REVENGE Recap: “Burn” Episode 4×20

With now only three episodes remaining in this season of REVENGE, my anticipation for the May finale is ablaze with curiosity after last night’s game-changing hour of drama!

**SPOILER ALERT: If you have NOT watched up to episode 4 x 20 of REVENGE, stop reading and go watch!**

Now, let’s get down to the business at hand…Victoria’s hand, that is.

REVENGE "Burn"

FIRESTORM

Have we truly said goodbye to the Queen of the Hamptons?! If our eyes can be believed, than yes.  The end sequence (written by Ted Sullivan, directed by Kenneth Fink, and featuring a hauntingly-beautiful score by Fil Eisler) showed Victoria Grayson taking control of the situation and turning Grayson Manor to rubble with the help of an open flue and a lighter.

Throughout the episode, Victoria appeared to take the brunt of Emily’s Amanda’s plan of revenge. First, she got a not-so-nice greeting in the parking garage when a masked figure attacked the matriarch and searched her purse for some unknown item. Though she claimed that Emily was the culprit, she seemed too fearful to retaliate by handing over the incriminating flash drive to authorities.  Then, Emily adeptly retrieved said flash drive through a plan that involved pickpocketing a FBI agent and impersonating a firefighter.  Victoria’s mental state became unhinged as the minutes progressed until she donned a fiery red dress, sat on her throne, and flicked the lighter. She put the power back in her own hands, quite literally.

Victoria’s decision and motivation could not have been believed without the sheer talent of Madeleine Stowe.  She brought to life a character who was both tormented and strong, brave yet scared, and dedicated to her children.  Thank you for an incredible four years of Victoria Grayson!

GIRL FIGHT

I said this from the beginning of the season, but I’ll say it again: I like Margaux, and I think she’d make an amazing ally for Emily. Two smart, brave, passionate, and determined women fighting for a common cause would be a fierce duo no one should cross. However, I find myself enjoying the Margaux/Louise frenemy dynamic. Neither of these fiery women could agree on how best to protect and support Victoria, which led to loads of snarky comebacks and exchange of power until they finally decided to let their history be just that.

With Mama Grayson’s last act, she put into motion events that will pit Margaux and Louise against Amanda Emily. Ultimately, I still want our beloved heroine to outwit, outmaneuver, and outsmart the new tag team, but I’ll enjoy the ride in the meantime.

TAKING FLIGHT

“Don’t go, Jack!” That’s what kept running through my mind as our protagonist rushed to stop the man she loved (but has yet to tell him so) from leaving the Hamptons.  After Nolan attempted to convince his best guy friend of Emily/Amanda’s feelings, the two said a heartfelt farewell.  *Sidenote: The Nolan/Jack friendship has always been one of my favorites on REVENGE.  Kudos to Nick Wechsler and Gabriel Mann for making us love this bromance.* Nolan then booked it directly to his bff’s house, scolding her for not admitting her feelings sooner and prodding her to take action before it’s too late.

These two wounded characters hurt one another time and again, sometimes intentionally and other times due to misunderstanding and miscommunication. They’re both struggling to figure out who they are and how they fit into each other’s lives as adults. It’s a beautiful love story, based on friendship and developed over time.  As Amanda Clarke faces her past and an uncertain future, she’ll need Jack all the more in the present. I look forward to seeing how it develops in the final 3 episodes of the season.

As season four comes to a close, I anticipate a conclusion that will keep me glued to my seat and leave me momentarily speechless!

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with Revenge, its parent company, affiliates, sponsors, or artists implied!*

Entertainment Blogging Questions

*I reached out to one TV network and received what amounted to a non-answer.  Hmm, I have a feeling this is going to take a lot of research and someone who understands legal-speak.*

Visit kellydeeny.com to read the Artistic Spirit Pledge entries.
Visit kellydeeny.com to read the Artistic Spirit Pledge entries.

