So Revenge, unsurprisingly, is done. It would probably have worked best as a short and nasty 13-episode kick to the head, but the ratings demanded that the show keep going, and results were mixed: Season 2, with its dreadful Initiative arc, was probably the least successful, and although season 3 was a return to form it was never quite the same. And the show probably damaged itself fatally at the start of season 4 by keeping David Clarke and Emily/Amanda apart – why in the name of God would she not tell her back-from-the-dead father that she was also alive? – and although the final run of episodes was generally strong, I wouldn’t quibble with the suggestion that Revenge had run its course.
I wasn’t entirely convinced, either, by the new characters: I like Karine Vanasse a lot, but Margaux – whose role was presumably enhanced for the purpose of giving the show another potential Revenger – was never more than an irritant to Emily/Amanda. On the other hand, I grew quite fond of Elena Satine’s delectably unbalanced Louise, whose marriage to Nolan was a highpoint of the final season. And, again on the plus side, the writers remained reassuringly willing to kill off main characters, and Emily VanCamp kept Emily/Amanda bracingly unsympathetic. The show also continued to be willing to come up with demented stunts, like having Courtney Love suddenly pop up as an international assassin.
I also liked the ending: Jack ending up with the right woman; the it’s-a-nightmare-or-is-it? of Amanda’s dream about the heart transplant; and series MVP Nolan getting a happy ending of sorts. Gabriel Mann, as Nolan, has been a treasure throughout, and his plaintive appeal in the penultimate episode, “Can’t anyone follow a simple revenge plan?” was in some ways a review of the whole show. I’d totally watch a Nolan spin-off, although I suspect that the revengines have been turned off for good.