‘Revenge’ Recap: Abortion/Abandonment Drama and Hacker Hoopla

So much time has elapsed since ABC’s Revenge was last on-air with a new season two episode that when discussion around Padma (Dilshad Vadsaria) resumed in tonight’s “Identity,” I was like, “Her!?” I was hoping we had heard the last about her, when Nolan (Gabriel Mann) was so distraught she had “joined her father” and was then taken in for questioning regarding her case. But no.

Just like how one head of The Initiative was lobbed off only for it to grow another, this is a story that just wouldn’t die (excuse the poor choice of words, please), either. So Emily (Emily VanCamp), Aiden (Barry Sloane), and Nolan set out to track down the Falcon’s true identity and get to the bottom of both of those things.

Emily– and Revenge– may have gotten off-track but the success or failure of the mission within “Identity” would prove to be the marker for her mission in the future.

Note: Spoilers ahead if you have yet to watch Sunday night’s “Identity.”

There was no real time jump with “Identity” but for about twenty or so hours in which Nolan was held for questioning, Emily jumped back into bed with Daniel (Josh Bowman), and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) called upon the Falcon to fake abortion records for her first born son. But once the episode started in earnest, all of those things were shoved forward exponentially. Nolan was released but still licking his wounds, and in his grief, revealed himself to the Falcon through reprogramming some of her code. Yes, her. We’ll get to that in a minute. Daniel decided Emily choosing him over Aiden wasn’t enough, and he tried to throw Aiden under the bus at work, too, but unfortunately for him to whom he tried to throw Aiden under the bus was Aiden’s former boss, Mr. Takeda, and we all know where his true loyalties lie. And after Conrad first tried to demand Victoria reveal her childhood trauma at the hands of her stepfather that resulted in a teenage pregnancy on national television, the documents she gave him to shut him up were revealed as forgeries. It was not a good episode for most of these characters!

Except Nolan. Because in Padma’s death, Nolan found strength. Having a real life, emotional, meaningful, loving connection with someone gave him something to fight for, and right now that’s taking down those responsible for her death, the Falcon and the Graysons. So he met with the Falcon at an old school arcade and made a deal based on his superior gaming skills to have her erase damaging information about him online. Of course, that was mostly a trap to draw her out in the world and get a look at her so Emily, who hid in a corner of the arcade and watched in a way that made me glad there were no kids there or the cops would have been called for stranger danger, had more leverage against the Graysons. It was ridiculous that the Falcon would actually show up in public to meet someone who ultimately hacked her, especially when she had already proven distrusting of everyone by using a voice disguiser when she talked to Victoria, a woman who already knew her real identity, on the phone. But it was just yet another imperfect detail we were supposed to overlook to push the plot along.

It was also ridiculous that the Falcon would trust anything Nolan, a stranger, would give her to upload to her computer, and sure enough, when she set to work on making good on their deal, she uploaded software to her private computer that gave him remote access. You’d think a superior hacker like her would have firewalls for that! It’s sloppy details like this that make me hope she’s just some hacker minion and that the real Falcon is actually still shrouded in mystery and secret– and maybe even Victoria’s now-grown first born son.

Conrad and Victoria sat down to do their Nightline interview, with the reporter being tipped to Victoria’s son just seconds before the camera were ready to roll. Conrad started to spin the lie, but at the last second, Victoria just couldn’t go through with it– she couldn’t deny a child, let alone that she gave him up for an art school scholarship. Gee, that panned out well for her. I have an original Grayson right next to my Matisse prints and custom Fazzino. While it was a shocking moment of emotion (and growth) from her, though, the rest of the piece on family was as fluffy as they come, including a sit down with Daniel and Emily full of completely canned quotes from the pretty boy. The reporter focused more on potential wedding bells in their future than anything else, forcing Emily to have to say she would be proud to be a part of the Grayson family while Daniel sat grinning like an idiot. Of course, this sent Emily scrambling to cover with Jack, trying to explain that it’s not as it appears without still giving away the real goods. But Jack was already wary of Emily after she got back together with Daniel, a man who is a part of the family responsible for Amanda’s demise, so this was the final straw, and he cut Emily out of his and Baby Carl’s life.

