Revenge Recap: A Return to Red-Sharpied Form

EMILY VANCAMP, BARRY SLOANEI spent my holiday break kneeling at the altar of St. Frank the Bludgeoned and imploring him that, in the new year, Revenge would show us even a sliver of its former pluck. Well, hallelujah, because those prayers were answered with this week’s episode. Emily and Victoria are in cahoots! Aiden is jealous of Daniel! Jack is in jail! Best of all, the red Sharpie is back! Let’s take a look at what went down in “Power.”

RELATED | Revenge Boss Reveals Plans to ‘Solidify’ Victoria as a Villain and Clarify The Initiative’s Big Plan

MAMA’S MEDDLING | Unaware that Helen and The Initiative have instructed Daniel to look more closely at his father’s other hidden business dealings (a la that which led to the NolCorp takeover), Victoria cooks up a plan to use Emily to get Daniel to step down as head of Grayson Global. As far as Victoria can tell, that will make her beloved son far less attractive as a pawn for the dangerous global collective. Conrad is hilariously less concerned; he’s just waiting for Daniel to screw it all up so The Initiative realizes he’s no help whatsoever. (Side note: Rewatch this scene for two things: Henry Czerny’s pronunciation of “panic” – he somehow Tom Brokaws it into three syllables – and his hand flourish as he discusses how The Initiative will soon “move on.” Both are awesome.)

Victoria wastes no time inviting Emily over for lemonade in the cupola, where she lays out her plan: Queen V wants Em to play on Daniel’s affection for her and get him to drop his interest in the family business. “You really believe he still loves me?” Emily asks, and props to Emily VanCamp, because I truly can’t tell if her character is playing along or asking because she really wants to know. “I would bet my life on it,” Vicky replies, and they seal their unholy alliance with a handshake. Soon after, Emily and Aiden (who will be called Emily’s “paramour,” as well as “London Fog” and “Remington Steele” before the hour is done) stage a loud quarrel at the same restaurant where Daniel and Conrad are having lunch. She storms out and Aiden, well aware that he’s dealing with the less sharp of the Grayson siblings, all but acts it out with finger puppets to make sure Danny gets his point: “Your ex-fiance just broke up with me,” he says. Meanwhile, Ems walks outta the fake-up – ™ Nolan Ross — beaming like she did when Conrad was arrested at his own wedding. (Careful there, Emily: Between those smiles and the sobbing paroxsym a few episodes back, you’re in danger of using up your emoting quotient for the next several seasons.)

TRIAL IN ERROR | We learn Judge Barnes (the man who presided over David Clarke’s trial) is “weeks away” from becoming a Supreme Court justice – and he and his wife Patricia are in town and staying at Grayson Manor. Patricia’s throwing a benefit for her charity, which helps innocent people fight their wrongful convictions; Victoria thinks would be beneficial to Conrad because he might need the group’s help soon. “If they sold stock in irony, I would be richer than the sultan of Brunei” is her hubby’s bemused reply. Ha! The couple’s visit piques Emily’s interest because, thanks to an anonymous letter her father received in jail, she’s pretty sure that Barnes and the Graysons tampered with the jury at his trial to guarantee a guilty verdict. She’s also nearly certain that Barnes’ clerk James Palmer sent the message; he died not long after, under sketchy circumstances.

At a dinner that the Graysons host and Emily attends, our girl mentions (lies, I’m assuming) she once audited a law class that James Palmer taught. At the mention of his name, Vicky and Conrad shoot each other a look and Patricia and her husband sit up and take notice. The judge grabs his wife’s hand, clearly telling her to hush it up, and she all but blinks SOS with her eyes as she excuses herself from the table. Before she goes, though, she answers Emily’s seemingly innocent question: No one ever brought David Clarke’s verdict – or any decision over which Barnes presided, for that matter – to the attention of her organization.

