Revenge S1E14: Perception

Posted on February 10, 2012

Every week this show just keeps turning up the dials at a steady, confident pace. In fact, the pacing is one of the best things about the writing on Revenge and it struck us at the end of this episode that we’d been like little frogs in a pot of water all along and things had just hit boil without us realizing how close we were to that point. In other words, the shit hit the fan and even Hamptons Batman was caught off guard by all the developments.

Certainly, “caught off guard” is the very least of what Emily should be feeling right now. It’s impossible not to be on her side and cheer every scheme and triumph, but it’s getting tougher to be there for her when so many people who don’t deserve it are getting seriously hurt by the fallout of her machinations. To her credit – and wisely, on the writers’ part – there were just enough moments in this episode to show us that Emily is still a person and not just a Revenge Robot. We’re going to need more of these moments going forward in order to stay on her side.

Anyone who’s been reading our Revenge recaps wouldn’t come away thinking we had a soft spot for Jack. Next to his wool-headed brother Declan, he’s the most irritating character in the story. Sure, the nice guy bit goes pretty far, but the “holding a torch for his childhood sweetheart” thing tipped over into loserville quite a few episodes back and all of his time with Fauxmanda has made him look not just sappy, but kind of dim. Yet for all that, our cold, bitchy hearts broke a little for him(even as our jaws dropped) when he angrily confronted the Graysons with their sins, all on behalf of the wrong girl. Story of his life, poor bastard. Our hearts broke a little for Emily as she realized how much he cared for her and how well he recognized the grief and desperation in that little girl’s eyes. If things had gone a different way – namely, if she hadn’t set her revenge schemes into motion – she might have had a wonderful life with Jack. Even if he’s the second-dumbest man on the planet. And hey, who knew he was hiding all THAT under his sensible plaid shirts?

And speaking of fashion, how about the ensembles for that engagement photo shoot? The dresses were so tight you cold see every female bellybutton in the room from 15 feet away. We had no idea how any of them managed to breathe.

As for Fauxmanda, we feel for the gal, but she’s still kind of a crazy murderer and major wild card. Since Jack is careening back and forth between feeling extreme anger toward her and weeping over her childhood, we doubt these two are quite done with each other, to Emily’s eternal regret.

But the one person who really deserves the most sympathy is the only person who hasn’t done anything shitty to anyone else in the story: poor Charlotte. Bad enough she had to find out about her paternity in such a horrifyingly embarrassing manner, but to hear that her mother tried to lie to her brother about it and claim she was a product of rape… well. Let’s just say there are a handful of therapists in the New York area who just had their childrens’ college educations all but paid for, and they don’t even know it yet. It is to Emily’s considerable credit that she tried – at the last second, yes, but she tried – to prevent the issue of Charlotte’s paternity from coming up.

As for Nolan, he’s still a lot of fun, and he’s the best friend Emily will ever have, but we’re not entirely on board with his actions this episode. Unless we misread that scene in our hotel room, the degausser didn’t fail to erase the tape; Nolan simply didn’t make the attempt because he wanted Jack to know more about what was happening around him. That’s noble, but the result only caused more problems, for Jack and for everyone else. Perhaps Nolan should leave the scheming to Emily. Still, good for him for not having it when Emily tried to blame this whole mess on him.

There are, of course, lots of other plans, alliances, and plotlines going on. Ashley and Conrad have a moment where his leering got so over the top we feared he was going to tie her to some train tracks, but it did plant a tiny seed. Ashley  seems to want to play everyone around her and it remains to be seen how good she is at it, but one thing’s for sure: she knows how to pick allies. Daniel is just a moron. In fact, Conrad is just about the only non-moron male in the entire story.

In the end, the thing we all knew was going to happen, happened: Someone* broke into the Batcave. It was incredibly stupid of Emily to leave all that stuff in such an obvious and relatively easy to find place. She couldn’t afford a kickass safe? In fact, it’s so stupid of her that it strains credibility, just because she’s been shown to be preternaturally good at planning. Still, as we said, we knew this moment was coming and kudos to the writers for presenting it in the creepiest, most foreboding manner possible. Miss Emily Thorne WILL attend the Fire & Ice ball – and God help anyone who gets in the way.

