Hey 'Revenge': What's the deal with that dog?


Image Credit: Antony Platt/ABC

Like many of us here in the EW offices, I’m completely and unashamedly hooked on Revenge. The ABC drama — starring Emily VanCamp as a young woman bent on avenging her father’s ruin — is full of fun twists, fancy rich people doing fun, fancy, rich people things, and, perhaps most importantly, displays the utter awesomeness that is Madeleine Stowe. But! There is a small nagging issue that has been driving me more and more crazy with every viewing: What is the deal with that dog, Sam?

Okay, so, Sam is an adorable yellow Labrador that our avenging angel Amanda/Emily received as a birthday gift as a cherub-faced kid. Things happened: Fathers were framed and men in scary black op outfits stormed the beach house and nabbed young Amanda, beginning the trauma that will lead her to-yes!-revengeAccording to the show’s website, this dramatic act took place when Amanda was nine years old and 17 years have since passed. And yet! We’ve been led to believe that the (very healthy) Lab who now lives with the handsome, sure-to-be-a-romantic-entanglement townie, is the very same “Sam.” We know this because the dog recognizes that this Emily Thorne is his former owner, the once young and innocent Amanda Clark, and so tends to just tail-wag himself over to her house at all hours. Now, according to the experts, the average life span for a Labrador is 11-13 years and yet this miraculous dog is not only looking remarkably alive for being at least 17, he’s really pretty spry as he jumps on and off that (rather fancy) sailboat.

So, what should we believe? Is Sam magic? Or is this a reference to Homer’s The Odyssey, when Odysseus’ dog, Argos, recognizes his former master in disguise even after 20 years have passed? (Hey, why not, the show is supposedly a modern take on Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. Anything is possible.) Or maybe the writers, like me, just hate doing math.

Either way, it won’t stop me from watching Revenge tonight (look out, therapist, you’re donezo!) but I am curious if anyone else noticed this discrepancy. And do you guys have any nagging questions from your favorite shows?

Read more:
‘Revenge': What’s happened so far, and a sneak peek at the season ahead — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
‘Revenge’ recap: Senatorial shenanigans
Ken Tucker’s review: ‘Revenge’

Comments (137 total) Add your comment
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  • Jacob

    No, it didn’t bother me. UNTIL NOW.
    So, thanks for that…

    • Eric P

      I did the math right away the second i saw the dog. but i chose to ignore it.

      • ST


      • Lisa

        Me too, but maybe I don’t care because I graduated from high school in 1995 and refuse to believe it was that long ago.

      • sigh

        oh lisa. i graduated the same year and second that comment!

      • Reven8e

        ya i noticed it immediately but it doesn’t bother me enough. I enjoy the rest of the show so whatever.

      • Yeah Buoy

        I always notice these kinds of things. We talked about it last week. It just makes the show more fun. It’s not like this show isn’t already cheesy. The dog, Declan’s Tourettes outbursts of inappropriate accents, Madeline Stowe’s face! Love it!! :)

      • Agreed

        Me too, but I don’t care. I think somewhere deep down Jack recognizes her too…

      • meg

        yeah, noticed it too. glad someone commented on it, but also just ignore it as part of the sudsy, Revenge world

      • jonger

        My sister and I picked that up right away, however we can just pretend that Sam is a mutant dog that has a fountain of youth water bowl or something.BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a celebrity !they met via Millionaireloving.C óM ..it is the largest and best club for celebrity and their admirers to chat online.You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

      • Rita

        I agree I thought the same thing and thought who cares I love this show!

      • april

        same here …although my golden lived to almost 19..she was very spry but this dog does not come across as 17

    • Captain

      LOL that’s exactly what I was thinking. Hadn’t even thought about it, didn’t even care, now it’s all I’ll think about when I see that adorable dog. LIES! LIES! YOU’RE NOT SAM! Dammit EW.

      • Yeah Buoy

        I’m just not loking forward to the episode where she takes revenge on Sam for not rescuing her, or some other infraction.

      • David

        Madeleine Stowe!!

    • Summer

      I am going to think about this every time I see that dog now!

    • lisa g.

      this writer must not watch soaps, the land where time either slows down, goes into the future or all together stops all to fit the the story!

