Rest assured that when I write this next line, I'm writing it with a lot of love (and not the kind Emily has for Daniel, but more like the kind Nolan feels when he gets dressed in the morning): What the hell, Revenge? "Mercy" wiped the slate clean after only three episodes, and I dare say I think it was for the best. Everything the series was building up in the first few installments of Season 3 officially crashed and burned last week in "Confession," and then was buried this week this week in "Mercy."
Father Paul is definitely dead, as I presumed last week. R.I.P. Paul, you seemed like a once-bad-but-now-only-slightly-shady-with-a-hint-of-Castiel's-voice good guy! Paul probably didn't deserve to die in the car crash, but having Conrad admit to Daniel he simply took the turn too fast and hit the clutch instead of the brake (mmmkay) and didn't at all suffer from a prescription medication-induced bout of Huntington's Disease, made me enjoy this story more than if Emily actually had been responsible. Because LOL, Conrad is bad at driving.
So to find out later (via super sleuth Jack Porter) that someone had actually tampered with his brakes left me feeling conflicted. This means we now have ourselves a good ol' fashioned "Whodunit?" I liked the idea that Conrad was at fault and that the crash wasn't anything more than an accident, because that would be new and refreshing. But now we're looking at a Who Hates Conrad the Most? contest. Obviously it wasn't Emily, because she wanted him to confess, and it wasn't Daniel because he helped cover up what really happened in order to keep the Grayson name clean before the launch of the magazine. Was it Victoria? Patrick? Charlotte? Aiden as a way to frame Jack?
Victoria did tell Conrad that if he got back in the car it would be the last thing he ever did, but that seems too on-the-nose. And as much as she hates Conrad, I don't think she's capable of setting him up to possibly die like that. Her warning was probably just what it appeared to be: She didn't want him driving with Huntington's. Her heart isn't completely frozen. Despite hating him most of the time, she needs him alive.
As for Patrick, however: What is his deal? Nolan tracked down his ex-wife in Florida this week after giving in to his addiction to technology and hacking (and stealing Patrick's wallet from the club). She told Nolan that Patrick was a loser and a liar, and after accepting Nolan's generous bribe of $20k, she opened right up to expand on those claims. But we still don't know what all she said, and it's likely we won't find out for awhile.
I enjoy the addition of Justin Hartley to this cast, and not just for the glorious eye candy. He's a mystery—not a super compelling one, but he's a fresh face to this saga at least—and you don't know what his motives actually are. It looked like he turned on Victoria by stealing her painting and selling it to Sheila without the paperwork, but in reality, it was just part of a power play by Victoria so she could take over the gallery and not just work there. (Smooth move btw, V, I just hope being a small business owner won't cut into your scheming time.) I like that we still don't know if Patrick is a good guy or a bad guy, and I'm even okay with all the red herrings the show is throwing at us. I think it could be fun if it turns out he is responsible for Conrad's crash because he's trying to cut out or turn Victoria's family against her so he's all she has. Everyone loves a good psychotic lost-family member story, right?
And then there's Charlotte. As much as she also hates her not-father, she's too passive aggressive to take that action. She'd prefer to sit in the corner and mumble under her breath about how Conrad is a terrible person than actually do anything about it. Hell, she's still preparing Emily and Daniel's wedding invitations but she's like, totally not happy about it. At this point, Charlotte's basically become the Marissa Cooper of the Hamptons in that she's run her course and the writers don't know what to do with her anymore. Killing Declan was a step in the right direction, but Charlotte needs to stop being a whiny, passive aggressive teenager and get with the program if she wants to be anything other than background noise. You're a mixture of Victoria Grayson and a Clarke. You should be awesome, Charlotte!
Lastly, there's Aiden. We all know my stance on Aiden so I won't rehash it, but he's taken up residence in the Grayson pool house like he's Ryan Atwood or something. He's still trying to help Emily by infiltrating Victoria's inner circle, but he also has his own agenda. When Emily told him Conrad's car had been tampered with, and that Jack decided he wanted in on the revenge plot, he immediately turned into the jealous school boy we all knew he was and told Conrad that Jack had tampered with the brakes. Not cool, Aiden, not cool. I may not always like Jack, but I do think bringing him in to the revenge plan, especially without Emily's willingness, is a good move for the often-sidelined-in-horrible-B-stories character.
This episode essentially wiped the slate clean again. Conrad found out he didn't actually have Huntington's Disease after he was called back to the hospital for an MRI, so now he thinks he beat God, or something (so glad that story is over). He's not going to confess to framing David Clarke (though I still think that'd be an interesting ending to this saga), so that entire storyline is now dead. And Emily and Daniel are at odds after he gave her statement about the accident to the cops in order to cover for his father, and Emily turned around and outed Daniel's DUI in his publisher's bio for the magazine. Instead of making amends with Emily, he took relationship advice from his father, and is currently spending his nights at the inn (how do they have money for their suite if they're also poor?) to show he's not giving in. I don't know about you guys, but I think this marriage is a great idea.
– Even good-looking Patrick has a moderately bad driver's license photo!
– Nolan is clearly playing Patrick, and Patrick is most definitely playing Nolan. This makes me sad because I like them together.
– Who do you think tampered with the Conrad's brakes?
– Having Conrad refer to himself as the master of the house was a perfect Les Miserables reference, no? He's a crook and a liar, and his wife isn't much better. Plus, it successfully painted him as the cartoon villain he usually is. Love. It.
– And the winner of this week's Best Nolan Ensemble Is:
What'd you think of "Mercy"?