Jack and Amanda finally get married, someone plots murder, and someone commits one.
Back from a three-week hiatus, Revenge skipped the pretense and went right for the heartstrings from the get-go, starting off with my favorite flashback yet. A cuter, less jaded (and real) Amanda builds a pipe cleaner ring. She’s planning the wedding of her dreams to Jack “in presence of her best man Sammy.” Argh. Cue the tears. In the present day, Emily stares at the turquoise pipe cleaner circle in question. She’s torn between Aiden and Daniel, but on the day of his wedding she can’t help but think of Jack. Does she really need another man? Nope. But I’ve always had a soft spot for those two.
Nolan interrupts the moment by revealing that Aiden has disappeared without a trace. Emily is noticeably sad, but not by Aiden’s disappearance. “I know this isn’t the happy ending you envisioned for you and Jack,” Nolan says sagely. “I’m happy things are going Jack’s way,” she answers sincerely. “He deserves it. And Amanda does too.” Not so fast, says Nolan. After all, the couple’s happiness comes at the expense of The Stowaway, which has fallen into Conrad’s hands — a fact that Amanda has yet to reveal to Emily. And speak of the devil — Amanda strolls in at precisely that moment. Ems nails her with a death glare at the news that Conrad is staging a coup of The Stowaway. She can’t believe Amanda would ask him for help knowing all that he has done (and honestly, neither can I. How stupid can you be?). Emily writes Amanda a check and tells her to buy back The Stowaway ASAP.
Ahhh! What happened to Jack’s face? “You actually shaved,” declares Declan. I think this is an understatement. When I was six, my dad shaved off his mustache and I cried for an hour. I feel at least as upset now. But no. Jack wants to look nice for his wedding. Never do anything drastic before the Big Day, Jack. Don’t you know that? Anyways, Jack wants Declan to look after baby Carl while he takes his bride on a honeymoon. “You guys really got this whole parenting thing down,” Jack remarks as Charlotte heads off to change Carl’s diaper. How in the world did two high schoolers suddenly become responsible for a baby that’s not theirs?
Nolan didn’t look for Aiden very hard — he’s in his office. Aiden wants Nolan to use his techno wizardry to search the video the Initiative sent him — you know, the one where his sister is murdered — for any clues. But all Nolan can find is the date of creation — six years ago. Interesting. I suspected she was long since dead. But six whole years? Seems a little weird he didn’t notice any age difference. Aiden presses Nolan for any other details and he manages to track the video to a location in Jersey City. Aiden makes him promise not to involve Emily, but of course he tells her all about it.
NEXT: Correct me if I’m wrong, but Nantucket does not seem like honeymoon material
What better place to discuss your plans for world domination than the streets of Manhattan? (Actually, this may not be far from the truth.) Helen strolls down the sunny sidewalk, coaching Daniel on shady investments. Finally, he shows some reluctance in his dealings with the Initiative, but he’s in over his head by now. No worries, Danny-boy! Mummy’s to the rescue.
Victoria storms into Conrad’s office with the fury of a harpy. “We’re actually in the middle of things,” Ashley says. “And fully clothed, how refreshing,” Victoria shoots back. She witnessed Daniel’s sketchy dealings with Helen, and she’s down to her last move. She wants hard evidence framing David Clarke to convince Daniel not to cross over to the dark side.
Jack presents Amanda with a Nantucket brochure. Nantucket?! I mean, not everyone has to go to Hawaii, but what happened to at least a different climate? “I already got Dec on board to take care of Carl,” Jack adds enticingly. Honestly, do they ever take care of Carl? I don’t think I’ve seen Jack hold him since he left the hospital. Amanda’s got her own present from Jack: Emily’s check. Jack doesn’t want her pity cash — he doesn’t want to be indebted to a friend. Would he prefer an enemy? Amanda points out. Jack takes the check.
