Revenge, Ep. 2.20, “Engagement”: A woman in love makes for a strong episode

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Nolan and Victoria, Revenge promo pic

Revenge, Season 2, Episode 20: “Engagement”
Written by Elle Triedman and Salle Patrick
Directed by John Terlesky
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on ABC

“I know what a woman in love looks like Emily, and it isn’t you. It wasn’t a year ago and it isn’t now”. Revenge is closing in on its second season finale and “Engagement” finds some of the season’s biggest revelations coming to light.

“Engagement” starts off as a slow episode and doesn’t seem very promising, but it quickly takes off, beginning with Daniel’s announcement that he and Emily have renewed their engagement. Given Emily’s real reason for the engagement it isn’t all that surprising that she has convinced Daniel to get married in Paris and move there. Her ultimate goal has always been to rip everything away from Victoria.

Emily, Revenge promo pic

Even though much of the episode is a series of revelations, there are some “declarations of war”.  Victoria doesn’t hesitate to go after the Governor’s wife when she sees the pictures of her and Conrad, but the biggest surprise from the confrontation is that the Governor’s wife has been giving Conrad inside information. It’s a surprising move but given Conrad’s past, it’s not a shock that he needs some kind of edge in the election. We’ve seen before that the only way Conrad can win is with his money or by cheating.

Victoria and Emily’s renewed war is interesting and always fun. Their passive aggressive conversations are a staple of the show and one of the best things it has going for it. Stowe and Van Camp seem to relish these scenes and both of the talented actresses shine when they face off against each other.

Nolan and Aiden teaming up to bankrupt the Graysons and end Emily’s path of revenge is an exciting but ultimately dangerous choice for both of them. Revenge has always been great at connecting strings and “Engagement” is one of the best examples of that. When Falcon warned Nolan that she had written additional keystrokes into Carrion we had no idea that they would set about the Initiative’s plan to knock out the power in all of New York. Watching the lights flicker out is eerie and made even more nerve-wracking when Emily warns, “It’s started.”

Nolan, Revenge promo pic

Like most Revenge episodes there are some weak moments, but very few. Jack playing the revenge game is still a little strange and his whole connection with Ashley just doesn’t quite fit. It is nice seeing him have something else to do though, and Jack and Emily’s touching moment on the porch during her engagement party is a good reminder of what they had in season one. Another weak spot of the night is the tiresome Charlotte. Her pregnancy might be a bit of a surprise but it’s at least interesting seeing the writers take her down this path. The parallels between Charlotte and Victoria are now striking.

Perhaps the best moment of the night comes from Aiden. He’s been a very divisive character from his first appearance but when he kills Takeda he easily cements himself as a formidable character who surely has a lot to give to the show in the future. “Engagement” is a standout for him.

Revenge has managed to reinvent itself in the last few episodes and “Engagement” is a strong lead into what is sure to be an exciting season finale.

Final thoughts: What will Nolan and Aiden’s betrayal do to their relationship with Emily? Did Nolan know that draining the Graysons’ resources would set off Carrion? It seems like something that Nolan would see coming.

Favorite line of the night: Nolan’s job proposition to Aiden, “You can be my bodyguard and I’ll be your Whitney.”

Tressa Eckermann

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