A regular cast member meets doom and a giant secret is revealed in the season 2 finale
Credit: Colleen Hayes/ABC

When Gabriel Mann stopped by the EW offices a few weeks ago, he promised us everything with the Initiative would be solved by the finale. And so it was. Rather satisfactorily in my eyes, I might add, since it brings us full circle to what Revenge is actually about: Emily vs. the Graysons. But before we get into all that, let’s start at the beginning. It was an action-packed two hours and I’m still processing it, so bear with me.

Thanks to Carrion (though our heroes haven’t figured that out yet), everything is down — the power, cell service, etc. “What is going on out there?” asks Nolan, as he looks down on New York from the safety of a high rise. How he hasn’t realized that his baby’s behind this is beyond me. Nolan’s got no batteries, but he does have a solar-powered satellite. Complete with a fully charged laptop, he’s able to rig up a telecast. It’s Emily who finally puts the Carrion thing together — and what that means. Everything will be traced back to Aiden.

Meanwhile, Daniel and Charlotte are out on the streets, which are surprisingly calm given that the power is out in all of New York. Honestly, I was picturing Independence Day-esque chaos. Daniel suggests that they head to Conrad’s campaign quarters, but Charlotte doesn’t want to walk the 15 blocks it will take to get there. (Or maybe she said 50? Either way, it’s not that much.) She’s also worried that Daniel will tattle on the bun in her oven. “Think that’s a conversation I want to be a part of?” Daniel asks.

Jack and Victoria’s partnership is in full swing. “That recording is far from a smoking gun,” Victoria tells Jack. They need more evidence (never mind the fact that there’s no power). “You were in love with Amanda’s father, weren’t you?” asks Jack, revealing that Conrad has a laptop full of damning information, including the fact that he was responsible for David’s death (and never mind that Victoria already knows that since she was involved as well). Jack’s been searching for the laptop ever since it was taken (by Emily, not Conrad — not that Jack knows that… so many unknowables!) and hasn’t been able to locate it. He suspects the computer’s hidden in a safe in Conrad’s office and asks Victoria for help recovering it.

NEXT: Declan is described as “low-hanging fruit”

Regina and Declan are trapped in a bank, thanks to Plexiglas. (Declan makes an admirable attempt at breaking it and only succeeds in bruising his hand.) The two have a heart-to-heart in which Regina wonders what Charlotte sees in Declan. She gets the whole forbidden fruit thing, but Declan is “particularly low-hanging.” How about them apples?

At the Graysons’, Victoria hides a file on Jack before he can see it. Hmm. If you ever thought that Victoria was potentially on Jack’s side, this is proof that she is definitely not. So what is she up to? Jack finds another file — this one on Amanda Clarke. Victoria confesses that she was the one who pulled it and offers it to Jack. Alas, it’s all he finds in Conrad’s office. But the lack of laptop will not deter Jack: He plans to release the Nate tape to the press. Here’s the real problem with Jack’s revenge when compared to Emily’s: He doesn’t have the patience. That tape by itself is simply not enough to do any real damage to Conrad.

Emily wants to figure out a way to protect Aiden’s good name. Unfortunately the Fa1c0n has covered her tracks (complete with fabulous graphics and all). Nolan can’t do much to clear Aiden, but he can try to monitor the feds’ activities so Aiden stays one step ahead of them. I have to say, I’m not sure any local feds can do much without the power…

Eureka! Declan has solved one of the season’s major mysteries: Regina likes Charlotte! She like likes her. The moment he announces this, the power comes back on. But Regina can’t just let Declan leave, so she plants the bail money they’ve assembled on him. Daniel and Charlotte have finally made it to Conrad’s campaign headquarters after “three hours.” Did it actually take that long? But forget that, line of the night goes to Conrad: “Haven’t I always said my children can light up a room?” (Get it? ‘Cause the power came back on? Har dee har har.) Conrad tells Daniel to shut down Grayson Global, then be back by 4 p.m. to be in front of cameras “where he belongs.” But Daniel can’t let a sleeping dog lie. He needs to make sure Aiden’s the patsy for the Initiative’s Carrion ploy.

