**SPOILER ALERT: This post may contain spoilers for those viewers who haven’t seen all of last season’s episode. Proceed at your own entertainment “peril”!**
I got hooked in Season 1, Episode 1 and have remained entangled in the web of action that sustains this ABC drama series. At its heart, Revenge is more than just the main character’s pursuance of those she holds responsible for her father’s incarceration and death. For as much as “Emily Thorne” (aka “Amanda Clarke”) battles the individuals who wronged her family, she’s simultaneously battling her own demons. This strong, conflicted, determined young woman fights every week to seek retribution, all the while torn by the damage her own actions have caused.
This remarkable cast excels at keeping the audience uncertain whether to love or hate their characters. They do so by letting us see the complexity within. The range of acting talent on this TV drama series makes this a program that is truly an ensemble piece. Each and every cast member plays a role (pun intended) in creating characters that walk the line between naive, tortured and just plain malicious. For instance, “Victoria Grayson” made some horrid choices, including letting “David Clarke” take the fall, but the writers gave Madeleine Stowe a canvas on which to paint. And that she’s done! We may not like what her character does, but we understand and sometimes even sympathize with her.
On the other side of that tattered coin, there’s “Amanda/Emily”. Portrayed with stunning subtlety by Emily VanCamp, the series’ protagonist has us cheering her on even when her actions mirror that of those she seeks to punish. Ms. VanCamp does this by easily moving in and out of two very different characters. Last season her worlds started to collide and those around her got caught in the crossfire. While a less gifted actress would choose an easier path, Emily handled her character(s) with care – making us not only sympathize with her plight but empathize with her struggles. Case in point, this past season’s episode when the real “Emily Thorne” died in our lead character’s arms, I sobbed. With the words, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry,” my heart broke. All it took was a simple moment. No overacting, no melodrama, no hysterics. Just a heartbreaking performance by a talented actress.
That example is just one of many that speaks volumes as to what this TV series is all about – while “Emily” seeks revenge, “Amanda” continues to punish herself just as severely. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to find out what sort of situation these characters are in when the new season starts Sunday, 9/29/13 on ABC at 9pm (Eastern Time)!