Revenge, Season 2, Episode 15: “Retribution”
Written by Nikki Toscano and Elle Triedman
Directed by Helen Hunt
Airs Sundays at 9 pm (ET) on ABC
It’s no secret that Revenge had lost its way earlier this season but with Amanda’s death at the end of the last episode, Emily’s desire to destroy the Graysons has been renewed and so has the show.
The Graysons are scrambling and in a panic trying to get out from under the Initiative, which is an interesting position to see them in, but it’s obvious that the Initiative storyline is winding down. Hopefully Emily’s new motivation for revenge will put the show back on track.
When Emily tells Victoria, “You must feel so helpless” early in the episode, it is an obvious taunt and even a promise. Losing control is Victoria’s greatest fear, but losing control of her children is even scarier. Emily all but promises to rip everything away from Victoria. It’s a surprising move for the writers to have Emily go after Charlotte, her own sister, but it certainly sets the show up to go in an interesting direction.
Emily’s renewed interest in revenge is a good thing for the show, but it’s Jack and his quest for vengeance on the Graysons that’s going to be really interesting to watch. For starters he isn’t anywhere near the level that Emily, Aidan, and Nolan are playing on. The only thing Jack really has on his side is anger. In that way he isn’t much different than Emily but at least Emily has the smarts, the team of people, and the means to truly destroy the Graysons.
When Victoria killed Helen it felt like just another way to end the Initiative plotline but for the first time in a long time, that storyline didn’t seem stale. With Padma’s father still missing and the appearance of Helen’s replacement, ending the storyline might be difficult but intriguing to watch, especially considering that Daniel still has a connection to them. Even though he’s been brought deeper into the fold this season it still feels like he is a pawn. When he yells at Nolan early in the episode it feels like an act, like he still doesn’t understand what he’s in the middle of and he’s just trying to make himself sound tougher.
This episode has a heavy dose of foreshadowing. As a viewer it’s obvious that all of Victoria’s talk of the Clarkes being “plagued by darkness” eventually means that darkness is going to fall on the Graysons. This is made even more apparent when Emily promises Aidan that there will be “no more distractions”. The surprise arrival of Emily’s foster brother will certainly twist some of her plans up.
“Retribution” is a strong episode that sets up what is sure to be a powerful second half to a season that initially seemed weak. Revenge is finally back to what it needs to be- good soapy, emotional fun.