Revenge, Season 2, Episode 17: “Victory”
Written by Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie
Directed by Colin Bucksey
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on ABC
Revenge has regained its rightful place as TV’s soapiest drama and “Victory” proves why. Emily warns at the beginning of the episode that “for every victory there is defeat”, and it seems like this week, Nolan faces the biggest and most devastating defeat.
Gabriel Mann is the real standout of this emotionally charged episode. Nolan’s goodbye to Padma is one of the most heartbreaking on the show. When he tells her, “this isn’t the end for us”, there is an undeniable sense of dread. Nothing ever works out quite that well for anyone on this show, let alone Nolan, who always seems to have the worst luck.
A lot of Revenge fans have had a mixed reaction to Aidan but he and Nolan are an interesting pair to watch work together, even if they aren’t successful. The best lines of the night come when these two are sitting on a roof waiting to rescue Padma’s father. To some viewers Padma is even more divisive than Aidan, but her relationship with Nolan gives him a much needed purpose other than being Emily’s sidekick. Taking her out of the equation, at least for now, pushes Nolan in a vengeful direction usually reserved just for Emily.
From the first appearance Eli has made we’ve known that he was a conman, so when it looks like he’s playing Emily and the Graysons it’s not that surprising. But when he reveals his true motives there are unmistakable flashbacks to Tyler, especially when he tells Emily, “I’m trying to make things right between us”. You can’t help but wonder how dangerous this will prove to be for Emily. On a side note, how awesome was it to see the red Sharpie back?
Of course the biggest reveal of the night is Emily learning that Victoria has another son. That secret exemplifies what’s so great about Revenge. On any other show it would be a cheap ploy to garner ratings or gasps. But with Revenge, Emily’s given another tool to take down Victoria. The look of sheer joy on Emily’s face as she learns about what may be Victoria’s biggest secret is terrifying, thrilling, and exactly what we’ve come to expect from our favorite schemer.
“Victory” is a continuation of what has been a great comeback for Revenge. The show has always been sleek and cool but it’s often the best when it’s emotional. That’s when the actors can really shine, especially Mann and Van Camp. It’s a tightly written episode that gives these actors a lot to work with.