Revenge Recap: Worth a Thousand Words

Family trumped all in this week’s episode of Revenge, in which Emily no longer cornered the market on doing stuff that is absolutely bananas in the name of the people you love. Meanwhile, we got a hold of a few more threads in the Gordian Knot that is David Clarke’s murder. Let’s take a look at how it all rolled out in “Absolution.”

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Dearest diary | Emily had about two seconds of peace, both of which were spent leaving a rose at her father’s grave. Her nose was soon back to the revengestone when she swung by Grayson Manor to check on Charlotte. She found the teen sober (we think) and sad, staring at a haphazard pile of info she’d gleaned about David Clarke. Someone get this girl an infinity box! One of the photos struck Em hard: It was of her father, looking terrified and writing in an unfamiliar journal in the prison yard on April 22, 2002 — the day he died. (She’d never seen it before, because Victoria had been keeping it in her jewelry box.) The blonde surreptitiously captured the pic with her cell-phone camera and beat it to Nolan’s, where she caught him with the elusive journal. Busted! There was a lot of grabbing Nolan and throwing him up against the wall, which, seriously, Em? Save that for the Big Bads. Nolan’s worst crime is that atrocity he calls a haircut. Plus, as he repeatedly yelped, he was only honoring your dad’s wishes. As she read her father’s notes, including something about CM bringing proof to the prison the next day, she imagined him writing them just before he was stabbed by a white-haired guard (24‘s James Morrison) who appeared in Charlotte’s picture. A little Internet stalking helped Emily realized that CM was Carole Miller, Conrad Grayson’s former personal secretary who’d died in Manhasset in 2002. And a little pretending-to-be-a-doctor led her to the very much alive Carole Thomas, whom Emily tracked to her home in Lancaster, PA.

Meet Nolan’s family | Posing as a Homeland Security agent, Em needled Ms. Thomas about her link to Grayson Global. Then three things happened very quickly: 1) Emily noticed that Carole had a photo of Nolan on the mantle, 2) Carole aimed a rifle at Emily’s head, and 3) Nolan bounded down from upstairs and begged his aunt (?!?) not to shoot , then outed Emily as Amanda Clarke. The explanation goes like this: Carole took MIT-dropout Nolan in when his dad disowned him. She introduced Nolan to Emily’s father, who became a close friend. At David’s urging, Carole investigated his case from inside Grayson Global — and she’d gotten a lead from an in-house accountant that could take down the Graysons and exonerate David all at once. Nolan dropped by the prison to tell his friend the good news… only to find he’d been killed that day. In a flashback, we saw a rockabilly coiffed Nolan calling his aunt at work and urging her to flee immediately; he eventually faked her death and helped her start over. (Side note: I take back my earlier sentiment. Nolan’s hairstyles through time may warrant a little violence.) In the present, Carole mentioned a menacing, white-haired man who she’d seen twice at Grayson Global, and Nolan apologized for keeping the diary from Emily. He said, “This is bigger to me than your revenge against the Graysons. This is my—” She cut in, “—family. I know. I would’ve done anything to protect mine, too.”

PHOTOS: Is Revenge Killing Off [Spoiler]?!

What a pill Charlotte ‘s escalating drug use worried Declan, whose tip led the prep school to find prescription pills in her locker and suspend her. She tossed the pint-size Porter against the lockers (again with the rage, ladies? Char, you’ve got like three feet on the guy) and promised that Declan’s Grayson scholarship was about to run out. Thanks to Nolan’s generosity though, Declan remained enrolled at the prep school. Victoria and Charlotte later had a heart-to-heart by David Clarke’s grave, where Queen Vic told her daughter that she loved all the ways that Charlotte reminded her of her former love. There were hugs, tears, and then a bit of a freak out when Victoria saw Emily’s rose and realized that someone else had been there. Elsewhere, Ashley nabbed a gig as Attorney Brooks’ new media liaison but lost it when he discovered she’d leaked photos of Daniel in his bloody dinner jacket to the press. But Conrad admired her pluck, gifted her with a new Lexus, and installed her as a Grayson Global employee. “I, for one, admire someone who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty,” he letched, “as long as you understand from this point onward that our hands will be intertwined.” Ick. Now I feel dirty.

Daniel knows all! | Having sold all of her shares in the company and signed her divorce papers, Victoria finally pulled the trigger and tipped off the Securities and Exchange Commission about Grayson Global’s link to domestic terrorism. It happened around the same time Daniel was released from Rikers Island, and the prepster returned home just in time for a visit from Jack, who owned up to being on the beach the night of Tyler’s murder. Porter prodded Daniel to question the complete and utter fishiness surrounding his acquittal, “Because Emily trusts you, and if she’s going to spend her life with you, you owe it to her not to ignore this.” I dig the way Joshua Bowman plays scenes like these, where ultra-pampered Daniel is forced to think… about… hard… stuff. Sometimes, it actually looks like it causes the character physical pain. When Danny boy finally confronted Conrad, whose world was crumbling around him, Daddy Grayson told him everything, from David Clarke to current day, and made him promise to protect the company and Charlotte above all. And Daniel delivered the very next day, in an interview in which real-life ABC reporter Cynthia McFadden questioned him about the trial and the corporate trouble. “My father is the victim of a witch hunt,” Daniel said, calling the accusations “baseless.” If Emily ever had any soft feelings for her fiancé, that interview killed ’em — just like the way Em’s planning to off the guy who killed her dad. Later that night, some extra footage from a 1995 interview with Conrad revealed the intimidating white-haired guy Carole mentioned… and Emily realized it was the same man dressed as a prison official in David Clarke’s final photo! Oh Snowy McFakeprisonguard, it’s so on.

Thoughts? Questions? Moments of “huh?” or “yes!” Anyone care to defend Daniel? Are you as psyched as I am about next week’s flashback episode? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ahmed says:

    I’m seriously happy that Daniel turned on Emily. Now she can focus on her revenge plan on the Graysons without being distracted with puppy-boy-Daniel.

    Oh and start to develop nice feelings for Jack. I’m such a fanboy for those too.

    • filmex says:

      Huh? She ended by declaring she was going to marry him!

      This show has really taken a turn for the worse. Reminds me of when “Lost” and “Heroes” went off the air for months and then came back having lost their mojo. It took “Lost” over a year to recover, and “Heroes” never did.

      The show was great when Emily was just taking down people who had wronged her father. But what is the point of this whole lovey-dovey-Daniel business. If she wanted to destroy the Graysons, she’s had plenty of opportunities. But she’s become like a cat playing with a mouse.

      Maybe it’s the inherent flaw in the show—like “Missing” or “Awake”, if you find your kid or wake up, the show is over. So we’re left with these treading water episodes with the series going nowhere.

      Emily finds out the Graysons had her father killed in prison-Gasp! She’s shocked?? He died in prison because the Graysons put him there, so this-just-in-Emily, the Graysons killed him in prison regardless, which she already knew.

      She has audio tape of Victoria hiring the thug who beat up Daniel. She has audio tape of Mr. Grayson confessing to having had the thug killed. She can take them all down tomorrow if she wanted, but now she’s decided to marry Daniel. WTF!!! For what reason? It’s all becoming tiresome.

      It was better when it was more “revenge” and less The Bachelorette.

      • poohlover1983 says:

        Don’t you remember when Emily asked Takeda to invest in Grayson Global because then she would have access to their files where proof of her father’s innocence lies. That is why she is still planning on marrying Daniel. To get access to the company’s files. I just hope she can before the SEC finds the proof first. Now she also wants access to find out the name of the man who killed her father and Lee.
        I don’t know about the rest of you but I think the show is getting better and better and I wouldn’t be surprised if Emily turns up pregnant soon (for sweeps). I think that would make it much more interesting.

