Revenge "Lineage" Review: Baby Got Back(story)

By Lily Sparks

Nov 26, 2012

Revenge S02E08 "Lineage"

There’s an old phrase I think applies to last night’s Revenge: The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world it had just seen a new episode of Revenge without moving the plot forward even an inch. In the last two weeks only fifteen minutes have elapsed in the “Hamptons,” but "Lineage" was no less a gift.

In Season 1, Revenge gave us a rewind episode set in the '90s. Last night, it gave us another flashback-filled gem, this one set in 2006—a time only slightly less ridiculous. And it revealed some backstories that were frankly amazing.

For instance, Victoria went on her own journey of revenge, a dark foil to Emily’s multi-season arc, orchestrating her gold-digging mother’s downfall by setting her up with a President Lincoln impersonator on a cruise and then eviscerating her over Thanksgiving turkey while Daniel looked on, new poems formulating in his mind. “Grandmother’s cleavage heaves / a bosom that never nursed / whose milk is not kindness but poison / mother does love to put on a speech... ”

Seriously, I laughed at this pull-away reveal when we first met Mama.

Even if she framed her 15-year-old daughter after leaving her at the mercy of multiple sets of busy male fingers for years, she at least she taught Victoria the power of walking around a house in evening wear at all times. How weird was it to think that at one time Victoria deigned to don COTTON?

The idea that Victoria had orchestrated this whole elaborate catfight and then even had the audacity to look surprised while it was happening was, yes, completely delightful, as was the unraveling of her mother at the dinner table with a long story about her psychiatric incarceration and molestation, topped off with the Horrible Mother National Anthem, “I Should Have Aborted You.” It was just a little treat she had planned for herself, a nice way to spend the holiday, a little splurge. Some moms make a big wreath for the door out of mini pumpkins, other moms conduct an elaborate charade involving Abraham Lincoln lookalikes and the unwitting employees of Carnivale Cruise.

As much as I loved all that, I loved Ashley’s backstory even more. Blink and you would have missed her, but how hilarious was it that she turned to a life of sex-trafficking amongst criminal Russian gangs because an MFA in art history is basically worthless? The job market in 2006 wasn’t nearly as dire as it is now, but let me tell you from personal experience as an art major, student loans are a cold, merciless bitch and they don’t care if you got a degree in business econ or women’s studies, you better get them their money. Student loans are the harshest pimps of all.

Anyway, the idea of her crying in a bathroom stall to a stranger was amazing, especially her little humble brag about her degree, and then to sign her text to Emily with her full name, "—Ashley Davenport," WHO DOES THAT?! Amazing. Also, is a davenport a kind of chair? I may just start signing all my texts that way. As Ashley Davenport, I mean. We both spent way too much time slunched down in clubs crying about our woes and Kandinski, that’s for sure.

Although it did occur to me that Emily could be using her skills to solve crimes and bust up injustices worldwide instead of hassling the Graysons and coming over unannounced all the time to throw shade on their luncheons. But since they’re vaguely terrorists she’s maybe technically fighting crime AND being a Hamptons doyenne at the same time.

The Russian club storyline did double duty explaining Aidan’s backstory, a man driven to single-handedly take on the sex-traffickers to revenge his sister, and I have to say I think Waiter Aidan is my favorite Aidan so far. Very James Bond, although once again he got the jam treatment. What horrible monsters, to tie a guy up and spatter his shirt and with raspberry jelly! That would break me very quickly, I can’t stand that sticky feeling.

Also, Nolan apparently has a history of dating nerdy, nurturing CFOs; see his ex-boyfriend Marco. Although I thought it was very rude of him to get everyone to drive in to the office on Thanksgiving and then take 15 minutes to announce they’d gone public and then send them all home again. Just send an email blast! Geez, people probably stayed in town and skipped going home for the holidays just for this prank? C’mon, Nolan.

I do love how the Graysons instinctively knew not to overtly shut down their kid’s aspirations to be a poet, just to quietly burn his poems and stage a rejection letter. That’s honestly not a bad parenting tip.

