'Revenge's' Madeleine Stowe on Victoria's Shocking Fate: She Always Had a "Death Wish"

"I think in the next few episodes you'll see some flashbacks that reveal why she did what she did, how it went down and the real motivation behind it," Stowe tells THR of her character's surprising decision.
ABC
Madeleine Stowe, left, and Elena Satine in Sunday night's 'Revenge.'

[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Sunday night's episode of Revenge, titled "Burn."]

Is Victoria Grayson really dead?

On Sunday night's episode of Revenge, the Hamptons mainstay (Madeleine Stowe) appears to become a bit unhinged after getting attacked by a hooded person whom she claims is Emily Thorne, aka Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp), in search of the damning evidence Victoria has against her. Victoria later vows mysteriously to Margaux LeMarchal (Karine Vanasse) to "do something that Amanda Clarke never had the courage to do herself."

After a surprising return in the form of Victoria's beloved French script club chair, she is seen sitting on the piece of furniture inside Emily's mansion — Victoria's former home — where she turns on the gas and sparks a cigarette lighter, blowing the entire house to bits while seemingly still inside.

On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter talked to Stowe about Victoria's future (or lack thereof), how this affects Emily, and what's ahead for the rest of the Hamptons elite.

Let's get right to it: Is Victoria really dead?

[Laughs] I am not coming back to Revenge. This season is the end of her story line [ABC has not yet announced a fifth-season renewal for the series]. I think in the next few episodes you'll see some flashbacks that reveal why she did what she did, how it went down and the real motivation behind it. It goes beyond exacting revenge on Emily/Amanda. This is something we all worked toward. At the end of last season, I sat down with the [creative team] — I felt this character's story was done last season [when Emily successfully plotted to have Victoria committed] — and they wanted her to continue, and they had the right to exercise that choice.… But she had a very finite story, and it needed to come to its conclusion. We went back and forth, and this is the direction we all thought was the best way to go.

Many fans seemed to think that Victoria had once again escaped death, given her ability to do so many times, including at the end of season one when it was revealed she didn't actually die in that plane crash. So I think many viewers hoped this really wasn't the end of her.

You're going to see her again in flashback mode, and all the information will be in flashbacks. Some are the imaginings of Amanda, how she perceived this all went down. The audience should get some very crucial information about Victoria. It seems really abrupt in terms of what motivated her, but information will come forth, and it's something that will be stunning; it happened just before she decided to blow up the house.

Conrad, Daniel and Victoria are all dead. Do we see Charlotte [Christa B. Allen] come back to deal with all this?

Charlotte does come back. I'm not in any scenes with her, unfortunately, because I love Christa. I think that Charlotte has to deal with certain things, with Amanda, and maybe her father [David Clarke, played by James Tupper].

We really saw Victoria vulnerable in last night's episode, maybe more than ever before.

I can tell you that was all something that she was doing, a performance.… When she gets the chair [from her bodyguard out of the van], she is incredibly collected and completely herself. It was entirely a performance. She was in command of what she was doing. Make no mistake about it; this woman was completely ready to go. She has been at various points in the show…[such as] when she [was ready to give] her life for Emily with Malcolm Black. There is a death wish she's always had, and I think in the finale you might understand why she had it. It goes way, way, way back. Way before Amanda.

We've seen that Victoria had issues in her past [including her relationship with her mother].

I love Victoria, but what she is doing to the best of her ability is to make sure her children don't have the [issues] she had. It's like a compulsion.… She tries to extinguish any kind of threat. She was threatened with losing Daniel, so she turned on David [when she helped conspire to frame him for a terrorist act]. But she couldn't tell anybody this, so she went along with Conrad's plan. It's something she hated about herself. The audience just sees this [story] through Amanda's filter, not Victoria's. The show has been very successful about getting people behind Amanda; my job was to deliver, as much as I could, a sense of this woman who was very conflicted about what she did. She wants to take out this young woman [Emily] even though she hurt her in the past, and the way to do it is to take herself out and make sure [Emily pays].

We didn't actually see Victoria's attacker. Given Victoria's manipulations, it seems like she was likely lying.

I can't talk about that; that becomes part of the [upcoming episodes].

Can you talk about what it was that her attacker took from Victoria's purse?

No, I can't. But people ask me if this is going to have a happy ending or a sad ending. I think it depends on how you view the show, and it might have all of those things or none of them. I'm not helping here. [Laughs] How can you take satisfaction from revenge at this level? Both of these women have a sickness. I'm sure Emily VanCamp might disagree with me, but I find them remarkably similar. Victoria loves her kids and she is viewing them as being under threat from Amanda, who loves her friends and father. They both want to do things on their own terms, live their lives on their own terms, and they want to take the other one down. They have it do it. It's a compulsion.

We also saw Victoria going back and forth this season on wanting to end things with Emily. Why was she so conflicted, and was that genuine?

It really was authentic. When she saw the stuff on flash drive, all of a sudden everything came [into focus]. She was asked to take part in slandering her son's memory, which is unacceptable to any mother. But because of her guilt over what she did to David and his little girl, she allowed it to happen. She almost believed she loved David. And when Malcolm was trying to kill Amanda, Victoria stepped up and said, "She didn't do anything; it was me." This is her death wish. She exhibited it several times over the course of the show. She's not a person without a conscience. With Amanda not stepping up to take the blame [for Daniel's death] and his name getting dragged through the mud, she was holding on and holding on, and it just became too much. When she gets hold of the flash drive and starts to see how Amanda plotted against her children and her, and she starts seeing the physical evidence, it drives her off the edge.

What else can you tease about the upcoming episodes?

There is going to be a lot of drama. It's going to be a challenging time for Amanda, who is going to be very angered by what Victoria did and [will figure out] how to extricate herself from this predicament. And there are going to be some revelations about Victoria that go right through to the season finale. At the end of the day, I can tell you that it's probably very likely Victoria can never be entirely out of Amanda's life.

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