Revenge S2E1: Destiny

Posted on October 01, 2012

When a deliciously fun show with a strong hook comes along and captivates everyone’s attention in its first season, the fans all hold their breath when the second season rolls back around. Sophomore year efforts have a history of failing for a lot of reasons, but mostly it comes down to the people involved losing sight of what made the show fun in the first place. We’re happy to report that Hamptons Batman is back in all her pursed-lip glory and even better, she’s teaming up with Hamptons Two-Face this time!

But we have a confession to make. We’re very bad recappers. We suppose we could try and piece together all the information that was thrown at us last night but we allowed our minds to wander a bit and wound up focusing on:

  • Jack’s abs
  • Nolan’s abs
  • Nolan’s wardrobe
  • Ashley’s wardrobe
  • Charlotte’s wardrobe
  • Emily’s wardrobe

Hey. This is what you get when you read gay recaps, okay? Everyone’s dressing much nicer this season (which we predicted)! And while Nolan is fun no matter what he’s doing, we found Jack a lot easier to take when he had his shirt off. We suggest to the writers that they find more reasons for him to be shirtless. It’s summer in the Hamptons. It can’t be that hard.

Oh, that’s the other thing: It’s summer in the Hamptons again. Time has passed since Victoria’s plane took a nosedive, which is a smart thing for the writers to do. Another smart thing: They did the same thing they did last season, opened in media res, with Jack’s boat at the bottom of the ocean with a mysterious dead body on board. Sure, you could argue that this is a little repetitive and could get dangerously formulaic, but we thought it was the right way to go. It signals to the audience that they shouldn’t worry about the show losing its way or losing sight of what made it great. Now we have two entirely new plotlines to add to the existing ones: Who’s at the bottom of the ocean and where is Amanda Clarke’s mother?

Granted, this could all topple over from the weight of too much going on at once, but we didn’t get the sense that the writers were winging it. Quite the opposite: things seem tighter than ever, script-wise. The scene where Victoria finally reveals her frozen face to Emily was deliciously scripted and acted; the hatred each woman has for the other simmering just below the surface of their tight smiles and faux concern.

In other news, Nolan is still awesome, Ashley’s a bigger bitch than ever, Daniel’s an even bigger loser than ever, Amanda Clarke is as crazy as ever (and her hands seem to be surgically attached to her baby bump), Declan is as annoying as ever, Conrad is as sleazy as ever and Charlotte is still a pawn in everyone else’s schemes (although there’s some indication that won’t remain the case).  Also: Revenge Sensei has a new face and there’s some cute Australian dude involved now, although we have no idea what he’s all about. Then again, we had no idea how tying Emily to a post as the tide comes in was going to help her remember her mother, but it worked, didn’t it? And sure, Emily walked into an abandoned mental hospital and found the exact bed her mother occupied 20 years before in about 2 minutes, but so what? It’s a soap opera and we both expect and welcome unlikely plot developments. So long as everyone involved doesn’t get high falutin’ about it and just embraces the camp of it all, this show is going to remain great fun for the foreseeable future.

Also: Clam Cam. You’ve gotta love that.

[Photo Credit: ABC]

    • Susie O’Brien

      Was that supposed to be the same Revenge Sensei??????????? Damn.

      • Sobaika

        YEAH. I thought he was someone else until she called him Takeda by name. According to the Google machine the original actor couldn’t come back because he’s filming Wolverine.

        • lilibetp

           Which is fine by me – every show should have Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa guest star at least once.

          • http://twitter.com/TheRealSandraOh Sandra Oh

             My thoughts exactly!!!!!!  Cary is so dreamy.

          • emcat8

            I adore Cary, too, but man, Revenge really drew me in when I found out that Revenge Sensei would be played by Sanada. I am sad he’s gone. It would have been nice if maybe they’d made Cary’s a different character, I guess it might insinuate less that they thought we wouldn’t notice.

        • MilaXX

           I was wondering why they recast him. I love this guys too but was a bit thrown off by the recast.

        • Jessi03

          I was wondering if they thought American audiences wouldn’t notice…then I got sad.

          • Sobaika

            There is something weird about simply slipping one Asian actor in the place of another, like it was a daytime soap or something. Half expected there to be a voiceover – ‘The part of Takeda will now be played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.’ 

            I don’t get why they couldn’t just write around it?

            • adnama79

              I wish they’d had him be Takeda’s dad or something.

        • adnama79

          Now I’m excited(er) about Wolverine.

      • Genevieve Dieudonne

         yes, the original sensei is filming wolverine, so they had to recast the role.

        • VRuss

          I hate recasts, and the original Takaeda was sooooo perfect!

    • Sobaika

      Jack should always be shirtless. Woof.

    • http://twitter.com/DarthJaeda Jaeda Laurez

      Nolan in that suit at the memorial got a “YAAAAAAAAAS B*TCH!!!” from me. He and Batmanda looked amazing at the party!

      • Le_Sigh

        Batmanda!  Brilliant!!!

    • M_E_S

      Anyone else get the sense that Ashley and Conrad are doing it?  Because they have waaaaay more sexual chemistry than she does with Daniel.  And something about Conrad’s reaction to Daniel saying Ashley isn’t cheating on him…

      • http://twitter.com/DarthJaeda Jaeda Laurez

        Remember when he offered her that car last season? I’d assumed penis came with it, since he knew Lydia was about to get blown up.

      • nc17

         I’m curious in general to know more about Ashley. I don’t entirely buy her back story.

      • VRuss

        Yeah, but she is still reeling Daniel in… And he seems to be falling for her, which is sooooooooo predictable. Blech.

        • http://twitter.com/DarthJaeda Jaeda Laurez

          I call him Prince Charmin, or Charmin for short, since he is soft as hell. It’s like he believes whatever story anybody told him last. A lying mama, psychopathic best bud, murderous daddy and he STILL went for the girl on the comeup who may-or-may-not be screwing this daddy. Charmin is DUMB.

          • VRuss

            OMG, that is so funny! And yeah, the name suits him to a T!

        • gabbilevy

          ehhh he didnt seem that into it to me.

      • MilaXX

        oh hell’s yes.  Because Ashley has proven herself to be a scheming social climber from day 1 and Daniel is a frakking idiot.

      • pop_top

        I signed up for an account just to agree with you. The look on Conrad’s face after Daniel’s cheating comment was not subtle at ALL. I’m sooo looking forward to that revelation, and it will be everything if Emily orchestrates its revelation.

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

           OF COURSE Emily is going to have something to do with it. I can’t wait. That, and when Jack figures out that Fauxmanda’s baby isn’t his.

          • annieanne

            So the real question is — whose baby is it?

            • gabbilevy

              If Takeda is involved (and he’s got to be, right, it’s just too convenient)… could be the Aussie? Or something artificially inseminated. Fauxmanda is as much (or more) of a pawn as Charlotte, she just sucks at being one because she’s a rebel.

            • adnama79

              My money, for now, is that it actually is Jack’s baby.

        • CozyCat

          And those long, lingering looks Daniel would cast towards Emily and her beach house.  I predict that at some point he tells Ashley he’s still in love with his ex and she goes completely psycho.

          • pop_top

            I wonder how long it will take for Ashley to realize that Daniel’s balcony time = brooding time over Emily. 

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        Ashley and Conrad are totally doing it. And when (not “if”) Daniel finds out, he’s going to get pushed even further over the edge. Remember when he said something to Ashley at the memorial about Emily cheating on him. That was a little obvious.

      • http://twitter.com/graceishuman Grace

        Yes, absolutely. They’re doing it.

    • miagain

      I didn’t realize it was on last night…. hello HULU…
      Need to take a refresher on who the hell everyone is.  names names names…

    • SignLadyB

      I knew TLo would comment on Emily walking right into that closed up building and right to her mother’s bed. The one truly jarring event in a generally good soap opera evening.
      The other booooo, for me was on Once Upon a Time–why Mulan???? I know, it’s a Disney product but until now (oh, maybe once last year) Disney has kept a pretty light hand. Next–Ariel? Hope not!!!

      • VRuss

        I laughed out loud at Mulan!!!!!! I thought they were sticking to classic fairy tale characters. But this season looks extremely promising, just as the first one! Hope they don’t screw it up.

        • Scoobydrew

          Mulan is a classic Chinese fairy tale … the Disnification was Prince Philip and Aurora  – Sleeping Beauty, at least in the Grimm Tales is  Briar Rose, and I don’t think that the Prince even has a name in the stories…..  although he is the hottest Disney Prince  IMHO.  I didn’t like Mulan being incorporated in to Sleeping Beauty – but I do like that they’ve added another obviously strong woman to the cast.  

          And yes … The Little Mermaid is going to be showing up. 

          • VRuss

            You learn something new every day!!!! I only know Disney Mulan, and I know her because I have a kid who asked to see the movie. If I hadn’t had her, I would not know this at all…

            Love this show because of the darkness of the characters, even pristine Snow White turned thief in the first season! I hope they don’t turn it into a campy mess.

            • Scoobydrew

              I only know because my Mom is German and raised me on the original creepy ending Grimm fairy tales, I’ve been obsessed with fairy tales of all kinds from all places for most of my life… The story of Mulan older then most. 

      • MilaXX

         Mulan cracked m up as well. I guess :magic is coming” means the characters in the  Disney vault will come out to play.

        • snarkmeister

          Just as long as they don’t bring in Pocahontas.  Dear God was that movie awful.

      • Jessi03

        I heard they were casting Ariel, so yes.

        • SignLadyB

          Oh God, no, please! What, she will grow legs and ride off in the sunset with Jiminy Cricket?

        • JosephLamour

          Im pretty sure they cast Joanna Garcia as Ariel already.

      • annieanne

        The other truly jarring scene was Nolan finding 20 year old paper medical records in an abandoned hospital — which is A) illegal because they’re confidential and would need to be properly secured or B) absurd because the rats and mice would have long since turned them into bedding and dinner.

        • Adriana_Paula

          I wondered about the confidentiality thing too!  Angel of Mercy was clearly not the hospital to have a breakdown in if you wanted any privacy about it going forward.

        • SignLadyB

          True!

        • adnama79

          I thought instead of it being a medical record, it was just the visitor sign-in sheet from the security desk – I thought it showed great restraint over the “here are Emily’s old juvenile records right here in this filing cabinet and not in some locked storage facility in a totally different state, what with her being an adult and all” from last season.

          Granted, rats would have eaten the security sign-in sheet first.

          Also – soap opera.

          Also – HIPAA passed in 2003.  So who knows what shenanigans they got up to w/ those records in 1990s?

          • annieanne

            HIPAA passed in 2003. HIPAA applies in 2012. So if those records are still sitting around today, whoever owns that hospital — presumably some Conrad front group — has got some ginormous lawsuits on their hands. It was a mental hospital. Imagine someone posting all those crazy people medical records online.

            • adnama79

              Who would be responsible if the hospital has been closed for 10 years? For the purposed of a soap, I think the records being there (which Emily and Nolan did not find so maybe they aren’t) would be more realistic than Emily’s juve record being on-site at the facility where she was housed.

    • http://twitter.com/rachelmed Rachel

      I’m a newbie to Revenge and just discovered it on Netflix last week! I got hooked and marathoned the whole season so I would be caught up for last night.

      So excited for this new season and I say more abs all around! I can’t believe the actor playing Nolan is 40! Boxing does a body good.

      • annieanne

        He actually looks his age in the pictures above. He never does in the show.

