Revenge S1E13: Commitment

Posted on January 19, 2012

Oh, bitches. If ever there was any doubt (and really, there wasn’t), it’s gone now: IT. IS. ON.

You wouldn’t think Emily would need any more reason to continue with her plan but the show managed to raise the stakes considerably, right at the moment when Emily (and the audience) started wondering if all of this vengeance is worth it. But Victoria unwittingly answered that question with her Big Lie. Oh, yes. It’s definitely worth it.

This was an episode of Revenge we didn’t even realize we needed; one that offered very little revenge on Emily’s part. Instead, we got an examination of her entire modus operandi, raising the question of her rightness in this scenario and whether the damage she’s doing to people caught up in her schemes is worth her goal to take down the Graysons. And if things had been just a little quieter around the Hamptons, Emily might have waved off any such concerns, but with Jack’s beating and Fauxmanda’s cage-rattling, not to mention the sheer vicious ugliness that is now the Grayson divorce, events conspired to force Emily to look at herself.

When she embarked on this quest for revenge, it was all about her family honor and the people who destroyed it. But what happens when you find out that the enemy camp contains the sister you never knew you had? What happens when family-related vengeance schemes wind up hurting your own family? Interesting to note that while the revelation of her new sister gave her pause, it wasn’t until Jack got hurt that she decided to, in her words, “press pause.” Jack, for his part, continues to be both the dumbest and the unluckiest man in the Hamptons. Okay, second-dumbest. There’s still poor, wool-headed Declan.

We’ve had some doubts about Emily’s feelings for Daniel and for Jack. Up till now, we’ve had a hard time buying any sort of attraction to Jack because there never seemed to be any chemistry between the two of them and she always displayed a slightly condescending manner toward him. With Daniel, we felt like we were getting some real chemistry and attraction and never quite fully believed her actions with him were all calculated and part of the plan. In other words, we always thought she really was hot for Daniel and cool toward Jack.  Not anymore. It was Jack’s well-being that caused her to “press pause,” and it was Daniel’s gullibility that caused her to press “play” again on her schemes. She’s made her choice and there can be no doubt going forward: every time you see a romantic or sexy scene between Daniel and Emily, just remind yourself, none of it’s true. No matter how believable she might be in her feelings toward him, Hamptons Batman is just playing a long game and using the Grayson scion as her tool. Not only has this question been answered; it’s been explained in depth. You know exactly why Emily needs to continue on this game.  This is what raises this show above mere Dynasty-like soapiness. It’s the complex and understandable motivations at play; not just in Emily, but in all the characters.

Look at Conrad. He couldn’t possibly be any slimier, but can you really criticize him for his reaction to the news that his daughter is not his daughter? Sure, he’s a shithead, but he was still in a lot of pain when he sent Charlotte away. Or look at Victoria, who treats her whole family pretty terribly but who has also been carrying a ton of shame and guilt inside her; shame and guilt that eventually caused her to despise her husband and push away the daughter that reminded her too much of the past and her own failings. These things don’t absolve the characters of their shitty actions, but they go a long way toward explaining them and making them somewhat understandable in context.

But the show won’t let you get too soft-hearted for too long. Whatever sympathies we might have felt toward various characters’ dilemmas, including Emily’s, evaporated once we saw the look on her face after Daniel told her his mother’s vicious lie about her father.  There could be no doubt, for her or for the viewer. That bitch needs to be taken down. Major kudos to Emily Van Camp who absolutely nailed that moment, depicting confusion, hurt and then unbridled rage, all without so much as raising either an eyebrow or her voice. It was a deliciously controlled acting moment coming at the end of a delicious buildup. In fact, so good was this buildup that being on that porch at the end with Emily almost felt like being in the school gym on prom night with Carrie. You just want to recoil from the rage. Questions of collateral damage don’t matter anymore and she’ll burn down all of Long Island just to see Victoria Grayson destroyed.

How the hell can you not love THAT? The story just got a whole lot better and we didn’t even think it needed to prior to this episode.

In other news, Ashley is jealous and sad, which can only mean bad things for Emily at some point. Also, Fauxmanda’s got a ticket to ride and she’s out of there for now. Nicely played, Hamptons Batman. But Nolan is going to have his heart broken. Just when he thought he saved her from her own path of destruction, she up and changed her mind, recommiting herself to it more than ever. His unhappiness with the way she’s been acting has been growing with each week and we wonder if he’ll ever be pushed to the point where he tries to oppose her. All these wonderful competing motivations.