At the legal charity’s fundraiser, Emily finds Patricia (whom we now know has been beaten by her husband for years) dabbing concealer over some bruises on her wrists. Em gently tells her that – as a friend of Amanda Clarke – the letter gave David Clarke’s daughter a lot of hope when she had none. Patricia confesses she wrote the letter, and Em encourages her to speak up to save a whole lot of lives. Then, because the theme of the evening is “Say the obvious,” she adds: “Maybe even your own.” (Yeesh, Revenge. We get it. But I’ll forgive you, given what comes later.) When it’s Patricia’s turn to speak at the podium, she speaks glowingly about her old pal James, outs her husband as causing a mistrial in David Clarke’s case and then sheds her jacket to show the bruises she implies her husband gave her. (From cowed abused wife to public denouncer in the space of an hour? Hmm… But again, I’m doling out forgiveness liberally tonight…)

Back at the beach house, Emily pulls out her red Sharpie and draws a big X over a picture of the judge (Yes! If I knew it was going to happen so quickly, I would have put a pony and six weeks of vacation on that wish list, too). Daniel shows up soon after to ask Emily to take charge of Grayson Global’s philanthropic arm. She sees Victoria watching from afar, then agrees – and steps closer to her former flame for a kiss. Inside the house, Aiden’s watching, and he doesn’t look so happy…

SISTER SHOCKER | Nolan hacks Grayson Global at Daniel’s Initiative-driven behest (“Aw, listen to you trying to sound all techy”) and tries to find what Conrad might’ve wanted to hide. Little does he know, he’s playing right into the shadow group’s hands! Marco wants to make nice with his former boyfriend, but Nolan says he’s “fallen for someone else” – where is Padma, by the way? – and isn’t interested. Marco holds up some gadgety looking thing (I was a journalism major, guys) and urges him to revisit some R&D he abandoned years ago. Noles calls it “cyber plutonium,” which I think is bad? (Again, journalism major.) Elsewhere, Mr. Ross’ fleeting moment of joy at the notion of Emily flying solo again is squashed like his button-down collar under that polo when he realizes it’s all for show. He sucks it up and agrees to help Aiden stay a step ahead of Daniel, which in a hugely convoluted way leads Aiden to meet up with Helen, the Initiative chick. Major takeaway: Aiden’s sister Colleen is still alive, and Helen will be in touch.

BEANS AND A BUST | Warning: The only non-ridiculous thing that happens at The Stowaway this episode is that Jack gives Amanda a blue sea-glass necklace he thinks she should wear at their wedding. Aww. Everything else is sheer bananas-pants-city. Declan finds drugs in the “wholesale coffee beans” that the Ryan brothers are storing in the bar’s back room. When Nate realizes that the Porters are onto him and his brother, he gives the dog with the shifty eyes some hefty competition. Jack sends Amanda and Carl to Emily’s and asks an old high school friend who’s now a cop to bust The Stowaway – but when that happens, the Ryans have stashed the drugs on the Amanda and the police also find the gun used to shoot Papa Ryan. Oops.

Nate tells the cops about Declan robbing Kenny’s house earlier in the season, and as the boys in blue are about to cuff the younger Porter, Jack’s all, “I volunteer as tribute!” He takes all the blame, and because the local police apparently now only arrest those who step up, they haul Jack to jail. He calls Amanda to tell her what happened, and little Carl starts screaming in protest at what a well-intentioned idiot his father is.

Now it’s your turn. Are you heartened by the way this week’s episode shook out? Do you believe Colleen is alive? Were you happy to see Em and Daniel locking lips once more? Sound off 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. Disastrous says:

    Awesome first episode back. I really missed Emily and Co. Can’t wait to see what’s ahead!

  2. Drew says:

    Great to have Revenge back! This episode was definitely needed for us fans. I wasn’t all too convinced about this season but things are starting to look up!

    I’m actually one of the few (now) who doesn’t want a major character to die on the fateful sinking of the Amanda. While watching the show, I realized that this cast is THE Revenge cast. It’d be weird to have one of them off it..

  3. Lisa says:

    “little Carl starts screaming in protest at what a well-intentioned idiot his father is…………. ”

    loved that line!

