Conrad announces his bid for governor, Victoria covers up Helen's death, and Jack and Amanda's honeymoon ends in tragedy
Credit: Colleen Hayes/ABC
S2 E14
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The time has come, readers. Last night we officially came full circle and reached the scene that opened this season. And unlike all the near saves from earlier, we finally got a death — one that has been a long time coming, if you ask me. But let’s not talk about that just yet…

Somewhere on the way to Nantucket, divers probe the wreckage of the Amanda. As in the season premiere, we don’t get any close-ups — all we know is that there is a body down there, specifically a body with a wedding ring. But which half of the happily married couple is anybody’s guess. (But really we all knew who it was, right?)

Earlier in the day, the Graysons have a family meeting. Conrad’s disposed of their bloodstained clothes; Victoria’s called back the staff. “This really is business for you two,” Daniel notes. Conrad’s not having any of his son’s spinelessness. It’s time for Daniel to start “shouldering some responsibility.” After all, it was him who got them into the Helen Crawley mess in the first place. Of course, when he says “shouldering the responsibility,” Conrad means living with the guilt. It’s Amanda Clarke who will get the blame.

Conrad pulls Ashley aside and tells her his plans to announce that he’s running for governor tonight. Ashley tries to persuade him otherwise, remarking that Conrad shouldn’t rush into politics just because someone’s got dirt on him. She wants him to postpone the announcement instead, but Conrad refuses.

Emily, Nolan, and Aiden are meeting via virtual conference room. I’m pretty sure something was being advertised here, but I’m not sure what it was. Though I do feel a sudden urge for a new cell phone… Anyways, Aiden tells Nolan (who’s manning the Stowaway in Jack’s absence — not my first pick, but sure) that he wants to use Padma to get at the Initiative. Nolan immediately shoots this down (because he’s in luurrve), while Emily also rejects it, albeit for different reasons (she doesn’t trust Padma). Aiden points out that it’s not like Padma can just walk away from the Initiative anyways. “It’s too late to save her,” he says. However, if they do use her, then she’ll have a shot of rescuing her father and breaking free of the Initiative once and for all.

The conference call is interrupted by Ashley, who walks in Emily’s back door, as casual as you please. I mean, have the two even really spoken at all this season? Still, I commend her show of conscience. Ashley thinks Amanda is in over her head with the Graysons and she wants to warn Emily to do something before it’s too late. “Amanda, blackmail? I find that hard to believe,” Emily says. But then she discovers her laptop is gone…

NEXT: The best photo bomb of all time

Out on the ocean, Jack and Amanda wake up after a night of loving under the stars. Is it safe for them to just sleep on the bow like that? Then again maybe I’ve watched too many Syfy specials. Jack gets up to go call the mainland and check on baby Carl (what a display of proud parenting!), but then something catches his eye — a cigarette pack. Either Amanda’s taken up smoking or… Yep! They’ve got a stowaway on board (har dee har har — get it? Stowaway). Nate, apparently content to spend the night below deck while the couple got it on above him, finally makes himself known.

Nate asks for the evidence against Conrad, but like the champion liar she is, Faux-manda pretends not to know what he’s talking about. Nate accepts this and goes to call Conrad, leaving Jack and Amanda to formulate a plan. “He’s going to kill us, so we kill him first,” Amanda whispers to Jack, giving her beau a “don’t get cold feet on me” look as Nate calls for her to follow him. You can just tell Jack is wondering who the eff he married.

At the Stowaway, Charlotte’s making a slideshow! What a doll she is. Ems turns up looking for her earrings, and while Charlotte goes to track them down, Emily discovers what is positively the best photo bomb I’ve ever seen. Indeed, Nate Ryan himself can be seen lurking on the Amanda in one of Jack and Amanda’s wedding photos. It’s too amazing. Emily snaps a pic with her phone, then heads off to find Nolan. She tells him that she thinks something’s going on, and Nolan puts his techno skills to use by calling the honeymoon hovel in Nantucket to confirm what they already suspect — Jack and Amanda never showed up.

At Grayson Global, Victoria storms into Daniel’s office, telling him all about Helen’s visit to their home. (Side note: this is the first time it’s hit me, but does Daniel have his own place? I don’t think he does. How many problems could be solved if he just moved out?) Anyways, the two Graysons put on a good show for the Initiative’s cameras — Daniel even calls security on his own mother! Shocking! Yeah, there was definitely nothing suspect about that whole exchange.

“I’m looking for Nolan Ross,” Padma tells the Stowaway’s bartender. “If you find him, tell him he’s fired,” he answers. Ouch. Has Nolan ever even been fired? Aiden, who’s sitting at the bar waiting for Padma, hands her his cell so she can talk to Nolan. He’s off on a speedboat tracking down the lost Jack and Amanda, but he tells Padma that she can trust Aiden. After all, they both have family members in the Initiative. What better bonding experience is there?

NEXT: Victoria bribes Charlotte with air conditioning

Back on the Amanda, Nate calls “Connie” at Amanda’s bequest. “Your story and Jack’s aren’t exactly matching up,” he says. Conrad tells him he just needs to find the laptop, then Nate will know who’s telling the truth. While he’s on the phone, Amanda makes a move for her backpack, pulling her gun on Nate and firing without hesitation. Too bad there aren’t any bullets… At least Nate isn’t that big of an idiot. So she tries a different tack, explaining that she’s behind the blackmail, adding that Jack has nothing to do with it. “He’s just my cover. Getting together with Jack was just my excuse to stay in the Hamptons while I collected evidence on the Graysons,” she tells Nate. Like any good soap opera, Jack overhears.

