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

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.


QUESTIONS:

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?

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You're right, 2006 WAS ridiculous.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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not at all weird..i enjoyed it meself..
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It's not weird, I was also way more entertained by the flashback storyline. I like it when things get explained...
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-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.
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Daniel's poem and photoshopped Lincoln. I love Revenge reviews.
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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...
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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!
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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.
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Trusts him with her infinity box. Nice.
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DOUBLE infinity :)
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I wonder if she lets him keep his perpetuity rod inside it.
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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?
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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!
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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?!
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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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When Victoria's mom showed up all I could think about was at Regina and Cora from OUAT (LOL). And then I could not stop laughing when Daniel presented himself as a promising poet!!! Gee, that was most amazing.
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Yep - Daniel the poet... mmmhh... not sure... I am less convinced than even Conrad was...
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The first thing that cross through my mind when Aidan told Emily/Amanda he won't go anywhere is that he is the one who die on the boat... i think that Emily/Amanda will end somehow with Daniel again.

I think that the show still have a solid storyline, i hope they don't screw up with longer stories.
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If you can make 3k a night, then that is the Rich Man's Candy...
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Aidily! Aidanda? Anyway, this episode did not do much for me, just provide more information. Would be nice to actually move forward now with the story and actually get somewhere with Emily's revenge. This has been going on in circles for a while now.
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ROTFL. I just imagined Takeda writing fanfics in the dead of night, nervously glancing over his shoulder to see if anyone's coming. XD
Love this show, love the flashback episodes. They may not move the plot forward, but they always do give us some valuable insight into the characters' past and, well, character and they do that, while making a self-contained nicely paced story, without being expository. Love the flashback episodes, did I mention that?
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Nice word - doyenne. I had to look it up.
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Time really slapped Adrienne Barbeau in the face. HARD.
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Most people have wrinkles when they're 67.
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Not really.
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Love the recap so funny and so true. One thing though, not to be "that guy" but it was Jack who came running after the gunshot, not Declan.
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I think she got it right, she talks about how gullible Declan is, and in another sentence she quotes Jack and even says at the end "is ignorance bliss, Jack"?.. But I got confused at first too.
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had to read that twice too :)
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Nolan has the worst luck with relationships :(
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i missed fauxmanda.
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First off, I don't know why Mrs. Sparks (it's now Mrs., right?) seems so surprise about Vicky's mom abundant cleavage. I mean, she was played by Adrienne Barbeau, right? And everybody knows the simple and time-tested John Carpenter's equation:

Adrienne Barbeau on film = major cleavage/boob shots.

It's been like this since the 70's, and NOBODY ever complaint about it (hell, I'm damn certain Lily didn't really complaint either!), so why change a winning formula?
That's right: you don't. Moving on...

First time throughout the whole series that I've genuinely felt bad for Victoria - holy crap, is her mother the worst or what!? Frankly, if I were in her sexually and psychologically abused shoes, I would actually tried to have her killed, while making sure SHE DAMN WELL KNEW I was behind the hit before sending her back to hell. Once again, bad mothers are truly the worst...

The whole Ashley back-story made me laughed out loud - actually am still smiling right now just thinking about it! To think: she was Amanda's puppet even before really meeting her, and yet she still thinks of herself as her equal? HA! That English broad... so dump, yet so cute.

The Aidan/Emily back-story didn't really get interesting 'til the final fight scene, which, on a purely technical standpoint, looked pretty stupid and all all around terrible (so no back door available in that club to take out your prisoners? Of course not - clubs do not have back doors, silly! So your only possible exist is to go through the middle of a packed and obviously unsecured dancefloor, with countless witnesses around? Of course it is... Flawless plan!) But my biggest problem with that scene was Satoshi Takeda... just standing there... looking EXTREMELY menacing and about to do something vicious.... yet nobody noticing him. Which reminds me: am I the only one who's still really bothered by this casting change? The old Takeda, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, looked and acted like a refined, rich guy, so, when he turned out to be a lethal sensei, it literally came from left field, and made him that much more dangerous. If that man was just standing in the middle of a bar and I was a thug, walking with a gun in his protege's back, I would never see him coming until he slapped my neck. I cannot AT ALL say that about Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the new Takeda, who seems to have been in A LOT of fights and ready (hell, WILLING) for more. The minute I would see that guy, I would just start firing at him! 'til I emptied my clip! Talk about a bad recasting - not saying the people behind "Revenge" are racist or anything like that, but no folks, all Japanese men do not look alike... seriously.

Now that we know the motive behind Kenny and his brother, do we care more? I certainly don't. Really, this storyline needs to have a fast conclusion...

Another thread I couldn't care less about: the return of Marco. Probably because I didn't know Marco existed 24 hours ago, and, from what I know of him now... he isn't interesting enough to even bother remembering. Plus, I don't see why his return would affect Nolan's life at all now - they broke up 6 years ago, Nolan didn't say a word about him before hands, and he already willingly sacrifices his company for Amanda... So, really, who cares?

Going forward, Emily starting to trust more people, even Aidan... that's HELLA stupid! Her inner circle should only be Nolan and PERIOD. If she wants Aidan as a regular booty call, fine - even girls on a vengeance path need to have a break once in a while - but nothing more than that. No doubt about it, she will pay dearly for her newfound openness here, and learn another painful lesson about mixing affairs of the heart with a pact of revenge.
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New Takeda and old Takeda are so different I prefer to think them brothers instead of the same guy.
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Also the fact that this Takeda looks about 20 years OLDER than the first one, and during a flashback too... And now he's bald? I absolutely agree with you about how even the character seems to have a split personality now. He used to be a classy business man and now he's a lethal killing machine? Okay...
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haha your part about Takeda and Japanese men is really funny. I agree, rather have the old Takeda. Although I am guilty of having to look twice to see it wasn't the old Takeda when the new one first appeared :')
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I LOVED the storyline with Victoria and her mother. Madeleine Stowe seriously makes this show for me. I love Vic and Conrad together. I hope they get more face time.
I cannot stand Aidan and the flashback with him and Emily had me confused and uninterested. I can't believe I actually missed Fauxmanda last night!!
Great recap, Lily!
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you made me laugh sooo much!!! most things were my thoughts exactly only funnier. :-)
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1.- I seriously don't hope so... because I really make some baaad decision making when choosing careers
2.- Takeda is the big master mind so yeah it's more than probable that he keep them together for whatever evil scheme
3.- Well the Grayson's have more experience in being all evil and manipulative so if they want they will... how? don't know
4.- super expensive non fattening shipped from iceland caviar?
5.- uff i don't know if the most ruthless but maybe it is in the top five...
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No Lily, I'm pretty sure pimps are the most ruthless pimps. Just sayin'
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Student loans are what keep me in school getting degrees I don't have any use for.
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I may or may not have squeaked in delight when the Emily/Aidan relationship finally took off. With this and OUaT I'm an emotional wreck!
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