Revenge "Confidence" Review: Mother Effer

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Revenge S02E03: "Confidence"

Every couple years I get a flu or cold virus so intense I spend about three days dressed like a bag lady, eating fistfuls of Airborne and wincing whenever I have to move my eyes. So please forgive me for having watched Revenge this week delirious and pardon me if some of my confusion makes its way into this review because damned if I can tell the difference between a decadent fever dream and the tangle of loyalties and intrigue that Revenge Season 2 has become. Just stay with me and let me know in comments if I something I state as fact was actually cough syrup. We'll get through this.

One of the big reveals of this episode was that Aiden, Emily's Proud Protectoress, was in fact kind of a co-ed with her at Revenge Academy (similar to Hogwarts except all the food is served at grill tables like at Benihana) until he left her to pursue his revenge mission and she got sonned by Takeida really hard. "How does it feel to open your heart and be abandoned again?"

Apparently not very good, since Emily repaid Aidan's efforts to keep her alive by throwing him IN A DUMPSTER with an airplane ticket in his pocket.

I do appreciate that she asked specifically for the little sleeve with the airline name on it for the ticket. You have to request those now that everything is e-tickets and self-check-in and boarding passes these days look about as glamorous as a receipt from CVS and no doubt Emily feels me on this one.

Meanwhile, Fauxmanda was up late smelling liquor and drinking milk, which made me laugh out loud. "Just need the delectable smell of gin right now." Hard drinkers: in it for the taste. Jack preceeded to pull a big he-man move in forbidding Fauxmanda to use Charlotte's gift certificate to a baby boutique in town. Why would they take the Graysons' charity when Jack already has a perfectly good rocking chair up in the attic with a spider egg sac under the seat? They can dry out the mildewed carpet with a hair dryer and hammer some of the rusty nails in the floor down flat. Hey, cavemen had babies without things like mobiles and changing tables and beds, Little Miss Priss! Jack may be poor but he has his pride, and a nice old lobster trap they can use for a cradle.

Fauxmanda was totally ready to let Jack call the shots and raise her baby in a bare attic room, but Emily (who spent this episode being a lot more conniving than usual) had big plans for her, namely passing off a fake diary to Charlotte. More on that later.

Meanwhile, Victoria was healing excellently from her beating at the hands of Conrad and heading the old breakfast table at the House of Usher next door. Weirdly (and I think this was a mixed moment) she was totally taking it in stride that Daniel and Ashley were together and Ashley had been essentially filling in for Victoria in her absence. Also sort of weird was Conrad, in his moments alone with Victoria, volleying between threats to kill her and taunts that it was time for her to take up her "wifely duties" which, since they have a maid staff, I'm going to assume means sex. Like what? What happened to Lydia? What happened to both of you hating each other? Perhaps, like a generation of middle-aged Fifty Shades of Grey readers, a consensual round of grown-up punch-buggy has reinvigorated Conrad's libido to an awkard degree. Henry Czerny was making it work because he's awesome, but the character turn was a tad too lusty for me.

Meanwhile, Nolan had to introduce Emily to someone and instead of saying "Platonic Soulmates," described her very cutely as "And this is Emily my... Emily."

Liz Lemon looked so let down. Although considering she hunted down Nolan at Emily's house, should it really have surprised her? She's climbed through Emily's window, so it's about time they were introduced.

And then poor Nolan walked into Emily's house with all the lights off. Nolan, come on. Everybody in the Hamptons, come on: Emily's beach house is like a Grand Central Station for psychopaths. It's where they go first when they're in town, meet friends, spend the night if they're broke, get a pastry, and administer chokeholds freely. By now y'all should know:

– Do not walk in there when all the lights are out.

– Do not walk in there when the lights are on if the curtains are blowing.

– Do not walk in there if there's a crowd of people down on the beach waiting for their birthday cake literally 30 feet away.

– Do not walk in there if you don’t like getting choked.

Although how hilarious was it that Emily was very concerned for once about Nolan getting choked? She has woken up to wringing his neck in the past. Despite her newfound concern for Nolan, she is STILL kicking him out of her house! The writers giveth, the writers taketh away. I really looked forward to them living together indefinitely, falling into a routine of eating Elio's pizza in front of a laptop streaming footage of the Graysons. Alas, Nolan packed up his tasteful guest bedroom last night. My heart GRIEVES for what could have been.