    • DoctorWhoFanatic! says:

      Yes, Jack made a dumb move… Declan isn’t smart enough to get you out of prison. You are smart enough (I thought) to get him out. Thus, you shouldn’t put yourself in! X)

  4. Alichat says:

    “Everything else is sheer bananas-pants-city.” This made me laugh soooo hard!

  5. Alichat says:

    I sincerely hope that Nolan is more clued-in than we are lead to believe. I would hope that his little hack wouldn’t leave bread crumbs to Nolcorp. I want to believe that Nolan had a little something to do with his ex’s return.

  6. Kay says:

    Great episode. Just when I was about to give up on Revenge, it is finally putting things in place. Loved the return of the red sharpie. :)

  7. juan says:

    it was great like always

  8. anil says:

    Can anyone clear up the initiative for me? Like what are their purpose in the show? Their connection with the david clark story? They were behind framing him? And how are they connected to Aiden and his sister and stuff? Its just confusing.

    • Sarah says:

      None of that has really been explained yet. Hopefully they will soon, as the story is becoming very tiresome and drawn out. I think it’s time for them to just reveal the purpose of the organization and start letting Emily take them down one by one.

      • anil says:

        oh ok, thanks. I felt like I was the only one lost lol. Yeah you’re right but we do have to give them some credit because the show is a big and it should continue at least for full 4 seasons for syndication deals. They gotta stretch the story out.

    • shaelene says:

      Hey! I’m also slightly confused but as far as I can gather, I may be wrong – the american initiave is a whole lotta dangerous peeps who laundered money through Grayson Global, with Conrad grayson, but they are terrorists cause they were responsible for the plane going down, because david clarke had been sleeping with conrads wife, conrad, along with the intitiave and some of their investors, framed David, who was innocent – as far as I can remember Aiden , mentioned I think in episode 8 that his dad was a flight something – I dunno how aiden is involved –

      • Angel says:

        Aiden’s father was a baggage handler for the flight that went down. Aiden’s sister had been kidnapped just prior to the plane crash. I’m guessing she was kidnapped by the Initiative and used as leverage against the father to force him to plant a bomb on the plane.

    • Kristoffer says:

      I haven’t liked the whole Initiative thing… reminds me too much of Alias and SD-6.

    • Awangku Ahmad Hashim says:

      Let’s just say that the initiative is the REAL bad guys. they are the reason to every thing happening. The whole initiative thing has already been informed since season 1. Now in season 2, they finally show up. Maybe as we get deeper into the show, we’ll uncover bout them one by one. The part where the initiative will be destroy would probably be the finale of the whole Revenge series. If Emily finally founds out the truth bout the initiative, that’s when things will get nasty. Emily have to kill or be killed.


  9. Sarah says:

    This was definitely a step in the right direction for a show that was heading south before the winter break. Perhaps now the writers finally realize they can stay true to the Revenge of season one with little takedowns like this, while still advancing the big story at the same time. Granted this takedown was not Emily’s most cleverly concocted, as it only involved her talking to a woman in a bathroom, but it’s a good start. I just hope this wasn’t just a little nugget thrown in to appease fans who were unhappy and rather a sign that they’ve learned their lessons about what was wrong with the first half of the season. Now they just need to wrap up the woefully boring bar storyline that is so disconnected from the core of the show.

    • Taro says:

      Agree with you. I too hope it’s not just a little nugget to appease fans. I’m not sure whether anyone else feels that this season is lacking in the surprise and suspense element. Its almost as though the writers need to shout out the obvious to us. It annoys me.

    • Kristen says:

      Boring bar storyline= so true

  10. Steven says:

    I hope they find a way to get Ashley on the Amanda for the sinking. There is really no point to her character.

    • Sarah says:

      Agreed. That character has always been kinda pointless and just there, if you know what I mean. I honestly don’t think she’s needed on the show at all. We’ve got enough characters already and even some of those could go and I wouldn’t mind (see Amanda and Declan).

