*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*
“When I was a little girl, the delineation between good and evil was as clear as night and day. But as life grows complicated, that line blurs and we learn to justify our actions when we believe we’ve crossed it. If we aren’t careful, those choices can fill us with darkness, leaving us destined to never see light again.”
After watching ‘Two Graves’ I think I’m going to need one of them. Don’t worry, Emily didn’t use hers - Walt Disney spared her. Indeed, he even wrapped the neat little bow the series was tied up in. I wonder why he chose to begin the fairy-tale, oops I mean finale, with a narrative by Emily instead of ‘Once upon a time’. Oh well, at least he kept ‘And they lived happily ever after’, though the same can’t be said for me. This piece is both a recap and a eulogy for my expectations, and both start at the beginning of Disney’s packaging process.
The episode commenced with a flashback of a young Amanda’s first encounter with sin -specifically the downing of flight 197. Accompanied by a narrative regarding the delineation between good and evil and the human tendency to justify bad behaviour, we watched as David, sensing his daughters unease, explained that people aren’t born bad and it is their choices that make them who they are. Tragically oblivious to his fate, he promised her that if she ever went off the path, he would be there to bring her back. Sorry David, Pixar must have tied your bow.
Back to present day and the first decision – wrapping paper. Perturbed by the news of Ben’s death, a conscience-stricken Emily requests an impromptu hearing and, much to the shock of her loved ones, pleads guilty to the murder of Victoria. Two peas communicating without being in the same pod, Nolan declares Emily’s behaviour genius. He informs Jack that Emily pled guilty in order to be moved into a maximum security prison, where Nolan would subsequently move her out. Like the paper? It’s called Vengeance. It is the same one Victoria used for her mother. (Disney got it at a discount, sshh!)
Reuniting with her loyal lackey, the late queen of the Hamptons was presented with two gifts - A new identity and a private plane to transport her to Montpellier, where she would take up residency after losing her place in hell. I know, I thought they had a special place reserved for her as well, but I guess it was taken by the unexpected arrival. Maybe you know her – Mary Gaines, more widely known as Marion Harper? Yes, the corpse in Grayson Manor belonged to Victoria’s mother! In a flashback to her mother’s death bed, we learn that Marion changed her name so that there would be no chance Victoria could hurt her again. In actual fact, she changed her name because the writers thought it would be a dramatic twist if it was her body in Grayson Manor. Perhaps they felt the need to atone for the lack of real thrill in this season. That would also explain the revelation that Victoria’s father is the man who sexually abused her. A more fitting recompense for this season’s humdrum would have been a clarification regarding the value of Louise’s character. But no, they thought an incestuous storyline was the right way to go. And so Victoria’s relationship with her mother was sealed with a kiss and Pascal’s engagement ring.
Meanwhile, Emily was beginning to wrap her package. She escaped from prison with such ease that I didn’t even have time to get a tissue, let alone change into black for the funeral. And no, the tissue wasn’t for tears - I needed something to put in my ears when Louise gave the eulogy. Her description of the ‘deceased’ was so far removed from the truth, that I was convinced I was at the wrong funeral until I saw Victoria at the back. Left feeling guilty or, more likely, flattered by Louise’s grief, Victoria foolishly decides to tell her she is alive. She sends her lackey on the errand, but not before voicing a further requirement for White Gold, after hearing of Emily’s escape.
Emily however, is seeking something to tape her package, and Jack’s keen eye quickly finds it for her. Noticing that only a specific section of the hallway floor was recently cleaned, the two inspect it further and find blood – Ben’s blood. This newfound evidence reignites the urgency in Emily for action and simultaneously threatens to overpower Nolan’s warning that they remain hidden. Fortunately, Jack is there to provide her with reason and reassurance – oh, and the writer’s next bout of overcompensation! With a portrayal of chemistry that I’m pretty sure goes against what we learnt in science class, the writers, taking no heed of the inaccuracies, hastily moved onto biology and consummated the duo’s relationship.
