Revenge recap: 'Illusion'
As the great songstress Natalie Imbruglia once said, “Illusion never changed into something real.” Words to live by, if this week’s episode of Revenge — the aptly titled “Illusion” — is any indication. Indeed, if their was any lesson to be gleaned from last night, it’s that an illusion can never stand in for the real thing. Faux-manda can’t be real Amanda, for Mason or for Jack; Victoria can’t be happy with Conrad; and Daniel can’t replace Emily with Ashley. But above all, it’s Emily who won’t be able to keep her various illusions for long. Her house of cards is falling down around her. To the recap!
Wow, that wedding came along quickly, huh? Only the Graysons could possibly organize a wedding, however casual the affair (for Hamptons’ royalty, that is), in about a week. Instead of a good ol’ flashback or flashforward, “Illusion” opens on Victoria Grayson prepping and primping for her re-wedding to Conrad. Elsewhere — at Grayson Global, it seemed — Daniel and Conrad are being fitted for tuxes when Aiden interrupts them. On seeing the formal attire, Aiden asks, “Are condolences or congratulations in order?” “Both,” replies Daniel. A Grayson wedding apparently occupies that “It’s complicated” relationship status on Facebook. Anyways, Conrad books it, leaving Aiden and Daniel to chat about their nefarious plans for Grayson Global and Nolcorp while I lament the amount of clothing Aiden is wearing. Is it just me or does he always look uncomfortable in those tightly buttoned suits? Lose the tie, Aiden! Show some chest.
Emily is coaching Amanda on how to deal with Mason. They’ve rustled up some faux paperwork saying that Amanda had her scar removed after she left juvie. It’s a bit flimsy, but Emily plans to throw Mason a bigger bone to distract him. Dum, dum, dummm.
Okay, the Graysons seriously need to institute some better security. Last week, Mason weaseled his way into the house; this week, Kara’s just prowling about Victoria’s bedroom like she owns the place. Put down the perfume this instant, Kara Clarke! Victoria’s supposed to be getting ready for her big day, but instead she’s staring forlornly at an old picture of David. Kara interrupts her to ask about Gordon Murphy again and we’re treated to a terrifying flashback. Was anybody else vaguely disturbed by watching Gordon stroke Kara with a sunflower? I think it was supposed to be sweet, but it gave me the heebie jeebies. He’s an assassin, for crying out loud! I don’t want to see him romancing someone.
NEXT: Mason is thrown a red herring, or rather, a gray one.
Emily puts her plan for Mason into action by pulling Gordon off ice. She’s been keeping his body in a giant cardboard box in a freezer somewhere, waiting for just the right moment to bust him out. For some reason, I just assumed his corpse had ended up in the dumpster with Aiden that night, but I guess not.
Ashley tries on a white dress, then brilliantly observes that Victoria would kill her if she wore white to her wedding. I mean really, what is she thinking? You shouldn’t even wear a shade close to white on the off-chance you’re mistaken for the bride, and Ashley’s dress looked like a wedding gown. Even more so than the one Victoria eventually dons. That girl can be an idiot. While playing dress-up, Ash and Daniel discuss the plans with regards to Nolcorp, unaware that Emily is watching them the whole time.
There’s an interlude at the bar — Mr. Ryan seems to be up to shady activities when it comes to procuring his booze, snore — and then we’re back to Emily, who spots Kara sketching on the beach and remembers her own days of drawing alongside her mother. The two Clarkes have a heart-to-heart about Emily’s split from Daniel and Kara tells Ems not to worry about the Graysons because they’ll “get what’s coming to them. People like that always do.”
Mason questions Amanda on her scar removal, noting that it’s an expensive procedure for someone to have had only eighteen months out of juvie. Amanda explains it away by saying it was worth it to erase the memories the scar brought her. What Mason’s really interested in, however, is why Amanda continues to associate with the Graysons knowing what they did to her family. “Why live in the shadow of the people who ruined your life?” he asks. “I’m not going to jeopardize my family,” she answers, rocking baby Carl. Ha! Faux-manda might not, but Emily is all for jeopardizing anyone and everyone she knows. Amanda launches into Emily’s planted story, telling Mason that she thinks the Graysons framed Gordon for Victoria’s kidnapping. It’s almost comical how quickly Mason falls for it, forgetting about the scar and all it entails. I was kind of disappointed in him, but little did I know what awaited me at the end of the episode.
Conrad asks Victoria if she’s seen his other cufflink (wink, wink, nudge, nudge — this is important, you guys!), but V’s too caught up in her own misery to help him look. Charlotte bounces on in to give Victoria her something borrowed and something blue — a piece of jewelry Victoria herself gave Charlotte for her 16th birthday. This moment was actually pretty sweet. I loved how Charlotte started to remind her mother of the day in question, only to have Victoria recite it for her. She may be a cold, erm, witch, but Victoria does love Charlotte. After passing on her gift, Charlotte tells her mother she won’t be attending the wedding because she doesn’t believe she can keep up the, wait for it, illusion. I get where she’s coming from, but wouldn’t it look more suspicious if Charlotte isn’t at her own parents’ nuptials?
NEXT: Conrad’s idea of a romantic wedding present is a Magnum (the gun, not the condom).
Amanda calls to tell Emily that Mason’s been taken care of for the moment, but warns that if he keeps meddling, she’ll “handle” him her way. What could she possibly do that Emily couldn’t? Emily turns up at Nolan’s office to warn him against going to the wedding — Daniel will only corner him and force him to talk about Nolcorp’s association with David Clarke — but Nolan refuses to miss out on the action. He wants to confirm for himself that Padma is exchanging info with Grayson Global. During this convo, Mason phones up Nolan to track Gordon’s phone, playing right into Emily’s hand. Poor guy.
Emily wrangles her way into the Graysons’ wedding on the arms of Aiden. (Side note: her dress was so gorgeous. I loved that its only embellishment was that low neckline.) Daniel looks a bit thrown at seeing his former fiancée with his new business partner, which in turn makes Ashley feel jealous. Meanwhile, Kara’s back in Victoria’s room — security, people! — poking around through her stuff when she finds the picture of David. It’s got a ripped edge, which Kara fingers lightly. You know she’s in the other half of that picture.
Mason traces the phone to a trailer, where he finds the one and only Gordon Murphy. And what do you know? There’s a cufflink under the chair where Gordon died. Apparently this is ground enough for a search and seizure at the Graysons because Mason calls in the entire Hamptons police force to raid their home while everyone’s at the wedding.
Conrad’s got to have a word with Victoria, but as her lanky informs him, “it’s bad luck for you to see the bride.” “He didn’t see me the first time,” Victoria calls from an adjoining room. Zing! She steps out and we get our first look at the wedding dress — it’s gray! Like Grayson! Personally, I like when people wear wedding dresses that are a color other than white, but I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It looks like dirty snow. What do you guys think? Conrad gives a rather impassioned little speech about how he feels the two of them are “destined to be together.” Then he gives her a gun. Because nothing says I love you like firearms. Victoria delivers the second best line of the night in response: “Here I thought you were offering me a way out of this.” “Never,” Conrad answers.
Before we know it, Victoria and Conrad are enjoying their first dance together. The floor is black and white tile, and for a moment I wonder if it’s the same floor Amanda bled out on. It’s not (because they’re at a reception hall and not at home), but there’s something rather poignant about the similarity. Victoria and Conrad’s marriage is built on blood. Daniel cuts in on the dance and Victoria tells him what a great job he’s doing at Grayson Global, adding that he must be prepared to take over for his father some day. (As in today, Daniel. Now, in fact.)
NEXT: It’s not a party without cops!
Jack gives a rousing speech at the newly-opened Stowaway, thanking Mr. Kenny Ryan most of all. Mr. Ryan finally gets a first name and all I can think of are You Killed Kenny jokes. At the Graysons, the search and seizure is going splendidly. A gun — the same that killed Gordon — is discovered in Conrad’s car and the police head out to make their arrest. Uh oh. Meanwhile, Kara makes Jack promise to take care of Amanda, moaning all the while about how difficult her life has been. This character is really starting to get on my nerves.