Conrad flies back to the Hamptons to pick up Victoria for his afternoon speech. It’s then we get confirmation of her motivations. She tells him that Jack knows what happened to Amanda and that he’s determined to find the computer, which he believes Conrad took. Of course, Conrad knows that computer’s gone. V adds that Jack is going to sabotage the press conference with the Nate tape, so Conrad’s solution is to use Ashley to keep him out. Victoria shakes her head. “She’s in it with him, you fool.”

NEXT: Emily VanCamp deserves all the awards just for her ability to cry

Nolan and Emily go to seek Takeda’s counsel. Unfortunately, he’s dead. No one does tears like Emily VanCamp, huh? As she cries over Takeda’s body, she flashes back to the past. Takeda grills her on her father, who he deems a “bad man. Because of him, many people died.” Of course, he’s just trying to goad Emily into fighting with him, which she does. Takeda pins her, proud of the anger she’s shown. She just needs to learn to balance it with patience. “I just want people to pay,” Emily says softly. Back in the present day, she tells Nolan that whoever did this removed his body out of respect. Of course, she doesn’t suspect Aiden for a second. Instead, she finds Takeda’s own revenge box, complete with two photos: one of a woman, the other a hot guy circled in black Sharpie. (He’s even got his own Sharpie!) Emily suspects that it’s this man who’s behind Takeda’s death and that Aiden (or she) could be next.

While Victoria is trashing Conrad’s secret files, she spies a pregnancy test. And her reaction shot alone takes the cake: She just rolls her eyes. Over at Conrad’s campaign headquarters, Regina throws Declan under the bus. She blames her bruises on Declan, then accuses him of stealing the money they were going to use to make Charlotte’s bail (which Regina planted in his pocket). It’s cold, but it succeeds. Charlotte sends Declan away. But there’s still the little fact that she’s not a lesbian, Regina. Sorry.

Victoria pays Daniel a visit at Grayson Global (because of course he’s there, despite his father’s wishes). Turns out she thinks it’s Emily who’s the pregnant one. That would explain their quick nuptials. “The test wasn’t hers,” Daniel insists. Victoria catches sight of a picture of Charlotte and the realization blooms over her face. “Oh dear god.”

The press is hoping to move up Conrad’s speech, according to Ashley. Conrad refuses, but oh-so-casually adds not to tell Jack about the speech time. Ash is, of course, shocked, but agrees — and then immediately texts Jack about it, a text Conrad witnesses, confirming Victoria’s accusation. Jack tries to call Ashley when he sees she’s texted him, but in spite of having the power back, cell service is still wonky. No matter. He has the Amanda Clarke file to keep him busy. There, he discovers she recently paid a visit to Japan. How odd…

Takeda was murdered, Emily reveals to Aiden. “Thank god you’re okay,” she says as she hugs him. Emily then pulls out the photo of the mystery man and shows her suspect to Aiden, but he couldn’t care less. “Come away with me,” he pleads. It’s that plea that outs him. She knows he killed Takeda and her immediate reaction is to pin him against the wall (go Ems!). But Aiden’s got one heck of a bombshell: Turns out Takeda had his own revenge ploy going. His fiancée was on Flight 197. She took the jump seat and was never listed among the dead. “Takeda trained you as a soldier for his war, not yours,” Aiden says. And he knew all along.

Again, Conrad tries to convince Daniel to leave Grayson Global, but Daniel wants to wait till the servers are up so he can turn Aiden in. Conrad demands Daniel’s presence at his speech and since Emily picks that moment to show up, she’s invited along too. It’s fortunate, really. Because turns out the guy who’s working on the servers is actually the man from Takeda’s photo.

NEXT: Declan gets along so well with his in-laws. And a death?

