Revenge S1E11: Duress

Posted on January 05, 2012

Crazy Gay on a rampage! We didn’t know it before last night, but apparently that’s exactly what the show needed to jump back into the game. In fact, we think there are many shows that could be improved by inserting a crazy gay on a rampage. The Killing, for instance. Wouldn’t it have been far more entertaining if Tyler burst into every scene and ordered people to stop crying, stop trying to talk like a rapper when you’re as Swedish as the day is long, and stop wearing ugly fair isle sweaters every day of the week? Or V? Wouldn’t Anna have been far more effective as a conqueror if she’d unleashed a couple Crazy Gays on rampages? We’re telling you, the story possibilities are endless. Not that the show has ever had problems coming up with story possibilities, but after an excruciating month away from our screens, it was thrilling to see Revenge waste no time and come roaring back at us with a head-spinner like this one.

With the disposal of Tyler handled so seemingly effortlessly by Emily it’s become increasingly clear that our smartass line a couple of episodes back is true: Emily Thorne is Batman in a bandage dress. Schemes inside of schemes and always one step ahead of everyone around her, even when everyone around her is gunning for her. It’s not particularly realistic, though. How did she know to leave the gun unloaded? How did she know Tyler would see that on Nolan’s Shamu-cam? How did she happen to have Frank’s wallet on her? And where the hell did she hide it in that dress? But that’s not the point. The point is to watch Hamptons Batman destroy the people who keep doing her wrong. The point is having a protagonist who never breaks a sweat so that when the day comes when she does break a sweat, the whole audience will say as one, “Ohhhhh, shit.”

And we look forward to that day, but right now it’s just so damn fun watching Emily smoothly move through the world, a creature composed entirely of lies and grudges who is somehow beautiful, serene, and never caught off her guard. Pure fantasy. Would that we were all a little more like Emily, right? But it’s to the writers’ credit that they actually are developing Emily a little bit past the “Batman” persona. She’s been treating poor Nolan like shit since episode one and it’s the one thing that has made Emily a bit hard to like. We suspect the creators didn’t know at first what a gem they had in Nolan and last night’s sweet apology scene was a nice way of papering over some unpleasantness in the characters’ earlier history while rehabilitating Emily from coming across like a bitch. Nolan’s story has yet to be told and we’re sure that it’s as full of twists and surprises as, well, everyone else’s. But until that day comes, we like seeing these two getting chummy. Emily’s not a demonstrative sort, so the scene is played very low-key and matter-of-fact, but Nolan understood what a huge thing it is for Emily to apologize and ask for help in the same conversation.

In Grayson family news, everyone is plotting against everyone else. Why this family even bothers throwing social gatherings and dinners is beyond me. They should all just meet in conference rooms for every family function. Have their lawyers hash it out at each other while they eat clams and deal with homo-cidal psychopaths. Turns out Victoria was not pregnant when she married Conrad, but she led him to believe she was, a fact that demonstrates she was always a liar and user, long before David Clarke entered her life.  We really don’t get what’s going on with that lawyer. He DOES work for Emily, right? What was with that slo-mo shot of her passing him in the foyer, all but daring him to look at her?

Daniel Grayson has both daddy issues AND mommy issues and he’s decided to focus on the former for the moment; taking a job with his father’s company and pretending to be in his good graces, so he can “spy” on him for his mother. We’re not exactly sure what “spying” on him is supposed to do for a divorce proceeding, but Victoria smiled like a cat who just ate the best mouse of her life when Daniel told her, so we’re pretty sure she’s got some plans for her sweet meathead of a son.

Charlotte is living with her father and will become a weapon for both parents in the divorce, which means dumb Declan has just stumbled into the only family situation that will allow him to continue dating Charlotte. Neither of the Grayson parents are going to risk taking this moment to piss Charlotte off, so expect to see Victoria lavishing attention on the little working class leprechaun just like Conrad did this episode.

Fauxmanda, meanwhile, is still skanky and crazy. Does anyone come to the Hamptons without a spotty past, at least one corpse, and a hint of mental instability? Poor Jack is blinded to the fact that this little hussy couldn’t possibly be the love of his life. It was interesting (and delicious) to see that Victoria took one look at the little stripper and instantly suspected she wasn’t David’s daughter. We’re not sure what Emily’s thinking is here. Sure, exposing Fauxmanda to Victoria could shake out with Victoria DESTROYING her, but it could just as easily shake out with Victoria figuring out she’s not Amanda Clarke. And once she figures that out, all roads will inevitably lead to Emily.

But Hamptons Batman always has a plan, and even though she appears to be risking exposure by slowly bringing Fauxmanda into her social circle, we suspect we’ll all be shocked when the inevitable turning of the tables happens and we find out that Emily – once again – planned the whole thing from the beginning.

At some point, and probably very soon, given how well things turned out for Emily this episode, her schemes aren’t going to work. We’re all so used to seeing her one step ahead that when the moment comes when she’s hanging on for her life, it’ll be hard to watch. After all, no one likes it when Batman gets knocked out. But until that day comes, we’ll happily take a delicious episode like this, where all the women wear tight dresses and 6-inch heels and all the man have visible abs, and everyone at the table is out to destroy someone else at the table. For in these troubled times, is there nothing better for the soul than watching shallow rich people destroy each other?

Tyler won’t stay gone forever, and we suspect the wallet in his pocket is not going to be enough to implicate him. He saw that Emily had something hidden under her rug and he knows she’s not what she seems. At some point, he’ll definitely be back to wreak havoc. Can he bring his cute surgeon brother with him next time?




[Photo Credit: ABC]

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  • love this show.  so entertaining and fun!

  • Anonymous

    before i even read, i have to comment. this was the bessssssst episode by such a huge margin. when tyler came out pointing the gun at emily and singing “happy birthday…” omGEE. i wish he was not arrested because i’m really starting to enjoy him. whoever that actor is, he’s SO GOOD at playing this role — he’s so on point with that creepy, off-the-hinges vibe. SO GOOD. love him. also, i aww’ed out loud a couple of times at the emily/nolan exchanges.

  • lilibetp

    “homo-cidal psychopaths”  Bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah!!!!!!!!…

  • I have *way* too much fun with this show. Victoria’s smile when she trotted out the pre-nup bit, Emily’s apology to Nolan, Tyler calling Conrad “Connie”, were all laugh-out-loud moments. I’m intrigued by the possibility of Daniel marrying Emily to take down Conrad.

  • Anonymous

    Great episode, phenomenal recap. Like you I was so happy to see Emily make amends with Nolan. And as much as Tyler creeped me out, I daresay I will now miss seeing him regularly. And speaking of Tyler, I’m impressed with the casting person’s ability to find an actor who resembles him so closely — in both looks and more strikingly in voice/speech — to play the brother. At first I thought it might be the Tyler actor playing a dual role!

    • Anonymous

      Maybe Tyler can have an evil twin!

      • Anonymous

        I like that, but since he is already evil, this would have to be a very evil twin. Or maybe a good twin who’s confused with the evil one. In soap land it seems the possibilities are endless!

  • I don’t know what I love more, the show or your day-after commentary.  It’s a tie!

    • Anonymous

      So true!

  • Anonymous

    This episode is why I keep trying to get my son to quit watching Gossip Girl re-runs for his relaxation and switch to Revenge. Or, as I tell him “If you want soothingly unrealistic rich people behaving dreadfully, Revenge does it right.”

  • Emily’s mentor (that guy from Lost) all but told her to let Victoria deal with “Amanda” so I’m guessing she has a plan. 

    It never occurred to me to wonder where she’d been hiding the wallet, but I did wonder about fingerprints.  She didn’t have the wallet wrapped in plastic when she put it in Tyler’s pocket.

    • Anonymous

      I’m enjoying the ride WAY too much to start letting things like reality mess with this.  I’ll take my Revenge with a shot of “homo-cidal psychopath.

    • Anonymous

      I wondered about fingerprints too…but maybe since it was found on the person of a (crazy) suspect the police wouldn’t be as likely to assume it needed fingerprinting?

  • MilaXX

    Love a show that embraces the soap so well and unashamedly. I vote for Tyler’s cute doctor brother to return as well.

  • I love the hint in the preview that Daniel’s motivation to propose to Emily is for access to the trust (and by extension more of the company?). I buy the match a bit more now knowing that he’s a schemer deep down as well! 

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree.  I always thought it was strange that their relationship was so rushed into an engagement, but I always attributed it to Daniel not being terribly bright.  Love this hint of a twist.  It makes much more sense.

  • Leslie Streeter

    No mention of Wee Sad Party Planner Ashley and her commiserating with Our Nolan on their bad taste in Crazy Gays? She still seems to have something up her sleeve. I watched the first episode again, and Nolan seems to be flirting with her, when the show establishes that no one likes him at that point? Maybe there is a good scheming pair to be had there?

    • Anonymous

      And imagine the off-screen conversation Nolan and Ashley had once they walked off together!

      • Leslie Streeter

        “So, you didn’t know he was Crazypants either?”

