‘Revenge’ Recap: Takeda Turns and ‘Revolution’ finally hits the Hamptons

With only one episode* left of ABC’s Revenge, the show sure is taking its sweet time diving into the juicy bits of Emily’s (Emily VanCamp)– and now Jack (Nick Wechsler), Nolan (Gabriel Mann), and Aiden’s (Barry Sloane)– titular plans. Instead, the antepenultimate episode spent way too much time focusing on Emily and Daniel’s (Josh Bowman) second fake engagement. It wasn’t a surprise, given that “Engagement” was the title of the episode, but admittedly I was hoping for something a little less literal and more to discuss the arrangements of revenge plans and performances in general.

* Technically, it’s two but they’re being presented one long, back-to-back, “Part One and Part Two” all-night event scenario that’s kind of a cheat.

Note: Spoilers ahead for Sunday night’s “Engagement.”

Naturally, there was a lot of “rubbing it in the Graysons’ faces” that Daniel and Emily were newly betrothed. He sat down and smirked (a face ripe for punching!) with his father about wanting full access to his trust fund. Ah, guess he can’t afford a proper ring on his measly Grayson Global salary, right? Probably, because he announced his plans to cut his ties with the company and move to Paris with Emily. The sad thing is, he really seemed like he believed he was the one calling the shots here, and Emily aside, he shouldn’t for one second believe Conrad (Henry Czerny), who claimed the trust fund money was being “invested” alongside the rest of the family money.

Emily, meanwhile, took a moment to gloat in front of Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) after asking the re-troubled Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) to be her maid-of-honor. Hopefully Emily meant it when she told Charlotte that being her sister through marriage would mean they would be in each others’ lives more because someone has to pay attention to that kid. She managed to get in the tabloids, get pregnant (we’ll get to that in a minute, but yes, seriously), and pick up a friend who unironically calls her “Charlie” with no one noticing at all. Victoria, of course, is up to her neck reading mail from every male born in 1973, climbing out of the woodwork, hoping she’s his long lost mommy to finally get a piece of the gold-flaked pie. But even that’s not really a proper excuse. She tossed one kid aside all those years ago, and she’s doing the same to the one under her roof right now, too.

The thing was, though, that Nolan– with a little help from his hacker buddy who he got locked up and then had the audacity to visit in prison and ask for help– learned that Victoria had actually paid off her son. She sent him five million dollars over to go away and not interfere with her fancy, schmancy life. After the stunt on Nightline, no amount of money would have gotten me to stay away; that interview was just begging for an appearance from the mystery man who clearly cashed in on his birthright but was still denied the fame that came along with his lineage. And in this day and age, everyone wants the fame more than the money, right?

Victoria was also distracted by Jack, who turned up at her house with the evidence of Conrad and the Governor’s wife meeting in secret. Jack claimed he brought it to her because she had the best shot of getting through to her husband, and he was just thinking of the campaign, but he was playing it smarter than most, getting under her skin and scratching at an already picked-over scab in their relationship. She planned to “handle it,” but Olivia Pope she is not. Visiting with the wife, she learned the opponent had a fatal heart condition that might not allow him to live past the end of the campaign, and the wife didn’t want to ruin their remaining days by exposing it to the press. She pleaded with Victoria to see reason: that the job is a death sentence, and if she loves her husband, she’ll convince him to only take on term. Assuming he wins. Me thinks Victoria sees a way out. Dare we say she may start to slowly poison Conrad, blaming his newfound symptoms on the stress of the job!?

Daniel did take about half a day to actually go into his office at Grayson Global, though– you know, putting up appearances that he actually cares about the company and whatnot while really just doing background checks on his employees, namely Aiden. Daniel learned that Aiden’s father was the man accused of putting the bomb on that doomed flight all those years earlier and fired him on the spot, while still managing to let his outrage that he could be misled cloud his judgement not only in not keeping a supposed enemy close but also nearly letting the details about the Initiative slip to this new enemy. That boy is not smart. It just goes to show: you can pay for a fancy education, but you can’t bribe the knowledge to sink in.

