Meet Emily. She's beautiful, she's independent and wealthy. She's also a sociopath hell bent on avenging the framing of her father for the crime of treason.
We begin our story with the murder in cold blood of Emily's fiancé Daniel Grayson on the night of their engagement party hosted by Daniel's mother Victoria. Though it's obvious to us Emily orchestrated the murder because she's speaking in hushed voices with a creepy guy, she has a perfect alibi since she is in such prominent attendance at the party when Daniel is gunned down on the beach.
Five months earlier. Emily has just rented a beautiful house on that same beach right next to Victoria's home. Through flashback, we see that this house used to be Emily's when she was a child and her and her father shared some great moments together there. The house is now being rented out by Victoria's best friend Lydia Davis and her husband Michael who are having marital problems. You can say that again because Lydia is having an affair with Victoria's husband Conrad. Since Emily is aware of this, she poses as room service at the hotel where Conrad and Lydia are meeting and poisons Conrad so that he'll have symptoms of a heart attack. His trip to the emergency room arouses suspicion from Victoria because he is revealed to have been at a hotel instead of out golfing like he had said. Classic. Victoria finds out that not only is Mr. Grayson cheating, but he's cheating with Lydia when at an art auction she's hosting Emily makes sure to mention in front of her with a feigned obliviousness that she saw Lydia at the same hotel with an ill "husband." Victoria immediately has Lydia removed from the auction and makes sure her house goes up for sale so she will be exiled from the Hamptons. Cold. Meanwhile, Emily deliberately bumps into Daniel at the party and begins attracting him.
It wouldn't make sense for Emily to come home to the Hamptons and not run into some people who might recognize her. The first of these people is Jack, who was a boy Emily played with when she was a kid. Now, he's a too-good-to-be-true guy who is planning to boat to Haiti to help out with the Red Cross. That is, until his father's bar is about to be foreclosed on and he decides to sell his prized boat to make sure that doesn't happen. Jack might have an inkling of a suspicion he may have met Emily before, but he doesn't say anything about it. The aforementioned boat sale is a deal with Nolan Ross, a very wealthy young entrepreneur. Nolan definitely recognizes Emily as Amanda Clarke the daughter of David Clarke who was Nolan's first investor before David was framed for funding a terrorist organization by Victoria, Conrad and Lydia. In flashback, we see that Nolan was there for Emanda when she was released from a detention facility on her 18th birthday. At the time, she thought her father was alive and a murderer, so she wanted nothing to with him, but Nolan gives Emanda a box of evidence her father left behind which clears his name and tells the story of those who framed him. In his last words to her, David implores her to forgive, but Emanda wants no part of that. All she wants is revenge.
See, guys, this is why I've never joined a yacht club.
-- Pablo G. is some guy who lives in San Antonio, Texas. He co-hosts TWoP's original "Trailers Without Pity" with his brother Omar G. Check him out at Unp0ssible and Pablog and follow him @PendejoJoe on Twitter.
We zoom in past a 3-D rendering of the Revenge logo on a black background. On a black title card: "'Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.' Confucius (504 B.C.)" This is serious, guys. We're now looking at the dark waves of the ocean lit only by the full moon. Female voiceover: "When I was a little girl, my understanding of revenge was as simple as the Sunday school proverbs it hid behind. Neat little morality slogans like 'do unto others' and 'two wrongs don't make a right.'" We cut to the waves of the ocean crashing lightly on a moonlit beach as a gun goes off and a man falls to his knees. Angus and Julia Stone's "For You" begins to play. Voiceover continues: "But two wrongs can never make a right. Because two wrongs can never equal each other." What if they're the exact same wrongs? This voiceover's math is sketchy. This is Southampton, New York on Labor Day evening. Fireworks go off in the night, masking the sound of two more gunshots pumped into the man at close range. Up at the beach house, there's an engagement party going on for Daniel and Emily, according to a wedding-style cake. "For the truly wronged, real satisfaction can only be found in one of two places: absolute forgiveness or mortal vindication. This is not a story about forgiveness." Emily Thorne, a beautiful blonde who seems lost in thought (played, appropriately, by Emily VanCamp), is found by the wedding planner who has desperately been searching for her and Daniel, meaning Daniel was the guy who totally just ate lead on the beach. Emily doesn't seem worried at all as she slyly brushes off gun powder from her hand and says Daniel's just on the beach because they're having a fight. When the party planner leaves, Emily sidles off to talk to a suspicious looking man named Nolan. They have one of those sneaky conversations where the two people stand next to each other but face opposite directions. They snipe at each other seemingly about having the nerve to be present at their own murder plot.
Back on the beach, a man is dragging the dead body out of the water and up the beachfront in the shadows. This happens as a young couple back at the dance reception is getting frisky and bold. They run down the dock to the beach together right by the bushes where the shadowy figure is crouching beside the body. He hides as the couple undresses down to their underwear and run out to the water.
The party has paused briefly for a speech from Daniel's mother Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) that is mostly some crap about the theme of the party symbolizing beginnings and endings and the love between a man and a woman, like all party themes seem to do. Emily fake-smiles through this as she pulls out her cell phone and places a call. The phone rings back at the corpse and gives away hoodied shadow man's hiding spot to the young couple. Naturally, they're a little upset that someone's been privy to their rendezvous. Hoodie Man grabs the cell phone, but doesn't answer, and takes off running when the young, half-naked guy starts making his way over to confront him.