  2. DL says:

    I’m not convinced Daniel has truly taken the Grayson side. I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts working to gather concrete proof clandestinely, keeping it from Emily so as not to trouble her. This would up the drama, because he would be on Emily’s bad side while, unbeknownst to her, actually trying to help. I just think it would be a good way to ramp up the tension even further.

  3. nikki says:

    Emily can suck it. If she wants the creepy bartender with the gross facial hair, she should go for it. I am also tired of Lvictim” Victoria. I dislike her now even more than Declan. Conrad and Daniel are the only people on that show that’s interesting and handsome. I hope they teanm up and destroy all those worthless people. Team Grayson!

  4. Aaron says:

    Stupid show..stopped watching after this one…tired of the emo dramas.

  5. Irishgirl says:

    I was really hoping Daniel had a spine, but I guess not. Was really disappointed in his reply to McFadden about the SEC investigation. I can’t imagine what would get you to stand behind a terrorist funding murderer……even if he is your father.

    • Josh says:

      Especially since all we’ve seen of Daniel this season has been his desire to not be like his father…I felt a lot of things this episode didn’t make sense(Like Jack telling Daniel about the hoodie)

      • dee says:

        Come on, people, Daniel doesn’t have any proof of what daddy told him. If he really wants to expose all, he needs to find some. And he wouldn’t be able to do that if Dad threw him out after the interview. So now dad thinks Danny boy is his big ally, Daniel is in the inner circle, and he can bring his father down from the inside. OF COURSE that’s what’s going to happen–especially since, in the mean time, Emily will think Daniel is working against her, when in fact he’s not. Tension, anyone?

        • DL says:

          This is my theory as well.

        • Jessie says:

          great theory!
          I don’t believe Daniel is on Grayson’s side either. People who despise his character will soon see there’s more to him than just a cute puppy eyed momma boy….go Daniel!

  6. Jack didn’t have much to do in this episode, but I loved how this episode was able to contrast so completely the differences between him and Daniel. And thats why one of them is someone Emily could love, and why one of them isn’t! I don’t think Daniel is evil, just incredibly weak-willed, which makes him even less appealing to me. And I’m not a huge fan of Emily putting hands on Nolan. Getting mad I understand, but save the physical violence for the more deserving. I love how Nolan has ingratiated himself into being part of the Porter family. And I LOVED that Emily went to the Stowaway to have a drink with the 2 people she can truly put her trust into, Jack and Nolan.

  7. This weeks episodes was amazing, I felt the last two episodes were weak but this one was back to how it used to be. I am so happy Daniel took his father side,because now Emily can really go n with her revenge plus did she really want daniel telling the whole world about the grayson instead of her.

    I think next season is shaping up to be about either Ashley getting Revenge on victoria or Victoria on conrad. either way I would love to see someone else take part in a Revenge storyline.

    • Alice says:

      From Victoria’s creepy little aside about Emily “She’ll find out soon enough,” I think it’s safe to say Mommy Dearest’ revengenda is going to have plenty of targets.

  8. I fell asleep… Thank Goodness for my DVR. this show has so many turns and twists I have to rewind it even when I’m wide awake. Favorite show Ever!

  9. Loni says:

    Love this show. I thought the last couple of episodes lagged, but this one was full of crazy new things to consider: David Clarke’s new journal, Nolan’s aunt, Daniel knowing everything and still choosing the ‘dark’ side and Emily finally getting her head clear about how she’ll handle Daniel and continue with her revenge. And yes, I’m excited for next week’s episode. I’ve been missing the flashbacks.

  10. reddevil93 says:

    I just realized the supposedly scary white-haired man is James Morrison, Bill Buchanan from 24, and I am going to be have a difficult time finding him iniimidating because I fell in love with his character in 24.

    • Cat says:

      I know, right??? He really needs to be a series regular somewhere. Once again, with this character, he will end up being killed off or sent to prison. It must be his choice – surely someone has tried to give him a long term role. Love him!