The biggest surprise of the episode, though, was that Aiden being found out was not a part of the plan. It was probably a good thing, because as aforementioned, Daniel is not smart enough to be brought up to speed. Plus, he’s such a flip-flopper when it comes to his stance on his family.

Instead, it was Takeda (Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa) who ratted Aiden out, and the two come to blows after the engagement party (of course, it can never just be a normal day, right?). Daniel was tied up bailing the newly pregnant Charlotte out of jail for being mistakenly arrested for public intoxication and underage drinking. Her puking outside the club she really had no business being in was a result of morning sickness coming at night– or maybe the nausea side effects of the “morning after” pill. That was left unclear. Her new social climber pal got her pills, but we never saw what kind they were. Presumably Charlotte has been pregnant for awhile, but I wouldn’t put it past her not to know how the morning after pill works. Intelligence is genetic. And apparently, so is the ability to repeat mistakes of previous generations. Let’s hope Charlotte doesn’t give up her baby to go to Ivy League and then have Grandma pay him off as a teenager, too…

Anyway, Emily and Nolan were rehashing recent events, including her most recent attempt to warn Jack about not getting in over his head. Jack ended up calling a truce with Victoria, but who knows if either of them meant it? While all of these things were happening, Aiden and Takeda were sword-fighting. That is not a euphemism. They literally pulled swords on each other. How…gallant? It certainly should have provided for a tense scene because everyone knows such duels are to the death (and here that remained true, with Aiden taking out his former mentor once and for all), but it was hard not to laugh at the sheer extravagance of it.

When all was said and done, Aiden and Nolan worked together to drain some of the Graysons’ bank account…just as the power went out in New York. Yes, folks, the great Revolution-style threat that the show had been looming all season finally paid off, after weeks without mention. It seemed that computer program Nolan was so worried about was enacted; the writers had not forgotten about it after all, nor decided to scrap it due to the similar story already playing out on NBC. The Falcon held the power (no pun intended) in that situation, and it seemed that even from prison, she was stronger and more capable than her initial easy capture would have implied. Unfortunately, it seemed Takeda could have helped in this situation, if only Aiden hadn’t let his emotions get the best of him. Maybe Takeda was right that Aiden was getting in the way of success…

The Hamptons is in the dark now, and for a group of people so dependent on luxuries, we expect things to get very ugly, very fast.

Buzz Moments

OMG!: Carrion was triggered by the assault on the Graysons’ bank account. Victoria certainly knew what she was doing by hiring The Falcon after all; she protected her most important asset: her money (not her kids).

Thank you, TV gods: Charlotte finally got a real story and a real purpose! Even if it means Declan (Connor Paolo) has reproduced. We’ll try not to focus on that part, though…

Awk-ward: Victoria calling Emily out for not really being in love made me wonder if things go really badly, if Emily could get just as trapped in another bad Grayson relationship and actually end up just like Victoria a decade or so down the line.

Hotness: Aiden should get extra credit for not only using Takeda’s teachings, but also his own sword, against him.

Fab-u-lous: Prison orange is not a flattering color on anyone, but Nolan really rubbed the tragedy of that fashion stumpment in with his stylish prison visit ensemble. Everyone may have hated Smash’s scarves, but Nolan pulls them off!

Can. Not. Wait.: Who will die on the season finale!? We were promised a major death that will affect Emily reevaluating her own revenge plans. It better be someone closer than Takeda!

Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 6 – This close to the end, this show really needs to step it up with the drama and the deaths and the relationship drama that causes us to care about these characters. Because right now, I agree with Aiden that Emily needs to just give up this mission.

What did you think of “Engagement?” Let us know in the comments below.

Danielle Turchiano

Tags: ABC, Revenge, TV Recap