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Nolan Introduces A New Strategy: Revenge “Resurgence” Review

By on November 11, 2013
(ABC/Richard Cartwright)

(ABC/Richard Cartwright) GABRIEL MANN

Last night’s Revenge episode “Resurgence” was a low key hodgepodge of events whose significance we can only hope will become clear as we move closer to the nuptials.

For starters, the takedown was an understated departure from the Revenge norm and a surprising breath of fresh air. Nolan is at the helm serving the just desserts in the only way he knows how: with class and integrity. It would be wise for the primetime drama to adopt this modus operandi as a rule rather than an exception. Otherwise, Emily Thorne’s world will implode on her deathing day (wedding day + death = ‘deathing day’), taking the whole franchise and any hope for another season with her.

Despite her deceitful ways, Emily’s character has always evoked in viewers the same sentiment that Jack expressed in “Dissolution,” that of wanting to care about (and protect) her. Why do we do it, Jack asks. Nolan sagely replies on all our behalves, ‘Because we see the broken and betrayed little girl inside.’ Van Camp has always given us a Thorne whose pain is palpable, and whose divisiveness we forgive because of it. In the end, though, does it really matter who she ends up with as long as she learns to value integrity and happiness over retribution? With Nolan by her side and Jack as her mirror, Emily has a chance to have all of that. Viewers are fiercely divided on the pairing options, but enlightened love goes for what is real, rather than what looks good or makes sense. And that’s how you have happiness.

Conrad hires guest star Ana Ortiz as Bizzy Preston, the Hamptons’ most successful spin-doctor, for the doomed task of saving Conrad’s reputation. Some people renovate their houses before a graduation or grand wedding; Conrad, of course, would rather spend the money renovating his history.

When someone hires the biggest PR guns they can find, it’s usually to comparatively diminish the impact of a Big Nasty through sympathetic context, or to divert attention by introducing something far juicier. The endgame fueling Conrad’s strategy is uncertain as his aspirations are unclear, but he may be doing it alone. Bizzy’s past came back to take a sizable bite out of her plastic facade. That’s where Nolan comes in.

We learn in “Resurgence” that Bizzy publicly outed Nolan over a decade ago, causing a devastating  schism between father and son. Nolan’s father died having never spoken to his son, and presumably without conferring upon Nolan the distinction of manhood that many boys need, consciously or subconsciously, before they truly consider themselves a man.

For this, Nolan wants retribution, and he gets it. Gaining Bizzy’s cellphone pin code with a clever James Bondian pair of glasses which records all it sees, he hacks into her computer and exposes her duplicitous nature to her clients, ruining her business. In doing so, he uncovers that Bizzy’s been gettin’ busy with someone other than her devoted husband. Instead of ruining her, Nolan presents Bizzy with a choice. What? How cool is that? I’m telling you, Nolan is a super hero. We’re gonna have to come up with a snazzy name for him, but we’ll leave his super hero wardrobe to him because no one dresses better than Nolan Ross! As an aside, why do I always assume that the ladies’ wardrobes are chosen by the costume department, but that Nolan chooses his own clothes?

The choice: End your affair and make good with the man who loves you, or I will out your affair to that man. That was Nolan’s ultimatum. It’s a new kind of Revengenda, folks, one that could grow legs and open up a world of possibilities for Revenge’s future.

In the deconstruction of this with Emily later, Nolan says he choked; couldn’t obliterate Bizzy’s life. He muses that his attempt at revenge resulted in a silver lining: the saving of a marriage. The softer Season-Three Emily we’ve seen warmly admits that she’s learned a lot from Nolan. Something is changing, folks. It is clear that Emily is coming face to face with the ramifications of adhering to her nefarious wedding plan … ramifications she’s doubting are worth it.

Elsewhere in “Resurgence,” Victoria tells Aiden to seduce Emily in public, then kicks him out when that fails to rankle Daniel, but not before Aiden has a chance to swagger spectacularly out of a  steamy bathroom, naked. Now, see? That was appropriate, not gratuitous like last week’s attempts at nakedness. And a nice swagger it was, by the way.

Our other scene with skin was between Jack and Margaux. And it was hot. There, too, we had some appropriate and effective barechested-ness. That’s what I’m talking about, people. Jack initially fumbles with Margaux, then visits Amanda’s grave, cries, and takes off his wedding ring. When he tries again with Margaux, it’s a home run, and how. Yes! However, troubling is Margaux’s interest in digging into Conrad’s life by offering to publish his forthcoming memoir. When she told Jack, he had the perfect expression on his face. It said: ‘Is there no part of my life, no person, that will not be sullied by the Grayson curse?’ Poor Jack.

Charlotte continues to put Sara in Daniel’s way, hoping to disrupt the wedding plans, but he’s doing a fine job of that himself. Daniel invites Sara over to audition to be the wedding cake baker for him and Emily. Now, it takes a special kind of stupid to invite your ex sweetheart whose life you ruined and who still had goggly eyes for you to work at on your wedding. Remember the SNL skits about ‘Bad Idea Jeans’, well, Daniels got a pair on throughout the episode. However, it totally worked for the plot, because we believe Daniel would do such a thing. Other surprising behavior emerged when Emily went along with it. What. Are. You. Thinking, girl? No, no, no, no, no!

Victoria adopts Charlotte’s ‘Old Flame’ strategy herself and later apologizes to Sara for being aloof at the 4th of July party. The night of the party, Daniel and Sara sit on the beach reminiscing and come millimeters close to locking lips, but then Sara turns away. Dang it, Daniel. What is wrong with you?!

There were other miscellaneous things that happened in ‘Resurgence, like a strange and purposeless (not to mention, untrue) storyline about Emily having been married previously, Emily seeing Nolan’s picture of Sara and Daniel on the beach, and Nolan’s interest in confirming that Patrick is okay.

What can we look forward to? Your guess is as good as mine. One thing is for sure, there’s no way Aiden is going to leave Emily alone surrounded by all that testosteron-y hotness. So, what is he going to do about it? Also, now that Bizzy Preston, the PR maven whose greatest asset was her fantastic color block chemise, is indebted to Nolan, what will Nolan use her for? Will Emily adopt this new kind of revenge and spin a couple silver linings herself? And what is next for Nolan? I think we’d all like to see him in action more.

Tune in next week for “Secrecy” when Victoria eagerly throws Emily a bridal shower that neither of them will soon forget, and Daniel grows even more distant, causing Emily to take drastic measures. Take a peak at the bridal shower photos here. If you want even more details, check out our article on Victoria’s plans for that shower as well!