Alright, Vengefuls, I'm going to start this recap from the moment where for most of us the show truly began:
First best idea of the new season: Nolan's fantastic haircut.
Second best idea of the new season: Emily and Nolan living together! Best friends, Bobbsey Twins, chosen family, soulmates, call it what you will, but this idea makes sense organically both in the show (Nolan's house was a veritable THOROUGHFARE of maniacs) and FOR the show (the more time with Emily and Nolan onscreen together, the more endorphins released in the systems of the viewers).
Another endorphin hit? Right here:
But let's go back and start from the beginning. The promos really teased out Emily getting cinematically tortured in the ocean, but it looks like it was just a little refresher workshop/retreat she took with her Kill Bill-esque ninja masters. One of whom is Irish or something? And weirdly merciful?
I like you, guy. Stick around.
Emily, having moresies or lessies revenged her dad, is now out to figure out what the EFF happened to her mother, who appeared for the first time in a flashback, writhing around in a PSYCHIATRIC WARD in WRIST RESTRAINTS!!! I live for fuzzy asylum flashbacks. With bangs. With yelling. Yes yes yes.
Emily returned to the Hamptons, and her first stop (duh, obvs) was checking in with Nolan, giving him high fives, getting him on the party train. Second move? INVESTIGATING AN ABANDONED PSYCHIATRIC WARD. Oh Laaawd have mercy, that was so gorgeous. And so many crosses up in Emily's mom's room! Was there an exorcism?
Needless to say, Emily's back and bad, tearing off the dusty sheets in the beach house and ready to rumble after faaaar too long an absence from my screen. Since we last saw the Revenge crew, 60 days of sobriety have passed. They have been spent being vaguely relaxed at the Hamptons version of Promises by Charlotte, passive-aggressively avoiding one's pregnant wife at the Stowaway by Jack who's ab-rollin’ in his boat, and growing in a five-haired Shakespeare beard by Declan.
I SEE YOU DECLAN! With that Shakespeare beard. Boy, throw that shit in the ocean! Pluck it out and throw it in the ocean!
Conrad Grayson has become incredibly sinister in that space of time. As suspicion around him deepens, he's grasping at his children's inheritance. He's nearing Charlotte's by locking her in rehab until he gets power of attorney, and he's pressuring Daniel less successfully, although Daniel is well and truly wagon.
...due in no small part perhaps to being now in a committed relationship with a carbon copy of his mother, I'm sure. Ashley, who may or may not be also romancing Conrad, has gone from the world's saddest party planner to Queen of "Hamptons" Society, and it's kind of appropriate. That was how Victoria rose up, after all, calculated ventures and lookin' kewt. Ashley is looking seriously cute!
BTW at a set visit I learned from actress Ashley Madekwe that she actually styles her own outfits. She works closely with the costume designer to pick major pieces but the accessories are very much her own thing and reflect this really edgy London vibe that makes me covet everything she wears. Those earrings! That eyeliner! She's such a fashion icon. It really gives the character a whole other dimension.
The parallel moment when Emily went to the annual start-of-the-season parked-yacht-auction and saw Ashley through the window had this perfect, eerie symmetry to when Ashley led her hand-in-hand and she first glimpsed Victoria, and framed Ashley as a new adversary perfectly. So effective. "Spine Tingly-Dingly!" —Henri Frederic Amiel
Daniel was clearly knocking himself out courtesy the fine Tennessee magic of Jack Daniels just to be around her in that SLAMMIN' red dress and side hair. I mean, where else are people going to look on a parked yacht than these two hot blondes side by side, being swank and getting buzzed?
Charlotte did do a sloppy grab for attention by elbowing her way up to the mic all "I GOT SOMETHING TO SAY" and then running off at the mouth about how her mom has deep secrets and she will always truly miss her. HER MOM WHO SHE KNOWS IS ALIVE! Deep secrets?! Pillheads are such drama queens.
Charlotte, after being justifiably dragged from the scene (also her spiked blood sample turned up all drugsy) whispered to Emily something crucial: the directions to the mountain peak on which Victoria has been hiding reclusively, her only company the owls and the mute, deaf hairdresser who federal agents fly in every other Tuesday to Brazilian-blow-out her hair.
Which explains why when Emily zipped over to her location (the Ozarks? Blue Mountain range? Sierra Nevadas?) Victoria answered the door in FULL MAKEUP AND A BLOWOUT. Victoria Grayson does not sit around a remote hermit cabin isolated from all human society looking like a skank, okay? She keeps a full face on day and night, flossed out glossed. F-ck with her & u get tossed out, bitches. #SelfRespect
She seemed slightly miffed to see Emily, who got a good look around the old hidey-hole and stole a clam to insert a camera into (or have Nolan insert a camera into). That's right, the clam cam. REVENGE WRITERS I LOVE YOU. I WANT TO HAVE YOUR COLLECTIVE BABY. The clam cam! Oh, the caffeine and Craft Services buzz that must go on around 2am in that room. I want to rip their index cards off the walls of the writing room and roll around in them naked like Demi Moore in money.
Speaking of babies... one of the huge reasons I love this show is that within the space of one episode it established that Jack wasn't crazy about having this baby, that Emily maneuvered herself as the godmother of this baby, that Emily got Jack to question the paternity of the baby, and that Jack demanded to know of Fauxmanda whose the baby was. In one episode.
You cannot beat that. That is a genuinely engaging way to chart an episode. If we were watching any other show, all those things would have happened at mmmmmaybe Episode 7. That is why I am ride or die for Revenge. They don't dawdle like corny bitches because they GOT stories. Oh they got STORIES.
After Emily popped in with some important papers for Victoria and put the clam cam in place, Nolan and Emily got comfers cozy and watched Victoria essentially put out a hit on Emily. And Emily was like "Bring it." because she regularly chases death in the ocean and has had a successful axe fight with that poor white-haired guy in the past.
This season is off to a rollicking and incredibly fast-paced start already. I'm dreaming starry-eyed of the next episode. I love so much that Nolan and Emily are roomies, that Daniel is obvs-leee still in love with her, that Victoria's survival was established in the first episode, and that Jack is not pulling punches with Fauxmanda. We missed you so, Revenge! Now get back to ruling my life.
1. How many episodes until Emily runs into her mom?
2. Obviously her mom is going to be in league with the Big Bad Villains in this world, yeah?
3. At what point will Emily straight-up kidnap half-sis Charlotte?
4. How many more episodes until Ashley and Daniel break up?
5. How awesome is Nolan's new haircut?
6. Conrad: having an affair with Ashley, right?
7. Who is the dead arm that was found in the cold open in the "Amanda" boat?
8. Fauxmanda's baby: Takkei's? Jack's? A random trucker from Norwalk, CT's?