Revenge: Outrageous Fortune

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Revenge S01E18: "Justice"

Only in the "Hamptons" (which, it has been confirmed, is in fact the Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey, dominated by a large and tasty El Torito's that I can walk to from my apartment; might have to get my stalk on) could Nolan be wearing a Christmas sweater and two layers of plaid dress shirts next to Emily in her sleeveless pencil dress sheath. Will the next five episodes culminate in Christmas or New Year's? The snowflakes! The poinsettias! According to Charlotte, it's been approximately 58 days since she last saw Declan (we viewers saw him in the last episode), and "Justice" was a prime example of two things I love best about Revenge: 1) a breakneck pace and 2) misdirection, misdirection, misdirection.

And also the return of a fan favorite, the whale cam! We missed that extremely flexible hi-tech plot spackle!

Talk about misdirection, though: I really thought the next few episodes would center on a trial, but now it seems they started and ended it in just the second episode back. Gutsy, smart choices are just the norm for Revenge and sewing up the trial after one life-ruining moment for Declan would be a gutsy, smart choice.

Poor Charlotte. How sad that she been thrown under the bus by Declan, with all she's gone through its no wonder she's gobbling Oxycontin. Declan's "But Charlotte is a nice person!" after taking a crap on the stand with his mouth, in terms of calling her out and undermining her in front of friends and family, was just so lame. I approve of showing loyalty to your brother, Declan, but there is such a thing as not interfering with an investigation and just getting the truth out there in a sincere effort to solve a murder. But then, what would this show even be if people didn't lie? Fabulous Porches of the East?

Right, Geraldine? I don't know what this maid's name is (Graysons don't learn the names of their maids, how awkward to think of the help as people!) but I know she was smart to take that money and let Charlotte get it on with her drug dealer. Do you, Charlotte, and do him too if you want. You don't owe that tiny Brooklynite Declan a thing, especially after you took your mom's advice and tried to ho him up and he just ignored it. (And Victoria was like, mad at her for not being enough of a ho. Victoria needs her own talk show. Not Madeleine Stowe but Madeleine Stowe in character as Victoria, giving her guests the worst advice ever: "Trouble in your marriage? Throw an auction." "Your son is in jail? Intimidate the jurors.")

Victoria is seriously inspiring me these days, not to mention Mason/James Purefoy. The merest of meetings with Victoria's loins can lead an artist to fill seventeen six-foot canvasses with sloppy soft-core porn scenes. How hilarious was it when Victoria called those hastily splashed disasters his best work? She got him back for that unflattering portrait he dissed her with in the last episode.

And then that speech she gave him about him having a spark and being afraid of fire and turning to ash—why was she talking to him like a Native American chief telling the story of the night sky? All these giant natural metaphors about fire and darkness and shadows, when what they were really discussing was how she stopped returning his calls.

It was especially awkward when Conrad came through the studio and Mason was like, "Welcome to my studio, here are a dozen pictures of me doing it with your wife. I call that one 'Cowgirl Triumphant'" and then Conrad quoted him the plot of An Object of Beauty and accused him of dealing forgeries with Victoria and told him to get out of town. Typical Grayson swagger!

Meanwhile, Daniel was throwing back belts of booze and hanging out on Victoria's spying porch, watching Jack and Emily hang out and painting his own lurid pictures of what might be going on (mentally.) He had every right to be worried, look at Jack sneaking an arm around Emily as they huddled together in front of the fire for warmth. And that house is drafty, because God forbid Emily ever close her giant French windows.

Let's count it down, among the people who have surprised/throttled Emily by breaking into her home:

1. Nolan, first episode

2. Ashley, with the saddest surprise party ever

3. Tyler, twice (once in person to march her down to the beach at gunpoint, once to just leave a tea light and an invitation)

4. Sensei came in and smacked her around

5. Now Daniel, surprising her after she's just lifted evidence from Jack's room that would exonerate him

WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR EMILY TO START LOCKING HER WINDOWS?? I know Daniel had a key at one point, but it's still insane how often she is shocked by an unwelcome intruder in her living room. Like she can effortlessly fiddle with police Amber Alerts so they find the goon's car and haul him in on kidnapping charges, but there are just too many floor-to-ceiling French windows to keep closed, even in the freezing cold of winter. You'd have to have a beach house to understand, I guess. Maybe she likes to keep the breezes circulating through the house just so she has the excuse to snuggle up by the fire with Jack.

