Revenge: Why Emily and Nolan are the most important relationship on the show
In the lead-up to tonight's Revenge series finale, much attention has been given to whether or not Emily and Jack will finally get together. My thoughts on the matter can be summed up in all of two words: Who cares?
Over four seasons, Revenge's heroine/slightly deranged central character, Emily Thorne (which is the name I'm sticking with, mainly because I think Emily is a better name than Amanda), has had many a romantic entanglement.
But for the show's entire run, the writers have tried pretty hard to hit us over the head with the idea that Emily and Jack are kismet, endgame, MFEO, if you will. The thing is, as hard as they tried to force that notion on viewers, I have never really been all that invested in those two finding their way to each other.
In fact, when the show first started and Daniel was less hardened and more innocent (and also less dead), I was pretty OK with the idea of him and Emily riding off into the sunset. Their relationship is the most I've ever cared about Emily's love life. Despite the fact that her relationship with Daniel was all part of her "revengenda," it was pretty clear that she had real feelings for him and nothing about their early relationship seemed forced. But Daniel went and became annoying, and I lost interest in Emily being with him.
Then Aiden came along. He was a good guy who had a lot in common with Emily (you know, like being a student at Tanaka's weird revenge school), and while I didn't really care much for their romantic liaison, he did grow on me somewhat — but mainly just because Emily was so devastated when he died (i.e., he had to die for me to give him the time of day).
The absolute worst of Emily's love interests has to be Ben Hunter, though. He has been the biggest thorn in my side this entire season, not to mention that he has also spent most of the season being a thorn in Emily Thorne's side (Thorne's thorn!). The most positive thing I have to say about Ben is that he has given me a newfound appreciation for Courtney Love.
This brings us to Jack, Emily's apparent soul mate. Part of the reason I care so little about whether or not these two end up together relates to the fact that it just doesn't seem remotely believable that Jack would want anything to do with Emily. After all, she completely deceived him for a significant amount of time and let him believe the faux Amanda Clarke was the real Amanda Clarke (which led to Carl's conception and Jack's marriage to faux-Manda). She's also at the root of the reason Jack is both wifeless and brotherless. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, so forgive me if I think it's a little insane that we're meant to believe Jack would actually want to be in the same room as this woman, let alone the same bed.
But I think the main reason I don't care for Emily and Jack — and have never really been too invested in Emily's love life — is because Emily already has a soul mate: Nolan. Their enduring friendship has been the thing I have loved the most about this show, and it will be the thing I miss the most when the sun sets in the Hamptons tonight. Nolan has been there for Emily from the beginning; he has been clued into her plan all along, and he has been a vital part of Emily's execution of said plan. Emily is incredibly resourceful, but without Nolan, the revenge ship would have sailed long ago.
These two besties have one of the most beautiful platonic male-female relationships I've seen on television; the idea of them being romantic gives me the creeps, but the idea of Emily going to live a life somewhere without her most loyal companion and oftentimes moral compass breaks my heart. I need these two to stay friends forever. I need to know that they'll continue to be there for one another. I need to know that they'll see each other all the time and maybe go and get drinks like normal people instead of plotting someone else's demise. I need to know that neither of the "Two Graves" in the finale's title is for them.
Nolan talks often about how lonely he was, how desperate he was to feel like he fit and was a part of something, before Emily came along. But the thing is, Emily was similarly lonely and devoid of a closeness with anyone. These two gave each other something they desperately needed — companionship, loyalty, a sense of belonging. As hyperbolic as it might seem, Nolan and Emily saved each other.
So forgive me if I don't give a flying Frisbee whether Emily and Jack end up together. When all is said and done at the end of tonight's episode, what matters the most to me is knowing that Emily and Nolan survived this crazy adventure with their BFF status firmly intact.