So who got shot at Emily's Fire + Ice engagement party? Read on and find out.
To quote Darth Vader, “The circle is now complete.”
Well, almost. Sure, “Chaos,” the long-awaited return of Revenge to the events of its pilot, did circle ’round to that infamous Labor Day Fire + Ice Ball at Grayson Manor. But if you expected closure, think again. With the revelation that it was indeed the Talented Mr. Barrol who lay dead in his white tie on Southampton’s beach, not Daniel Grayson, a whole Pandora’s box of new questions has been opened: So who is the killer, anyway? Was the person who snatched away from an unconscious Daniel Emily’s purloined photo of the 1993 Grayson Global Retreat the same person who did the shooting? Did Daniel, in fact, get shot as well? How did Takeda track down Tyler and Amanda to their barn house hiding place? If Takeda was the shooter, or at least arranged for Daniel to be framed for Tyler’s murder, why exactly has he decided to hijack Emily’s revenge plot for himself?
Here’s what we know: One shot was fired, followed by three more a few moments later. Then, someone wearing a black jacket, white dress shirt, and black gloves (probably on the same hand we saw pull the trigger in the pilot) reached down and grabbed that Grayson Global Retreat photo from Daniel, as he lay sprawled out on the beach.
If you watched–and, again, get thee to Hulu if you haven’t because thar be many, many spoilers ahead–“Chaos” was pretty much just that: a lightning-paced thrill ride that never lost sight of its myriad messed-up characters and their complicated emotional baggage. As Josh Bowman (Daniel Grayson) told EW’s Tanner Stransky, “I actually sort of felt bad for Tyler, because he had no one. If you look at it from that point of view, you could feel bad for him.”
Well, my mercy only extends so far, Josh. And I wonder…if I am slightly disappointed with “Chaos,” is it because I felt absolutely nothing at Tyler’s death? If Revenge had pulled a Ned Stark on us, if it had killed off Daniel Grayson, that could have been a powerful demonstration of how innocents can easily be the unfortunate collateral damage of any vendetta. It would have immediately made us question, really for the first time, the righteousness of Emily’s mission–even if she had nothing to do with his killing herself. But with Tyler, I think the main thing all of us are feeling this morning is “Good riddance.”
That minor quibble aside, “Chaos” could not have been a more riveting hour of television. It opened with Tyler, as many of you had suspected, revealed as the one who stole Emily’s “Revenge Box” out from underneath her floorboards. Why isn’t he in a padded cell somewhere? Good question. He wasn’t “locked up,” he was “put up” at the Springhaven Hospital for the Criminally Insane, which I suppose is Camp Cupcake for the super-wealthy and mentally ill. (Tyler Douche-ism of the Night Vol. 1: “Speak of the Devil…or rather, the Devil’s daughter.”) Not only had he stolen her box, he’d kidnapped “Amanda,” tied her up, and threatened to kill her if Emily canceled her engagement party or called the cops. Hey, if infiltrating your former Harvard roommate’s family, interning at his father’s company, and sleeping with a technocrat to land a $20 million contract don’t work, getting the fiancee of your former roommate to pay a huge ransom is the next best fallback plan, right?
NEXT: Tyler recruits Amanda to be his new ally.
Tyler needed an ally for his cause. Who better to turn to his side than the girl who, let’s face it, for better or worse Emily really has been using? Amanda. No matter that Amanda was his prisoner. Tyler told her that Emily had framed her for burning down Treadwell’s house and had prevented her from receiving Jack’s lovesick phone calls. She was hooked. Occasional murderous impulses aside, I’m not entirely shocked that Amanda could succumb to borderline Stockholm Syndrome. Talk about someone who’s never had anybody in her life.
When Emily met Tyler in a parking garage to get her box back, Amanda was there, gun in hand, to confront her alter ego about her assumed betrayal. Interestingly, Amanda wasn’t so much hurt that Emily hadn’t told her about Jack’s phone calls. She was upset the most that her actions had ruined their friendship. Emily meant more to Faux-manda than anybody else in the world. She even gave her her name, after all. And as foolish as Amanda was to believe Tyler’s lies, and as much as we’ve resented the way she’s intruded on Emily’s life and plans–and Jack–you do have to feel for her. When she sat handcuffed, rifling through Emily’s Revenge Box in Tyler’s hideout, still smoky eyed but decidedly less fierce, she looked like a sad little puppy who’s been kicked one too many times. I half expected a Sarah McLachlan song to pipe onto the soundtrack at that very moment. Major kudos to Margarita Levieva–and the writers–for taking a character who could have been a mere villainous foil and giving her such unexpected shades of poignancy.
