I 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.”
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!Follow @kimroots