And so, Revenge's troubled, wildly disappointing sophomore season has come to an end. Its producers must have known that Season 3 renewal was guaranteed because they did absolutely nothing to wrap up any of Emily's loose ends in "Truth," the two-hour finale packed with spoilers including one designed to hook you for the fall. But the creators of Revenge did finally seem to acknowledge their mistakes and offer several solutions for correcting them.
MAJOR SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT — YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
First of all, they cleaned house. The biggest mistake of Season 2 was the continual addition of new characters who added absolutely nothing to Emily's quest: her mother, her foster brother, Padma, the Ryan Brothers, Victoria's various flirtations. By the end they were all pared away from the show. But Revenge cleaned house even further. Just three months after finally axing Fake Amanda, they decided to kill off the series' most reviled character, Declan (Connor Paolo), following the bombing of Grayson Global. The only thing is, he wasn't nearly as reviled as he used to be in Season 1. But no matter. He had nothing more to contribute. It does make you wonder why they never decided to kill Charlotte as well, but I guess Krista Allen's fetching jawline ensures her continued existence on the show. Girl is cute.
For much of the finale, though, I found myself thinking that what Revenge has become is nothing for which I originally signed up. These were two hours full of large-scale terrorism and bloodshed, revolving around characters talking about cyber-attacks and "hacking into mainframes" — the first series since the '90s to think mainframes are still essential to computer processing. Some of the revelations in "Truth" were obvious: Takeda had a much, much younger fiancee who died on Flight 197? Duh! But the one everyone will be talking about — Emily confessing to Jack that she's Amanda Clarke right as he was about to pull the trigger and kill Conrad — is the one everyone will talk about. Except that it's the equivalent of the Season 1 finale of Lost. It goes down the hatch-hole but doesn't allow you to see anything inside: there was no glimpse of Jack's initial reaction. It was a stalling-for-time tactic as its writers figure out what the heck to do with Season 3 now that creator Mike Kelley is jumping ship. And thus, like everything else with Season 2, a major disappointment.
What did you think of the Revenge finale? Will you be watching in the fall?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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It’s been a couple of weeks since Amanda (Margarita Levieva) met her shocking end on Revenge, and when the show returns with tonight’s new episode, "Retribution," we’ll see our favorite Hamptonites grieving in their own way. While we already know that her widower Jack (Nick Wechsler) is out for blood, he isn’t the only one facing a tough, dark path in the wake of Amanda’s death.
Ever since Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) found out she was David Clarke’s daughter and the half-sister of Amanda, she's enjoyed a special bond with her "sister." So besides Jack, Charlotte is affected the most by Amanda’s death. "We saw Charlotte lose her mind a bit in Season 1, and I think we might be heading a bit in that direction again," Allen says. "She’s losing it. It’s going to manifest itself in a bit of violence."
And of course Charlotte’s mental descent is going to affect her boyfriend Declan (Connor Paolo), who already has enough on his plate with trying to help his brother. "Declan had really grown to care about Amanda," Paolo says. "She was the mother of his nephew. Things come to light through their own fractured way about who Jack and Declan think is responsible for what’s happened, [and that] changes things as well." Could they possibly find out that Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny) gave the orders to kill Amanda?
While that remains a mystery for now, Czerny was eager to reveal how Amanda's death will affect Revenge as a whole. "It gets better. It gets deeper," Czerny says. "There is a deeper hurt with Amanda’s passing, and the stuff that comes out of that hurt is intriguing."
RELATED: 'Revenge' Season 2 Spoilers: 'S*** Is Going Down,' Promises Creator Mike Kelley
One result of Amanda's death is that it makes Emily (Emily VanCamp) focus once again on taking down the Graysons. "Amanda’s death [has] given Emily a focus to drive through to the end now with a clear goal," says Barry Sloane [Aiden Mathis]. "So it’s also given Aiden a clear goal, of 'Well, I lost my sister, I’m going to help you not lose your goal.' All of his energies are going towards keeping Emily happy, and making sure that this works."
But what does that mean for Emily and Aiden as a couple? "We have to see how he fits within what she needs him to do in the next few weeks," Sloane says. "Obviously the key thing is that Emily and Aiden will work together to bring down Daniel, and do whatever it takes."
