Emily returns from her scary Japanese training just in time for another Hamptons summer -- and guess who's still alive?
“You think she’s somewhere looking up at us?” Ah, Nolan, how I have missed thy snark.
Revenge kicked off its second season much in the same way as its first. As we skimmed out over the ocean, I assumed we were looking at the wreckage of Victoria’s plane, but it turned out to be Jack’s boat the Amanda and we were three months into the future. Now instead of waiting for Daniel to die, however, it’s Jack we’re worried about.
Three months earlier, Emily is undergoing some sort of fancy water-boarding to unlock her memories of her mother. She’s tied to a pole in the ocean, looking much like one of the victims in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, while Takeda and Aiden look on. On realizing that the Graysons’ conspiracy ran much deeper than just the death of her father — they may have killed her mother as well — Emily reunited with her old mentor to become stronger. For a second, I’m actually concerned. We saw Emily make so much progress last season — she went from a seemingly unfeeling avenger to someone questioning her single-minded purpose and the harm it caused to those she cared about. I don’t want her to revert to that machine. What makes her such an amazing character is the fact that she’s different from them — not just the Graysons, but pretty much everyone in the Hamptons. If she keeps up her quest for vengeance, how long is it before she loses herself completely?
Moving on, we cut to a shot of Daniel getting ready. It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, and the Graysons are hosting a, erm, memorial in honor of Victoria’s memory. Ashley strolls on up to Daniel from behind and plants a kiss on his cheek. Wait, what? Cue the sound of record scratch. Apparently, Daniel’s had no trouble forgetting about Victoria or Emily… And yet, as he stands on his porch and looks out over at Emily’s nearby Hamptons house, there’s something sad in his eyes.
We join Jack in the hold of his boat, playing with his compass — a compass we glimpsed on the ocean floor at the start of the episode. Does this mean he’s our mysterious body? Only time will tell. Jack’s depressed. Declan informs him that the bar is going to be inspected, but Jack only tells him to postpone it. Amanda waddles down into the hold — she’s looking ready to pop, that one. Amanda also tries to get Jack off his feet, but he begs off her concern. “Once the baby comes, things will be different.” Never believe a man when he tells you that, Amanda.
Meanwhile, Charlotte (aka Jenna from 13 Going on 30) is in the best rehab center imaginable (though why I’d expect anything less escapes me) complete with chandeliers and fancy white couches. She’s committed to her recovery and hopes to be out in time for her mother’s memorial, but Dr. Thomas says that he’s not sure she’ll be ready by then. There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark. He’s following Charlotte a little too closely for my liking.
NEXT: Nolan’s finally back. And he’s shirtless.And we’re back to Emily, still tied to her pole. As we watch, a vision comes to her. She’s younger, a child playing in the sea with a mother who loves her. It’s here I know we’re not back to the cool and logical Emily Thorne. No, that look in her eyes when she sees her mother is pure love. The vision in the ocean dissolves to a hospital, the last place she ever saw her mother. She reaches for her bedridden mother and — Aiden unties her from the pole and drags her up for air. Emily rages at him, claiming she was about to unlock her memories, but at what cost? She nearly drowned. Takeda tells her that he won’t train her if she’s obsessed by her mother, and Emily snaps, “Dead or alive, I’m going to find out what happened to her. And when I do, God help the people who kept me from her. And that includes you.” Emily’s done with school and she’s heading back to the big leagues. How sweet it is.
So where’s Nolan been in all this? Since the attack, he’s decided to get into the best shape possible, specifically by boxing. Given that this includes a nice sequence of Gabriel Mann shirtless, I am not complaining. Emily turns up outside the ring where he’s practicing and we’re told it’s been eight weeks since the two last saw each other. Yet, it’s like it’s been no time at all for Nolan and Emily — when she informs him of her new plan, he’s in. They head back to her house to research the hospital that Emily saw in her underwater hallucination and Nolan casually mentions that he has no home to speak of. Emily says she has no desire to move in with him, but he’s confident he’ll wear her down. He needs her. And, if she were being honest with herself, she’d see that she needs him too.
At the bar, Jack has failed the health inspection due to water damage. Declan gives him yet another lecture — I know Jack is kind of a killjoy right now, but I really can’t stand listening to him get nagged by Serena’s brother on Gossip Girl. Elsewhere, Ashley is organizing the memorial. She asks Conrad if he’d like to speak, but he tells her he doesn’t speak ill of the dead in public. Conrad finds Daniel day-drinking and informs him that he’s a chip off the old block. He then asks for his son’s trust fund. He wants Daniel to invest it in the company to send the message to the community that he’s willing to bet on his family. Daniel’s reluctant, though.
