Revenge Season 3 Finale Recap

Season 3 of ABC’s Revenge started with a bang and a splash, keeping our interest the entire season through.  So, it’s no surprise that the finale would not only match the opener but take it to the next level of anticipation and intrigue!

Let’s recap, briefly, because there’s a great deal we need to discuss:

  • David Clarke was framed for a crime he didn’t commit
  • He was framed by Conrad and Victoria Grayson
  • David’s 9-year-old daughter Amanda was there the night her father was forced to the ground and taken into custody.
  • David Clarke died while in prison
  • Amanda Clarke, now grown, returns to the Hamptons as Emily Thorne, moving in next door to the Graysons.  Her plan – seek revenge for those who framed her father.
  • She married Conrad and Victoria’s son, Daniel, only to be intentionally shot by him on their wedding night (long story involving a fake pregnancy, alcohol, and a subplot about an ex-girlfriend).
  • Along the way, Emily/Amanda was helped by a handsome trio – David’s protegé (Nolan Ross), another revenge-seeker due to the David Clarke set-up scheme (Aiden Mathis), and her childhood sweetheart who only learned of her true identity during last year’s jaw-dropping season finale (Jack Porter).

WARNING: Spoiler alert!  Spoiler alert!  If you are not up to date on the last two episodes of Season 3, be forewarned that spoilers will follow.  Proceed at your own entertainment “peril”!

 

When we last left the Hamptons, Victoria had figured out that Emily was not all she claimed, Emily and her trio of helpers successfully trapped Conrad into admitting his long list of crimes and he was arrested, Charlotte Grayson Clarke (product of Victoria and David’s affair) finally opened her eyes, metaphorically speaking.  Oh, and Jack informed Emily that there’s a teensy-weensy possibility that David’s still alive.  And that brings us to tonight’s phenomenal season finale…

An entire hour of twists and turns, all lead up to a final few minutes that set an entirely new game in motion.  In summary, Victoria killed Aiden (I sobbed), Charlotte realized Jack was the “kidnapper” (darn it), and Emily had Victoria hospitalized in a mental institution (well played, Ms. Thorne).  Oh, wait…did I forget something – or someone?  A very much alive David Clarke climbed out of that van and revealed himself to a flabbergasted Conrad.  That is, right before David stabbed his former employer and drove away.  This sets up a multitude of directions for the show to take when it returns in the fall.  And I, for one, can’t wait!!  When does the full Season 3 DVD set come out, so I can watch them again? 🙂

Television programs receive my high praise when they keep my interest each week.  They hook me in with intriguing characters and surprising plot twists that ultimately create an added level of dimension to the story and the players.  Revenge is one such television drama series.  I’ve seen every episode from the pilot on through and look forward to seeing what happens next!

What a Smash-ing Idea!

Those of you familiar with my blogging style know that this post isn’t going to focus on the technical merits of NBC’s Smash.  Let’s look instead at what makes this particular television dramusical worthy of its place in the industry.

Here are the Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Smash:

10.  Validation that I was right in voting for Katharine McPhee during American Idol – I missed the episode when Kat initially auditioned but as soon as I heard her sing I knew instantly that this girl had a gift.  Her voice fit many genres and always proved what I believe great talent can accomplish; she made singing look effortless.  I am so happy to see her receive the attention that Smash has brought because it’s rightly earned and warranted.

9.  Introduced the non-theatre world to Megan Hilty and her amazing talent – I first heard about Ms. Hilty from reading the various Broadway news websites.  She had received critical praise for her work as G(a)linda in Wicked and was cast in the new Broadway musical 9 to 5; along with the amazing talents of Stephanie J. Block, Allison Janney and Marc Kudish.  Smash introduced Megan to the rest of the entertainment industry and they responded with much praise and excitement.  If nothing more, this show proved that musical theatre performers not only have amazing vocal ability but incredible acting prowess too!

8.  I have to remind myself on a weekly basis that Smash is NOT actually on Broadway – Because I’d pay regular price to see that on stage.  And most likely more than once.  The incredible (and original) songs from composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman balance classic Broadway ballads like “History is Made at Night” with show-stopping  dance numbers like “Public Relations” all the while convincing the viewing public that an actual Broadway musical is being created.  Based on what they’ve brought to fruition, I only hope that one day “Bombshell” actually arrives on Broadway.

7.  “They Just Keep Moving the Line” – Written by the genius team of Shaiman/Wittman and performed by Megan Hilty, this powerhouse song gives me chills every time I hear it.  It’s a song that generations of young people will perform for years to come – at auditions, talent shows, and belting out in their cars on a beautiful summer day.  And I’m not just talking about me!

6.  “Don’t Forget Me” – The most played song on my playlist.  When Katharine McPhee performed this 11th hour number on the season 1 finale I had to re-watch it numerous times.  Because it’s just flat-out amazing!  I could completely see this song performed on stage 8 times a week and succeed in bringing the house to their feet in raucous applause.  Not only was this a fitting close to the premier season but a mantra that so many of us can relate to .  “There are some in this world who have strength of their own/Never broken or in need of repair/But there are some born to shine who can’t do it alone/So protect them and take special care.”

