REVENGE Debriefing: Wake up and smell the subtext

Courtesy ABC

The gloves are coming off in the Hamptons (or, in this case, coming back on), and everyone is feeling the repercussions.

Emily (Emily VanCamp) is determined to find out everything she can about her dad’s FBI interrogation, despite Nolan’s (Gabriel Mann) warnings that it may be too difficult to hear, after everything he’s been through. Nonetheless she insists, and he reluctantly hacks into the secure website (“Wham bam thank you Uncle Sam!” I love you, Nolan) to download David Clarke’s (James Tupper) psychiatric evaluation and interrogation video, which doesn’t add up in Emily’s estimation. She wants to help her dad’s quest for justice and for treatment, but Nolan is uncomfortable with it all, and thinks they should stay out of it. Unsurprisingly, Emily ignores his advice. Later on, she discovers a surveillance photo in the file of David out and about in public, months before he claimed to have escaped Conrad’s silo prison. What gives? She wants to dig, but Nolan draws the line and refuses to help, choosing instead to stand by David’s side, literally. (More on that in a bit.)

Courtesy ABC

Courtesy ABC

However, a revenger’s day is never done: Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) finds herself in a spot of trouble, after waking up in her date’s apartment only to find herself being held at gunpoint, since he’s really a conspiracy theorist who believes David is guilty and is holding Charlotte as bait. When she accidentally breaks his neck in a struggle, Emily is the first person she thinks to call to help clean up the mess. (Naturally.) Finally, some sisterly bonding I can get behind! Somehow I don’t think they’re going to be singing musicals together anytime soon, though. Despite her sister’s immediate response — bringing a spare Black Glove O’ Revenge with her to help with the cleanup which I loved  — Charlotte remains an ungrateful brat, taking every opportunity to needle Emily about her vast experience in the domain of crime cleanup. (Charlotte needs to grow up if she wants her own red Sharpie.) “I can’t imagine what it’s like being you. I know I made a mistake, but I’m not a cold-blooded killer like you.” Emily’s cool facade where her sister is concerned finally snaps: “I’ve never killed anyone.” HA! Take that, Charlotte. Youngest children always try to one-up their older siblings. She’s shaken, but persists, because Charlotte has no sense of propriety when it comes to concealing murders. “I think you’re just ashamed. Too afraid [David will] see what you’ve become.” Pot, meet kettle, am I right? Emily, shockingly, doesn’t snap Charlotte’s neck, and instead spits back that it’s time she put her big girl pants on and own her bad choices. Finally someone calls Charlotte out on her crap, too, because none of the Graysons ever will. To be fair, Emily expertly staging the crime scene to make it look like a heroin overdose was highly disturbing in just how efficient it was, but again, she’s here because Charlotte killed someone. Charlotte points out that the autopsy can determine if the drugs were injected into his system before or after death, but Emily ingeniously informs her that a body doesn’t have to be alive for drugs to circulate into the bloodstream, and begins CPR on the corpse precisely to do so. Seriously, I was in awe of that, regardless of whether or not that’s actually feasible. This is the foresight you want on your side Charlotte, when you’re covering up your crimes. Charlotte, though, is still a moron, and pulls the Aidan card, implying that her sister staged Aidan’s (Barry Sloane) overdose in this same way. Emily can’t stand it anymore, and divulges that it was Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) who killed Aidan, not her. Finally, Charlotte shuts up, too stunned at the revelation. Man, if all it takes to keep Charlotte quiet is to broadcast Victoria’s crimes, she could be silent for the rest of the series.

Courtesy ABC

Courtesy ABC

This prompts Charlotte to move out of her mother’s hotel room, claiming that she is going to rehab and she refuses to tell Victoria where, because she wants to cut ties with her. She reveals that she knows what Victoria did to Aidan, but Victoria obviously tries to justify herself by professing everything she’s done is to protect her family. Charlotte comments that she’s done a poor job of it, because everything she’s done to save their family has really destroyed it. Victoria is in tears throughout this whole confession, and for a second, I almost even believed that she had her children’s best interests at heart. But let’s be real, Victoria is only out to protect Victoria at all costs, and I have no doubt that when it came down to it, she’d throw either of her kids under the bus to save herself. Charlotte finally admits she’s sick of being caught between Victoria and Emily’s cycle of hate, and if she weren’t such a self-serving princess, I might even feel sorry for her. But she is, so I don’t. Especially since her “rehab” is actually her running back to big brother Daniel’s (Josh Bowman) swanky digs, where she presumably confesses Emily’s secret identity to him. In her last scene, we see her opening a secret letter of her own in the back of a limo, completely shocked. Wonder what it said?

