Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Revenge recap: A Senator's sex-tape, a Harvard acquaintance

Emily takes aim at a politician with a secret, Nolan teaches Declan about getting even, and Daniel’s roommate from Harvard arrives

Posted on



TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe

There’s something oddly comforting about how old-fashioned the horrible rich people are on Revenge. Last week, Emily targeted a Wall Street banker whose worst crime was a little bit of wink-wink insider trading, which seems positively nostalgic in our post-Too Big To Fail era. This week, the poor sap in Emily’s Sniper-Scope of Convoluted Vengeance was a shady politician who clearly had to have a secret. But it turns out that he was just having a heterosexual love affair, complete with an old-fashioned illegitimate bun-in-the-oven. No TwitPics? No wide stance? Ryan Murphy would not be amused.

Still, I’m digging the fact that Emily’s vengeance-quest is taking her beyond the usual type of Hamptons elite. Senator Kingsley was just in town for a little money-grabbing speech to prepare for his re-election campaign. Victoria was surprised that he knew who Emily was: She was a senior volunteer in his first campaign. (Given how many years of set-up went into Emily’s vengeance, I’m surprised she didn’t tattoo her master plan all over her body, Prison Break-style.) Kingsley had another link to Emily, though. When he was a Federal Prosecutor, he led the case against Emily’s father.

His real crime, though, was a sin of omission. The night before David Clarke was sentenced, Victoria came to Kingsley’s office claiming that she could prove Papa Clarke’s innocence. Conrad told Kingsley that Victoria had just gone love-crazy, but he also pointed out that the Clarke case could make or break Kingsley’s entire political career. (For this flashback, the color was a bit bleached out, but I could swear that Conrad’s eyes briefly glowed blue when he offered his life-bribe to Kingsley.)

Emily’s plot to take Kingsley down was a curious mix of hacker-mediated subtlety and pregnancy-related extremity. First, she taunted the Senator with scary messages on his iPad. (Emily’s specific request to Nolan: “Can you hack a computer tablet to run a PowerPoint presentation?” Interesting how quickly Emily has come around to accepting Nolan as an accomplice.) It seemed like this might be some sort of blackmail gambit. Kingsley admitted that, although the affair “ended amicably,” there was a potentially embarrassing twist in the story: His mistress had gotten pregnant, and he’d paid for the abortion. “You know the senator’s politics on the issue!” screamed Kingsley’s aide.

The climax of the Kingsley subplot was pleasantly twisty. I thought we were being primed for some sort of video reveal of the Senatorial Sex-Tape right in the middle of the party. Instead, the senator went onstage to deliver his speech. Conrad: “He’s a man who represents everything this country should be: Honorable, passionate, and conservative!” Kingsley cleared his throat and prepared to read his speech off his iPad. The iPad buzz-buzzed a message: “Look for the red dress. Happy Father’s Day!”

And sure enough, the Mistress had shown up, with a bun in the oven that was decidedly unaborted. The Senator quickly announced his retirement from public life. I don’t know about you, but it’s always been a personal dream of mine to reach a high enough station in life that will allow me to say the words “I am retiring from public life” in front of a crowded audience.

NEXT: Learning to Love Daniel Grayson