David Clarke channels his inner Emily Thorne.
Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Maybe I’m just noticing it now, but ABC’s promos have become the Upworthy of promos (see How To Get Away With Murder’s nine words). The promo for tonight’s episode of Revenge was “The man everyone thought was dead will stun the world in 3—2—1.” Let’s be serious now, were we all stunned by David’s stunt on national television? Forgive me I’m jumping ahead of myself.

Tonight’s aptly titled episode “Damage” endeavors to explore how tenuous the relationships between children and their parents—whether they be blood related or surrogates—are on Revenge. Many of Revenge‘s characters are in search of, and perhaps in desperate need of, a strong parental figure to look up to and to find comfort in, but at each turn, they are denied this because the world of Revenge is a world where the parents are just as screwed up as the kids they themselves have screwed up. It’s not a novel path for Revenge to take, but the redundancy, which comes mostly from Charlotte realizing Victoria is the worst for the umpteenth time, is mitigated by the exploration of Nolan and David’s relationship.


Tonight we finally find out why Louise is so obsessed with Victoria. After Victoria found out through a Page Six story that Daniel was working with Louise, she arranged a meeting with Louise to quickly get this problem out of the way so she could focus on David’s interview with Margaux that night. When Louise arrives at the restaurant and sees Victoria sitting at the bar, she imagines how their conversation would go: Victoria is happy about Louise’s business arrangement with Daniel and says that she couldn’t be happier because she views Louise as her own blood.

Unfortunately, this is far from what actually happens. In reality, Victoria is super suspicious of her crazy roommate’s motives and tells her just as much. Louise tries to explain that she only gave Daniel her business as a thank-you for Victoria helping her in the hospital and because she views Victoria as a mother. Which is kind of ridiculous since they only knew each other for one day—and Victoria says just as much to Louise. As Victoria gets up to leave after dishing her normal “You mess with my children, you have to deal with me” spiel, Louise asks when they’ll see other again, to which Victoria says that’s probably not a good idea. To twist the knife even further, Louise is forced to watch Victoria happily greet Margaux with an embrace, something she obviously wanted for herself.

Not taking no for an answer, Louise decides to further insinuate herself in the Grayson’s lives by befriending (and stalking) Margaux. The creepiness reaches an all-time high when it’s revealed at the end of the episode that Louise has rented out space in the building right across from Margaux’s office.

Charlotte’s done a bad thing

So, you know that guy Charlotte went home with at the end of last week’s episode? Well, it turns he’s not a nice guy, and Charlotte finds this out when she wakes up in his bed the next morning. She tries to find her stuff to leave, but her one-night standstops her and insists—with his gun—that she sit down and make herself comfortable because he intends on using her as bait to catch a big fish he’s been chasing.

Charlotte tries to humanize herself by yelling out a bunch of facts, but her kidnapper doesn’t fall for it. After which, Charlotte results to violence. (Who knew Charlotte had this much fight in her?) After an extended brawl, Charlotte eventually knocks him over and breaks his neck on a conveniently placed step in the apartment. She starts to call the police, but stops when she finds a file on David Clarke in a drawer. With his new development, Charlotte forgoes calling the police and calls her not-beloved sister Emily for help.

NEXT: It’s showtime at the Clarke Beach House

When Emily arrives at the apartment, she quickly deduces from the man’s things that he was the one who tried to hit David with a car and proceeds to help Charlotte cover up the guy’s death by faking a drug overdose. Forgetting, or ignoring, that Emily’s doing her favor, Charlotte uses this as an opportunity to accuse Emily of killing Aiden. Having had enough of Charlotte’s BS, Emily, who has never actually killed anyone, finally gives Charlotte the talk she’s needed to hear all season: Emily tells Charlotte she’s officially hit rock bottom and needs to get it together and that it was Victoria who killed Aiden.

Emily’s spider-sense is tingling

Before showing up to help Charlotte with her problem, Emily and Nolan hacked into the FBI database to watch the interview conducted with David after he revealed himself to the world. Something in the interview doesn’t sit right with Emily and her gut tells her that David isn’t telling them the whole story. Nolan, who at this point is tired of Emily’s shenanigans, says he wants no part in her snooping and leaves her to handle it on her own.

