Revenge Recap: The State of the Union Is Shaky

It’s nice to see that after so many years together, Revenge‘s Victoria and Conrad still thought enough of each other to exchange re-marriage gifts: He gave her a pretty little gun, and she got him a pair of shiny bracelets! Meanwhile, Reason No. 74 Never to Cross Emily Thorne: She’s got access to cold storage, and she’s not afraid to use it.

Without further ado, let’s review the major events of “Illusion.”

A LITTLE DIVERSION | Mason and Amanda meet to talk about his accusation at the end of the previous episode – that she’s actually not who she says she is – and with some coaching from Emily, she convinces him to drop it. It helps that Emily has created a scoop that the nosy writer can’t resist, and it goes a little something like this. Amanda says that she can’t believe the media bought the Graysons’ story about Victoria’s alleged kidnapping, and Mason agrees. “I practically required the Heimlich when I heard it,” he snarks. He practically requires a new pair of undies when she casually adds that Gordon Murphy was an acquaintance/employee of the Grayson family. Oh, and did she mention that she has a number that might lead directly to the accused kidnapper? When she gives him the digits and grants him permission to investigate, he damn near sprints off after the new lead. Meanwhile, Emily finds Kara on the beach, drawing Grayson Manor from a distance. She’s got an easel and everything. (Please, Revenge gods, let this be some kind of secret infiltration map she’s creating and not just a clunky way to get mom and daughter to talk.) Emily says that she draws, too, and they have a stilted conversation about how Em dodged a bullet by breaking off her engagement to Daniel. Kara assures her daughter-whom-she-isn’t-supposed-to-think-is-her-daughter-but-whom-I-can’t-believe-doesn’t-know-is-her-daughter not to worry about the Graysons, because people like that tend to “get what’s coming to them.” (Side note, but it’s so big, it’s practically a center note: What is up with Kara? She’s so twitchy and mousy and just plain odd that it’s difficult to imagine suave ol’ David and her as a couple. I can’t tell if it’s how the character is written or Jennifer Jason Leigh’s acting choices, but I’m not feeling Mrs. Clarke just yet.)

Emily leaves her mom playing Picasso on the beach and beats it to NolCorp to inform Nolan he will not be attending Conrad and Victoria’s upcoming second wedding. Earlier, Em watched through the security cameras as Daniel and Ashley (who, by the way, would never wear those Little House on the Prairie bloomers underneath an evening gown, even when just trying it on) discussed inviting Nolan to keep an eye on him. “And here I thought they wanted a caboose for the conga line,” he deadpans. (Just think about that visual for a moment. It’s pretty great.) When he asserts that not only is he going, he’s bringing Padma as his date – despite Em’s assertions that Ms. Lahari’s secret investigation into NolCorp’s connection to David Clarke will bring them all down – the two blondes get into a staring contest that would make Zoolander proud. “OK, you win with the steely eyes,” Noles concedes. Moments later, though, Mason calls and needs the tech whiz’s help to track the number Amanda gave him, and Nolan’s agreement (at Emily’s urging) means he and his plus-one are back on the guest list. Plus, as he points out to Emily, he’d rather see firsthand whether Daniel and Padma are working together before he does anything rash – and we all know that’s not really Em’s style.