By the way, is Emily really allergic to strawberries or is that something Victoria made up? Because if Emily ever refuses one in front of her, all hell’s going to break loose.



[Photo Credit: ABC]

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  • Best episode yet.  Love this show so very much.

    • Anonymous

      This is probably my second favorite episode. My favorite was when FauxManda came on the scene, and you could just literally hear all the s*it that was going to be hitting the fan. I love this show!

  • The moment on the porch swing and the emotions running across her face were PERFECTION!  I knew she was just using Daniel and now it is ON for sure. 

    • Anonymous

      I read the producers/writers call the vengeful look Emily VanCamp gives at the end of the episode “the croc”, because she resembles a crocodile everytime she does that. Her predatory nature comes out and It’s like you can see into her soul. Emily VanCamp is doing an excellent job. She reveals so much while doing very little. Subtlety is much harder to pull off than over the top dramatics.

  • I had no idea this show was going to be this good when I first decided to watch. But now, I am soo glad I did.

    And I cannot wait for the moment that Victoria suggests a strawberry flavored wedding cake!

  • Sobaika Mirza

    I think we all chanted the same thing in the last few minutes of the episode: “Shit just got real.”

  • I absolutely love this show. My favorite new show this season. Hands effin’ down!

  • I think Emily has actual feelings for Daniel. Since Jack doesn’t know who Emily really is and is caught up on Fauxamanda, the only person that Emily would care about hurting with a wedding is Daniel. Afterall, she could just as easily divorce Daniel and run off with Jack afterwards. But since Daniel does care for her and she for him, I think she pressed pause just as much for him.

    But then he told her what Victoria said and she pushed all feelings back under the surface again.

    I love this show – I think it’s the best thing on TV right now, including Project Runway. I certainly wasn’t expecting that when I first heard about it.

    • Anonymous

      I disagree.  I think that Emily is just an excellent actress when it comes to Daniel.  I imagine she couldn’t have real feelings for him, because she’d have a difficult time seeing past the Grayson (even though he wasn’t part of the framing of her father).  He’s part of her plan, just another task on the job.  But he’s enamored (and perhaps gullible?) enough to believe everything she’s putting out there, and his feelings are definitely real.

      • Anonymous

        Plus he’s just kind of dumb/gullible in general.  He’s also a spoiled rich kid who got to grow up going to the best schools and, even though he’s pretty dumb, will have an awesome job and tons of money b/c of who his father is.  While she grew up in foster homes and juvie–because of his father.

        She doesn’t like him.  He would have to be pretty incredible for her to overcome all the past, and he’s not.  If the writers wanted us to think she liked him, they’d have to make him likable… or at least interesting.  And they didn’t. 

        I’m impressed(?) she can bring herself to sleep with him.  (Also note her face when they’re headed to bed in previous episodes–she does NOT love him.)

    • i think emily has feelings for daniel, but not really lovey dovey marriage feelings. i feel like she’s grown to like and respect him, maybe see him as another victim of his parents (to a small extent). not enough to get in the way of her plans, but i do think it’s there. but i’ve always felt she’s had more chemistry with jack. i’ve always liked him and the two of them together.

      • I agree. I’ve always gotten the sense that she was FOND of him, but not in love with him so much.

    • I think she has a certain fondness for Daniel, she doesn’t dislike Daniel and probably could be friends or more with him if the circumstance is different.  She barely knows Jack but Jack is a symbol of her happy childhood.  Besides, who wouldn’t be flattered if the boy from you childhood is pining after you for more than 15 years?

      I think whatever fondness she has for Daniel is overshadowed by her massive hatred for his parents.  It’s way too much.  It’s way more personal than Romeo/Juliet. 

  • taodon

    I admit I was dismissive of Emily Van Camp as an actor.  I made the assumption that she was given the show to run out her contract with ABC.

    After ‘the swing’ moment, I can no longer deny that this girl has chops.  I can also not deny that this girl is fierce.  I was wrong.
    Please don’t put a red ‘X’ through my picture.

  • MilaXX

    I literally gave an “all snap” watching Daniel retell his mother’s lies to Emily.

  • MilaXX

    I think she has some feelings for Daniel, but I think the over riding reason for pressing pause was Jack not Daniel. She seems perfectly okay with Daniel being collateral damage, especially now that things are back on.

  • oohsparkley!

    Thanks Tlo, I love the recaps.  It’s a delicious drama. 

  • Sarah Tyrchniewicz

    Good question on the strawberries. It could totally go either way.