    • shaelene says:

      Whahahahaha I couldn’t agree with you more, Ashley is so annoying! And after all Emily has done for her, she has a nerve – maybe Ems should take out her red sharpie for Ms Davenport

    • Awangku Ahmad Hashim says:

      as u can see, the person who sinks is a guy. not a woman. cause they obviously showed a muscular hand in the 1st episode.

  11. J says:

    I literally just fast forward through jack/declan’s scenes. They are so dumb, recycled, insipid

    • Chloe says:

      They’re both boring twits. I would love it if both of them went down with the ship when it sinks.

      • they’re not dumb, they’re not boring, they are just normal and descent people, who have been shielded from many things by their father!

        • linds says:

          Truth. They are normal and decent. Unfortunately this has no bearing on their intellect or charisma – they’re both morons.

          Jack’s character could possibly be salvaged, (although after last night’s decision to protect his brother at the expense of his own son’s welfare ….???), but Declan must go – he’s become almost as annoying as that guy on Smash who’s name I can’t remember. (?Elliot?)

          • Kristen says:

            I dont get how we go from he called his police buddy in to do the raid and he ends up getting arrested. Wouldnt the call have been something like…there are drugs on the boat, they are so and sos, im being trapped, come bust them…??

  12. A says:

    The Initiative needs to go away!

  13. co says:

    i just hope this Faux-mance doesn’t break up Aiden and Emily because i love em together. I hope Aiden comes clean about Colleen but of course he won’t

    • Michael says:

      I’m just at a loss when it comes to Aiden. He just doesn’t fit into this show and I liked it much better when Emily got things done through manipulation, not via a lackey.

    • shaelene says:

      Pretty Boy Daniel better leave those two, I love Ems and Aiden!! I’m scared that if Aiden comes clean about Colleen the initiave would for sure knw he told Emily and then they’ll kill colleen for real this time!!

  14. igor says:

    I love Ashley, I think she’s very pretty and stylish but it’s true, the writers don’t really know what to do with her. Where was she this week? What is going to happen with her? She seemed to only exist through the Graysons but if she’s been dumped by Daniel and fired by Victoria, what is she going to do on the series?

    The one I totally dislike and find useless is without a doubt Aidan, we finally know why he is there, to get jealous of Daniel, what a twist!!!

    Regarding Emily, I would like her secret to be revealed at last and have the series get beyond all this and deal with the consequences of all her actions. It would be interesting to see how the characters evolve in light of all this and follow their interactions.

    Finally, I hope that Emily ends up with Jack.

    Also, I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv Nolan!!!!

    • Taro says:

      It didn’t occur to me that Aiden’s existence was to get jealous of Daniel. Haha. Good one!
      Didn’t like the revelation about his sister and the initiative though. Seems like another tiresome subplot.

  15. Gio86 says:

    Revenge is back with a bang, great to see the red sharpie again and it seems the writers are finally putting a face on the initiative, so that sharpie will definitely get some use.

  16. i hurt for Nolan is about to make another bad choice when it comes to relationship and he seems to be in the eyes of the initiative who wants him gone ;-)

    • Ewa says:

      This episode made me think that sweet Marco was send by the Initiative to make Nolan work on this “cyber plutonium” thingy… but I sure hope to be wrong;)

  17. joe says:

    I read somewhere that the are doing some tweacking to the 2nd part of the season , LOVED LAST NIghts episode

  18. jari says:

    Admission: I watch Revenge *just* to read these and laugh…

    • Mike Henigan says:

      Ok you made an admission and so will I…sometimes if I haven’t seen the episode yet, I will read the synopsis, so I know what NOT to miss :) The synopsis is so delicious, as is Revenge ;)

  19. Sam says:

    “…and little Carl starts screaming in protest at what a well-intentioned idiot his father is” LOL!
    This line made the whole ‘Stowaway plot’ more bearable and less boring.

    • Chester says:

      Yeah, seriously. I hope that Jack is not Amanda’s end game. He is too much of an idiot for that.

      As for dealing with the ‘Stowaway’ them: use your DVR. Start watching 20-25 minutes after the show starts and click through the scenes!

  20. tina says:

    hey someone please post this episode in torrentz.dying to watch it..;)

  21. chrise says:

    “Nate tells the cops about Declan robbing Kenny’s house earlier in the season, and as the boys in blue are about to cuff the younger Porter, Jack’s all, “I volunteer as tribute!” ”

    Best line ever!!! That is all. LOL!

  22. Andrea says:

    I was kind of bored but it was better than the first part of the season.

  23. Elyse says:

    i LOVE Revenge… but i absolutely hate Jack. he’s so annoying.

  24. onlyakb says:

    liked the “I volunteer as tribute” reference and agreed Jack and Declan should win an award for dumbest duo ever!! cos seriously what are they doing with their characters? they just do one stupid thing after another super stupid thing!

  25. Loni says:

    Love that the red sharpie is finally back!!

  26. SB says:

    “Jack’s all, “I volunteer as tribute!”” and “and little Carl starts screaming in protest at what a well-intentioned idiot his father is.”
    Best recap lines ever! ROFL!

  27. Tyluv3 says:

    I don’t know if anyone else noticed this but i realized that the initiative might be heading for Nolan and NolCorp. When she was talking to Aiden she mentioned NolCorp and receiving information from him about his company. I think the drive(the computer thing for extracting info from Grayson Global) that Marco gave Nolan will be used against NolCorp by the will of the initiative and Marco is working for them.

    Think about it guys, the initiative know more than we think. I even think they know about The Switch between Emily and Nolan- I think they know EVERYTHING.

    • Taro says:

      I agree. The Initiative may really know everything. I do hope part of Emily’s secret is revealed to another person this season.

    • Ewa says:

      Well, they don’t know what Aidan has been doing for the last few years… They definitely are after Nolan, but their agenda seems to have nothing to do with Emily and the whole Revengenda, so this might work in his favour.

  28. Felt like a return to form for the series – almost like those early episodes when Em spent nearly as much time with the sharpie as she did knocking down bad guys of the week. That’s all fine so long as the show gets back to the root of things: the conflict between her and the Graysons.

    Already not loving the focus on the Initiative, though the Aiden stuff is still good.

  29. TvGirl says:

    because the local police apparently now only arrest those who step up… Hilarious!!!!

  30. Ana says:

    I was happy that Revenge is back and choose to ignore the little discrepancies and the not-so-little gaps in logic, reason and consistency, but I do find the Jack and Declan story with the thug brothers to be distracting, irrelevant and completely lacking in originality.

  31. Ella says:

    The interesting thing was how Kenny looked remorseful at the end of the episode when he was speaking to Declan…until Nate came in. Wonder if he’ll have a change of heart?

  32. Rachel says:

    I agree with you about Kenny! I guess they decided that Kenny isn’t as evil as they originally portrayed… It seems a though his brother is more evil and calculating.

  33. YG says:

    Hey did anyone get that quote mrs.barnes started her speech with..the one about not failing to protest? loved it but didnt remember to write it down! =(

  34. Isa Burd says:

    More Nolan, less dull-as-plop Porters please! And also, is it wrong to have a complete girl crush on Emily VanCamp?

  35. Mikael says:

    Excellent episode of Revenge, minus the Jack/Declan/Stowaway nonsense. I’ve put up with it so far, but this episode was the last straw and I fastforwarded on my DVR every time they came on-screen. Their plot adds nothing to the show.

  36. DoctorWhoFanatic! says:

    Anyone else get the feeling that Nolan’s two love interests are somehow connected? They’re both of a dark-skinned, Eurasian/India/Middle-Eastern-ish persuasion….

    I dunno. Wish we’d get more Nolan time. :)

  37. ratneck says:

    I’ve thot the same about Padma & Marco for some time, but then thot I was just paranoid. IDK. This ep was better than I expected. Red Sharpie away!! And please MORE NOLAN!!!