A man named Porter is trying to sneak into Conrad’s campaign headquarters. Alas, it’s not Jack, but just Declan. Conrad’s happy to host the boy as long as he’s legal to vote. Victoria comes up and wryly notes that there are a variety of activities that Declan is legal to participate in other than voting. He has no idea what she’s talking about, so she cuts to the chase, revealing that Charlotte is pregnant and that if Declan ever so much as comes near her again, his “ability to procreate will be nothing but a distant memory.” Meanwhile, Conrad puts his newfound spy skills to use by using Ashley’s phone to text Jack to meet “her” with the laptop at Grayson Global. A regular 007, that one.

Aiden’s prepared to fall on his own sword (no pun intended, Takeda!) and accept the blame for Carrion. Nolan tells him not to worry, that they’ll sort it all out, including finding Takeda’s killer. Well, Nolan doesn’t have to look far. Aiden admits that he laid his mentor to rest, insisting that he did it for Emily. “I was such a fool to think that Emily would walk away from her revenge,” he says. “She did it once,” Nolan counters. Oops. But Aiden won’t let it go. See all this time, it’s Daniel Aiden’s been worried about, but really Jack is the only one who has any hold over Emily’s heart.

Charlotte may have been fooled by Regina at the outset, but a phone call from Declan sets it all right. “She’s in love with you,” he reveals, adding that Victoria told him about the baby (let’s remember that at this point Charlotte hadn’t even told Victoria). “I think it’s great,” says Declan before his phone cuts out. Charlotte sides with Declan and kicks Regina to the curb (despite the fact that she was willing to raise a baby with her!).

Nolan’s busy running a trace on Takeda’s mystery man when Emily bursts in, shouting that she saw him at Grayson Global. Jack conveniently calls Nolan then to tell him that he’s about to get his hands on Conrad’s computer, which of course baffles Emily since she knows that that computer is at the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately, the call drops before Nolan can say anything. The trace completes itself, revealing the man in the photo to be Gregor Hoffman, a trained assassin. If he was the one who gained access to servers, Jack can only be walking into a trap. Nolan and Emily try frantically to call Jack, but he doesn’t pick up.

It’s finally time for Conrad’s speech. He drones on about bonds that can’t be severed, yada, yada, yada, catching sight of Gregor the assassin and giving him a discrete nod. So the assassin is working for Conrad? Phones across the room (and city) vibrate with a text that reads “Long live David Clarke” (very Sherlock) and then… BOOM! The top floor of Grayson Global blows out, presumably with Jack inside. And that’s the end of the first hour. Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to the promos, you know that can’t be our death. And it isn’t.

NEXT: Emily braves a burning building for her one true love

Emily fights her way into Grayson Global through the smoke and flames in an attempt to save Jack, while Conrad uses the bombing to his full advantage, calling for volunteers to help with the wreckage. (The act is caught on live TV, obviously. What a coincidence that Conrad’s campaign headquarters were right across the street!) Aiden hears about Emily going into Grayson Global and decides to come rescue her despite the fact that he’s essentially America’s (or at least New York’s) most wanted man. Inside the building, Emily hears a moan, but she’s pulled away by firemen before we can see who’s under all the rubble.

Nolan’s tracking Jack’s phone to see if he was in Grayson Global for the explosion. His phone turns out to be… 10 feet away, in Nolan’s doorway. “How the hell’d you know that building was going to explode?” Jack demands. Nolan tells Jack that he stumbled onto the whole plot. Jack notes that he was supposed to meet Ashley, suspecting that she was working with the Graysons all along. He storms off to find Conrad in spite of Nolan’s pleas: “If you go anywhere near him, he will finish the job.” Outside, we finally learn the identity of who was in the building: Declan.

“What were you doing in there?” Daniel asks, seeing his fiancée hurried out of Grayson Global. “Looking for you,” Emily replies smoothly. Nice save, Ems. She calls Nolan, who reveals that Jack is fine, but out for blood. At Conrad’s campaign headquarters, Jack grabs Ashley. “I know you set me up,” he accuses her. “I didn’t text you,” she insists, claiming that Victoria must have told Conrad. He believes her.

Jack meets up with Nolan once again to tell him that Ashley wasn’t behind his attempted murder. Nolan tentatively believes him, but they’re interrupted by a call from the woman in question: Declan’s in the hospital. Jack rushes off, and Nolan phones up Emily, worried that Jack is walking into a trap. “He won’t,” she assures him.

NEXT: Jack and Emily finally make up

Outside the hospital, Emily and Jack sit in a car. She’s figured out Declan’s room number, as well as come up with a plan for distracting the Graysons. “I’m not going to pretend I understand why you’re doing all this for me,” he says, but he’s finally forgiven her because he reinstates her as Carl’s godmother just in case “something happens to him.” Oh god, don’t die Jack!

Emily sits down for a chat with Charlotte and Victoria while Nurse Jackie (heh) makes his way into Declan’s hospital room. Declan comes to when Jack visits. His first words? “Jack? Why are you a nurse?” Fabulous. Jack apologizes for getting his brother blown up; after all that bomb was meant for him. He’s ready to give up his revengetta for Declan and run away, but Decs has got other plans: He’s going to be a daddy.

Aiden’s waiting for Emily on her porch. He tries to apologize, but she tells him to go. Still, he persists. He just wants to save her from the empty life of vengeance. Then, when she continues to be unreceptive to the idea, he brings up Jack. She gave everything up for him; why can’t she do the same for Aiden? “That was a different time,” she explains, but Aiden’s not fooled. He hands her a key to villa on Capri. “If you change your mind, I can join you there.” They kiss. “I hope you get what you’re looking for, Amanda. No one has ever deserved it more than you.” He’s such a good loser.

Charlotte’s finally allowed in to see Declan. “I never should have listened to Regina,” she apologizes, but Declan doesn’t care. They’re going to be parents! “Are you sure that’s what you want?” Charlotte asks. “I have the worst role models in parental history.” But he thinks she’ll make a fine mother. Which is a good thing, since he’s in worse shape than he lets on.

Nolan’s banging on Emily’s door. “Aiden’s gone. He’s safe, for now,” Ems tells Nolan. “You told him what happened with Jack last year,” she adds in accusation. In fairness, Nolan didn’t know she was keeping it a secret from Aiden. “He deserves better,” Emily admits. “So does Jack.” “How’s he holding up?” asks Nolan. “He was supposed to be with you,” Emily answers. Uh oh.

Daniel’s in shock: Aiden Mathis really was part of the Initiative’s scheme, if the computer records are to be believed. He’s bankrupted the Graysons. “Money comes. Money goes,” says Conrad on learning this development. Daniel’s freaking out, but Conrad couldn’t care less. Instead, he’s only interested in his speechifying. Daniel’s ready to dump the Grayson name and flee to Paris with Emily, but as Conrad reveals, he owes him his life. Turns out Conrad knew about the bomb. And he saved Daniel’s life by convincing him to leave the office. Ergo, Daniel is entirely in his father’s debt. And Conrad plans to collect.

NEXT: So it wasn’t just a few bruises, huh Declan?

Nolan visits Declan at the hospital, where he overhears that he’s heading into heart surgery. Wait, heart surgery? Nolan thought Declan was fine, per Charlotte. Alas, he lied to her. He’s dying and he doesn’t have much time left. Nolan vows he’ll spend every dime that he has to find him the best heart surgeon out there. “What I need Nolan is time,” Declan answers. “You can’t buy me that.” He tells Nolan to look out for Jack, who he knows will be positively beside himself if he loses another loved one to the Graysons.

Victoria’s watching TV when Emily stops by, giving them time for a good ol’ fashioned heart-to-heart. “Whatever your reasons for marrying him, you’ll never convince me it’s for love,” Victoria says. She knows that Emily is up to something and, as she notes, she’s “been at this much longer than you.” Before Emily can answer, however, something on TV catches her eye. It’s Aiden: He was detained at the Canadian border while trying to flee the country.

Daniel tells Victoria that Conrad helped blow up Grayson Global, a fact that comes as a shock to her. She confronts Conrad, who reveals that he not only knew about the bomb and positioned campaign headquarters nearby on purpose, but that… There is no Initiative. The hated organization was just a front for businessmen (and women) who like to make a profit on disasters. Conrad was recently granted access to their inner circle, which promises to triple the Graysons’ wealth (forget the fact that they have none right now). Victoria’s appalled. “I committed murder to protect [Daniel],” she says. And that almost ruined everything, shoots back Conrad.

