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‘Revenge’ Series Finale Review: Overheating a Dish Best Served Cold (SPOILERS)

Revenge” was one of those intriguing pilots that by all rights should have birthed a limited series, or at least truncated seasons. Instead, ABC and the producers milked the show through the equivalent of a full presidential term, which meant boarding the train to Silly-ville some time ago, hoping plenty of steam would compensate for (or perhaps obscure) some of the more laughable twists and turns. All that came to an end Sunday, in a series finale that, not unexpectedly, overheated a dish best served cold.

For all the twists and turns, the last episode (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched) managed to be wholly predictable, granting Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp) a happy ending with her long-postponed coupling with Jack (Nick Wechsler) — a guy who, if you think about it, has a strange habit of romancing women named Amanda Clarke.

It didn’t help that several key members of the Grayson family had already gone to the great beyond, or that the ostensible reason for Amanda’s grief and anger, the death of her father David (James Tupper), had been somewhat undermined by the revelation that he was, in fact, still alive. About the only good part of David’s resurrection was giving the audience a chance to see him in something other than gauzy flashbacks.

Even Amanda’s showdown with Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) – after a “Shawshank”-esque prison break, no less – felt a trifle anticlimactic. Granted, that was what everyone had wanted to see – or at least, those dead-enders who were still faithfully watching the show – but Victoria seemed positively serene about her actual death, after having elaborately faked it in an effort to frame Amanda.

Then again, it’s hard to expect too much from a show in which Jack nearly didn’t survive a fight with a mercenary assassin named White Gold, played by (who else?) Courtney Love. Chalk it up to a series of increasingly ridiculous moments, which have only snowballed since series creator Mike Kelley departed after a second season that critics had already begun labeling a convoluted mess. Sure, ABC prides itself on its dramas generating “OMG” moments, but these were more of the “LOL” variety.

For those loyalists who did manage to survive this long, it was nice to see the series close on a definitive note, and even dangle a taste of a possible spinoff involving Nolan (Gabriel Mann), who presumably can use his mad computer skills and financial resources to pursue justice for others who have been wrongly accused and convicted.

Still, there was an unintentionally amusing bit of dialogue in the middle of the show, with Amanda confessing that when she initiated her meticulous revenge plot, she was concerned about “the whole thing falling apart.” Now that she has formally settled her score with the Graysons and started a new life, Amanda just might have a future as a TV development executive.

 

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