Revenge "Illusion" Review: The Second Time Around
While like most Americans I think a reconciled couple having a fancy second wedding is straight up B.S., the Graysons’ ultra-luxe second-time-around nuptials certainly set a theme for the night. Daniel hinted at a second time around to Emily after she showed up baring the world’s sexiest sternum, Jack proposed to Fauxmanda after writing her off not even two weeks ago, Mason Treadwell took a second look at his David Clarke obsession, the Initiative offered Conrad Grayson the opportunity to pick up the tab on round two of domestic terrorism, and Charlotte got back on with Declan.
Victoria spoke for all of us last night when she responded, “Oh, not that one again.” It is the only response to Charlotte and Declan's relationship re-starting. “Oh, not that one again.” —Viewers around the world, on Charlotte and Declan.
Also, I can’t go much further in this review without acknowledging Jack’s trendy new haircut. Is the Stowaway officially a hipster dive yet? This hair is a step in the right direction.
“Villian” Kenny is kind of better than any of Jack and Declan’s friends. He is scheming so hard on owning the Stowaway that he shows up and does bartending work for free! He negotiates back-alley cheap liquor distributors! He’s a borderline guardian angel to the Porter boys, and if he ends up buying/taking the Stowaway off their hands, at the end of the day, would that really be so awful? Raising a baby in a crawlspace over a bar isn’t exactly ideal.
Kara continued her campaign of unnerving Victoria by creeping around her house and picking up things that don’t belong to her. There is something just so intensely awful about smelling someone’s toiletries as you chit-chat with them. Both wrists to her face, inhaling Victoria’s Calgon body spray! I mean obviously I would lather myself with any toiletry Victoria Grayson left laying around, but I’d wait for her to leave the room.
Between that and sketching ominous charcoals of the Grayson house, Kara was in top form as an unbalanced psychopath. It helped provide a bonding moment between Kara and Emily on the beach as they both talked trash on the Graysons.
Don’t get too swept away by the mother-daughter bonding, because this came within mere hours of Emily’s trip to the morgue to steal Kara’s boyfriend’s body and stage it in an airstream.
Emily, in top form this episode, implicated Conrad Grayson in the killing of Gordon, using a preposterously monogrammed onyx cufflink to ruin not just the Graysons' second wedding but the, “We are victims, not monsters” illusion they’ve been perpetrating on the national media. It’s been a while since Emily pulled off a scheme-y little heist with such aplomb, and much like Nolan I was very into it.
I absolutely loved that for once Emily was hissing and bullying Nolan to help his interests. She was genuinely concerned about his welfare and got him caught up on Grayson Global’s money-grubbin’ schemes, warning him about attending the Graysons’ wedding. As if Nolan would miss the wedding of the century! If nothing else, Nolan needed to show off the most avant-garde waistcoast since Cirque de Soleil came through town, and also corner Padma about her recent digging. It was more than Charlotte was willing to do, preferring to go to the Stowaway and make swan napkins alongside Kenny and Declan. Charlotte manages to make worse choices stone-cold sober than when she’s pilled up to the gills up.
Perhaps in retribution, Victoria didn’t wear Charlotte’s “something blue” necklace.
Sorray baby girl! Mama doesn’t give two sh-ts and it would have clashed with her lavish gray evening gown and BOUQUET OF BLACK FLOWERS.
Victoria stunned me by defending “the help” Ashley as being a cut above “juvy girl” Emily Thorne. Not only did this give Mason a key piece of information for his red-yarn-and-photographs board (get a freaking computer already, Mason), but I’m a little disappointed there won’t be a shouting match between Ashley and Victoria. Thrown teacups! British accents! Even if we never get to see Ashley and Victoria wrestle each other to the ground during a tea party, conflict, she is a-comin’. Clearly an Aidan-Ashley-Emily-Daniel love rectangle is in the cards, given all the hot looks between Aidan and Ashley and Daniel almost melting at the sight of Emily’s exposed sternum. Maybe they should just put all their keys in a bowl every weekend or something? Like, so many coy glances.
How funny is it this season that every time Emily shows up to a Grayson gala or event she has to explain who invited her? Like technically she should never step into the Grayson Manor again, it's a palace of awkward and Victoria previously had her escorted out by security. Her ex-fiance and his family have absolutely no reason to invite her over ever. Yet she’s back every other day, with some plausible explanation, and her excuses are getting thinner and thinner. “I’m Aidan’s date.” “I’m the godmother.” “I need a cup of sugar.” “I was bored.” “Some of your empty Lean Cuisine boxes blew into my lawn.” For Hampton socialites not aware that Emily is hellbent on revenge, she must come across as the most socially dense young lady ever.
Aidan and Daniel are not trying to get Conrad voted off the GG board ASAP—good news for all of us, as Conrad has now promised to dabble in killing innocent people with the Initiative again. Will he be fired from his own company before the Initiative can get their money? If so, will that mean the Initiative will pressure/threaten Daniel or will Aidan and therefore Emily be put in direct confrontation with the Initiative? I don’t know if I want the conflicts going forward to be between Emily and the Initiative. I prefer the garden-party-cum-cage-match she and Victoria have going. But the path between now and six seasons from now is going to have to get pretty twisty, so I am eager to see how the writers keep Emily and Victoria at constant odds while the “Big Bad” shifts.
For longevity’s sake, Victoria should stay off her widow’s walk and hang out more in her scrapbooking closet, as creepy Kara could throw her off the balcony at any moment. Victoria can read it in her eyes! And also, is that charcoal on your hands? Kara, are you a frustrated artist? Victoria, a one-time art dealer? Perhaps a business arrangement can be struck that will smooth the who-killed-whose-husband issues of the past and turn a nice profit for both of you?
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, meanwhile, continued their push and pull of no trust = no love. Aidan apologized that no one had ever been there for Emily, foolishly forgetting the witty banter and warm protection of ride-or-die bestie Nolan. Is Aidan for real sweet on Emily or is he secretly drawn to foxy Ashley’s braids and fashion sense? (Or is that just me? Seriously, I love Ashley. Give her something fun to do. She’s all work and no play.)
Next week promises to be kind of a big deal. Knowing Mason Treadwell’s penchant for compound, florid insults I think we should brace ourselves for some delectable zingers—and of course Emily’s tiny meltdown when she finds out Jack and Fauxmanda are making it official.
1. What is Kenny doing, exactly, besides volunteering at a bar?
2. Are Declan and Charlotte the worst couple ever?
3. Does Aidan have a thing for Ashley?
4. Who would win in a slap fight: Kara or Victoria?
5. Is Emily headed for a showdown with the Initiative or is that, like, Season 3 stuff?
6. What do you think of Jack’s haircut?
7. Are you secretly rooting for Jack and the mother of his child?
8. What did you think of this episode?
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