Revenge recap: 'Penance'
Emily shares her secret, Victoria and Conrad are positively cuddly, and a certain Hamptonite goes to jail
- TV Show
Revenge got really artsy with the opening this week, didn’t it? The fish-eye view of Victoria in bed, the creepy slo-mo of Conrad nearly shaving half his face off (that was a lot of blood), Kara crumpling the newspaper in wounded frustration — all watched by Emily on high like some sort of god (or producer of The Truman Show). I guess that makes the title of this episode, “Penance,” particularly fitting, given the religious connotations of the word. And yet, for our protagonist, we didn’t see penance so much as a deal with the devil. Emily sold her soul this week. Now it’s just a matter of when she pays up.
After the artsy intro, Emily gets a visit from Mason. I knew he couldn’t have figured out exactly what Amanda and Emily’s connection was, but the two as lesbian lovers? That doesn’t even seem like much of a scandal to me. Granted, I’m not tangling with one of the richest families in the Hamptons, but it’s the 21st century! Surely we could forgive two teenage girls for a dalliance. Emily chases off Mason even as he threatens to expose the two Sapphic blondes’ so-called plot against the Graysons.
Kara’s supposedly packing up her stuff to leave when she asks Victoria for a credit card number to book her flight out of there. Victoria promises she’ll take care of it. Wow, now there’s someone ripe for identity theft. Why in the world would you hand your credit card number over to the former wife of the man you cheated on your husband with? That’s just asking for trouble. Back at Emily’s, we learn that Ems and Aiden have got 24 hours to position Daniel as head of Grayson Global because the prosecutors will be dropping the case against Conrad. Emily reveals that her mother is getting the hell out of dodge, and Aiden grabs her hand to tell her he’s sorry, but Ems says she knows it’s for the best.
Jack and Amanda are discussing their impending nuptials when Amanda gets a call from Mason inviting her to lunch. Amanda storms off to Emily’s where she outright threatens to kill Mason (no “sleeping with the fish” metaphors for this former pole dancer), claiming it’s the only way she can keep up the charade of her Cinderella life. Emily, the unlikely voice of reason, points out that killing Mason may not the best way to keep her new family, given that she’d probably be taken to jail and all that. Instead, Ems tells Amanda to call Mason and cancel the lunch, which she does, adding that she’ll get a restraining order against him if she ever sees him again. (Did you catch Mason’s voicemail message? Priceless.)
NEXT: Nolcorp has a rather lackluster cleaning staff.
Conrad is moping on the beach because the Initiative will use their leverage over him to nurture and hide assets in his company. Victoria tells him to buck up: “I will be damned if I let those people write the final word on us.” V is going to face off against the Initiative? Intriguing…
In a short aside, we learn that Kenny Ryan has a hot brother named Nate and that this brother is bad news. Thankfully, this is all we see of this storyline this episode. As Kara’s leaving the Grayson house, Daniel stops her to ask if she kept records of David’s personal investments. (The answer is no.) Emily turns up to give Victoria and Conrad a wedding gift. “Mom and Dad will be very touched,” says Daniel. “Assuming it’s not ticking.” Ashley catches sight of this chummy scene between Daniel and Ems and goes all green-eyed monster. That girl is going to screw everything up for Emily at some point, all over a boy. Girls, we’re better off without them!
Aiden goes to Nolcorp to ask Nolan for the David Clarke check. I loved that Nolan confronted Aiden about stealing his only friend. Emily’s incredibly messed up, sure, but she and Nolan are a team, and even though Aiden is incredibly fine, I miss the days of the original vengeful duo. Nolan says he’ll give up the check because he loves Emily, dramatically smashing the frame it’s incased in against a coffee table (and leaving the pieces on the floor for Padma to step on later). He asks Aiden why he’s so intent on helping Ems. “She’s someone who I once hurt very badly and now I’m trying to make it up to her.” Penance, everyone! Nolan says that should Aiden hurt Emily again, he’ll make him pay. On leaving the office, Aiden gives Daniel a call to say he’s got the evidence they need and that it’s time to overthrow Conrad.
Amanda walks into The Stowaway to find Mason siting at the bar, waiting for Jack. Amanda’s had enough: she promises to tell him the truth, as long as they meet at a different location. Meanwhile, Emily learns that Nolan has given up his company for her and tries to get the check back, but Nolan stops her. “Means nothing if it could hurt the only real family I’ve ever had.” Aww.
NEXT: Nolan and Emily have a heart-to-heart on life, love and the pursuit of happiness over tea and the Graysons’ not-so closed circuit cameras.
The Initiative has sent a representative to the Graysons’ little investors gathering — it’s Helen Crawley, aka the only member of the Initiative we’ve ever seen (Gordon doesn’t really count in my mind). Guess it’s a one-woman operation. Aiden passes off the check to Daniel, while Ashley heads off to distract Conrad so Daniel can meet with the board members. Emily and Nolan are watching all this remotely, all while discussing Ems’ love life and family issues. They are quite the multi-taskers.
Jack calls Emily to ask for Mason’s number, tipping her off that Amanda is about to do something incredibly stupid. This is also when Nolan learns about Jack and Amanda’s upcoming wedding. I love that in the middle of a crisis, he still manages to single this detail out. Sure, it’s not the most important thing happening to Emily right now, but it’s one of the most hurtful. Emily runs out to stop Amanda before she can do Mason some serious harm.
