When we last saw Emily Throne and her team of Revengers, a convoluted second season filled with shadowy agencies and conspiracies galore ended with a bunch of great cliffhangers that promised a better third season. Declan died, finally killing off the last reason to ever need to go to that god awful bar again. Emily and Daniel decided to get married as Emily got back on the path to destroying the Grayson family. Nolan was framed for the most recent bombing. Conrad revealed that the shadowy underground agency was just a bunch of evil rich business people, which he was now a member. And Emily finally revealed to Jack that she’s actually Amanda. It was a lot of course correction from the bitter mistakes of the second season.

So how did the season three premiere do as far as living up to those promises?

Continuing the trend of beginning months in the future, Revenge opened with a fast forward, two months in the future, of Emily getting shot by an unknown assailant on a boat. What we know: she’s in her wedding dress, the two-story boat is seemingly empty, and she knows the shooter. “I’m so sorry,” she says, convincingly sincere. My bet is on Daniel. So far this mystery is far more interesting than last season’s boat at the bottom of the ocean, especially since it directly involves the main character.

It’s been six months since the events of the last season and the new writers have done their damnedest to resolve many of last season’s plotlines off screen. One line is devoted to Charlotte losing her baby and touring Europe to get over Declan’s death. Nolan managed to exonerate himself through his computer program that pointed fingers at the true culprits. Emily summed it up best, “Let’s never say the name Carrion or The Initiative again.” “Amen to that,” Nolan aka the audience proxy agrees.

The show seems desperate to go back on track to the fun show it was in the first season, bluntly erasing the storylines that were sure to drag the show down. Nolan being framed may have interested, especially with Emily trying to free him. However I completely understand why they’d want to move away from those sorts of stories. After all, Emily and Nolan are much more fun when it’s just the two of them against the world.

Not all of the cliffhangers are thrown away. Patrick, the son that Victoria gave up in favor of art school, is still around in the form of Justin Hartley. He seems completely innocuous, without agenda or scheme. Worst yet, he has sexual chemistry with every scene partner, all of which are unfortunately his family members. If he doesn’t turn out to be a fake or part of Emily’s revenge plan, it will be boring indeed.

The last time Jack was seen he was in the middle of a plot to kill Conrad to avenge his dead wife. Once Emily told him the truth, he sulked away to visit family. In the premiere, he returns for no good reason, toys with Emily’s emotions for no good reason, and tells her to finish her revenging ASAP before he tattle tells. It’s too bad she and Nolan have a soft spot for him because he’d make an amazing revenge-victim. I rooted for him for too long. His sanctimonious attitude is old. I thought the reveal would mean he’d become a part of the major revenging plot line, but once again he’s just a foil.

Speaking of revenging, Emily gets back to the maniacal plots from way back when. Her plan to strip Conrad of his Governorship includes a lavish party (of course), a skydiving Nolan, poison, and faked medical reports. Now Conrad is jobless and in fear of his health. Emily also manages to use her revenging to rid the Hamptons of Ashley. Good riddance to bad antagonists. It’s a preposterous set up, but just as fun as they used to be.

Many of the plotline set up for the seasons are possible duds. Charlotte as the new Victoria? Probably not. Patrick’s involvement in the Grayson lives? Blah. Daniel’s French Temptress who wants to be a media mogul? I predict those scenes will be fast forward worth. Aiden wants to take Revenge on Emily with Victoria for no reason at all? Come on.

However, I do like the possibilities of many more stories. Emily is shot in the future, so every episode until then may hold a clue. Nolan is now as motivated as ever to get in on the revenge. Emily’s wedding planning will likely be the perfect set up for many revenging plots. As long as they continue to remember what made the show fun, I predict season three will be a vast improvement.

Other Musings:

  • Charlotte has bangs. That’s how we know she’s been through unimaginable pain.
  • The Emily/Nolan hug was amazing.
  • NoleCorp is done. Now it won’t be so surprising that Nolan has so much time to work on revenge plots.
  • “Sometimes payback is not a bitch.” Emily buys Nolan the house she owes him. Nice to see how much the friendship have evolved.
  • “Arctic pools!” –Conrad describing his own eyes.
  • Ashley’s blackmailing was so non-threatening. You like Jack, I’m gonna tell, nah, nah, nah. The actress looked beyond checked out, with barely enough energy to read her lines.
  • Victoria: “Emily, it’s a shame you still feel the need to drop by unannounced.”
  • Return of the South Fork Inn aka where you go to hide your dirty secrets in Revenge-town.
  • Why did Patrick need to be naked in the scene with Charlotte?
  • Jack’s rejection of Emily was hilarious. It was like he was trying to get back at her by kissing her. Dude, you’re basically a hobo.
  • Emily sets the wedding date for August 8th, which is the infinity sign. She says she always thought something “wonderful” would happen then. That’s definitely the day she gets shot.
  • Aiden’s back just in time for nobody to miss him. Guess Daniel didn’t kill him.