*It was totally crazy queen Tyler, right? Oh, we hope so.



[Photo Credit: ABC]

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  • The real Emily Thorne broke in & stole the box. At least that’s what I got from the invitation left that EVC-Emily’s secret spot that Emily Thorne would be attending. I guess she went over there after running after Jack didn’t work and decided to up the ante.

    Cannot wait for next week’s ep.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      That’s what I got too – Fauxmanda is ready to stop being a chess piece in Emily’s giant game. How telling was it when she said “I’m going to stop listening to you and start listening to Jack.” Girl has spent a long time obediently following those who show her even the slightest bit of affection.

      Still, crazy Tyler would be a nice twist.

      • I think Crazy Tyler would be TOO MUCH twist…

      • Anonymous

        I’m voting for Tyler.  Remember that he felt “something off” when he walked across the floorboard in Emily’s house…

        • Anonymous

          Yes, I remember feeling like Tyler was about to make that discovery. Maybe he’ll go to the party as “Ms. Emily Thorne” as indicated on the RSVP card? Anything’s plausible with him. 

          Fauxmanda seems too obvious.

          • I agree. Fauxmanda acts on impulse more than plan anything,  plus I don’t see how she would have known about it. It seems more like a decoy, like someone kidnapped Fauxmanda to present her at the most opportune moment as proof. Remember, that she was all about helping Jack but then when he came back for her she was no longer at the motel. Why would she disappear again if she was all for helping him?

          • yeah, fauxmanda just doesn’t seem to be the type to have some drawn out thing with the invitation. she seems a much more in your face girl. from what she said to emily on the phone (“i’m only listening to jack now”), it seems like she’s just had enough of the whole thing. in my opinion, she’d go find jack, not go set up an elaborate ‘boo’ at emily’s.

            @ivona: that’s interesting about the possible fauxmanda kidnapping. i had thought that when jack said he’d gone back to motel but she was gone, she was either hiding from him, or had left to find him and they’d missed each other.

            my money was on tyler, but then i remembered reading that they hadn’t planned on tyler’s character arc being so drawn out, so i wonder if they had really planned it to be him.

            my current money is on ashley. it just seems that the writers have a plan for everyone else, it seems odd that they’d have her just sit around not doing anything. it’s nice to think that ashley’s been using emily this whole time for her own vendetta (one theory i read online posited that ashley’s parents were victims of the plane crash, or were related to the terrorists in some way, so she has her own revenge scheme against the greysons).

            sorry for such a long post!

          • Anonymous

            I agree Ashley may be behind much of this. I’m assuming we both read the theory the recapper on EW proposed. He laid out a very compelling argument for Ashley being the mastermind. Future seasons are supposed to focus on other characters plots for revenge. And having her own secret revenge plan paralleling Emily’s this season and perhaps the next would be very interesting.

    • Jumping on the Fauxmanda train here.  Sorry, TLo.  I rewound and watched it a couple of times and that’s how the double-underlining on the RSVP card was reading to me, too.  Also, can I just say I really enjoyed how Conrad’s father was totally on Victoria’s side?  Dad and “Vicky” come from the same type of hardscrabble backgrounds and appreciate how the other one has clawed their way to the top.  I’d hate to get in the way of either one of them, and Conrad is doing both.

      I was also closely watching the previews for next week, trying to figure out if there’s any way that poor sap Daniel survives.  If he does, you couldn’t tell from the gunshot wounds in his back.

      • At one point I thought it might be Jack that was dead in the sand.

        • Anonymous

          Except in the pilot didn’t they show him hiding in the bushes after the shooting?

          • Anonymous

            yes, he was. And Declan and Charlotte spotted him.
            Still, we didn’t see the body’s face so it can be either Daniel, Tyler or a third male character not yet introduced.

