Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Revenge recap: 'Retribution'

In the wake of Amanda’s death, Emily pursues her vendetta against the Graysons with renewed vigor

Posted on

Danny Feld/ABC


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe

I’d almost forgotten what a good episode of Revenge looked like. Sure, the most recent ones haven’t been terrible, but this episode, which could be summed up by Aiden’s closing question (So, back to basics?), returned us to the good ol’ days of the show. Forget the Stowaway, forget the Ryan bros, forget the shady organization that not even the show’s own writers seem to have a grasp on. This episode was just about a girl getting revenge on the people who caused her unimaginable — unacceptable — pain. For once this season, I’m excited to see where the next installments will lead us.

We start the episode with another fabulous performance from Emily VanCamp. Boy, that girl can emote, can’t she? Emily storms into her house, blood covering her hands, and heads for her gun. “Nate had every reason to go after Jack and Amanda,” Nolan says, trailing behind her. “We don’t know the Graysons were behind this.” When that fails, he tries to reason with her. If they don’t wait around for someone to call about Jack, people will know something’s fishy (terrible pun intended). Emily rails on Nolan: “Don’t tell me to let go. Not when I’m standing here covered in the blood of one of the only people that I ever loved.” Aiden, displaying a keen sense of timing, picks that moment to turn up, but Ems won’t listen to him either. She heads upstairs to change, finding Amanda’s necklace in her pocket. This, like nothing else, seems to calm her. When she opens it to find a picture of the two orphans together, Emily loses it. And so did I (I’m a very emotional television viewer, in case you haven’t noticed).

Meanwhile, Conrad’s busy calling Nate, trying to figure out what happened with Amanda. Trask hasn’t made contact with the Graysons, meaning that they’re still suspects in Helen’s murder. “After all the plotting, scheming, and murder, this family’s in as much danger as ever,” notes Daniel, master of the obvious. The phone rings, and it’s Trask. He recovered Helen’s scarf at the Stowaway, but the computer with the compromising info on the Graysons is still missing. Conrad tells Trask that they need to meet face-to-face. “What have they done?” Victoria says resignedly. But it’s not what they’ve done, it’s what one Nate Ryan has done. “Who the hell is Nate Ryan?” Victoria asks. Pretty much my feelings on the man.

Nolan is freaking out over Carrion. The only way to save Padma’s father is to hand over the program, but of course he can’t do that because it’s so dangerous. Here’s one thing that still is bothering me about Revenge: We really have no idea what Carrion does. Nolan did say something about plunging all of New York City into darkness (I’m paraphrasing) some episodes ago, but what does that really mean? When it comes to Carrion, I just can’t feel any sense of urgency without knowing at least a little bit more about what’s at stake. But back to the show: Nolan thinks they’ve all gotten in over their heads. “Why do I get the feeling this isn’t what Takeda had in mind when he handed you your revenge degrees?” he asks Aiden. Before he can answer, Emily walks down the stairs (freshly changed) and announces that Helen Crawley is dead and that the Graysons must be behind it. “Who else?” asks Nolan. Those Graysons; they’re more lethal than the Corleones.

NEXT: Anybody want a peanut?