Revenge recap: 'Identity'
The Graysons prepare for an interview with Nightline, while Emily and Nolan team up to take down the Fa1c0n
When the fabulous Gabriel Mann, a.k.a. Nolan, stopped by our offices last week, he promised this weekend’s Revenge would be one for the ages. And I have to say, as up and down as this season has been, last night’s episode certainly delivered. I don’t know about you guys, but this was the first episode during which I felt as though we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Revenge has a lot of balls in the air right now (some good, some bad), but it seems like we might be on our way to a resolution.
The ep kicked off with Emily speculating about identity, a fitting start given she ultimately elects to sacrifice hers at the end in favor of the pursuit of revenge. She’s back with Daniel, who’s ready to resume their relationship exactly where they left off. Literally. If he could get her in a white dress and down the aisle right then, he’d be a happy man. Which speaks to some serious issues, but that’s a discussion best left for another day. Emily leaves Daniel to go pick up Nolan, who’s being released after being held for questioning on Padma’s death.
Victoria smugly presents Conrad with the medical records proving her abortion. Conrad claims he wants them for her own protection, but Victoria’s not so deluded as to believe him. Conrad insists that he’s given her everything she’s ever wanted (specifically “a comfortable place to agonize in style”), but V’s not having it. She wants nothing to do with Conrad and his campaign for political power. Meanwhile, Emily eavesdrops on the entire conversation. Ah, the perks of being Daniel’s main squeeze again.
Ashley and Jack, newfound partners in crime, plan their next move over coffee and hot chocolate for Carl (yes, Ashley, babies definitely drink hot chocolate). Ash is out of the loop thanks to Conrad’s latest mood swing (just stop trusting her already!), but she’s still managed to get a hold of his schedule, which lists numerous “tax meetings.” Ashley insists the meetings are a front and the two hatch a plan to spy on Conrad.
Fresh from detention, Nolan heads straight for the booze, as one should after being released from jail. Nolan and Emily immediately form their own plan to take down the Fa1c0n, who’s responsible not only for landing Nolan in jail, but for Padma’s death as well. Ems knows that Victoria is their best bet at finding the Fa1c0n; after all, she must have used the hacker to doctor those medical records. If they can get Victoria to contact the Fa1c0n, they can track him down.
NEXT: How to get into Harvard, Charlotte Grayson (excuse me, Clarke) style
In the first of a number of emotionally jarring moments, we see Victoria looking at a picture of Daniel wistfully, leading us into a flashback of her days with her first son, Patrick. A young Victoria sits in the park with a pram, where she chats with the Dean of Admissions of the New York Art Academy Library. I love the moments when we see these tender sides to her. The dichotomy between who she was (even after all the abuse) and the cold woman she’s become is positively heartbreaking. Victoria’s jolted out of her reverie by an email alert — it’s the very medical records she presented Conrad with that morning, only they’re stamped “Forgery.” Someone’s in on her secret. Victoria’s irate — she calls the Fa1c0n demanding to know the source of the leak. And that’s a bingo for Nolan and Emily.
Emily stops in to visit Jack, but of course he still wants nothing to do with her (she really needs to learn to give him some space). Ems insists she just wants to check on her godson, but Jack doesn’t need her. He’s got the hot chocolate-bearing Ashley to see to all his son’s worldly needs. Mostly he’s just angry she’s back together with Daniel, but what is Jack not angry about these days? Someone needs some therapy: Jack’s starting to look downright evil.
Charlotte is trying to convince Declan he can get into Harvard. “Your grades won’t matter if you get killer SAT scores,” she tells him. Um, that is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. Everyone who applies to Harvard has killer SAT scores and killer grades. Declan doesn’t stand a chance. (Though he does have that weird single parent thing going for him. If that doesn’t make a killer admissions essay, I’m not sure what does.) Charlotte promises she’ll drop by that night to help Declan out with his essay. Unfortunately for Declan, Charlotte makes a friend between third and fourth period and wisely decides to head into NYC with her. Because skipping class is the first thing that’s going to get you into Harvard.
