Revenge S1E11: Duress

Posted on January 05, 2012

Crazy Gay on a rampage! We didn’t know it before last night, but apparently that’s exactly what the show needed to jump back into the game. In fact, we think there are many shows that could be improved by inserting a crazy gay on a rampage. The Killing, for instance. Wouldn’t it have been far more entertaining if Tyler burst into every scene and ordered people to stop crying, stop trying to talk like a rapper when you’re as Swedish as the day is long, and stop wearing ugly fair isle sweaters every day of the week? Or V? Wouldn’t Anna have been far more effective as a conqueror if she’d unleashed a couple Crazy Gays on rampages? We’re telling you, the story possibilities are endless. Not that the show has ever had problems coming up with story possibilities, but after an excruciating month away from our screens, it was thrilling to see Revenge waste no time and come roaring back at us with a head-spinner like this one.

With the disposal of Tyler handled so seemingly effortlessly by Emily it’s become increasingly clear that our smartass line a couple of episodes back is true: Emily Thorne is Batman in a bandage dress. Schemes inside of schemes and always one step ahead of everyone around her, even when everyone around her is gunning for her. It’s not particularly realistic, though. How did she know to leave the gun unloaded? How did she know Tyler would see that on Nolan’s Shamu-cam? How did she happen to have Frank’s wallet on her? And where the hell did she hide it in that dress? But that’s not the point. The point is to watch Hamptons Batman destroy the people who keep doing her wrong. The point is having a protagonist who never breaks a sweat so that when the day comes when she does break a sweat, the whole audience will say as one, “Ohhhhh, shit.”

And we look forward to that day, but right now it’s just so damn fun watching Emily smoothly move through the world, a creature composed entirely of lies and grudges who is somehow beautiful, serene, and never caught off her guard. Pure fantasy. Would that we were all a little more like Emily, right? But it’s to the writers’ credit that they actually are developing Emily a little bit past the “Batman” persona. She’s been treating poor Nolan like shit since episode one and it’s the one thing that has made Emily a bit hard to like. We suspect the creators didn’t know at first what a gem they had in Nolan and last night’s sweet apology scene was a nice way of papering over some unpleasantness in the characters’ earlier history while rehabilitating Emily from coming across like a bitch. Nolan’s story has yet to be told and we’re sure that it’s as full of twists and surprises as, well, everyone else’s. But until that day comes, we like seeing these two getting chummy. Emily’s not a demonstrative sort, so the scene is played very low-key and matter-of-fact, but Nolan understood what a huge thing it is for Emily to apologize and ask for help in the same conversation.

In Grayson family news, everyone is plotting against everyone else. Why this family even bothers throwing social gatherings and dinners is beyond me. They should all just meet in conference rooms for every family function. Have their lawyers hash it out at each other while they eat clams and deal with homo-cidal psychopaths. Turns out Victoria was not pregnant when she married Conrad, but she led him to believe she was, a fact that demonstrates she was always a liar and user, long before David Clarke entered her life.  We really don’t get what’s going on with that lawyer. He DOES work for Emily, right? What was with that slo-mo shot of her passing him in the foyer, all but daring him to look at her?

Daniel Grayson has both daddy issues AND mommy issues and he’s decided to focus on the former for the moment; taking a job with his father’s company and pretending to be in his good graces, so he can “spy” on him for his mother. We’re not exactly sure what “spying” on him is supposed to do for a divorce proceeding, but Victoria smiled like a cat who just ate the best mouse of her life when Daniel told her, so we’re pretty sure she’s got some plans for her sweet meathead of a son.

Charlotte is living with her father and will become a weapon for both parents in the divorce, which means dumb Declan has just stumbled into the only family situation that will allow him to continue dating Charlotte. Neither of the Grayson parents are going to risk taking this moment to piss Charlotte off, so expect to see Victoria lavishing attention on the little working class leprechaun just like Conrad did this episode.

Fauxmanda, meanwhile, is still skanky and crazy. Does anyone come to the Hamptons without a spotty past, at least one corpse, and a hint of mental instability? Poor Jack is blinded to the fact that this little hussy couldn’t possibly be the love of his life. It was interesting (and delicious) to see that Victoria took one look at the little stripper and instantly suspected she wasn’t David’s daughter. We’re not sure what Emily’s thinking is here. Sure, exposing Fauxmanda to Victoria could shake out with Victoria DESTROYING her, but it could just as easily shake out with Victoria figuring out she’s not Amanda Clarke. And once she figures that out, all roads will inevitably lead to Emily.

But Hamptons Batman always has a plan, and even though she appears to be risking exposure by slowly bringing Fauxmanda into her social circle, we suspect we’ll all be shocked when the inevitable turning of the tables happens and we find out that Emily – once again – planned the whole thing from the beginning.

At some point, and probably very soon, given how well things turned out for Emily this episode, her schemes aren’t going to work. We’re all so used to seeing her one step ahead that when the moment comes when she’s hanging on for her life, it’ll be hard to watch. After all, no one likes it when Batman gets knocked out. But until that day comes, we’ll happily take a delicious episode like this, where all the women wear tight dresses and 6-inch heels and all the man have visible abs, and everyone at the table is out to destroy someone else at the table. For in these troubled times, is there nothing better for the soul than watching shallow rich people destroy each other?

Tyler won’t stay gone forever, and we suspect the wallet in his pocket is not going to be enough to implicate him. He saw that Emily had something hidden under her rug and he knows she’s not what she seems. At some point, he’ll definitely be back to wreak havoc. Can he bring his cute surgeon brother with him next time?




[Photo Credit: ABC]

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