Revenge Recap: Spin, Doctored

“Fake it ’til you make it” could’ve been the theme of this week’s Revenge, which found Daniel pretending he was on his mother’s side, Amanda pretending that she was a welcome addition to the Grayson clan and Emily pretending that she was an emotionless automaton (well, even more than she usually does). Let’s take a look at what went down in “Confidence.”

AIDEN AND ABETTIN’ | After a quick 2008 flashback to Takeda’s School for Those Who Look Really Good in Black and May Also Have Some Severe Attachment Issues – in which Aiden bested Emily in a challenge by playing on her feelings for him – we pick up right where last week’s episode ended. White Haired Man is now White Haired Dead Man, thanks to Aiden’s bullet, which also took out the would-be assassin’s cell phone. Em is not pleased that her old classmate saved her life, but as they deal with WHDM he points out that the search for her mom is distracting her from avenging her father’s murder. We learn WHDM’s name was Gordon Murphy and he was carrying, among other things: Victoria’s fake passport, some cash, a bottle of pills, a check and a gold pocketwatch. When Em’s back is turned, Aiden deftly steals a motel key he finds on Gordon’s person. But Emily’s got some subterfuge of her own: As Aiden stoops to pick up the body, she slams him over the head with a bottle of wine. (Side note: That’s why I prefer my wine to come out of boxes. It’s just safer.) Hottie McBumponthenoggin wakes up the next day in a Dumpster with a Sky Japan ticket pinned to his chest. (Ha!) The setback doesn’t stop him, though, from investigating Gordon’s motel. With its wood paneling and general sense of despair, the dead man’s room looks like somewhere Twin Peaks’ Bob would’ve awarded four stars on His curiosity piqued by a cheesy motel sign, Aiden rips open the air conditioning unit to find the flight recorder from Victoria’s doomed plane secreted away inside. (Side note: Are flight recorders actually labeled “flight recorder”? Also,  it’s a good thing that sign didn’t say “Pay Per View Movies,” or otherwise we might’ve been subjected to hours of him watching Skinemax’s finest selections – y’know, as research.) Outside, Aiden runs into the motel manager… and it’s Emily’s mom. He pretends to be a detective, she pretends not to know much about Gordon, and she commences freaking out exactly .001 seconds after he leaves. It’s unclear whether or not he has an inkling about her identity.

ON LOCKDOWN | At Grayson Manor, where the family is holed up as it gets its story straight about last episode’s kidnapping, Victoria is irked that Charlotte gifted Amanda and Jack with a $5,000 gift certificate to a posh baby boutique. When Char protests that Amanda is her sister, Victoria shoots back, “Half-sister… if that.” Hmm. What does Victoria know, and when is it going to come out? During this episode, I hoped those answers were going to be “everything” and “in the next scene,” but when Emily was summoned, it was only so Queen Victoria could tell her to stay away from the family – for her “safety,” of course. (Reason #453 I love Emily Thorne: She spends the rest of the episode making up reasons to be at Grayson Manor. Though most of them are in service of her greater mission, I know some of them are just to tick off her former-almost-mother-in-law.) Speaking of that, Emily visits Amanda at her home above the Stowaway and subtly threatens to tell Jack the baby isn’t his (even though we know it is) if she doesn’t deliver a fake David Clarke diary to Charlotte at the upcoming Grayson press conference. After Amanda agrees, Emily runs into Jack downstairs, and he tells her the paternity test results. “I know,” she says, eyebrows climbing up her forehead, into her hairline and down her back in feigned happiness. Aw, it’s too bad Sammy’s gone to that great dog park in the sky; this girl could use a sympathetic hand lick right now.