As you can tell from the large gap between blog entries, I haven’t written any new “insights” about my favorite films, television shows, or theatre performances in a while.  Part of the reason is due to the 111 Day Artistic Spirit Pledge that I focused on from October until the end of January (the full list can be found on my author website). For 111 days, I wrote about the link between art (in its various forms) and spirituality.  Given my love for film, television, and theatre, many of the pledge entries were entertainment-focused.  Here are just some of the ones relevant to entertainment:

The other reason I haven’t written anything new is an admitted lack of knowledge and information about blogging rules and guidelines.  The idea that I could be infringing on copyright laws or improperly citing a TV show or film title (unintentionally, mind you) worries me enough to delay posting.  I went out into the great, wide world of the internet to search for “blogging about TV” or “entertainment blogging guidelines”, but found a lack of helpful information.  So, what do I want to know?

  • PHOTOS:  Including images in blog posts adds an extra layer of professionalism and helps catch a reader’s attention.  Yet, when writing about a film, tv show, or musical/play, can I include a photo?  If so, where do I find them and do I need to request permission in order to embed the image?
  • VIDEOS: Similar to photos, can I include clips of shows or movie trailers in my blog posts? If so, do I need permission or are they notified when I copy/paste an EMBED link?
  • TITLES/NAMES:  Whenever I mention a TV show, film, or musical/play, I always include a hyperlink (whenever available) to the original/official website.  I want to make sure that readers interested in learning more about the titles I write about can easily find the original source.  Are there guidelines/rules in place for including links to official sites of using the names or shows/performers?
  • TAGS:  Are there any restrictions to including a television network or actor’s name as a meta tag in a blog post entry?

I hesitated writing about this topic for fear that I would appear unprofessional or come off as an amateur.  Then, I realized there are probably many more entertainment fans (like myself) who are as interested in blogging about their favorite shows as I am.  I sincerely doubt I am the only one wondering about how we can best promote and support the industry without violating any copyright or infringement rules.

I’ve obtained some helpful feedback from fellow writers, but I am interested in expanding my knowledge of this specialty in the ever-advancing blogosphere.

 

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!

The Envious Queen V

One week from today, Revenge returns to my television line-up…thank goodness!  Last week I posted two blog entries, one for “Emily/Amanda” and one for “Charlotte.”  Who better to round out this creative writing venture with than the matriarch herself – “Victoria”.

Cameo pendant with accent beads
Cameo pendant with accent beads

Representative of the Grayson matriarch’s spitfire personality and protective yet manipulative inclinations, I created a necklace design that’s a blend of royal violets and emerald-green crystals.  Dubbed “Queen Victoria” by the show’s writers and fans, I choose a cameo pendant symbolizing elegance, class, and high-society.  Plus, using a Victorian-style pendant was too perfect to pass up.

“Victoria Grayson” rules her world with fervor, determination, and ultimately a belief that she’s protecting her children.  Her intentions may be good, but her methods cause mayhem and tragedy.  Deep down, despite her faults, I am of the opinion that “Victoria’s” motives stem from envy.  Jealousy of those who the love she lost and reflective of the choices she made to get her where she is now.

The Revenge writers created a character that you love to hate while also feeling sympathetic to her situation, though self-inflicted.  “Victoria’s” portrayer, Madeleine Stowe, excels at bringing forth the complexities of her character.  As such, this necklace represents not only “Queen V” but the elegance and talent that Ms. Stowe shares each week.

Little Lotte: Steering Through Choppy Waters

**WARNING:  THIS POST IS NOT SPOILER FREE**

While those of us who call ourselves Revengers wait for the show’s return on December 8th, I took to my jewelry-making venture and made necklaces inspired by three of the female characters on ABC’s Revenge.  To see the “Emily/Amanda”-inspired piece, click here.  But, first…give “Charlotte” her turn in the spotlight.

