Revenge, Ep. 2.05, “Forgiveness”: Looking for a little absolution

Revenge, Season 2, Episode 5: “Forgiveness”
Written by Sunil Nayar
Directed by Matt Earl Beesley
Airs Sundays at 9 pm (ET) on ABC

Forgiveness is an odd word in the world of Revenge but this week’s episode centers on some of our major characters’ desire for exactly that.

Victoria (Madeline Stowe) has always been the one in control, but seeing the look of pure fear on her face as Kara (Jennifer Jason Leigh) steps through the door proves that no one really knows what to expect from the unpredictable Kara.

The nice little moment at the beginning of the episode between Emily (Emily Van Camp) and Nolan (Gabriel Mann), where Emily expresses her guilt over not being there for Nolan after his father’s passing, is a good reminder that Emily is actually still human and capable of some kind of emotion. Sometimes that’s easy to forget when watching the show.

Emily’s tunnel vision when it comes to her “revenge-y” stuff is always going to be the singular drive of the show, but it is nice to see some kind of human response to a friend’s pain. The emotional response she gives when listening to her mother’s confession and pleas for forgiveness (all to Amanda) is painfully sad to watch and Van Camp plays it perfectly.

Leigh’s scenes (particularly the ones with Stowe) are the best of the night. It’s clear that Kara is unstable and incredibly dangerous but Leigh relishes playing her the same way that Stowe relishes playing evil. Both do it well and it’s great to watch. It’s unclear if Kara really is reformed or if she’s just as dangerous now as she was then, but I’m leaning towards her being even more dangerous. The Graysons have now taken away two of her husbands and she might be out for a little bit of her own revenge. Like mother, like daughter, after all.

I had predicted early on that Padma was up to something (after all, this is Revenge) so when we see her digging into Grayson Global tonight I still couldn’t help but feel a little bad for Nolan. He’s got worse luck with his love life than Emily. Come on writers, what’s with all the teasing? We’re so close to a great Nolan love story arc but it keeps getting dangled in front of us and then pulled away. If there’s any character on Revenge who deserves some love it’s the ever adorable Nolan.

“Forgiveness” starts off with a bang, Kara and Victoria’s meeting, and doesn’t slow down. Revenge has never been a show afraid to pile on the secrets, lies, and intrigue. Story lines always seem to collide, and I’m almost always on edge that it’s going to get messy, but somehow the writers manage to balance all their plates, as “Forgiveness” shows. We’re only five episodes in and already the story feels incredibly advanced, exciting, and vivaciously fun.

Emily’s absolution and future might be a little uncertain with her mother’s return, but with Kara back, forgiveness might be the only thing on her mind. Now if she can just figure out a way to do that, she might be able to get on with her revenge-y plans.

Tressa Eckermann

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