Let's Discuss: [Spoiler Alert] Being Killed Off 'Revenge'

Attention: If you do not want to know which character was killed off of this week’s episode of “Revenge,” read no further…

The much-teased death on the mid-season finale of “Revenge” claimed the life of original character, Daniel Grayson; reducing the members of the Grayson family to one remaining on-screen representative, Victoria.

The hour wasn’t exactly subtle in its foreshadowing, as Daniel flash-backed to his interactions with his father following a troubling event that had led him to a moral dilemma. After spending so much time on the backburner, the sudden interest in the character and exploring his complexity was a red alert for a series that had long ago forgotten one of its most compelling leads.

Back in its first season, Daniel was a compassionate playboy stuck between his inherited legacy and his desire to do and be something better. The entire first half of the season had centered on his fate hanging in the balance as a flash forward had hinted at his deadly demise.

Back then the premise of “Revenge” had been a lot more promising. Emily bent on avenging her father, genuinely fell for the son of her mortal enemies and the dramatic aspects of that were ripe with possibility.

Daniel, an innocent, appeared destined to get caught in the crosshairs of his paramour’s vendetta. It would be a surefire lesson in the callous exchange rate of revenge. 

Then…Daniel was spared (an apparent re-write) and Emily turned on him after overhearing him agree to keep his father’s crimes against hers, a secret. The legitimate nature of their relationship was subsequently swept under the rug, and the following season, Emily turned to Aiden, a character whose existence had never been hinted at and whose relevance to the theme of the series was sparse.

It’s easy to think about how good the show would still be, if the emphasis on the initial triangle, Daniel/Emily/Jack, had remained intact. Jack had signified better times for Emily, a time of innocence before all hell broke loose, so he was a reasonable option.

Then there was Daniel, a reminder of all that she had lost, endured and most importantly survived. The question of that season hinged on whether she was willing to choose forgiveness and love, over a vengeance that could cost her a chance at true happiness.

Ideally, Victoria would’ve caught wind of her schemes that season and not knowing that Emily had genuinely decided to move on with Daniel, lost him in the crossfire of her own retribution. All of this should’ve also played out as a mini-series, but I regress.

Daniel’s character in the passing seasons went from being an emotionally tortured good guy to a drunken letch to a businessman dumber than a box of hair. The writers never seemed to know what to do with him. His arc obviously extended past its initial intention. In his last episode, he was restored to his original form, something that made killing him off all the more senseless.

Of all the characters, why not the ever pointless Jack or the never quite endearing Margaux? Jack has especially worn out his time on the series, having gone from the neighborhood good guy to a smug jerk to serving as Emily’s vapid sycophant.

The “connection” between them has grown ever more listless. Their bond as 5-year-olds having been contrived as so powerful that who they are as adults ha not even failed to break it. 

Daniel’s character represented the last hope for the series. The Graysons had the potential to be today’s equivalent of the Ewings (“Dallas”) or the Carringtons (“Dynasty”).

If the series had drifted away from Emily and let her arc end after she got her pound of flesh, a new avenger could’ve taken her place, and the show could’ve revolved around the Graysons and the latest thorn in their sides.

Instead, the series shifted its focus to justifying Emily’s hollow revenge, awkwardly stuffing Jack into a slot as the male lead and bringing in new characters (Aiden, Margaux, etc.) that viewers had no previously vested interest in.

With the loss of Conrad and now Daniel, the series has demonstrated a knack for killing off its most essential characters, leaving Victoria as the only interesting character left. With no one to verbally spar with or nurture, Victoria and the show have lost their way and finding a way back seems a daunting improbability.

[Featured Image by ABC]

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