At the reception, Padma tells Daniel that the audit can proceed without the info on David Clarke. Seems she’s cottoned on to the fact that she’s stuck her foot in something she shouldn’t have. Daniel invites Emily to dance, while Aiden takes Ashley. While they twirl about the floor, Daniel basically admits that he’s still in love with Emily and asks her if she ever thinks about them. “It’s never too late to change course,” she answers. Could they ever have a future together, do you think? Do you want them to? The moment’s ruined when the cops come for Conrad. Victoria looks legitimately concerned, but Conrad immediately thinks she’s behind it all. Nolan, on the other hand, praises Emily’s all-star revenge, but he doesn’t see how it will solve more pressing problem of Mason. Patience, grasshopper, she answers (I’m paraphrasing).
Sure, Padma just happened to find a dress the exact same shade of royal blue as Nolan’s dinner jacket. He invited her to the wedding that day! Anyways, she apologizes (grovels, really) to Nolan for her mistake with Grayson Global. Nolan forgives her, but then asks what lengths she’ll go to to correct it.
Victoria and Conrad have a sit-down in jail, both still in their wedding attire. Conrad’s peeved, but Victoria insists she’s not behind the arrest. That’s not to say she feels bad. After all, he did try to kill her. At Jack’s bar, Kara sees a news report on Gordon’s death and hears that Conrad is to blame. She bolts for the Graysons’. Daniel is convinced that his mother knew Conrad would be arrested. Why else would she have given him that dance floor pep talk? Meanwhile, Mason confronts Victoria about the arrest, but in their bantering, she lets a curious detail slip: Emily is a juvie girl. Suddenly Mason’s not so interested in Conrad anymore. In prison, the Initiative lady comes to visit Conrad. She gets him out on bail, but he sells his soul in the process. We just don’t know the price yet.
NEXT: Kara and Victoria have a side parts showdown and I make a Star Wars reference.
Daniel’s calling for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum, erm, Conrad. He wants his father removed from the head of Grayson Global as quickly as possible. “There’s a prince who’s eager to be a king,” Aiden remarks to Emily. He then asks her what she knows about Ashley. Earlier when the two were dancing, Ashley implied that she knew that Aiden and Emily had known each other for longer than they care to admit. Emily insists that Ashley’s just a mark, but Aiden wonders if maybe she was too easy. In unimportant news, Charlotte and Declan are back together.
Kara surprises Victoria in her room once again, sporting a side part in her hair to show she means business. All I could think about during this scene was the gun that Conrad gave Victoria. I was convinced she was going to shoot Kara. Alas, I was wrong. Victoria simply challenges Kara’s relationship with Gordon, essentially implying that the two were lovers. Finally. As if it wasn’t obvious before. Kara goes into flashback mode once again, remembering that Gordon had said this would be his last job. I guess he meant that quite literally. Back in reality, she storms off, leaving Victoria alone on her balcony. You can’t help but be worried for her. Kara’s so filled with rage, who knows what will happen to Vicky?
Jack took Kara’s words to heart — he’s so keen to prove that he can take care of Amanda that he proposes to her. She, of course, says yes. Another Revenge wedding, everybody! How many weddings do you think will have taken place (or nearly taken place) by the end of the series? I’m betting ten.
Victoria’s getting her beauty sleep when she hears someone creeping about her room (for the umpteenth time). She pulls the gun, but it’s just Conrad, back from jail. “What did you promise them?” Victoria asks. “I don’t think I’ll know until it’s too late,” he admits helplessly. At Emily’s house, Aiden confesses that he felt jealous while watching Daniel dance with her. He moves in to kiss his old flame, but she says he should leave. Instead of getting all huffy, though, he tells her he’s not giving up on her. I got a little bit teary-eyed here. I have to say, I have a wee crush on Aiden, in case you couldn’t tell.
But Revenge would never end on such a sweet note! Mason’s built a conspiracy board, complete with photos of all our favorite Revenge-ers. At the center is Allenwood Juvenile Detention Center, and Emily Thorne is now connected to it. Does he grasp the extent of what he’s stumbled upon? We’ll have to wait until next week to know for sure. I have to wonder, though: could Mason be the body at the bottom of the ocean? What are your theories?