Revenge recap: 'Contact'
Oh, Revenge—you and your daddy issues. Disappointing and at times twisted parent-child relationships have always been a central theme on this show, and these relationships came a boiling point during “Contact.”
Missing from this episode was Charlotte. I’m thinking that’s no coincidence.
Emily and David: Who’s protecting whom?
“If only Emily were to tell her dad the truth, all our problems would be solved.” Oh, Nolan, if only you watched Revenge. Usually Nolan is the Horatio of the gang, the one who brings Emily down to earth a bit. But here, unfortunately, he’s dead wrong. (Probably because he isn’t aware that we’ve still got a few more episodes until the midseason finale.)
But in this case, the truth only makes things more complicated—and it introduces some confusion over who’s protecting whom, who’s weak and who’s strong.
After not calling 911 for Victoria as she’s lying on the ground nearly dead (more on that in a bit), Emily decides to tell David the truth about Victoria, saying “She took everything from us. She’s lying to you.” She’s also honest about her own frustrations with him as a father, asking him to explain why he was apparently close enough to get some TMZ-style photos of Amanda, yet never did anything to reach out to her. “I was in need my whole life,” she said. “You did nothing.”
That is inevitably a huge blow for David, who’s already not feeling worthy of a “Dad of the Year” mug. He is, at least, finally honest with Emily, telling her where he’s been all this time. All those years ago, a rival of Conrad Grayson devised the plan for his fake death—then locked him up, asked him to do “terrible things,” and threatened to kill the girl he thought was his daughter. David escaped and went “off the grid” when he heard about Amanda’s death, only showing his face in the Hamptons once he heard about his name being cleared.
But even with all this out in the open, there’s still a big problem in their relationship. David summed it up best: “Protecting me, that’s not your job. I wanted you to forgive.”
Fast-forward to later on in “Contact,” and Emily comes in like the Revenge School magna cum laude graduate that she is, saving David’s life after two bad guys pretending to be doctors try to take him down. It’s a familiar image: Emily is the astute, tough one, while David is confused, often in need of saving.
NEXT: Time for an arm wrestle…
But who is really weaker? That prompts a bigger question underpinning Revenge: Is it toughness and an unwillingness to back down that makes you strong? Or its it forgiving, and loving someone so deeply to forgive what their transgressions? And if it’s the latter, how can we possibly keep rooting for Emily?
It’s hard for me to see Emily as a heroine that anyone will want to root for for much longer, especially after “Contact.” No matter what Emily had done in the past, the fact that she hadn’t killed anyone was one of the facts that kept me on her side—and that kept her from slipping into complete madness. And while, no, Emily didn’t try to kill Victoria, she also made a deliberate decision not to call 911 after her “dance with the downed power line.”
Which brings us to that final scene, when we see that, even though Emily told Nolan that she just wants to focus on having a relationship with her father and not on revenge, she’s about to torture one of the “doctors” who tried to bring down David Clarke. Oh, and all this while Lykke Li’s “No Rest for the Wicked” plays in the background, naturally.
What do you think, Revenge fans? Will you keep rooting for Emily?
Daniel and Victoria: Who’s the real cautionary tale?
“You’re just a selfish, self-involved bastard who won’t visit his sick mother in the hospital.” Yes, that’s a quote from a highly, highly unstable woman who hears voices in her head, but doesn’t Louise kind of have a point?
Like Emily and David, Victoria and Daniel had a bit of a heart-to-cold-jaded-heart of their own during “Contact”—and like that other conversation, it only made things worse.
After spending most of the episode avoiding it, Daniel finally does go see his mother in the hospital because he (A) probably has a soul hiding somewhere underneath that mean-guy exterior and (B) has something to get off his chest.
He blames his mother for the fact that he’s “incapable of feeling anything real.” He resents her for a lot of things, but chief among them is the way she betrayed David.
Backed into a corner—the same corner David found himself in when was accused of being an inadequate father—Victoria explains that Conrad’s “business practices” forced her to choose between saving Daniel’s life or David’s. “I chose you,” she tells him. “I will always choose you.”
He brushes it off as manipulation, chalking it up to her fear of being alone. The only role Victoria has successfully played, in his mind, is his “cautionary tale.”
It seems that one thing Emily and Daniel have in common—in addition to the fact that they still totally wanna get it on—is that both have chips on their shoulders that they refuse to brush off. Until now, I thought the idea of these two getting back together would be absurd—but maybe they deserve each other.
Speaking of that, I also can’t help but now root for Daniel and Emily to get back together. Sure, they’ve pretty much destroyed each other, but that chemistry.
NEXT: And then there’s Louise…
Louise and her imaginary mommy
I’m starting to think that the true cautionary tale here isn’t Victoria, but Louise. Her unhealthy-at-best relationship with her mother—which is also filled with feelings of inadequacy— has literally driven her insane.
Whenever her mom drops in for a surprise imaginary visit, it’s to plant some batshit-crazy idea in Louise’s head. Last week, she locked Margaux in the steam room. This time, when she’s stopping by the hospital to bring Victoria a bouquet of flowers, her mom tells her those flowers won’t cut it— the only real way to get to Victoria is by becoming pregnant with Daniel’s child.
So, can the previously mentioned relationship kinks get worked out soon? I don’t know if I can deal with an entire cast of Louises…
Meanwhile, Nolan and Margaux…
Meanwhile the only characters whose parents—real or imaginary—aren’t in the picture team up: Margaux wants Nolan’s help in bringing down Louise by mucking up her criminal records, but maybe it’s just because these two have no one else to hang out with.
Margaux’s just told Daniel she loves him, and he’s making a late-night visit to his ex-fiance. And Nolan? He spends the better half of “Contact” thinking he’s found a new BFF in Louise until he finds all those photos in which she’s photoshopped her and Victoria together like some crazed middle schooler.
Enter Nolan’s face-palm and the question he should have asked, like, three seasons ago: “Can’t I just have a normal friend?”
Mystery man: The guy with the crescent tattoo
We’re learning more and more about the mysterious man with the crescent tattoo, and he seems to be part of a larger scheme to bring down David Clarke. We know he’s the one who tried to run over David. He tried to use Charlotte to gain access to the Clarke family, but that all backfired quite tragically for him.
Emily did her father yet another huge favor by framing this guy with the death of Conrad Grayson by planting the murder weapon by his dead body. What I am failing to believe is that this FBI agent, Kate Taylor, fell for it. I mean, Emily’s good, but is she that good to pull off a prank on the FBI?
Maybe it’s only because Kate’s got a thing for “Sargeantina” Jack Porter. Girl, do you know what kind of twisted group you’re getting involved with here?