NEXT: Jack finally decides to leave for Haiti, and Charlotte discovers the sweet, sweet healing power of prescription meds.In other, less trigger-happy news, Jack received a phone call from Father Rick–I was expecting no less than Wyclef Jean, myself–offering him the chance to head up a new school in Port au Prince. Finally, Jack’s dream of sailing away to Haiti was at hand. What better way to leave behind a broken heart? (Nolan Snarkism of the Night Vol. 1: “One midnight call from a Haitian benefactor and, bam, off you go.”) Jack decided to give Sammy to Emily. The Amanda was a little too small for the Golden Lab, and he’d always taken a fancy to the woman who lived in his childhood sweetheart’s house. I wonder why, Jack! As he left, Nolan grabbed Emily and told her that she should leave with him, be happy, and “make little volunteer babies.” Not a chance. Admittedly, I am a little surprised that it’s a school Jack’s been tasked with. Does Jack have any education background at all? And, if so, what excuse can he give us for Declan?
Speaking of the most oddly-accented teenager in Montauk (and that’s saying something), Declan let Charlotte drown her sorrows in a bottle after that dinner-party-from-hell in which she learned David Clarke is her real father. She collapsed in a heap on Declan’s bed, and then, finding alcohol an insufficient emotional crutch, discovered some pills in his bathroom. Why we needed a Charlotte Grayson pill-popping subplot in the most story-packed episode of the season, I don’t really know. But I loved the sinister, cap-toothed grin of William Devane as he urged Charlotte not to visit a therapist and even offered to see to it that Declan would get into that prep school–despite failing the entrance exam–if she complied. After all, if she told a therapist that her mother had a love affair with a notorious terrorist it could ruin the reputation of Grayson Global once and for all–the pesky SEC had already been a-knocking as it was, while investors like Emily’s mentor Satoshi Takeda were publicly voicing their doubts about the company. His fears certainly aren’t without merit. Especially after Victoria’s shrink had all of her taped therapy sessions leak to the Internet. But I can’t help but think that Grandpa Grayson is more than willing to let Charlotte lose her mind to save the family name. Most of all because he now knows she isn’t really a Grayson.
NEXT: Like Amanda, Daniel starts doubting Emily. And Victoria and Tyler basically have the same plan: Get money now and still ruin your adversaries.
Back to our other major prescription-drug user. Tyler still had the Revenge Box, because of that timely loyalty-switch of Amanda, even though Emily wire-transferred a couple mil to his Canadian bank account. And now he was ready for phase 2 of his very own revenge plot. He would kill Daniel Grayson at the Fire + Ice Ball and frame Emily for it–killing two extremely good-looking birds with one stone. Just where is that surgeon brother of his when you need him? Tyler put on his white tie and tux to get ready. (Tyler: “How do I look?” Amanda: “Under-medicated.”) Actually, he got the idea from Emily herself. He told Amanda that she’d placed Frank’s wallet in his coat pocket, making the police think that he’d killed the Grayson’s long-serving security chief. But wait…if Emily had framed Tyler for Amanda’s crime, that meant Emily really did care about her welfare, after all! So when Tyler gave her a choice of designer evening wear or a bullet, she chose the latter, escaping with what appeared to be only a graze.
One thing you’re probably getting from all this is that Emily really didn’t have that much to do in this episode. But that seems very much to be the point. As everything falls apart, she’s like the calm eye of the storm, letting chaos unfold around her rather than unleashing it herself. Ultimately, that “let the bad guys hang themselves,” Fistful of Dollars approach is her only real hope of victory against the Graysons. Or perhaps I should invoke Yojimbo rather than the Sergio Leone remake, because of the presence of Takeda.
The Japanese billionaire, who last left the Hamptons in a huff, convinced that Emily was letting her growing feelings for Daniel undermine her path to revenge, had been loudly voicing his concern that the SEC investigation, not to mention Conrad and Victoria’s unraveling marriage, was making Grayson Global an unsound investment. I mean, he had put $50 million of his own money into the company, at Emily’s urging. So Takeda called a meeting with young Daniel, who he’d previously called “weak.” But this time, Daniel hardly appeared weak. He confidently confessed that Takeda shouldn’t invest in a company that he himself doesn’t believe in any longer, and that tomorrow he’d be eloping with Emily to Paris, leaving all of his crazy family’s secrets and lies behind. Oh, you could tell this did not sit well with Takeda. This impudent young pup might have some steely fiber after all. And be a greater threat to Emily’s plans than he had previously considered.
Meanwhile, Victoria decided to take Conrad’s settlement offer. She’d receive the deed to Grayson Manor and cash out her lucrative shares of Grayson Global. Then she’d torch the company by reporting their twenty-year internal report to the SEC. (That really doesn’t make her all that different from Tyler, who also hoped to cash in and have his revenge too.) But she didn’t want to lose her son’s love. So she took Emily aside and asked her to bring him back to her. How can you not love a show that has dialogue like this? “Daniel is a fickle boy, Emily. He loves to sit on fences. I hope when that fence is his opinion of his mother, I can trust you to be my advocate.”
