The Only Way For 'Revenge' To End Is With Death

by Kaitlin Reilly

Emily Thorne's plans for revenge may officially be coming to a close — because, well, they have no choice. Revenge has been cancelled by ABC after four seasons, meaning that there won't be a fifth chapter of Emily's story. To say that it's a surprise would be a lie — considering that the show has been hyping up the last few episodes of the series and Madeline Stowe's apparent departure (read: Victoria Grayson's suicide) it seems that Revenge was on its way out for quite some time.

I'll mourn for what the show was — a twisted cat-and-mouse game that had the ability to surprise audiences at every corner — if not the current state of the series, which may have pushed the revenge plot to a level even the most loyal fans struggled to keep up with. That's not to say that the ABC drama can't go out with a bang. In my mind, there's only one way to wrap up Emily's storyline, and that's to kill her.

I know, I know — Emily's our heroine. Why would the show need to kill her in order to have a satisfying ending?! That's because, in my mind, we're actually not on a journey with Emily anymore — we're watching her drive herself into the ground because of her need for revenge. Think Breaking Bad. (Sorry to those who haven't caught up on Netflix, but spoilers ahead!)

When we first tuned into the initial episode, we were rooting for chemistry teacher Walter White. His motives for getting into the meth business made sense — he needed to support his family and save his own life. But as we watched the show, all of that changed — his actions started aligning more with his own selfish desires than with his alleged "goals." His death seemed fitting because he brought so much pain to those around him. Is Emily all that different?

Emily may be a far more likable character than Walter, but she's not exactly a great person. Even when she gets everything she wants — Conrad dead, her father back, and the ability to live her life as Amanda Clarke — she still has a thirst for revenge that outweighs all of that. She may not pull the trigger on the people who die on the show, and she may not intend to harm anyone, but without Emily meddling, bad things just wouldn't happen quite as frequently in the Hamptons. If Emily chose to let go of her revenge scheme, life might be a bit less fraught with pain, grief, and chaos. But that's not Emily's way.

That brings us back to the message of the show — it may be titled Revenge, but it certainly isn't glamorizing a vengeful spirit. Has Emily's quest really brought anything positive to her own life or anyone else's? No. To watch her ride off into the sunset with Jack (or whatever optimistic ending fans may be hoping for) would feel false. If this is a show about punishment, then maybe Emily deserves a little taste of it herself. Emily's death would be a tragedy, and not just because she's a beloved character in her own way — it would be a tragedy because it shows that a quest for revenge only corrupts the person who chooses to take it.

So just how likely is it that Emily will perish at the end of Revenge? A quick look at the episode title for the series finale paints a bleak picture of Emily's fate. The episode is titled "Two Graves," and it could reference this extremely appropriate proverb: "Before embarking on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." If one of those graves is Victoria's, then I think we can safely assume that Emily will fall into the other one. As Emily might say, she had it coming.

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