Revenge is back, baby!
Remember way back in season one of the ABC soap, when every single episode felt like a finale and you and your friends and family couldn't stop gushing about the show's twists and turns? Well, Revenge returned to that season one glory with its season three finale, with two major deaths, including an original cast member, and the father of all twists.
Warning, spoilers ahead! Not only did Aiden (Barry Sloane) die at the hands (or pillow) of a revenge-seeking Victoria (Madeleine Stowe), who found herself institutionalized by finale's end, but Conrad (Henry Czerny) also bit the dust. And his murderer? David Clarke (James Tupper)! Yes, Emily's (Emily VanCamp) father is alive and and it's safe to say the Hamptons will never be the same.
We chatted with Revenge showrunner Sunil Nayar about the bold decision to bring David back from the dead and what fans can expect to see from him in season four. (Yep, it was already renewed!) Plus, he sounded off on the hard decision to kill both Aiden and Conrad...
Father, Father: Nayar said that the decision to bring David back was made "awhile ago," with the writers informing James Tupper of the twist about two months ago.
"He is, of anybody that can come walking into the Hamptons, he is the game changer and we felt the best way to bring him back to the Hamptons is when we reintroduce him, you realize this man is no longer about forgiveness, that revenge has become a part of his makeup," Nayar explained. "So that the man that both Emily and Victoria think they knew isn't the guy at all. Whether people love it or hate it, I'm sure it's going to be a polarizing decision, there's nobody who's not going to want to know where he's been and what he's about, so we can't wait to tell those stories next season."
But was he nervous about the fan response to David's resurrection, given it was a popular theory back in season one? Nayar said "there wasn't" any hesitation and that the writers "weren't worried" about the possible negative feedback to the twist.
He continued, "There were tons of discussion. We examined every possibility of how it would feel, but when we came down to where we wanted to end the season on every aspect...we just thought, this is really a great way to generate story."
And Nayar assured us that David will play a major role in season four, saying, "And you're going to see a lot of him next season, definitely. He's going to be a presence in the show, I promise you."
Love and Loss: After the decision to bring David back from the dead was made, Nayar said they knew they had to kill Aiden because "Emily can't be without revenge."
"We thought the best thing to do is make her understand what revenge is in a very different way," he continued. "It's one thing when you are a young girl and you lose your father and you have this idealistic sense of who he was and therefore you might idealize the sense of what you have to do to get him justice, but when you lose the man that you love, the love of your life with whom you plan on spending your life at the hand of the woman you hate more than anybody, it's a much more mature kind of anger that I think will inform how Emily will go about doing what she does in season four differently."
As for Barry Sloane's ABC pilot, The Whispers, being picked up to series, Nayar said, "It really wasn't the basis for killing Aiden."
RIP Conrad Grayson: The finale's other major death was Conrad, the Grayson family patriarch responsible for David's downfall. The decision to off the baddie was made in the beginning of the season. "Emily needed a really big victory by the end of the season because she's Emily Thorne," Nayar reasoned. "She's been trained and she knows how to get revenge. She couldn't spend three years in the Hamptons without taking one of them down."
Of course, that doesn't mean it was an easy conversation to have with Henry Czerny, who has been with the show since it began.
"When I first spoke to Henry about it, I think that he was extremely sad because he is beloved by the show and beloved by everybody who worked with him, and I think the feeling is mutual on his part," Nayar said. "But when he and I spoke about he, like I, understands the creative demands of the show and sadly couldn't deny the creative necessity of what we were doing."
For more scoop on Revenge's shocking finale and what's ahead in season four, including the battle between Victoria and Emily, check back with us later this week for the rest of our chat with Sunil Nayar.
What did you think of Revenge's season three finale? Were you totally surprised by David's return from the dead? Were you sad to see Aiden and Conrad go? Sound off in the comments!