1. Conrad emerged as villain.
Part of the problem with The Initiative was its lack of focus: Whom was the audience supposed to be rooting against? By outing Conrad as a major player in The Initiative — a deal he made to help shift their plans to his own advantage — we have a tangible villain. Conrad is also just about everyone’s least favorite person, which gives Emily the opportunity to join forces with any number of other characters in her pursuit of revenge against the Grayson patriarch.
2. The Initiative was explained.
Finally! It’s not some century-spanning Illuminati conspiracy. It’s just a group of megarich sociopaths willing to commit acts of terror in order to influence the global economy. Why didn’t you just say that from the get-go? I suppose exposing The Initiative for what it really was could have made Conrad’s involvement more obvious, but that was a fairly straightforward bit of exposition that would have been useful when we were all scratching our heads earlier this season.
3. Nolan got screwed.
Believe me, I get no pleasure out of seeing Nolan in peril. OK, maybe just a little. But after a season of Nolan lingering in the background and occasionally crying over a character’s death, it’s exciting to see him pushed to forefront. Sure, he’s being charged with terrorism, but at least that gives him something to do. It also pushes Emily to work harder and faster — she needs Nolan, both as a friend and as an ally in her quest for revenge.
4. Victoria’s long-lost son returned.
And what a gleefully over-the-top soap opera moment that was! I will take slow-motion wineglass dropping any day of the week. We didn’t see Patrick — obviously they haven’t cast him yet — but what a thrilling way to shake things up. While not the most surprising development, it goes even further to push Victoria to her breaking point. And what happens then? Does she join Conrad in working for The Initiative, or do she and Emily finally take up arms together?
5. Jack found out the truth about Emily/Amanda.
AT LAST. Jack has been hell-bent on revenge against the Graysons for a while now. Why wouldn’t Emily let him in on her plans. I realize it’s more complicated than that, but for viewers, the big confession felt long overdue. With Jack so close to finding out the truth for so long, continuing to deflect and nudge him in the wrong direction would have felt like treading water. Now he can move forward — either at Emily’s side, or with his own competing revenge agenda.
6. Declan died.
And it was actually kind of sad! I mean, sad in the sense that Jack has been destroyed by the Graysons and now has nothing left, and sad for Charlotte, who is carrying Declan’s child. Overall, of course, this was a positive development for a series: Declan has been dead weight from the start, and getting rid of him allows Revenge to move onward and upward. (And for Connor Paolo to find himself a better role.) But seriously, poor Jack — he’s now lost his dad, his wife, his brother, AND his dog?
7. Everyone was brutally honest.
The passive-aggressive banter is fun, but it gets tired after a while. In the finale, all of the characters put their cards on the table, and the results were delightful. Victoria squared off against Emily, Jack, Daniel, and Conrad — she’s a busy woman. These were some of the tensest scenes (Jack holding a gun on Victoria, to cite a particularly stressful example), and they were the episode’s most enjoyable. Victoria spitting on Conrad’s face is a Revenge moment for the ages.