“Revenge” Episode 22 ‘Reckoning’ Review – A Problematic Finale

Written by Regina Berengolts May 29, 2012

My name is Amanda Clarke. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

As much as I loved the majority of this season, I can’t help but feel disappointed in the finale we got. While most shows tend to shy away from important character deaths and controversial moves, “Revenge” has promised us a gruesome and dirty end for some extremely vile characters. Unfortunately, this finale erred on the conservative and familiar side and denied audiences the satisfaction of seeing the fall of the Graysons. More than anything, this episode played more as a set-up for Season Two, rather than a finale in its own right.

Set up for Season Two

Personally, I found the show’s attempt at “shocking surprises” to be predictable and unoriginal which stopped me from being particularly worried for certain characters. After finding out that Conrad  had David Clarke killed, Victoria committed to testifying against her husband but by episode’s end, the audience is meant to believe that she has died in a plane explosion before she is able to do so. A devastated Charlotte has overdosed on pills, hinting at her own untimely demise. However, realistically, it is extremely unlikely that Madeleine Stowe is leaving “Revenge” because she has played a key role in the success of the series and losing her would be a huge blow to the current dynamic. Additionally, Christa B. Allen’s Charlotte has too much dramatic potential as Emily’s unknowing half-sister to be cut so soon.

Another unoriginal, and frankly worrying, twist was the introduction of a “bigger conspiracy” storyline. Nolan’s discovery that the Initiative was controlling the Grayson’s actions in regards to David Clarke, introduces a way to continue the show by offering new villains and problems for the characters to deal with. Unfortunately, this twist can easily make for an unfocused Season 2-it’s one thing for Emily to go after a specific villainous family, but another for her target to be some huge and vague organization. These bigger conspiracy storylines always take away from the charm of the first season of shows. Emily has been training herself for years in order to take down the Grayson family. She’s taken the time to learn everything about everyone and integrate herself into their society. She doesn’t have the luxury of time to properly take down an even bigger and more malicious organization. Even if she did, it wouldn’t be on such a personal basis as when she took down Treadwell, the psychiatrist or the politician which gave me such a great sense of catharsis. I’m worried I’ll miss those moments in the second season.

Is this the last we'll see of Victoria Grayson?

The return of a newly pregnant Amanda and the realization that Emily’s thought-to-be dead mom is actually still alive and kicking and is potentially connected to the Initiative are two more unfortunate twists. First of all, a last minute pregnancy keeping two people apart is hardly an original twist and is commonly used in soap operas and sitcoms. The latter revelation is also disappointing, however this could be because at least two other shows (Hawaii 5.0, Grimm) ended on a “surprise” discovery that the main character’s mother was still alive.  The show will have to do a lot of explaining to connect all these disparate pieces together in a way that’s not overly complicated or inorganic.

Still Good

As I’ve said before, the growing relationship between Nolan and Emily has been quite a pleasure to watch throughout the season. The finale’s greatest success was in the culmination of a very strong protective brother/sister relationship between the two, which is what they both need given everything that’s happened to them.

If you came here to rescue me, you might want a do over.

Overall, the season has delighted and surprised me much more than it has disappointed and I very much look forward to what the new season will bring. While this particular episode may not have delivered as much as I wanted it to, I still have a lot of hope for next season. Don’t do anything Revenge-y until the show comes back in September!

My Rating: 7.5/10

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Regina Berengolts

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on “Revenge” Episode 22 ‘Reckoning’ Review – A Problematic Finale. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment