Revenge: Lineage

Posted on November 26, 2012

As much as we think main-character voiceover narration is a cheesy storytelling device, we kinda missed it with last night’s episode. Then again, they were hitting the one theme so hard – that revenge is cyclical and that it plays out again and again with each generation – that it may have been considered too obvious to mention by the writers.

We admit it: we’re getting a little lost in the plot this season. We don’t know yet if that’s a flaw in the writing or if we’re just not paying as close attention to the story as we need to. We’ve always approached this show as a high camp-fest, but we couldn’t shake the feeling last night that the show is taking itself more seriously than we ever did and we can’t decide yet if we like that or not.

One thing we do like is how the show quite clearly treats Hamptons Batman as the superheroic character she is, turning her backstory into something approaching epic and filling her origin story with a bunch of players that are still having a major effect on her in the present day, from Takeda to Aidan to Fauxmanda and Nolan, and even with a cameo from Ashley, it’s clear that everything Emily’s doing in 2011/12 stretches back many years and involves many people with a vested interest in making sure she gets the revenge she so desperately needs to enact. This is Batman Begins levels of plotting and it adds a depth to the story that takes it slightly away from campy and more towards the operatic.

Having said that, we were fairly un-invested in the whole Aidan and Emily meet-cute. And we really have no idea what it means to the larger story of Grayson Global and the Initiative. Something-something Russian mobsters something-something human trafficking something Aidan’s dead sister something? Allrighty then. We were paying more attention to Emily’s insanely tight slutty dresses and wondering if Ashley has more to do with the backstory than we ever thought possible. Like we said, we’re fairly surface-oriented in our approach to this show.

In other superhero origin stories, like all good supervillains, Victoria Grayson has a past that’ll break your heart and have you rooting for her more often than against her. This was the part of the episode we found most delicious because there were furs, diamonds, fine china and unholy retribution all wrapped up in a couple of tight little scenes. Madeline Stowe got to play Victoria to the hilt, we got some backstory that deepened her character for us, and we saw Conrad and Victoria as the power couple they really are when they’re not at each other’s throats. All this, and they managed to ruin Daniel’s life by the time the plates were cleared. You’ve gotta love that.

In other Hampton’s news, Jack’s father was involved in the murder of the father of the guy who nowZZZZZZzzzzzzz. Sorry. But anything having to do with that bar and that family is a total buzzkill and we really, REALLY don’t give a shit about it. If it somehow plays back into the main story of Emily and her Grayson revenge, we’ll perk right back up, but it seems to us, we’re sorry to say, that the show is re-positioning itself slightly away from Emily’s main goals and more toward an examination of revenge in all its forms. That gave us the fun of watching Victoria take her revenge out on her mother, but it also gave us the story of Kenny and his revenge against the sons of the man he thinks killed his father. Bleh.

Also: Nolan, in any time period, seems to have terrible taste in the people he sleeps with. But it did give us a holy-shit moment when it became obvious that Daniel’s thisclose to figuring out who Emily is. Unless he’s so stupid that he thinks Nolan gave Fauxmanda half a billion dollars and that’s why she’s living in relative poverty over Jack’s bar. Then again, he never was very bright.

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  • Inspector_Gidget

    You know, I think I would watch a whole second show of Emily just going on Takeda missions. In fact, I almost wish they would break it off into another show, because it’s starting to diverge too much from the Hamptons drama.  And I couldn’t agree more about that damned bar. I think they may be inserting new plots there because they wrote themselves into a corner with those characters.  Jack and Fauxmanda themselves are almost irrelevant at this point. Let them sail off to Guam.

    • I find Fauxmanda kinda entertaining, but Jack and Declan… Just waiting screen time.

  • f_yeah_marie

    I’m still lost as to how Emily found Takeda in the first place.  Was it through the warden in juvie?  If so, why/how does the warden conveniently have that information?  As someone invested in Emily and Aidan, I enjoyed last night’s episode, but I agree with the overall assessment in the post.  I thought it was a tad violent (for ABC standards, I suppose) with the guy being shot multiple times while in the frame in view of those watching.  Usually they cut to the shooter, which I think they did, but I believe they also showed the bullets going through.

    I was blown away by Madeleine Stowe last night; she is incredible at cloaking her facial expressions with false civility while her eyes are just burning with anger/rage/disdain/contempt, etc. 

    Also, poor Nolan 🙁

    • MissMariRose

       I was wondering the same thing last night: Where does one find a revenge guru?

      I’m just asking for a friend.

      • mike__tv

        I think you mean Revenge Sensei. 

    • mike__tv

      Well congratulations! Emily and Aidan just went public. Woooh. Cheers. Hurray.  Have a glass of champaign…on your way out. That’s right piss off. 

  • CarolinLA

    One thing we learned is that Aidan’s father was a baggage handler and that’s how they got the bomb on board the plane that went down.  

    • Kristin McNamara

      True! I found that little tidbit very interesting! I hope they continue to give us little clues along the way, here and there, and this doesn’t turn out to be a show like Lost with hundreds of unanswered questions left dangling in the wind come the series finale.

  • CarolinLA

    No more bar bullshit!!!!!!  No one cares!!!!!!  

    • ShonaSunshine

       I’m so glad I download the episodes; I just skip through all of the bar scenes. Jack is fun to look at, though. 😉

      • I could tolerate the story better if the brothers are better looking, Jack and Declan are like 5’4″ while Emily and Charlotte tower over them, and the brothers look like they never saw a shower in their lives.

  • GorgeousThings

    Yes, we can kiss the bar goodbye, if you ask me. Pity it wasn’t destroyed in Superstorm Sandy.

    And speaking of kissing goodbye, let’s all remove our Stetsons and have a moment of silence for JR Ewing. RIP, Larry Hagman.

    • Qitkat

      Your comment about the bar made me laugh. At least we can find humor in fauxdrama.

      Larry Hagman will be missed. Iconic on television. Indeed, RIP.

    • MissMariRose

      Ah, yes. The ultimate soap supervillan. RIP.

  • Qitkat

    This is definitely an episode I’m going to have to rewatch. At least I’m not alone in being confused. Coming in 5 minutes late last evening did not help matters. I’m hoping the writing is good enough that everything ties in, or at least explains the relevance of all the story threads. 

    [email protected]:disqus said, we learned how the bomb got on board the plane, which is a big reveal; of course, there must be more to this part of the story, as well as the disappearance of Aidan’s sister. Which may tie in to the human trafficking of women, which may tie into Ashley. At this point, I’m just considering that Emily uses everyone she meets, befriends those initially, puts them in her debt, calls up the debt when necessary to her end purposes, thus Ashley in the Grayson household, which we may later learned she (Emily) also engineered, gives her a peripheral but important player in her own drama. 

    As for Jack and the bar, I’m not nearly as bothered as so many by this storyline. Jack is nice to look at; the deja vu all over again storyline that is beginning to play out will certainly affect Emily at some point, and she may come to the rescue. She may be with Aidan now, but still retains feelings for Jack, and Fauxmanda has been almost the most important  supporting player in this entire drama, if you think about it; crucial to the deception from the very beginning. It’s a very necessary peripheral storyline.

    Love Nolan, but for a CEO he has and continues to be very naive and trusting, even while super smart and manipulative in his own right. [email protected]_yeah_marie:disqus said Madeleine Stowe chewed up the scenery with her moments with her mother; Adrienne Barbeau (haven’t seen her for years) was also outstanding. If we take any of this seriously, a really heartwrenching relationship that explains so much.

    • f_yeah_marie

      Though I’m not a fan of the bar or Amanda storyline, I can tolerate Jack because the actor was in Roswell and that was one of my favorite shows growing up.  It’s nice to see him be the good guy here since he was the villain (term used loosely) on Roswell.

      • I hate the bar scenes but hope the writers don’t write those characters off simply. I want the actor who plays Jack to stay employed because I loved Roswell too!

        (I also felt the same about The River because Cappie from Greek was on it. I’ll watch anything if I have a soft spot for an actor.)

    • mike__tv

      I have no clue what’s going on, especially with the companies. But I’m not going to re-watch it, why? Because I bet it makes less sense the more you watch it. I just sit back and go ” wooh shit is hapenning” “Oh no she di-ent” “Double entendre” and then I just forget about the show when it’s done. 

  • NCDFan

    I love how just when you start feeling a little sympathetic toward Victoria they throw you another ‘here’s a cold hearted bitch’ who planned this revenge on her mother moment.

  • I felt totally sorry for Victoria now that we know here awful mother and what she did to her.  That story line was the best part about last night’s episode. 

  • mike__tv

    “Double infinity….oooh”

    • Kristin McNamara

      Yea. LAME ending.

