'Revenge' Recap: A Grayson Family Reunion Comes With New Plans, Pacts and Power Plays
Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) is alive. This much we — and Emily (Emily VanCamp) -- learned in the second season premiere of ABC's Revenge. Considering Emily got the shock of a lifetime with that reveal but promptly fell back in line enacting her titular revenge by placing a hidden camera in Victoria’s hideaway, it could really only be a matter of time before the show turned more fully back to a battle of wits between these two women. And it turned out, it only took until the second episode.
Victoria may not be dead, but she was still haunting Emily’s dreams on “Resurrection,” morphing from her own mother as Emily’s subconscious played with the idea that death is not as important -- or permanent -- as it seems. And in her life, she can’t even count on it to be permanent.
Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven't watched Sunday's episode, "Resurrection.”
Once Nolan (Gabriel Mann) shakes Emily from her fever dream of mommy-turned-Victoria, they resume their spying on Victoria and the White Haired Man (James Morrison) via Clam Cam (that’s fun to say—try it out-loud!) to learn that Victoria must have hit her head when her plane went down because she’s not being entirely selfish in her new plan. She has paid the White Haired Man to get new passports and identities for her… and Charlotte (Christa B. Allen).
scenes from 'revenge' season 2, episode 2, 'resurrection'
It appeared her intentions on reaching out to her daughter in rehab were pure… at least for now. And it was also interesting to note that the new names had David Clarke’s surname. Even the White Haired Man knows she still hasn’t let go, and perhaps she actually is feeling some guilt in stripping Charlotte of her real, biological father.
But Victoria’s plan can’t come to fruition with Charlotte stuck in rehab, being held there because Conrad (Henry Czerny) had her blood work doctored to show she wasn’t sober like she claimed. After Charlotte entrusted Emily with the secret about Victoria, Emily turned around on Sunday's episode and used her past relationship with Daniel (Josh Bowman) — and his big heart and still very real feelings for her — to try to repay the favor. She implied to Daniel that his father may not be as innocent as he seemed so desperate to believe.
But he was already coming to that conclusion on his own, pouring over his father’s bank statements and realizing they didn’t make sense. Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) tried to distract him from the big board meeting, not helping the argument that she and Conrad have some thing(s) going on the side. With him stealing from Charlotte’s trust, and her in ridiculously unaffordable designer duds, she has to be on his payroll, if not in his bed, too, right?
Unfortunately, it was too little, too late at first for Daniel. Charlotte wanted nothing to do with him, after standing up for her with her doctor way too late and not doing anything to stop them from carting her back to rehab in the first place. But that was only for a hot minute. Once Daniel transferred his own inheritance into a new trust for Charlotte and offered her the pool house, she came back around and loved her big brother again.
Anyway, Emily’s motives with Charlotte weren’t entirely pure, either. She wanted to take Charlotte away from her mother. Because Victoria was partially responsible for taking Emily’s mother away from her (or so her over-emotional little brain is telling her these days). If you thought Emily was ruthless when trying to avenge her father’s demise, you may have underestimated what a mother/daughter bond gone wrong can do to a person!
Charlotte confides the plan to Emily, which still surprised us when it matched Victoria’s plan. We kept waiting for that other shoe to drop — you know, and for Victoria to screw over yet another person she claimed to care about. And it didn’t take so long for that to happen — even if Victoria was just trying to cover some of her tracks and come up with a Plan B in doing so.
Without the money to properly extradite herself, because all Charlotte had at her disposal was some stolen silver like she was in the Old West, Victoria called Conrad. That prompted the best line of the episode: “Even the devil himself didn’t want you.” He claimed he tried to warn her about getting onto the plane, but she didn’t want to hear it. She wasn’t there to fight with him; she was there to allow him to fight with her. She had her new plan in mind, but she needed his help to set it in motion. She needed him to beat her, so she could frame the White Haired Man.
Victoria used her bruises and the subsequent calling of the cops as her escape, claiming kidnapping, and went home to the Grayson Hamptons mansion, where Charlotte pretended to be shocked to see her, Daniel actually was shocked, and Ashley... Well, Ashley was just upset about the lot of it but finally put in her place and shoved out of the room as it was a “family only” reunion.
