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.