Emily tracks Aiden to the Jersey City building. It is about as nasty as you would expect and has apparently not been used since Colleen was tortured there six years ago. As Seth and Amy would say, Really?! The bed she was tethered to is still there. Surely someone would have made it their home by now. Aiden’s still not certain whether his sister is alive or dead, so he and Emily go in search of her autopsy report. While they’re waiting, Daniel calls Emily. She puts him on speaker so Aiden can listen in, but the convo is the typical niceties. Nothing juicy. They hang up, and we finally get a look at the report in question. Looks like Colleen is well and truly dead. Or is she??? At this point, I’m not sure I’ll ever be convinced one way or the other. Even if she turns up alive, there’s still some chance she’s an Initiative clone. Or something.
Having swallowed his pride, Jack gives Conrad the check for The Stowaway. “The deal’s changed,” the Mouth of Sauron, i.e. Ashley, informs Jack. Conrad is rebuilding the waterfront and that includes Jack’s measly little bar. Jack says Conrad can’t do that — after all, he still owns half of The Stowaway. Alas, Conrad says delicately, Jack can’t pay his mortgage, which will allow Conrad to absorb Jack’s debt and take the bar by force. (Is this actually true? Lawyers, answer below.) Jack vows to take Conrad on with all the might of his blue-collar buddies, but Conrad laughs (metaphorically) in his face. What are a few low-rent friends compared to millions of papery green ones? Follow-up question: Why doesn’t Jack just move somewhere else? Nantucket, maybe. Spare himself the pain.
NEXT: Amanda tries her hand at blackmail. It will likely not end well.
Declan, of course, wants to fight for the bar. “I don’t even think it’s worth the fight,” Jack answers. So much for the blue-collar friends. At least he’s a realist. Jack knows that he will lose the bar to Conrad. Still, he can’t bear to tell Amanda. He wants her to be happy on her wedding day. She shouldn’t have to deal with his problems. Even though it’s all her fault in the first place?
Over at Nolcorp (or is he at Grayson Global? I’m unsure of the office building logistics following the coup.) Nolan calls Padma into his office for a chat, going against “the better judgment of someone he trusts” and confronting her about her betrayal. She insists she’s not after his money, thinking he’s not onto her just yet. “I think you are after something else far more valuable and dangerous,” he says, cutting to the chase. “I just can’t figure out the why.” But he can guess, asking her about her father. They used to talk fairly regularly. But this past month? Nada. Padma stays firm — until Nolan tells her “my feelings for you defy logic.” Then she breaks out the post-it. “Not here,” it reads.
Instead, the two go on a walk, where Padma reveals that her father left on a business trip about a month ago, never to be heard from again. Then she received a phone call from Helen with marching orders. First, to get close to Nolan. Second, to locate a code for Carrion. “I don’t even know what it does,” she says earnestly. “Luckily for humanity, I gave you an incomplete version of it,” Nolan responds. Oh Nolan. Why did you say that? “My feelings for you — they’re all real,” Padma promises. Readers, I think it’s too easy. Padma’s playing Nolan for a fool. What about you?
Amanda, who overheard Jack telling Declan about Conrad’s plans for The Stowaway, turns up at Ems’ and busts into her super secret laptop. She sits there staring at the password protected screen for all of a second before she comes up with the correct one: Infinity. Emily, how could you be so predictable? Then again, I bet she never anticipated Amanda breaking into her stuff. But love will make you do crazy things. Amanda goes to confront Conrad, pulling up video footage of the Graysons’ household. He’s stunned. It’s her who’s been messing with the Graysons all along (or so he thinks). “I promise I will take a wrecking ball to every bit of this pathetic excuse of a life you have chosen,” Amanda vows. This girl is begging to be killed. Conrad agrees to Amanda’s demands, then immediately calls Nate Ryan the minute she is gone. Yep, Amanda you are a goner. There’s only one hint of hope: Ashley overhears the phone call.
NEXT: A wedding where everyone wears white. Now that’s a first.
