Revenge: Betrayal

M: Our third dip into the world of Revenge, to me, was not quite as good an episode as the first two, but it opened several doors that were interesting and I think important moving forward.

E: Some good developments, yes.  I wasn’t thrilled with the case of the week – when Emanda…

M: …our name for Emily/Amanda, for those who are just joining us…

E: …takes down the man who prosecuted her Dad and then became a Senator, it has less emotional punch than previous revenges.  Maybe because we’ve now seen her do this three times?  I did love the long range planning aspect of it, though (she worked on his first campaign!  she bought his mistresses’ apartment building and had it retro-fitted with cameras!).

M: Yeah, that was seriously hard core.  Working on the Senator’s original campaign?  If he’s up for reelection, that means she did that five or six years earlier.  That’s some serious long term commitment, I want them to keep throwing in more stuff like that!

E: That makes the whole knocking out of one enemy an episode thing more plausible; this is just the fruition of a long laid plot.

M: That’s what it need to feel like, too.  Like she finally has all her pieces lined up, has laid all the ground work, and is now going to rain hell on everyone.

E:  I was interested to find that Victoria tried to save the Dad, and Conrad essentially bought the prosecutor off to make sure the exculpatory evidence stayed hidden.  Now, I don’t know why Victoria didn’t take that info to the defense or the press, but there it is.

M: That was an interesting twist.  Before that flashback, it had seemed like once Conrad found out about the affair he put the hammer down on both Victoria and Emanda’s dad.  But it looks like Victoria had one last puff of fight in her before giving in to him.  I have a feeling that info is going to come out down the road somewhere, and will change the Emanda-Victoria relationship significantly.  Whether it’s before or after Victoria finds out our heroine’s real identity I don’t know.

E: I’ve got to admit it: especially after annoying the snot out of me at the beginning of the episode, I was stunned to find that Declan had real decency in him!  After spending the episode whining, and failing to help scatter his Dad’s ashes, and begging Nolan to help him get even, he sends that email to Charlotte.  I actually kind of yelled at the TV (“what’re you doing sending the footage of Adam cheating from your own account?”) only to find that the video link was just a cute invitation to share the sunset together.

M: I felt the same way when the email popped up with his name, although I just assumed they were continuing to make him a complete and utter moron.  I liked the little video he sent, and that was the first time in three episodes that I liked anything he did.  So, that’s a step in the right direction.

E: I don’t know about you, but I’m quite relieved that Emanda wasn’t Mike Davis’s squeeze.

M: I didn’t care all that much (she’s done some bad things, and will do some more), but I was glad because it didn’t occur to me until you mentioned it in our first recap, so now I don’t feel as bad about not picking up on that.  🙂

E: In relationship news, there was quite a lot of crazy up and down.  When Emanda takes Danny out to that Italian steak house, and makes sure that Patrick the waiter comes to her table with the massive Crocodile Dundee style steak knife in his hand, is she hoping he’ll stab Danny?  I was horrified.  And I guess I think she did plan for that opportunity; clearly Patrick is holding a grudge because Danny abandoned Sarah, Patrick’s sister (the cocktail waitress from the car accident).  Who, actually, I thought died, didn’t you?  Didn’t they imply she died?  Instead she’s depressed and still in rehab a year later.

M: I thought she had died, too, but I suppose even for the Graysons homicide’s a tougher thing to pay your way out of.  As we all know from the real life example of the Kennedys, it’s not impossible by any means, just tougher and probably more time consuming.  As for Emanda, and whether or not she intended for the brother to stab Danny, I tend to think not.  If you’re counting on someone to knife someone else in the middle of a restaurant, I think you’re counting on a little too much.  I think she wanted to see what would happen, and figured Danny would at least get in a fight.

E: Perhaps that’s less cold than what happens at the end of the summer, when she knows Danny better, and has (presumably) shared his bed, but yikes!  I was certainly paying attention, I can say that much.

M: You know, one thing struck me last night.  The more I see of the show, and see of Emanda with Danny, the less convinced I am that she is behind his murder.  You planted the seed when you said it might not have been Jack that killed him, which looking back at the beach scene I completely agree with.  But my mind took off with it from there.  Emanda didn’t look like she was totally in the know, she called his cell phone, which alerted Declan and Charlotte to his body (and Jack) and was saying “Danny, where are you?”.