Nolan’s still broken up about the loss of Padma, confessing that he catches himself IM-ing her sometimes. I didn’t like Padma (hated her, in fact), but this painful admission really gets right at the heart of loss. “The loss never really goes away, but taking action helps with the pain,” Emily consoles him. Nolan’s computer dings, indicating someone (i.e. the Fa1c0n) has just accessed Victoria’s medical records. Nolan messages the Fa1c0n, who sets a time and a place for them to meet.
Takeda visits Daniel at Grayson Global for a chat about Aiden’s poor investment decisions. Aiden unwittingly interrupts the meeting, shocked to see Takeda there. The two converse about revenge in Japanese before the oblivious Daniel. “I am here to clean up your mess,” Takeda informs Aiden. Dum, dum, dumm.
NEXT: We finally meet the infamous bird of prey
Nolan heads to the arcade to meet up with the Fa1c0n, who turns out to be… a girl! Bombshell! Not. Is it really that unexpected that a master hacker could possibly be a woman? This reveal just felt sloppy to me. What’d you think?
Nolan tells the Fa1c0n he wants her to erase a number of incriminating things about his past. He’d do it himself, but he’s being watched like a hawk. “Thanks to you, I’m currently the prime suspect in the murder of my girlfriend,” Nolan tells her. She wants to pass, but Nolan convinces her to play him for the job (and consequently afford Emily plenty of time to take some incriminating pictures). Let the video game wars begin!
Jack is in full 007 mode, filming Conrad at one of his “tax meetings,” which are in fact a front for his covert encounters with the Governor’s wife, or, as I like to think of her, Nan Flanagan from True Blood. Conrad, you animal! Jack takes a couple of pics, then slinks off, somersaulting between cars (not really).
Nolan and the Fa1c0n are engaged in mortal combat over a video game. The Fa1c0n is winning. “The only existence that matters is online,” she tells him. Working for bad people doesn’t faze her. But emotion is powerful too. “Caring for someone doesn’t make you weak,” Nolan shoots back, tears in his eyes. “It makes you stronger.” He wins the game and gets her to take his flash drive full of data to erase.
Charlotte’s all dolled up for her outing in New York (Declan who?), but she’s stopped by her mother before she can make it out the door. Charlotte wants to leave before Conrad can pull her into his interview, but Victoria’s insistent that he’s gone and she’s home free. She’s wrong. Conrad shows up, TV crew in tow, and Charlotte makes a break for it. Victoria didn’t want to come to the interview, so Conrad brought the interview to Victoria. Classy man, her husband. She handles the cameras like a pro, smiling wide, even though we know she’s seething. “Never fear, Conrad,” she tells him. “I’ll assist you in your rise to power.”
Takeda is disappointed in his revenge prodigies. “More emotions. More mistakes,” he tells Aiden. Takeda’s not happy with Aiden’s relationship with Emily. She’s losing sight of her goal. “I killed the man who murdered my sister,” Aiden answers. “It gave me no peace.” Aiden’s all for bringing this revenge ploy to a quick close — with no more casualties. Takeda, however…
NEXT: Ashley delivers the best line of the episode
Jack’s speculating on what Conrad’s doing with Alison Stoddard, the Governor’s wife. He doesn’t think he’s having an affair, wondering if Alison’s even his type. “She’s a woman,” quips Ashley. If only she could get five minutes with Conrad, she’d be able to glean what he’s up to. But alas, she’s not in his inner circle anymore.
After receiving the threatening email stamped “Forgery,” Victoria’s panicking. She calls the Fa1c0n again, but the hacker insists her secret is safe. If only she knew… Victoria flashbacks once again to her days in the park, where we learn that she received a scholarship to study art in Paris. The only problem? Patrick.
