Revenge, "Pilot": intrigue in the Hamptons

Quick Take: Revenge, "Pilot"
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." - Confucius


Review: Revenge, "Pilot"
(S0101) ABC has been pushing the series premiere of Revenge for weeks now. Over Labor Day weekend in New York City they even gave away scripts of the first episode along with show-branded beach towels to passengers on the Jitney Bus, a coach bus that travels between the Hamptons and New York City. Was this a sign that they didn't have faith in the show and needed to create a larger than life buzz around it or were they convinced that this was the "IT" show of the season? After watching the series premiere I definitely think it's the latter. 

Coincidentally the show opens on Labor Day weekend with the engagement party of Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) and Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman). Before Daniel is able to enjoy the party though he is murdered on the beach. He's body is dragged by Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler), who we learn from a flashback is a childhood friend of Emily, whose real name is Amanda Clarke. Instantly I was hooked. The writers left enough holes in the opening scenes to reel me in. I wanted to know what the back-story was. Did Emily shoot him? We did see her cleaning sand off of her hand.

We cut to five months earlier when Emily first arrived in the Hamptons and rents the house adjacent to Grayson Manor. Where the main victims on her quest for revenge live, Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) and Conrad (Henry Czerny) Grayon. It is also the house in which she last saw her father, before he was taken away by the FBI when she was just a child. She soon makes herself at home in the Hamptons and runs into her childhood friend Jack who doesn't recognize her and she makes no effort to let him know who she is. If anything she gets nervous. 

It's not long before she takes down her first victim, Lydia Davis (Amber Valletta). Who also happens to be the person she's renting the house from and who played a part in her father's incarceration. Lydia is best friends with Victoria, but that friendship ends once Emily sets in motion a series of events that ultimately leads to her exposing the affair that Lydia is having with Conrad. Victoria immediately exiles her from the Hamptons. 

Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) may derail Emily's plans, he recognizes her when he is going over video he took from a charity event. From another flashback we learn that Emily owns 49% of Nolan's company and that he was the one who picked Emily up from the detention center she was released from when she turned eighteen. He tells her that her father was the only one who ever believed in him. He then gives her a box from her father that will explain everything that happened to him and how it is that he ended up in jail. He also delivers the devastating news that her father recently died. In present time, Nolan offers to help Emily with whatever plan she has in mind but she insists she doesn't need his help. Meanwhile, Victoria has already grown suspicious of Emily and in one the final scenes of the premiere she makes a call requesting any and all information on her.  

One thing I do wonder about the show is how far can it really go? Hopefully the plot stays clean and the writing doesn't get too muddled just to keep it going. 

By Frances Seda

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