Revenge, Season 2, Episode 14: “Sacrifice”
Written by Mark B. Perry and Joe Fazzio
Directed by Steffan Schwartz
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on ABC
Happiness never leads to anything good on Revenge. Last week, Jack and Amanda set off on their romantic boat trip honeymoon and of course it turns into a massive, bloody, and tragic disaster.
“Sacrifice” is all about paying for mistakes and personal sins. All season we’ve been seeing Emily’s more emotional side. Though this episode culminates in the loss of Amanda, it’s really Jack who loses the most. From the beginning, Jack was the easiest character to root for, the one with the cleanest hands. He’s a genuinely good guy who’s been lied to and now he’s lost his wife. Amanda’s always been a very divisive character but her death is truly heartbreaking. The consequences will certainly breathe new life into the show. It also gives Emily a reason to fight and a new reason for revenge.
The episode is a tense one and some of the best moments happen on the boat. It’s Revenge’s version of the 1989 thriller Dead Calm, except Nate isn’t anywhere near as charming or smart as Billy Zane’s character from that film. The claustrophobic setting lends itself to some tightly-wound moments.
One of the most striking images from the intense episode has to be Victoria, Daniel, and Conrad standing on the balcony overlooking the ocean. Apparently there’s nothing like disposing of a body to bring a family together. Daniel knowing the truth, or at least the partial truth, about the Initiative and the plane crash has put him in an interesting position. Even though Helen’s dead the Initiative has a hold on the Graysons; it’s an odd choice on the part of the writers to see Daniel still so unwilling to believe his parents.
By far the best moment of the episode has to be the unexpected shout out to the cult British show Torchwood as Burn Gorman takes on the role of the Initiative’s new leader. For the first time in a long time I’m actually very interested in the Initiative storyline, if it means we get to see Dr. Owen Harper every week.
“Sacrifice” is the strongest, fiercest, and most wrenching episode of the season. It seems like the writers have taken the advice of the audience- they’ve started rectifying the mistakes that were made earlier in the season. Emily’s new but familiar path is just the beginning and even though the Initiative will still play a role in the show, Victoria’s plan to frame Amanda dies with her.
Revenge is at an interesting crossroads and “Sacrifice” has set each character up with a drastically different place to go.