  • annieanne

    IMHO, the writers have been reading all the critiques about how uninvested the audience is in the Jack storyline and took that to mean he needed a “better” storyline. Instead of understanding that what people are saying is NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT JACK OR THAT BAR. (Sorry for the shouting but somebody has to get their attention.)
    The best hope now is that Anders and Martouf manage to kill off Jack — soon.

  • zelavie

    I got REALLY bored about 15 minutes in, and spent the rest of the hour on my computer with the show on in the background.  Apparently I missed a couple of things.  Part of me wants to re-watch, just to see what I’ve missed.  But a bigger part of me was SO BORED that I don’t think I can.  I know backstory is important in a story that’s as developed as this one, but give it to us in small doses with some story progression, please.

  • Lulu Lafurge

    Wow. Now you’ve gotten me thinking about it… There are so many characters and plot lines I *don’t* care about, I’m wondering why I still love to watch the show. My care list is: RealAmanda, Fauxmanda, Nolan, Journalist Guy, Ashley, and to a lesser extent Victoria and Aiden. Dat’s it, folks!

    • Ugh, I couldn’t care less about Ashley! People are dying all over the Hamptons and she’s all “Waah, this clam bake is a disaster!” 

      Though, I admit, I’m interested to see how she and Emily end up so close, after this week’s meet-not-so-cute.

  • Am I the only one who is considering that the 2006 CFO, Marco, is now the current CFO, Padma, post gender reassignment?

    • CarolinLA

      Well, considering that Marco was shown talking to Daniel in real time, it’s not the case.  But I like that you thought outside the box!  

      • Damn, I was getting super excited that this was the case, but then I remembered the present-day conversation was the immediate present, too. Now THAT would’ve been a crazy, soapy twist! 

    • Judy_S

       Well, it did occur to me, too, while watching. At least one can say that Nolan likes sad-eyed CFOs, gender unimportant. I am looking forward to a big-eyed face-off between Padma and Marco now.

    • michelle shields

      could it be that Marco and Padma are siblings?

  • becca5

    I usually don’t think about the fashions too much (I know, I’m on the wrong site…) but I loved Little Victoria’s shabby yellow dress in comparison with Queen Victoria’s shiny gold dress.

  • I have one GIANT question that is bugging the heck out of me. Maybe someone who’s followed along better can clear it up:

    How did David Clarke ever invest ANY money in NolCorp? Nolan didn’t start the company until he was in college, and he’s not so much older than Amanda that David could have invested in the company before he was arrested…which means he invested millions of dollars, from prison. And that Nolan, for no reason, started courting David Clarke while he was in jail for an investment. And now there’s this twist that it was a “personal” account of Grayson Global funds; wouldn’t that account have been closed and all of Clarke’s assets frozen as SOON as he was arrested, especially if it’s Grayson money? Or is Nolan pushing 40? 

    This drives me insane any time they talk about NolCorp and GG. Anyone else unable to stop pulling this thread? Anyone have an ANSWER?

    • Nolan IS pushing 40. The actor is pushing 40. He has quite a lot of wrinkles on his face which is more obvious this season without the long bangs. He acts young and dress young, and is generally in good shape. But he is much older than Emily.

      • Yes! I looked that up, too. Craziness. I’m so used to people playing so much younger than their actual age (the original 90210, anyone?) that I pictured Nolan and Emily as peers. Adjusting my brain accordingly 🙂 

  • Also: now the Initiative is connected to the Russians…and also Aidan’s dad was a baggage guy at Heathrow? Did he help the Initiative because he thought he’d get his daughter back? Confuuused. 

    But Victoria totally sizzled, I’ll say that.

    • CarolinLA

      That’s a thought – about thinking he would get his daughter back if he did what they asked.  I like it.

      • Thanks! I don’t know if I missed that and it was actually the plot line, or if I’m just super brilliant 🙂 But it makes sense: the daughter was kidnapped a week before the plane exploded, so they coerced the father to let the bomb on board the plane by promising his daughter’s return. Makes sense to me, so I’m going with it!

  • the_valkyrie

    My only questions is: Was Victoria wearing Elie Saab during the showdown with her mother?

  • Amy

    Maybe he should’ve been a poet! Still laughing over Daniel’s writing talent!

  • GTrain

    Thank you for articulating what I can only sputter and stammer about the boring as hell bar story!