Revenge: Charade

E:  Ew!  Ew ew ew ew ew! This week’s episode has left me feeling very squeamish.  We got a bunch of sexy or romantic scenes with all the wrong people.

M: We’ll get to the most squeamish of them later on, but yeah, definitely not a good night for the weak of stomach to be watching.

E: So after weeks of us saying that Tyler was a total Mr. Ripley (he’s even got a similar haircut!), we found an interview where the creator states that Tyler is in fact completely inspired by the movie/book character.  Using, in fact, the exact same terms I did last week.  (Pats self on back.)

M: As we said to each other when we found that article, it’s nice to know that we’re observant, and them stating it in an interview makes it feel less like plagiarism.  Doesn’t make him any less creepy and icky to watch, though.

E: Did you think that Daniel swallowed the lie about Tyler’s head wound without feeling particularly guilty?  Maybe after you’ve paralyzed someone and dealt with that guilt, a little cut can’t compete.

M: No, I thought he was appropriately apologetic.  Maybe it’s a male-female thing, but big long apologies aren’t really that necessary, for something like that we say we’re sorry and it’s done.

E: That’s definitely a guy thing, then, because he seemed way under-concerned to me.

M:  The thing that I felt was weak was him just accepting that he couldn’t remember anything from the night before.  I mean, maybe he has a history of blacking out and not remembering things, but he was working and not drinking, so it would seem to me like something he might be a little more concerned about.

E: I’m more convinced than ever that Tyler and his roofies have given Daniel a history of blackouts.  Now, Daniel – I really liked Daniel in this episode.  He was insanely sweet to his mother, he frolicked in the surf with Emily (even if we’re all ambivalent about that pairing), and he was just all around adorable, especially telling Emanda that he was in love with her.

M: Don’t forget that he tried to shield Amanda from the puff piece reporter.

E: Yes, which actually showed a knowledge of her character and a consideration that was really cool.  And?  I honestly think Emanda feels something for him.

M: Well, I think that was definitely an intention of the episode.  You had the discussion between her and Nolan where Nolan said she wouldn’t turn Jack down unless she had feelings for Daniel…

E: …an assessment I totally disagree with, by the way – it could just mean she’s devoted to her plan for vengeance…

M: …and Emanda said that Daniel was never a target.  Then there’s the frolicking in the surf, and the shot of her fist clenching the arm of the swing when they kissed after Daniel told her he was falling in love with her.  We’re definitely supposed to believe that she is developing real feelings for him, no matter how hard she’s trying to suppress them.

E: Well, her arm clutching the swing was all about Jack, though.  Because he’s the one who made the swing, right?  Also, holy crap, we now have the real Emily Thorne – Emanda’s former juvie cell mate who uses the name Amanda Clarke while stripping (partly for the cache with perverts, ew) hiding in the Hamptons after murdering Frank with a tire iron after he figured out the switch!  Oh my lord! I suppose we’ll have to call her Amily?  Nickname complications abound!  Regular complications abound, too.

M: I’m hoping she’s a very brief speed bump, partly because I don’t like that plot line and partly because it seems inconsistent.  I didn’t think that she had assumed the identity of someone that could that easily be traced back to her true identity, and as we found out with the picture that Lydia found her in, she didn’t change her name to Emily Thorne until well after she was out of juvie, so that’s messy.  I did like them bringing in CCH Pounder as the juvie warden and apparently mentor/confidant for Emanda, but they made her too dumb.

E: Okay, that was maddening, especially after the whole “what was the first thing I taught you?” conversation, which implied that Pounder was some sort of awesome spymaster.

M: Everyone in their right mind would know that Frank was going to come back and break into the office, so even if she had been stupid enough to not falsify the Amanda Clarke and Emily Thorne files before, she would have made sure that they weren’t there that night.  It’s upsetting when a show that has been as consistently smart as this one has does something so completely and utterly stupid to advance the plot.  Booo!

E: Boo indeed!  Big boo!

M: Boo, hiss!

E: On a happier note, Declan and Charlotte were super cute together, although I think he was a complete ass, calling Emily out at dinner like that.  Self-involved idiot! It’s nice to speak the truth, but he was a guest in someone else’s home, and he ruined the (already doomed) anniversary dinner.

M: Agreed, that was all sorts of out of line.  He had been growing on me, but this made him take a major step back in my book.

E: Plus, he made it all about how Emanda was stringing Jack along.  “It took a lot for him to put himself out there?”  That’s not her fault.  You don’t owe a guy affection just because he really really likes you and it’s hard for him to say it.

M: Now, I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem like information that he’d know.

E: What do you mean?

