Revenge, Ep. 2.13, “Union”: What could never be

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Revenge, Season 2, Episode 13: “Union”
Written by Michael Foley and Ted Sullivan
Directed by Wendey Stanzler
Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on ABC

In this weeks Revenge, people come together, things fall apart, and plans start falling into place.

Emily’s heartfelt confessional plea to Aidan in the graveyard is the standout scene of the episode. One of the show’s biggest issues has always been how cold Emily can seem. Of course that comes from a place that you can sometimes understand, but on occasion it can hold the viewer back from relating to her. “Union”, however, shows a softer side to Emily. She is hurting and, worst of all, a lot of that pain is of her own making.

That’s why she and Aidan make such a strong team. They’ve both lost everything and have nothing left but their plans of revenge. But this episode raises an interesting point about their relationship. At the end of the last episode, Aidan was gung-ho about ending everything and blaming Emily for his sister’s death and now he’s fully prepared to jump on board with her plans. Either he’s realizing that Emily’s the only one who can really help him get revenge for his sister’s death or Aidan has a plan of his own.

“Union” highlights the best of what Revenge has been doing this season. It’s tightly wound and is a good lead into next week’s episode, where we’re finally going to get some answers to the season’s biggest mysteries.

Revenge has always done twist endings well and Victoria’s murder of Helen certainly takes the cake. Since the Initiative was introduced the writers have been setting up Helen as the big bad villain and perhaps the only person Victoria was afraid of. In addition to being one of Victoria’s best scenes in series history, Helen’s murder is a watershed moment for the show.

It’s possible that the Initiative will find a new leader but either way the retaliation for Helen’s murder will be interesting to watch. The scene shows just how tough Victoria really is. We’ve seen her toss away vicious one-liners like they were nothing and we’ve seen her go head to head with some pretty vicious people, but we’ve always known that she’ll do anything to protect her children. With “Union” we see the most violent and obvious example of that.

Revenge had lost some of its steam this season but with Helen’s death the show’s going in a refreshing direction. It’s no secret that fans have been less than happy with the Initiative storyline and it looks, at least for the time being, that we’ll get a break from it.

“Union” is easily one of the best episodes of the shaky season two. Helen’s death gives the show new direction, we get a glimpse of Emily’s not often seen emotions, and we are treated to the sight of Nolan in what might be the coolest suit ever. Revenge is back and it’s finally hit its stride.

Tressa Eckermann

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