Nautical pendant with accents of silver, dark red, and blue pearl beads.
Nautical pendant with accents of silver, dark red, and blue pearl beads.

“Charlotte Grayson Clarke” is a young woman torn apart by family.  Raised in an affluent household, she lived a carefree life until her world crumbled around her.  The revelation of her true parentage rattled her and had her searching for a place to call home and an identity that was all her own.  She found the unconditional love she never got from the Graysons (her brother, Daniel, notwithstanding) through the love of “Declan Porter” and her half-sister, “Amanda”.  She even found a friend in “Emily”, not knowing that “Emily” is actually “Amanda”.  Confused, watch the show!

After numerous tragic events within a short period of time, Charlotte underwent a reinvention of sorts.  She’s tougher, independent, and even a mini version of her mother.  She’s taken the helm of her own life and in doing so, has distanced herself from “Emily”.  Where not long ago she found a confidante and mentor in her brother’s fiancée, now she questions, distrusts, and even seeks to end the relationship.  Princess Lotte remains in the dark as to her familial connection with “Emily”.  So as she sets out to push “Daniel” towards happiness, she’s also destroying the plan her half-sister has put in motion.

Torn between two lives and ultimately two strong women, “Charlotte’s” necklace reflects a young woman attempting to take control of her life.  I added ruby-red accent beads to tie in her relationship to “Emily/Amanda”.  Plus, if my prediction is correct, the nautical theme will be quite apropos when Revenge takes it winter break.

 

DISCLAIMER:  No endorsement intended or implied

Vamping It Up: Why I Love The Vampire Diaries

**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”!**

Up until the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on September 22nd, this blog will focus on the returning TV shows I’m most excited are coming back.  This week’s entry is…The Vampire Diaries!

I’m 36 years old, and I love watching The Vampire Diaries!  Yes, you read that correctly.  It’s intelligently written and understands their audience and genre in a way not many do.

I do not consider myself a horror fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I tend to enjoy the supernatural-esque television programs.  Then again, that’s probably only because Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an excellent TV show.  I was so impressed by the high quality of content each week for 7 years that when I heard a new vampire show was coming to TV, I was instantly intrigued.  Besides, it was under the care of two gifted individuals – Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec.

I grew up during the WB heyday of television.  Which is why, if Joss Whedon, Kevin Williamson, and J.J. Abrams ever worked on a project together I would absolutely stand in line to buy tickets.  These are three exceptionally talented writers/show runners who seamlessly balance comedy, suspense and drama.  I watched Dawson’s Creek each week, engaged by the stories, characters and dialogue.  So, the creator of Dawson’s Creek bringing a vampirific show to television…you better believe I was going to watch!!!

There are so many elements that make TVD a must-watch show – complex characters, surprising twists, and a beating heart.  It doesn’t just scare you, or throw melodrama in your direction.  Instead, it interweaves supernatural content with an emotional base.  It’s not just that vampires are roaming around town.  More importantly, the audience sees and understands how these situations impact the characters on an emotional level.

Hand-made necklace that's rather Vampire Diaries-esque
Hand-made necklace that’s rather Vampire Diaries-esque

In much the same way as Buffy, The Vampire Diaries allows their characters to drive the show.  If we don’t care whether Elena lives or dies, then why bother watching?  If Damon never has moments of decency, then he’d become one-note.  If Stefan remained always the hero and never faulted, then we’d long for something deeper.  In all of those instances, the opposite occurred.  For example, Elena Gilbert encompasses kindness, family, friendship, humanity and life itself.  She keeps the show grounded in a world filled with tragedy and despair.  When she hurts, we hurt.  When she losses another important person in her life, we cry along with her.  The writers continuously take Elena on a bumpy ride that I hope doesn’t end soon.  Because as she battles her own demons, we ultimately wish that she succeeds.

We care about what happens to the characters on this beloved drama series because of the nuances in the acting performances.  They each portray comedy and drama with ease.  They melt our heart one minute then showcase their range when their character shifts from tortured soul to outright cruelty.