          • I thought we might find David Clarke (faked his death) face down on the beach. How he got Daniel’s cell phone, though…

    • Kathleen Morrison

      This is my theory as well. Don’t forget when Fauxmanda snapped, “Stop calling me that!” when Emily called her Amanda – seems like she’s ready to get her own identity back. 

    • Yes, that’s what I figured. 

      I’m glad this is happening next Wednesday because I’m not sure I can stand this being dragged out any farther… 

      • Anonymous

        They’ve done such a great job of building to next week’s episode, haven’t they!  It’s so nice to have a show to look forward to each week that doesn’t disappoint (yeah, I’m talking to you The Walking Dead).

    • Anonymous

       That’s what I thought, too. 

    • Anonymous

      I’m with TLo, and hope that it’s Tyler.  Incredible as it may seem, I’ve missed him.

      I thought Nolan’s last-minute decision to not erase the cassette recording was showing compassion for Jack, not strictly being the poor friendless rich guy as another poster suggested.

    • Anonymous

      I doubt that it’s the real Emily, because it’s just too easy. That’s what the writers seem to want us to believe and that’s why I don’t buy it at all.

  • I LOVED last nights episode! And totally agree: the writing is fantastic! The slow pace of the twists and turns is messing with my head!!!! Loved what Emily wore to the dinner too!

    • Anonymous

      I loved that dress. And I also liked what was going on in the sleeve are on her white dress.

  • Sobaika Mirza

    More shirtless Jack!

    • Second that! At least that character has an actual redeeming quality… he just needs to fix the facial hair, it gets almost “Musketeer” sometimes.

  • I love this show and have been waiting on pins and needles for this week’s recap. I think the writers are going to through us a curve ball and have it be shown someone unexpected broke in to the Fake Emily’s/Real Amanda’s house. My vote is for Ashley….

    • She didn’t have the Building Rage Edit to warrant it, though. Would be too out of the blue, methinks

    • Anonymous

      Another recapper made a very strong case for Ashley being the culprit.  (I hope it’s not Tyler because that’s too on the nose for my taste.)  This is the first episode where the idea of her having her own agenda other than simple social climbing came to light.  Maybe Ashley’s parents were on the flight that went down or maybe her parents were with the terrorists.  I was thrilled to find out that Ashley has a much larger backstory.  She knew Emily before she came to the Hamptons after all.  It just made the show all the juicier and did it in a very non-obvious manner.  

      • i read the same recap! and i admit that was the first i’d thought about ashley as a major player. but it makes some sense that she’s involved in something. it seems the writers have things planned for every character, it seems odd that they’d keep her hanging around basically doing nothing but licking victoria’s boots. i do like the theory that she’s been using emily this whole time for her own agenda.

      • Anonymous

        I’m intrigued by your theory. I’ve always thought there was more to Ashley than we’ve been shown.

    • Anonymous

      Another blogger is speculating that Ashley’s got a major revenge plan of her own, one far bigger than Emanda’s. Not sure if I buy that.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t buy that it’s bigger than Emily’s, but I buy that it’s related.

  • Only thing I didn’t like about the episode? Too much Side Hair. Loved some of the dresses, though. 

  • Anonymous

     I think you see Jack watch “Daniel” get shot, so it’s probably not him.

    • Anonymous

      I sure hope Daniel doesn’t turn out to be Emily’s sibling too…too creepy.

      • Anonymous

        He’s about five years older than Charlotte and that was long before David Clarke came into the picture.  

    • to me, i’ve been wondering what could possibly make jack try to hide the corpse and then run away. from the first episode he’s seemed like such a stand up guy. i think he thinks fauxmanda has something to do with it, so he’s trying to protect her.

  • MilaXX

    If Ashley sleeps Conrad, can they please not show it? I really don’t need to see William Devane nekkid.

    • Anonymous

      The actor playing Conrad is named Henry Czerny I think, and I would not mind seeing him nekkid!

    • Anonymous

      I’ll second your sentiment, but Devane is playing Conrad’s father.

