Yeah, so Nolan is totes my favorite character. Gabriel Mann reminds me of Jason Dohring in a way in that he took a character and made him so much more with his acting choices and sheer talent than was originally intended. (Although, I do think it was more intended with Mann/Nolan, than it was Dohring/Logan (from Veronica Mars).) And, also, despite the fact that he's not stereotypically good-looking (especially, I'm sure in the eyes of the network, compared to his co-stars Josh Bowman, who plays Daniel, and Nick Weschler, who plays Jack), his charm and charisma make him infinitely more appealing to me (and I know many others). Mann also has way more chemistry with leading lady Emily VanCamp than do either Bowman or Weschler (the latter by a long shot), which brings me to one of my only three problems with the show.
Note: Just to make it easier, I'm referring to the real Amanda as Emily, and the real Emily as Amanda as that is what they are mostly referred to as on the show.
I don't care about Emily and Daniel -- soooo glad they broke up. On the other hand, I really don't care about Emily and Jack. I'm sorry, but I don't buy that two adults who've grown up and changed would be in love because they had puppy love when they were in their pre-teens with no interaction between. It might help if Vancamp and Weschler had chemistry, but I really don't think they do. And that's underscored by the fact that she does have really good chemistry with Mann, and Weschler has pretty decent chemistry with Margarita Levieva, the actress who plays Amanda. I really liked her, and I'm glad she's back, but obviously the great love that Jack felt for her -- that I believed -- has now been swallowed by this great big love that Jack and Emily have. Whatever. Don't buy it, show. At all.
The only other things I don't like is 1) the whole Charlotte/Declan thing. Ugh. Just stop. I don't dislike Declan and Charlotte when they are interacting with family. In fact, I generally like those scenes, it's just the two together that I want to cry my eyes out with boredom and/or annoyance. And 2), the friendship of Emily and Ashley just kinda dropped. I actually do like Ashley -- how much that has to do with the character, or the actress (BAMBI!), I don't know -- and I like her role, but I wish it had been made clear early on that she never really considered Emily a friend and vice versa. The introduction of their relationship just seemed so much more than it rather offhandedly was revealed as. At least to me.
Other than that, I do like everything else. Emily is awesome with her sweet, innocent face and her crocodile smile of evil and flinty eyes when the wrong people have looked away. I LOVE her relationship with Nolan, the flashbacks to the stuff with her dad, and the little moments of character that so work. Perfect example: not only her telling the white-haired man (Bill Buchanan! How could you?!) that she had just honored her father by not killing him, but more so for how she said it. Almost off-hand like the guy is barely worth the effort it took to speak. Awesome.
Aside from Emily and Nolan, I also love Victoria. I must confess that not only have I never been a fan of Madeleine Stowe, I actually have almost actively disliked her for some reason I don't quite even remember. I do not know how I ever felt this way because OHMYGOD! she is so awesome. I love her, I love her voice, her mannerisms, her awesome figure, her glorious hair, her smile that can be wicked and warm within seconds of each other. Oh, her plane blew up? Pfft. I literally don't feel an ounce of worry about it, of course, she changed her mind and got off the plane which we'll find out when the show returns because she couldn't upset her precious Daniel.
Ah, Daniel. He's definitely more interesting as Conrad's carbon-copy son (and, oh man, Emily's face when she realized that Daniel was so completely a Grayson at heart!), but he still doesn't do much for me. Jack's sweet, but kinda boring ... and stupid. I could have sorta understood him not cashing the check BEFORE Nolan pointed out that by cashing it he would keep the scary, scary Grayson's off of his back if they figured he was taken care of. Considering that he has his younger brother to think of, not taking that into consideration was just, yeah, stupid. Jack has some things that make him work for me more than does Daniel though.
First of all, I love his friendship with Nolan, and how they gradually did become friends. (Loved that Nolan paid Declan's tuition and Jack agreed.) I also like Jack and Declan's relationship, because I'm a sucker for half-way well-written sibling relationships. Finally, as I said above, I bought Jack and Amanda's relationship, in fact, I really liked them. (Oh, and I ADORE her hair.)
About the finale, I was a bit underwhelmed. Except for a few moments (all involving Nolan and Emily, and some Victoria, and Charlotte), I wasn't WOWED or dazzled (sorry, ABC promo department). I did LOVE, LOVE the last line though. So awesome. And I do look forward to what the deal is with Emily's mom. But I just wasn't ... OMG! The way they promoted it to be. Ah well. I guess I was expecting more because we do get a lot of shockers on this show. Ooh, which reminds me of my favorite: that the lawyer guy that Victoria hired was working *with* Emily, I just thought that was so unexpectedly cool.
The one other thing I really did love about it is that despite what creator Mike Kelly insists, Emily and Nolan so have the best relationship and I do not see it as brother/sister. Yeah, yeah, I get that Jack doesn't know it all, but when you have Emily sharing all of these REAL, true moments with ... Nolan, that's the relationship I'm most invested in. Period.
So, uhm, yeah, there's my thoughts on Revenge. :) Rambling all over the place, I know, so if anyone is curious about my thoughts about specific plot points, arcs, characters, feel free to bring it up in the comments