Emily makes it to the interview, where she’s asked to join Daniel. She gladly agrees — not realizing the bombshell Daniel’s planning on dropping on her. Juju Chang, playing herself, inquires about potential wedding bells in the couple’s future, telling Emily that when she asked Daniel, he referred her to Ems. There’s a long pause, but then Emily makes eye contact with Victoria and answers: “I can’t imagine an honor greater than joining the Grayson family.” Jack, watching from the wings, looks disgusted. He storms out, but Emily refuses to let it go at that. She calls him, trying to explain, and he hangs up on her. I fear for Jack’s future. Initially I liked this darker version of the character, but he seems all too consumed with revenge these days. Understandably so, I suppose, but still… Meanwhile, Nolan’s plan to trap the Fa1c0n worked. Thanks to her (rather stupidly) opening that flash drive (and a well-timed call to the cops, complete with Emily’s photographs from the arcade), the Fa1c0n (alias Edith Lee) is now officially in FBI custody.
Declan’s trying to write his essay for NYU, but he’s only gotten as far as three words: “An NYU alum.” Strong start. He gives Charlotte a call asking where she’s at, but she hangs up on him, saying she’ll phone him tomorrow. She then follows her new BFFL Regina out into a club, where the two pose for pictures in front of the paparazzi. And by pose, I mean make out furiously.
It’s time for Victoria and Conrad’s joint interview. Thanks to Nolan’s meddling, Juju received a tip on V’s teen pregnancy. Conrad immediately produces the documents proving Victoria had an abortion, but Juju can’t be bothered to read them. Instead she asks Victoria about Patrick, the six-month-old infant she abandoned for art school in France. Victoria freezes, then delivers the simple truth: “The story is true.” Props to Madeleine Stowe for this moment. Her face nearly brought me to tears. And that wasn’t even the most emotional moment of the episode (at least in my eyes).
NEXT: An unconventional proposal
Emily and Nolan are celebrating their successful revenge ploy. Nolan tells her to cross the Fa1c0n off for what she did to her father, but Ems insists that Nolan do the honors, sending him his own picture to red Sharpie. “To Padma,” she says. “And David,” he answers, X-ing the Fa1c0n out. Daniel interrupts the moment by turning up at the house with a ring. That’s right, he’s proposing all over again. Because that ended so well the first time. “The only thing keeping us from being together is you,” he tells her, handing her back her ring. Kinda presumptuous, buddy.
Much as I’m not a fan of these two rekindling their relationship, the return of the ring led to one of my favorite moments on the series: Emily’s conversation with Aiden. “As much as I hate to say it, shouldn’t you be with Daniel right now?” he asks her (while shirtless). She shows him the ring, seeking permission. “When it’s over, then what?” he asks. “I can be with you,” she replies softly. He takes Daniel’s ring and gently slides it onto her finger. “Then marry the son of a bitch.” I’m not ashamed to say I burst into full-on tears here. The fact that Aiden will wait for her, even if it means watching her wed another man, is incredibly romantic. And tragic. It can’t end well for these two, but I want it to.
Declan, still struggling with his essay, receives a mysterious email complete with a picture of Charlotte making out with another girl. How she thought that could have possibly ended any differently baffles me. But of course this isn’t even the episode’s big surprise. Nolan, having way too much fun doodling on the Fa1c0n’s face, is interrupted by a visit from none other than Victoria herself. The woman’s in need of a new hacker, and she knows just where to find him. She’ll reinstate Nolan as the sole owner of Nolcorp, but for a price: “Help me find my firstborn son,” she asks.
And that is it for this week! What are your thoughts on “Identity”? Do you want to see Nolan team up with Victoria? Are you happy we’ll be hearing wedding bells for Daniel and Emily? What could Takeda be up to? And can you believe we made it through an episode of Revenge without mention of the Initiative? It’s almost like the good ol’ days.