  • Anonymous

    I think every single post on every single blog needs to begin with “Oh, Bitches.”

  • Emily made her first mistake last night.

    Rather than using cool logic and planning, Emily made the impulsive decision to forgo her plan to postpone the engagement because she let emotions get in the way. Takeda was right; her lack of control (even though her self-control was remarkable otherwise on the porch swing) will come back to bite her.

    Random thought: I really hope they do something with the fact Mrs. Porter abandoned her family soon after all this went down with the downed flight.

    • ah, i forgot about mrs. porter and the timeline of her leaving. that does seem to have some significance, doesn’t it?

  • Given the pilot episode, I don’t see how the strawberry thing ends up being more than another tense moment to navigate that adds suspicion but nothing more. 

    LLLOVED this episode. Several times through the show I found myself saying out loud “Ohhhh SHIT!!!” I knew when Mrs Grayson was sitting there letting her son believe it was rape that the shit was ON…. She is also no slouch in the acting department, I must say. Delicious role for her. 

    Plus I kept chuckling to myself “Hamptons Batman, heh” 

    • to me, what makes victoria reprehensible is that she let her real emotions (what i’m assuming are her real emotions) about david clarke and the charlotte situation lead daniel to believe something totally the opposite of what really happened. i do think she loved, and does love, in her own way, david clarke. but to let her son believe he raped her, that’s just  so ugly i can’t quite believe it.

  • Anonymous

    The last scene of this episode raised the bar and made it the best episode of the season.  Emily Van Camp let her eyes do the acting and within the frame of 45 seconds, we all saw what she was thinking: “Game. On!”  Love, love, LOVE this show and your recaps are spot on. 


    A very grateful kitten.

  • I’ve never quite gotten any real chemistry with Emily and Daniel.  I think she’s fond of him but I never saw any heat there.  Her scenes with Jack though?  Totally. 

    I don’t believe Victoria set out to make Daniel think that David had raped her but when he leaped to that assumption, it was too perfect for her to pass up.

    • That’s what was so interesting about Victoria’s “confession” to Daniel.  She gave him just enough to make him come to that conclusion.  It never fails to amaze me how the show can make you revile Victoria one moment, feel for her in the next moment, and then come back to despising her again.

  • Mary McClelland

    Why does this show beat out anything on TV in my eyes? Screw Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I’ll take Revenge any ol day.

  • glennethph

    I still have problems seeing her chemistry with Jack (Kyle Weschsler was great in Roswell, even if there were 2 other guy leads).  Daniel, yes, and kudos to Emily for manufacturing that or suppressing whatever fuzzy feeelings that come with such chemistry if that isn’t real.

    • Anonymous

      If Emily really did feel anything for Daniel I think those feelings were killed or at least severly damaged after what he said about her father. Logically she knows he’s only being fed lies by Victoria, but hearing him say if her father was alive he’d “drag him out of hell and kill him himself” probably ruined any chances of her ever being able to love him. No matter how great Daniel is, he’s still a Grayson. The son of her sworn enemies. How could she let herself truly care for him?

    • Sobaika Mirza

      He was great on Roswell! It was a pretty goofy show, but he displayed more chops there than he has all season on Revenge. And I agree that they haven’t displayed much chemistry together yet. Hopefully there’s a scene where we see sparks fly that don’t have to do with dogs, boats, and childhood.

    • Anonymous

      The scene on the bridge where she tells Jack she isn’t into him is pretty chemical.

  • omg, this episode was so delicious!!!!! the whole time i kept thinking, “No batman! NO!” lmao. I can’t wait for next week. It is ON hardcore now. 

    BUT, i honestly couldn’t believe that Victoria lied about that. that is a HUGE lie. Like, MOMENTOUS. my question is, didn’t papa grayson already know that victoria was having an affair with him? won’t he know that she’s lying about this if the story gets back to him?

    • 2 week hiatus, unfortunately. and now that you brought it up, conrad does know about the affair, or at least i think i remember a scene where he mentions her feelings are getting in the way, something like that. i think that victoria is banking on him not bringing it up to conrad maybe?

      • you’re probably right since he seems to still have it out for dear old dad, but i still feel like it’s the kind of thing that she can’t risk, because if it gets out, and ppl think it’s true, it becomes a scandal all on its own you know?

  • Anonymous

    Great catch on the future Strawberry Trap.


    Ok, I kinda do.  he is super nice.  This goes for a long way for a traumatized girl like Real Amanda who’s probably considering Jack as a symbol for her childhood before hell and Real Emily who never got much affection and love from anyone. 