Nina Dobrev (Elena), Paul Wesley (Stefan), and Ian Somerhalder (Damon) easily weave in and out of heartbreak and breaking hearts.  They’ve each been given the gift of playing characters without conscience and ones torn apart by their actions.  In Nina’s case, there are many times when she gets to weave in and out between 3 very different characters, and does it so well that I forget the same actress portrays them all!  These three gifted individuals have us rooting them on even when their respective characters are on a downward spiral.

As phenomenal as those three artists are, The Vampire Diaries has gifted us with a strong canvas of characters that inhabit the world of “Mystic Falls”.  Some of those actors who stole our hearts (no pun intended) are portrayed brilliantly by the following – Candice Accola, Kat Graham, Steve McQueen, Zach Roerig, Michael Trevino, Joseph Morgan, Sara Canning, Claire Holt, Matthew Davis and so many more.

While I’ve singled out one aspect of TVD, there are so many other pieces of the puzzle that accent one another beautifully – the writing, music, stunts, and cinematography blend together perfectly; thus creating a finished work that’s worthy of my praise and admiration.  The Vampire Diaries doesn’t get award recognition from academy members, yet they’ve won on a much more significant level.  The cast and crew of this heart-wrenching TV drama have the love and respect of their audience.  As such, they’ll live on in our hearts years after the series finale.

Is it Once Upon a Time Yet?

*Up until the Primetime Emmy Awards show telecast, this blog focused on the returning TV shows I’m most excited are coming back.  The first entry…ONCE UPON A TIME.*

Necklace I designed, inspired by one of my favorite fairy tale princesses.
Necklace I designed, inspired by one of my favorite fairy tale princesses.

If you’ve read some of my prior blog posts, then you’re familiar with my affinity for fairy tales.  When I first heard about Once Upon a Time, I was thrilled and quite intrigued at the premise.  I love when artists/novelists/TV showrunners take a concept that everyone thinks they know then create a product that has us second guessing our preconceived ideas.  This was the case with OUAT, and they threw in a bonus!  Even though they ingeniously came up with backstories and re-imagined some of the fairy tale characters, they ALWAYS respected the stories that made the characters so beloved in the first place.  This show doesn’t make fun of, or belittle, fairy tale princesses; it recognizes their strengths and enhances them.  Led by the creative minds of Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis, the talented cast weaves their characters through two different worlds and does so effortlessly.  In doing so, they have given us a television program that I find utterly enchanting to watch each and every week!

SPOILER ALERT:  If you haven’t watched all of Season Two’s episodes, you may not want to read on!

When we last left Storybrooke, Maine, the curse was lifted but danger was imminent.  Our brave heroes and heroines joined forces with their adversaries in order to save the most innocent among them; Henry.  Will they find him before Peter Pan does?  What sorts of hurdles will they encounter along the way?  Will Mary Margaret/Snow and Regina/The Evil Queen be able to heal some wounds through their shared grief for Henry?  As Emma mourns the “loss” of Neal/Baelfire will she continue to butt heads with Hook or soften her distrust when, or if, she learns of his connection to Henry’s father?

Plus, now that we’re headed back to the fairy tale world, will Mulan and Aurora be able to bring Philip back?  What does Pan want with Henry?  What other beloved fairy tale characters will we meet this season and how do they tie in to the interconnected storylines? How will Bae deal with being back “home”? And who is this dreaded group that’s pulling all the strings? (No pun intended!)  I have my guess on who they are, but I’ll wait and see if I’m right.

I can’t wait to find out what will happen next to these complexly written characters, performed with subtlety and humanity by each of the cast members.

By the way, how in the world did Bailee Madison NOT get a Guest Actress in a Drama Series nomination for her flawless performance as “Young Snow”?  This is one talented young lady, who had me in tears on more than one occasion this season.