Victoria’s backup plan? To tell Daniel that Emily wouldn’t just fly off with him to Paris. His fiancee wanted that Grayson name too much. And when Daniel did propose just that to Emily, she responded much like his mother anticipated. Could she really just be marrying him to become part of his psychotic family? Like with Amanda, I find Daniel’s lack of faith in Emily disturbing. I really couldn’t tell you at this point who’s the more gullible of the two. They will believe anything anybody tells them. And so, thinking that Emily was marrying him for his family name, Daniel decided to take a fateful walk on the beach….
NEXT: Now we know how Emily got that sand on her hand in the pilot.
So we come to it at last. The Graysons’ Labor Day Fire + Ice Ball for their son Daniel’s engagement to Ms. Emily Thorne. If only they had known that Emily was concealing a handgun in a thigh holster. Seriously, is there anything sexier than a woman carrying a handgun in a thigh holster? (Yes, I was raised on Bond movies.) First off, Takeda gave Emily his engagement present: her Revenge Box, which we saw him retrieve from Tyler’s hideout. Wait…how exactly did he discover Tyler’s location?
While Daniel was down taking his moonlit stroll, Emily buried her box in the sand. Clearly, it wasn’t safe to keep in her house after Tyler’s intrusion. And that was how she got the sand on her hand that she brushed off near an ice sculpture just a couple moments into the pilot all these months ago.
This is why you don’t let your man brood by himself, because Tyler, dressed almost identically to Daniel, confronted the Grayson scion at gunpoint on the beach. Despite his plan to kill Daniel and frame Emily for it, he decided to let him look at the Grayson Global Retreat photo he’d pilfered and tell him that his beloved wasn’t who she appeared to be. Somehow I’m not surprised Tyler would be a sucker for monologuing.
Obviously, Jack wasn’t going to be in attendance at Emily’s engagement party after the scene he made at their house a few nights ago. So he prepped the Amanda to set sail for Haiti and planned to set off in the middle of the night, when no one would miss him. No one would miss him except Amanda that is, who was positively exultant after escaping from Tyler’s clutches.. She ran on board and, positively bouncing on her toes with eagerness, said, “Take me with you, and I promise I’ll never leave you again.” They spent a few quiet moments together, but then Jack told Amanda that Emily was the one person who said that they should be together. Well, if Amanda was feeling bad about betraying her best friend before, this just about devastated her. And, knowing what Tyler was planning, she promptly left Jack–and after just saying that she’d never leave him!–got in her cab and went back to the Graysons’ beachfront. But Jack noticed that Amanda was bleeding and promptly followed her.
NEXT: Someone shoots to kill.When he arrived, he heard one gunshot ring out, followed by three more a few moments later. I mean, come on, we’ve waited 15 episodes, and the most pivotal incident in the mythology of this series is still just occurring off screen? After only seeing part of it in flash-forward at the beginning of the series, now we’ll only learn more about it in flashback from now on? Never in real time? Anyway, Jack was freaking out, and he saw Amanda squatting down beside a well-dressed corpse. Instantly, Amanda said, “Jack, I didn’t…” Jack immediately assumed Amanda must have killed whoever this was on the beach, so he started dragging away the body, until his brother and Charlotte spotted him and he went to hide behind a dune. Amanda, meanwhile, was to drive off in Jack’s truck–the keys were supposed to be waiting inside in the ignition. But they weren’t! And a few seconds later Takeda pulled up in a sleek black sports car, offering her a ride. “It is an honor to be of service,” he said.
When Victoria, screaming for her son, came to the spot where the body rested on the beach, we all thought, as we have for months, that it would be Daniel who lay at her feet. But when she turned over that corpse, it was…Tyler. And Daniel came shuffling along a few moments later, dazed and covered in blood himself. Did Tyler succeed in at least grazing him with one bullet, before he himself was dispatched? The previews for the next episode suggest that Daniel somehow lost his memory of what happened on the beach, so it’s entirely likely. That was definitely him we saw falling to his knees at the beginning of the episode, holding that picture. My bet is that Tyler did shoot him, and then somebody else shot Tyler.
But who? And how long will we have to wait to find out? This whole season we’ve looked at this Labor Day party, 15 episodes in, as the goal yard, the moment when all would be revealed. But now we find ourselves scratching our heads more than ever, and there’s really no sign on the horizon when any of this may reach the light of day. Did someone kill Tyler with the intent of framing Daniel? And did Tyler shoot Daniel? Or did somebody else entirely shoot both of them? My head is still spinning, and we have to wait two whole weeks to find out what happens next. Share your theories in the comments below.
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