This week on Revenge we traveled back to 2002. So when I was choosing a college and planning a holiday dance, Emily was kicking the crap out of men in club restrooms and was just all-out angry. She wasn’t her polished, Hamptons self using her unlimited bank account to get back at the people who framed her dad and ultimately, killed him. Her philosophy in life is the total opposite of what we have seen for the past 22 episodes: I don’t think that far ahead.
Already we know the purpose of this episode: how Emily transformed into this illustrious, well-dressed, intelligent young lady who is able to bury Amanda Clarke in order to successfully reach her goal.
While I understand what the writers of Revenge were attempting to do, I’m not entirely sure that I agree with it. The placement for one seemed odd. The details we find out were easily ones that could have been in an earlier episode or split up over a slew of episodes.
It makes me wonder if we needed this episode at all.
Sure Revenge is full of cheesy dialogue, music that unnecessarily pumps up the drama, and some cliché plotlines but I could always count on the creators to get me to expect the unexpected. A story that has taken so many twists and turns, that is full of such deceit, needs to be well-planned. The “oh crap” moments are what make Revenge successful and gave it an opportunity to continue with a second season.
In 2002, Emily is an angry girl. (I’m just going to keep calling her Emily because it’s easiest.) It’s been six months since Nolan picked her up at the detention center and gave her the journals from her dad. The ones that would reveal everything. And she has not read them. Nolan tries to convince her and it works… she travels to Montauk, stops in Jack’s bar where he has horrible hair, his dad is still alive, and a girlfriend he seems to like, and breaks into her old house.
The existence of Jack’s girlfriend surprised me. A lot. He seemed really, truly into her and half the time in present day, I’m never sure why he is so obsessed with Amanda. They knew each other when they were kids for sure, but here we are in 2002, and obviously he wasn’t stopping himself from dating other people. Is this an inconsistency or will this actually begin to make sense?
Over at the Graysons, Victoria is pretty distraught over the loss of David. Still. As Conrad plans a New Year Party to congregate everyone who took part in the cover up because of a suspicious note they received in the mail (blood spattered with the word “shame” and signed by David), Victoria is daydreaming about when she first met David. (Anyone notice David looks like Blake Shelton?) David is unassuming and kind, and doesn’t do parties. Victoria is taken with him pretty early on, especially when he describes buying his home because “it felt right.” (“How refreshing,” she remarks.)
The New Year’s party is like some messed up family reunion. We see a lot of familiar faces. Mason Treadwell, still trying to stir up trouble. (He gives Victoria the picture of Daniel on his last day in the jail. The one Charlotte found last week.) Tom Kingsley, the politician we saw early in the season. Bill Harmon is also there and our favorite security guard, Frank. (I kind of missed him.) And amongst a crowd of others, there is a new face: Roger Halsted.
Remember that name. So at this point, Emily has read her father’s journals in record time sitting on the floor of her empty childhood home. She also wrangled herself a job as a server at the Grayson’s party when Jack’s dad refuses to give Jack’s girlfriend the night off.
This is how she ended up here. Nothing like what we originally thought, huh?
That’s the thing. So much of this episode was anti-climatic. And the whole feeling of the party was bizarre. Was it because they were amongst friends that no one had trouble “joking” about the cover up and David Clarke and just how devious they all were? It’s like they didn’t have to keep secrets in that room, and neither did Victoria. She was not shy about moping around about David and it seemed like good old Lydia knew too. I just don’t understand that. Your husband and all of his colleagues and your friends knew you were having an affair and were just watching you distance yourself? (Conrad about Victoria: “Destroy the man you love and then weep?”)
Back to Roger Halsted. David called him a trusted friend who was knew the truth and was forced to keep quiet. This automatically made me assume he would be dead soon. Because hey, that’s what the Graysons do.
Roger doesn’t want to sit with anyone at the party, he drinks too much, and starts saying too much. Emily tries to talk to him but he doesn’t want to tell her anything and runs away. Then he gets to hang out with Frank and we all know what that means: he ends up in a blood bath. (For real.)
This Emily is not used to deaths all over the place and calls Nolan completely hysterical. “These people are going to pay for what they did.”
(Oh, by the way, Mason was the one who sent the note that jump started the party. He’s a writer! He has to keep things exciting! Relevant!)
And here we are back to present. Beautiful Emily in a gown waiting to accompany her fiancé, Daniel Grayson, to his parent’s New Year’s party.
Full circle, or are we?
I can’t help but feel this episode was a letdown and didn’t propel us anywhere. As the season winds down, shouldn’t things start to get overwhelming intense so we are pissed we have to wait a few months to catch Season 2?
I shouldn’t forget we did learn that Nolan and Jack become friends at the bar. Jack’s family was forced out of their house because some millionaire wanted to buy up a whole block for himself. That would be Nolan. Good old Nolan goes to apologize to Jack’s dad about this and finds out that Jack’s mother left the family and came back a few months wanting to take half of everything Jack’s father owns. He couldn’t afford to keep the house and the restaurant so it all worked out just fine, and if Nolan backed out of the deal, he would have to tell his sons the truth about their mother. Jack’s girlfriend overhears this exchange, and later kisses Nolan at midnight. Jack sees and punches Nolan. Okay? Was that last part necessary?
Also, Lydia admitted to Conrad she had feelings for him at the New Year’s Eve party. And this becomes the first night they sleep together. So another minor (major?) storyline is born.
I would love to hear what everyone else heard about this episode. Am I missing its significance?