Revenge S1E14: Perception
Every week this show just keeps turning up the dials at a steady, confident pace. In fact, the pacing is one of the best things about the writing on Revenge and it struck us at the end of this episode that we’d been like little frogs in a pot of water all along and things had just hit boil without us realizing how close we were to that point. In other words, the shit hit the fan and even Hamptons Batman was caught off guard by all the developments.
Certainly, “caught off guard” is the very least of what Emily should be feeling right now. It’s impossible not to be on her side and cheer every scheme and triumph, but it’s getting tougher to be there for her when so many people who don’t deserve it are getting seriously hurt by the fallout of her machinations. To her credit – and wisely, on the writers’ part – there were just enough moments in this episode to show us that Emily is still a person and not just a Revenge Robot. We’re going to need more of these moments going forward in order to stay on her side.
Anyone who’s been reading our Revenge recaps wouldn’t come away thinking we had a soft spot for Jack. Next to his wool-headed brother Declan, he’s the most irritating character in the story. Sure, the nice guy bit goes pretty far, but the “holding a torch for his childhood sweetheart” thing tipped over into loserville quite a few episodes back and all of his time with Fauxmanda has made him look not just sappy, but kind of dim. Yet for all that, our cold, bitchy hearts broke a little for him(even as our jaws dropped) when he angrily confronted the Graysons with their sins, all on behalf of the wrong girl. Story of his life, poor bastard. Our hearts broke a little for Emily as she realized how much he cared for her and how well he recognized the grief and desperation in that little girl’s eyes. If things had gone a different way – namely, if she hadn’t set her revenge schemes into motion – she might have had a wonderful life with Jack. Even if he’s the second-dumbest man on the planet. And hey, who knew he was hiding all THAT under his sensible plaid shirts?
And speaking of fashion, how about the ensembles for that engagement photo shoot? The dresses were so tight you cold see every female bellybutton in the room from 15 feet away. We had no idea how any of them managed to breathe.
As for Fauxmanda, we feel for the gal, but she’s still kind of a crazy murderer and major wild card. Since Jack is careening back and forth between feeling extreme anger toward her and weeping over her childhood, we doubt these two are quite done with each other, to Emily’s eternal regret.
But the one person who really deserves the most sympathy is the only person who hasn’t done anything shitty to anyone else in the story: poor Charlotte. Bad enough she had to find out about her paternity in such a horrifyingly embarrassing manner, but to hear that her mother tried to lie to her brother about it and claim she was a product of rape… well. Let’s just say there are a handful of therapists in the New York area who just had their childrens’ college educations all but paid for, and they don’t even know it yet. It is to Emily’s considerable credit that she tried – at the last second, yes, but she tried – to prevent the issue of Charlotte’s paternity from coming up.
As for Nolan, he’s still a lot of fun, and he’s the best friend Emily will ever have, but we’re not entirely on board with his actions this episode. Unless we misread that scene in our hotel room, the degausser didn’t fail to erase the tape; Nolan simply didn’t make the attempt because he wanted Jack to know more about what was happening around him. That’s noble, but the result only caused more problems, for Jack and for everyone else. Perhaps Nolan should leave the scheming to Emily. Still, good for him for not having it when Emily tried to blame this whole mess on him.
There are, of course, lots of other plans, alliances, and plotlines going on. Ashley and Conrad have a moment where his leering got so over the top we feared he was going to tie her to some train tracks, but it did plant a tiny seed. Ashley seems to want to play everyone around her and it remains to be seen how good she is at it, but one thing’s for sure: she knows how to pick allies. Daniel is just a moron. In fact, Conrad is just about the only non-moron male in the entire story.
In the end, the thing we all knew was going to happen, happened: Someone* broke into the Batcave. It was incredibly stupid of Emily to leave all that stuff in such an obvious and relatively easy to find place. She couldn’t afford a kickass safe? In fact, it’s so stupid of her that it strains credibility, just because she’s been shown to be preternaturally good at planning. Still, as we said, we knew this moment was coming and kudos to the writers for presenting it in the creepiest, most foreboding manner possible. Miss Emily Thorne WILL attend the Fire & Ice ball – and God help anyone who gets in the way.
*It was totally crazy queen Tyler, right? Oh, we hope so.
[Photo Credit: ABC]