Emily’s suspicions are further bolstered when she finds a recent picture taken by Charlotte’s kidnapper. This leads her to investigate where David was supposedly being held, and what she finds in the little room makes her even more suspicious; see, David’s prison leaks when it rains and almost every surface of the room is covered in rust, except for the legs of David’s bed, even though they are planted in a puddle of water. Based on the evidence, Emily deduces that David was not held in this prison and staged the scene, sort of like how she did something similar earlier in the episode. Emily tries to relay all this information to Nolan, but Nolan, again, wants no part of it because he’s chosen to support David, who invited Nolan to be his guest at his live interview with Margaux’s crew.

For Emily, finding out that her father is lying about his timeline is rather disturbing because David was supposed to be the one guy she could trust. In his defense, however, David’s not aware that, in addition to lying to the public, he’s also lying to his daughter who is actually still alive.

David’s big night

As I mentioned, David invited Nolan to his beach house for his big interview with Margaux’s company, which doesn’t sit well with Victoria, who’s probably afraid Nolan will tell David about Emily. After some snarky banter between her and Nolan, Victoria whispers in David’s ear, before the cameras start rolling, that she’ll support him no matter what.

The interview seems to start out pretty well as David describes the conditions in which he supposedly lived. The interviewer asks how he didn’t give up and David says he almost thought about it ending his life, but didn’t because his captors would win and he’d never see his loved ones again. At this point, he calls an audible and asks Nolan to come join him on the couch for the interview. (Hmm, what’s that smell?)

Once Nolan is mic-ed and comes in front of the camera, David starts praising him for all his accomplishments and calls him the son he never had, which makes Nolan rather happy since his real father wasn’t that great. David explains how he saw Nolan’s potential early on and decided to invest in Nolan’s company in order to create a fortune for his daughter, and this is when s— gets real as David partakes in a Clarke family tradition: the classic public takedown. You see, David, not knowing that Emily is Amanda, checked “Amanda’s” financial history and saw that she did not receive the money he’d put away for her. This leads David to deduce that Nolan never gave it to her, and David accuses him of this on live television. Basically, like father, like daughter.

Yes, this is the astounding moment that the promos promised. To be honest, it wasn’t all that surprising. David did not seem happy last week when he asked Nolan why Amanda was living above a bar. Then this week, he kept repeating how proud he was of Nolan, and in Revenge world, something’s up if someone is being very nice. Also, the forthcoming irony palpable as soon Nolan said to Victoria, who was worried about what David was going to say, “I just love live TV. You never know what’s going to happen.”

NEXT: Ben finds his inner Nancy Drew

Because he’s sworn to keep Emily’s secret, Nolan is not able to defend himself on live television, and instead, just gets up leaves. As he’s re-watching the interview at his home later, David shows up and Nolan calls him out on using Nolan’s need for a father figure against him. Because embarrassing him on live television wasn’t enough, David punches him and says that if he was his father, he would’ve punched him a long time ago, to which Nolan says, “You’re more like him than I ever realized.”

Emily shows up just in time to see her father leaving, and Nolan says to her, “Your lie finally caught up to me,” which is completely true. If Emily weren’t so scared to meet her father, this wouldn’t have happened to Nolan. But, the two of them put this aside when Emily shares her findings with Nolan.

Elsewhere, Victoria returns home to find Charlotte packing her bags to leave for rehab. Victoria’s initial excitement at the thought of her daughter getting life together is tempered when Charlotte says she’s going just to get away from Victoria and Emily’s cycle of hate. Charlotte thinks Victoria should stop lying to David about Emily because she’s not doing it protect him; she’s doing it to hurt Emily. When Charlotte brings up Victoria killing Aiden, Victoria says that she did it—and everything else, including betraying David—to protect their family, which Charlotte doesn’t buy. Before leaving town, Charlotte also pays a visit to Daniel and we see her start to tell Daniel about Emily’s secret.

After Charlotte’s departure, Victoria returns to the Clarke beach house to find David sitting by the bonfire. After lamenting that Victoria’s the only person who connects him to his past, he asks her to come live with him at the beach house. Do you think Victoria—and Emily for that matter—realizes the monster she’s created by not telling David the truth about his daughter?

Not-Detective Ben is on the case

This week, beat cop Ben is still trying to solve Conrad’s murder because he hopes it’ll get him his long desired promotion to detective. Unfortunately, Jack finds out about it and decides to distance himself from Ben. However, he’s forced to change his mind when Ben’s investigation into the sudden death of a former police officer, who appears to have accepted a bribe from someone, leads to the discovery of a cot with the double infinity symbol carved into a bed in the dead officer’s garage. Which means David Clarke was probably here.