Oh, Revenge. We had a decent run, and then a terrible run, and then a mostly baffling run? I want to say I’ll miss you, but mostly I will miss Nolan’s suits. But hey, we’ll always have Aiden’s death face, right? (#alwaysmagical)
1. Okay, let’s start with the most important thing about the finale: Nolan and Emily did not make out even a little bit or platonically run off into the sunset together. Which is clearly a tragedy.
The good news is we did get a nice moment and an Ems-intitiated cheek kiss. And frankly, if the intention wasn’t to convince me Nolan is hopelessly pining for her, then both the writing and Gabriel Mann’s facial expressions really, really failed.
Anyway, Nolan’s “empowering” ending was being left alone by everyone he loves to continue the life-destroying revenge business that has consumed and nearly ruined his life for the past four years, only this time completely without back up. Yes, I understand the intention was to show he can stand on his own now. (And also possibly milk a spin-off out of this dying horse.) (Shut up, that metaphor makes perfect sense.) It’s just what I really wanted for a character whose arcs have all been about abandonment and abuse was for him to finally find a family and a healthy relationship. So I’m a little bummed.
2. Emily and Jack did sail off into the sunset together after banging in the house where his ex-partner and her ex-boyfriend was recently murdered. So that was certainly a special romantic time for them.
“I’m so turned on by this blood stain we just found.” I know, me too.”
I honestly did try to feel something about this turn of events other than “meh” but it just wasn’t happening for me. Mostly because nothing about the preceding seasons has convinced me these two are actually in love in any way? (Mental exercise: try to picture them hanging out together or having a casual conversation. WHAT DO THEY TALK ABOUT???)
It literally does feel like the only reason they wanted each other was because they got fake married that one time on the beach when they were kids. More symbolic than based on real love. Since this has clearly been the writers’ plan all along, I just wish it had been better earned.
3. Victoria’s really dead! For really, really, really reals this time! Also David is really dead as well, and I feel nothing because his return was bungled from start to finish and I liked him better when he was dead the first time.
4. Minion/minor character report: Margaux had an epiphany that she was actually evil and turned herself in. And Louise switched sides yet again after getting her feelings hurt. (So I guess that’s Nolan’s one remaining friend! Yay?)
- Mason Treadwell, whose part in everything was never truly exposed and who never ended up writing the tell-all book that was the source of all Emily’s voiceovers.
- Emily’s mother, whose name was never even mentioned, even though you’d think she might have shown up or even just called to say hi after both her dead husband and dead daughter showed up alive on national television.
- Patrick, who the writers finally remembered existed, but seem to have forgotten actually left on pretty good terms with his mother and who would probably have come home for her funeral.
But hey, we found out Victoria’s dad was the dude who molested her! So… yay again?
5. Charlotte apparently forgave Emily off screen! And I’m not bitter about that at all! (HAHAHA J/K I WILL BE BITTER ABOUT IT FOREVER.)
Seriously, why even get Christa B. Allen back for this episode if you were only going to give her two lines? Just for that lame “Oh no, Emily has Victoria’s heart!?!” fake out? Their sisterly relationship was teased and built up for years and in the end we got such a disappointing lack of emotional closure. No love, Revenge. No love.
So, overall, I’ll give the show a B-. But the finale gets a solid D for feeling true to neither the characters nor the story they’ve been clumsily foreshadowing this whole time. I love Ems, but a true happily ever after should never have been in the cards for her. I guess David’s death was supposed to make it bittersweet, but honestly? Killing Jack would have worked better and been more poetically appropriate to the tone of the show. Her getting to walk away from it all with the symbol of her childhood innocence intact just doesn’t sit right, especially when that whole relationship felt so tacked on and by the numbers.
Add in all the loose ends that weren’t dealt with and the wasted time they could have spent this season dealing with those instead of with bullshit like stupid Officer Ben, Nolan’s useless CPS boyfriend, Louise’s mommy issues, and Canadian gun runners, and I feel extra bummed that the network clearly did not give them enough lead time to write a satisfying conclusion.
RIP, Revenge. I’ll never forget the superb soap of the first season, every outfit Nolan’s ever worn, Fauxmanda’s glorious lesbian love for Ems, and Aiden’s death face. Always, always Aiden’s dead face.