Revenge: Forgiveness

Posted on October 29, 2012

We couldn’t stand the little psycho stripper when she was introduced to the story last season, but now we find ourselves hoping that Fauxmanda never leaves it. She’s served as a perfect vehicle to showcase Emily’s darker side; her tendency to use people to the extent that she treats them almost literally like puppets. She’s provided all kinds of what-could-have-been drama for Emily.  It used to be that Emily was annoyed with Fauxmanda for pursuing Jack, the so-called love of her life. Now we have Fauxmanda living an entire life that Emily could have had; a sister, a baby with Jack, and now a reunion with her long-thought-dead mother. Making this all the more poignant was Kara’s plea for forgiveness; a plea Fauxmanda was too moved not to accept on Emily’s behalf.

That’s the moment that really sold us on Fauxmanda. Because she knew in that moment that she was speaking on Emily’s behalf. She knows the real Amanda so well that she anticipated and voiced her response to her mother. She’s not a puppet anymore; she’s an ally who knows her string-puller so well that she can speak on her behalf in matters of deep emotional importance.

When Emily confessed to her that she’d been pulling Fauxmanda’s strings far more than even she thought, we felt like a real corner had been turned with these two characters. They were always sister-close, but most of Fauxmanda’s time in the Hamptons has been met with annoyance to outright anger and vindictiveness on Emily’s part. That true, honest conversation was something both characters needed to have because Emily almost never has an honest conversation and Fauxmanda’s been forced into too many dishonest ones against her will.

It’s also important for Ems to gather her allies close to her, because things are getting more and more complicated around her. For one, Mason Fucking Treadwell is back in the story and we can only clap our hands with glee at the prospect. Nothing enlivens a bitch festival like inviting a bitch with a penis to the proceedings. We could watch Victoria and him go at it for 40 minutes an episode. It seems he’s convinced that Fauxmanda is, in fact, faux. We have to admit, Fauxmanda always was one of the weak parts of the story, in terms of suspending disbelief. It only makes sense for that question to continue to be asked. Also, Aidan and Daniel are plotting to take over Nolan’s company, which fills us with dread for the skinny moptop with the quips. What’s the deal with that too-perky-by-half CFO of his? Hmmm. Narrow-eyed chin-stroking now.

And finally, Jennifer Jason Leigh is making a seismic impact on the show, which shouldn’t be a surprise to us. We wondered how they were going to integrate her rough-around-the-edges persona with the bandage dresses-and-Louboutins world of Revenge. The answer? Just shove it in there and watch the world around her react to it. There was something immensely satisfying watching that dowdy, shifty-eyed, sniffling bag of tics square off against the supremely composed Victoria Grayson – and scaring the ever-loving shit out of her. Bringing the long-thought-dead mother back into the story was a move that threatened to tip this show too far into cliched night-time soap territory, but when you get a chance to pit Madeline Stowe and Jennifer Jason Leigh against each other, you take the damn risk. We’re looking forward to way more of that. It’s not that we mind the tortuously meaningful discussions with Emily, but they’re gonna have to spread those out a bit before they quickly get stale from overuse.

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  • Ceur

    I’m genuinely scared for Nolan’s fate on this show. And Jennifer Jason Leigh: you are so, so welcome to my Monday mornings! (overseas viewer) 

  • peacockprincess

    Just want to express my thanks to you guys for getting me into this show.  I would never have started watching it without your original blogs and now I am totally hooked.  I am very worrried about Nolan and his new CFO is definitely up to no good. 

  • Qitkat

    Yes, I agree, Nolan is the one to be really concerned about. Whatever his new CFO’s agenda is, she fits right into this lying, deceiving, beauty is only skin deep world of Revenge. As far as the supremely composed Victoria Grayson, I get a bit bored with her, thus anything or anyone that unnerves her is fine with me.

  • I LOVED the scene when Jennifer Jason Leigh walked right up to Victoria and gave her hug.  It was SO tense and exciting. 

  • LOVED the scene between Kara and Victoria, as you’re right, it does introduce some necessary conflict into Victoria’s otherwise comfortable life. Just wish we knew more about Kara since the writers have neglected to flesh her or her role out beyond being Em’s mom. It’s coming, but considering how much she’s been driving the second season, it’s frustrating to watch waiting to learn why she matters so much. This is a good first step.

    In our review we wonder about what will happen with Nolan. Aiden AND Padma (grrrr) have screwed him over but good!

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      I think Padma is working with Aiden, who is still on Emily’s side but we won’t know that until the eleventh hour. I think Aiden wants to avenge Emily’s family since he couldn’t save his own. 

    •  That scene had me on the edge of my seat last night. So well done.

      I will cut someone if they hurt Nolan. He’s rapidly becoming my favourite character on this show.

  • Sobaika

    If he fucks with Nolan I will never forgive Daniel, and neither would Emily. I hope she tears him a new one and realizes what a pathetic group of men she is surrounded by. Except Conrad. The man can hang with the scheming and bitch one-liners.

  • This show really continues to impress me. Its kind of amazing to me that moving at the breakneck speed it does and breezing through every soap cliche in the book it continues to be such highly enjoyable television and sometimes even reach a place that is genuinely touching. 

  • MilaXX

    I knew things had changed with Emily and Amanda when Emily admitted to Amanda that the baby was Jack’s. I hope Emily continues these heart to hearts with those in her corner because not only do I not trust that CFO, I hate Nolan being all googly eyed around her like a love sick puppy.

  • MissMariRose

    Does this mean that Aiden doesn’t know that Nolan is on Team Emily? For some reason, I thought he did.