Instead, Jack laid all his hopes on Ashley (Ashley Madekwe), with whom he teamed up to dig up dirt on the Graysons and make them pay, each with their own motives. Together they learned that Conrad is sneaking around with the Governor’s wife, which wasn’t as sordid sexually as it sounds in print but was still suspect because the Governor’s campaign was experiencing leaks all around. Clearly his wife and Conrad were in cahoots to get Conrad elected, though who the hell knows or cares why. Unfortunately for Jack, Ashley’s loyalties have always flip-flopped with a glimmer of any shiny jewelry catching the light. So she brought her proof of his cavorting to him, and he welcomed her back into his campaign. She accepted. Sure, he just wanted to keep an enemy close. And sure, she may just want to stay close to him to get info for Jack, but she may find that the power that comes with Grayson-adjacent real estate is too good to pass up. Who’s to say who’s really playing who there?

Randomly, Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) started out trying to be all about college this week– well, for about three-point-five seconds anyway when she was promising Declan (Connor Paolo) she’d help him with his entrance essays so they could attend Ivy League together. But then she turned back to her wild party girl ways, distracted by a social climbing prep school girl (Seychelle Gabriel) who claimed to want to understand Charlotte’s pain because her brother ODed on pills the previous year but who really seemed to want to push and pry about the celebrity behind being a Grayson. Everyone knows you’re famous by association when you hang out with the Graysons, and I really don’t even believe this girl had a brother, let alone one who ODed. I mean, honestly, Charlotte: do you not have one brain in your head?

It was unnecessary to focus even for a bit on Charlotte because it just proved she really has nothing going on. The potential of some other Victoria offspring out there is so much more alluring, and we know nothing about him other than she named him Patrick. And considering Victoria went to Nolan at the end of the episode and asked him for help finding her long-lost son… let’s jut say the other Grayson kids should expect to take the backseat for the foreseeable future. The really far backseat– like in the car at a totally different stoplight.

Buzz Moments

OMG!: Charlotte is really starting to look, dress, sound, and carry herself like Victoria. It’s disconcerting, especially since she is claiming to want to distance herself, even taking her biological dad’s surname.

Thank you, TV gods: It only took almost two full seasons but somebody (Aiden) finally verbalized that there’s no true peace with vengeance. Of course, this just makes the rest of the episodes to come more worrisome because it sets up a perpetual sense of emptiness for Emily.

Awk-ward: Daniel needed to prove his manhood and his relationship so much he broke the news of the engagement (to everyone) during a live TV interview. But what was worse, he made Emily do the heavy lifting, even though it was all (uncomfortable) news to her.

Hotness: Emily can keep fake-hooking up with Daniel all she wants because it not only proves brooding Aiden (hot) but also chances for Daniel to wander around shirtless in early mornings (hotter).

Fab-u-lous: Little Vicky was just as selfish and cold-blooded as the Victoria Grayson she grew up to be. Often with characters so closed off, shows reach into their past to show a turning point or traumatic event to ‘explain’ why they became the way they did: they lost their innocence, faith in humanity, etc. But At sixteen, with a six month old baby she refused to acknowledge as her own in front of sophisticated strangers, Victoria was every bit the manipulative, queen of spin to put her image first we have always known her to be.

Can. Not. Wait.: Where will we find not-so-young Patrick? Will he be calculating like his mother? Will he have achieved as much success? Will he already be someone in her life, lurking in the wings, watching from afar? Will he be yet another man to catch Emily’s eye!?

Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 8

What did YOU think of “Identity?” Let us know in the comments below!

Danielle Turchiano