Another Sunday, another scandal in the Hamptons. Tensions are high(er than usual) in Grayson Manor, Emily’s old flame is in the picture, Declan is now officially a hoodlum, and a cute and relatively normal person is crushing on Nolan.
Hello, sexy British ninja.
This was a very flashbacky episode, giving us a peek into the history between Emily and Aiden that was apparent in ep 1. As suspected, he was a fellow student of Takeda and they made out etc. when they weren’t busy learning martial arts and fighting off wolves. Seriously, why did you ever leave Revenge School? He ended up ditching her for revenge, leading to some really helpful life advice from Takeda about burying any love or compassion deep, deep inside a black cavern in her heart where sunshine and happiness will never touch it. So getting dumped by Aiden was part of what made Emily the warm, cuddly person we know today.
Emily gets back at Aiden by knocking him out after he kills the White Haired Man and literally dumping him. As in he wakes up in a garbage truck. He goes on to spend the rest of the episode tracking down clues from the WHM’s possessions that will help Emily in her mission, including bringing her the pilot box from Victoria’s plane. Already he is infinitely more useful than Daniel and Jack combined.
I don’t really ship anyone on this show aside from Emily/Cold Hard Revenge, but my preferences for the men in her life at this point are thus: Aiden > Daniel > Jack. Well, Nolan > Aiden > Daniel > Jack, if Nolan counts. At this point Jack can finally just go to Haiti. When we met him he was like, “hey, I’m super awesome guy, I’m going to volunteer in a third world country and I take care of my dad!” but all he does anymore is mope and feel conflicted about Amanda.
Jack is committed to the baby, but not Amanda.
SPEAKING OF WHICH. Poor Craymanda! At the beginning of the episode, she and Jack were being all cute about setting up a nursery. When Amanda tells him that Charlotte gave them a big gift card to a baby store, Jack makes it clear that he would rather the baby sleep on the bar cuddled up to a bottle of Patron than in anything purchased by Grayson money. He goes on to order Amanda to stay away from the Graysons because he is her dad and she is some kind of rebellious teenager or something. Enter Emily.
EMILY: Hey minion – I mean, BFF. I need you to take this fake version of my dad’s revenge journal to your fake sister. You just need to sneak into a press conference. Child’s play.
AMANDA: Sorry, I’m someone else’s bitch now, and he says I can’t talk to the Graysons.
EMILY: Uh, the operative word in this plan, and really our entire lives, is fake. Make shit up, as per usual.
AMANDA: Here’s the thing. I come from a broken home and a tragic background of violence and neglect. Pretending to be a relatively stable person named Amanda is the closest I’ve ever been to having a family or anything resembling happiness and I want to try to be a real person for once. With a fake identity.
EMILY: You are still my bitch.
AMANDA: I am still your bitch.
So Amanda does what Emily wants and, predictably, Jack ends up finding out and breaking up with her. He avoids complete douche baggery by admitting that it was wrong of him to control her relationships, but he still chooses now to dump her for lying about where she was going. I can’t help but feel sad for her, despite the fact that Jack’s right – she’s not exactly trustworthy.
One big, happy family.
The Graysons are busy dealing with the press after news of Victoria’s return from the dead gets out. Behind closed doors they are dealing with a web of lies and the fallout as some of them surface. Aiden helps with that by sending them Victoria’s fake passport. Daniel sees it and realizes that his mother faked her kidnapping. He confronts everyone about it, only to find out that he was the only one in the dark.
So Daniel is beyond pissed and grossed out and no longer trusts anyone…except Emily. Emily is at the house (despite Victoria having banished her) and when Daniel runs into her he apologizes for his mother’s general bat shit craziness. She advises him to keep his anger under wraps if he wants to beat Victoria at her own game. Daniel completely follows her lead and fake reconciles with Victoria at the end of the episode. Meanwhile, Charlotte is upset about what she read in the journal Amanda brought her and announces to a reporter that she is David Clarke’s daughter. Emily has now successfully turned both children against Victoria and placed herself in a position of trust with each of them. Point Emily.
The episode climaxes in a big press conference where Victoria takes control of the situation and announces to the world that she had an affair with David Clarke, inviting Amanda on stage as part of their family.
Oh, and Declan.
I’m wondering if this Declan stealing stuff story is going to tie in with everything else going on at any point. Since we saw him last, Declan has become a full-on burglar with his creepy friend.
He brilliantly leaves his ID at the house he robbed and the owner shows up at the bar. The mysterious stranger agrees not to press charges if he gets his stuff back, and makes an ominous comment about taking Jack up on a favor. Ok Declan, you got caught; you can stop being a punk ass kid now and go back to being awesome.
Emily and Nolan are still the best ever.
Emily and Nolan really are the highlight of the season for me so far. When Padma asks him about Emily (hint hint, Nolan) he cluelessly describes their relationship as “complicated cohabitation.” Later, when Emily calls while he and Padma are doing Work Things, he immediately drops everything to help her out. Nolan QOTD: “I love it when you’re bossy, it means something hot’s going to happen.”
Nolan very sadly moves out in this episode after coming home to be strangled by Aiden. Boo, Aiden, minus points! They share a touching scene while he’s packing. Emily shows him a pocket watch she found on the White Haired Man’s body. It has a picture of her mother in it. She tells him that his real name is White Haired Man Bill Buchanan Gordon Murphy, and he loved her mother. This is information she does not share with Aiden or anyone else. Nolan wants to help and Emily just hopes she will find a way to thank him some day. And her eyes, you guys, they actually fill with tears. These two! The feels!
Season 2 so far.
I think I like the direction this season is taking. What I loved about the Take Down of the Week format of yore was watching Emily follow through with her plans flawlessly – well, after a bump or two each time, but she was always one step ahead. So far, this season is playing out like a chess match, like a big clusterfrak orgy of a chess match, with each player making strategic moves against the rest. Emily vs. Victoria, Victoria vs. Conrad, Victoria vs. the WHM, now Daniel vs. Victoria (hm, I think I’m noticing a pattern here, Mrs. Grayson), with everyone else being manipulated like pawns. The down side to this is that I am honestly having trouble keeping track of what everyone is on about right now, and I’m not sure if it’s because there is too much going on or I am just easily confused. Part of me also misses Emily having more control. Her emotions have been getting in the way of her plans since the later part of last season. At the same time, it is good character development to see her vulnerabilities and watch her change. Can’t wait for next week.
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