TAKING THE PLUNGE | Elsewhere in town, Jack, Declan and Kenny re-open The Stowaway. Charlotte skips her parents’ sham nuptials to be there, which later earns her a supportive kiss from Dec (or, as Victoria awesomely refers to him earlier in the episode, “Oh, not that one again.” Ha!). Kara, Amanda and baby Carl are on hand, too, and the evening’s such a success that Jack’s feeling pretty good – so good that he asks Amanda to come out on the boat with him. He brings up a childhood memory that probably wasn’t part of Emily Thorne’s Speed-Identity-Assumption Course, but he doesn’t notice Amanda’s unfamiliarity with it because he’s too busy pulling a box out of his pocket (Me: “No, Jack! Don’t do it!”), getting down on one knee (“Dive into the ocean and swim far, far away from these cuckoo ladies – yes, I’m including you in this, Emily — and their terrible lies!”) and asking Amanda to marry him. Of course, she happily says yes. At this point, Revenge wants us to remember the disembodied, wedding ring-wearing hand floating among the Amanda’s debris in the season premiere’s flash-forward. Revenge wants us to think that it’s Jack’s hand. I’d be very surprised, and frankly quite impressed, if the show had the stones to kill off a main character like that. Think about what his death would do to Emily! More likely, I fear, we’ll get a Daniel/Tyler sleight of hand (pardon the pun) with another character taking a saltwater nap. Anywho, Jack’s popping the question isn’t this episode’s only bad decision involving the Porter brothers: As their longtime liquor distributor says when he drops their business because of their partnership with total sketchster Kenny, “Your father would be ashamed of you.” That was way harsh, beer guy… but probably true.

A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE | Victoria and Conrad’s second wedding is so full of soapy goodness, I half expected it to have an evil twin. First, let’s get the dresses out of the way. Emily, accompanied by Aiden: Sleek red with a plunging neckline, and girlfriend is working it. Ashley, accompanied by Daniel: Baggy metallic lamé with a belt, and her cute braided updo can’t make up for the sins of the frock. Padma, accompanied by Nolan: Royal blue prom gown, circa 1990 – and Nolan’s matching tux doesn’t help matters much. That brings us to Victoria, who’s truly stunning in a floor-length gray Vera Wang. Moments before the wedding, Conrad visits his bride to give her a gift: A pretty pistol so she can defend herself if ever he’s not there to do it for her. “And I thought you were offering me a way out of this,” she sniffs. (Heh.) Just after he leaves, she gets a call from Mason who actually does offer her a way out of it: The author has tracked Gordon Murphy to a trailer and found him there, stinky dead, with one of Conrad’s cufflinks on the floor next to the body. So as the Graysons are married again and the reception gets underway, the cops search the Manor and find all the evidence they need (with Mason flitting around like a demented Jiminy Cricket all the while). Then the police storm the party, handcuffing and arresting the groom then dragging him away while Victoria smiles victoriously to herself. Both Aiden and Nolan realize that the Revenging Angel is behind it, and there’s a funny moment where they both give her verbal high-fives and she’s all aw yeah. You get the sense she might chest bump them back, but it’s better she doesn’t; that dress is barely hanging on as it is.

MASON’S ON THE CASE | So here’s how it all shakes out: Conrad thinks Americon Initiative is behind his framing. This is reinforced when the Americon representative he met with a few episodes back shows up at his cell and basically demands that he help the group again financially. We learn that he wasn’t aware they were going to blow up a jet last time, and they’re not going to make him privy to their plans “this time,” either. He’s released on bail after the initiative woman pulls some strings, prompting Victoria to ask what he agreed to. His reply: “I don’t think I’ll know until it’s too late.” Gulp. Kara is devastated to learn that Gordon is dead, and via flashback we see him telling her that after his last job – presumably the Grayson mess that got him killed – he was going to retire so they could be together without interruption. Aiden thinks Ashley has some kind of agenda and also thinks Emily should give him another chance. Um, dude? Weren’t the two of you on the verge of Takeda-Kwon-Do-ing each other into a bloody pulp at the end of last week’s episode? Now you’re pals again? It was the dress, wasn’t it? (Side note regarding Em’s facial expression just after she tells Aiden to go home: Was that a “He’s so hot and I just turned him away” or a “I’m playing this guy so hard and he doesn’t even realize it”? Discuss in the comments.) In flashback, we watch Emily take the Grayson security cameras offline, steal a cufflink and plant some evidence in the house, fish Gordon out of an industrial freezer and then set up a faux murder tableau in the trailer where Mason found him. More importantly, we also see Mason – his curiosity piqued by Victoria’s comment that Emily is a “juvie girl” – realizing that Amanda and Emily spent time at the same adolescent corrections facility. Game on!

