The Evil Empire has fallen on Revenge, and Grayson Manor is no more. Emily has moved in (but has yet to rename the place), and she even thinks she can actually throw a party without any dramatics, which I find the idea of impossible and, frankly, boring. At least that’s what she believes when the season 4 premiere begins, but fortunately, as Nolan puts it, Emily is an addict.

When “Renaissance” begins, Conrad has been dead six months (well done, David Clarke), Victoria is still committed and Daniel is a complete mess and doing such a good job at self-destructing that Emily doesn’t need to worry about him. Following the kidnapping, Charlotte and Jack are on opposite sides of the law, with her taking a couple of disturbing turns and him looking so good in his uniform. As for David, well, he has some unfinished business to take care of that takes him home.

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With a Little Help From Her Friends

If you believe Victoria in her group therapy session, it only took six months for her to make peace with her past and be ready to move on and take her head out of the land of denial. If you’ve seen any of Revenge, you know that she has to be lying. For Victoria, this is just a new location and new people to manipulate, and quickly enough, her “friend” Phyllis has gotten her a phone. The only problem is Victoria calls her house hoping to reach someone who can help her, only for Emily to answer and promptly text Dr. Miller. One moment, Victoria’s asking to end the cycle, and the next, she’s blaming her for Pascal’s death so quickly; I feel like I’m risking whiplash listening to this. Dr. Miller and orderlies enter the room in the most cliche way possible. Sorry, Victoria, no more calls for you.

When Victoria is returned to her room, she has a new roommate, Louise Ellis, who immediately tells Victoria she’s sorry for her loss upon hearing her name. Victoria doesn’t even try to hide her feelings about her late ex-husband. “I’m not. That man was a tyrant.” So what’s Louise’s sob story? Her mother locked her up there under the pretense of sending her to a health spa, and she knows that she’s just hoping she’ll actually go crazy in there. Louise wants out, Victoria wants out and it could be the perfect partnership, right? Wrong. This is Victoria Grayson. She looks out for herself, and when she uses Louise’s trunk to get Phyllis to disarm the doors and escape, she only cares about getting herself out.

Officer Jack and Druggie Charlotte

When we last saw Jack in season 3, he was being taken in for questioning regarding Charlotte’s kidnapping, and when we first see him in season 4, he’s a rookie officer, but that still follows him. His partner, Ben, tells him to remember two things: why he became a cop and that he has his back. So why did he become a cop? Jack lists off a few reasons, like money for a college fund, that it would be “good for the soul” and he wanted to do something about seeing people getting away with murder. And Ben makes a comment about the kidnapping. That’s not going away so fast. He later tells Emily he’s wanted this since Amanda and Declan were killed.

As for Charlotte, she’s taken a turn for the maybe-more-than-slightly-creepy. She randomly picks Carl up from daycare after not speaking to Jack for six months because she wanted him to feel the fear she felt while kidnapped. I’m not quite sure what Charlotte did in those six months to lead to that since the only thing she’s doing the rest of the episode is drugs. Oh, and Gideon, and he has his own set of problems. That is the furthest thing from a match made in heaven.

“Nolan was wrong. You don’t look anything like a stripper,” Emily comments upon seeing Jack in uniform, but the rest of their conversation is nowhere near as lighthearted as that. Instead, Jack tells her about Charlotte, who just so happens to be why Emily stayed in the Hamptons. She’s her only family (that she knows is alive, at least), and she’s planning to make it better one way or another. She better do that fast because Charlotte is fast becoming a train wreck.

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Every Good Party Needs a Scandal … Right?

Emily’s throwing the Memorial Day party this year, and sorry, Nolan, coming out as Amanda Clarke is not on the menu. It’s just going to be a regular ol’ party. “So there won’t be any poisonings? … No arrests or blackmailing? … No take-downs whatsoever?” Nolan’s disappointed because why else would anyone show up to one of these things if it’s going to be without some drama? Well, Nolan does have an “epic, even for me,” as he describes it, outfit for the party, and he knows exactly how to make his entrance on the new throne for the house, a throne big enough for the new “Queen” and her “jester.” Remember, this is a party in the Hamptons, and this is Emily Thorne. It can’t really be just a nice, normal event, can it?

Don’t worry, it can’t. While out shopping, Emily reverses Nolan’s car and hits Nancy’s and invites her to the party to get the estimate so she can pay the damages, and Nolan seems so proud when he says, “Look at you, settling conflict without a red sharpie.” At the party, Nancy reveals that she lost her fiance, something Emily can understand, but it turns out that Emily didn’t invite her just to pay for her car.

After thanking her guests for coming, Emily lets Dennis take the podium to reveal his new yacht, and after he says he wants to dedicate it to the love of his life, it’s not his wife’s name on it, it’s his mistress’. That’s when his wife attacks him, and it’s not enough to drag their ruined marriage out into public; she also brings up how he killed Nancy’s fiance because he was distracted on his old boat. Emily expects Nancy to be grateful that he’ll be charged, but instead, Nancy has a different outlook on hate. “It’s a useless, crippling emotion,” she tells Emily. “Nothing can bring back the people we love.”

Nolan follows Emily and calls her out on her addiction and even suggests an intervention to make her face who she is, Amanda Clarke, by telling everyone. That’s when she reveals why she can’t let go of Emily Thorne and be Amanda again. “Everyone she loved is dead. The Graysons killed them all. They left me nothing to go back to. This is all I have left.” She tells Nolan to get out, but she later calls him to make up, not break up (thankfully, because their friendship is the best part of the show), and admits that she did what she did to try to keep Nancy from becoming like her, only to realize there’s no one like her. “You’re a snowflake, a unique bloodthirsty snowflake,” Nolan explains, but she agrees that she’s an addict and doesn’t know who she is without that thirst. That’s when Victoria makes her return to the former Grayson Manor to declare that it’s her turn for revenge. Welcome back, Victoria Grayson.

Daniel, the Not-So-Rich Boy

Honestly, I find Daniel’s storyline a bit boring and predictable. Following his horrible wake-up call, Daniel is living the playboy life, partying it up and living fancy — and paying Charlotte’s exorbitant rent (I’d make her move in with me or move in with her for that $7,000 rent) — to try to distance himself from his family’s losses. (Oh, and Victoria apparently sent her kids postcards to make it look like she’s touring Europe and just doesn’t care about them.) In order to afford his lifestyle (and Charlotte’s), he’s selling everything he can, including his car, and he wants to make sure people see him as intimidating because it’s pretty much all he has left since he can’t sell that.

After Nolan makes a comment about Daniel’s night with the redhead, Margaux confronts him about it, and he tells her she ODed, but Gideon was the one to pick out the room and the girl and blackmail him, and he wanted to protect her, so don’t blame him. Margaux’s ready to do something, but Daniel’s ready to just be done and continue to live his lies.¬†

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David’s Unfinished Business

After leaving the prison guard who helped Conrad get out of jail behind because “It’s now or never,” David heads to the Hamptons to take care of unfinished business, and he has his knife, so will there be more blood on his hands? When Emily goes to check out movement in her old house, all she sees is her memory of finding Aiden on the couch, but after she leaves, it’s revealed that David is in there. Now, I didn’t expect Emily to find out her father’s alive in the premiere, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed that it doesn’t end that way. Instead, it ends with David grabbing Victoria as she leaves her former home, turning her around to face him and chloroforming her. Welcome home, David Clarke.

What did you think of the season 4 premiere? Are you hoping like I am that David’s return breathes new life into this show?

Revenge airs Sundays at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)