  11. Not excited for Em’s new plan to pursuit the white haired man – this feels like misplaced focus in the vein of Frank and Lee. These guys are the distractions, not the main storyline. They’re brought in for an episode or two and then they get taken care of, but this close to the end of the season it should be ALL about her taking down the Graysons. She even has enough proof to do it, so why is she even marrying Daniel?

    It feels like the show is a bit rudderless. In our recap, I lament missing folks like Tyler and Fauxmanda. The show was more exciting and less predictable when they were around.

    • Alice says:

      I think they’ve brought him in because he’s going to be the link to the terrorists that Grayson funded, and that’s going to give another long-term target for Emily’s revenge. Considering that somewhere in the past actual terrorists were involved in this soap opera, not just an amoral, conniving family- getting revenge on those much more dangerous players would require significantly upping Emily’s game.

      • Of all the posts so far this is the only idea that really excites me. Maybe it’s because I’m a Burn Notice fan but I really think it’s because the show has started feeling petty. I understand it’s supposed to be a soap but that doesn’t mean it has to get bogged down in juvenile romance feuds (Charlotte and Declan, I’m looking at you) or baby daddy drama (still looking at Charlotte). The war between Victoria and Conrad is going to be epically large so I can see that being interesting enough for a while but if Emily is going to be distracted by every henchman the Graysons’ employ this is gonna get old really fast. I understand she has to kill this one but after this let’s just let it go with expendable extras. Targeting terrorists would be totally dangerous and actually utilize all of Em’s concentration and skills. No more shooting fish in a barrel. I like it.

    • Shaun says:

      This isn’t the same,he’s the direct killer of her father.The others were hired lackeys,this guy might be tied to the actual terrorism.

    • I hope you’re both right. Perhaps I’m just wary considering the way he was introduced after last week’s super awkward introduction of Dominik.

      I’d like it if the stakes were raised even more for Emily – she’s worthy of more resourceful villains!

  12. I’m disappointed that Daniel did what he did, but he didn’t betray Emily. He doesn’t know who she is, or her involvement. Conrad is, above all, his father. And Daniel has his family to think about. It’s not an excuse for choosing to keep everything buried, but I do understand the decision.

  13. Gisele Glen says:

    I’m really hoping that daniel is faking his father out cause I like him and do not want him to really get involved in his fathers mistakes

  14. greysfan says:

    Loving this show and i must say i would love Victoria and Emily to join forces and she find out the truth. How amazing would that be. They would be unstoppable.

    As for Daniel, i recon its all fake. Yes he wants to be on top but also deep down i can feel he wants to rid the Grayson’s bad name once and for all. Only 3 episodes left :( Its been a great season 1 and i can only see it getting better from here. The finale sounds awesome.

  15. MJ says:

    I love this show. It is wonderful and last night’s episode was great as it always is. I am glad Daniel did what he did because now Emily can put aside any feelings she had for him and get back to the revenge game. It was nice also to see more of how Nolan played into things back in the day.

  16. Patsy says:

    Love this show. So many twists and turns but they’re great. I think Scandal is following in its footsteps and will be a great show also. My two fans right now.

  17. Cindy Hoffecker says:

    Kimberley Roots: Finalllllyyyy somebody tears this show to shreds as a tv critic…’s about time.
    Loved your comments about Nolan’s hair.

    Welcome to tvline.

  18. lvar12 says:

    Emily leaving the rose at the grave could come back to screw her, thought immediately that Victoria would put a camera up to see who left it.

  19. Wilma says:

    Anyone else think David might still be alive????? When I heard Emily will still marry Daniel, I actually got sick to my stomach. (Daniel is dangerous in more ways that one)

  20. BrianR says:

    Capture the white haired guy alive and then call Takeda for help in “questioning” him for several long days and nights befroe terminating him.

  21. Allyson says:

    I am confused as to how Nolan knew David Clark. I thought he died when Emily was really young.

  22. Miranda says:

    Love this show. When Emily put the rose on the grave, I knew V would see it later. It just keeps getting better and better!