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of Padma’s admission and how Nolan dealt with it? Do you agree with Aiden that Ashley may have been too easy a mark for Emily? And the proposal – nothing good can come of that, right? Hit the comments and sound off!

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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67 Comments
  1. Scott says:

    Great episode! Really smart to make Barry Sloane a regular! He’s awesome

  2. Tricia says:

    So it looks like Nolan will be corrupting Padma. Should be interesting to see where this goes.

  3. Alichat says:

    I certainly hope there’s more to Ashley than we’ve seen. I hate her character. She bores me to tears. I’m also not buying that Padma was so stupid as to think that her inquiry about David Clarke wouldn’t raise eyebrows at Grayson Global and kick off a sh*t storm.

    I’m also really bothered that Jack hasn’t, at least once, considered asking Nolan about this Kenny guy. I can’t see Jack asking Nolan for money, but you’d think he’d ask his friend, who is a billionaire business man, if he knows anything about this dude.

    • Jackie says:

      I also hate Ashley. I was happy for the brief moment when I thought she was finally gone! I think Jack doesn’t ask Nolan because he is ashamed his brother stole and ashamed their financial situation drove him to steal.

    • Derek says:

      Or better yet, ask Nolan for the money he owed Kenny so he wouldn’t have to go into business with him at all!

  4. Lynne says:

    Missed most of it because had to do stuff for work but…
    HE PROPOSED?!?!?!?!?!?! When I saw the lights all over the Amanda I knew he was going to do that. Why do they keep Fauxmanda?!?!?! ATTENTION WRITERS!!!!!!! None of the viewers can stand her!!!!! Bring Tyler back from the dead instead!!!!!

    Ok, rant over. Now to rewind my dvr and watch the whole episode.

    • Jon says:

      I have no problem with Fauxmanda honestly I think she and Emily have an interesting dynamic and I enjoy both characters. It seems that most of the people who despise Fauxmanda are mainly Emily/Jack shippers who want her out of the way.

      • Kristen says:

        I love Fauxmanda… I also love Emily with Jack… but, I also love Emily with Daniel, and now with Aiden. LOL I can appreciate Fauxmanda’s love for Jack, b/c while she may be pretending to be someone else, she’s truly falling for him. Jack on the other hand is in for a rude awakening, but now that they have a kid together… they are stuck dealing with each other for awhile. As for Emily, I’m still holding out hope for her and Daniel, although like Jack and Fauxmanda it could never work should the truth come out. Now that Aiden is here though, I’m really pushing for them. So many choices!

        • Connie says:

          I totally agree with you! For once, I finally found someone who loves Emily with every character. She has a unique way with each guy you mentioned.

        • linds says:

          Daniel completely lacks a moral/ethical backbone… even one as twisted as Em’s, so he’s out of the running for me. On the other hand, he does fill two deliciously divine roles: #1- eye candy #2 – the sick look only he can produce on Ashley’s face just by looking at Emily. Ha! I never get enough of that.

          Jack was perfect – until he had a child with Amanda. And its really his. So now, if Jack is their ‘end game’ – they’ve lost me.

          Aiden is gorgeous, brilliant, and flawed – gee, who does that sound like? I think he’s actually the only one up to Emily’s weight – I mean seriously, could Jack ever really understand this elaborate deception and revenge game? I think FauxAmanda’s motives would be easier for Jack to understand, since they basically stem from her loyalty to Emily.

          And I’m way too emotionally invested in this dang show, lol.

    • VCI says:

      I love Fauxmanda, just can’t stand how Jack blindly fell in love with her, but Fauxmanda interactions with Emily are awesome, and i really want to see her handle thing her way.

      • Elyse says:

        i absolutely hate the idea of Jack and Emily together because i think Jack is ugly and not interesting so i love Fauxmanda.

        • Frankieboy says:

          I also LOVE Fauxmanda! I like the character’s progress on the show, she is interesting.

