OPINION: REVENGE Week 2 is SOAPTASTIC!

The second outing of REVENGE did not disappoint. This show should leave every fan of soap operas squealing with delight, but nothing so much as the epic stare downs that Victoria and Emily inflict upon one another. They don't even try to hide the death glares they are hurling at each other but relish in allowing them to last just a few seconds too long .

This week, Victoria first tried to melt Emily with her eyes at the polo match. Not to be outdone, Emily engaged in an epic stare down with Victoria as she invited Emily over to tea. Part of what I love about this is they were doing it from their respective homes on the phone but being neighbors they can stare right into each other's house. But the best…AND I MEAN BEST…took place at Victoria's over tea when Emily gave Victoria the one two punch of telling her  not only is she the new owner of Lydia’s beach house(Thanks to Nolan who hacked into the real estate files and put in a bid higher then Victoria's in Emily's name) but then accepting a date with Daniel right in front of Victoria’s eyes. Victoria was snarling at Emily. Not sort of snarling...actually snarling. Her lips were curling up. I thought that the fires of hell were going to reign down. 

Emily's target for this week was Bill Harmon. Bill was friends with Emily’s dad, David, but when David was being falsely accused of insider trading and money laundering for terrorists, Bill testified against David. Bill, however, is the one who delights in committing that particular crime. Emily made sure to meet Bill at the polo match where he made it very clear how eager he was to help her invest her money. Emily makes it known that she is close friends with Nolan. It seems unrelated, but its not. Not only does Emily ask Bill to invest her money, but she steers him toward investing in a particular cell phone company believed to be merging with Nolan’s corporation. Thinking that she has inside information(which she readily implies), Bill invests all the money in his firm in that stock only to have Nolan merge with a competitor cell phone company facing Bill with the situation of having lost all his clients money. Emily gets to work calling all of Bill’s top clients to clue them in thus ruining him. I believe that these take-downs of the week will be a part of the format of the show for the foreseeable future. The first two have not only taken down Emily's target, but moved the larger story ahead. As long as that continues to happen, I'm fine with it but my hope(and I can't see this happening) is that we don't get too involved with these smaller take-downs unless they start to focus on characters we have known for longer than an episode. 

Other important events for the week included: Emily and Daniel on their first date. They have a picnic on the beach, and she invites him back to her house for a tour. There is an almost kiss and then SURPRISE…Daniel and Ashley threw her a welcome to the Hamptons party in her new house.I didn't even know what to do with myself when the kiss was interrupted. I wanted to kick Emily's party planner friend Ashley.  They were obviously ready to jump each others bones. Who happens to be at the party? Nolan and Jack. Nolan has roped Jack into being his friend in exchange for getting his boat back at the end of the summer.  Jack’s dog Sammy(which was actually originally Emily’s dog given to her by Bill) once again recognizes Emily, and I ask myself why does Jack bring that dog EVERYWHERE?!?!? Jack still doesn't recognize Emily as Amanda. Their conversation visibily upsets Emily. Not because it was an unpleasant conversation. Quite the opposite in fact. It's obvious that Emily has a hard time keeping up her facade with Jack. She doesn't want him to realize who she is but is that because it will ruin her plans or is it because the feelings that she has for Jack won't allow her to continue with her plans if he knows who she really is. Emily Vancamp(Emily/Amanda) and Nick Wechsler(Jack)have created an immediate and strong bond that is very different then the bond she shares with Joshua Bowman(Daniel). An immediate triangle is created without these characters even knowing that they are in a triangle. At the end of the party we finally get that Daniel and Emily kiss. I kid you not, it took my breath away.  It was as if I was watching two real people kiss for the first time instead of two actors playing parts. The added bonus? Victoria was watching it happen from her deck. You can practically see the steam come from her ears and the horns rise in her head as she calls her army of hellions to eat Emily alive. Lucky for Victoria, her security person managed to find a discrepancy in Emily’s past. Everything is in order except when she was off the grid from the ages of 16-18. Victoria’s eyes practically sparkled with evil delight as she instructed Frank to have Emily followed and get every piece of information he could. 

I loathe to even breath a negative word about this delicious show, but the burgeoning Romeo and Juliet tale of Declan and Charlotte is boring, derivative, and unnecessary. We’ve all seen the rich girl fall for the guy from the wrong side of the tracks.  At this point they are nothing more then stock characters. Sure, there could be more depth added to them as we proceed, but as they are now I don't even want them around long enough to see them develop. We already know that the romance develops enough over the course of the season that Declan is Charlotte’s date to Daniel and Emily’s engagement party. Yet, I don’t care. Two other quick notes of importance: Declan and Jack’s father had some sort of attack after he found Declan being beat up by Charlotte’s friends(without Charlotte’s knowledge) at the Stow Away. Declan was petulant and insulting to his drunk father and ran off just in time for dad to collapse in pain all by his lonesome Who finds him? Jack. Will he survive? Who knows, and I'm not sure I even care. That whole story(with the exception of Jack) lacks soemthing for me.  More importantly though, we learn  that Victoria and David (Emily’s father in case you forgot) were having an affair and Bill found out and they were afraid he was going to expose it. Emily was asleep on the couch and saw them talking without them realizing.

What I love about this show is that it knew what it was from the moment it started. There were no significant second episode growing pains. Yes there are things that could be fixed or written out(I’m talking to you Charlotte and Declan), but the core of this show remains soaptastic! Forbidden love, secrets, triangles, and epic rivalries. Everything is in place. Plus, I could watch Victoria and Emily glare at each other for an hour and be happy. 

Brian Hewson contributes primetime reviews for We Love Soaps. Along with Greg Turner, Brian is the creator, writer, and producer of the web soap, EMPIRE, which can be found at www.empiretheseries.com. Brian loves soaps.

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