5.  Brings the world of musical theatre into homes across the country – for those who don’t get to travel out to NYC to see a Broadway show this television program brought the show to them.  This is the only television show that I can think of that is specifically theatre-centric.  There are other shows out there that feature music (and I am very thankful and appreciative for them) but Smash gives us incredible talent, entertaining musical numbers and a window into a world that not many get to experience.

4.  Just as the characters’ journeys are developing so too is the show’s – The first season of Smash was honored this past winter with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Show – Musical or Comedy.  It was up against some steep competition and didn’t win but the fact that it received a nomination proved what I already knew to be true.  Season one started off great and the story was only going to get better.  I love the premise…that there are two remarkably talented young ladies, both vying for the same role.  Both of them equally talented yet offering something different.  We saw them struggle, hope, dream and ultimately have to face naysayers in order to move ahead.  Whether you’re Team Karen of Team Ivy the point is that these two characters drive the show forward.

3.  It’s not a show about cops, lawyers, hospitals or reality-programming – the closest comparison to Smash is Glee but only because they are both about music.  Other than that they differ in every other way possible, yet are equally needed in television.  As television viewers we’re inundated with the same old stories and unoriginal programming, Smash gives us something unique.  Something fresh.  And something much needed.  Losing that will create a gaping hole in this medium.  So while season 2’s ratings have been significantly lower than expected/hoped I implore NBC and Smash’s fans to support a show that has so much promise.

2.  A love affair with Broadway – set and filmed in New York City, Smash pays tribute to the incredible talent that exists there.  The cast incorporates well-known and beloved actors from the world of Hollywood (Debra Messing, Katharine McPhee, Angelica Huston) with respected Broadway names (Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Jeremy Jordan, Will Chase, Brian D’Arcy James).  The frequent scenes in Times Square makes me smile and think back to the last time I was there to see a show.  I see a restaurant or deli that looks like a nice place to have lunch next time I visit.  But mostly, it treats the world of musical theatre with respect and appreciation.  It shows both the highlights and the struggles that artists face whether you’re a playwright, producer or cast member.

1.  Amazing vocal talent – If this post leaves you with nothing else, may you remember this…Smash has gifted us with incredible performances from a range of brilliant talent.  Some of which I’ll list off here; Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Jeremy Jordan, Leslie Odom Jr., Will Chase, Krysta Rodriguez, Andy Mientus, Wesley Taylor, and Savannah Wise.  They are all phenomenal performers whose sheer talent amazes me.  While I sincerely hope that we continue to see them each week I hope that whatever the future holds for them is bright!

For all of you out there who love Smash as much as I do, please share this post with friends and family.  Please write your own top ten reasons, post video blogs or take to social media.  I’m not ready for Smash’s journey to come to a close quite yet.  They’ve given us so much to treasure so let’s show our support.  They need it now more than ever!

Request Denied

The Golden Globes came and went.  Neither did I watch them on television nor did I attend despite my written request a few weeks ago.

I arranged to visit my sister and her family in Los Angeles once I found out the date of the Golden Globes.  I figured I’d multi-task; spend time with family and check off “attend the Golden Globes” from my bucket list.  After doing some research and realizing that tickets are not made available to the public I decided to step outside of my artistic box and hope that by just believing hard enough a door would open.  In the meantime, I set my DVR at home to record…just in case.  Ironically enough, despite my brother-in-law’s feverish attempts we were unable to watch the award show Sunday evening.

I have never before lowered my guard and asked for a selfish request to be granted.  That is, until I wrote a blog entry imploring the entertainment world to grant me access to the Golden Globes.  I shared the post numerous times on social media, linked it to entertainment organizations, TV show and film profiles and well-known talk show hosts.  I hoped deep down that my words would move someone into action.  That my deep sincerity and love for the creative arts would tug at some high-level executive’s heart-strings.  That they’d say, “Did you read this?  Let’s send this girl to the Globes!”

By noon on Sunday I had accepted the reality that no one was going to knock on my sister’s door with a camera crew and announce, “Are you ready to go?  We’ve got a team ready for hair and make-up.  You didn’t bring a dress?  That’s okay.  We have a selection for you to choose from.”  I suppose my life-long Cinderella fascination finally took shape.  There was not to be a fairy godmother to whisk me off to the award show ball.  No one to magically know how much I truly wished for my request to be granted.

I put myself out there in a way I never have before and it’s mildly embarrassing and greatly frustrating that I allowed myself to rely so heavily on the power of positive thinking and the actions of others.

The greatest lesson from this experience?  To focus on my own creative pieces (whether it’s the YA fantasy novel that’s nearing completion or the screenplay that’s in progress) and less on those of others.  To complete my own work, to the best of my ability, and know that when I do go to the Golden Globes it’ll be because I’m nominated!