          • EveatEden says:

            I just can’t stand the way Fauxmanda speaks. She’s got a lisp or something that I can’t stand. The actress needs to go!!

    • dude says:

      I like Amanda. Not as much as Emily of course but I feel bad for her. She’s a lost girl who is looking for a family and Emily is constantly manipulating her and screwing her over. I love Emily but it’s true.

  5. Scott says:

    They announced Barry was promoted to regular about a week or so ago. Really great news :)

  6. Allyson says:

    Thank you for your comments about Mrs.Clark. I was honestly thinking the same thing about her strange behavior and was struggling to believe David Clark was in love with her. I can’t figure her odd behavior. She doesn’t come off as likeable at all.
    Oh boy when Conrad and Victoria got remarried, I knew something was going to go down. How is Emily Thorne able to get away with some much without getting caught? Sneeky one and how she was able to frame Conrad.Why Jack did you propose?! I kept saying Noooo!

  7. Luli says:

    i love Emily and Aiden!!

  8. Luli says:

    those verbal high fives that emliy received were great :)

  9. Jackie says:

    I think that look Emily had after sending Aiden home could have been a look satisfaction. Maybe she feels like she is getting even for when he lead her to believe they were leaving together before and then left her behind.

    I was bummed when Jack proposed to Amanda. I feel so bad for him that he thinks it is his childhood sweetheart and I just really have never liked her.

    As for Amanda’s mom… she seems drugged. I’m having trouble (as someone else said) if this is the character or just the way the actress is. I wonder if possibly she is supposed to come off as drugged — she was in a psych unit and tried to drown her daughter. It takes a special kind of woman to be in love with a hit man.

    • Overdamoon says:

      ITA with your comments about Emily’s look after telling Aiden to go home, and about Amanda’s mom. Kara doesn’t come across likable or believable so at this point, I don’t care if she’s good and tries to redeem herself with her apology for attempting to kill her daughter.

  10. Chio says:

    Am I the only one who recognized the wedding venue as Chilton (Rory’s HS) from Gilmore Girls? Or maybe I’m the only one so obsessed with that show that I could recognize a tree in the park from that show, if I ever saw one…

  11. I was thinking this episode was worth all the awkward Mama Clarke moments for the look of almost girlish delight on Em’s face when Conrad gets dragged away. Priceless. Then of course Victoria drops her juvie bomb and you can literally see the steam coming out of Mason’s ears as the wheels are turning. Please, please Revenge gods, let Mason tell Jack before Fauxmanda offs him for exposing her. That is all I ask. No one else needs to know but if Jack marries that lying skeevy skank I will come after the producers with tar and feathers.

  12. nikki says:

    I love Conrad and Victoria. Where is the hate sex? Come on, writers

  13. Allyson says:

    No you weren’t the only who recognized the wedding venue from Chilton from Gilmore Girls. I thought I was the only one who recognized. It is it werid that I still see chemistry between Daniel and Emily.

  14. Michael says:

    I agree about Kara; I was hoping to get Michelle Pfeiffer in the part. Instead we got spacey Emma Channing from Falcon Crest. (yeah, yeah, I’m dating myself on that one.)

    I can’t believe that the Porter brothers are being so dumb letting this total stranger into the bar and letting him take over.

    Am I wrong to want it be Declan at the bottom of the boat? It’d let Jack have a motive for Revenge.

    Isn’t a dropped cufflink at the scene ‘proof’ that the owner of the cufflink DIDN’T do the murder?

    Mason starting to figure it out makes sense; I wish the show were more like Revenge season one and less like Alias season 3.

    Great analysis, Kim; love the “demented Jiminy Cricket” line.

    • Chloe says:

      I always enjoyed Emma Channing. I thought the character [and the actress, Margaret Ladd] were cute and likable. I can’t say the same for Mrs. Clarke. I hate every scene she’s in. She’s so odd and Jennifer Jason Leigh mumbles like half her mouth has been superglued together. I really hope they do away with her quickly, as she brings the show to a halt every time she’s on screen.