Nolan and Emily have found the hospital Emily saw in her vision. It’s called the Angel of Mercy (ha, ha Revenge, I see what you did there) and apparently it has been perfectly preserved in a state of abandonment since Emily’s mother was last there. The sheets on her mom’s bed are still rumpled, for heaven’s sake. Surely someone would have appropriated this eyesore. “All that’s missing are flesh-eating zombies,” Nolan remarks. He’s a Walking Dead fan! Emily pulls back the sheets on her mother’s old bed to find the restraints that held her there. She wasn’t just in a hospital, she was in a psych ward, and carved on the leather cuff is an infinity sign. Nolan finds a ledger that says Emily’s Aunt Charlotte was one of the last to visit her mother, but Emily tells him Charlotte was already an invalid by that time. No, Miss Charlotte was in fact one Victoria Grayson. Nolan: “Séance, anyone?”
NEXT: Faux-Amanda tells Jack the baby needs “stability”Emily wonders if her mother was kidnapped by the Graysons, specifically by Victoria. Nolan’s skeptical, though. “And risk getting her manicured talons dirty? Not her style.” Nolan goes to call on Jack while Emily speaks to Amanda. Emily tells Amanda that she needs to leave, but Amanda’s ready to make a home with Jack and she’s not going anywhere. Emily threatens to out her, but Jack comes into the room at that very moment. The love in his eyes for Emily is clear, but with his (supposed) baby mama in the room, he can’t do anything about it. Instead of telling poor Jack the truth, she says Amanda has made her the godmother to his unborn child. This man is being played left and right by the women in his life. We cut to Aiden and Takeda on a rock overlooking the sea. Aiden doesn’t want Emily to make the same mistake he did, so he tells Takeda he’s going after her.
Finally, we reach the memorial for Victoria. Daniel’s drinking (again), so Conrad tries to take advantage and makes a grab for his son’s trust fund once more. Daniel doesn’t care about the company, though, and he makes that abundantly clear. Nolan and Emily arrive together and survey the giant picture of Victoria. “You think she’s somewhere looking up at us?” Nolan asks. Emily encounters Daniel and Ashley, which is awkward to say the least. Nolan saves the day with cosmos.
At the bar, Amanda is braving asbestos to talk some sense into Jack. “The baby’s going to need stability,” she says. This coming from a woman pretending to be someone else. Meanwhile, Declan lectures Jack (again) that he needs to tell Amanda that he’s not in love with her. Jack can only get better if he admits he’s unhappy.
Ashley pays tribute to Victoria at the memorial, but it’s all too fake for Charlotte, who’s out of rehab with her shady sober coach. She takes the mic to praise her mother, something Conrad won’t stand for. Dr. Thomas interrupts Charlotte’s speech to tell her she tested positive for drugs and that she’s going back to rehab. Charlotte screams she’s innocent, then grabs Emily to whisper something in her ear before she’s dragged away to the hellhole that is her chandelier-decorated rehab. What was it?
NEXT: And the fate of our favorite bad girl is…
Victoria is alive! Charlotte knew all along and she gives Emily her address. Victoria is apparently in a witness protection program while they build a case against Conrad. Victoria tells Emily that Charlotte’s stint in rehab is a conspiracy to keep her locked up and that Dr. Thomas is likely in cahoots with Conrad. A cutaway scene tells us as much — Conrad needs to get his hands on Charlotte’s inheritance to save the company.
Emily steals a shell from Victoria’s house and gets Nolan to rig it with a camera. While he sets up the “clam cam,” Emily has a heart to heart with Jack on the porch. They haven’t spoken since their kiss. Jack assures Emily he had no idea Amanda would be coming back with a bun in the oven. Though he clearly has feelings for Ems, he tells her he won’t leave his baby behind and Emily says she doesn’t want him to. Still, Emily’s the voice of reason when she asks what we’ve all been wondering: “Are you sure the baby’s yours?”
Emily goes back to visit Victoria with proof that their suspicions about Dr. Thomas are correct. Emily’s a little too kind, so Victoria realizes that something’s fishy. Whether she knows that that something fishy is a literal clam cam in her government-funded safe house is another question.
Jack confronts Amanda about the baby, asking her what happened last summer after she left. Amanda’s offended that he doesn’t think the baby’s his, but when we see her laying in bed later that night, eyes wide with guilt, we have to wonder if Emily is right. Meanwhile, Daniel is drinking on the porch again. Ashley tries to comfort him, saying that Charlotte’s outburst at the memorial was a pack of lies, but Daniel knows better. At the rehab facility, Charlotte’s had her secret phone confiscated, so now she’s well and truly cut off from the world.
On her own porch, Emily fingers the infinity symbol in the cuff she pilfered from the Angel of Mercy hospital. Nolan’s inside the house watching the camera. So far he’s gotten nothing, but the moment Emily plops down on the couch beside him, Victoria gets a visit from her hitman. First Emily’s father, then her mother, and now Emily. Victoria tells the hitman to eliminate the liability. “As you wish,” the hitman says, making a terrible mockery of the classic line from The Princess Bride. Emily’s not worried though. “Let them come,” she says.
We’re off, Revenge fans! Are you excited by the larger scope of the show? Personally, I can’t wait to see more of the Hamptons’ best roommates. Now that Nolan’s living with Emily, we’ll just get to hear his snark that much more. Why didn’t he move in sooner?
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