by Robyn Ross
After what many considered a disappointing sophomore season, Revenge‘s new showrunner is taking the show back to basics.
“Last season was very much about destiny, but it got pulled into so many different worlds and got so big and spectacular. So our goal this year is to really take a breath, slow it down and catch up with our characters where they are from where the season ended,” executive producer Sunil Nayar tells TVGuide.com. “We’re bringing everything back to the world of the Hamptons, and [we] really embrace the lush romance and the intrigue that is the Hamptons.”
As a mini refresher, here’s how the season left off: Aidan (Barry Sloane) tells Emily (Emily VanCamp) he killed Takeda (Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa), Aidan and Daniel (Josh Bowman) scuffle, an explosion at Grayson Global kills Declan (Connor Paolo), Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) is preggers, newly named Governor Conrad (Henry Czerny) tells Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) there is no Initiative, Victoria’s long-lost son Patrick (Justin Hartley) shows up at her door, Nolan (Gabriel Mann) is arrested for the New York blackout, and Emily tells Jack (Nick Wechsler) — in order to stop him from shooting Conrad — that she’s the real Amanda Clarke.
In typical Revenge fashion, Season 3 (which premieres Sunday at 9/8c on ABC), opens with a scene from the future depicting a wedding-dress clad Emily being shot and falling off the side of the boat. (You can watch the opening scene here.) From there, we flash back to present day, which is set six months after the Season 2 finale. Like in past seasons the first half of the season will work its way to the opening sequence. So, what can fans expect from our favorite Hamptonites until then? Read on for scoop straight from the showrunner.
Our favorite duo isn’t wavering and, in fact, their friendship will be explored even further this season. “We’re bringing Emily and Nolan 100 percent back together,” Nayar says. “But by the same token, as much as they’re going to be sort of partners-in-crime, we’re going to start examining the dynamics of their relationship and friendship going forward. They challenge each other in ways we haven’t seen before.”
A (strangely) happy Victoria
Upon seeing the closeness between Victoria and Patrick, viewers might think their relationship seems a little creepy — at least we did. Nayar explains it wasn’t really meant to come off that way. “I think what maybe makes it feel a little bit creepy is that you’ve never seen Victoria this open and happy with anybody and it creates an intimacy that is almost disconcerting,” he says. “There’s a vulnerability that brings with it a greater intimacy than we’ve ever seen because she trusts him and he trusts her.”
Last season began with a disheveled Jack that had hit rock bottom, but this one depicts Jack justifiably furious. (You didn’t think the Emily revelation would lead him straight into her arms, did you?) “His goal is to understand who this girl is that has lied for him for two years,” Nayar says. “So even though there is an anger, there’s also an undercurrent of his connection to her and memories of who she used to be. He has to reconcile who Emily is going to be in his life, but he also feels the need to move on and find himself a happiness that he feels he deserves.”
We can also expect a more take-charge Jack. “Last season it was all outside forces taking over what his life was and it ended up with him suffering loss after loss,” Nayar says. “So he has a new attitude this year, which is, ‘I’m the master of my domain and I’m going to control my destiny.’”
Daniel and Emily back together again
But is their love for real? Or are they playing each other? “We understand Emily is with Daniel as a means to an end … There’s going to be a constant question of: “What really is their connection to each other?’” Nayar says. “What’s great about Daniel this year is that he also begins to take control of his own destiny. We saw him last season be pulled by the forces of what Conrad wanted, what Emily wanted, what the company wanted. Daniel is very much going to make himself his own man, and, in doing so, Emily is surprised by it and doesn’t expect it. There are moments coming up where you definitely get a sense that there’s a fire [between them].”
A softer side of Conrad
It seems impossible, but the Grayson patriarch may actually back down a bit. “You’ll see Conrad go on a little journey of self-examination this season,” Nayar says. “We’re going to see a little more introspection in him and a little more of his vulnerability just as we’re seeing Victoria’s vulnerability when it comes to her children. We wanted to get a sense of the Graysons as a family again.”
The red Sharpie returns
Finally, the show’s signature prop is back with regularity, although Nayar warns it won’t be there every week. “In the first 10 episodes, we have more than one takedown, but we also examine what those takedowns mean for Emily, for the people being taken down and for the people now in the know,” Nayar says. “There are three people who know what Emily is doing. So, when someone gets taken down, Aidan knows why, Nolan knows why and Jack knows why. Because they’re three such distinct people, their attitudes about how they feel are all going to start informing Emily about how she’s going about her mission and what the repercussions of it are.”
Are you excited for a refreshed Revenge? What do you want to see in Season 3?
Watch below to see which fall shows made our editors’ picks: