Revenge S2E4: Intuition

Posted on October 22, 2012

With all the martial arts and The Initiative, and the plots and schemes and shadow-y organizations and all that general Spy Girl/Hamptons Batman stuff going on, we feared this show was going to lose sight of what we think landed it an audience in the first place: good, campy, soapy fun. And what says good, campy, soapy fun like a pregnant women taking a fall off a staircase? Darlings, Scarlett O’Hara herself would have watched last night’s episode and clapped with glee.

And when you set Victoria Grayson like a cat amongst the pigeons (i.e., in any social situation where she knows she has the upper hand), the acid that comes our of her mouth is delicious and hilarious. Bitch was on FIRE last night. “I see you brought your … people.” “Take the ladies to the conservatory for petits fours and refreshments.” Like all good bitchdialogue, it’s reliant entirely upon the bitch delivering it, and Madeline Stowe knows exactly how to deliver those lines with just the right combination of social grace on the surface and boiling rage just underneath it. There’s an almost mathematical precision to her performance that keeps if fun without ever tipping over into Alexis-Carrington levels of cliche.

SO, yes: yaddayaddayadda Initiative, blahblahblah. We know that’s what drives the story and honestly, we’re not complaining at all, but we do so love a baby shower that ends with a maid mopping blood up off a marble floor or a suddenly resurfaced memory in the heroine’s head that informs both us and the audience that “Ohmigod my mother, who I thought dead all these years, but who actually escaped a mental institution, is ALIVE! And she tried to kill me when I was a baby!” That’s just good soap opera crack right there and we can’t get enough of that shit so long as everyone gets a good bitchy retort, the ladies wear fabulous dresses, and the men all have visible abs.

We’re bad recappers and we just don’t care about The Initiative and what it all means or who’s pulling the strings. Give us a fun, crackling episode like last night’s, where major shit goes down, and we’re so on board. We don’t even mind that the entire hook for this tale – Amanda Clarke’s revenge upon the Graysons for the death of her father – is slowly getting pushed to the wayside. After all, it had to be, if this was going to be anything more than a mini-series. The trick is to expand the story outward while keeping the illusion up that it’s all happening organically. So far, they’re not fucking it up. Sure, Nolan’s love interest and grief over his father doesn’t really interest us all that much, but she’s going to figure out who Emily Thorne really is, you can practically count on that, which makes that subplot worth watching.

As for what’s going to happen going forward, once again: We have NO idea. And that’s just awesome. So far, we’re not detecting a sophomore slump yet. Madeleine Stowe is firing on all cylinders and Jennifer Jason Leigh is going to make such a great addition to the story going forward. We’re already salivating over seeing these two early ’90s movie queens facing off, Hamptons style, and leaving no bit of scenery unchewed.

And finally, Jack is so pathetic that we can’t even get annoyed with him anymore and Daniel finally grew both a set of balls and at least a couple brain cells. We’ll see where this is going with Ashley, because we can’t help thinking the girl is heading for the same fate all women do when they piss off the wrong Graysons: a short, bloody fall from a great height that will leave her in the kind of coma where all her makeup stays intact and her hair gets styled every day.

It is HILARIOUS how bad Victoria Grayson is at throwing a party, isn’t it? It’s amazing she ever ascended to the top of the Hamptons social scene given how every social event she engineers winds up with a dead or bloody body getting wheeled out.




[Photo Credit: ABC]

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  • Sobaika

    Last night’s episode was sort of boring until the baby shower. Man, that was delicious.

    Does… anyone know what’s going on with the Initiative and the White Haired Man and the Australian guy? I really hope that story doesn’t move to the forefront.

    • He’s not Australian… he’s British! Barry Slone is his name…. will someone else other than me please IMDB this shit before posting again?!

      • alwaysanswerb

         Be fair — in the first episode his accent was definitely some murky combination that sounded more Aussie than Brit.

  • MilaXX

    Did I miss something? I thought Nolan was gay. Also I just found out that Gabriel Mann tweets like crazy during the show.

    • chelwi

       Nolan is bisexual.

    • Sobaika

      He said he fell in the middle of the Kinsey scale, so I’m figuring he’s an equal opportunity kind of guy.