At Mason’s, Amanda and our favorite writer are examining his conspiracy board. Amanda makes Emily out to be a stalker or a “sociopathic socialite,” as she is referred to here. Mason turns away from Amanda and… she hefts a crow bar over his head. Maybe I missed it, but did she bring that with her in her purse? Seems a rather large item to successfully hide in a shoulder bag. Emily appears just in time to save Mason, telling Amanda to go home. Mason, left alone with Emily, reveals that he always suspected her. “So I was right — you really are the brains in this Machiavellian scheme.” And then Emily does the unimaginable. She tells Mason that she’s the real Amanda!
We learn that Kara has ditched her flight (surprise, surprise) and rented a car on Victoria’s credit card. It seems almost an insult to use your future victim’s credit card to pay for the car that will take you to kill that person. I mean, surely you could have shelled out your own cash for your rental. Mason gives Kara a call and tells her that he has info on Gordon Murphy. Of course, he’s being coached by Emily, who has guilted him into helping her after telling him that everything she’s become is because of what he failed to do for David.
NEXT: The threat of impeding death brings out the best in an unlikely character.
At the Graysons’, Conrad gives a speech on the future of the company, only to have Ashley stall him with a Q&A session while Daniel meets with Grayson Global’s board. Meanwhile, Mason meets with Kara and tells her that Gordon wants her to leave and never look back. (Emily’s buzzing in his ear like a persistent gnat throughout the whole convo.) And then, Mason does an interesting thing: he goes off script, much to Emily’s chagrin. He informs Kara that David was innocent and that he was a victim of the Graysons. Kara looks positively bonkers at this point. Woah, boy, someone’s on the warpath. As she takes off for the Graysons’, Emily calls Aiden to give him a heads up that Kara’s out for blood. Aiden, however, is busy with the Grayson Global board meeting where Daniel is telling them about the company’s stake in Nolcorp. Daniel asks for the board members’ support and of course the Initiative woman (Helen) is the first one to voice her approval of the Conrad ouster.
Nolan is at Mason’s house rearranging the conspiracy board. Meanwhile, Kara breaks into the Graysons’, using a nifty framed touch screen to turn off the cameras in and around the master bedroom. Victoria, catching sight of the Initiative woman sitting in on the board meeting, tells Daniel he’s making a mistake, but he refuses to listen. Victoria calls Conrad to their bedroom to meet with her so she can tell him about what Daniel’s up to. Alas, Kara’s already there, holding Conrad at gunpoint.
Kara screams at Victoria for sleeping with David and then double-crossing him, but in a surprising move, Conrad defends Victoria. He’s amazingly passionate, taking all the blame for what happened to David and admitting that part of it had to do with the fact that he was furious with the man for stealing his wife. Victoria looks astounded. Who knew Conrad cared for her?
The cops have been called to Mason’s house. There, they find Nolan’s doctored conspiracy board, as well as the flight recorder Gordon had had in his possession. Ooh, that’s cold Emily. Framing Mason for pretty much every crime that has been committed to date on this show? Positively heartless.
Emily calls Aiden, who finally picks up. She appraises him of the situation, telling him that the Graysons must be with Kara in their master bedroom because the cameras for that part of the house are turned off. Aiden asks Emily to turn off all the cameras. She’s reluctant, but he insists he has a plan. He dashes up the stairs for the Graysons’ bedroom as Emily switches off the recording system.
NEXT: The Hamptons’ maximum security prison gets a fancy new inmate.
Kara has the Graysons kneeling on the floor at gunpoint. Victoria tells her to look at the torn picture of David — the other half is hidden in the lining of her jewelry box. The image was taken the day of his death, and the other half shows… Gordon Murphy! What Victoria hoped to achieve by telling Kara her dead second husband killed her dead first husband, I’m not sure. Kara just goes nuts and forces the two Graysons to blindfold themselves while she positions herself to execute them. In a surprisingly touching gesture, Conrad takes Victoria’s hand and clasps it tightly. Sometimes I think theirs is the central love story of this show. Before Kara can kill them (I do wonder if she would have actually gone through with it), Aiden chloroforms her and drags her off. How long do you think Victoria and Conrad knelt there, blindfolded, before they realized she was gone?
Kara wakes up in a car with Emily and Aiden. Emily tells her that Aiden’s an FBI agent and that he’s investigating the Graysons. Aiden provides Kara with a gassed up car and tells her to leave for real this time. She gets in the car, but is she gone? I hope so, but I doubt Revenge would let go of Emily’s mother so easily.
Emily goes to visit Mason, who’s been taken to jail. He insists he won’t be there for long, but Emily offers to make a deal. Mason has to give a full confession and go to jail. In return, Emily will set him free by confessing to his crimes when she’s finished her vendetta and Mason will get to write the story of the century. I know writers are committed to their craft, but this seems a little extreme. I also hope it doesn’t mean that we’ve seen the last of Mason until the last season of Revenge.
Conrad tells Victoria that the cameras went black when Kara disappeared. The two come to the conclusion that the Initiative must have saved them. Victoria tries to tell Conrad about his son’s treachery, but he says that anything she has to say can wait until morning. (Um, no Conrad, it really can’t.) Across the way, Aiden’s moping on the porch when Emily shows up. There’s a beat as they stare at each other and then… she kisses him and asks him to stay the night! What say you Revenge-ers to this new (or renewed, I suppose) couple? Yay or nay? How soon before Emily’s deal with Mason comes back to haunt her? What will happen to Mason in jail? And when will Victoria and Conrad be back to fighting like cats and dogs? My bet: five minutes into the next episode.