I’m not a particular fan of this time of the year. The renewal/cancellation season is tough and stressful. Will your show make the cut? Or will it be discarded in favor of something else? The last couple of weeks brought some good and a great deal of bad news. I look at the Renewed/Cancelled lists now and what I see makes me want to cry. Half of my favourite shows didn’t make into the new 2015-2016 season, and if this isn’t sad, I don’t know what is.
Most of said cancellations came as a surprise. (Do I even need to go into my rant about Forever?)
Revenge wasn’t one of them.
I’ve loved that show ever since it started back in 2011. It was bright. It was posh. It was unique. Being a big fan of all kinds of crime and procedural TV shows, I have to admit that they soon start blending in and looking the same – case of the week with some kind of personal drama running in the background. It doesn’t make them any less enjoyable, but it definitely makes everything even slightly different stand out and shine like a gem-stone in the sunlight.
Revenge is the story of Amanda Clarke, whose father dies in prison after being wrongly accused of a crime he didn’t commit, by the rich and powerful Grayson family (and then comes back to life 3 seasons later, but that’s another story). To make them pay for it, she decides to destroy them from within.
There is so much elegance and beauty to this story and the complexity of the characters I honestly have no idea how people managed not to get hooked on it. Admittedly, I myself put it on hold during my year at Vancouver Film School simply because I didn’t HAVE to watch it, unlike 15 other shows that were a part of my homework. Yet, when the ABC Network announced wrapping it up after Season 4, I had to go back. ASAP.
Needless to say, it was a wild rollercoaster that ended with the most brilliant finale you could possibly ask for, and it’s not even an exaggeration. Are you ready?
In the last episode of Revenge, Amanda Clarke has to prove that she was not only wrongly accused of killing Victoria Grayson, but also convince everyone that Victoria staged her death and is still alive. To do so, she pleads guilty during her hearing in order to be transferred to a maximum security facility (which is apparently easier to escape from than the one she was held at during the investigation). While Nolan and Jack create a fire-alarm diversion, she manages to sneak out while the guards are too busy figuring out what’s going on.
Victoria, however, is not wasting her time either. She gets Margaux to obtain a new passport for her and also decides to tell Louise the truth about faking her death, thinking that she might need one more loyal minion in the future. Just in case, you know?
In the meantime, Amanda and Jack go to the house where Ben was killed at the end of the previous episode by the hit woman hired by Margaux, hoping to find some cues as to who might be responsible for his death. It doesn’t take them long to figure out that the house once belonged to Victoria’s mother, which can only mean one thing – the body found at the Grayson mansion and identified as Victoria’s was actually her mother’s. Gross! But seeing as how Amanda is an escaped convict, they can’t really go around and share this vital information with the world. So instead, they decide to hook up. (AFTER 4 SEASONS OF WAITING – FINALLY!)
Sadly, the next morning when Jack is out on the run for coffee and croissants, Amanda decides to take off. Which is unfortunate because the hit woman is there for them both [probably], and she gets to stab Jack. You know this show, right? You know he could have actually died? About 4/5 of the characters already did. Well, thank God he did not. The cops rain the house and he’s taken to the hospital. Risking her life and freedom, Amanda shows up there, and so does Louise who has finally realized that she was playing for the wrong team and decided to help Nolan and the gang to do the right thing. As for Amanda, you can’t just try to kill the love of her life and get away with it. Naturally, she decides to put an end to her revenge plan the only way she knows will work – she needs to kill Victoria.
After getting the information from Louise about where to find her, Amanda goes to Victoria’s hideout to finally end their ‘war’ once and for all. But before she can pull the trigger, David (the revived father) shows up and kills Victoria himself – he doesn’t want his daughter to live with something like this for the rest of her life.
In any other TV show, this would be the end of everything. In Revenge, however, Victoria manages to pick up her own gun and shoot distracted Amanda in the back. Trust this show to kill EVERYONE in the end…. Or at least try to.
Well, okay, not really, because we suddenly cut to the cemetery where Amanda puts fresh flowers on David’s grave. A short flashbacks reveals what happened – taking into account David’s cancer, the judge went easy on him and allowed the dying man to spend his final days with his daughter. (Man, this whole scene on the porch and the snow and the two of them talking – it was the saddest thing ever, no kidding, and also very beautiful.)
Cut to a little while later: it’s Amanda and Jack’s wedding. Wait, what?! I almost forgot that we sort of jumped a few months forward from their first hook-up. And I’d probably be a bit more ‘Whaaaaaa?!’ if I hadn’t waited for the moment for almost 4 years! So excuse me while I asdfghjjkll!!!!! At the wedding reception, Amanda gives her new husband a Lab puppy – just like she gave him Sammy all those years ago before the social services took her away. And then they sail off into the sunset, literally, because that’s the perk of owning a boat. Although not before Amanda made sure that Nolan wouldn’t go crazy just being rich and super charming – she actually sends someone in need for help to him. Can we now have a spin-off about Nolan bringing justice to the world?
Of course, Revenge wouldn’t be Revenge if it didn’t leave us with at least one unanswered question – right before the whole sailing into the sunset thing, Amanda has a dream about finding out that the heart transplant that saved her life came from Victoria, which means that her sworn enemy’s heart is literally beating in her chest. Classic move! So, is it really true? Or is it just her worst fear?
It’s hard to deny the fact that the episode, however good it was, still had a couple of hiccups. Like, cute as it seemed, I still think it was weird that Jack and Amanda decided to have sex in a stranger’s house where their ex boyfriend and partner was killed mere hours ago. Yikes! Also, as much as I loved Louise’s realization that she was siding with the wrong party, it should have been Nolan and Amanda who found Victoria without any tips from anyone because they’re Nolan and Amanda and it’s what they do! Both Jack being stabbed and then Amanda being shot felt like a bit of an overkill. Yes, both events were sort of necessary for a massive dramatic effect, but I wish they’d find a way to make it work otherwise. Over-dramatization, yo!
The ending felt quite rushed, what with the time jumps and flashbacks and more time jumps. On the one hand, Jack did ask David for Amanda’s hand earlier in the episode so the proposal seemed inevitable. I didn’t see the wedding coming, not with their relationship being only 3 minutes long. It was a sweet touch though, but it got me wondering if this was what the show-runners had in mind originally, or if they went for it after finding out that Revenge was cancelled. From what I’ve heard, they had certain plans for Season 5, so it might not have been their idea of the series finale, although kudos for making it both bittersweet and somewhat open, leaving the audience wondering about the what-ifs.
What I did like was that the good guys who made the wrong choices earlier in the season got to redeem themselves. Both Margaux and Louise had a chance to do the right thing and help put an end to Victoria’s madness. I also loved the fact that it was David who pulled the trigger instead of Amanda because, like she said to Victoria, she never actually killed anyone, and I think it was integral to the story to keep it that way. The somewhat open ending was the best thing – yes, Revenge is over, but the fandom is still alive, and it will stay that way for as long as there is mystery.
All in all, it was quite amazing. I think they could have tried to pull The Mentalist trick and at least get another half season, but at the same time IT WASN’T A CLIFF HANGER, THANK YOU!