Revenge Recap: Giving the Devil His Due

Revenge Season 3The season’s penultimate Revenge doesn’t merely reveal the identity of Charlotte’s kidnapper, deliver one massive game-changer and set up yet another for the finale – although, really, that would be quite satisfying enough – it also serves as an exquisite reminder of what a slick and enjoyable soap it can be. So read on, and savor the guilty pleasures offered up by “Impetus.”

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A KING’S RANSOM | Immediately, we learn that Charlotte hasn’t been abducted as I suspected by Kurt, she’s been abducted by Emily and Aiden. If Conrad wants her back, he must call a press conference at which he and Victoria will cop to their roles in the downing of Flight 197 and framing David. (The coconspirators even send Conrad an ear as proof that there’s no length to which they won’t Van Gogh.) Unfortunately, the scheme hits a snag when Emily gives Charlotte a panic attack by making her watch archival news footage and old home movies starring Amanda and Declan. (Hey, I wasn’t crazy about him, either, but c’mon, a panic attack? Can you say “drama queen”?) With Aiden now complaining that Charlotte is reminding him of Colleen and Jack having arrived on the scene with a pocketful of his own objections, Emily has no choice but to run to CVS to get her sister a chill pill. And that’s when things really stop going according to plan…

SLY FOX | Meanwhile, when not going all Henri the Existential Cat about Pascal being turned into a chopped salad, Victoria hangs out at a playground until Carl gets a booboo from which she can obtain a blood sample. (File this info away for a bit. It’s not important now, but it will be.) Then, back at Grayson Manor, Conrad stops her from going all Porscha Williams on him by showing her “Charlotte’s” ear. She isn’t too keen on coming clean, however. So she has Kurt (if that’s even his name) get a quickie lab test run – presumably, on a lock of Charlotte’s baby hair and the ear? – and, discovering that her daughter hasn’t been and probably won’t be harmed, pulls out of Conrad’s press conference. (This, in spite of the fact that he’s already figured out that their confession will be meaningless – it will have been made under duress!)

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FRISKY BUSINESS | Emily is just about to leave the drugstore when she’s hauled in by a conspicuously attractive detective. Turns out, a camera caught a rear view of her leaving the rooftop the night Pascal was killed, and Daniel, recognizing her backside, thought he might be able to bust both her and his father in one fell swoop by tipping off the authorities. Of course, as usual, he thought wrong. A combo platter of Nolan’s computer hackiness and Aiden launching himself at Daniel in the middle of the squad room gets Emily sprung from the hot seat. (Just go with it.) While all this is going on, Jack is left alone with Charlotte. And, although Aiden’s already told him that the only way he’ll ever get Amanda back is if this plot works, thus eliminating her need to make-believe that she’s Emily, he still sets Charlotte free. So it appears that he’s doing the right thing – releasing the prisoner regardless of how foiling the plot will cost him his true love. But, as an Emily voiceover might remind us, appearances can be deceiving…

ONE DOWN… | While Daniel reluctantly fills in Margaux on what a vile creature her father was (and, again, they nearly kiss), Charlotte makes her way back to Grayson Manor and accuses Conrad of everything from bombing Flight 197 to canceling Almost Human. Rather than deny it, he calls her an “ungrateful bastard” and threatens to eliminate her the way he did David, Amanda and yes, a whole plane full of people. And that’s all she wrote. Charlotte’s unwittingly wearing a transmitter, allowing Nolan to broadcast Conrad’s entire rant on live television! (That’s why Emily needed him to call a press conference – not to hold the press conference but to get the satellite trucks parked outside the house.) “Ems,” Nolan says to his misty-eyed gal pal, “you got him.” Did she ever! Catching sight of himself on screen, Conrad knows he’s been bested. He could pull a Lydia and head for the hills, sure, but, as he tells Victoria, “Running would be undignified.” So instead, he waits for the police to arrive with a snifter of brandy in hand. “Bye, Conrad,” Victoria says with a Cheshire Cat smile as he’s carted off. “Do rot in hell.”

… ONE TO GO | In the aftermath, Jack shows up at Emily’s beach house only to find her canoodling with Aiden. D’oh! Seems Aiden lied when he said that he was going to have to let her go! (Moreover, Jack released Charlotte on Aiden’s orders – to facilitate the plan, not foil it. He let Charlotte go in hopes of helping Emily complete her vendetta and once again become the girl he loved and lost.) In any case, Jack needs a moment alone with Emily to tell her about the D.C. ring that he found at Kurt’s cabin. It is, in fact, David’s, she confirms. Hmm… Later, she visits Conrad in prison, revealing that she brought him down in memory of David and Amanda – and he shouldn’t worry that Victoria’s getting off scot-free, she’s next! Or is she? Remember earlier, when Victoria stalked Carl for a blood sample? Well, now she’s sitting on a folder full of intel that, unless I’m off the mark, proves that the little guy’s mother was not the real Amanda. And, judging from the look on Vicky’s face, she might finally have a hunch who is!

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Was this not Revenge at its best? All that was missing was the Sharpie! Hit the comments!