Let's Discuss: The Series Finale of 'Revenge'

Opening the pilot episode of ABC’s primetime drama was the Confucius quote: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” It is pretty apparent to whose graves he is referring; the avenger and the avenged. Not the father of said avenger dying due to cancer and being let out to enjoy the rest of his days with his daughter after committing a cold-blooded murder.

Going in, it was rather obvious that the series finale would play out with Amanda and her father coming out on top, them doing so completely unscathed from any collateral damage was not as foreseeable.

If you tuned in to the self-righteous indignation of Amanda and her allies, their victory was a beyond bitter pill to swallow. Simply put, Amanda did not deserve a happy ending. For four seasons she sought justice for a man who did not deserve any and left countless lives obliterated in her wake. She was no better than her arch nemesis.

Her brag that she had never killed anyone was a major oversight. Her activities had led to the deaths of many. While she might not have pulled the trigger personally, she was every bit as responsible for their demise.

Victoria’s plight was far more sympathetic than the so-called heroine of the series. She had been forced to frame David to save her son’s life and her backstory was just as hellish as Amanda Clarke’s. Even in the finale, one last dagger was thrown at her.

It was revealed that in her teenage quest to get payback on her mother, she had inadvertently seduced her biological father, producing her beloved son, Patrick. Everything in this woman’s life backfired on her and the cruelty her mother showed her was just as, if not more, sadistic than anything Amanda was made to suffer.

The biggest flaw going into the finale was the blatant fact that all Amanda had suffered came at the hands of her father. He had started this entire saga by sleeping with his best friend’s wife.

When “The Initiative” forced the Grayson’s to do the frame and send him to prison, he had only himself to blame. Had David been keeping his hands to himself it would hae been highly doubtful he would’ve ever wound up on their radar. He put his wants and needs above his daughter’s.

His behavior was detestable and no one ever called him out for it, the way he deserved. He knew he was poking a bear when he betrayed Conrad and there would undoubtedly be retribution. Still, he attempted to run away with the man’s wife and conspired to kidnap his son in the process. How was David Clarke pure in any of this?

The contrived sympathy the audience was supposed to feel for this reprobate was immediately nullified upon learning what he did to generate his predicament. He was no Desmond Montes. For the show to even draw a comparison between the two characters was an insult to the iconic protagonist of “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

David Clarke had brought everything on himself and even worse his daughter. Victoria put her child’s welfare above her lover’s and the bottom line is David didn’t do the same for his daughter.

At one point this season, David berated Victoria for choosing to save her son’s life, over sending him to prison. Why didn’t David, a father, understand that Victoria should have chosen her child over him?

The egomania of this character was outrageous and still, everyone acted as though he was a saint. If David had been as consciousness to the effect his choices would have on Amanda, as Victoria was with her son, maybe everything that unfolded wouldn’t have.

David is the archetype of the ever growing woe-is-me protagonist who assumes no accountability for his sins. Amanda, blinded by her loyalty, failed to see that the very man she had devoted her life to avenging was not worth it.

After all the hell she rained down on the Hamptons, she never showed a shred of regret. Not even once. Jack, a feckless wonder who’s life was spent slobbering after a sociopath he’d fixated on since childhood, didn’t deserve a happy ending either.

Whether dead or alive, Victoria was living in hell. Coming into the finale her bed had already been made. Amanda’s fate was far more win or lose. Throughout the show, Amanda’s true colors as a cold blooded psychopath were unavoidably flagrant and direly irredeemable. 

She was ten times worse than Victoria, in that she pretended to be something good natured when she was the complete opposite. For her to literally sail off into the sunset was absolutely revolting. She’d done nothing to deserve it. The message that you could do all of the dastardly things Emily/Amanda had done and slip away to have a self-pity party on the ocean was a disturbing one to send.

Especially when characters like Margaux, whose sins were infinitesimally short-lived by comparison, were willingly facing up to the consequences of their wrongdoing. In a television landscape that continually blurs the line between hero and villain, Amanda had fallen into the latter abyss with an unalterable abandon.

Mutually assured destruction was the only way “Revenge” could end in a way that reflected the quote it opened with and it failed miserably to sell this viewer on any other alternative.

Related: Let's Talk About...[Spoiler Alert] Being Killed Off "Revenge"

[Featured Image by ABC]