Waking up alone (relax, Jack went to get food), Emily utilises the respite from hindrance and seeks out evidence to incriminate Victoria. She discovers Mary Gaine’s original dental records, proving that Victoria swapped the bodies. Sadly, her discovery comes too late. A frenzied Nolan informs her that Margaux has been wiring money to a ghost assassin and based on her recent account activity, Emily is next. But she’s not. In this fairy-tale, the evil witch’s victim is Jack, and she put the curse of ‘being in the wrong place at the wrong time’ on him. This time, the wrong place was on the end of White Gold’s knife. Puts things into perspective doesn’t it, Sleeping Beauty! Anyhow, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the cops arrived in time and Jack is going to live. The bad news is that his injury caused a huge rip in the wrapping paper! We’re going to have to start all over again.
Wasting no time, Emily picks a new design and this time it’s something a little darker. Maybe you’ve seen it before; it’s called ‘Death’. There aren’t many suppliers, but as luck would have it, one decides to visit Emily personally – Louise. I feel compelled to call Victoria a ‘fool’, but Louise’s loyalties change more often than the weather, and meteorologists are still making mistakes today. Taking Emily to Victoria’s hideout, Louise made sure to get her final word in before leaving the two to battle to the death. Though she didn’t imagine it would be because of Louise, Victoria knew Emily would find her. In anticipation of her nemesis’s arrival, she installed cameras around the room, so that if Emily had finally mastered the capacity to kill, it would be filmed for the world to see. This was an unnecessary gesture as no one, most of all her, expected Emily to pull the trigger. As is to be expected, they engaged in their verbal combat, although the only one to suffer any injury was me because the scene was starting to give me a headache. Thankfully David came at that point and killed three birds with one stone. He shot Victoria, saved his daughter’s soul and stopped my headache from becoming unbearable. But before the first bird passed on, it used its last bit of life and shot Emily in the back. Where she got the gun from, I don’t know, but this finale is full of magical happenings.
Before I tell you of the most magical, I must update you on Margaux. I know you don’t really care but just humour me! After being taken on a guilt trip by Nolan, Margaux returned to reality with a desire for redemption. On his bidding, she called White Gold and instructed her to prey on Nolan. Never one to engage in pleasantries, White Gold stabs him in the hand, leaving the other one free to call Emily and lure her to the beach house. Unbeknown to her, his other hand is on a Taser, which he uses to shock her into unconsciousness. Having called the police prior to White Gold’s arrival, Nolan gives Margaux evidence to convict the mercenary and tells her to leave before they arrive. She refuses and says “If it’s our decisions who define who we are, then this is who I am”. And with that, we have come to the end of Disney’s packaging process. All that is left to do now is fasten the bow. Take it away Walt!
Once upon a time (I’m sorry, I just had too!), there was a princess, who lived in a beach house in the Hamptons; and in that beach house lived also the King of the Kingdom. In recent months however, the ailing King had resided in prison, following his arrest for the murder of villainess Victoria. As his condition deteriorated, he was granted compassionate release by the judge, and went home to die in the company of his beloved daughter. Sitting on his throne (porch) for the final time, he told the princess “This chance to get to know the amazing woman you’ve become has made me feel like my life is complete. I can die a happy man”. He used his last words to remind her how much he loved her – infinity times infinity – and as he took his last breath, the curse of revenge was lifted from the palace.
In its place the spell of love was cast, and so the princess finally wedded the handsome prince. It was a small ceremony but much awaited, and their Fairy Godmother ‘Karma’ ensured nothing went wrong. With the royal puppy in tow, the happy couple sailed off into the sunset on the boat the King had restored for them.
As for the princess’s loyal servant, he was afraid that with their story at its end, he would have no purpose. The princess reminded him of his worth, and so strong was her belief in him, she abdicated the throne and gave him the crown. To deliver it, she sent a boy whose mother had been wrongfully convicted of embezzlement and murder.
And thus the princess finally got the life she deserved, but in her heart of hearts she knew something was wrong. She was haunted by the thought that her donor heart was that of villainess Victoria’s – a courtesy of her evil half-sister Charlotte. Did they then live happily ever after?
Yes they did – it was only a dream. Really Revenge? You had once chance to redeem yourself!