    • zelavie

      Emily rejected his help, and he told (paraphrased) that she’d rather have him as a friend than an enemy.  I think the Nolan thing is him showing his enemy side to her.

  • “A bitch with a penis”. Love. this.

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    I personally think Aiden is faking his plot with Daniel in an attempt to further infiltrate the company. I think at his core he is very loyal to Emily. I also think Nolan is in big trouble with this CFO, but Emily is crafty and she’s probably already onto her. One of the things I’ve really loved about this show is the evolution of relationships between Nolan and Emily and Emily and Fauxmanda. They gone from her pawns to her true friends. 

    And I sense Treadwell is a goner. And not for a second do I believe Nolimy won’t come out on top. 

  • In Season 3 – will Emily T be repairing her home from the surge?

    • Amy

       Emily vs. Hurricane Sandy: The Final Showdown.

      (Hurricane Sandy brought to you by a team of scientists working for Grayson Global)

  • Judy_S

    I am still thinking that Padma is on what she perceives to be Nolan’s side (worried about his connection with David Clarke), but potentially very anti-Emily. On the other hand, nobody in this show ever does anything innocently, does she? Except Kara trying to drown her baby. On the other hand, I do not trust Aiden at all. Presumably there is some kind of paper trail from NolCorp to Amanda Clarke’s fortune, and that is going to come up against the relative situations of Emily and Fauxmanda.
    I did enjoy seeing Mason Treadwell with Super-Vindicto-Vision stirring up every pile of whatever he could find.

    • I think Padma is firmly on Nolan’s side, and was legitimately worried for his sake, but she honestly has no IDEA what she’s walking into, and how she’s so very seriously screwed things up. Meanwhile, he’s been in the Grayson-Emanda crazy-nado so long, that what might be a normal inquiry from your CFO now seems ominous and threatening. Did you see that ill side-eye he gave her on the beach after that call from Batmanda?  

      Meanwhile, I believe Mason is the dead body on the boat. 

  • DB

    The frustrating thing about this show though, is that in a full season, almost a season and a half, nothing has changed story-wise from the pilot. The Graysons are still rich, and living freely. The world still thinks Daddy Clark is a terrorist. And Amanda/Emily is no closer to any of her goals, if anything, she seems further away. 

    • OMG yes! There have been so many scandals and bizarre happenings surrounding the Graysons. It seems ridiculous that this family still seems so untouchable! Victoria makes a little speech about family sticking together and btw. ‘I slept with a terrorist’ and somehow this counts as a victory for the Graysons! How? Why? 

  • I’m worried about this Initiative storyline. It now seems like revenge sensei has been plotting against this Initiative all along and that he’s using Emily as a tool. It’s nice that Takeida gets some actual motivation, but I don’t want it to diminish Emily’s agency. They did the same thing with Victoria. First she seemed to be the big bad, but then we found out that Conrad has been pulling her strings from day one (I’m absolutely convinced that Conrad picked David to take the fall, because Victoria loved him. He’s such an abusive, controlling creep). Victoria is still a B****, but I don’t think she should be Emily’s main target.
    If it does turn out that Emily is being used, I hope they handle it well and let her take back control at some point.

    • Judy_S

       I read it that way, too, re. the Initiative as the target of the Senseis’ Mission.

  • Just aim Jennifer and Madeline at each other … and get out of the way!

  • mischy1972

    It was a sigh of relief when Fauxmanda admitted she lied about the baby. Also Jennifer Jason Leigh was great on Weeds last season. And the babys name is Carl? really?!

    • Carl was Jack and Declan’s fathers name. The baby’s middle name is David.

  • adnama79

    I don’t think Fauxmanda gave forgiveness b/c she knew Emily would – I think she did it b/c she’s a new mother, awash in the crazy emotions and projecting them onto Kara, granting Kara forgiveness b/c she’d want Carl’s.

    But I second the “Emily needed to tell Fauxmanda something true” notion.

  • Kristin McNamara

    I still can NOT believe that they are trying to hoist upon us a storyline in which a mother does not recognize her own daughter. Of all the unbelievable things that have happened on this show, that one, for some reason, irks me the most. I can’t get past it. A mother would KNOW her daughter. Even 20 years later. I just don’t get it….

  • The Kara/Victoria meeting was the BEST moment of this episode for me. During the slow motion approach, I had visions of roses erupting from the table as it slid askew under the weight of Victoria’s reeling body while Kara clawed at her neck and dragged her to the floor. All my excitement simmered down to delight at the deliciousness of the expertly veiled deceit of that ostensibly cordial embrace. Sometimes I feel like this show exists only to provide those moments for Victoria and Emily, and now Kara. Oh the shade of it all!

  • pop_top

    This episode was glorious.

    I find myself really drawn to Fauxmanda and Emily’s relationship, worried for Nolan, and equally loving and hating Mason Treadwill; in fact, almost everything is great…the only low point is the bar business, but at least Declan seems to be growing a brain! He’s rightfully skeptical. At least Carl has a chance of having a smart uncle.

    I just noticed the young actress who plays young Amanda, is the little sister of the actress who formerly played young Amanda. I LOVE that sort of attention to casting details. Along that vein, I love the opportunity they gave Daniel’s actor to use his real accent!!!

    Also, that slow-mo walk of Kara over to Victoria – so much glee. Victoria’s desperation and one-liners in this episode – elation! She’s gradually coming undone.

    I appreciate now why we’ve never seem Em in a two piece.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with Daniel, Aiden, and Nolcorp. I especially love that Emily is finally ‘claiming’ Nolan and Fauxmanda as her people. Even Batman had Alfred and Robin.