From its first moments, REVENGE is instantly engrossing. Daniel Grayson, heir apparent to the most powerful family in the Hamptons, and Emily Thorne, mysterious newcomer to their social scene, are celebrating their engagement as the episode begins. Victoria Grayson, Daniel’s mother, puts on a smile and welcomes Emily to the family but with a simple, "Where the hell is my son?" to Emily, it's clear that Victoria's approval is all an illusion. Amidst the speeches and cheers, Daniel Grayson is found on the beach shot. Is he dead? Who shot him? In an instant, we jump back in time five months to Emily's arrival to the Hampton's.
These characters are all new to me but with a line here and a look there there the scene is set. Someone is doing something right because I care about where the story is going even before the first commercial break. Emily VanCamp, mostly known for playing good girl roles, bursts to life on screen with this opportunity to play a more nefarious character. Sweet and bubbly turns into any icy cold stare within an instant and no one seems immune to the rage that is bubbling beneath Emily's surface. Who is Emily Thorne? For one thing her name is not Emily, it's Amanda. The house that she is renting is the same house her life was ripped apart in years ago when her father was taken away by the FBI. For what we aren’t sure, but it seems as if he wasn’t the guilty party but rather set up by the Graysons and those connected to them. My one quibble with the flashback scenes is a screaming young Emily is being taken away almost in the same manner that her father the criminal was being hauled off. They couldn’t have brought a social worker there to deal with that.
I really enjoyed the format of the show that sets us up to watch Emily exact her revenge towards lesser offenders each week as she builds towards her ultimate goal of taking down Victoria Grayson. Lydia Carter was her first victim. Exposing Lydia's affair with Conrad, Victoria's husband, brought down Lydia and began to chip away at Victoria's armor. Simultaneously, Emily is planting the seeds of romance with Daniel Grayson. Daniel is hot. Given the choice between revenge and marrying him, I'd tell him to put a ring on it. The romantic in me wants Emily’s heart of ice to melt and have her fall for him. Looking at her cold dead eyes, I don’t see that happening.
Emily's revenge is the main driving force of the story, but there are other characters that help to drive secondary store that will at some point intersect with Emily's tale. Jack Porter, son of the owner of the local pub Stow Away, is about to head off to Haiti to work for the Red Cross when he discovers the bank is about to take the bar from his father. What does he do? Sell the boat, which happens to be named Amanda and in case you were wondering yes it was named after Emily’s true persona. Nolan, who is the only person who knows Emily’s true identity, buys the boat from Jack. Through a flashback we learn that Emily’s father invested in Nolan’s tech company before it was big and now Emily and Nolan are richer then anyone in the Hamptons. Nolan was also the person who gave Emily her father’s journals which detailed the truth as he knew it of what happened to him. Too late because he died six weeks before she got out of juvenile hall. His message to Emily is to forgive and live her life. Thankfully, she chooses revenge or we wouldn't be watching this show right now.
Will Victoria discover Emily’s secrets? Will Jack realize that Emily is Amanda and how will he ultimately get embroiled in her revenge plan? Who else will Emily take down in her quest to destroy Victoria Grayson? This show is soapy goodness at its best. I have a sense of this entire world and the relationships of the characters in it. I CAN NOT WAIT to see how this plays out, and I’m already rooting for Jack to bring out Amanda’s humanity in Emily.
Bring on the revenge.