Revenge Episode 20 “Legacy” Review – Oddly placed in Time and Space

Written by Regina Berengolts May 16, 2012

This week, we’re treated to a different flavour of Revenge. This episode is actually one giant flashback showing the moment that self-destructive Amanda Clarke turned into the focused avenging angel, Emily Thorne.

The placement of this episode near the end of the season is unfortunate as the past few episodes have been gaining momentum only to have this one slow the pace down. Considering it’s almost the end of the season, I’d assume the writers would want to build the mystery and intensity to get viewers excited about the conclusion of the season. I find that shows usually place these flashback or expository episodes closer to the beginning of the season so viewers can better understand the motivations of the characters and root for their actions, regardless of how questionable they may seem. However, I do appreciate a good origin story regardless of its placement so I have minimal qualms about this decision.

The great thing here is that we don’t just get one origin story. We get at least four. We see a troubled and angry teen realize that her father was framed and how she resolves to get revenge on the people who betrayed him. We also see the beginning of both the David Clarke/Victoria Grayson and Conrad Grayson/Lydia Davis affairs. Most interestingly, we see how Nolan and Jack originally met and are given an explanation of Jack’s initial dislike of Nolan despite his friend’s constant and supportive presence.

So while the episode may have been a bit slower than usual, it filled in some key details. We learn more about Declan and Jack’s dad, making him more human and vulnerable, and consequently making his death more tragic. And while Amanda has always been smart, we realize that she really was quite naive in regards to what she was truly up against. Emily VanCamps performance was one of the most interesting and believable parts of the episode. We’re used to seeing Emily hide her emotions and focus her underlying fury into vengeful planning, but rarely if ever do we see her cry or lose control of herself. We also get an explanation of how Victoria had the picture from last week of David Clarke on the day he died, as well as seeing the live version of the fateful picture with Emily at the New Year’s Eve party. That picture allowed Lydia to recognize Emily which eventually led to her fall and coma. Unfortunately, it looks like someone decided continuity wasn’t necessary in the episode. In the photo, Emily’s hair is short and black whereas in this episode, she had longer brown hair. This inconsistency can be explained if we later learn that she waited on another New Year’s party, but repeat appearances seem dangerous as people would be more likely to recognize her in the future.

Now that we’ve seen the origin of her drive to engage in a long-con revenge scheme, I’m eagerly awaiting a future flashback episode that shows her journey all over the world learning revenge techniques and fighting skills, ala Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins (and almost every other Batman origin story).

Special Mentions

Usually I dislike the “previouslies” of a show in which they quickly recap what happened in previous episodes. But the montage we were shown here was delightful. The rundown of Emily’s victims was fun and satisfying in a way that made me miss their original revenge of the week format.

It would be remiss to write a review on the episode without having once mentioned Jack’s lovely 2002 hair. Comedic relief, I think you’ve found your new champion.

Eat your heart out, Zach Galifianakis!

Questionable Moments

My dislike of Mason Treadwell (the name being another reference to Agatha Christie) is no secret. But considering he precipitated the murderous actions of Conrad and Frank, Treadwell showed little remorse or emotion after the fact. I don’t know how he sleeps at night.

I also had to shake my head at Victoria. It’s nice that she’s bonding with Lydia, but telling her David’s house is the only reminder she has of him was pretty harsh…considering he gave her a daughter. I find it interesting that I still have no idea how Victoria feels about Charlotte. I hope that gets cleared up as unambiguously as possible.

My Rating: 8.5/10

 

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