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Revenge: a dish best served ridiculous

If you are not a Revenge addict, the first thing you need to know is no character stays gone for long — whether the producers bother to explain the characters’ returns or not. Case in point: Victoria Grayson.

Well, I guess I just spoiled it. Season one of the hit ABC drama ends with Victoria (Madeleine Stowe), queen of the Hamptons, boarding a plane to testify against her husband Conrad (Henry Czerny) for funding a terrorist attack. The final scene is a TV news report announcing the plane has exploded and left no survivors. But as the second season opens, Victoria’s return casts this claim into serious doubt.

But I risk getting too far ahead of myself. Revenge focuses on the secrets, lies and betrayals that entangle the highest of high-class families living in the Hamptons. The second season premiere finds protagonist Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) who spends the show’s duration seeking and exacting revenge for her father’s framing and murder, returning to her gorgeous Hamptons beach house after a four-month disappearance vaguely described at the episode’s start. It’s clear from the start that Emily’s time away has done nothing to temper her lust for vengeance.

Meanwhile, Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler), Emily’s kinda-sorta love interest, is drinking away his misery after the return of supposed childhood friend-turned-lover Amanda Clarke (Margarita Levieva), who is now carrying Jack’s supposed child.

At the other end of the financial spectrum, we find the youngest daughter Charlotte Grayson (Christa B. Allen) released from and then readmitted into rehab under sketchy circumstances, as older brother Daniel (Joshua Bowman) proves as aloof and oblivious as usual.

Oh, and spoiler alert: Emily finds out her mother is actually alive … despite the fact she was declared insane in 1992 and disappeared when the hospital in which she was detained closed down.

What we can expect from this new season of Revenge is more secrets, lies and Grayson fallouts, which are always followed by a cover-up of some sort. I’m wondering when the money is going to run out. Oh, wait — silly me — that would never happen.

Despite the holes in the plot (why was Victoria not killed in a plane explosion from which there were no survivors?) and the sometimes-annoying means by which the Graysons try to pretend everything is fine (they are the worst), I’m curious to see how this season unravels. Emily’s efforts to ingratiate herself with the Grayson clan should prove especially interesting now that Em’s and Daniel’s awkward engagement is behind us.

If you are not already Revenge-obsessed, I do not think this season would be a bad time to develop another guilty pleasure. Yes, it has its faults and superficial plotlines, but can that not be said about most ABC dramas? It’s totally worth wasting your time Sundays at 9 p.m. if you dig a good dose of American royalty and bloodthirsty vengeance.


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