      • MilaXX

         oops, my bad. I blame the benedryl I took for making me high.

        • Anonymous

          Benedryl—known for its many *beneficial* side effects ;-0

          • MilaXX

            It truly knocks me on my butt. I am a wreck for a full 24 hours from 1 tablet. I only took 2 once in my life.

          • Anonymous

            Wow. And it’s still OTC I assume.

            Hope you’re feeling better now.

          • MilaXX

             Definitely OTC and yeah I’m fine. I just break out in hives occasionally. thanks for asking.

  • Anonymous

    when I saw Emily’s face when she found out her little box had been stolen, I was reminded of one of your comments, along the lines of “when shit’ll come down on Emily, the viewer will know at once, just by looking at her”. And oh, boy ! I whispered to my screen “Holy Crap. She’s so doomed”.
    I wonder who did it. Of course, the obvious answer is Fauxmanda, crazy with anger. But Tyler is a good guess to even if I don’t see how it can be connected yet. Or maybe it’s someone totally different, smart enough to track Emily’s lies down?
    So, back to the beach wher an unknown person shoot an unknown man.
    First guess : Fauxmanda kills Daniel (bless her. He’s such a wreck) and Jack pull the body to hide it, to save his Amanda. 
    Second guess : Fauxmanda kills Tyler, who stole Daniel’s white engagement suit to confront Emily in front of everyone. Jack still try to hide the body.
    Can’t wait for next week !

  • Anonymous

    So if Jack is the second dumbest man on the planet, does that make Daniel the first?  because I think “poor dumb bastard” sums up both Daniel and Jack about equally with Daniel edging Jack.

    I also think Nolan caved on the tape because he’s so desperate for a friend and Jack is the closest thing he’s got to one.  Poor, little rich kid.

    • The “dumbest man on the planet” title goes to Declan, I’m afraid. Daniel makes a solid third.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my God – I just had a thought – what if it was David Clarke who stole the box?!  Wouldn’t it be fun if he were still alive and shows up next week?  I know it’s far-fetched but I’ve always found it a bit suspect that they would hire James Tupper to play David if he’s merely going to appear in flashbacks.  

    • Should have scrolled down before responding above, but yes, I think David Clarke will make an appearance.

      • Alexa Suarez

        Didn’t he get murdered in prison?

  • Anonymous

    Can I just say what a pleasurable piece of casting William “Knots Landing” Devane is?  He’s the perfect choice for nighttime soap opera villain cred without being too on the nose. 

    • Anonymous

      Yes, terrific casting. I thought he was awesome. He was so comfortable in the role he seemed to be having a lot of fun with it.

  • i think i’m the only one (on the planet i think!) that doesn’t mind declan. yeah, the acting’s not so great, but i like that he and charolette are a nice counterpoint to everyone else’s machinations, lies and deviousness. they’re just two kids who want to be together.

  • Anonymous

    In the vein of wild guessing, what if it were Nolan who stole the box?
    Because he wants to know what else *Emily* knows. He is a lonely soul,
    maybe he really wants to play his own version of her game, look how he turned the tables on her with the fake degaussing. He had to know Jack would act on seeing the tape.

    But I haven’t worked it out in my mind as to how the acceptance card works into this for him. Possibly he is tired of being used as fauxEmily’s henchman.

  • The return of Crazy Tyler? Yes, please. 

    In other news, be sure to eat before attending any family dinner at Greyson Manor because all Hell is sure to break loose before you even finish your appetizers.

  • Anonymous

    I have to give full kudos to the two lead actresses in this episode -well, every episode really – for their ability to convey so much through little nuances.  I actually hoot out loud when they’re on screen sometimes because it’s just so damn good.  Blue Steel, anyone.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s give them “dumb guy” scores:
    Liars Daniel has believed: 2  (Emily, Victoria)
    Liars Jack has beliefed:  2 ( Emily, Fauxmanda)
    Liars Declan has believed:  0 (?)

    And while Jack and Daniel get dumber and dumber, Declan is actually giving good advice to people.

