E: Yikes! So Lydia, as it turns out, is not dead but only–
C: Mostly dead?
M: Hoo hoo hoo, look who knows so much.
E: –in a coma, and so may live to feel the warmth of Victoria’s hatred burning for her another day.
C: The tension continues to ratchet up as Emanda and Nolan decide to deal with Frank by sending the Graysons the surveillance tape of Lydia’s almost-murder…
E: …and Conrad responds by firing Frank after 20 years of skullduggery and faithful service.
M: That seemed like a pretty sketchy proposition to me. I appreciate that they played up the “Frank clearly loves Victoria” angle in Conrad’s reasoning, but I have two problems with it. First, if Conrad felt that Frank was siding with Victoria to his own detriment, he would call Frank on it, not fire him over it. Second, Frank is clearly not the kind of guy you fire and leave holding a grudge. That’s just stupid.
E: Very stupid, as just about everybody is going to find out.
C: Frank fights back by discovering Nolan on the building’s security tapes and threatening him over it, meanwhile Emanda and Tyler’s enmity comes to the surface out on a double-date (why Event Planner girl keeps wanting to go out with Creepface, I’ll never understand), and Tyler roofies Danny. Yeah, that happened.
M: You know, when I (and, admittedly, Entertainment Weekly) thought of the Talented Mr Ripley aspect in Tyler’s first mischievous activities, I didn’t think they’re “borrow” his character pretty much exactly. It’s gone from him being creepy, to creepily feeling like plagiarism. The clear homoerotic overtones, cutting himself to gain favor and make Danny look bad, and the ridiculous lies he got called on on the date?
E: I loved seeing Emanda call Tyler on his B.S., but on the other hand, I’m not sure what she’s playing at. I guess he couldn’t like her any less, so she doesn’t have anything to lose on that front, but what are overt hostilities going to do with her relationships with Ashley and Danny?
C: I think she doesn’t know what to make of him, and is angry enough about him potentially messing up her plans to break out of her usually mode of cool calculation. She wants Danny to see through Tyler, but that’s obviously a losing battle since he hasn’t already!
E: Clearly a losing battle.
M: I’m not sure it’s a losing battle, I think this is the first time anyone has questioned TMR on any of his crap in front of Danny, who has never thought to question it himself. Maybe he will now.
E: Well, we didn’t see Tyler at the Fire & Ice betrothal/death watch, so, okay maybe there will be movement on that front.
M: Or, like in TMR, he’s the killer, as we’ve been speculating for a couple weeks now.
C: By the way, I have a new theory about Tyler, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to arrive at this guess. He’s not in love with Danny, or if he is, he’s a man scorned – he’s out for REVENGE on Danny, for some previous slight or sin we know not of.
E: Oooh, interesting. I’ve been feeling like it’s love, mixed with a desire to be Danny, to take over his life. Especially with yet another tender putting Danny to bed scene, which lead to Daniel throwing Tyler off, and which in turn lead to Tyler smashing his own head into a post and blaming the wound on Danny.
M: Umm… there was nothing “tender” about that scene, unless you consider attempted rape tender. Personally, I don’t, but maybe that’s just me.
E: I mean Tyler was being inappropriately tender with his friend, that’s all. It seems clear as day that Tyler is only pretending to be rich, but desperately wants to be. Also? I feel pretty strongly that Tyler has roofied Daniel in the past – I’d be willing to bet you that the sneaky roommate is also responsible for the car accident last summer.
C: Whoa! That didn’t occur to me, but it’s possible. He’s offing the girlfriends in elaborate schemes to make Danny seem at fault? Dang, that is twisted.
M: I hadn’t thought of that either, but that would be a good twist.
E: And speaking of acting rich — Daniel needs to remember he’s cut off and stop bailing other people out! Though I have to admit it, Declan and Charlotte were again kind of adorable. I love that Declan eventually just told Charlotte what he was worried about – that he couldn’t compete with her former rich beaus. Because of course he couldn’t. It’s a much better tactic than poaching from other people’s lobster traps.
C: Agreed. I thought he might do the Dumb Proud Guy thing and storm out of the weekly party, all “I can’t compete with this! You don’t like poor guys!” I didn’t guess that he’d just adorably come clean to her about his worries. So cute.
E: It was, right? So weird; I can’t believe I actually enjoy them. I still get a lot of “trying too hard to sound like a townie” off of him (why does he have this accent Jack doesn’t have?) but damn, it turns out he really knows how to put himself out there. And that’s always the best move.
M: Totally, they have come so far. Now, speaking of moves, have we talked yet about Frank pounding Nolan at the Fourth of July party?
E: Nolan said it best; Frank is better at this than they are.
C: Yeah, I couldn’t believe Nolan didn’t think to try and hack into the building security and delete the footage of himself.
E: Yeah. Right. Or turn Frank in to the cops in the first place? I still don’t know what Emanda was thinking there.
M: My guess is she was thinking “the writers can get another episode out of the tension with Frank”, forgetting that we know that she and Nolan survive to the end of the summer, and there was no sign of Frank at the party. That makes the tension they are trying to create, especially at the end of the episode with Frank creepily watching Emanda from his car, just not quite work for me.
E: Oh, I don’t know. I’m pretty alarmed not only for her, but about the lengths to which they may have to go to get rid of Frank. Also, why keep that photo? Ugh!
C: Why keep an entire box of self-incriminating evidence?
E: I don’t know, but that freaks me the heck out. Is there any way this isn’t going to come back to bite her? It’s only a matter of time before Frank searches her house.
M: That always makes me wonder when she’s got it out lying around, when Danny or TMR or anyone else could come walking in at any moment, but I really think it’s just a plot device to keep us, the audience, in touch with Amanda (as opposed to Emily) and help us see what she is thinking about. I don’t think anything will come of it.
E: Well, it definitely is that – the box is Amanda – but I’m not sure it’s safe for all that.
C: As for Frank, he is terrifying. When Victoria saw the surveillance video of him attacking and chasing Lydia just before her fall, I thought, “well there goes any chance of them having an affair!” But no, ten minutes later she’s in her nightie and he’s all gravelly-voiced “I did it for you” and somehow that’s sexy to her and not utterly frightening?
E: It was surely scary to me! But being fired by Conrad clearly freed Frank. No more staring longingly at each other; that long simmering connection almost erupted, murderer or not, husband in the house or not.
M: Um, freed? Again, you and I have a far different take here. I felt it completely unhinged him. In fact, they had him come unglued much faster and way more than I suspect someone in his line of work and with his shady character would.
E: We mean the same thing – it removed his inhibitions. I don’t mean it as a good thing! But. The main thing. How Emanda stopped herself from responding to Jack with his sexy talk about some boats and the water underneath them, I just don’t know.
C: Is it me, though, or does all his “you’re the one” talk and all Nolan and Declan’s ribbing about how he’s obviously crazy about her just feel a little premature? I mean, if you think about what we’ve actually seen in terms of their interactions, they have had maybe four 1-minute conversations about the dog, and one dinner together. During almost all of which time, she was with another guy. I don’t know, things just seem to have made a jump to disproportionally intense on his side.
M: Given our histories on this, and how far off we are on things in this episode, I’m guessing E will disagree with me, but I don’t think it’s you. Like him pining for a 9 year old that he summered with, I don’t see the “you’re obviously crazy about her” being justified.
E: Well, but they act pretty ridiculous around each other. I keep telling you, they’re fated.
M: And there you have it.