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Eliminate the Liability: Revenge ‘Resurrection’ Review

By on October 8, 2012
Image © ABC.

Image © ABC.

Last night’s episode of Revenge had more twists than a Slinky. If the theme was one of resurrection, then it surely had more to do with the rebirth of Emily’s Revengenda than Victoria’s spectacular return, Charlotte’s escape from rehab or even Conrad’s hopes of getting his hands on those pesky trust funds. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to those opening moments in which Ems (after a long night on the sofa watching Victoria on the Clam Cam) puts it together that the very much alive Ms Grayson was clearly lying about working for the government to bring down Conrad and that (following a small leap of logic I wasn’t quite comfortable with but totally forgive because the writing on this show is awesome) Charlotte must somehow be involved.

In a brilliant plan to get closer to Charlotte, Emily phones Daniel and divulges her suspicions that Doctor Thomas may have doctored more than just Charlotte recently – including her drug test results – in an attempt to bleed the Graysons for more money. (Doesn’t he realize they’re broke?!?)

Daniel responds to Emily’s call by immediately tossing Ashley from the room (they’re so not a match made in Heaven, and the fact that Ashley leaves meekly just proves it), thanks Emily for the heads up and then hangs up without saying goodbye. (That really bugs me about this show. Where are your telephone manners Hamptonites? Nobody’s going to be playing a game of “You hang up, No you hang up” with any of you any time soon.)

This family revelation is just the first for poor Daniel, who by the time the credits roll, will have had quite the day. While investigating his father’s accounts, Daniel discovers that Dad has been inflating the quarterly returns with cash from the company in the hopes of sneaking the money (from either Daniel, Charlotte’s or both of his children’s trust funds) back into the coffers before the next big Board meeting – which presumably Ashely or a bottle of Scotch will deter Daniel from attending.

Nolan (Gabriel Mann) and Padma (Dilshad Vadsaria) discuss control and money. It’s a cute first date!

It’s around this time that Nolan – unforgivably – allows himself to be distracted from Clam Cam duties by that pesky billion-dollar technology company he owns and runs almost single-handedly … you know, without ever actually being there.

While Nolan’s attention is diverted by talk of an audit, Clam Cam records something actually worth looking at in Victoria’s dingy cabin. The White-Haired Man reappears with false passports for Vicky and Charlie but threatens Mamma Grayson’s life when she admits she can’t pay him until she gets her hands on Charlotte’s … yep you guessed it … trust fund. Threatening violence, the White Haired man leaves, for now.

Conrad goes right ahead and attends his important board meeting. Which looks way more impressive than Nolan’s board meeting. Which looks a lot like a group of sulky geeks playing with some desk toys. Nolan needs to spend more time at the office. Seriously. Conrad’s meeting has Takeda’s sexy mystery man in attendance. (He can stay – Ed.) while Nolan’s Geek-Club Shindig has a sexy newcomer of its own in the form of  Padma, Nolcorps’ financial analyst, who wastes no time informing him the real problem with the company, apart from a worrying impending audit and Nolan’s Revenging antics, is that they need a Chief Financial Officer. As it turns out, our favorite reclusive billionaire is also a bit of a control freak and cant bear to pass the reins to a stranger. Score one for Nemily! Two blonde control freaks living under one roof.  I would watch the Clam-Cam reality TV show version of their daily lives just to see them arguing over who forgot to straighten the bathroom towels before they left for revenge school that morning.

Henry Czerny as Conrad. Josh Bowman as Daniel. Image © Colleen Hayes/ABC

While nothing much in the way of excitement happens at Nolan’s meeting, Conrad’s is spectacularly interrupted by Daniel who storms in to confront his Dad but allows himself to be hauled outside and berated instead. “Every choice I make is in her best interests!” insists Conrad of Charlotte’s trust fund money, and the words water, duck and back spring to mind.

