1. The show legitimized male bisexuality.
Even though the fight for equality with gays and bisexuals isn’t over, one of its main male characters is bisexual even if Revenge didn’t use the word bisexual. Emily’s best friend Nolan was attracted to both men and women (even if he had a gender preference for men). The show should be applauded. It did that storyline without preaching. It was just as natural as any of the straight relationships on the show. And that’s a good thing because if a show wants to have a gay or bisexual character they need to do it right or not do it at all. Having a gay or bisexual character just to be politically correct is superficial. The character needs to actually have substance.
2. The show invented the love-square.
The fact is, love triangles have gotten old even if there’s nothing wrong with him them. Emily liked Daniel, Aiden, and Jack. The love square wasn’t done in a sloppy way because she had real feelings for all of the men despite using them at times.
3. They killed off Daniel the right way (if they were going to do that storyline).
Fans were outraged when Daniel took a bullet for Emily in Season 4 Episode 10. However, the show didn’t waste an opportunity. They used that moment to bring closure to the relationship because Emily admitted it wasn’t all a lie with Daniel and that she did have real feelings for him.
4. The writers respected their fans.
This builds off the previous point. It might have been disappointing Daniel died, but at least the writers tried to make it meaningful. That’s more than can be said for some shows that kill characters without any consideration or sense of closure. Ultimately, fans need to be respected even if they shouldn’t dictate all the plots because the show wouldn’t exist without the fans.
5. Characters are never stuck in one personality.
This point connects to the last two points since it relates to Daniel the most. He started off nice but then got darker before ultimately coming full circle and returning to the nice person he used to be/is capable of being. Humans have a wide variety of emotions and are rarely the same all the time. Allowing the change to happen slowly illustrated characterization in an organic matter as opposed to being sloppy.
6. The show took risks.
The fans could see that when Daniel shot Emily in Season 3 Episode 10. The plot point seemed like something Daniel couldn’t come back from. But he did, which proves the show didn’t let plot twists trap them.
7. David Clarke was alive.
This revelation was one of the most shocking of the entire series because it appeared he was dead. While the show had clues in a couple of episodes before the revelation, it was still a big reveal as it didn’t seem possible he could be alive as his death was the reason behind Emily’s revenge.
8. There were people that were worse than Conrad and his on again/off again wife Victoria Grayson.
Audiences saw that with the Initiative storyline in season 2 and then again with Malcolm Black in season 4. Bringing in people that were more evil than Victoria and Conrad helped the show because it allowed Revenge to do something different but still keep the show on course, as there were reasons for introducing the evil characters.
9. Victoria and Conrad weren’t 100 percent evil.
That was evident by their concern for their children Daniel and Charlotte (especially Charlotte). Even villains have to have weaknesses/soft points as most human beings have vulnerabilities. Showing Victoria’s and Conrad’s humanity was positive because the show did it without trying to make the audience love Victoria and Conrad as they were both still terrible people even if they cared about their children.
10. The show had some of the best lines.
Snappy and memorable lines help a show stand out even if dialouge cannot always consist of one-liners. Season 3 Episode 6 proved that when Emily had Aiden bring Victoria to the missing Grayson fortune, which was revealed to consist of gold in a warehouse. When Emily discovered that her plan succeeded in pitting Victoria against Conrad she joked and said she should have had it be all in pennies. Coming up with lines like that is just pure genius.
11.Victoria and Emily weren’t enemies 100 percent of the time.
The show was once again unafraid to try something new. Victoria actually did three nice things for Emily in Season 4 Episode 13. She lied and said she killed someone so Emily wouldn’t be murdered, she warned Emily when Malcolm Black was about to hurt her, and screamed when he was also about to throw her into an incinerator. Making Victoria have concern for Emily proves most dynamics are capable of shifting (even if only temporary).
12. Victoria Grayson faked her own death twice.
Viewers might be skeptical of the same character faking his or her death twice as it might seem boring and repetitive. However, it worked for Revenge as it reinforced the shock value of the show.
13. Emily fantasized about having sex with Daniel even when she was supposed to be “faking it” with him and really be devoted to Aiden.
Emily’s sexual thoughts about Daniel have two interpretations. One is she was conflicted about “faking it” with him/she did have real feelings for him or he was at least better in bed than Aiden. The conclusion is more likely to be the first option. Thinking about Daniel in bed reinforces the complicated nature of the show because she wouldn’t have done that if she were 100 percent happy with Aiden since the issue could have still been an unconscious issue even if Emily wouldn’t admit it.
14. The show killed Aiden.
This was one of the best decisions of the show despite Aiden adding another layer of complication. At the end of day, there was nothing likeable about Aiden. The fact was, Emily used Aiden at times just like she did with Daniel, which meant Emily’s relationship with Aiden was far from perfect. The only good aspect about Aiden was he propped up Emily and Daniel at times because it was obvious he was jealous of them, which wouldn’t have happened if Emily didn’t have some real feelings for Daniel.
15. Emily ran to Daniel when she was having problems with Aiden.
Emily wouldn’t have done that if her relationship with Aiden were 100 percent perfect even if she needed to keep Daniel in her orbit so she could have access to his parents. That once again proves that nothing is ever certain or absolute on this show.
16. The show proved intense plot twists are okay and not just melodramatic.
This aspect is one of the most important of the show as there’s a misconception that melodrama is wrong. The idea is false though. There’s nothing wrong with drama/melodrama if done right. Viewers want to be entertained. As long a show (or even a book or movie) is grounded in real human emotion there’s nothing wrong with skipping “slice of life” storylines. It’s important not be trapped by highbrow snobbery as some people thrive off twisted convoluted storylines. The important thing is for the twisted convoluted storylines to be organic to the show, not be written with bad dialogue.