I do love the hints this episode gave us that Victoria is onto Emily's true identity. The fact that she told Charlotte that Fauxmanda was her half sister, "if that," was pretty momentous. And for sheer bitchery, how awesome was it when Victoria told Emily she would be cutting all ties with her and then had security escort her from the property? Victoria like, fired her from being her acquaintance.

So obviously the big news of the episode: Emily's mom is alive and shackin' up or more with White-Haired Guy, running a hotel in Twin Peaks and taking anti-psychotics. And White-Haired-Guy carried around an old-timey pocket watch like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland? You know what, sure. He does have a wall of cuckoo clocks. Villains can have hobbies. They can collect timepieces. I'll buy it.

The big question is, who is the White-Haired man to Emily's mother:

– Her lover?

– Her dad?

– Her hubbind?

– Her sober buddy with benefits?

– Emily's true dad?

My mind reels, and not just because my body temperature is elevated to a point that is possibly sizzling my brain.

Poor Fauxmanda, who only wants to bear her child and raise it in the crawlspace with Jack, got suckered by Emily into turning up at the Graysons' press conference event; Emily wanted Fauxmanda to trigger a revelation that would lead to a domino-effect of ruination for Victoria by giving Charlotte a fake version of David Clarke's diary.

Think about that. That means Emily had to sit up late one night and fill in a Moleskin notebook with fan fiction about her father's life behind bars. Its not like she's going to hire a ghostwriter for this. She had to seed revelations into a plausible diary kept by someone in federal prison in the voice of her own dad. What did she do for the non-important entries not marked by Post-its? Did she make up supporting characters? "My roommate Shivvie is whittling a potato in his spare time." "My lunch pals today included BoJangles and a very nice man with an eyepatch. We had Spaghetti-Os."

Whatever she wrote, it worked, making Charlotte (the second least likable character in this series after Declan) come at her mother like a flying squirrel, shrieking all her secrets at a reporter. And while it looked like this plan had succeeded in toppling the Graysons once and for all (or at least send them fleeing to Europe), Victoria's mastery of spin made her turn her press conference into essentially a disowning of Charlotte plus making Daniel come to heel publicly. And, worst of all, dragging up Fauxmanda to basically give them her public approval and absolve them of having betrayed David Clarke—probably the exact opposite of what Emily had in mind for the evening's events.

Ashley whispered something to Emily about this making the Graysons stronger than ever; I'd argue they were slightly more strong when they weren't suspected of being terrorists and punching each other in the face in mountaintop cabins. Also a spicy sex-line operator called Conrad, or that’s what it sounded like to me. Or I guess it was the Initiative? The sizyrup was kicking in at this point guys, not going to lie.

If Emily's plan to trigger a Grayson meltdown on live TV backfired, it did have the unintended bonus of ruining Fauxmanda's life. Jack, ever the bastion of integrity, broke up with a woman eight months pregnant with his child in the coldest way possible because she got dragged up on stage for a photo-op. Way to bully your lady at her most vulnerable because she doesn't subjugate her will to yours, Jack. You're SUCH A CATCH.

So, troubling and tumultuous times, as ever! But how awesome that Emily's mom is out of flashbacks and on my screen (and psychotic)! Victoria seems completely onto Emily, and Jack is ready to resume his horrible non-relationship with Emily. Progress?! Maybe. Entertaining?! ABSOLUTELY.

Revenge "Confidence" Photos

QUESTIONS:

1. How refreshing was it to have Declan onscreen for like only two minutes?

2. Aidan: officially Emily's new love interest this season?

3. Why is Victoria not freaking out more about Ashley taking over her life, basically?

4. Has Emily written off Revenging her dad in her pursuit of her mom? Is there still a way to exonerate her dad without Victoria's help? (Evidence is blowed up, right?)

5. Is anyone out there a Charlotte fan or is she just a big whiny mess these days?

6. Are you peeved Nolan is moving out?

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