TV Report Card | 'Revenge' Season 3A Review

Overview: The third season, centered on Emily (Emily VanCamp) taking her long promised revenge on the Graysons, at a red wedding that didn’t go quite as she expected. Meanwhile, Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) got cozy with her newfound son, Patrick (Justin Hartley), Conrad (Henry Czerny) was sidelined by an Emily-induced, phony illness and the Prince of the Hamptons i.e. Daniel, fell back in love with the former flame, he seriously injured in a drunk-driving accident.

Storyline Direction: There seemed to be a purpose and direction, a laser-like focus that permeated the surrounding storylines. The flash forward effectively set up the season and the mystery it evoked, allowed the audience to weave the pieces together. The new interlopers, Patrick and Margaux (Karine Vanasse) were introduced well and moved the story along by becoming part of it, not spinning off into a distracting other tale.

Victoria and Conrad were in full force this season with their signature banter, vibrant as ever. Nolan (Gabriel Mann) was unfortunately cast aside to more or less placate, Emily. Patrick remained quite mysterious and vague.

The only known detail about him was his relationship with Nolan and his attempt to kill Conrad. Hopefully, he will get fleshed out more as the season progresses. Daniel vacillated between being a devoted lover to a straying star-crossed, lothario. There is still no distinct direction for his character.

The character that has continued to grow increasingly frustrating is Emily. She has been whining about her father’s false imprisonment for 2 seasons and given what we now know, I could personally, care less. Her father is far from the saint, she makes him out to be.

He had an affair with his friend’s wife and then conceived a child with her. He brought a lot of what happened to him, on himself. The pain that Emily has inflicted in the name of this man is quite frankly, getting ridiculous

Nolan’s character seemed to be getting the picture this season. The writers' hints of her being unmasked as a psychopath are promising. The crux of Emily’s revenge now makes her seem petty. The ultimately irony would be for her to suffer the fate, she has so righteously handed down to others.

As previously mentioned, the character of Aiden Mathis (Barry Sloane) continues to be pointless and his presence ruins the foundation of the freshman season’s romantic entanglements. He simply needs to go. The finale’s big reveal had grown quite obvious, after the perpetrator had been seething sinisterly throughout the episode. 

Production Caliber: The set design continued to be chic and modern. Nolan’s new mansion was perfectly cast to his personality.

Performance Quality: Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny continue to steal the show. They are one of the most entertaining pairings on TV, right now. Stowe’s vigorous portrayal of Victoria continued to be one of the series’ greatest assets; blurring the lines of straight-up villainess and determined survivor.

Czerny continues to build Conrad into one of the more fascinating, scion antagonists on the air, maintaining his indomitable charm, as his character arc veered Conrad into all sorts of directions.

Joshua Bowman was given more to play this season and he handled Daniel’s inner conflict with aplomb. Emily VanCamp’s characterization of Emily lost a bit of its veiled precision. She let Emily’s emotional mask slip, too much and too often. As a result, Emily’s feelings were painfully obvious, her hatred towards her nemeses pouring off of her in waves and yet they remained blissfully clueless. It made the characters around her appear rather foolish.

Musical Score: Foreboding as ever.

Overall Grade: B-, new Showrunner Sunil Nayar pointed the series in the right direction from last season’s disastrous run. Thus far, it’s failed to make its case for going much further than this season. The end of the series seems to be coming into view. It should use its last burst of energy to conjure a compelling finale. To Read Eclectic Pop's TV Report Card for Season 1, click here

[Image by ABC]