I would imagine that most people who watch Revenge don’t have a ton of experience playing first-person shooter videogames — although if you watched last night’s episode of Revenge as a break from a Call of Duty deathmatch, then you’re a total weirdo and/or me. So roll with me on this for a second, fellow viewers, and trust that what I’m about to say connects back to last night’s thrilling episode. In first-person shooters, there are essentially two types of players: People who are good with a sniper rifle, and people who are good with a shotgun. Snipers work best on big maps, when they can leisurely take their time finding a safe corner to hunker down. They are precise: They can shoot you in the head, even if you’re crouching and jumping at the same time.
We already know that Emily Thorne is good at this. She has aimed her trusty Sniper Scope of Convoluted Vengeance at unsuspecting victims, people who didn’t even know they were walking unarmed into a war zone. But the game is changing. Emily’s primary targets know that their beloved Hamptons have become a battlefield. Now, they are starting to hunker down, and they’re plotting a sneak attack, and they’re taking out Emily’s teammates. They’re forcing Emily to leave her Sniper’s roost and step down into the murky trenches.
Last night, we saw Emily set aside her trusty Sniper Scope of Convoluted Vengeance, and pick up a decidedly less precise weapon: the Sawed-Off Shotgun of Haphazard Retaliation. The episode began with Nolan knock-knock-knocking at her door, freaked out of his head. He showed Emily the rough cut of his new motion picture: Untitled Lydia Davis Snuff Film. Turns out that Lydia actually survived that fifth-floor swan dive from last week. Now, you could say that that’s ridiculous, and you’d be right. But on Lost, John Locke survived a fall from eight stories. (Also, in real life, someone apparently survived a 47-story fall.)
Anyhow, I’ll gladly take ridiculous plot twists if they push characters into a corner, and keeping Lydia Davis around means that — at any time — she could wake up, talking important gibberish about Emily Thorne in a brunette wig at the 2003 New Year’s Party. (To continue the videogame metaphor, Lydia Davis is a landmine buried somewhere on the map. Emily might never step on the landmine. But if she does, she’s dead.) Emily didn’t feel any sorrow about Lydia’s near-death. “If Lydia dies, it’s because she sold her soul to the Graysons,” she said.
She was much more concerned about Frank the Security Samurai. She decided to make him her next victim. She couldn’t have had better timing. Frank seemed like a new man. Maybe it was the approach of the Fourth of July: Frank seems like a distant cousin of Parks & Recreation‘s Ron Swanson, and I would imagine that he typically celebrates Independence Day by hunting and killing a buffalo with a crossbow. Or maybe he was just energized by his near homicide. For whatever reason, he was practically throwing himself at Queen Victoria, telling her: “Conrad was never the right man for you. You and I both know that.”
At that moment, though, Conrad received a mysterious email containing Untitled Lydia Davis Snuff Film. Shaken, he met Frank at the local rich-person bar. He handed Frank one check for his years of service, and another check for the secrets that will weigh him down in his coffin. “The jet’s all fueled up, ready to take you anywhere you want to go,” said Conrad, implying that Frank should explore new employment opportunities in less dangerous areas. Like Somalia.
NEXT: Tyler! Tyler! Burning bright, in the forests of the night.