Jack’s back at the hospital, still rocking the nursing gear. He sees that Declan is missing from his hospital room, then notices Nolan is crying in the back corner. Unable to speak, Nolan hands him a video Declan made shortly before he went into surgery. That’s right, folks. We finally have our casualty. Jack, extremely (and understandably) pissed off, heads out to take Conrad down once and for all. Nolan phones Emily to tell her that Jack is going to make a rash move and she hightails it to the Conrad’s gubernatorial party.

At the Graysons’, Victoria comes across Jack raiding Conrad’s safe for the gun he found there earlier. He pulls it on her. “You betrayed me,” he accuses. “You used me.” “Do it. Pull the trigger. I deserve it,” she replies. But he can’t. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because he knows she’ll suffer more if she lives a long, painful life.

Surprisingly, Aiden’s released from custody. “The nature of our questioning has shifted,” explains the officer in charge before we cut to Nolcorp where Nolan is arrested for the cyber attack. I may or may not have waved my fist angrily at the TV. Elsewhere, Victoria wakes up Charlotte (who passed out while perusing a website called “Teenage Mommy”) to… tell her she loves her. One could argue that she chickened out about telling Charlotte Declan’s fate, but I like to think she just wanted to let her daughter remain innocent a little while longer.

NEXT: A big secret is revealed.

Daniel’s at Emily’s house, searching for his date to Conrad’s party, but all he finds is Aiden, who tells him that Ems has already left. Aiden confronts Daniel about his family’s involvement in the Initiative, insisting that he set things right. “The sooner you start to repay that debt, the better it’s going to be for everyone,” Aiden says. Daniel tries to fight him, but Aiden’s ninja-trained. He almost kills him, sparing Daniel’s life at the last second. “If you two get married, you’ll spend the rest of your life regretting it,” Aiden says, telling Daniel to break off his engagement (again).

Nolan’s being questioned over his part in creating Carrion — and it’s not looking good. The prison visits with David Clarke, Padma’s disappearance, the fact that he actually is the mind behind Carrion — all roads lead to Nolan. But the worst part? The feds have got their hands on a video from… Padma! She reveals that Nolan’s behind everything, including her own murder, since this video effectively gives him a motive for killing her. I always wondered what Trask’s final request of Padma was. Looks like this was it. Nice payoff, Revenge. (And I’m not saying that sarcastically. I’m glad this plotline tied itself up so neatly.)

Surprise, surprise, Conrad has been named Governor-elect. Emily rushes about campaign headquarters, trying to find Jack, while Conrad launches into his speech. But Jack’s in expert assassin attire, complete with pageboy cap and glasses, and therefore unrecognizable. While Emily searches, Victoria watches Conrad’s speech from home. The doorbell rings — and it’s her son. Back at campaign headquarters, Emily bursts in on Jack just before he shoots Conrad, pleading with him not to make a mistake because of her. Whatever does she mean? This has nothing to do with her, Jack says. “It has everything to do with me,” she answers, staring steadily at him. And then he figures it out. “I’m Amanda Clarke,” she reveals.

So did this episode live up to your expectations, viewers? I predicted that either Charlotte or Declan would die — I honestly had my money on Charlotte since it’s not like the show needs another baby, but truth be told, I should have suspected it would be Declan. The only way Emily and Jack could ever be on even ground was if he were driven to the same extremes she has been. And now… who knows? Will they be a team? As much as I like Aiden (well, okay, the actor), he and Ems did not make the best duo. She and Jack hold far more promise in my eyes. But let’s forget that for a moment: What did you think of the Initiative reveal? Are you happy it’s basically out of our lives for good? Or do you feel cheated at the easy answer? And what is going to happen to Nolan? Of all the happenings of tonight, it’s him I’m the most worried about. Stay safe Gabriel Mann. Share your thoughts on the season finale below!