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FEELIN’ LOW | She heads home to meet Nolan, who arrives first and is greeted rather enthusiastically by Aidan, who puts him in a chokehold. Where are those boxing skills now, Noles? “Why does this keep happening to me?” the blonde one rasps out moments after Emily arrives and saves him. He surreptitiously gives her the SIM card he salvaged from Gordon’s phone before going upstairs to prep for his move. Aiden offers her a trade: the flight recorder for Gordon’s stuff. She agrees, quickly pocketing the timepiece – which has a photo of her mom inside its cover — before handing over the rest. Another flashback to Takeda’s School for Those Who Should’ve Just Given Up Their Grudges and Instead Created Pretty Babies Together shows us that Emily and Aiden were “lovers” – Takeda’s word, not mine – but he ditched her when he got a lead on his sister, who was in some kind of trouble. The British hottie even gives her a Last of the Mohicans-style “I will come back for you, I promise.” Sigh. Aiden leaves, and a dejected Emily mopes upstairs to where Nolan is pissily packing. She tells him that Gordon is dead and that she suspects the meds he was carrying – strong antipsychotics – belonged to her mother. You know the Revenger’s had a bad day when she softly tells her much-abused sidekick, “One day I will find a way to thank you.” After he leaves, Em wells up – her version of a full-out breakdown. (Seriously – mixed-martial arts fighters cry with greater frequency than she does.)

NO COMMENT | A whole bunch of crazy happens nearly simultaneously at Victoria’s press conference, so let’s just list it out:
• Amanda does her duty and delivers the fake diary to Charlotte. Charlie apparently took some speed reading lessons while locked up at Cliffside, because mere moments later, she busts into her mom’s sit-down interview with Vanity Fair to declare that Victoria had betrayed Charlotte’s real dad, David Clarke.
• Daniel receives Victoria’s “Veronica Clarke” passport with a note that lets him know that his mom faked her death.
• Emily shows up because… just because.
• Conrad gets a call from the Initiative, which is less than thrilled that Victoria is speaking publicly about Gordon. A woman’s voice informs him: “A course of action has been decided, and it requires your participation. We’ll be in touch.”
• Mistress of improv Victoria tells the gathered members of the press (including my favorite, an intrepid blonde sitting in the front row) that Charlotte is David Clarke’s daughter and that Amanda therefore is part of their family. As they’re all gathered on stage – even Daniel, who’s apparently taken Emily’s advice to beat his mother at her own game – Ashley marvels that the Graysons are “stronger than ever.”
• Conrad later promises the Vanity Fair reporter an exclusive on the upcoming wedding. Please let him not just be blowing smoke – might we actually get a huge spectacle of a Grayson re-marriage later this season? Because I would wholeheartedly Say Yes to That Mess.
• Amanda returns home, where Jack has seen TV footage of her at the press conference even though she told him she was going baby-furniture shopping. “I am committed to our child. I just don’t think I can commit to you,” he says. “Hallelujah! Now go find Em, because she needs a hug and perhaps a pint of Chubby Hubby,” I say.

I JUST CALLED TO SAY… | On her wraparound porch of wrapped-up exposition, Emily and Aiden make sure that we understand that he sent the passport to Daniel. He leaves, and she flashes back to the lesson Takeda wanted her to take away from Aiden’s departure: “Learn to close your heart,” he intones. Dude, I’d say she gets a gold star on that front. We do see a slight crack in her resolve, though, when our girl sits on the floor and listens to a voicemail Kara – Em’s mom — left for Gordon. It’s sweet and fearful, talking about how she is going to go ahead with their plan and shut things down if she doesn’t hear from him soon. As Emily stares at the watch, her mother closes by telling the dead man, “I love you.” In the what what?

Now it’s your turn. What’s your take on Gordon and Kara’s relationship? Would you like Aiden and Em to rekindle their affair, Takeda be damned? Did you love when Nolan introduced Em to Padma as “Emily, my… uh… Emily.” Did you catch the “it’s toast” joke? And we didn’t really get into this because it’s just so silly, but what is up with Declan going from holding jewelry for Trey in the last episode to breaking and entering with him in this one? Seriously! It was like the same day! Hit the comments and sound off!