[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday's midseason finale of Revenge. Read at your own risk!]
Payback is a bloody bitch for Revenge's Emily Thorne.
On Sunday's midseason finale, Emily (Emily VanCamp) and Daniel (Josh Bowman) finally walked down the aisle, but Emily's plan to frame Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) for her "murder" went awry after Daniel caught wind of her betrayal and shot his new bride himself. Of course, Emily doesn't die, but as previews for the winter premiere showed, Emily wakes up in a hospital bed with a serious case of amnesia.
Could this completely change the course of the show? Will Daniel be implicated in the attempted murder of his wife? And now that Victoria has seen the photo of a brunette Emily, will she realize her true identity? Executive producer Sunil Nayar chatted with a small group of reporters about what's to come for the series in the new year.
Was Daniel always going to be the shooter?
Sunil Nayar: We played around with a lot of different options. We had three different people we were sort of seriously considering and tried to make it work. But then thinking [about] the stories we want to tell that come out of the shooting, we just wanted to do the one that was the juiciest and ultimately changes the show as much as possible. We almost paint ourselves into a corner where you think, "How on earth are they going to get out of this," because we've established so many realities we can't deny are true now. But seeing previews for the coming episodes, I think we found elegant ways out of these problems that give us more story going into the back end.
Does Emily really have amnesia?
Nayar: At the moment, she has lost her memory of all of it. You'll see how we play out the amnesia story line because it's quite the soap opera trope. But what we've done with it is the way Revenge would do it, which is in a way that's extremely satisfying which you'll see in the first episode back. You never know who's telling the truth at any given moment, so we play with the amnesia idea in many different ways.
How is Daniel going to feel about shooting Emily?
Nayar: He's tormented by the nature of what he's done. You get a sense that right after he shot her, there's this flicker of regret that he did a thing in a brash act. He's been completely betrayed. It's not like you don't understand the impulse to do it, but carrying through with the act was the big moment for Daniel that he will have to wrestle with. [He'll also] wrestle with the fact that now he's learned the truth about this woman he's given his heart over to back and forth over the years. So, you'll see a real transformation of him. There's regret that comes from that initially, but then it grows into a strength and hardening in Daniel Grayson because the person he trusted the most has really upended the nature of that trust.
Will he be an immediate suspect?
Nayar: There are a couple of different people who become primary suspects in the first episode back. Emily is not a benefit [for police] in the investigation, but they will have evidence on the boat they're pursuing, and then photo evidence from what Margo's doing on the boat. In classic Revenge style, you'll see how one person becomes a suspect then it shifts over to someone else's focus.
How long have you been planning to bring Lydia (Amber Valletta) back?
Nayar: We wanted to bring Lydia back from the moment we got together at the beginning of the season. We thought Victoria got off the plane, so people don't need a whole lot of back story of how's she still alive. We thought the best time to [bring her back] would be as we got to the shooting episode and the aftermath of it. She brings in such a great element of chaos with her and she becomes a great suspect for what's going to happen. And she brings Conrad into a story in a way we haven't seen before, so it seemed like a no-brainer really.
Has Victoria put it together that Emily is Amanda Clarke?
Nayar: She doesn't know she's Amanda Clarke, but she knows some of her suspicions are actually correct, which gives Victoria a great engine going into the second half of the season. She now has power in the relationship she didn't have before. But Victoria has seen that picture and there's no going back on it.
What's coming up for Nolan (Gabriel Mann) and Patrick (Justin Hartley)?
Nayar: We always knew we'd bring back Victoria's son and that he'd become a love interest for Nolan. Frankly, we're really going to put them through their paces when we come back. Happy relationships are fine and dandy, but that's not where the show thrives. So, Patrick seeing that there's this space between the painting that Nolan obviously bought from his mother is going to have him call into question with whom his [loyalties] lie. It'll cause great conflict in the Victoria-Patrick-Nolan triangle.
Where is Jack (Nick Wechsler) in all of this?
Nayar: We've had Jack scrutinize the nature of who Emily is and what she's doing, but he will come to see in the aftermath of the shooting that it's really his ultimatum that's led her to be in this position. There's a bit of culpability he has for it, so you'll start seeing the thaw between Emily and Jack as we get into the second half. He's now taken things from her too. It's a more equivalent relationship.
What did you think of the finale?
Revenge returns for three episodes on Sunday, January 9 at 9/8c followed by a winter premiere on March 9 at 10/9c on ABC.
(Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams)