Watching ABC’s new Wednesday night drama “Revenge” feels like eating dark chocolate or drinking a particularly expensive bottle of wine: it’s just decadent.
Romance, intrigue, mystery, betrayal — it’s less like a television show and more like the kind of beach vacation novel you tear through in half a day, and then read over again, when there’s sand in the spine and the pages are warped from salt water.
Tonight’s episode features Emily (Emily VanCamp) exacting a plan that she’s been working on for over a year. She’s been seeing Dr. Banks, therapist to the rich and awful, for that long — but as it turns out, Dr. Banks is also the completely despicable court-appointed child psychologist who had her institutionalized as a child.
We’ll see some disturbing flashbacks to Emily’s childhood after her father was locked up, which give us some much-needed insight into her current state of mind. “I think that it’s so necessary to give you flashbacks because people need to know what she’s gone through to bring her to this point of complete and utter numbness, having this wall up,” VanCamp tells us.
Emily’s revenge on Dr. Banks is a particularly brutal one, and it gives us a glimpse into just how far Emily is willing to go. Not only does Emily take things further than her usual calculated manipulation, but there’s some collateral damage — people are hurt who didn’t have anything to do with framing David.
“She takes it one step further than she was comfortable with, but [it] was almost a little gift to herself, to really get the doctor back,” VanCamp says. “I think that she had a particularly challenging and hurtful relationship with this woman. The amount of pain that caused her as a kid is unimaginable. When we flashback to her teenage years, she’s toughened up and holding her own, but as a child, the people that were there and that really hurt her, the people that allowed this to happen to her, they’re the people who she wants to hurt the most.”
It’s not all about childhood trauma, though — tonight’s episode will see the love triangle between Emily, Jack (Nick Weschler) and Daniel (Joshua Bowman) take a whole new turn. Daniel, who has up to this point been honest and reliable, takes a nosedive straight into a bottle of booze thanks to his old college buddy, Tyler (Ashton Holmes).
“Daniel is off the rails a bit, and that will continue for a little while,” VanCamp tells us. “It’s partly because of this new character, Tyler, who is really up to no good.”
Though Emily knows that Tyler is throwing a wrench into her plan, she hasn’t quite figured out his motives yet. “I think it’s really freaking her out, because he’s completely unexpected in this whole plan. She didn’t factor him in. There will be a few episodes of her trying to figure him out, and then ultimately Nolan steps in and kind of helps out. That’s going to be really interesting as well.”
As for Jack, we’re already anxious for him to just find out that Emily is actually Amanda, the girl he’s been pining for all his life. “You’ll have to ask the writers!” VanCamp teases. “He’s got to know something. There’s an undeniable connection.”
That connection deepens this week, but we’re holding our breath for her to completely break his heart… if he doesn’t find himself preoccupied first. “Something’s going to happen in a few episodes, around episode 8, where we’re going to be introduced to a new character that’s going to really affect that relationship between Jack and Emily,” VanCamp says. “That will distract him from his wanting to know who she is.”
In the meantime, we’ll just revel in the chemistry. We’ll just say this, though — if ABC doesn’t hurry up and order a full season of our new favorite show, we’re going to have to start plotting our own diabolical schemes to get our way. And we’ve learned from the best.