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'Revenge' recap: 'Clarity'

Posted on

Richard Cartwright/ABC

Revenge

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
4
run date:
09/21/11
performer:
Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Drama

“Emily Thorn was not built for good,” Nolan says to Emily midway through tonight’s episode when she presents him with, what some might call, a stupid idea. “She was built to clear her dad’s name, which she did brilliantly.” It’s an interesting idea, and this season has definitely been playing around with this idea. Is Emily Thorne good for anything but dishing out much-needed revenge? Well, tonight’s episode answered that question. “Clarity” ended with a moment in the making since Revenge premiered: Emily revealed to the world, in an act of kindness to Margaux (and, unintentionally, Victoria), that she was Amanda Clarke.

Here’s what led to this big reveal. 

Coming Clean

In the aftermath of her accident, Margaux has decided to give up seeking revenge on Emily. Sorry, scratch that. She’s actually just given up doing it herself. In the wake of her little lie at the end of last week’s episode, Victoria has taken up the responsibility to get justice for her son and unborn grandchild. Victoria becomes even more determined once an unfortunate newspaper article claiming that the hospital accepted a bribe from her causes the board to change its mind and not name the new wing after Daniel. In the board meeting, Emily tries to defend naming it after Daniel, but she is of no help. 

Emily doesn’t know that Margaux told Victoria she pushed her, but, nonetheless, the board’s decision makes her feel even guiltier. Following her dad’s advice to leave revenge behind, Emily decides that the only way to make things right is to come sort of clean about the events of the night of Daniel’s death. At the groundbreaking ceremony for the new wing, Emily intends to confess to the world that Malcolm Black attacked her and Daniel died trying to protect her. It’s a bold move, but it isn’t without it’s problems; it requires Jack to recant his statement to the police. 

Almost everyone is against Emily’s plan, especially Stevie Grayson. She knows how Emily operates and doesn’t want to see her son go through anymore hell because of this manipulative woman. Stevie risked her sobriety to help Emily once, but refuses to let her son go down the same road. “You’re a train wreck, Emily! Jack will not be your collateral damage,” says Stevie Grayson in one of several memorable lines from “Clarity.” It is true, though. Emily’s crusade has left a lot of destruction, and very rarely does anything good come from her train wreck. Because of his feelings, Jack is considering going along with her plan, but Stevie talks him out of it, albeit briefly. “You come from two alcoholic parents. Make sure Emily isn’t your glass of scotch.” 

Later that night, Jack shows up at Emily’s home while she’s entertaining Ben, who just made detective, and his brother Kevin to tell her that he can’t help her. Emily swears she’ll be able to protect him and make sure nothing happens to Jack or Carl, but Jack says he can’t take that risk, which surprises Emily. She believes she’s proven how capable she is, which, admittedly, she has; however, things don’t always go as planned on Revenge—as everyone there is aware. Ben is also upset when he later finds out about Emily’s plan because she didn’t think of consulting him and didn’t seem to consider what that would mean for him. He expresses his discontent and hopes Emily will skip the groundbreaking and just come to the bar to celebrate the promotion. 

NEXT: Support be damned, Emily has a plan[pagebreak]​

Emily still plans to go through with her decision, even without anyone’s help. Luckily, she won’t be alone because Jack, ever her knight in shining armor, shows up at the groundbreaking party to be there for her. Meanwhile, Ben sees footage of Jack and Emily together and is visibly hurt—he definitely suspects that everything isn’t as platonic as she makes it out to be. Back at the gala, Emily takes the podium after the ground for the new wing has been broken and confesses to the world. Everyone she’s close to watches and is visibly shocked. This is probably the story of the century in Revenge-land because the whole world seems so damned concerned with the goings-on of 10 people who summer in the Hamptons. Lights are bright as can be and the camera flashes are blinding as the media documents the night Emily Thorne’s existence came to an end. 

Trouble in Paradise

Louise returns from Lyman’s funeral with one thought in mind: She wants to adopt a baby with Nolan. Obviously, this freaks Nolan out. This marriage was only supposed to be temporary and having a baby together would make this permanent. More importantly, Nolan wants to have family, but just not with someone as unstable as Louise. He’s afraid to be up front with her because she just killed her brother.  

Withholding the truth from Louise, however, causes more problems for Nolan. For one, it allows Victoria, who stops by under the guise of sharing her condolences with Louise, to plant seeds of doubt in her mind by asking if Nolan told her how Daniel really died. Also, Tony, the child services investigator, calls things off with Nolan when he overhears Nolan, who is at a beach party with him, lie to Louise about staying late at the club to work. Louise not only finds out about the beach party from the tabloids, but also overhears Nolan tell Jack he doesn’t want to start a family with someone he pities. 

That night, Nolan returns home and tells Louise he’s ready for a divorce. Louise, feigning understanding, agrees to call the lawyers first thing in the morning. However, as Nolan walks away and leaves her in the pool, we see she’s clearly upset that he wasn’t completely truthful about how he felt her about her. I don’t think Louise ever dreamed her knight in shining Versace armor would leave her in summer.

Extras:

  • I’m a Stevie Grayson fan. 
  • Also, James Allen calls in a hit of sorts on Emily, and so it’s up to Margaux, wishing to protect what’s left of her soul to stop it. This leads to an unexpected cameo from Courtney Love as the hitwoman in question. Margaux deduces her identity and threatens to reveal it to the world if any harm should come to herself or Emily Thorne. 
  • Louise has definitely smartened up since being in the Hamptons. When Victoria pays her a visit, she quickly realizes she’s only there to get her hands on Lyman’s flash drive containing the stolen files from Nolan’s computer. 
  • “Why don’t you ask your girlfriend how well I respond to sarcasm,” says Victoria when she pays Ben a visit. 

Revenge fans: Do you think the show can keep going now that the world knows Emily Thorne is Amanda Clarke? Let’s discuss.

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