    I’m not saying that Declan isn’t the most BORING character on the show, just saying that he has serious competition for dumbest guy.

    • You make an excellent point. Daniel and Jack are definitely neck-and-neck there. They are ridiculously stupid. How could Jack not realize that the casting director picked a child, to play young Amanda, with the most uncanny resemblance to Emily VanCamp? Victoria realized with ease that Fauxmanda was most definitely not David Clarke’s daughter. Then again, we shouldn’t expect someone like poor Jack to be as clever her. And Daniel? I do not even know where to start with him. Honestly, it is difficult to believe he could be Victoria’s or even Conrad’s son.

  • Few people asking about the earrings Amanda wore. Well, it’s a good thing we have connections, darlings. They’re Carolee LUX Art Deco Linear Gypsy earrings. XO

  • Anonymous

    I like Jack, and I think he’s a good guy. At least he has some depth to him unlike Daniel. I actually liked Daniel up until this episode. That sappy scene about him being a conficted about his life path in the bar (it’s SO hard being the heir to a fortune), as well as him completely buying Victoria’s lies made him look beyond clueless and silly. If he doesn’t die next week he needs to wise up quickly.

    • Yes. Jack has a soul, an idiotic one perhaps, but a soul nonetheless. Daniel? He has the cardboard cutout version of one.

  • Anonymous

    Fabulous stationary this episode. AMAZING smile from Victoria during photoshoot when Conrad says, “This is still my family.”

  • Helen C

    How would Jack and Real Amanda have a wonderful life?  He knew her when she was NINE.  They haven’t seen each other for 17 years!!  They have nothing in common!  He hit off with Fauxmenda even before she claimed to be “Kara”.  All they have is some wonderful memories of one summer 17 years ago.  

    Jack needs to go away.  

    • He and Fauxmanda really do suit each other.

  • I definitely believe Fauxmanda was kidnapped, as she simply is not capable of nor particularly willing to spite Emily with such style. She just no longer desires to be completely obedient and act as a pawn, considering her feelings for Jack. That she did not arrive at the Stowaway and was nowhere to be found at the motel are also factors pointing to a potential kidnapping.

    As for the kidnappers, Tyler and Ashley are both individually convincing, but what if both had a hand in this? They did have that strange romantic/social-climbing hybrid partnership. Several people have already made persuasive arguments for Ashley’s role. Tyler, of course, is known for his instability and unchecked rage, so he is certainly capable of this. He has also been proven adept at unraveling some of the Graysons’ secrets, and let’s not forget he is the only person to have discovered Emily’s hiding-place under the floorboard.

  • Anonymous

    My money is on Ashley having something to do with the discovery. She wasn’t at the dinner and she has been bitter for sometime about Emily. She would be very familiar with Emily’s house given their friendship and Tyler may have said something to her in a crazy moment. I don’t think fauxmanda is smart enough to pull this off – she’s too erratic. Plus she’s too focused on Jack. I still don’t think it’s Daniel dead on the beach next week.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mind him either. I find Jack way more annoying. Also this whole Fauxmanda thing is annoying. I don’t know what Emily was thinking bringing her back into play with the tape. She was so short-sighted. She should have shipped her off somewhere and been done with it.

  • Anonymous

    I think Nolan wants to help her. He knew the truth about her father and knows he wasn’t responsible for the attack. He also owes his success to Emily’s father investing in his company when no one else would. I think it’s Ashley or Tyler. Or Lydia. Who seems to have disappeared, but had some recollection that Emily was not who she seems!

  • Anonymous

    “She couldn’t afford a kickass safe?”

    The thing that makes me happiest about this line is I had the same reaction and said, aloud, “HASN’T SHE EVER WATCHED DEXTER???!!” I know I’ve said it before, but seriously. After Dexter’s slides got stolen, that closed the book on any budding serial killer who hid his or her damning evidence in a non-secured location.

  • lilibetp

    I can’t believe no one mentioned Nolan’s “Revengenda” line.