Revenge Recap: In Vino Veritas

EMILY VANCAMP, JOSH BOWMANNolCorp’s saboteur was revealed, Aiden courted some questionable company and Daniel paid a lot of money for an old bottle of vinegar in this week’s Revenge. Let’s review the major developments that took place in “Sabotage.”

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SOUR GRAPES | Aiden’s sulking about witnessing Emily and Daniel kissing at the end of the last episode, and when she finds out that he saw – and he’s miffed – she reminds him that getting closer to Daniel means getting closer to The Initiative. (Side note: I love the pointed tone of Emily’s voice as she’s re-explaining this all to her British boytoy. It’s very “See? This is why I fly solo.”) I thought that Aiden might try to hide his contact with Helen from Em, but he confesses all. Emily warns him not to believe Ms. Crowley’s claims that his sister Colleen is still alive, and though he says he doesn’t, methinks he does. Aiden also wants her to drop her Daniel seduction because his meeting with Helen has opened a line into the secretive organization; she’s not convinced.

Meanwhile, Daniel’s really ready to resume their old relationship, but Em slows him right down. Instead of jumping into the sack, they instead plan a wine-auction fundraiser for a charity that helps foster children who’ve aged out of the system. (Is that the new third base? I can’t keep up with the kids these days.) The evening features several noteworthy moments. First, Aiden and Nolan have a cute, little Ian Fleming-inspired interaction in which Noles calls the Brit 007, which prompts Aiden to do a fair Connery-as-Bond impression and call Nolan “Q,” which you just know made the rich nerd’s week. Meanwhile, Emily’s looking stunning in an emerald gown and totally thinking, “Please. Nolan may be Q, but in this situation, I’m Bond. And Aiden’s the equivalent of those girls that always end up drowned in oil or dipped in gold – pretty, but expendable.”) Then, Daniel pays $1 million for a bottle of wine that he and Emily later find out has turned. (Again, I can’t sing the praises of box o’ wine loud enough – though after about half that box is gone, I usually try.) Later, Helen shows up and pressures Daniel to buy Stonehaven United Solutions, which offers disaster-recovery services and which she happens to know is going to do quite well in the near future. (Hmm… Whatcha got up your shadowy sleeves, Initiative?)

As Aiden accompanies Helen out of the party, their elevator stops suddenly and gas flows in through the vents. They pass out and wake up tied to chairs in a basement, where a masked and voice-disguised figure threatens them with a gun and wants information on Stonehaven. Aiden breaks free and apparently kills the figure as another masked man comes into the room. We saw some of this in the cold open, where it appeared as though Aiden had unknowingly shot Emily, but when the second man pulls of his mask and reveals himself as Nolan, we realize that it was all just a ruse – albeit a ruse featuring a Tarantino-inspired tight shot of Emily’s rack, clad in a tight tank top and burst fake blood packets. Weird. We later find out that Aiden was in on it, too… and he’s still not jazzed about the fact that he can’t come over to Em’s to debrief (probably in more ways than one) because Daniel and his stupid gross wine are there. So Aiden shows up anyway – just to fetch his things, he tells Daniel — and it’s awkward.

THE DEVIL YOU DO | Someone tipped off Daniel to an abandoned NolCorp software-development project: the “cyber plutonium” Nolan and Marco discussed last week. The Grayson Global CEO wants to know what became of the project, which is called Carrion. (Ha.) I want to know why there’s a zero missing on the end of the $15 million allotted to the research unless… guys, maybe this project is so big and so bad it requires its own currency? Padma returns to Nolan’s side, and to Marco’s dismay, the blonde assures her she still has a job at NolCorp. Near the episode’s end, Nolan finds a ghost email to Daniel that makes it look like Marco was tipping him off about Carrion. Noles fires his ex — and we later see that the NolCorp employee feeding information to The Initiative is… Padma. (Not exactly shocking, is it? I might feel the betrayal more strongly if Gabriel Mann and Dilshad Vadsaria had been given more scenes – like the very touching ones around his father’s death – together. Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments.)

MANY HAPPY (?) RETURNS | Ashley’s back, using her deep knowledge of Grayson chicanery (her word, and it’s a fabulous one) to strike an ambiguous deal with Conrad that somehow has her back on the family’s payroll. Can’t wait until Victoria finds out! Speaking of Her Highness, she flirts with Conrad’s longtime rival Jason Prosser in order to “accidentally” slip him the tip about Stonehaven United, which he promptly makes a plan to buy. (Victoria-and-Conrad scene of the week: When he’s talking about running for public office, her subtle cough is perfect. And when she asks why he was wasting time on a social visit with a man he hates, his response: “That’s what I get for opening my own door.” I could watch these two do this all. day. long.)

AMANDA’S GOT A GUN | Amanda visits Jack in prison, and as they’re talking through the glass partition, he surmises that the cops tipped off Nate and Kenny and that’s why the raid in the previous episode went so poorly. (I know. I’m with you. I can’t. Let’s not. Let’s just… go with it, OK?) He doesn’t want Emily or Nolan’s help in making bail, either. But if the cops trace the gun, she suggests, they’ll realize “that it was used to kill Kenny and Nate’s father six years ago and that it belonged to my dad!” Jack says exasperatedly, and oy, if Nick Weschler is even half as annoyed at having to recap that storyline again as I am to re-recap it again, he is one frustrated dude. Also, um, aren’t those conversations usually recorded? Maybe that’s not the place to share that kind of intel?

The best part of the scene, however, is Amanda’s reaction once it’s established that the Ryan brothers are seeking retribution for their dad’s death. She gets the crazy stripper/murderer eyes and I am reminded how much more fun she was when she was a total freaking nutjob. Jack sees it too and forbids her to do anything about the situation. She promises… and later trades one of Conrad’s watches (again, just go with it) for a 9mm from the trunk of a car. She’s about to use it on Nate in the storeroom when deus ex Ashley-na shows up – thinking that the appearance of being a civic crusader would help his political future, Conrad has pulled some strings to get Jack’s bail reduced, so he’s home. And Conrad is upstairs at The Stowaway, looking around like he’s in the Natural History Museum or something. His internal monologue must be something like, “It’s so lifelike! And so… depressing. Where’s the gift shop?”

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Did you suspect Padma’s duplicity all along? When, exactly, do you think Aiden is going to lose it and do something severely stupid? Sound off in the comments!