Revenge Season 4 Review “Renaissance”

Revenge Season 4 Episode 1 Renaissance (3)

And so we’re back for another season of treacherous fun in the Hamptons with Revenge. And, as is more or less tradition at this point, the season opened with a large time jump, the introduction of several new characters and a start-of-summer party at (the former) Grayson Manor. After a wobbly third season, the question is whether or not these changes will provide a stronger foundation for this year to build off of. If “Renaissance” is any indication, the show’s certainly off to a good start.

While it was nice to see Emily and Nolan enjoying their victory over the Grayson dynasty early in the episode, it was even more rewarding to learn that the victory hadn’t really fulfilled Emily in the way she always thought it would. For Nolan, it was easy to celebrate and go back to being his delightful, quippy, turquoise-suit-wearing self, but Emily just couldn’t let go of the person she’s become. In the episode’s biggest shock, it turns out she’d taken to vigilante justice, using the party to out an affair and murder that had absolutely nothing to do with her.

It’s a theme that was touched on several times last season, the idea that Emily is addicted to revenge, and I was glad to see it featured so prominently here. Even with Victoria back for her to go after, I hope this season builds towards a better, more fulfilling way out for Emily when her journey is over.

Perhaps she’ll find it with her father, though he seems as deadest on revenge as Emily. Yes, David Clarke is a full-time cast member this season, though we didn’t get much of him this week. Still, just the fact that he’s alive and well is still a huge deal, and it’ll be interesting to learn what he’s been up to in the years since he’s alleged death.

Now, another tradition of Revenge at this point is to use the between-seasons time jump to gloss over one of the major cliffhangers. As with last year’s dropped pregnancy, we’ve again skipped a major Charlotte arc, with Jack’s kidnapping arrest seemingly dropped over a lack of concrete evidence. Now, their relationship is still damaged, and Charlotte is in a messed-up place between the drug use and her relationship with Gideon, but still, it’s an annoying tendency with this show. Oh, and Jack is a cop now. Sure, why not?

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!