Revenge’s Loyalty: Poles, Partnerships & Players
Wednesday’s mid season episode of Revenge played out like a beautiful game of chess. Or at the very least, a sexy version of Cluedo. Tyler by the swimming pool with the sex tape. Victoria on the balcony with the divorce papers. Fauxmanda in the bar with possibly the world’s shortest pair of short shorts.
Loyalty was an episode in which almost every character received a whopping shakedown from the writers, resulting in all manner of polarized relationships, unexpected partnerships and new and surprising players taking center stage. It was possibly the show’s most entertaining episode to date, and it left fans chomping at the bit for the season’s second half – which by the way returns on January 4th and is entitled Duress.
Let’s take a look at Loyalty‘s loyalties, shall we?
Tyler and Ashley
Who ever thought Ashley would recover from the shock of seeing her boyfriend locking lips with the Hampton’s favorite reclusive billionaire? Not me, that’s for sure. Three weeks later and I’m still replaying that scene in my mind. And on my DVR. But the girl’s got smarts. Ashely is confident that Tyler is going places and she wants to be there when he does. If that means squishing her sense of outrage and morality in favor of financial gain then so be it.
The more I see Ashley and Tyler together, the more I am reminded of Victoria and Conrad. They’re like mini wanna-be Graysons.
Daniel and Charlotte
This was a big episode for the Grayson kids. Victoria and Conrad’s looming divorce caused Charlotte to panic and jump ship. Although her parent of choice (Dad, natch) didn’t come as too much of a surprise, Daniel’s rediscovered loyalty to his mother stunned everyone, including Emily.
Believing Emily’s lie that Tyler was blackmailing Nolan, a furious Daniel confronted his father and demanded he fire Ty on the spot. However, as we know, Tyler is actually blackmailing Conrad, not Nolan, and forcing him into a corner in this way only pushed him to play his trump card. Now Tyler’s pretty much Teflon-coated. Emily is really going to have to step up her game if she hopes to burn him later this season.
Watching Tyler and Daniel’s disintegrating relationship, brings to mind those gunshots from episode one. Could Tyler be the mystery shooter? (And what exactly were those pills he’s just run out of?)
Daniel and Victoria
Daniel’s decision to return to his mother was perhaps one of the episode’s biggest surprises. Over the past few episodes we’ve watched (with malicious glee) as he became more and more estranged from the manipulative and controlling Victoria. But Tyler’s continued presence, both in his father’s company and in his mother’s house, was the deciding factor for Daniel. Not only has he returned to the family home, but he has taken up a position against his father too.
“Oh don’t worry, I’m staying with the company,” Daniel assures Victoria when she warns him against taking sides during what will no doubt be a messy divorce. “I’ll have access to Dad’s business accounts, bank records, whatever you need. I’ll get it.”
Things are about to get downright dirty in the Grayson family.
Nolan and Emily
Nolan’s confrontation with Emily broke my heart a little bit. The thorny issue of trust has doomed this relationship from the get go. For a fleeting moment I felt Emily might have been able to repair some damage but she responded to Nolan’s angry outburst with a threat instead. (I actually kind of loved this. It’s very in keeping with her character not to show a soft side or back down.) Of course, the upshot is that Nolan has unwillingly become a player in this game. Angry, hurt and deeply disappointed, he is no longer under Emily’s control.
“Message received. I’m done playing your evil games,” he tells her in no uncertain terms before reminding her just how disappointed her father would be if he were alive today. Ouch!
And with that, Nolan’s just become the most unpredictable character on the show. I’m kind of afraid and excited to see where this goes.
Jack and Fauxmanda
Jack and Real Emily/Fake Amanda/Fauxamanda (I’m confusing myself here) are possibly the only people who have remained untainted by Tyler’s touch. But that doesn’t mean they’re safe. This is Revenge after all. The problem is that Fauxmanda is a loose end and Emily hates loose ends. That diary spells trouble. Oh sure, it’s all sea glass and fetch with the dog now, but a few entries in Fauxmanda is going to step on a carefully buried landmine. And we know the take down will be nothing short of spectacular.
Revenge returns on January 4th with episode 11, Duress, on ABC.