    • JMansm

      Yeah you definitely missed something (the conversation with Tyler when he says he’s a 3 on the Kinsey scale). However I must say that as much as I adore Dilshad Vadsaria (the girl who plays Padma) I was hoping he would get a boyfriend this season instead of a girlfriend. 

      • MilaXX

        I guess I was hoping for a boyfriend as well.

      • neofashionista

        Agreed but I do not trust her at all I feel like she will turn on him or use something against him or worse like T LO mentioned figure out the truth about amanda and go to the graysons with it because she is jealous of her and also her malicious graze when she saw that the david clarke picture frame was rather disturbing…. like i said she may be gorgeous but i dont trust her and I certainly think there is more than meets the eye with her

    • Definitely bisexual, and I’m totally cool with that.  It’s about time we have some truly bisexual characters on TV.

  • YayaGurl

    I’m still on season one but I said to my daughter last night that I had no idea how Ashley was going to keep her job the way these parties keep falling apart.

    • JMansm

      Without spoiling anything her job changes. 

    • Susan Crawford

      I know! Every party that gal plans ends up with gunshots, hysteria, folks hurtling off balconies and police sirens wailing in the night. But she looks fabulous, and that seems to trump those party fails every time!

  • Judy_S

    There is a lot of plot seething behind the bubbles…. it looks like when David Clarke divorced his crazy wife, she married White-Haired Man. So WHM’s killing David must have been personally satisfying for him and his wife, as well as for the Graysons. WHM’s comment that Emily takes after her mother in the last ep. of S1 was finally borne out when Batmom takes down “Australian” Guy (let’s face it, he’s a Man of Mystery, so he MIGHT be Australian). Evidently WHM did not tell Batmom that he had found/had his life spared by her daughter, nor that he was going to slit her throat.
    I liked the way Emily’s devastating memory of Bad Mommy was played off a bit against Nolan’s dealing with the realization that his father loved him. I like the idea that Nolan  finds Someone who is Not a Con Artist, though there is nobody in this show who puts an arm around another person, much less kisses them, without an agenda.
    And Fauxmanda’s in a coma. The sad thing is there’s not much of interest she could tell people if she waked up out of it.

    • teachmusik

      There is if she forgot she’s supposed to be Amanda Clarke, and insists that she’s Emily Thorne (or doesn’t recognize Kara Clarke or something).

      • CozyCat

        Or, Fauxmanda will wake up believing that she really is Amanda.  Better yet, she’ll have AMNESIA, and therefore believe everyone who tells her that she is Amanda!

        • Kristin McNamara

          Ooooooh that’s good.

        • Susan Crawford

          Absolutely on target, CozyCat. Fauxmanda the Amnesiac will be perfect! Then all we need is to discover that Jack has an evil long-lost twin who returns with a clone of Hampton Batgirl’s dead pooch . . .

    • holdstillnow

      I’m convinced Padma is running a con, and that she’s going to die at some point.  And then Nolan will have two kinds of heartbreak to deal with.  

      Nolan is my favorite character, so of course nothing good will ever happen to him.

      • Susan Crawford

        Agreed. Padma has plans. Nobody in Revenge-land is THAT nice and sweet without an ulterior motive. Nolan will undoubtedly be drugged with a dish of korma during Padma’s Diwali Festival dinner and awaken in a call center in Mumbai where he is going to be forced to turn over his company to her.

        • Sobaika

          Well then.

    • neofashionista

      Agree with your entire assessment and would like to emphasize the part about Nolans hot chick likely having a shaddy side as I posted about above and also the fauxamanda thing I think like Lydia she is totally expendable and also actually serves the story better dead becuase it seems one of the major moral subplots is Emily choosing between the dark remorseless part of herself and the loving part and I think knowing that she essentially manipulated Amanda to her death might really really affect Emily emotionally

  • My daughter and I both yelped and gasped when FauxAmanda was pushed over the balcony.  Great move for the show.  Declan and Jack – I can’t even.  Such boneheadedness deserves loss of the family bar.   I know childhood loves are strong, but I can’t even imagine how it’s a contest for Emily between Jack and Australian guy.  For my money, he’s as hot as it gets.

    Does anyone think there’s a chance that Nolan’s new love has a hidden agenda or ties to Graysons/the Initiative/someone else underhanded?

    • What was it that Nolan’s new love interest saw last night? I couldn’t read it. I’m assuming she has some hidden agenda.