That's right, instead of focusing on Conrad and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe), Emily's Revengenda is all about Daniel (Josh Bowman) now that he has fully committed to being a Grayson. And after seeing his mother kill Helen Crawley, he is no longer in the dark about his family's actions. "He’s been brought into the world more," Bowman says. "Pulling the wool from your eyes and actually seeing death, actually seeing what life is all about in this society that he’s grown up with... I think he’s brought the chips to the poker game and he’s playing the game now. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He’s picked up the apple and taken a big bite out of it."
So say goodbye to any warm, fuzzy feelings that Emily might once have had for Daniel. "Any love that she had for Daniel in the first season has just vaporized into thin air," Bowman says. "She’s just hell bent on revenge, and uses me as an access key to carry out her mission. She’s definitely a lot more calculated than she was in the first season. She’s a lot more ruthless."
With the stakes the highest they've ever been, and Emily more ruthless than ever, is there any chance for a happy ending for anyone? Are they all doomed? Stowe seems to think so.
"I [want to have] have some kind of suicide because Emily has driven [Victoria] so insane," she says. "And Emily is sitting in my chair in Grayson manor, and she’s turned into Victoria." We could definitely see that happening!
Revenge returns Sunday night at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Danny Feld/ABC]
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The young stars posed with dangerous weapons and tangled together in a series of sexy positions for the shoot, taken last month (Sep12) to mark the start of the second series in the U.S.
Leading lady Emily VanCamp donned a glamorous gown and, in one sinister shot, can be seen dramatically thrusting a sword into the air.
Her co-star Christa B. Allen also showed off her sexy side - in one photo, the brunette has her hair pulled back as a gun is pointed at her face, and she also poses with actor Gabriel Mann as he licks a revolver.
Allen was also photographed topless as Mann and Connor Paolo help unzip her out of a little black dress. Other images in the series show the male stars stripping off and punching one another.
The Exes: Chocolate and vanilla bear have been reunited! Former Scrubs stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison will give Sacred Heart fans heart palpitations when the duo reunites on Faison's TV Land sitcom The Exes. Braff will appear on the August 29 episode as a womanizing tennis player and client of Faison's sports agent Phil. [THR]
Duff stuff: The erstwhile Lizzie McGuire is returning to television! Hilary Duff has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Television to develop a half-hour comedy starring Duff — and should that comedy fall through, the deal includes language that allows for Duff to be cast in one of the company's other running series. The purpose is to find Duff a proper starring vehicle, though, which shouldn't be too tough considering her natural comedic timing (she's the female Shia LaBeouf, in more ways than just their Disney history). [Deadline]
90210: Well, that didn't take long at all! Olympian Ryan Lochte will guest on the fifth season of the CW soap, playing a resort guest who encounters Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) and Max (Josh Zuckerman). [TV Line]
Modern Family: In the first bout of new Modern Family casting, Bridesmaids funny lady Wendi McLendon-Covey is set to appear on the third episode of the ABC sitcom's third season as a lesbian mother whose son gets into a playground scuffle with Lily. Playing McLendon-Covey's better half is SNL alum Michaela Watkins, whose brief time on the sketch comedy show is best represented by this clip. [EW]
Raising Hope: Another SNL vet, Jenny Slate (famously of the 'Marcel the Shell' web series) is set to join Fox's Raising Hope as a social worker who visits the Chance household to survey the conditions of baby Hope. [TVLine]
Revenge: Declan (Connor Paolo) will be getting a new best friend in the form of young actor Michael Nardelli (CSI:NY), who has been cast as "a preppy misfit who befriends [Declan] and then proceeds to get him in a world of trouble." So... Tyler Barrol? [TVLine]
NCIS: CBS's popular procedural has tapped Star Wars legend Billy Dee Williams as Leroy Jethro, a "World War II veteran and close friend of the Gibbs (Mark Harmon) clan." [TV Guide]
Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSnetiker
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Tonight, ABC enters some previously uncharted territory: the salacious, youth-skewing drama. They’ve made their mark in serialized drama with Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, but they’ve yet to dive head first into something primarily wicked and opulent like their new series, Revenge. The Hamptons drama premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, and we’ve got a rundown of the new show just in time for the premiere.*
The series stars TV vet Emily VanCamp (Brothers and Sisters, Everwood) as our protagonist, as well as Joshua Bowman (Make It Or Break It) and Connor Paolo (Gossip Girl) as young Hamptons men from different sides of the tracks, and Madeleine Stowe as the evil matriarch at the center of the intrigue.
