“Revenge” season three ended with a high body count and one hell of a twist (SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t yet watched); the vicious Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) was committed to a psychiatric institution after murdering Emily’s (Emily VanCamp) lover, Aiden (Barry Sloane), and discovering our heroine’s secret identity, while nefarious husband Conrad (Henry Czerny) was stabbed by a vengeful — and very much alive — David Clarke (James Tupper).
Where will the labyrinthine ABC drama go from here? Star Nick Wechsler (who plays Emily’s childhood sweetheart Jack Porter) and executive producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts were on hand at the ATX Television Festival to discuss the show’s game-changing finale and what’s ahead in season four.
The producers wasted no time in addressing the show’s daddy issues — predicting the impact David’s unexpected return will have on his daughter: “How it changes the series moving forward is [encapsulated] exactly where Emily and Nolan had that conversation in that sound-booth where she said, ‘I don’t know who Amanda Clarke is anymore.’ She’s really got to start confronting who Amanda Clarke is,” Harberts said.
“We felt like this was a great way to impact not just Emily’s world, but everybody on the show,” Berg agreed.
The producers also admitted that David “is going to cause a lot of problems” now that he’s back, since he’s the common denominator between Emily and her nemesis, Victoria, and both women have very complex histories with the exonerated terrorist.
But if Emily thought that Victoria was a dangerous adversary before, she’s in for a rude awakening when the Grayson matriarch finally finagles her freedom, the producers promised.
“She’s done terrible things, she’s obviously a very wounded and messed up character, but at the end of the day, when she manages to get out, she’s going to be setting her sights on Emily,” Harberts teased. “That’s going to be quite a drive, because we did see how Victoria reacted when ‘Amanda Clarke’ was out in the world, and she was bad to her … but when she actually takes stock of all the horribly awful things Emily has done and all the chaos she’s rained down on the Grayson family, she’s gonna be pissed, and she’ll come out swinging. As Emily is trying to create a new, more positive life for herself, as she tries to move forward, Victoria is going to be coming up behind her.”
Emily and Aiden forged a strong romantic bond through their shared quest for vengeance, and the producers insisted that season four of “Revenge” would honor Aiden’s memory – but still leave the door open for a reconciliation between Emily and Jack.
“This year, Emily has the opportunity to come out as Amanda Clarke … as we get to know more about Emily/Amanda, she has to start confronting all the things she’s left undone and the mess she’s left behind, and how willing is she to clean up messes for all the people who’ve taken such good care of her? As we launch into season four, Jack becomes the center of that turmoil,” Harberts admitted. “There’s really only one character on the show who knows the relationship between David Clarke and the girl who was Amanda Clarke, and that’s Jack Porter. In a year of Emily asking herself ‘who is Amanda Clarke, how do I get back to that?’ Jack’s going to play such a huge component in that.”
“I think he’s crazy about her and wants to see justice being done,” Wechsler agreed. “His feelings for her will draw him into some morally complex situations. He might be willing to do something illegal, but less likely to do something immoral.”
While we’re gaining a familiar face (sister site TVLine reports that Tupper has been made a series regular for season four — so expect to see plenty of David this fall), the producers implied that the show will undergo some changes next season — mainly in focus.
“As we move ahead, so much of the show was built on the past, but with Conrad being taken down and with [flight] 197 being put to bed, what we’re most excited about is now the show can start living and breathing in the present,” Harberts said. What that means for Emily’s vendetta, we’ll have to tune in to find out.