By Benjamin Wood
Updated October 13, 2011 at 05:20 PM EDT
Revenge Cast
Credit: Colleen Hayes/ABC
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Each episode of Revenge is so full of juicy delicious mystery that it’s easy to forget that the show opened with a murderous flash-forward. I don’t know about you, but most of what happened — or will happen — during that Labor Day weekend engagement party went completely over my head. I remember there were a lot of rich-looking, beautiful people at a party… and that someone died.

After last night’s episode, which furthered the Emily/Daniel/Jack love triangle, it all came crashing back. Wait a minute, Daniel is going to die! I decided to re-watch the pilot to scan for clues, now that I can distinguish the Baldwins and the Bettys from each other. Read on to see some of my retrospective theories — and post your own in the comments below.

Daniel is a dead man. The engagement party in question is hosted by Daniel and Emily. But while she’s at the party looking pretty, he’s lying face down in the sand with three bullets in his back. In an overtly secretive move, Emily brushes sand off the back of her hand but then admits to have just gotten back from the beach where she and Daniel were arguing. About what? The “same thing” they had argued about before. The fact that their relationship reaches an engagement would suggest that her feelings for Daniel are sincere, or at least become sincere, which could mean she comes clean to Daniel. Was their argument of the “my fiance is out to destroy my family” variety? I doubt it. Emily is too calculating to let human emotion disrupt her plan, and while I don’t think she is intentionally endangering Charlotte and Daniel, it doesn’t make sense that she would truly want to marry the children of her father’s betrayers.

But who kills him? They would have us believe that true-love Jack was the perpetrator. We see him dragging a lifeless body into the bushes and running away when discovered. There’s still plenty of time before Labor Day for Jack to realize that Emily is his long-lost Amanda, and last night’s episode certainly set up some tension between the two alpha males. But in a show like this, the obvious man never does the deed. When the murder is discovered, Emily and Nolan share a glance that speaks volumes. Is he the shooter? His character favors non-physical acts of retribution, and besides trying to create a happy-ever-after ending for Jack and Emily, his involvement so far has been to just sit back and enjoy the show. Maybe Tyler’s friend Jack, who has proven himself to be a calculating class-A dirtbag and who is noticeably absent from the party proceedings, will be the mystery killer? Or someone else. Whoever pulled the trigger, Jack still has some explaining to do.

I’m putting my money down on Tyler being the shooter. We don’t know what it is yet, but he clearly has an objective. Then again, Emily’s actions have all sorts of collateral damage and anyone could have a chip on their shoulder by summer’s end. When you’re dealing with rich, secretive people, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, or causing some eggs to break each other.

Declan catches a break. Little Porter has had the hots for Little Grayson (Charlotte) since the pilot, but there’s always been the one-two punch of an ex-boyfriend with rage issues and the caste society they live in standing in his way. At some point before Labor Day, however, it looks like his luck will change. At the engagement party, we see Declan and Charlotte dancing together and joking about how good he looks in a white tuxedo. As if that wasn’t good enough, the two go scampering off to the beach at Charlotte’s insistence for some clothing-optional sexytime. Sadly for Declan, they’re interrupted by his brother lurking in the shadows. Nothing quite kills the mood like stumbling upon the body of your dead brother.

Emily and Nolan on the outs? Nolan as the incessant thorn in Emily’s side is a staple of any good Revenge episode, but their exchange at the engagement party seems more heated than usual. “Nice night for it,” he says with a smug look on his face, “celebrating.” Emily tells him he “shouldn’t be here,” to which he replies, “That makes two of us.” Since it’s her engagement party, he’s obviously alluding to something else. Was she supposed to leave the Hamptons, but her love for Daniel made her stay? Maybe, but since Mr. and Mrs. Grayson are still standing, her full plan has not yet been realized, and it can’t be time for her to call it quits. Did she kill Daniel in a fit of passion and should be halfway to Mexico by now? Probably not. She seems just as concerned as Victoria, wondering where Daniel has gotten himself off to and even calls his phone looking for him.

Victoria approves of Emily? During her toast of the young couple’s nuptials, Victoria seems to be offering legitimate approval of the upcoming union between her son and the “lovely and beguiling” Emily Thorne. Was Emily somehow able to throw Victoria and her hired goon off her track? Then again, Victoria has a way of playing nice, and I’m inclined to distrust every word that comes out of her mouth. A moment later when Victoria asks, “Where the hell is my son?”, there’s more than just a dash of contempt in her voice.

What do you think PopWatchers? Are there any hidden clues you’ve noticed? Who do you think killed Daniel? And have you figured out that deal with the dog?

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Welcome to the Hamptons, a glittering world of incredible wealth and privilege, where smiles hide secrets—and nothing is colder than revenge.
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