Let’s face facts: “Revenge” suffered a sophomore slump. The delicious confection about the vengeful woman with the red sharpie of justice became a convoluted saga about secret societies and destructive computer programs. Fortunately, the Season 3 premiere, which airs Sunday, September 29 on ABC, proves that “Revenge” — much like its protagonist Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) — is capable of reinventing itself.
In a fast-paced hour, it repairs everything that was broken about the show and establishes the dark and juicy storylines that will propel Season 3. As Emily says early in the episode, “Let’s never say the words Initiative or Carrion ever again.” You’ve probably seen the promo that features Emily getting shot while wearing a wedding dress and Nolan parachuting into a party like a preppy James Bond. That’s only the beginning of the drama, the quips and the fashion.
“What you’re going to get this year is the lush romance, the wicked take-downs, you’re going to get a flash-forward that will send your mind spinning. You’re going to see all of our characters in ways you haven’t seen them before, but still enjoy the luxury that is the Hamptons and the devilishness that is Emily’s mind,” promises new showrunner Sunil Nayar.
Here are five things you need to know about the “Revenge” Season 5 premiere:
1. Jack Is Back With an Edge. Last season ended with Emily revealing to Jack (Nick Wechsler) that she is really Amanda Clarke. It was a game-changer for the characters and the show. “When we pick up in Season 3, the consequences of her lying for two years, they’re apparent in their first scene together,” reveals Wechsler. “The first time we see Jack is in a scene with Emily. He’s been away and he comes back. It’s tense, so he’s not happy. He’ll always be drawn to her. He can’t help it. But now it’s dirty. Now it’s like, ‘I’m drawn to you, but I have a lot of resentment.’ Even now that the obstacles [between] them being together are out of the way, there’s an obstacle in his mourning, in his distrust of her.”
2. So Is Aiden. The other love of Emily’s life, Aiden, also reveals a new side to himself in the season premiere. “He’s going to come back in a way that you utterly won’t expect,” says Nayar. “Barry Sloane is a very good actor and we’ve just begun to scratch the surface. He existed very much specific to Emily last year and we really want to get him into the world of the show, which will reveal him in ways you haven’t seen him before. It’s going to be surprising. It’s going to be dangerous and it’s going to be really great.”
3. Nolan Is No Longer A Reluctant Revenger. Everyone’s favorite sidekick Nolan (Gabriel Mann) ended up last season in jail, after being framed for the Initiative’s bombing. He gets sprung from the slammer relatively quickly in a moment that pays tribute to the show’s pilot, but the experience has changed him. “I think Nolan’s got a lot invested in making sure that the Graysons have to pay, because they were responsible for him taking the blame for everything that happened last year. So I think that with reinvestment with my character and Emily’s revenge plans … will Nolan continue to be the voice of reason on the show? Maybe not so much, or certainly in a very different way now,” teases Mann.
4. Victoria Trades In her Ungrateful Children for Long Lost Son Patrick
Neither Daniel (Joshua Bowman) nor Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) wants anything to do with Victoria (Madeline Stowe). That’s fine with Victoria, who is busy making up for lost time with her long lost son Patrick (Justin Hartley), who, it must be said, is taller and hunkier than Daniel. Her brand of mother-child bonding includes romantic horseback rides and intimate embraces. It appears that maternal absence made Patrick’s heart grow fonder. However, not everyone is as thrilled with his presence as Victoria, and someone makes sure that he gets the scoop on his Mommy Dearest.
5. Governor Conrad. The first things you need to know about Conrad’s (Henry Czerny) role in the premiere is that he refers to his own eyes as “arctic pools.” Though he has only been governor for a few months, he’s already planning his presidential bid. But there’s a twist. “Conrad is a very good governor,” says Nayar. “You’ll see a great transformation early. You see him dip into the most evil parts of himself and there’s a kind of comeuppance that he’ll have that will cause him to reexamine who he is and I will tell you the audience will see him in a completely different life going forward.”
6. The Red Sharpie Returns. “The red sharpie is coming back in spades,” promises Mann. In fact, two people get taken down in the premiere and yes, the world’s most famous red felt tip pen makes an appearance. He explains, “We expanded the world really, really quickly and there was still a lot of story left to tell with our core cast of characters and with the very basic premise of Emily taking down this very, very evil family. So that’s exactly what she’s going to do this year.”
Season 3 of “Revenge” premieres Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9/8c on ABC.
Catch-up on the Season 2 Finale Before the New Season of “Revenge” Begins!