Revenge Top 5: What Went Wrong in Season 3? How Can it Be Fixed?

Red Sharpie Revenge Face with Xs
Red Sharpie Revenge Face with Xs, Photos: ABC, evergreenpics and EnginKorkmaz/iStock/Thinkstock, Oliver Peterson

Revenge is building to its inevitably explosive season finale, and we’re hopeful that the show will return next year. Unfortunately, while Season 3 got off to a great start, it’s gone off the rails in recent weeks, falling back on old habits and losing the charm and cleverness the writers were so vocal about recapturing after Season 2. Here are five ways the show went wrong this year and how the writers can rectify them.

5. Nolan and Patrick: on again/off again/on again/off again  It took the show two full years, but Nolan was finally given an interesting love interest in Patrick Osbourne, who didn’t know the land mine he was walking into when he decided to visit the Hamptons and reconnect with his illegitimate mother Victoria. While the story started really strong — Nolan and Patrick were caught in the middle of Emily and Victoria’s feud and weren’t sure they could trust each other — Patrick’s behavior became increasingly erratic and soon he was murdering people in the name of his mama! We would have found this acceptable had Nolan and Patrick not broken up and gotten back together every single episode. The final nail in the coffin: Patrick knocking Nolan unconscious so he could steal the Infinity Box. Now that Patrick’s left town, Nolan’s alone again, but at least we don’t have to watch the endless angst over and over again each week.

4. Charlotte  This bitchy heiress is the worst character on the show and should have left when Declan was killed off. No further explanation needed. Okay, fine, a little explanation: The writers tried to redefine Charlotte this year as a more independent, strong-willed young woman, which would have been a welcome change from the immature brat of seasons past. Unfortunately, they didn’t make good on their plans. Charlotte has alternated between clueless ditz and bitchy debutante, depending on the episode, and her new insta-romance with Javier feels incredibly forced. It’s time for the show to throw in the Charlotte towel and stop trying to fix something that never worked in the first place.

3. Character assassination  Margaux. Daniel. Lydia. Emily. This season, characters’ actions and personalities change as the story calls for it. The beautiful, headstrong and smart Margaux started off as a breath of fresh air for Jack and the viewers, but all it took was one conversation with Daniel to plunge her into selfishness and jealousy. Daniel, who has long been the butt of Dan’s Papers jokes thanks to his failure to figure out the most obvious lies and secrets, has transformed into a Machiavellian puppeteer bent on taking down Emily. How did he become so smart so quickly? Lydia, meanwhile, came home to the Hamptons to get revenge on Conrad and Victoria, only to fall back into Conrad’s arms as soon as he told her how pretty she looked (I may be embellishing a bit). EMILY, meanwhile, has become extremely gullible and has had very little success accomplishing her goals this year, seemingly to even the playing field, but it’s out of character for her to show so much vulnerability. Hopefully she gets her backbone back in time for the season finale so she can take down Daniel.

2. Tangled web  We get that Revenge is a soap opera, but the plot has become nearly indecipherable again, which is very disappointing considering how streamlined and clear the first half of the season felt leading up to the wedding. With too many new characters, more people involved in the Flight 197 incident and takedown plots that make no sense, the show needs to reign it in and end the season on a crisp, concise note.

1. Not enough revenge  This is the big one. Every time Emily pulls out the red sharpie, the show gets a shot of adrenaline and excitement. But we’ve barely seen her take down anyone this season, and the takedowns themselves aren’t nearly as exciting as they were in the past, like exposing Lydia and Conrad’s affair, burning Mason’s house down or even Victoria ruining her mother’s life on Thanksgiving. Emily has spent too much time putting out forest fires this year; it’s time to get proactive and start owning the faux-Hamptons again.

What do you think the show needs to do to get back on track? Let us know in the comments below.

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