I also loved seeing Emily as a baby revenger, when she was still capable of making mistakes and getting caught halfway out of an air vent and wearing metallic baby pink. I worry, though, that she may have made another mistake showing her magical Infinity Box of Incrimination to Aidan. (If it goes missing, guess who’s headed straight back into a dumpster!) And it sincerely gave me chills when he called her Amanda. Finally, someone who loves her for her.

Less successful: I’m sorry, what happened at The Stowaway? Some tough threw a Molotov cocktail in the window and got himself shot off the end of a pier? And he’s probably Kenny’s dad? Whatever. The biggest takeaway from the Porter boys' plot line, for me, was that Declan was as gullible six years ago as he is now. “Was that a gunshot, dad? Maybe from that gun you had on the bar earlier tonight?” “No, now go to bed.” “'K.” That’s basically a verbatim conversation. Is ignorance bliss, Jack? Because you do seem pretty content.

So the kicker is, now Nolan’s ex-CFO and lovah will be headed back into the Grayson-Norelcorp shenanigans; Emily is officially trusting Aidan with her heart, body, and infinity box; and the Graysons are going to take out their son if need be. Maybe even pull some strings and get his poems published. I really hope this season ends with Daniel reading a haiku at a coffee club.


1. Sex-trafficking: Can you really make $3000 for a night’s work!?

2. Was Takeda secretly ‘shipping Aidan and Emily all along? (Aimily? Amaidan?)

3. How will the Graysons unseat Daniel overnight, as if we’re on the same timeline where he’s poised to vote his father out on no confidence by the next morning?

4. What's a good recipe to serve at a party and call “Rich Man’s Candy”?

5. Are student loans the most ruthless pimp?

  • Comments (42)
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  • MeftihePhoen Nov 30, 2012

    You're right, 2006 WAS ridiculous.

  • zampognaro Nov 29, 2012

    Probably the worst episode of the lot, so far this season .. still much better than anything else that's on tv right now.
    Loved the review though - made the episode sound more interesting than it actually was :-)
    ps: I loved the way they try to bring in some back-story for the Stoaway business - but throughout those scenes I kept thinking "This is so boring!!" By far the least interesting aspect of this series. I hope they get over and done with that storyline soon.

  • shootingstar609 Nov 29, 2012

    1. Sex-trafficking: Can you really make $3000 for a night's work!?
    I have no idea.

    2. Was Takeda secretly 'shipping Aidan and Emily all along? (Aimily? Amaidan?)
    Maybe. I mean he knew Aidan was there when he sent Emily to the club, I think. But, since I do not believe in coincidences I am going to say yes he was.

    3. How will the Graysons unseat Daniel overnight, as if we're on the same timeline where he's poised to vote his father out on no confidence by the next morning?
    Well, they've $$$'d their way out of worse. But as far as people who cannot be bought I am not sure how they would accomplish that feat overnight. Daniel seemed pretty popular at that closed-door meeting.

    4. What's a good recipe to serve at a party and call "Rich Man's Candy"?
    I don't think rich men really eat candy, so it is very fitting that they pick an expensive liquor and call it candy.

    5. Are student loans the most ruthless pimp?
    Yes, yes they are. I really didn't buy Ashley's story about how she jumped into being a prostitute seemingly 2 seconds after graduating without a job. It's been 2.5 years for me and still looking for a career because yes, those student loans do not pay themselves.

    The Porter storyline does perhaps shed some light on whose dead body it was we saw on the Amanda in the season premiere. That's the only positive thing to come from that portion of the episode, other than the fact that the gun may be on board the Amanda hence why Kenny is getting so close to Jack.

  • katikool Nov 28, 2012

    So no Declan or Charlotte in 2006 on THANKSGIVING??? At least they didn't even try to explain away Charlotte's absence. "Yes, Charlotte won't be able to make it to Thanksgiving dinner due to an overdrawn budget we spent on all you guest stars this episode. Pass the yams!" -Victoria

    $3000? Jeez, I would have held out for more. It doesn't seem worth it, even though student loans ARE a bitch. Uncle Sam is the worst pimp of all :(

    Is it weird that I was WAYYY more entertained by this flashback episode than I am by the current Initiative plot line? I didn't think so.