Amanda offers to team up with Nate to take down Conrad, while down below Jack goes to find Declan’s laptop. The minute he opens it, Nolan is able to hack the screen, using the computer’s camera to see what’s happening on the Amanda. Up on deck, Nate channels his inner Two Face, tossing a coin in the air and telling Amanda, “In case you lied to me, I’m going to flip that to see which one of you dies first.”

Victoria visits Charlotte at the Stowaway to ask her to come to the family’s annual Labor Day party. Charlotte’s reluctant — she’s a Clarke now anyways — but Victoria convinces her by making a plea on behalf of baby Carl. “It’s clear that he needs a quiet, temperature-controlled space.” (The Stowaway’s air conditioning is broken.) Charlotte agrees, as long as Declan can come too. The two kids head off to get ready, leaving Victoria to plant Helen’s scarf and phone under Amanda’s bed in the Stowaway.

Furious, Jack comes above deck on the Amanda. “I heard everything you said,” he accuses his wife. Then, like any good husband, he sells her out, telling Nate that Amanda’s laptop is downstairs. Like any good criminal, Nate leaves his captives unattended and heads below deck. Jack and Faux-manda faux-argue, inflating their getaway boat while Nate searches below. But then he calls for Amanda to come show him where the laptop is, foiling their escape plans. She does, then sprints for the stairs, locking the doors to below deck behind her. Nate tries to muscle his way out while Jack and Amanda fumble with the inflatable boat, but the door holds. So of course, he turns to his gun, firing at random and hitting… Jack! Amanda lowers Jack into the boat, then turns on the engine and kicks it off, staying behind to fend off Nate. Nate knocks her out, then locks her in the hold in turn.

NEXT: Charlotte Clarke, alcohol police. Also, take note: Death is a turn-on for Conrad (if you’re into that kind of thing)

At the Graysons’, Daniel’s dealing with murder the only way he can: lots and lots of alcohol. “Shouldn’t you be going easy with that?” Charlotte asks, buzzkill that she is. “I don’t know who you are anymore.” “Well that makes the two of us,” Daniel answers. Charlotte tells him he should give up his Grayson heritage like she has. But Helen’s death changes things. He can’t walk away now.

Emily and Nolan find a passed-out Jack floating on the ocean. Ems tells Nolan to get Jack back to the mainland while she takes the little boat to find the Amanda. “I can’t leave Amanda,” she tells Nolan, even though he urges her to come back with him. Meanwhile, the Amanda is quickly taking on water thanks to an engine malfunction.

Conrad tells Victoria that she looks radiant. “You mean in the midst of a crisis with blood on my hands?” she snaps back. Victoria hasn’t forgotten her deal with Conrad — at the end of the summer, she plans to leave him. Of course, this is less than desirable for Conrad. It’s not the best idea to start your bid for governor in the middle of a divorce. But Conrad’s not worried — he has just the leverage he needs now: Daniel. Nothing is beneath this man, not even threatening his own son’s well-being.

A creepy-looking man by the name of Trask introduces himself to the Graysons. They think he’s press — until he asks about Helen Crawley, that is. Initiative member numero 2! Does he live up to your expectations? He certainly looks scary enough. (My apologies to the actor.) Trask is convinced the Graysons are behind Helen’s disappearance, but then Conrad oh-so-smoothly hints at Amanda’s involvement. Trask goes to check the Stowaway and lo and behold, he finds Helen’s scarf and phone under Amanda’s bed. The phone has a message from Padma, who — on Aiden’s advice — has been trying to get proof that her father’s still alive. Trask pulls out his own phone, then places an ominous call. “I’m going to need to arrange delivery.”

NEXT: A whole new meaning to “hand-delivered.”

Amanda makes her move, running above deck and away from Nate (really there’s only so many places she can go). “I’m not going to hurt you,” he calls after her. Sure, Nate. Everything you’ve done up until this point seems to indicate that you’re completely benevolent. As he comes up the stairs, Emily hits him, knocking him back down below where they tussle in the water. “Who the hell are you?” Nate asks, perplexed. A stray bullet goes through the propane hose, an event that will in no way be important later. Nate finally gets control of the gun, only to be shot by Amanda. Emily and Amanda run for their little boat, but then Amanda doubles back to grab Emily’s necklace, only to see Nate flick his lighter and ignite the propane (fooled you! It was important). The Amanda explodes as Emily and Amanda jump into the ocean. Emily comes up for air, clinging to the half-sunken inflatable boat and calling Amanda’s name desperately.

Padma is worried because Helen hasn’t called her back. If only she knew. She consults Aiden, who tells her not to worry — surely it just means that Helen is taking her request seriously. Like clockwork, Trask picks that moment to call. Padma demands proof of her father’s life before she’ll do anything else for the Initiative. “I believe you just signed for it,” he answers calmly. “Feel free to check the fingerprint.” Aiden opens the box just delivered to find Padma’s father’s cleanly severed finger.

Nolan drops Jack off with a private hospital, then heads out to find Emily. At the wreck, Emily has finally found Amanda, but it’s not looking good. After surviving a two-flight fall earlier this season, Amanda is finally on her deathbed. And you know what? As much as I don’t like her, I’m actually sad to see her go. But I think that’s entirely due to Emily VanCamp’s wonderful acting. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an actress sob quite as convincingly. Her crying made me cry in turn, particularly her delivery of “Oh my God, I’m so sorry.” Sometimes she’s such an automaton, I forget she has feelings. Not this week, though.

So readers, are you sad to see Faux-manda go? Were you shocked by her death? Who will you miss more, Amanda or the Amanda? Will Charlotte and Declan become baby Carl’s full-time parents? And how will this affect Emily’s revenge plot? Will we perhaps see more of the red Sharpie?

Episode Recaps

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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