Desire for revenge
MADELEINE Stowe is smiling with delight. Revenge is back on track and hurtling towards a season three fi nale featuring two shock twists, including a major death.
Stowe’s character, rich matriarch Victoria Grayson, has endured a year from hell as all of her fears and doubts have come to fruition.
In the season- ender, nothing is off limits with Emily Thorne ( Emily VanCamp) and Victoria set on destroying each other.
“We’re really hitting our stride now,” Stowe says.
“This fi nale is the culmination of all three years. Victoria does the worst possible things you could imagine her doing.”
One of the reasons Revenge is back on track after a shaky second season is that it returned to the 10pm time slot in the US, which gave new show- runner Sunil Nayer more scope to explore darker, more salacious storylines.
Nayer spent the fi rst part of the season getting Emily’s storyline sorted. The second half has seen Victoria back at full throttle.
Victoria believes Emily is responsible for the death of her fi ancé, Pascal ( Olivier Martinez). It was actually her ex- husband Conrad ( Henry Czerny), but she doesn’t know this and will stop at nothing to avenge his death.
But with Conrad awaiting trial, Emily will only be happy if she can take down Victoria as well.
Victoria has come closer to learning Emily’s true identity. In last Monday’s episode, she tested baby Carl’s DNA with Charlotte’s ( Christa B Allen) to see if Amanda was really who she claimed to be. The results cemented Victoria’s suspicions about Emily and why she’s out for revenge.
“Sunil’s directive was to really just come back and make it more character- oriented,” Stowe says.
“What was interesting about Victoria in season one was that she would do really radical things like have herself beaten up.
“She had a really strong drive – and we have recaptured that.
“In the back half of this season, Victoria has been in on everything.
“She’s always been onto Emily but now it has been a real putting your fi nger to the fl ame kind of thing. You have two women on this parallel course.”
The role of Victoria has given Stowe some of her juiciest acting opportunities. She dropped out of movies in 2003 to settle on a Texas ranch with husband Brian Benben and daughter May, after a string of major movie credits including Stakeout, The Last of the Mohicans, Blink and We Were Soldiers.
Revenge lured her back to acting – a decision that has seen Stowe receive some of the best notices of her career, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.
By the season three fi nale, Victoria is so bereft over the loss of Pascal that she has started to descend into madness. Emily’s desire for revenge has seen her mentally disintegrate.
“If you just trust your characters and come back to your characters, the audience will follow,” Stowe says.
“We all see components of ourselves in these people.” REVENGE Monday, 9.15pm, SCT
BEST OF ENEMIES: Madeleine Stowe ( left) and Emily VanCamp lock horns in Revenge.