If there's been any criticism of Revenge season 2, it's that there hasn't been a whole lot of revenge-ing going on. Emily, Aiden and Nolan have all been sort of working toward Emily's plan, but not really, while the Jack and Amanda sub-plot ran in the background. Until tonight, that is.
Tonight Emily suffered a loss that has given her renewed determination to take down the Graysons. Amanda is dead, taking her last breath in Emily's arms.
"Sacrifice" marked the return of the Revenge we know and love and was easily the best episode of the season.
So many of this season's episodes have felt slow, not moving Emily's revengenda along at all, but tonight was different. I hardly know how to wrap my head around everything that just happened.
Victoria Grayson, scheming as always, had the grand idea to buy them some time with Helen's murder, so she pretended to BE Helen and rode away with Helen's driver. The next morning, she and Daniel staged a conversation for the Initiative in which they pretended to have a falling out. This worked to throw the Initiative off of the Grayson's trail for Helen's disappearance. Daniel is quite the Grayson, playing his part in their faux argument marvelously.
Meanwhile, once again using Charlotte, Victoria planted Helen's cell phone and scarf in Jack and Amanda's apartment so they could set Amanda up for Helen's murder when the Initiative came to call. And call they did, with the introduction of Trask, one of Helen's associates. What Conrad conveniently failed to mention in all of this, however, is that he is actually in the process of taking Amanda out himself with Nate's help.
Amanda barely stood a chance. But the girl is a fighter. Or was.
I was actually on the edge of my seat with all of the Jack and Amanda and Nate scenes tonight, knowing that someone would die and that, while Nate would definitely kick it, either Jack or Amanda likely would as well.
When Amanda started telling Nate that the reason she was in the Hamptons was to dig up dirt on the Graysons, I had a moment of wanting to push her overboard for being dumb again. Like last week with the laptop. The laptop she brought on board with her instead of putting it back in Emily's house where it never should have left in the first place. But then I thought Jack bought her story about her reason for being there and my heart actually broke.
I didn't realize until then how much I liked them together and was happy they were happy.
By pushing him off in the life boat after he was shot when she knew there wouldn't be time to get on the boat herself, Amanda sacrificed herself to save Jack, which proved how much she loved him and their family.
She knew that by staying behind there was a chance she would die, but she also knew that if she didn't let Jack go, he would definitely die. She chose to try to save his life.
Thankfully, Emily and Nolan were also trying to save Jack and Amanda and were able to intercept Jack. Unfortunately, Nolan was too late in returning to help Emily to also save Amanda.
Amanda's death revealed a great deal about Emily and the way she holds people at arms length. For a long time, probably most of Revenge Season 1 and at least part of this season, it seemed as if Amanda was nothing more than a nuisance to Emily. Amanda's presence in the Hamptons greatly interfered with Emily's plans.
Emily's tearful "I love you, too" following the flashback to the two of them on the day Emily was released from juvie was a four-word recognition on Emily's behalf of the many sacrifices Amanda has made for Emily over the years: her identity, keeping Emily's secrets when it would be to her advantage to spill them and her chance at a normal life, to name a few.
The weight of those sacrifices settled into Emily as she let go of Amanda's body and waited for Nolan's return, sparking within her a renewal of her vow to avenge herself against the Graysons. I, for one, can't wait to see what Emily has in store for the monsters who, even without knowing her true identity, keep taking from her those she holds most dear.
What did you think of "Sacrifice?" Were you shocked by Amanda's death? Are you as excited as I am for Emily to get back to the business of exacting her revenge on the Graysons? We'll talk in the comments, and don't forget to check out the Revenge quotes page for more Revenge-y goodness.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.