Obviously this was the greatest moment of Emily's life, her entire revenge thing has gone out the window and all she and Nolan did this episode was make Jack's life easier, sending the dumb hunk to gossip with hotel staff while they figured out what to keep him busy with next. I loved that, it reaffirmed them as a force for good. And the hoodie thing was so well set up: Emily stole Jack's incriminating hoodie and planted it in the car of that one minion of Victoria's. Frank 2.0? Frank Jr.? We don't need to worry too hard about nicknames because he was killed off by the end of the episode.

So this character's last few months: got beat up by Emily, dragged himself out of a gutter and recuperated for 58 days, got another gig dressing up as a waiter and yelling at a juror, then got taken to prison on an Amber Alert, was implicated as the murderer of crazy crazy Tyler, and finally was killed in prison by Grayson henchmen while Daniel sat around penning emo poetry and sobering up. Typical Grayson swagger!

I think I actually like Daniel "drunk" as it's hard for the actor to maintain a slurry, inebriated cadence and hide his sexy English accent. You know he and Emily VanCamp are dating in real life, right? Play on, players.

The real genius of the episode—beside the clever resolution to Hoodigate 2012 and the end of the boringest teen relationship outside of a French textbook from the '80s, a.k.a. Declan and Charlotte, is that the show took a step to re-dedicate Emily to her revenge. Ever so often Emily gets more interested in living life than endlessly plaguing the Graysons, and then some terrible revelation will snap her back into Fembot mode. Last time, it was Victoria's insinuation that David Clarke had raped her. This time, it was hearing Conrad (hilariously) explaining they had "another David Clarke" situation (HAHAHAHA because why not incriminate yourself over the phone? It's not like your son is being investigated for murder and it's quite possible all the lines in your house are tapped) and had to kill the Hoodie-Goon in jail before he could name names.

Of course, the weird thing about the revelation that the Graysons had killed David Clarke in jail (Grayson swagger) is why did they wait so long? Clarke clearly had time to assemble an intricate wooden shoebox of trinkets and diaries and even carve a double infinity symbol on the lid. Doesn't Nolan tell Amanda that her dad died only two years before when he picks her up from Juvy? So why wait so long before silencing him? Or better question, why kill him at all after several years of successfully pinning the crime on him?

Also, didn't Emily go into this thing with the mindset that the Graysons had killed her father? She knew they hadn't literally put a knife in his back but he was killed in jail, they wrongfully sent him to jail, ergo finding out they proactively hired an assassin—it still shakes out to the same moral culpability. But whatever, I appreciate that they've watered Emily's tree of revenge with the blood of pissed-offedness, or what have you.

I'm getting kind of spoiled by being very surprised and entertained with every episode. They said they would get to work dropping charges for Daniel, so I think they've sewn up the courtroom plotline (shame, I really wanted to hear Emily testify!!) in favor of releasing volatile Daniel from his ankle cuff for maximum plot-thickening. It's insane, because the courtroom was incredibly elaborate, all these signs and posters and reenactments, for essentially five minutes, now it's done. Kind of like Mason’s amazing studio that he somehow packed up in a flash. Just insane ambiance and attention to detail to make this world more real and then it's on to the next. They aren’t going to milk a courtroom, Revenge thinks too highly of its fans—and its story—to draw suspense out for even a moment longer than necessary. This show makes so many good decisions and has so many genuinely surprising twists I enjoy just standing back and letting it dazzle me like so many seasonally-inappropriate fireworks. I wish other series would take note and have the balls to do as much in half a season as Revenge does in one night.


QUESTIONS:

1. Is the trial over or will new evidence surface?

2. Did Daniel act like a villain by acting the brute with Emily?

3. What do you think of Nolan's sweater?

4. Will Declan get thrown out of Rich Kids Prep after back-stabbing Charlotte?

5. Where is Tyler's older brother and family? Why aren't they taking a more active role in the investigation of their son's murder?

6. Mason/James Purefoy: gone for good?! Do you feel bad for Victoria?!

7. What is fake Amanda up to right now? (Learning to wield a Katana?)

8. What did you think of the episode?

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