M: Jack doesn’t strike me as someone who’d run back and tell anyone about his feelings and what happened, let alone to Declan who is not exactly the most trustworthy confidant.  Maybe I’m wrong and the whole brothers thing is stronger than his macho-manly hiding of his emotions, but I don’t think so.  I mean, we’ve never seen him talk about her with Declan before, it’s just been Declan jumping to conclusions.

E: Well, Declan must have assumed it was Jack’s intention to go after Emily when they went to the party.  I mean, wasn’t Nolan’s point in bringing them for both men to go get their respective girls?

M:Was it?

E: I thought it was pretty clear.  So Jack wouldn’t have to (not) kiss and tell; it would have been clear if the gamble had worked. Much as I’m annoyed with Declan’s astounding rudeness (and can’t believe Charlotte was fine with her boyfriend embarrassing her beloved brother), Emanda’s not blameless here, either.  She shouldn’t have given Jack a “let’s be friends” present.  Talk about mixed signals!  She should have left well enough alone.  But of course she didn’t, because she loves him, and she can’t do the smart (or kind) thing.  And that bit Declan was right to be upset about.  He just shouldn’t have brought it up during dinner.

M: Agreed, the gift was inappropriate and a major mixed message, but the anniversary dinner wasn’t the place, unless he was specifically trying to make a bad impression with Charlotte’s parents, which is entirely possible.  But, after Daniel’s bailed him out of trouble twice in the last two weeks, you’d think he’d be a little more kind.

E:  Yeah, you’d think.  So, to sum up, that was not cool.  But the biggest ew of all?  Tyler and Nolan.  Tyler, who turns out to be a gay prostitute, and Nolan!!!!!!  Eeeeeeeeeeeew!  Nolan, what have you done? I know you think you’re being such a clever boots, knocking boots with the enemy to let him believe he’s playing you, but eeeeeeew!  This guy is a crazy nightmare!   I won’t even bring up the possibility of disease.  Yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck!  I know Emanda’s doing something similar with Daniel “not a target” Grayson, but Daniel is not a psychopath. Shudder.

M: That was by far the creepiest part of the show, and the problem I have right now is that I don’t know what is and isn’t true with Tyler any more.  I felt before like pretty much nothing was true.

E: Oh, I still feel that way.

M: Then he started “opening up” to both Nolan and Ashley, and I don’t know if he’s really the son of a formerly wealthy family, if he’s there to try to get in the good graces of the Graysons and legitimately make his family’s fortune back, if he’s out for revenge on them for his family’s issues, or if he’s just full of it and being Talented Mr Ripley and trying to con everyone.

E: Well, they said he’s Ripley, so I automatically assume everything out of his mouth is a lie.  Ripley was born poor but brilliant, and told compulsive lies about his past.  Although, on the other hand, I was a little curious whether or not there was proprietary Grayson information on the flashdrive.  And surprised Ashley was so down with the idea, for that matter.  I doubt he had time for that bit of skullduggery, but I am curious.

M: As for the tryst between him and Nolan, Nolan has always given off the, as he put it, “three on the Kinsey scale” kind of vibe, so it didn’t surprise me too much that TMR would try that angle, but it surprised me greatly that Nolan would allow it.

E: Exactly!  It took shockingly little persuasion, too.

M: How is this supposed to advance Emanda’s cause?

E: You got me.  It’s supposed to make Tyler think he’s got Nolan under his thumb?

M: Is TMR supposed to be in his good graces now, especially with Nolan having (and creepily re-watching) the video of their encounter?  Or does Nolan think he’ll be able to control him?  How’s that going to work?

E: It won’t.  It’s a nightmare! Creepy creepy creepy!

M: And yet, I can’t wait to see what happens next week.

E:  Yes.  You would have to pay me to look away.

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2 comments on “Revenge: Charade

  1. C says:

    Yeah guys, gosh, that was pretty insane. But I have to remind myself that Nolan actually has no clue how psycho Tyler is; all he knows is that he’s trying to break up Emily and Daniel, and he’s trying to get him out of the way for Emily’s sake. Now he also knows he’s a conman, but that doesn’t seem like a big turn-off to many people, actually. So I’m just saying: while I can’t believe stupid stupid Nolan thinks he’s the one playing Tyler here – HA! like that’s going to work out – I do think his grasp of Tyler’s evil is probably minimal to nonexistent.

    Also, “prostitute” seems like the wrong term – I think “gigolo” is more fitting here.

    • E says:

      I believe the one Nolan used was hustler. I’m willing to bet anything that Leslie wasn’t Tyler’s first customer; that was clearly a gigolo instance.

      And, indeed. I’m sure a good part of the problem is that Emanda doesn’t confide that much to Nolan, and of course even Emily (who has better instincts) doesn’t know half what the audience knows about Tyler. So,okay. One can see Nolan having a particular sympathy for a conman.

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