We've been watching Emily Thorne exact her plot for revenge over 88 episodes of this ABC drama.
And when the 89th airs this Sunday, the door on Revenge Season 4 will close for good. The red Sharpie will be put away.
When we last left the action in the Hamptons, Emily was still accused of killing Victoria Grayson - but we now know that Victoria is very much alive and is in cahoots with Margaux.
As we prepare to dive into Revenge Season 4 Episode 23, I grabbed one final chat with showrunner Sunil Nayar to talk about wrapping up the series, what surprises he still has in store and whether ending the series was easy or challenging...
TV Fanatic: How was it going into the finale? Did you know the end was coming?
Sunil Nayar: Yes, we planned it out a while ago, with the network’s support [and] we talked about that even if the show had a fifth season, it would have to be almost a new story that we’re starting because we really, really, by the end of this season wanted to finish the story that we were telling.
So while there's a little cliff hanger in the series finale, we always built in whether it was the season four finale or the series finale, we always built the story to end, so that I think the audience will be thrilled and in all honestly, having learned officially last week that the show was ending, there's not a single thing I would change about this finale with regards to that.
TVF: So is it safe to say that we will get that big final showdown between Emily and Victoria?
SN: You can expect that among many things, but yes. You finally get the showdowns of all showdowns. The one you’ve been waiting for the, the one the promos are teasing, obviously. So, it’s yes, it’s an amazing scene between these two women.
TVF: The Courtney Love reveal at the end of last week’s episode was really fun. But Victoria seemed genuinely shocked at everything that was happening in front of her. Or is she working with White Gold?
SN: You will learn all of that at the beginning of next week’s episode but I will tell you that the shock is legitimate that you're feeling, as you see on Victoria’s face at the end of the episode.
TVF: I have to ask about Nolan, whose love life just seemed to crash and burn again but it was more realistic. But will Nolan find happiness?
SN: One of the reasons we did this relationship is we just said we wanted him to have his heart broken properly and that he can see that it was just the nature of a real relationship and a person looking for their own happiness. It didn’t leave him worse off for it, like every other relationship he’s ever been in, and I think his journey in the course of the show has been to be able to stand on his own two feet.
He’s been so tied with Emily/Amanda and her whole revenge plan, he’s been such good friends with Jack…you know Jack left and Amanda came out as who she is, we really wanted to examine Nolan’s introspection and sense of self and so I think that you'll really, really see what that resonance is on him and within the series finale.
TVF: Let’s talk about Jack for a second. Over the years he has definitely become a little more duplicitous when he needs to be, which was definitely not his character at the beginning of the series. Will we see him in the finale have to do things he normally wouldn’t do in order to protect Emily?
SN: Yeah, Jack’s morale center has shifted really based on the people he cares about. So you will see some make big moves and you'll see that there's also a large bit of peril for Jack Porter in our finale. But he’s come back and he stayed because he’s going after the thing that he really wants now. Now he has nothing to lose and now he understands the circumstances in which everything has happened, and so I think we’re going to see a very, very determined Jack.
TVF: And his relationship with Emily finally seems on, which is a series-long want for fans.
SN: As with everything in this show, happiness is always leading to bittersweet but there will be a moment where they get to experience everything that it should be and then you will have to see if they actually get to experience that or if it becomes yet another loss in a long series of losses for one or both of them.
TVF: We’ve had some fun call-backs to past seasons, even like some of the early revenge plans in season one, which was great for a viewer like me that’s watched the whole series. Any familiar faces or stories popping up in the finale?
SN: Absolutely. The finale is…I wouldn’t say packed full but there's a lot of wonderful stuff that are call-backs for the fans that reprise information that they had known before, the payoff stories that maybe they’ve even forgotten restarted and there's a couple of moments near the end of the episode that are just complete character favorite moments or fan favorite moments and a lot of things to say thank you to the fans. I think there are moments that they will love that they will be touched by, they’ll be surprised by and then ultimately be very sad inside.
TVF: The health of David Clarke, Emily’s father, is definitely not great. Are we going to get a resolution with that story?
SN: You'll see the resolution to that. One of the main reasons we really felt that we wanted to tell that story was because we wanted to give Emily also something that was utterly out of her control. She has been such a master of her universe for four years. You give her a problem, she knows how to solve it through either smarts or through strength or through cunning and her father sickness she has no control over, which you saw in that final scene of last [week’s] episode [and] so it’s also the nature of the human journey or the human ability, because suddenly here's this person that she adores and she prays that he can get better but she can't make it happen, and you'll definitely see the nature of how that’s played out in the last episode.
TVF: Were there any big challenges in kind of crafting these last episodes?
SN: I think, to me, the biggest challenge, and for all of us was to really feel like we did this correctly and while leaving a door open that could energize a season five and we had some pitches if they had wanted them…but obviously for me, it was a very important thing because I was graced with being able to take over the show mid-run and I feel real debt to Mike Kelley for creating the show and the idea that the author of the first half of the show is not the author of the second half of the show.
So it’s for the fans and it’s for the people who created it, for these actors who have been on it, and for this crew. I think our biggest goal is just to make sure that each story has an ending that is satisfying and ideally surprising and really moving and I think we’ve really achieved it.
TVF: Are you a fan of happy endings? DO you like to see things nicely wrapped up?
SN: I'm a fan of a satisfying ending, I guess I have to say. I think if this was a fairy tale, then I would be a super huge fan of a happy ending. But it’s not. I mean, this is the darkest fairy tale ever told on television. It’s like a heart with a scar in it, ultimately, that continues to beat somehow. But I like a satisfying ending and I feel like this episode in the show is going to give the audiences exactly that.
TVF: Will all of our characters make it out of the finale alive?
SN: No. I can say is that we called the episode ‘Two Graves,’ not only because it’s a call-back to what kicked off the whole show but I can promise that there will be two people in graves by the end of the episode.
Revenge Season 4 airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.