      • zelavie

        She saw a framed check written to Nolan from David Clarke.

      • I think it was the cheque that David Clarke gave Nolan to help him start his business. Remember Nolan mentions it as the reason why he’s determined to help Emily early on in season one. With all the hubub around the Graysons, she probably recognizes the name and thinks that Nolan is in bed with terrorists. And considering that they’re getting audited at the moment…. well, I suspect she will get all high and mighty without having known what actually happened and accidentally out him or something.

    • adnama79

      I originally thought that when she was introduced, but the actress is playing it straight – like she’s not scheming.  I think her arc will be poking into his business from a “protect the company from claims it was founded on terrorist money” or something and then she’ll figure out who Emily is and become a new conspirator, whether she or Nolan or Emily like it or not.

  • michelle shields

    Ten bucks says that the baby will need a blood transfusion or some hokey shit like that and Jack will find out that he’s not the father. Gotta love!

    • NinaBoo

      Except Jack is the father, at least according to Emily and Nolan who hacked into the testing facility’s database. Emily lied to Fauxmanda telling her that Jack wasn’t the father but the results were changed to say he was.

  • Joshau Norton

    You’d think Victoria would eventually notice that her social functions inevitably end up with a body count. Thanksgiving must be a white-knuckled event at her house with people hanging onto their chairs for dear life.

  • JMansm

    I find Jennifer Jason Leigh so incredibly annoying and not fun at all. But it might be the character more than her performance. She’s like “pathetic evil” as opposed to Victoria’s “fabulous evil.” Is it just me? I’m in my twenties so I have no idea about any of her previous work. 

    On another note I thought there was a bizarre narrative hiccup in tonight’s episode. When Amanda was confronting Victoria right before her fall and the device through which Emily was listening cut out, I thought the point was that that secret (the mother trying to kill her) would stay a secret from her because of the device cutting out and then the coma inducing fall. However, she figured it out herself later in the episode. Did anyone else find this sequence to be strange? 

    • Joshau Norton

      I didn’t find it strange because I thought it was used as a way to set up what we were going to see when Emily suddenly flashed back to that scene. Without it we probably wouldn’t have understood what was happening.

    • VRuss

      They have showed little Amanda under the water several times in the first season… Now we have the full context for the memory… I didn’t think it was so strange.

      • JMansm

        I definitely thought it made sense to actually have the scene of her mother drowning her but it was that it was prefaced by Emily almost but not quite hearing Victoria explain it (as though it was going to be kept a secret) that threw me off.

    • adnama79

      JJL does an AWESOME slowly unraveling psycho.  I’m not currently enjoying her character, but I’m very excited for what’s to come.  You should Netflix or rent or whatever (oh, I do mourn video stores for the ease of renting random not-quite-old, not-quite-classic movies) Single White Female to see what I’m talking about.


    I just love this show!  Such good old school nighttime soap, with added bonus of great clothes!  Emily looked sososo pretty for the baby shower!  Very casual and young.  Loved it.  And Nolan’s wardrobe is knocking it out the park every week.  
    I can hardly wait for the sinking of the boat we saw in the season opener because I am HOPING that Declan is on board!  I thought he was growing on me, but nope…he’s an idiot.  And so is Jack.  Not even attractive enough to me to warrant any air time!  I like Jennifer Jason Leigh but am so distracted by the filler/duck lips she’s sporting!  There has got to be so much more to the “drowning my baby” storyline.  Classic soap, Love it!

    • adnama79

      What if Jack trades the boat for the stolen stuff and it’s Preppy Thief and Fake Rich Victim on board in that opening scene?

      • Judy_S

         I thought of that too. Like having Tyler be the body in season 1: whom do we want to get rid of?
        But now that we have thought of it, probably the writers will decide to do something else :^(

      • pop_top

         I thought that too! I think that the guy’s hand we saw was wearing a nice watch and was pretty hairy, which is all I think of (hairiness) whenever I see FRV onscreen.

  • annieanne

    And she tried to kill me when I was a baby!”
    Maybe I need to re-watch that scene. I didn’t think Batmom was trying to kill her, I thought she heard whoever talking on the beach and tried to hide both of them by going underwater, making a game of it, only Emily didn’t want to play and fought her.

    • 3Beaz

      That’s what I got out of that scene too.