      No, you’re not wrong to want Declan at the bottom of the boat. I completely agree. I wouldn’t mind it if Jack joined him, either. I liked the actor on Roswell, but find him boring on Revenge. And if Mrs. Clarke happened to be on board, also, that would be terrific. LOL

      Why was Mason allowed to wander around the house while the police searched it?

      • Poppy says:

        Jack and Declan are the 2 most boring and pointless characters on the show. I’ve felt that way since season 1. I never really understood why Jack was so obsessed with a little girl he knew for one summer! In fact it’s almost creepy that as a grown man you’re in love with a child, It’s not as if he and Amanda kept in touch all those years, so he knew nothing about her as they grew up.

        As for the episode, I loved it! The look on Emily’s face when they hauled Conrad out in handcuffs was priceless! Kara is a character I wouldn’t mind if she disappeared forever. I think she is suppose to come off as unbalanced and I definitely got that when she was talking to Victoria on the balcony. Not sure why everyone is hating on season 2, but I think it’s been great so far!

        • GS says:

          OMG….THANK YOU! Those have been my thoughts all along! They knew each other as kids but didn’t keep in touch and yet they’re soul mates…whatever! So glad I’m not alone in this. Cannot stand his character (or Declan) and there is ZERO chemistry b/w him and Emily. Jack and Declan are the token poor people in the rich town. Kill them both!

        • aciel says:

          seriously unless the writers come up with interesting storylines for declan and jack i want them written of the show. i’m hoping that their bar will be sold and jack will sail to haiti and declan will go to collage so that we wont ever have to see them again

      • Michael says:

        Chloe, I loved Emma, too. (The balloons!) Emma was a great supporting character who brought just the right offbeat element to Falcon Crest. I thought we were going to get more of Victoria’s equal in Kara. I suppose that would take away from Emily but Kara is too eccentric for my tastes. Good points have been made in posts about Jack’s quiet obsession with Amanda because they were just kids when they met.

        Perhaps they reconnected years later…briefly; not so that he’d recognized her today, but that still doesn’t solve the obsession factor.

  15. Overdamoon says:

    Now that you brought it up, I almost forgot about the scene about the “disembodied, wedding ring-wearing hand floating among the Amanda’s debris in the season premiere’s flash-forward.” Could it be good old curious Mason’s hand? Faux-Amanda told Em she wanted to deal with Mason her own way (like the way she did poor Frank in) so perhaps it’s Mason. I can’t wait for him to be gone. He’s creepy.

    • susela says:

      Given the wedding ring, it’s more likely Conrad or a newlywed Jack, but I’m rooting for Kenny (didn’t notice if he wears ring).

  16. Maryam says:

    Can’t stand Aiden. He needs to go. I was screaming at my tv screen when Jack was proposing to fake Amanda….ugh!

  17. Nick says:

    About the dead body underwater, I know this doesn’t really make sense but it might be Mason, anyone else agree

  18. cj says:

    Agree. I had to read this recap because I lost interest last night. It is so slow and needlessly complicated for the sake of making it last longer. Interesting that it would be slower despite more characters and back stories. I think the show hasn’t been the same since the end of last year… and also im tired of daniel being a pansy aboutemilys cheating.. it was a kiss. if im not mistaken dude has no right to be judgemental given his past. Anyway I really can’t stand Barry Sloane. That character had potential to be really cool but he is a flat boring personality and his deliver is lame. no spark. This show needs to ramp it up a bit and get back to the take downs od the week so it isnt so repetative and as much of a chore to watch.

  19. Nina says:

    Did anyone else catch the convo with aiden and Ashley when they were dancing? Do they know each other from before, or did my wishful thinking cause me to read more into it?

  20. Giorgio says:

    Yesterday was a great episode and proved this is one of the best shows on broadcast tv.

