I’m catching up on my winter TV finales and having watched REVENGE finally, we see that another love interest of Emily’s bit the dust in the winter finale of Revenge. Daniel Grayson was killed in a final act of redemption for Daniel —as he fought to save Emily’s life. Daniel has run the gamut as a character —he started off a charming, spoiled, unwitting accomplice to Emily’s schemes to bring down his family and eventually lived up to the Grayson name in the fullest sense of lies, deception and horrific acts. Through it all, you could see the struggle of the character as he fought the war between being the man he wanted to be/should be and the need to protect the name he’d been trained was more important than anything. Through the course of this character, he fought his family’s legacy at times, and others he embraced it fully. (The time after he and Emily were married was particularly ugly for Daniel.)
In this last season, we watched him flounder and drown a little from the fall-out of his life and all that Emily’s plotting had wrought on his family. But we also watched him come to terms with himself. When he discovered he was going to be a father, that provided the catalyst for Daniel to want to become the father HE wanted to be, not the father he’d learned from. In the end, Daniel died trying to save Emily mid-fight with a woman working for the man who had held her father captive all these years. He died a hero.
I think Daniel’s death was almost as inevitable as Aiden’s death last season. Revenge might be the title of the show, and it has been Emily’s driving force from episode one, but I believe Revenge is truly a love story.
Jack + Emily
From the beginning, we were introduced to Amanda and Jack, two young children who were the best of friends and separated by the atrocious acts committed against Amanda’s father. When Emily returned to the Hamptons, reconnecting with Jack was one of her defining moments. In fact, through every step of her plots, protecting Jack has been one of her unrelenting goals. It hasn’t always worked and Jack has gotten the harsh brunt of the consequences of her actions many times. But I believe that they’ve shown Jack and Emily as the promised land for each other —working their way back to the one they loved as children.
Ultimately, Revenge is about Emily’s character growth —and Jack’s as well. We’ve seen Emily as she appeared in the beginning of the show —angry, bitter, vengeful and determined to clear her father’s name and bring down those that destroyed her family. Through the seasons, we’ve seen her goals achieved, we’ve seen her lose and we’ve seen her butt up against this new consuming need of hers: revenge. Part of her growth, the final steps will be in letting go…in being able to move on from and learn from the person she’s been. They’ve shown us through Aiden and even Daniel that Emily was capable of love, but in both cases, she couldn’t put that love before her need for revenge. Both Daniel and Aiden were a part of her character’s journey, but they weren’t the destination. She hadn’t grown enough, she hadn’t lost enough or changed enough.
The revenge plots that drive Emily have been the hook of the show, that thing that draws you in to watch. But from the beginning, the love story has been the driving force. Emily is on her hero’s journey toward the place where she can let go of her revenge and allow herself to be happy —and Jack represents that place of peace and happiness.
Jack is also on his own journey — finding his path in life, finding his true self, I believe. After he’d lost so much in the revenge battles Emily caused, Jack has finally let go of the life he felt obligated to live, running his father’s bar, and became the man he wanted to be. He’s a cop in his own right, on his own path and he’s also grown a lot toward accepting Emily as Amanda and all she’s done.
I believe this show is about the journey of how Jack and Emily come together — and I don’t think we’ll see that until the final season, when their character arcs are in the resolution stage. Emily can’t allow herself to be in a place of peace and acceptance yet, and until she does, she won’t be truly ready for a future with Jack.
What do think is the “resolution” of this show? Do you see this show as a love story? Share your thoughts below!