    • holdstillnow

      Mom’s head was above water while Young Amanda struggled underwater, and then the scene ended with someone yanking Mom away from Amanda.  At least, that’s what I saw.

    • adnama79

      I think maybe we’re not supposed to know yet – it seemed ambiguous.  Like mom tried to go down and hide underwater w/ Amanda, but got caught…  ?  Or was trying to kill her?  Or hide her from someone else?

      Also, if she was married to Gordon and she doesn’t know who is Amanda and who isn’t Amanda – or even that Amanda was in the Hamptons at all, then there’s going to be some plot loop-de-loops on that initiative business.  Which is really, really okay with me.

    • GTrain

      so glad someone else noticed that. i wa slike why is she holding her mouth like that??

  • Scott Prendergast

    the lips.  I am having trouble getting past – the lips.  JJL what have you done?

  • VRuss

    I was clapping so much when Fauxmanda fell off that balcony that even my dogs came to see what the party was all about… Hope she finally dies.

  • I love JJL so much. I’ll watch her do anything, including being Emily’s mama, which she’s actually perfectly the right age to do. She looks pretty awesome for 50!!!

  • Zippypie

    Okay.  It’s official.  I’m getting caught up on this show on Netflix NOW!

  • holdstillnow

    A coma! A coma!

    Who’s going to be revealed to have an evil twin?

    I love this show so much.

  • Qitkat

    Well, this will cure me from reading the recap before seeing the episode  🙁

    • Kristin McNamara

      Haha! Ohh darling. You never read a TLo recap before seeing an episode… if it’s a show you care about! That being said, back in the days of their Glee-blogging and when PR seasons that were good, it was generally okay to read those beforehand 🙂

  • Susan Crawford

    Great episode with some truly classic bitch-o-lator action. Victoria’s “Memorial Day Memorial” was pretty hilarious, wasn’t it? Less a time of mourning than yet another moment for clueless Hamptonites to dress up in chic cocktail dresses and have champers and Cosmos on a lavender-bedecked yacht. Kittens, if I check out, would  some of you throw that kind of send-off for me? Make sure Harry Connick, Jr. and his orchestra are on the poop deck, OK?

    Meantime, our little family assistant in her yellow dress (Fabulous!!) is busy trying to manipulate everyone and run the household, dear Charlotte is being manipulated by Daddy dearest and his doctor henchman, Fauxmanda continues to try to manipulate the incredibly stupid Jack, who is scraping mould off the walls of the bar . . . just insane.

    Declan falls in with a screamingly obvious manipulative young man who is setting him up for further blackmail and financial disaster. Jack falls for the old faked DNA paternity test results and . . . YES! Hamptons Batgirl’s mother LIVES! In a seedy, remote motel! And in Batgirl’s dreams where Mommy is gleefully trying to drown her.

    And it all leads to the fantastic baby shower for Fauxmanda, where you just KNOW someone is going over that balcony and it ain’t gonna be Victoria. Aaaaand in Douglas Sirk tradition, over goes Fauxmanda – all that was missing was Gene Tierney rowing Declan out in the harbor and watching him drown.

    So now Nolan has a girl, the lovely Padma whose accounting and finance detective skills are bound to lead to trouble all around, and there’s a new baby just ripe for kidnapping, custody battles and angst.


    • Adriana_Paula

      Yay!!! Leave Her to Heaven reference!

  • I can’t breathe the episode was that good!

  • Redlanta

    It is HILARIOUS how bad Victoria Grayson is at throwing a party, isn’t
    it? It’s amazing she ever ascended to the top of the Hamptons social
    scene given how every social event she engineers winds up with a dead or
    bloody body getting wheeled out.
    God you fabulous men make me laugh out loud!!!

    •  She’s Mary Richards alter-ego!

  •  Have you noticed that Nolan sometimes references some funny comment you guys have made on this site in later episode? Like when you said that the Graysons are deliciously Boris and Natasha (or something like that), and in this episode Nolan commented about them, calling them Boris and Natasha. I’ve noticed this several times. So either you two really have tapped into the essence of the show (very likely) or the script writers read your posts and throw some fun comments in there (that would be insanely fabulous).

  • Megan Patterson

     Oh I laughed pretty hard when Fauxmanda went head over heels over that railing. I am a bad person. Oh, and when they were like, “SHE IN A COMA NOW.”