  • themarauderess Dec 05, 2012

    not at all weird..i enjoyed it meself..

  • shootingstar609 Nov 29, 2012

    It's not weird, I was also way more entertained by the flashback storyline. I like it when things get explained...

  • bluemystique Nov 27, 2012

    -The economny was hit hard...even the criminal economy. I'm guessing no.Oh Ashley Davenport. Because now I will forever call her by her full name and surname because apparently that's what she does. Oh Ashley Davenport, it never gets so bad that you willing thrust yourself into the worst end of sex industry. At least try the exotic dancer route first, or high end escorting on Craig's List...but you don't start with the Russian Mafia. I'm just sayin'.
    - I think so. c'mon that's easily the best ship we've got so far. All aboard. I can get down with Aidan and Ahmaaanda. Seriously love the way he said her given name. I heart Aidan. I even trust him...a little, just not enough to show him the Always and Forever Infinity box.
    - Drug him. Kidnap him. Find a way to blackmail him. Conrad and Victoria are demonic on their own..together they're diabolical evil geniuses. I have faith that they'll pull something scandalous off in true Grayson fashion.
    -Bloody hell I've been corrupted as everything I can think of is slightly lewd.
    - I'd say. They ALWAYS find you...and they sure as hell don't buy you dinner first.
    True city kids know the difference between a gunshot and a car backfiring. Seriously. Porter boys...I can't. And the return of Nolan's former beau has me all wary. Even before Emily was his bestie he was still making huge sacrifices for her.

  • CarlyChristen Nov 27, 2012

    Daniel's poem and photoshopped Lincoln. I love Revenge reviews.

  • ludoTV Nov 27, 2012

    Are all the Stowaway storylines awful? I can't wait for the revengy brothers to be done... Shame really as Michael Trucco is pretty cool normally... I can't believe the best character in that awful bar is FauxAmanda

    Since Amanda is getting cozy with Aidan, I must conclude Aidan is going to die in the boat (the appropriately named Amanda!)

    Also, Nolan's been a little subdued of late... and it looks like he's going to be in (even more) trouble if Marco returns and collaborates with Daniel's plans... I hope he goes all badass with Emily's help...

  • katikool Nov 28, 2012

    Oh I hope you're wrong, I actually like Aidan! If they can pull that nonsense in Season 1 and keep Daniel of all people alive after the beach shooting, they better find a way to keep Aidan around too!

  • Mysterv Nov 27, 2012

    5. Are student loans the most ruthless pimp?
    Only if you major as a hooker.
    Otherwise toughen up and pay it off. I sure don't want to.

  • qbe_64 Nov 27, 2012

    Trusts him with her infinity box. Nice.

  • ElisaDiaz Nov 27, 2012

    DOUBLE infinity :)

  • qbe_64 Nov 28, 2012

    I wonder if she lets him keep his perpetuity rod inside it.

  • AnimeMadness Nov 27, 2012

    I don't like this. I mean I liked the episode but I'm noticing a pattern that I don't like about this show. So Marco is going to be an antagonist to Nolan. What does this show have against gay people?

  • iAnonymous Nov 27, 2012

    Nothing? Geez, the only other gay villain we've had on the show was Tyler. All the other villains were straight characters. Nolan is bisexual and nothing is wrong with him. If the writers had anything against gay people they probably wouldn't even include them. Duh!

  • LucaGavello Nov 28, 2012

    Besides, he's not even pictured as a "villain", he's (so far) a guy that had to break up with his bf because he was somehow involved with a convicted terrorist. Who wouldn't?!

  • katikool Nov 28, 2012

    If anything, the show has something against CFO's, since they keep turning on Nolan. Although I guess Padma is a-ok now? I don't know, but I'm keeping my eye on her...

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