  21. Anna says:

    Sooo… Padma’s not evil? I’m stll not completely convinced of that. Wouldn’t it be more interesting if she were evil? Then again, I really don’t want Nolan to get hurt, so maybe that’s a good thing. Or not, since I already miss Nolan/Emily scheming together as partners in crime – so Nolan making Padma his ‘new Emily’? No thanks.

  22. davor says:

    BEST EPISODE YET!!! I just don’t get how people think it’s slow when a lot of stuff’s happening… This show’s just getting better and better with each episode!!

  23. GS says:

    I loved the episode but I am so with you on Kara Clarke. I just find her so annoying and weird. Hard to believe she would have ever fit in the Hamptons. Guess we’ll see if it’s all an act. I was excited to see JJL in the role but so far no impressed even a little. Love how Mason is unraveling Emily’s plan and can’t wait to see what her deal is for him next week!

  24. Tracey says:

    I’m not feeling Kara either. Very detailed recap so thanks for that.

  25. nick1372 says:

    This was an awesome episode! Maybe even the best yet.
    I think it will be Mason at the bottom of the ocean. If he finds out… HE’S DEAD! ;-)

  26. Sara says:

    I’ve lost interest in Jack. He bores me to tears and Declan isn’t any better. I wouldn’t mind if either or both of them get killed off soon. They’re nothing more than filler bits.
    I liked the Daniel and Em scenes. I think there’s still something there……

  27. sara says:

    As soon as they do an autopsy on the WHM and find that he is still frozen on the inside will show he wasn’t killed while eating a bowl of soup!!

  28. Rebecca says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one confused by Kara Clarke’s weirdness. On a normal episode she’s wacko but then in last night’s episode when she was talking to Victoria on the balcony about Gordon she looked drunk! Victoria never referenced anything about drinking so I don’t think we’re supposed to believe she was, but her demeanor was more off and her words were slurred. She’s an odd duck that one.

    • Leslie says:

      Don’t forget Gordon had Kara’s medication in his posession when he died. She probably hasn’t had it in days. She should be acting more and more unhinged as the medication leaves her system.

  29. Loni says:

    So glad Emily is back on the revenge trail again! I love seeing her have the upper hand. The rest of this season, I’ve been feeling like she’s just been trying to keep up, so it was nice to see her at her best again.

  30. Mehvash says:

    I think i’m in the minority but i cannot stand Jack. in the beginning he was just okay, but i find it strange that he has pined for a LITTLE GIRL that he once knew in the summer years and years ago. to the extent that he named his boat after her. they could get rid of him and declan and the show would be 1000 times better than it already is. The Fauxmanda stuff at least gives him stuff to do i suppose, but even she doesn’t need jack around to give her storylines.

  31. Natalie says:

    I loved this episode!! It was the first episode of this season I got really exited about! I feel like they are finally getting back to the “flow” of season 1.
    As for amandas look after aiden leaves… I HAVE NO IDEA!! I am so curious about that! I think either way it’s going to be interessting…

    (oh, and I hope Mason dies a brutal death. I don’t want anyone to figure that fauxmanda is… well fauxmanda).

  32. flora says:

    “What is up with Kara? She’s so twitchy and mousy and just plain odd that it’s difficult to imagine suave ol’ David and her as a couple. I can’t tell if it’s how the character is written or Jennifer Jason Leigh’s acting choices, but I’m not feeling Mrs. Clarke just yet.)”

    I find it interesting to pay attention to when she acts this way. I think the guise of mental fragility is her shield that she is using to make the ‘bad guys’ underestimate her. She seems to play up her twitchiness around Victoria but in the scenes before she came to the Hamptons her interaction with both Gordon and Aiden suggest that she is extremely cognizant and capable. Show of hands- who thinks she is orchestrating her own “revenge”?

  33. Claire says:

    No comment at all on the dance Emily shared with Daniel at the wedding and the conversation they shared? Shame! That was one of my favorite moments of the episode. I’m loving the Emily/Daniel and Emily/Aiden dynamic.

    Wouldn’t mind so much if they killed off Jack. It’d give Emily one more thing to seek vengeance for at least.

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