The Hamptons, also known as the summer getaway of choice for New York's elite.
A modern day take on the classic tale, The Count of Monte Cristo, Revenge takes place in the heralded East Coast summer escape, The Hamptons. We got a taste of the high society out on the far reaches of Long Island when Gossip Girl took a little foray to the New Yorker’s paradise a few seasons ago, but they barely scratched the surface. Revenge sets up camp right in the thick of the wealthiest of the wealthy, where our heroine begins executing her plan of…well…revenge.
Emily’s father was framed as a part of a conspiracy – the nature of which we’re not yet aware of – and it would seem that Victoria Grayson, or Queen Victoria, as she’s known to her faithful Hamptons minions, was the orchestrator of the whole thing. Being that Victoria hasn’t seen Emily since she was a child, Emily takes the opportunity to infiltrate the luxurious community in order to take down the people who framed her father, one by one.
So, does it work? The pilot episode moves quickly, delivering us from one step to the next, all the while giving us glimpses of both of our strong, opposing women as they plot out their separate intrigues. VanCamp is a great choice to lead the series as her role throughout the story is to feign ignorance and pretend to be the new girl; she’s got an innocent look about her, which makes it that much easier for her to play out her sneaky plan.
Madeline Stowe is appropriately regal as Queen Victoria, as are her faithful little minions, but the show garners some charm from the set of Long Island brothers whose father owns and operates a bar on the docks. Declan and Jack Porter (Gossip Girl’s Paolo with a Long Island accent and Nick Wechsler) aren’t members of the flighty, weathy set who comes in when the weather gets warm and escapes when the leaves turn. They’re from the Hamptons and they help to ground the series – and Emily, who seems to have a past connection with Jack. While Paolo isn’t a main character, it is rather fun to see him shed his Upper East Side style for some good ol’ Long Island boy antics.
The series is visually stunning, with sweeping shots of the ocean and the surrounding areas – not to mention the designer duds draped on all our well-to-do main characters. Much like Gossip Girl, the series will thrive on the fabulous clothes and illustrious location, but it’s got something GG doesn’t. While the CW hit succeeds when it comes to teen squabbles and ex-boyfriends, it’s never really been able to get a good grip on more adult intrigues. That’s where Revenge comes in. It’s got the melodramatic tone we know and love on Gossip Girl, but with a storyline whose outcome is just a little more urgent. The series cropped up at the perfect time to nab GG viewers who’ve grown tired of the let’s-see-how-many-more-people-Serena-can-make-fall-in-love-with-her and Chuck/Blair escapades over on the CW drama. Instead of dealing with the “my life sucks because I’m so rich and beautiful” side of the East Coast wealthy set, Revenge shows its ugly underbelly and the series may just be the palette cleanser that evening soap fans need.
*Hollywood.com received the Revenge pilot on a tablet device as part of a promotional gift package.
Gossip Girl star Blake Lively is losing her onscreen brother - actor Connor Paolo is quitting the hit show to focus on his new role on upcoming TV thriller Revenge. His character, Eric Van Der Woodsen, was last seen on the series preparing to head to college.
The 17 year old came under fire from TV style guru Tim Gunn last year (10), following his guest cameo role in the show.
Describing his encounter with the singer/actress, he said, "What a diva! She was pathetic, she couldn't remember her lines, and she didn't even have that many. I thought to myself, 'Why are we all being held hostage by this brat?'"
Momsen refused to comment on Gunn's remarks, but Paolo - who played the blonde's stepbrother in the series - insists Gunn was wrong to aim a personal attack at the star.
He tells TV Line, "She's 17 years old. I don't think anyone has any right to say anything negative being that she - as mature and self-possessed as she is - is still young. It's not fair. No one has a right to attack someone of that age."