Aiden, frustrated by his sister’s (apparent) death, yells at Emily, essentially accusing her of being an emotionless shrew. “Is that what you think?” she asks. “That I don’t feel? That I don’t mourn the life that I could have had?” This, she adds, is precisely what attracted her to him in the first place: The fact that both of them have lost everything. That both of them know the pain of being wholly alone. And yet, can that kind of relationship really be healthy? It’s entirely based on what’s been taken from them. On their anger and hate and suffering. (I watched Star Wars recently, in case you can’t tell.) How can you build something from that?
Daniel’s trying to carry out Helen’s investments, but even his employees are reluctant. Victoria storms into his office, bringing the proof she procured from Conrad earlier in the episode and finally, finally breaking through Daniel’s carefully constructed shield. He’s endangering everyone that he cares for by dealing with Helen, “including Emily Thorne.” Nothing stops Daniel in his tracks quite like that name. Too bad Helen was listening in the whole time. How could Victoria not have anticipated that? Or maybe… she did? More later…
It’s finally time for the wedding! (Is the fact that I initially typed “weeding” telling? I think so. Jack and Faux-manda are doomed.) The best part by far is Nolan’s jacket. He’s presiding over the ceremony; why shouldn’t he be flashy? But the second best part is the way his voice catches when he says Amanda Clarke, the way he looks at Emily before proceeding. He’s the only one from her past who knows her hopes and dreams. And he knows that whatever she feels for Aiden or Daniel or whomever, a part of her will always love Jack. And then Emily does the most selfless thing she’s done all season. She gives Amanda the pipe cleaner ring. “This just goes to show how long this was coming,” Jack says, looking rather teary-eyed. Completely coincidentally, Aiden — looking all romance cover-y — picks this exact moment to show up, perched on a cliff above the proceedings.
Conrad meets with Nate and tells him the plans for their luxury boardwalk are off. Nate’s shocked — until he hears about the other side having “leverage.” And if someone were to remove this leverage? Well, Conrad answers, that’s “purely hypothetical.” Have we finally caught up to the season two premiere?
NEXT: It’s 9:59 p.m. Where are your children? Hopefully not on a boat to Nantucket.
Daniel calls Emily to pseudo break-up with her. (I say pseudo because they weren’t really back together in the first place.) Guess his mother’s impassioned speech got to him. He’s trying to protect her. It’d be cute — if it didn’t keep Emily from her Initiative goals. Meanwhile, Jack and Amanda sail off for Nantucket, leaving baby Carl with Declan and Charlotte.
Helen shows up at the Graysons’. “I thought you of all people would have known better than to test our resolve,” she tells Victoria coolly, then threatens to kill Daniel in the same breath. Unless Victoria hands over the evidence, that is. Victoria agrees, leading Helen to the pool house, where one naturally keeps such damning documents. Helen moves to the safe to retrieve her precious proof, allowing Victoria to pull a gun on her. “I hardly think you have it in you to kill a person in cold blood,” Helen says, advancing on Victoria’s loaded gun. Ballsy, Helen. But you were wrong. RIP. And by that I mean good riddance.
Victoria calls Daniel and has him stage a fake conversation with Helen, then summons him to the house. I don’t know what Daniel was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t a body. Conrad shows up next, revealing his Amanda Clarke dilemma. “Seems we have a rather extraordinary problem,” he declares, striding into the pool house. “I’ll go first,” Victoria responds, gesturing to the dead Initiative member bleeding all over their floor. Touché.
Jack and Amanda sail into the dark, as happy as a newly wed couple should be. Too happy in fact. My TV says it’s 9:59 — something’s going to happen. And something does. Nate Ryan’s on the boat. And that can only mean bad things to come. (Though not too bad, seeing as he’s on the boat with them… Really, I’m curious to know his escape plan.) What did you think of this week’s episode, readers? All in all, I thought it was a decent return and adequately Valentine’s Day-themed. (A wedding! Unrequited love! Teenagers raising a child!) Important questions: Is Colleen dead? Is Padma up to no good? Are you excited to meet more members of the Initiative? Or do you think it was a one-woman operation? Sound off below. But first, a moment of silence for Helen. Or not.
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