SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched the May 3 episode of “Revenge,” titled “Plea.”

With just one episode until “Revenge’s” series finale, there are more questions than ever — starting with, how is Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) alive?

After lighting Grayson Manor on fire and burning to “death” on the April 19 episode, the villainous Grayson matriarch was revealed to be alive on the May 3 episode, after faking her own death and staging the scene as a homicide to get the ultimate revenge on her “murderer,” Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp).

Now that Victoria is among the living, can viewers expect a final showdown between her and Emily/Amanda? Will they make it out alive? “Revenge” showrunner Sunil Nayar chats with Variety to explain Victoria’s return, and tease the series finale.

Let’s go back to the episode when Grayson Manor burned down. Logistically, Victoria lit the lighter, but in last night’s episode, Emily/Amanda rehashed what she believes happened and we didn’t see that. How did Victoria get out alive, if she started the fire in the mansion?

In truth, what you saw in that episode was her holding the lighter, and then what you did not see was a small time cut, as the chair pulled back, and there was a different body in that chair. So what Emily re-created, I would say, is about 90% correct. And then there’s one more final, huge, wonderful detail that we’ll reveal in the series finale that Emily couldn’t have known that she will also come to learn in the next episode, which will completely reveal what Victoria’s whole plan was, ultimately.

So Victoria did light the lighter, but then managed to get out?

Yes. She basically lit it from outside the house.

Who else knows that Victoria is alive?

Mason (Roger Bart) and Margaux (Karine Vanasse) definitely do. But nobody. Essentially it was Ben looking to confirm the facts for himself so he was aware of it for a millisecond, before he met his untimely fate. The idea is that Emily will come learn of Ben’s death pretty quickly in the next episode — which will gut her because she knows it was his desire to actually help her, once again, that lead to her demise — and it will really confirm for her, even if no one else will listen to her at this point in time, that Victoria is alive.

What sort of confrontation between Emily/Amanda and Victoria can we expect in the series finale?

An epic one. Totally epic, totally huge. And one of those that in many ways, it’s what the audience has been pining for, for four years, and has been expecting, but in many ways, it’s a completely unexpected way to do it. When we spoke to Emily [VanCamp] and Madeleine about this scene, one of the things they really did love about it was it is the scene you expect, but it’s not in any way the scene you expect. The performance they both give is just tremendous. It will be epic and satisfying and a combination of these four years of inevitable forces rushing toward each other.

In the promo for next week, Emily/Amanda appears to be crying when she confronts Victoria, and that seems to be out of character for her. She’s usually stronger than that. What’s going on there?

I think that’s one of the things about that scene that is different — they get to these emotional places that one wouldn’t really expect. The thing that is really interesting about those moments between them is as much as they are epically acerbic at each other, there are also epically introspective moments for each other them so I think that’s what balances out the scene in an interesting way. Those tears welling in her eyes, you’ll see what gets her to that moment.

We have said goodbye to a lot of loved characters throughout the series. The finale is titled ‘Two Graves’ — will we be saying goodbye to even more?

“Two Graves” is both a callback to the quote that kicked off the whole show [“before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”], but also, there will be two people in graves by the end of the episode.

Any clues?

A lot of the clues are in the promo that aired last night.

Well, Emily/Amanda is seen on the floor in a pool of blood, so how will that go over for her?


Is Jack (Nick Wechsler) safe? We see him in the hospital in the promo.

I know. I don’t know. We’re going to have to see.

Will Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) be back for the finale?

Charlotte will be back. She’s the holder of a giant piece of information. I’m excited to see how people react to that.

Speaking of Charlotte, the series finale is on Mother’s Day. Given Victoria’s interesting motherly instincts, how’s that for irony?

Isn’t that incredible? It is kind of perfect. I think that’s amazing that it’s on Mother’s Day.

When did you know that this season would be the last?

Honestly, I learned only a little bit before the general public learned. But that said, with the network’s support, we really wanted to finish this story, so even if there had been a fifth season, it’s not as if this novel that is “Revenge” wasn’t going to be over. Even though we only found out that the show didn’t have a fifth season last week, there’s not a single frame of the series finale that I would change, based on that news being official.

Did you always have the same end plan since you got on board with ‘Revenge’ or has it changed throughout the seasons?

It’s changed a lot as the seasons have gone on because it’s an ever-changing thing, and it’s also never a thing you want to stop discussing. As the stories change, the target moves, and so I think there were always iterations of what this ending is, but the exact steps of this really gelled a few months ago when we had a sense that we were going to end it, and where we wanted to to take the story.

It does seem that the recent episodes of this season have wrapped up pretty nicely. A few episodes back, we saw a lot of flashbacks from the beginning of the series. Was that deliberate?

Absolutely. That was very deliberate. We really wanted to start giving the fans all those things I think they really wanted in the end. We started doing the flashbacks while Amanda destroys Victoria on national television to say, this is the world and it’s changing and we’re hurdling toward the end.

When you shot the final episode, the cast didn’t actually know that this was the last day of shooting so how was the vibe on set?

I think there was a feeling that it was. What’s really interesting is the way that it happened to happen is the very last scene that we ever shot on this show was a shout-out to the very first scene that was ever shot on the show. I was there with Emily [VanCamp] and Gabriel [Mann] and they all remembered the first day. We realized it’s perfect because it’s what comes around goes around. It was really moving because it ended the way it began, which is the very nature of double infinity. It was very sad, but happy. I think everyone is slowly letting it settle in now.