Nolan isn’t the only one with his eye off the ball. While he’s out for lunch with Padma, persuading her not to show him a list of potential CFO’s but to become one instead, Amanda, ever the spanner in the love and revenge works, comes to Emily with the news that she may have had a bit of a one night stand some time after she took off earlier in the summer and there is the slimmest possibility (about 99.9%) that her baby bump many not be Jack’s. Emily agrees to fake Amanda’s paternity test results, but when the results come back indicating that Jack is in fact the father (hey, we all got fooled on that front) Emily lies to Amanda and tells her the baby is not hers.

Emily may very well have been thwarted in love by Amanda, but there was something in Mandy’s impassioned but subdued plea that made me see her in a different light this week. “I love him,” she tells Emily. “And if you’d stop trying to undermine everything maybe he’d love me too.” Also, there was a lip wobble which basically got to me, ok? But if Jack truly is this baby’s Daddy, wouldn’t Amanda be better off with him than without him? Emily has Daniel, Nolan and As Yet Unnamed Handsome Revenge Student on the horizon. How many love interests does she need at this point? But maybe the notion of family has become irrelevant to Emily. She’s become the Hamptons’ Walter White and nothing stops this Revenge train.

Meanwhile, Daniel’s rolling rampage of outrage continues to make waves. Manipulated by Emily, he springs Charlotte from her tastefully appointed rehab room, and drives her into Emily’s arms … well car. Charlotte, being the only good and well-intentioned person on the show (with the exception of Jack) immediately runs to her mother, bringing along the family silver, so they can make a clean break.

However Victoria has had some time to think. Realizing that the White Haired Mannibal Lecter (Nolan’s words!) will hunt her down and kill her (and possibly Charlotte too) she tricks her daughter into thinking she too is after her trust fund. Broken-hearted, but now safely at arms length, Charlotte runs to Emily, leaving Victoria to plan a spectacular trap for her would-be killer.

James Morrison and Madeleine Stowe. Image ©ABC/Vivian Zink

While Emily gives Charlotte a reason to stick around (by telling her that she is about to become an Aunt) Victoria trumps everything that’s happened on the episode so far by making contact with Conrad. Together they concoct an elaborate story, which necessitates Conrad roughing Victoria up, which he seems to relish, and and maybe she does too. Honestly, they should just get a room! They plan to tell the police that the White Haired Man kidnapped Victoria before she boarded the plane, and that he has been draining their finances over the past four months in some manner of Kidnapper’s easy-payment ransom installments. This plan allows Conrad to appear as a good guy in his children’s eyes again – a la I needed your trust fund to save your mother’s life – and it also allows Victoria to come home and resume exchanging double-meanings with Emily again. The only fly in the ointment is that the White Haired Man escapes and comes to Emily, having realized that only the Clam-Cam can exonerate him now.

While Emily fishes for information regarding her mother’s past, and the nature of the agreement Victoria made with her all those years ago, The White Haired Man decides to make use of the flashback by attempting to kill her while she’s having one. Enter As Yet Unnamed Handsome Revenge Student who promptly dispatches the White Haired Man by shooting him full of holes in both a manly and determined fashion. (I haven’t felt this excited since Frank ordered Victoria around back in season one. RIP Frank.) Incidentally, the White Haired Man may or may not have been called Federal Agent Gordon Murphy. Or it could have been another pseudonym. I think White Haired Man sort of rolls of the tongue more easily.

Like most episodes of Revenge, ‘Resurrection’ didn’t leave threads dangling long, but like most episodes of Revenge, we’re left with a whole new set of questions.

Who is the mysterious Initiative mentioned by the White Haired Man?

Will Nolan’s renewed involvement in Nolcorps drive a revenge-shaped wedge between him and Emily? Nolan is in his own words more than just a fashionably dressed technologically savvy sidekick after all.

Will Emily ever tell Amanda the truth about her baby’s Daddy?

Will Declan ever learn there’s no clean way to make a quick buck?

Will Victoria and Emily play tug of war with Charlotte?

As Yet Unnamed Handsome Revenge Student. Sorry. I realize that wasn’t a question.

Have you ever tried to straighten a Slinky?

Revenge continues Sundays 9/8c on ABC.

Check out the promo trailer for next week’s episode ‘Confidence’ below.