because of how this might complicate Emily's treatment of him. Even if he didn't, I'm going to be wondering all summer long if Aiden is alive or not. That's a pretty good way to end a season: when there's so many plot threads left unresolved as a result of the finale's actions. Emily revealing the truth to Aiden, Conrad becoming Governor, pregnant Charlotte, and Daniel potentially killing Aiden are pretty big cliff-hangers.

A season finale is supposed to close up the current season and I think that while it might not have been the cleanest way to end the second season it was the best way. This season has been such a mess that it's pretty surprising that this finale managed to close out a lot of the plots, explain the Initiative in clearer terms, and have a lot of pay-offs to the relationship and character development that has occurred this season. At the same time, this season finale makes me want to see the third season because of the promise of a sharper focus and to see how all of the cliff-hangers are resolved. I can't wait until the third season of Revenge.

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