Conrad was able to use Victoria’s fake abduction story as a cover for his depleting accounts, claiming he was paying the White Haired Man off in secret. Meanwhile, Victoria actually apologized to Charlotte for pushing her away earlier but didn’t let her in on the fact that she was actually the one playing the White Haired Man now. Poor Charlotte, always a pawn, never quite a player…
Emily used the footage from the clam cam to clear the White Haired Man from Victoria’s beating, but she would only give him the proof if he told her the truth about her mother. Revealed through flashback, the White Haired Man did in fact visit Emily’s mother at the hospital with Victoria to break her out. Apparently, David came clean to his wife about why he wanted the divorce: He wanted to marry Victoria. But Victoria kept her own lies going, telling her that David was a terrorist, a murderer, a liar himself. He promised to "keep her safe" but her life truly depended on whether or not she went along with Victoria. Before Emily-- or the audience-- could learn her mother's response, though, the White Haired Man became murderous again. Luckily for Emily, Aiden (Barry Sloane) showed up in the nick of time. Good thing he decided to keep an eye on her after all, regardless of what Takeda wanted.
Meanwhile, Nolan found out he was getting audited, and Amanda (Margarita Levieva) confided in Emily that she had a one-night stand and the baby for which Jack (Nick Wechsler) was insisting on a paternity test miiight not be his after all. Shocker. Emily promised to help her fix the results, but she needed Amanda to do something for her: Meet her supposed half-sister Charlotte. And the web she weaves just got tangled thicker!
The bummer here, though, was that the baby actually is Jack’s… though Emily lied to Amanda and told her it wasn’t. Again, her emotions may get the best of her at times, but as long as it doesn’t get out of hand…
OK, look, we don’t like Amanda. She has caused too many problems — and not in the fun, giving-Emily-a-real-run-for-her-money kind of way. But we really didn’t like what Declan (Connor Paolo) said to Jack about raising another guy’s kid. Um, he’s raising you, you ungrateful little turd! Declan planning to move out, and hopefully away, was the best thing we heard all episode. Right now, he was still sleeping on the boat and sulking that the bar was still closed, though. And getting into something shady with some kid who wasn't even his friend but who waved shiny jewels and a wad of cash in his face, and stupidly, he took it. So maybe we shouldn’t hope he leaves — maybe we should just hope he’s the one sunk on The Amanda in a few months because right now he’s the show’s dead weight.
OMG!: We finally learned the White Haired Man’s name in a flashback! … Or did we? Though he went to Emily’s mother’s hospital as Federal Agent Gordon Murphy, can we really trust that’s his real name? We know the kind of things he is capable of!
And a second OMG: Charlotte was worth $632 million!? We love you, Revenge, but that’s a little much. That’s like Trump and Branson and Jobs territory! Victoria wanted to survive on Charlotte’s inheritance, but that is beyond survival; that is "get the whole country out of debt" kind of money.
Thank you, TV gods.: Nolan finally gets a (hopefully not psycho) love interest. Though his dealings with Padma (Dilshad Vadsaria) have been slightly contentious thus far, that can still make for some very hot hate sex scenes. He deserves to get some! He just needs to get his own place again first. He’s a grown man, and a billionaire to boot, and no woman is going to want to come back to his BFF’s couch with him.
Awk-ward: Emily was practically choking on her "if you need anything..." promise to Victoria. A truce may have been formed, but it is certainly not a true one, let alone a long-term one!
Hotness: When Daniel got angry at Charlotte’s doctor, a liittle bit of Bowman’s real life British accent slipped out, and we likey.
Fab-u-lous: Victoria’s side of her phone conversation with Conrad was everything we knew her character could be: “You will do everything I say or I will haunt you all the way to your last pathetic day on earth.” She really is back now!
Can. Not. Wait.: What is next, Revengers? With Victoria officially back in play, how will Emily have to course correct her own plans? And uh, is it just us, or do you think it's possible Lydia isn't really dead either?
Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 8
What did you think of Victoria's ability to think on her feet tonight? And how do you want to see Emily step up her own plan to match? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!