Spoiler Alert: Do not read the following article if you've yet to watch Revenge's midseason finale, which aired Sunday, Dec. 15. Seriously, don't make us bust out our red Sharpies by complaining about spoilers in the comments!
It was the groom on the boat with a gun.
In Revenge's midseason finale, we finally learned the identity of the person who shoots Emily (Emily VanCamp) on her wedding day: Her new husband Daniel Grayson (Josh Bowman)! After learning his ex-girlfriend (whom he's still in love with) tried to kill herself and overhearing Emily admit to Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) that she lied about her pregnancy to keep Daniel, the inebriated groom shot his bride, with two seasons of Emily's lies and manipulation finally coming back to bite her in a big way.
Here, the ABC sudser's showrunner Sunil Nayar talks about the reasoning behind having Daniel be the one to pull the trigger and Bowman's reaction to the reveal. Plus, Nayar previews what viewers can expect when the show returns in January...
So how did Bowman react to the news that he was the shooter? "He was blown away," Nayar reveals, but adds, "he was obviously very concerned because it's a big move." The writers soon assured him that they would get Daniel to an "emotional place where we're going to believe" that he would shoot Emily.
"I think he did a fabulous job, but he was knocked out that he was going to be the shooter," he explains. "But also in a very legitimate way, we wanted to make sure we were going to attend to the nature of his character going forward and it wasn't going to be for simply sensational sake, like, 'Holy moly, I can't believe it's Daniel,' that it actually informs his character going forward, and the dynamic between Emily and all of the Graysons. So I think that with his input, we really got to the right place for it, and you'll see where we get to going forward."
As for Bowman's recent headline-making request for Daniel to be killed off, Nayar says, "Josh had gotten himself into a space because he knew he was doing this storyline that I think that some of the darkness was in there in a way, so that when he was speaking to people, he had just such a commitment to where his character was going that I think he, in his mind, just let it go to the nth degree...Coming out of it, anybody could die on Revenge at any time, so it wasn't an insane thing to say, but we love Josh and obviously we have plans for his character."
But don't expect to see Daniel punished for his sin right away as Nayar says "a couple different people become primary suspects" in the investigation, with "the photo evidence" from Margot and Voulez's coverage of the celebration playing a "primary" part in the police's search.
While Daniel might not be the primary suspect initially, fans will see the young Grayson be "tormented by the nature of what he's done," Nayar previews. "There's a regret that will come from it initially, but then it will grow into a kind of strength, a kind of hardening in Daniel Grayson, because the person he kind of trusted the most has really upended the nature of that trust. So I think it's going to be a great journey we're going to put him on."
And yes, Nayar is fully aware that Emily losing her memory, which was revealed in the promo for the show's January return, may have caused an eye or two to roll. "You'll see how we play out the amnesia storyline because, obviously, it's quite the soap opera trope, and I think that what we've done with it is the way that Revenge would do it; in a way that's extremely satisfying, that you will see in the first episode back."
In the second half of the season, Nayar says, "We want to really answer the humanity of Emily Thorne, to get back to the girl that was destroyed by what the Graysons did, to get back to the family that destroyed her."
But that may be hard to do now that Victoria has seen the photo of Emily from years ago, proving she has been targeting the Grayson family for years.
"There's no going back on that, and so we wanted to set up things so that we have a greater knowledge of who Emily is going forward, and Emily will then slowly understand that the circumstances of what she can do are now drastically different also," Nayar spills. "[Victoria] now has the power in the relationship, which she hasn't had obviously in the first half of the season."
What did you think of Revenge's midseason finale? Were you shocked by Daniel being revealed as the shooter? Sound off in the comments!