      • aristida_girl

        me too! Revenge marathon last week, and I can’t wait for this season, so fun :)

    • nc17

      I laughed out loud when Nolan hugged Jack. They have great chemistry

      • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

        nolan: *SNIF*
        jack: … okay.

        nolan is the best.

        (and while they will sadly never write a nolan/jack romance, i do hope that nolan gets a nice gay romance this season.)

    • VRuss

      Nolan is kind of hot with that new haircut! Love him!!!

      Why bring back Victoria so soon? I think it would have been far more effective to let everyone truly believe she was dead, then bring her back mid or end of the season.

      • michkabibbles

        i actually liked that they didn’t draw it out. the characters in the show might not know she’s alive, but most of the audience did; to me it would have been distracting to always wonder when she was going to turn up. i like that it was in the middle of the show, not the big reveal at the end, and i really really liked that it was charlotte who told emily. it made emily and victoria allies after a fashion, and i liked that charlotte and victoria had been in touch the entire time.

        • Adriana_Paula

          I liked it too; kind of like the Hitchcock reveal in the middle of Vertigo that most directors would have kept for the end of the movie (I won’t spoil it, but I assume/hope all the Fawns have seen Vertigo!).

          • adnama79

            I think the statute of limitations on spoilers is 3 – 8 years, so you’re good.

        • adnama79

          I loved the timing and method of the reveal.  And I believe I may have clapped and said, “Hell yes,” out loud.  Better sooner than later, better middle of the episode.

          I loooooooved that 1) Emily’s been sending Charlotte postcards 2) the perfection of the soap suds when Charlotte screams “Emily!” in the middle of a party and rushes to her side to whisper in her ear.

          I’m waiting for Emily to pull the sister card with Charlotte – I’m confident that the writers will be able to pull it off in a way so that Emily 1) advances her plans by revealing herself to Charlotte and 2) remains totally human and sympathetic in her treatment of her sister.  Like, she won’t hurt Charlotte, but that doesn’t mean she won’t use her.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.wurm.1 James Wurm

      I’ve read three recaps of this episode and can’t believe no one has called it a “clam-era”

    • Kristen Williamson

      I found Declan slightly less annoying, only because he told Jack to make Fauxmanda gtfo.

      • adnama79

        I think Declan’s been getting a better character arc the last few episodes of last season plus this first episode.  He’s going to be one of those characters who grows up fast and hard when circumstances call for it.  He has potential.

        • megfraz

          I also like that he seems to have dropped the accent…if you could call it an accent

    • http://twitter.com/Goldielox73 Goldie

      I don’t think the purpose of tying Emily to the post was to remember her mother.  Takeda said if he’d known that was her intention, he wouldn’t have done it.  I think it was more along the lines of her letting go of extraneous stuff to save herself.

      Awesome episode.  As much as I was “Aw, Nolan’s house!” I hope he and Emily remain roomies for a while, I like the vibe.

    • http://bonobochick.livejournal.com/ Miss D.

      Revenge Sensei’s assistant is played by Barry Sloane,an English Actor. He was phenomenal on the Brit soap, Hollyoaks: http://youtu.be/rCmYIQ3crbs. 

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      Decided to dip my toe in the “Revenge” pool, to see what all the fuss is about.  I must say, I enjoyed it.  Looking forward to the next episode.
      “Clam Cam” – a nanny cam for your summer house, lol. 

      • gabbilevy

        The Clam Cam is a direct successor to last season’s helpful Whale Cam. Nomily (Emolan?) really love their sealife tchotchke secret cameras.  

    • oohsparkley!

      Fun stuff!  Loved Nolan and can’t have too many abs.  Amanda looked great too. What is Victoria up to?  End of last season I believed she might have a heart, now she’s in cahoots with white haired guy??!!

    • KELLEYKAT

      Any bets on who the dead guy on Jack’s sunken boat is??  At first I was “Declan, yay!”  But he has kinda grown up and grown on me.  But if not him, then who???

      • adnama79

        Jack and Daniel. 

      • pop_top

         English dude from Japan.

      • turtleemily

        If they want to get REALLY soapy, it’ll be Tyler again.

        • KELLEYKAT

          haha!!!  The thought did cross my mind!  

    • hellomissmadeline

      No matter how he looks shirtless, I will never be able to see past Jack’s unending dopiness. That man is the textbook definition of a dolt. 

    • TieDye64

      Clam Cam. Love it.

    • adnama79

      O.M.G. Jennifer Jason Leigh.

      • http://twitter.com/pointlesswords jayme

         Makes me think Emily’s mother is going to be a pretty significant character if they went to the trouble of casting JJL. Awesome.

    • http://twitter.com/bstolemyremote bitchstolemyremote

      Lovely as always. Couldn’t tell what to think of Nolan’s Fight Club White Knuckle Boxing moment (appreciate the lean body or feel weirded out because he’s like a brother figure).

      All in all a fun (albeit slightly slow) start. In our review we figured you would have mentioned Em’s stunning red dress!

      • adnama79

        I think they know we want to see him shirtless more.

    • pop_top

      I am currently re-watching it; and I’m am bitter as hale that Ashley dared to remove Queen Victoria’s throne. I love that chair.
      Also, I keep watching the way fauxManda moves and am wondering if she’s even pregnant at all.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JSM6NUEW45SR7ICOR2ABII3PVI Captain Josie

        So Hamptons Batman totally told White Hair Guy she was Amanda Clark at the end of last season. Did White Hair really never mention this to Victoria in any of their let’s-pretend-to-fake-your-death talks? And how can I be the only one bothered by this?

        Also: I loved Nolan calling Daniel “spaniel”. Perfect.

        Oops, actually didn’t mean to post as a reply, but Pop-Top: I completely agree. FauxManda does a terrible impression of pregnant. Let’s hope for the actress’ sake that its a plot feature and not bad acting.

        • pop_top

           I thought I heard “Spaniel!” Yes, one more reason to love Nolan.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clydette-Wantland/673315286 Clydette Wantland

      Didn’t Emily tell the “white hair man” her name is Amanda Clark and why hasn’t he told Victoria about their fight last season?  Especially if he was in her plot to down the plane with her ex-BFF, Lydia?  I was confused about that part.  Also, Emily looked AMAZING in that red dress at the “memorial service”. 

    • glennethph

      Just watched it.  The most hilarious thing about this fantastic episode is when Nolan & Jack meet up again, Nolan practically plants his nose in Jack’s neck, inhaling all the sea salt on his skin.

    • neofashionista

      First episode was excellent
      The writing has gotten much better even if the acting with the exception of a few of the leads kind of blows
      Agree that jack should only deliver his lines shirtless

    • http://twitter.com/AShinyOConnor A Shiny O’Connor

      And Jennifer frikkin’ Jason Leigh is Amanda/Emily’s mother *licks lips at thought of Stowe/Jason Leigh death stare off*

    • Fran Rossi

      I MUST find out whatever brand sheets those were that looked so good after being on an abandoned hospital bed for twenty years. They even kept their color and there were only cobwebs under them on the restraints! 

    • http://twitter.com/katshimmers Kat Wright

      Gents, the Sensei’s off-sider isn’t an Aussie, but a Brit :-D

    • Judy_S

      OK, coming in VERY late (I spent the last few weeks watching Season 1). So nobody will read this, but oh well. At the end of last season, TLo commented on the plot development represented by the White-Haired Man (anybody old enough to think of One-Armed Man?) as a not very appealing situation: They, Whoever They Are, will be out to get Emily and those she loves, for no definable reason and possibly in new guises every episode.
      Now, though, at the very end of this episode Revenge Sensei and Sidekick mentioned bringing Emily back to “the Mission.” So now I think we have TWO Mysterious Organizations, the Mission to which she sold her soul for revenge training and the Americon/White-Haired Man folks who took out her family and may do the same to the Graysons just for the heck of it.