    • rae

      Maybe in a weird freaky twist its not Sam … Its another dog who recognized Emily from her scent… From a long lost sweater that jack kept..
      he named the boat after Amanda, why not his dog….
      And why does the dog keep coming back to Emily’s house… Jack used to walk there all the time when he pined for Amanda… And if you don’t believe that..ocean breeze…..
      Thats the story I made up to make the dog makes sense in the storyline….

  • Eshia

    Wow! I would have never guessed it was supposed to be 17 years in between. Yikes! I’m gonna just pretend they said 13 years and have a drink of wine while I watch the next episode. Thanks.

    • Kate

      Yeah I agree. I saw some of the episodes out of order, but I was under the impression the terrorists that Amanda’s dad were supposed to have funded were the ones who carried out the 9/11 attacks, which would have made it 10 years ago. It would put Emily at 19, which is a bit of a stretch, but then I allowed a bit for soaps poetic license.

      • Linda

        It wasn’t the 9/11 attacks, it was some other plane hijacked by terrorists — which used to happen from time to time long before 9/11.

  • Conor O’Brien

    yes I have, and like other things on other TV show, ya just turn a blind eye!! I was a LOST fan and when the island disappeared I lost it!! but turned a blind eye and continued and chose what I wanted to believe, TV is the land of make-believe after all!

    • Dave

      Lost was a science fiction show so it can take those kinds of liberties. Revenge is supposed to be set in reality. I’m also turning a blind eye to it, but I’m just saying that Lost isn’t a good comparison.

    • Melissa in CA

      Sam is Vincent. I don’t know how he found his way off the island after Jack died, but he did. He IS a magic dog!

      • Walt

        OMG! Yes, Sam is Vincent! Revenge is Vincent’s spin-off. Brilliant, ABC!

      • Cyndi

        LOL Walt!!

      • DJ

        Great answer… I’m impressed…. :-)

  • ol

    Loads of people have commented on this in the Revenge threads…but I guess the writers don’t read the comments?

  • Redlanta

    It’s the dog from Lost- he never dies!!

    • Francy

      Oh my gosh, VINCENT!!!!

  • Clete

    The dog is the executive producer of the next Charlie Sheen project.

  • SC

    I’ve been commenting on that dog since the first episode.

  • katie

    I thought the dog’s name was Sammy?
    Just a minor detail, sorry.
    That has been bothering me too though, I keep doing the math in my head…. and it doesn’t really add up AT ALL.
    I’m not sure if they’ll (being the shows creators/producers/writers) will address this technicality….
    I think I’ve pretty much got this series figured out, but it’s so intriguing, I really like it!!

  • MWeyer

    Maybe Ned from Pushing Daisies gave him the magic touch.

    • katie


    • J

      you’re awesome for that Pushing Daisies reference.

      • Mels

        couldn’t agree more.

    • Q

      I hate you for making me think of Pushing Daisies. That’s once cancellation that I’ll never get over.

    • Emma

      Exactly. I don’t see the confusion ;)

    • Woot

      God I miss that show :(

    • Wyn

      Awww, Digby!

  • AshleyBrooke

    Well, technically, my cocker spaniel somehow lived until about 17 1/2, so just maybe he’s alive. The problem is, my dog was half blind and deaf at that age. And before I hear about why I hadn’t put him down, he wasn’t that screwed up. He was still running around and learned what we meant when we moved our hands instead of calling him.

  • Laura

    Um, no I had not done the math on the dog,

  • Dave

    Yes, I was wondering about it too. I never did the math because i wasn’t sure how old Emily/Amanda was at the time of the incident and how old she is now and didn’t realize exactly how much time has gone by. But now that you point out 17 years have gone by, it’s bothering me even more. Not enough to stop watching or anything like that. But it’s something that the writers should have thought about.

  • sil

    dogs rule.. the end

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    My sister and I picked that up right away, however we can just pretend that Sam is a mutant dog that has a fountain of youth water bowl or something.

  • Kim

    I noticed that the first episode. I was sitting there with my grumpy old 3.5 year old lab and 2 year old golden and I was like “Hey are you guys going to be around for 17 years? Cool.” I can’t imagine my lab at 17. He farts when going up the stairs now… Golly.

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