E: Gosh, I hope you’re right.  I don’t want her to go to quite those lengths for revenge.

M: Now, that could have been part of her act, but what if it wasn’t?  I mean, think about it, if she wanted to kill him she could have had him offed at any point.  Isn’t it a far worse thing to do to Victoria if she steals her son and turn him on her?

E: Well, but then she has to live with him, and maybe she doesn’t want to.

M: Perhaps, but she’s been willing to go pretty far in the name of revenge, like working on the senate campaign 6 years earlier.  Plus, doesn’t that make it more powerful an act of revenge if he continues to hate and despise his own mother?  Now, perhaps the plan was to do that and THEN kill him, but I’m less convinced than I was at the start, that’s for sure.

E: The best moment of the night was certainly when Danny tells Emanda that however long they’re together – 10 minutes, 10 years, forever – he will never lie to her.  And of course she knows she can’t remotely say the same, because she’s lied to him and used him and maybe even plotted to kill.  That they’ve never had an honest moment together.  But he’s moved her, and she doesn’t expect it, and she kisses him, and it’s more emotion than we’ve ever seen from her.

M: We discussed last week, in the post and comments, that we wanted to see more moments of emotion out of her, and I think we got a couple.  I thought the scene with the kiss was well done, and let you see a more impulsive side of Emanda than we’d seen before.  I also really liked the open dream sequence.  Not because it was terribly well done (it was obvious from the start that it was a nightmare), but because it let us know that she is scared, that she’s afraid of getting caught, of Victoria finding out.  It helped show she’s not a robotic, ruthless schemer.

E: It shows she’s haunted by her past, at least.  Now, what do you think was her end game in getting Danny to visit Sarah?  It can’t simply be because it was the right thing to do.  Is it because she wants him to think she’s a good person?  Wouldn’t she want to stay on Victoria’s good side?  Or is winning Danny more important in the long run?  Or is it just that there’s no way to stay on Victoria’s good side and date her son?

M: I lean toward her intent being to start to exert more influence over Danny than Victoria has.  To prove that she can turn him, get him to go against his mother’s wishes.

E: Oh, interesting thought.

M: To do so on something that he feels so deeply about is easy, but it leads to him doing that on things that are harder.  As for staying on Victoria’s good side, I’m not sure she’s trying to.  She was intentionally late for the morning meeting, she is always bristly with her, and the scene near the end where she asked to call her Victoria?  That smacked of power play, and I’m pretty sure that’s how Victoria took it, too.

E: That’s very true, but it’s also really dangerous.  I wonder how that works to her advantage?  Because the more she gets in Victoria’s face, the more Victoria’s going to try to take her down.

M: I think she’s trying to stay on the offensive, and keep Victoria off balance.

E: Could be – there’s got to be a lot of thought behind it either way.  On the flip side of those perfect plans, I love that the writers have set it up for us to root for Emanda to get together with Jack, too; they have such an obvious bond, and it feels authentic.

M: They have despite the fact that they have made Danny very likable and sympathetic, which is a really hard balance to pull off.  I mean, we’re almost rooting for both guys, right?

E: I don’t know if I’m rooting for Danny to be with Emanda, but yeah.

M: Hence the “almost” part of my comment.  🙂

E: How much longer will it take for Jack to figure out that Emily is really Amanda?

M: This, to me, is the least realistic portion of the show.  They spent summers together when they were in single digits in age.  I don’t know about you, but when I was in my late twenties, not only was I not pining for a girl I hadn’t seen in 20 years, but I don’t think I would have recognized her even if we ended up working together on a daily basis.  And especially if she was trying to hide her identity, forget it.  That said, I don’t think it will be too much longer, maybe 4 or 5 episodes at the most.

E: The look on her face when she saw the name of the boat… that was my other favorite moment of the episode.

M: I forgot about that when talking about the emotions above, that was the third moment in the episode, and I agree, it was a good moment.

E: Now, will she bring him into her plan immediately?   Will they fall in love?  Questions, questions.

M: I’m going with no and yes, in that order.  I like the questions, though.  The more mystery they add into this the better, we don’t need each week’s plot tied up with a nice little bow.  Let’s see what questions, and which person’s demise, they bring us next week!

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