With Revenge soon coming to an end, the question that has spanned the entire series will finally be answered: Will Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) survive her quest for vengeance?
Her happy ending seemed all but assured after finally reuniting with her father, David Clarke (James Tupper)—who wasn’t actually dead, in case you’re not caught up. Main antagonist Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny), on the other hand, was killed off last season, while Daniel Grayson (Josh Bowman) paid for the sins of the father. Unlike the rest of her family, Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) refused to go quietly into the night and instead decided to commit suicide and frame Emily for murder.
Thus, the final chapter of Revenge finds Emily facing trial for murder. Will Victoria’s last desperate act be her ultimate downfall? EW caught up with showrunner Sunil Nayar to get the scoop:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Does Emily Thorne need to die at the end of this journey?
SUNIL NAYAR: That was a huge part of the conversation, because it is the end of a journey, but it’s a journey that’s been so darkly taken.. How do we want her to feel at the end of this journey, and how do we want the audience to feel about the nature of this journey? Do we want this to be a tale where people think, “I should go do that?” Or do we want this to be a tale of people thinking, “I could go do that, but there’s a serious price to be paid by doing it?” What we really love about the darkness of this show is that at the end of the day, it is the latter. There’s no getting out of this clean. Whether that means that you’re dead, or whether it means you are deeply wounded, or you have to carry this darkness with you, I think that at the end of the day, you’ll see everybody in this show is affected by the world they’ve gotten themselves into and the darkness that hard to pull out. The big parts of the conversation were, “How does Emily Thorne, and now Amanda Clarke’s, story end?” I think that the audience will be really satisfied with the journey she ends up taking and where she ends up at the end of the show.
How is Emily dealing with being helpless in the final two episodes as she faces being on trial?
Yeah, and that’s one of the things we really wanted to do was almost strip her of all of her power and to give her situations that aren’t within her control. One of the things that when we embraced the idea of David having cancer was it was born of the idea that Amanda Clarke can do anything. She can handle anything, she’s smart, she’s physical, she’s a ninja, but, suddenly, here’s something that she can’t control. There’s nothing that she can do, and so she can juts hope that her father’s getting the treatment that she wants, but it’s a thing that exists out of her strategic world and puts her into an emotional world. What we really wanted to do was to take her on a really emotional journey, to take away her freedoms, to actually have her suffer a lot at the hands her rivals so that we can see deeper into her and really examine the human being that is Amanda Clarke as we get to the end of the series.
The logline for the finale says that Emily is forced to finally admit her guilt.
Yeah, a couple of the big things that happen in episode 21 really shake Emily to the core where she has to take responsibility for the repercussions of her actions. She calls herself on the carpet, essentially, at the beginning of the series finale and it’s a pretty surprising moment.
In this last episode, it seemed like David was trying to plant evidence against Emily at her house by pouring ashes down the drain. What’s going on there?
What that was, and we tried to clear that up: He, back in episode 10, had bought that belladonna root to off Victoria, and basically, he realized that if the cops are starting to maybe look at them for this, that he should get rid of anything that would maybe support their theories. He’s not planting anything on his daughter at all. No. There’s routes we’ll go down, but that one we can’t.
What can you tease of what’s going on between David and Emily in the final episodes?
He is sick, and again, it’s one of the things that we really wanted to base that in was to put a situation that is out of her control—and especially when she can’t even really get to her father. The finale is called “Two Graves,” and it’s almost like the finale is about a symmetry—the parallel nature of two graves and the entwined nature of the double infinity. Fans are going to see a lot of wonderful things that are callbacks and shootouts to great moments in the series’ history, plus the shocking revelations that you can’t possibly believe that are going to happen. There are things in the last two episodes that I’m so in love with and I’m so excited for the audience to just experience them in the moment, because they are moments they’ve been waiting for, but they’re going to play out in ways they’d never expect. I’m really excited for people to now see how officially this story gets to come to a close.
What can you tell us about Charlotte’s (Christa B. Allen) return?
