Revenge "Victory" Review: Victoria Grayson's Little Bundle of Secrets

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Revenge S02E17: "Victory"

Is Victoria Grayson really opposed to birth control—or was she just worried the pill would make her fat?

Some major bombshells were dropped in last night's explosive episode of Revenge, but the biggest was Mason Treadwell's revelation that Victoria had a baby boy when she was 16—and gave him up to a "Dickensian" facility much like Amanda Clarke's own foster home.

Yes! Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Emily's cat-who-ate-the-canary smile, making a triumphant return after a heavy-handed season.

We also welcomed back the red Sharpie. Isn't Revenge always better when that magical marker has an IMDB episode credit?  

In fact, our favorite recurring star was even seen in a flashback, in the hands of the young fire-starting foster kid and avid reader of Mason Treadwell's book of lies.

Oh, about that fire: Amanda didn't set it—Eli did.

Emily's foster brother was the real star of "Victory" (besides the Sharpie, of course). The squirrely con artist played everyone, including Victoria Grayson (whose support for the foundation-foster home partnership makes so much sense now) and Meredith Hayward herself. Unfortunately, his plan to expose his evil foster mother backfired: Mrs. Hayward outed him as the arsonist who let his foster sister take the blame for burning down their home.

Oh, the irony. Just like her father, Amanda was locked up for a crime she didn't commit. If only Eli hadn't lit another match when hers went out, Fauxmanda would still be alive! 

Wait, what? Isn't that a bit of a stretch? Amanda's life would almost certainly be better, but come on: The real Emily Thorne was twirling round a stripper pole after blowing through half-a-million bucks. It's hard to believe her future would've been any brighter if she'd never met Amanda Clarke.

Anyway, Fo Bro vowed to do right by Emily. After telling her that Mrs. Hayward withheld letters that David Clarke sent his daughter, he promised to get them back. Let's just say he coerced the evil witch Hansel and Gretel-style, locking her in the coal bin where she used to imprison the kids.

Unfortunately, all he could offer Emily was Mrs. Hayward's signed confession—she'd sold the letters long ago to a certain debonair writer. (Hmmm!)

Emily didn't forgive Eli for his role in ruining her life, but she did thank him for inking her Sharpie, so to speak. It was a touching farewell, and I hope we'll see more of Eli. Besides bringing some much-needed color to the Hamptons, he's a surprisingly sympathetic and multidimensional character. Emily could use another savvy, damaged charmer on her team.

Besides, how can Charlotte live without her Romeo? (Seriously, was her Eli infatuation just an excuse to give Amanda's half-sister more lines? Because I'd rather see the Sharpie get more screen time. Or even Sleepy Jack and Declan, who have enlisted Kenny to help take down Conrad.)

Back to that canary Emily swallowed: After greeting his prison visitor with "What, no cake?" (How we've missed you, Mr. Treadwell!), Mason confirmed that he did buy the letters, but they were destroyed in the one house fire Emily really did start. With a little persuasion from Emily, he disclosed what David Clarke wrote about Victoria's fertile past—an attempt to save his daughter from the same fate as her own firstborn son. 

The Initiative storyline—Padma's handoff of the Carrion program to save her father—is best summarized by Nolan's scathing review of Aiden's job performance:

"Now we've given our enemy the most unimaginably dangerous program known to man and put two innocent people's lives in unimaginable danger. You really should consider another line of work."

He had a point, no?

After they failed to stop Trask, who abducted Padma, Nolan and Aiden followed the Carrion flash drive's secret tracking device to an abandoned warehouse—which was empty, save for a square box on a table.


There, they received an ominous text: "Sorry about your friend, Nolan. It's a terrible thing to lose one's… head." Oh, to have heard Nolan scream "What's in the box?!" like Brad Pitt in Se7en

If Padma's head (or Gwyneth Paltrow's, for that matter) had been inside, I would never criticize Revenge again. Womp womp. Instead, it simply contained the tracking device, proving that—thanks to Nolan's nemesis, the Falcon—the Initiative was one step ahead of them the whole time.

It's too bad. Now I can't imagine anything besides Padma's decapitation that would make me remotely interested in the Initiative again.

Another silly subplot was Victoria's effort to once again sabotage her (younger) son's relationship with Emily Thorne. Daniel used his secretary, Grace (the Revenge counterpart of Celebrity Apprentice's boardroom receptionist Amanda), to book a clandestine lunch with his ex-fiancée (a confidence-boosting exercise so important that Ems could not assist Nolan and Aiden in one of their most important missions to date?).

Grace might've been fooled by his "Mr. Taylor" alias, but not Mommy Dearest. Victoria obtained photos of the former couple together and anonymously delivered them (via Grace/Amanda) to Daniel in his office, along with two bullets. Scary!

If Season 2 is building up to a dramatic showdown between Emily and Victoria, shouldn't Mama Grayson have more, um, ammunition than this?


QUESTIONS:

1. Do you think we've met Victoria's firstborn—and his father—before?

2. Could—gulp—Jack be Victoria's son?  

3. Is Jack the Falcon? (Kidding! What about Aiden?)

4. Would you have been sad to see Padma's head in the box?

5. What storylines/characters do you wish Revenge would cross out with a Sharpie?

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