Someone asked me the other day if Revenge is a show I would recommend. Even though I’ve seen every episode, I love some of the characters and I cover the show each week, my answer was no. When the show is good, it’s addictive and soapy and so much fun to watch. Then there are episodes like “Surrender.”
To be fair, the episode had some great moments. Conrad and Victoria sniping at each other and then pausing in the middle so she can help him pick out the right color tie and then taking a moment to look at their son’s baby picture and reminisce about what that day was like and how they hadn’t quite thought of a name for him yet, was exactly why these two are so much fun to watch. There’s no doubt that they hate each other, but buried deep, deep down, there’s still a hint of love there.
Unfortunately, the episode as a whole, much like the last few, have felt like the show is treading water and wasting time until we get to next week’s big wedding episode. I’ve said this before and I hate that I have to repeat myself, but it feels like a waste of time watching these filler episodes. For every great Conrad and Victoria moment, there are five useless moments where some new obstacle pops up and it looks like Emily’s plans are going to fall apart and the wedding won’t happen.
But we know it’s going to happen because we saw the first episode of the season, which began with a married Emily getting shot on her honeymoon cruise. So when this episode ended with Victoria stopping by Emily’s house to personally deliver the news that she would not be attending the wedding, Emily’s panicked look didn’t mean much. We know Victoria is going to be there (and if we didn’t, the preview that followed the episode gave it away when she was shown attending the wedding).
Of course there was a bigger cliffhanger. Lydia’s return was a mixed bag. It was a nice twist that Victoria had gotten her off the plane. I love when they remind us that Victoria is nowhere near as heartless as Emily wants to believe that she is. But Lydia wasn’t really back because she wanted to ruin Conrad. She was bored living her life and wanted to be in the Hamptons again and returned to Conrad’s bed before the end of the episode. She noticed his nostalgia boxes and the first thing she did was find that New Year’s Eve photo that has Amanda Clarke-era Emily in the background.
That definitely spiked my curiosity. What’s she going to do with it? How’s Emily going to talk her way out of this one? She’s never quite been able to defeat Lydia, but maybe they can team up. This is the kind of thing I wish the show had been doing all along this season. Instead of finding silly ways to pretend the wedding might not happen, they should have found more obstacles like this one to throw in Emily’s path – the kind of thing that could genuinely ruin her plan because once the Amanda Clarke secret gets out, everything would change for real.
One thing I do want to give the writers credit for is fixing Daniel. He was insufferable last season and at the beginning of this one. But as the episodes wore on, he started to become a sympathetic character again and last night sealed the deal, at least for me. He told Charlotte how much he loved Emily and how happy he’d been until Sara showed up and then he’d ended up confused because he still had feelings for her too. But the baby and Emily were his priority and he was determined to give them, and himself, the happy family that he’d never have. That’s the Daniel I remember from season one and the guy who definitely deserves better than being a pawn.
As for Charlotte, she finally came around to Emily’s side again. She apologized, referred to her as her sister and gave her a sweet, day before the wedding present. It was nice because it made Emily happy, but all I kept thinking was, ‘what was the point of bratty Charlotte’? Like all the other wedding obstacles, it felt like a waste of time. There had to be something else Charlotte could have done leading up to the wedding that didn’t involve hating Emily for no good reason.
Two more quick notes on the episode: First, Aiden and Emily’s scenes were everything fans of the couple love. We got to see them plotting together when Emily was wearing a bracelet she’d stolen from Victoria at the firearm range so it would have gun powder residue on it and then we got to see them being super romantic. Aiden proposed, Emily said yes and then after some quality naked time, they joked about their new life. Nolan had gotten them IDs with the last name ‘Ross’ so he could come visit his distant cousins and Aiden pointed out that he’d be sleeping on their couch for a month. It was cute and sweet and happy.
Speaking of Nolan, he’s part of the second thing I wanted to talk about. Jack was worried about Margaux getting in too deep with her Conrad investigation so he asked Nolan to hack her computer. Instead, Nolan went to Margaux and suggested that she talk to Jack. She did and he told her the truth: Conrad was responsible for the deaths of his wife and brother. Margaux was shocked, but she was willing to let the story go because there would always be more stories. I’m not actively invested in this couple, but it was another really good moment and proof that sometimes, even in the Hamptons, it pays off to be honest.
But the few good moments and the fun snipes the characters take at each other are too few and far between and they get lost in all of the contrived stories about how the wedding might not happen. That’s why I can’t recommend this show. It’s inconsistent and not just from week to week, but within each hour and that’s frustrating to watch because I spent most of the hour checking the time or looking at the book that’s sitting beside me that I could be reading instead.
Next week, we finally get to watch the wedding drama unfold and find out who shot Emily. If you want spoilers, check out the final list of suspects. Here’s hoping that the payoff will be worth all of these episodes that we’ve sat through to get to it.