'Revenge' Postmortem: Showrunner on Emily's Shocking Shooter, Her Big Revelation and What's Next
[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Sunday's episode of Revenge.]
Emily Thorne's shooter has finally been revealed.
At the beginning of this season of Revenge, viewers got a look at Emily (Emily Van Camp) and Daniel's (Joshua Bowman) wedding day, during which she was shot onboard a yacht by an unidentified gunman while still in her wedding dress. As viewers learned throughout the season, it was supposed to part of Emily's plan to set up Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe), after which Emily and Aiden (Barry Sloane) would leave the Hamptons and finally have their happily-ever-after ending.
But the plan went terribly awry: After Lydia (Amber Valletta) showed Victoria an old photograph in which Emily can be seen working as a server at a Grayson Global bash, the matriarch's suspicions were confirmed that Emily wasn't being entirely honest about her past. She confronted Emily, who admitted she had lied about being pregnant and had been leading Daniel on. The problem? Daniel heard the entire conversation and ended up using the gun to shoot Emily himself.
In the teaser for the upcoming episode (Revenge returns with three new episodes in January before moving to its new 10 p.m. time slot March 9), Emily wakes up in the hospital with amnesia. So what's next for her plan to get revenge? Sunil Nayar, who took over showrunning duties this season, spoke to reporters last week about what's in store for Emily, the Graysons and all the other key players in the Hamptons-set saga.
Was it always the plan for Daniel to be the shooter?
We played around with lots of different options. We had about three different people we seriously considered and tried to make it work, and also the stories we wanted to tell that would come out of the shooting. There were lots of great setups [as to whom] the shooter could be. [Nayar says the writers considered making Aiden the shooter, but "we thought that would seem to incongruous with this couple as we know them. Even to try to think about getting to that point wouldn't work."] We wanted to do the one that … would ultimately change the show as much as possible. We wanted to almost paint ourselves into a corner and think, "How do we get ourselves out of this?" We've established so many realities that we can't deny are true now, and I think we found really elegant ways out of these problems. It really gives us a lot more stories going into the back half of the season.
When did Josh Bowman find out Daniel was the shooter, and what was his reaction?
He was blown away. … Once we knew we were doing the story line, we thought, "We have to talk to Josh before anybody." Also from his acting standpoint, we wanted to give him as much time to prepare for it and make sure he was nuancing his performances that led up to it, and he was obviously very concerned because it's a big move. We kept assuring him, "We're going to get you to an emotional place where [viewers] are going to believe that you did it. … I think he did a fabulous job.
Jack told Emily she isn't a nice person. Is that true?
She's a person who has been created by circumstances. Really the elements you've seen and what we tried to explore in the first half of the season is what her mission has turned her into, and sort of answering who shot her and why. The second half of the season answers the humanity of Emily Thorne and we get back to the girl who really was destroyed by what the Graysons did.
Has Emily really lost her memory?
She has at the moment lost her memory, or almost all of it. … It's quite the soap opera trope, and I think what we've done with it is the way Revenge would do it in a way that is extremely satisfying. You'll see in the first episode back. We wanted to do it but in the way the show is capable of doing things, where you never know who's telling the truth in any given moment, and so we play with the amnesia idea in many different ways in the episode back that I'm very happy about.
Now that Victoria has evidence Emily is hiding something, and Emily's own admission that she's been lying, how does that impact their dynamic moving forward?
You'll see how that changes things. You saw that Patrick [Justin Hartley] saw where the infinity box is hidden. [We tried] to put as many game changers as we can coming into January to sort of realize, "Oh, some of the secrets are going to be out." Again, Victoria saw that picture, and there's no going back on that.