    But is the casting deliberate?  Real Amanda looks like she’s over a foot taller than him.  Real Emily also towers him.  He looks like he never heard of a shower in his life…  Plus he’s just so dumb and boring.  Being nice only goes so long for a TV character…

    Also, do others find the show to be much more watchable once Tyler is gone?  I don’t know if it’s deliberate or not, but Tyler always comes off as a clown to me, never menacing, only laughable.  The actor was trying too hard.

    • Agreed! Jack is so boring. I’m annoyed that he was basically set up as her ‘soulmate’ from day one, and we’re supposed to just accept that because the writers said so. And I far prefer the idea of a conflicted romance angle of Emily/Daniel. That’s why I’m going to keep holding out hope that she has real feelings for him. 

  • Anonymous

    When Nolan was hanging over Emanda’s shoulder watching the video of Daddy’s revealing of Charlotte’s paternity, I had this niggling thought….those two look awfully alike…..what if Nolan is Emanda’s brother???  And dammit, we have to wait until Feb. 8th for a new episode. 

    • Helen C

      Nolan’s got at least 10 years over Real Amanda.  If he were 20 or 21 when he approached David for investment (around Mark Zuckerberg’s age when he started Facebook), Amanda is probably 7-9 at that point.  David never looked like an “older father” to Amanda. 
      If anything, he’s more likely an uncle or cousin.  But I really hope they don’t go for the family route with Nolan and Real Amanda.  
      Actors’ looks can be deceiving.  Charlotte’s got Conrad’s big chin and looks nothing like Victoria nor David, yet she’s David’s daughter.  Amanda also looks nothing like David.  

  • Rashida Jones

    How dumb can Daniel get? How can he not see that EVERYBODY is playing him?

  • This was quite probably my favorite episode yet, and getting to read the TLo recap was the creme fraiche on the strawberry, if you will.  ^_^

  • Anonymous

    Loved this episode! By the way I think you misunderstood Ashley’s dilema in this episode. She has spent the later half of this summer jealous of Emily and conspiring with Victoria, but then after overhearing Victoria and Conrad arguing about Charlotte’s paternity she seemed rather embarrassed to have shunned Emily in an attempt to ingratiate herself with the Grayson’s only to find out how despicable they are.

    • Anonymous

      She doesn’t care how despicable they are, only that Victoria won’t have the resources to reward her. 

      • Anonymous

        True, though not mutually exclusive.

  • Anonymous

    can you really criticize him for his reaction to the news that his daughter is not his daughter.

    Yeah, I can. She is his daughter in every way that counts, including legally. Just because he wasn’t the sperm donor doesn’t change that at all. But being a complete shit about it is very true to the character so it didn’t come as any surprise.

    This was definitely one of the best episodes in what is rapidly becoming my favorite new show of the season.

    • Anonymous

      People treat their for-real-in-every-sense kids like shit in divorces all the time–or rather, get so caught up in the divorce that they forget that they’re hurting their kids when they are lunging for each other. Sad but true and no need for additional explanations.  It’s actually a point in his favor that he didn’t tell her yet or act shittier.  (He’s still a DB, make no mistake.)

      Going to the press would kill Charlotte and neither parent seems to be thinking about that.  She was super annoying, but they just wrote in the sympathy for that character hard core.  (Plus her actually being pretty decent when she started to realize what she has that Declan doesn’t and her reaction to the realization.)

  • Anonymous

    can you really criticize him for his reaction to the news that his daughter is not his daughter.

    Yeah, I can. She is his daughter in every way that counts, including legally. Just because he wasn’t the sperm donor doesn’t change that at all. But being a complete shit about it is very true to the character so it didn’t come as any surprise.

    This was definitely one of the best episodes in what is rapidly becoming my favorite new show of the season.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care much for Emily Van Camp.

    But Madeleine Stowe is amazing! I know I should hate Victoria but she is just so gorgeous and brilliantly manipulative, I can’t help but love her. She’s the reason I’m watching this show.

  • I loved Emily in Brothers and Sisters and now she’s doing a very stellar job as Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke! She’s a great actress and this show is beautiful! I can’t seem to get enough of it..

  • Anonymous

    Started watching the show on a whim–almost didn’t watch the full first episode b/c of the cheesy intro narration.  So glad I did.  This episode was FANTASTIC.

    LOVE the Emily-Nolan only scenes.  They have great Dill-Scout chemistry.