Revenge season finale recap: Death in the Hamptons

All hell breaks loose as a certain homicidal stripper returns, a truth about Emily's parentage is revealed, and possibly three major characters die.
Ep. 22 | Aired May 23, 2012

HAMPTONITES IN CHAINS! And this is one of the less shocking images from the season finale. 

Eric McCandless/ABC

Time has no meaning when watching Revenge so I had started to think that Fauxmanda's return would be the biggest twist “Reckoning” would give us. But then I looked at the clock and saw we had 15 minutes left. Boy, was I wrong! Before taking her flight into history, Victoria talked to Charlotte one last time and said that retribution is justified “if the other party deserves it,” unwittingly making her daughter feel all the worse about her little prank on Yonkers Girl. Then, to the banshee wail of Florence + the Machine’s “Seven Devils,” she and Lydia boarded that government-chartered plane that would take them to Washington D.C. to deliver their testimony. And pulling away the blocks from the landing gear? Yup, WHM himself. He must’ve added a little something extra to the plane’s cargo because it “exploded shortly after takeoff” according to the evening news. And Victoria was listed among the casualties. Did Revenge just kill off perhaps its most beloved character? Portrayed by its top-billed star? By every indication it appears it has, unless we’re in for the fake-out of all time come the fall.

We definitely saw Victoria board the plane. No question. It’s possible, I suppose, that she exited it a mere moment later, off-camera. But even for a show that has included some unbelievable twists, that would reach a new level of shameless manipulation. Also, it feels like these last few episodes have served as a conclusion of sorts to Victoria’s arc. After being the show’s grand villainess for 15+ episodes, it decided to depict her tentative baby steps toward redemption. And what could more profoundly signal a shift in her character than being willing to lay down her life to expose her crimes? Her death is also probably the only thing at this point that could get through to thickheaded Daniel that Daddy is a bad guy.

When Charlotte saw the news on TV she called Declan for support, but he snapped at her to never call him again. So she found solace the only other place she could: her bottle of pills. The time had come for her to OD. And when Conrad came into her room, he found her limp like a ragdoll. That said, I, for one, won’t truly believe she’s dead until we see a death certificate.

The other bit of devastating news for Emily to consider was that all of the evidence that could have exonerated her father went down on that plane. Well, almost all of it. Nolan had backed up the hard-drive with the most crucial intel before he gave it to Agent McGowan, and he discovered that this conspiracy went far beyond the plot to frame David Clarke and far beyond the Graysons. For one, he discovered that Emily’s mother is still alive. Which means that when WHM told Emily that she must have gotten her fight from her mother, it may not have been a taunt about how easily he killed her father. It may be that he actually knows firsthand that her mother is a fighter. Let the conspiracy theories about Emily’s mom being a member of the Americon Initiative begin!

To call this an explosive finale doesn’t come close to doing it justice. If Victoria Grayson is actually dead, this’ll be one of the most daring decisions a network series has ever made. And if she isn’t dead, the backlash over a fakeout could be damning. It’s possible I suppose that she and Lydia entered the Witness Protection Program and that plane exploded as a cover. But that hardly seems likely. Would Victoria really abandon Charlotte in her time of need just to go into hiding? And faking a witness’s death isn’t really standard protocol before getting them to testify, even for a case this hyperbolically outlandish. Victoria could very well be gone for good.

What do you guys think? For one, I don’t know how we’re going to wait until the fall, but definitely the casting decisions that are announced in the months ahead—season 2 starts filming July 22—will reveal a lot about showrunner Mike Kelley & Co.’s intentions. Do you think Victoria really is dead? And if so, are you disappointed that’s the end of her story? Or is it the most daring character death of all time? See you next season!

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