Charlotte makes a return in the next episode. She’s gotten better. When we talked about the idea of the series ending, we thought it’s really hard to end it without her being a major part of the story because she’s part of both of these families and because the story has to be told to her. Even when she left us early in the season, it was always our intention to bring Charlotte back because how Emily is going to deal with her sister is important. How you see Charlotte dealing with Victoria’s death puts her in a certain place of mind. She has a king of significant role and has a huge piece of information in the finale that I think is really delicious.
Did you always know that Victoria’s story would ultimately end with her death?
No. Honestly. It’s that same idea of Emily’s journey: How do you get out of this? As it came to stripping away everything in this woman’s world and really tapping into the idea of what she’s lost, it just became the inevitability of Victoria’s fate, really. We thought the way she went about doing it, I just thought was so epic. It was perfect.
Mason Treadwell (Roger Bart) played a surprisingly big role in Victoria’s final plan. Is that the last we’ve seen of him?
You’ll see him a little bit more, definitely. Mason is not done yet.
Tony (Josh Pence) has gone off to be a single dad, but might Nolan (Gabriel Mann) decide he wants to be a dad and get a happy ending with Tony?
What happens is that Nolan does get the ending I think the audience is going to really want. I thought they were so wonderful together. One of the ideas was to give him someone just good, and someone for whom the world didn’t tarnish because it gives him a worldview where he steps out of the idea that, “Oh, revenge is coming to a close, who is Nolan Ross now?” Nolan Ross is now a normal person who can be with a normal person who is just good to him, as opposed to someone who might be strategizing or who requires revenge or saving. It was a great relationship, as heartbreaking as it was, to help Nolan learn that he can stand on his own two feet and he’s going to be okay.
Knowing that Emily came after him and has broken up with Ben (Brian Hallisay), will that make Jack (Nick Wechsler) have second thoughts about a possible future with her?
That question will be answered very early in the next episode. Jack will speak to her about these things. The audience won’t have to wait long to understand what Jack’s attitude is about what exactly is going on.
And how will Ben feel about that?
Ben is so weary about all of these things because almost from the get go, Ben thought he’s in competition with a guy who is not even on the field at the moment. Ben has a real attitude, not so much about Jack, but more about Emily. Despite all of his wisdoms about her, he still feels something for her, because he understands why she’s doing the things she’s doing, even though he believes they’re completely wrong. We’ll see a very conflicted Ben in the next episode. He actually goes down a pretty great path that leads to an amazing revelation at the end of the episode.
What can you tease for the secondary characters, like Louise (Elena Satine) and Margaux (Karine Vanasse)?
These were essentially both good people with very different backgrounds and motivations who came into this world and the world has affected them. It’s impossible to get out unscathed. The resolution to Margaux’s story is incredibly moving and the work that Karine did is really tremendous. The way Louise’s story ends is really lovely and really in tune with the character that Elena came up with and really inhabited over the course of the year. Louise will end up really surprising everybody. Your heart breaks for her because all she’s looking for is love, but she’s going about doing that wrong.
Despite the small cliffhanger you teased, will fans come away from the finale with closure?
Yeah, absolutely. There are epic emotional moments in the finale. There are really shocking things that happen in the finale. As we talked about the finale, it’s a tricky thing because the fans are such passionate lovers of the show and we really want to give them what they want, but the hard part about a finale in a show like this is you want to give them some of what they want, some of what they don’t know they want yet and some of what they never expected, and it needs to be a perfect mix of all those things. I truly believe our finale is the perfect mix of all those three things. Almost every single scene, almost every single act out is a moment that people thought they may one day see, but they’re seeing it in a way they never actually expected. I think they’re going to be extremely satisfied. I’m extremely excited for everyone to see it, and I’m sad, though. The other thing that they’re seeing is they’re seeing the extraordinary work of this amazing cast and crew, who now don’t have this show to come back to. That’s why these things are so bittersweet. The creative choice is the correct one, but the professional choice is the sad one, because I’ve been blessed to work with them for the last few years and TV has been blessed for the work they’ve done. I just thank everybody for really just staying with the show. The fact that we’re getting to our 89th episode by the time this is done, we’re lucky to have the people who made this show. We’re lucky to have the network that supported it and we’re really blessed to have the fans that have loved it.
Revenge airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.