  • Anonymous

    Best line of the night, from Tyler (though it could have come from any of the younger Hamptons residents): “It does appear that you despicable people are starting to rub off on me.”

  • Never thought I would say it, but I will miss psychotic Tyler (until, of course, he breaks out and comes back for round two of “Truth or Die”.”)

  • Kathryn P

    In regards to your first paragraph–true fact, I have met a Swede who used to want to be a rapper. I started laughing and said something along the lines of, “Well, we all do dumb things when we’re younger.” He then informed me that a lot of Swedish rappers were white since Sweden has a very…limited black population. It was a very awkward, strained conversation after that.

  • Anonymous

    Exceptionally juicy episode. Adieu Taylor, at least for now. God knows what he’ll be up to upon his return. DUN DUN DUNNNN. 

    Homo-cidal psychopath. Love.

  • bloodshothalfblind

    thank you for getting me hooked on yet another show.  this one is so fun!  

  • Anonymous

    Pure leave-your-brain-at-the-door television at it’s best. Where did she hide that wallet? Who cares, the dress was hot and she’s a bloody good actress. I love that this show doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is – deliciously crafty soap opera full of easy on the eye people.  

  • I don’t want to see her fail, and I’ll probably be kind of mad if they make her fail, because it seems so cliche.  I kind of enjoy having a female character who has it all under control, and is strong and focused.  Plus, if it’s based on the Count of Monte Cristo, there’s no reason she SHOULD fail. He didn’t.

    • Anonymous

      “I kind of enjoy having a female character who has it all under control, and is strong and focused.” 
      I think that’s why I enjoyed Alias so much (except for the last season). Emily is sorta like Sydney Bristow 2.0, albeit without the exotic travel and fancy wigs. So maybe that’s why I’m enjoying my doses of Revenge so much.

    • Anonymous

      I agree! I absolutely do not want to see her fail and will get ticked off it it happens. I read once that the old Perry Mason series had him lose a case once and the viewers were so furious that the producers never let it happen again. Don’t know if it’s true, but that’s how I feel about our girl. I wouldn’t mind seeing her pitted against a more worthy adversary (so far she’s mopping the floor with Victoria) but I do not want to see her lose. And I like that her relationship with Nolan has seemingly progressed into something as close to friendship as our little sociopath is capable of feeling.

  • Anonymous

    I love Revenge! It’s so deliciously crazy and fun. I’m disappointed Tyler is gone, because I was certain he was going to be the body on the beach. That’s still a possiblity, but it seems more unlikely. Ashley was surprisingly unaffected by Tyler’s takedown. She obviously wasn’t in love with him but he was her partner in crime. Now she has to try and maniulate the Grayson’s alone. Or maybe not. She and Nolan were pretty chummy there at the end. FauxAmanda might be Emily’s most formidable foe. She’s completely unstable ,and could bring Emily’s entire plan down. And next week she (spoiler alert) will be dancing on a bar and making out with a girl right in front of Jack. So yeah…Fauxmanda’s about to blow.  I predict she will eventually team up with Victoria against Emily. 

    • Helen C

      But FauxAmanda loves Real Amanda.  I’m surprised Real Amanda didn’t manipulate her better when the girl is all but in love with her.  

  • Anonymous

    Are we really supposed to believe that someone who hired Cirque du Soliel for their sons 21st birthday left the planning of his current birthday undone until the day of? Are we really supposed to believe they then let the caterers sit at the table with them?
    And what is the deal with it being broad daylight  then suddenly black as midnight when Danny found crazy-gay in the pool house. Then Danny leaves and it is broad daylight again? Please.
    But I love the show!

  • Anonymous

    I am a straight lady, and I would have had a hard time, as a cinematographer, not shooting that Emily/Amanda/Victoria scene with as much awesome rack in the frame as possible. (They were wise to let EVC wear the Hot Dress for those scenes.) So he or she is to be commended.

    My fella and I agreed that if we were as rich as “Emily” is supposed to be, we would hire Madeleine Stowe to look smokin’, pretend to drink giant glasses of wine and make schemey faces all day, too.

  • Anonymous

    This may have been said already, but where on earth was Nolan’s bodyguard?  The whole time he was tied up, I was flipping out wondering where his security went!

    • Anonymous

      My thoughts exactly! It seemed really unrealistic for a billionaire not to have any form of security in his house, even just an alarm system.

  • “How inventive!” Can’t get enough of this freaking show…

  • frances rossi

    Won’t the shrewd detectives of EH 1st find Em’s fingerprints all over that wallet? And Nolan’s too? That was pretty far fetched. I’ve never known a detective (in all the smart detective shows I watch) to take anything at face value. Silly rabbit!