Courtesy ABC

Courtesy ABC

Nolan is honored when David asks him to attend his live interview at the beach house, which he throws back in Emily’s face as proof that she should come clean with him before any more harm is done. He smugly tells Victoria that she might be able to keep David away from Emily, but she can’t keep him away from him, and looks at her like the cat that ate the canary. (God, I love their sparring. It’s the battle of the quotable one-liners!) Despite her cool exterior, Victoria is a little rattled, unsure of where David really stands after his cagey behavior all day. “I love live TV! You never know what’s going to happen!” Nolan sings — sigh, Nolan, do you not watch your own show? Those are famous last words. Indeed: in the middle of his interview, David graciously asks Nolan to sit with him, ostensibly to thank him for supporting him, only to turn the tables on camera and rip Nolan apart for supposedly stealing all of Amanda’s inheritance. He’s looked through her financial records and found that she only received $100,000, and was broke when she died, having been a stripper to pay her bills, while Nolan became a billionaire. Nolan is gutted, in front of millions of viewers to boot. Now it’s Victoria’s turn to gloat, along with Margaux (Karine Vanasse), who can’t believe her good fortune in headline-grabbing fodder for Voulez. Later on, David shows up at Nolan’s pad, furious, to confront him about his “betrayal,” not believing Nolan’s insistence that Amanda received every penny and was taken care of as per his instructions. “She burned through $500 million without a paper trail?” Pretty much, David — she is her father’s daughter! Only, Nolan still can’t reveal Emily’s true identity, so he’s speechless, which David infers as a confession, and punches him right in the nose for it. Right on cue, Emily shows up at Nolan’s, just missing her father, and is shocked at the state she finds him in. When she asks him what happened, he spits, “Your lies finally caught up to me.” Oh, Nolan. Emily feels guilty, but still doesn’t want to reveal the truth to David yet. When she tells Nolan she can’t believe her father did this to him, he retorts, “[David] didn’t, you did.” OUCH. Truth bombs are being dropped all over the place tonight! Though I don’t want Nolan and Emily to seriously become adversaries, because I love their friendship, I do like that he won’t shield her from the ramifications of her actions. Because she’s got to own up to her own bad decisions, too. He finally implores her to “wake up and smell the subtext” about her father, and I can’t wait to see where we’re heading with this.

Courtesy ABC

Courtesy ABC

While David discloses to Victoria that he’d been acting distant in order to shield her from his master plan regarding the Nolan setup, she again insists she’ll always be on his side, and he asks her to move in with him at the beach house. (It may not be Grayson Manor, but it’s got to be a step up from her last known address at the looney bin, right?) At the same time, Emily finally admits to Nolan that her digging into her dad’s file revealed that though evidence of his presence in the Torture Silo abounded everywhere, his meagre bed contained no DNA traces — which would be impossible if he’d been living there for ten years as he’d claimed. It proves the bed was essentially brand new, and that the whole room had been meticulously staged, though David failed to take into account how the rain would wash away evidence. She realizes he’s been lying about his captivity, which means he’s been lying about everything since he re-emerged. DUN DUN DUN. Are we about to see Clarke vs. Clarke? What is David hiding? Could it be Daddy Clarke-bucks isn’t the martyr Emily’s believed him to be? I sure can’t wait to find out!

In other news:

  • Margaux sees Louise’s (Elena Satine) blind item in Page Six, but laughs it off as silly gossip. Oh, Margaux, you may be beautiful and French (Canadian), but you’re out of your league, here.
  • Louise is crazy enough to believe Victoria will welcome her into the family, and is stunned when Victoria rebuffs her again. Like I said, the bunny-boiling force is strong with this one.
  • Daniel: This won’t end well for you. Sucker!
  • Ben (Brian Hallisay) still won’t drop the Conrad Grayson investigation, and even interrogates a family at the wake of a former cop’s funeral. Even “terrible deductive reasoning” Jack (Nick Wechsler) knows this is Bad News Bears.
Nels
Nels knew how to operate a TV remote control before she knew how to talk. As a result, she has spent an inordinate amount of time pretending she actually lives on a soundstage. When she isn’t watching whichever show is currently capturing her heart, she is writing about how said show is currently capturing her heart. She loves pie.

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