Halloween brings two truly frightening prospects to the Hamptons in this week’s Revenge — and I’m not even talking about the two deaths that occur during the episode.
First, there’s the ever-increasing chance that Conrad will be elected to public office. If ever something was worth a campaign bus-sized shudder, it’s that. Then there’s also the growing certitude that Victoria – already known for her Lady Macbeth style of child-rearing – is going to come face-to-face with the spawn she gave up years ago. Elsewhere, Jack makes an unlikely ally and Nolan… oh, poor Nolan. Read on as we review the major developments of “Masquerade.”
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE | Padma’s been missing for six weeks, and Nolan is really not doing well. Emily finds him in the middle of Beautiful Mind-ing his office and says, “I’m worried about you.” I am, too, Ems — There’s nary a popped collar or wingtip in sight! It should be noted that the formerly dapper-though-now-probably-a-little-ripe Mr. Ross isn’t so far gone that he can’t quip (“Start your revengines” would’ve been a pretty good one even at full riposting power, in my opinion) or lend a hand to his pal, Jack.
After Porter learns that he and Ashley will be feeding Conrad answers and tips via earbud during the candidate’s Q&A night at The Stowaway, he and Nolan arrange to throw Grayson off his game. The local crabmonger asks an unvetted question about jury tampering in the David Clarke case, and before Conrad can answer, Nolan plays a snippet of Nate’s “insurance” tapes in his ear. Grasping at anything, Conrad promises to get a posthumous presidential pardon for Emily’s dad once he’s in office.
Meanwhile, Aiden messes with The Initiative’s money at Grayson Global, which brings Trask into the office to sever the professional tie. But Aiden ambushes the creepy Initiative rep on his way out; they make their way to some shady location where Padma’s lying dead on a slab. (But is she really and truly dead? Though that seems to be verified later, I’m not so sure.) Aiden realizes that Trask also killed his sister Colleen, so he kills him with his bare hands.
THE MASK SLIPS | Victoria’s throwing a masquerade ball — because if Emily were to completely screw with her head at a sunny afternoon tea, it wouldn’t be quite as eerie, now would it? Mrs. Grayson’s first indication that her bash is headed off the rails is the RSVP card, postmarked 1973, from “your loving son.” Eleven black roses soon follow, with a note that he’ll be the masked man wearing the 12th. Conrad soon learns that his wife has yet another secret, and there’s actually something approaching tenderness in the way he listens to her talk about how her mother’s boyfriend impregnated her and how she had an abortion. (Side note: Any time you want to reel me back in, Revenge, put Conrad and Victoria in the same room – alone – and have them talk to each other. Gets me every single time.)
Maybe it’s Vicky’s drink. Maybe it’s the fact that Daniel brought Emily as his date, placed a Page Six story about their reunion and outed his mother as having sent the threatening bullets. Maybe it’s the fear of knowing there’s another child in the picture who’s primed to hate her. Maybe it’s the sheer effort of having to swan around her affair in a black, beaded gown (you just know that thing’s not light), but Vicky starts to crack a little as the evening goes on. Exhibit A: Jack praises her bash, and she deadpans: “I heard Charlotte hit someone.” Ha! (And, it’s true. The chick insulted Amanda. Not really worth recapping, except in service of the laugh.) But when Victoria sees a man wearing a black rose in his buttonhole and a full-face mask, she loses it. As she chases after the guy she thinks is her son, opera swells in the background. (No half-measures for this lady.) But when she grabs his back, he turns around and… it’s Aiden. The black rose-wearer seems to have disappeared. It’s all too much for Victoria, who passes out, dramatically yanking a decorative red drape to the floor with her. Meanwhile, the “son” – who’s clearly someone Emily has hired – slips by Ms. Thorne as she watches the whole thing (and her nemesis) go down.
PARTY’S OVER | But Em can’t even bask in her triumph for very long, because she and Aiden have to break the terrible Padma news to Nolan. I’d like everyone to stand up right now, wherever you are, and give the slow clap of kickass acting to Mr. Gabriel Mann, who quietly and completely falls to pieces at the news of Nolan’s lady’s demise. We never get to see slick Nolan in a situation like this, where he’s so (awesomely) broken. It’s a welcome change. Also long overdue and very welcome: a sweet interaction between Emily and her pal. “I’m not leaving you alone, Nolan,” she tells him after embracing him as he cries. “I love you, too,” he replies. Aww… and now look what you did, Mann – you broke my snarky bone! I am physically incapable of saying anything except “sob” and “tissues, please” and “man, I am one ugly crier” about the whole interaction.
Nolan later winds up at his office, where he’s trashing the place in his grief. A detective finds him there and thinks he’s destroying evidence. Suspicious that Nolan had something to do with Ms. Lahari’s unfortunate end, the cop asks for his alibi earlier that day. Knowing that saying he was with Jack might be bad for his buddy, he declines. Time to lawyer up, Noles. But first, one more hug!
HARSH LIGHT OF DAY | The next morning, Conrad’s back to being mad at Victoria for possibly adversely affecting his campaign. Also, he doesn’t think she really aborted her first child like she claimed. She offers to show him proof, but then says that he must agree never to discuss it again. Later, she travels to an orphanage and speaks to a nun there – Conrad was right, she gave her baby up for adoption instead of terminating the pregnancy. But she made the sister promise never to tell the child who his mom was, and she made the nun promise never to tell her who the child grew up to be. Later, we see Emily approach the same nun with this interesting tidbit: “I’m pregnant. I have nowhere else to go.”
OhmygoodnesscanyoubelieveitImean… no, I can’t even get all misdirected-excited on this one. I’m calling this one as one of Emily’s subterfuges to get info on the child Victoria gave up. I know the show makes a point of showing us her and Aiden in bed early in the episode, but I just don’t buy Emily as a woman who would be foolish enough to let herself get knocked up in the middle of all of this – or as someone who’d wind up at a charity orphanage if she did. (But as always, I wanna hear what you think…)
Now it’s your turn. Do you actually think Em’s got a bun in the oven? What do you think of Jack and Ashley’s alliance? Is Padma really gone? Do you agree that Gabriel Mann killed it in the episode? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots