[Warning: Spoilers Ahead] “Revenge” aired the highly-anticipated winter finale on Dec. 15 in which Emily (Emily VanCamp) and Daniel's (Josh Bowman) wedding day arrives and Emily’s plan goes terribly awry when her new hubby shoots her unexpectedly and she plunges off the side of the ship. Jack (Nick Wechsler) shows up at the beach where Aiden (Barry Sloane) is waiting to take Emily out of the country, only she’s not there. Both men, who are close to her in different ways, realize something is wrong when they find her bloodied wedding dress.
They start screaming her name and in true cliffhanger fashion, it’s fade-to-black and we’re left dangling in suspense about what happens next. A teaser for the series return shows Emily waking up in a hospital with a clear case of amnesia. Is this real, though? Or is Emily’s amnesia just another part of her ruse?
Season three of “Revenge” has shaped up to be much better, overall, than last year’s second installment which was muddied up in many ways with The Initiative storyline. It’s been triumphant, in fact, in returning to the personal roots of all of the key players while rolling ahead with Emily’s wily revengenda.
Some of the strongest sequences in this episode are found in Emily’s bittersweet goodbyes to Nolan (Gabriel Mann) and Jack. The entire cast is incredibly cohesive, but Emily’s ties to both of these men is the heart of the show, along with her evolving relationship with Aiden and their hope for their own happily ever after.
Gabriel Mann continues to make us laugh and cry as the incomparable Nolan Ross, the multifaceted tech wizard who has ultimately sacrificed more than anyone else to help a friend and keep his promise to Emily’s dad. Their post-wedding dance is so sweet and it’s hard not to reach for a Kleenex when seeing Nolan’s torn expression as he walks away. There are just so many layers to Nolan and Mann has been so skilled at peeling them back.
Likewise, Nick Wechsler has really proven his dramatic prowess over the last two seasons and Jack and Emily’s emotional exchange when she admits she was with Amanda when she died is heartbreaking. He’s so distraught when he screams, “You've taken everything from me! Even this moment, this goodbye.”
Jack clearly has regrets at the way he ended things with Emily, so he goes to the beach to try and fix things. Unfortunately, things don’t turn out as he plans.
Wedding Day Blues
Props must be given to the set and costume designers for a truly fabulous and romantic wedding with all the trimmings. Emily’s vows are filled with flashbacks of her father being ripped away from her and we can hear the conviction in her voice about finishing her mission to make the Graysons pay.
What a handsome groom Daniel makes! It’s a pity he’s really thinking about the woman he’s left behind. His apology to Emily seems earnest, though. But, he begins to drown his sorrows by drinking; especially after Charlotte tells him Sara tried to kill herself. We know Daniel isn't a good drunk, so we start to wonder what’s going to happen in the wake of his inebriation. We had no idea he’d go so far as to shoot his bride. Kudos to the “Revenge” writing team because we truly didn't see this one coming!
Where Do We Go From Here?
The returning teaser shows Emily waking up in the hospital with amnesia. It seems entirely feasible this could be a faked memory loss in order to protect herself and regroup now that she’s been exposed.
Here are some looming questions: Will Victoria, Daniel and the rest of the Graysons find out she’s really Amanda Clarke, or will they just assume she’s a conniving gold-digger? Will Daniel pay for what he’s done? How will Emily’s mission change? And, is Emily’s relationship with Aiden threatened by Jack and the new turn of events moving forward?
According to a TVLine report, showrunner Sunil Nayar discusses the question of Emily’s amnesia validity and says they’re going to treat the ailment in a “really satisfying” way. He said:
“She has at the moment lost her memory of all of it, and you’ll see how we play out the amnesia storyline. Because obviously, it’s quite the soap opera trope. [But] what we've done with it is [do it] the way that Revenge would do it: in a way that’s extremely satisfying… We wanted to do it, but in the way that the show is capable of doing things, where you never know who’s telling the truth at any given moment. So, we play with the amnesia idea in many different ways, from the first episode back, that you’ll be happy about.”
This doesn't really tell us if the amnesia is real or faked. At this point, either way, it most likely will serve to protect her now that her manipulations have been revealed.
Nayar also hints at the shift in power between Emily and Victoria, with the latter finally having the upper hand. And, spills that more of Aiden’s backstory will be revealed that “shakes things up between him and Emily, too.”
Anyone on Team Aiden out there is undoubtedly vying for the future this tortured couple nearly had after his sincere and romantic proposal. With everything turned on its head moving forward, we can’t count Jack out of the picture as his feelings for Emily start to soften.
The biggest plus, in all of this? Nolan and his dear Ems don’t have to part ways – at least for now!
“Revenge” returns on January 5, 2014 at 9 pm ET on ABC.