This week we see the culmination of all the harm Emily’s vendetta is doing to Amanda’s would-be normal life; Daniel starts getting a little sneakier and a little smarter; the mystery man Declan robbed becomes more mysterious; Nolan starts an adorkable relationship (thank you Zooey Deschanel for the existence of that term); and we learn some pretty terrible things about Emily’s mother.
Like last week, Amanda is extremely resistant to Emily’s plans when Emily requests that she bring David Clarke’s journal (fabricated by Emily) to Victoria in an attempt to guilt her into giving up information about Kara, Emily’s mother. Emily once again manages to enlist Amanda’s help by bringing her in on the fact that she is not just seeking revenge but trying to find out what happened to her mother. Amanda has just moved out of Jack’s place and into Emily’s thanks to Emily’s scheming the week before when she put the journals on Victoria’s radar in the first place.
Let’s talk about Jack. He seems pretty torn about Amanda leaving and later in the episode still refers to Amanda as his girlfriend. He is also dealing with the backlash of Declan’s recent terrible judgment. As it turns out, the man Declan robbed is working with Declan’s creepy stealing things friend in an elaborate scheme to get Jack to sell him his bar. The scheme involves faking the robbery and hiring a fake inspector to tell Jack that the bar needs tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. Hopefully Emily steps in to help out or something so this guy is totally screwed. What a douche. To be honest, I don’t care about this storyline even one tiny bit. Sell the bar, Jack, and sail to Haiti.
I like the Grayson vs. Grayson thing going on between Daniel and Conrad right now, with Daniel investigating Conrad’s very shady business and life practices and both of them completely mistrusting each other. Ashley actually won points back when she didn’t sell Daniel out and told Conrad that she wouldn’t be his spy anymore. I think she may totally turn on him when they inevitably break up, but still.
Aiden is still trying to figure out what happened to Kara. It is highly suspect when Emily asks him point blank about the fact that he found and talked to her mother and he lies about it. I think he may just be waiting to fill her in until he has a better handle on the situation, but I don’t trust him. He goes to talk to Emily’s mother again, and she kind of acts like she’s clueless at first, so he lets his guard down and ends up tied to a chair in a hotel in the middle of nowhere. Silly Aiden, don’t underestimate a Clarke woman.
The event that brings everything together in this episode is a baby shower for Amanda, which Victoria decides to throw after Amanda confronts her about the journal. First of all, it turns out I’ve been wearing entirely the wrong wardrobe to baby showers.
Amanda brings her stripper friends to distract everyone while she and Victoria step aside to negotiate a price for the journals. Emily goes into the bathroom to coach Amanda through the confrontation, instructing her to push Victoria until she reveals something about her mother. Rather conveniently, her reception cuts out just as Victoria makes the big reveal – the reason Kara was in a mental hospital was that she tried to kill Emily when she was a child. Amanda and Victoria are arguing near a railing that overlooks the Grayson foyer, and as Amanda registers the shock of Victoria’s statement, Victoria reaches for the check she offered to Amanda and accidentally pushes Amanda over the edge.
It is at this point that the episode gets most interesting. First, Amanda tells Emily to make sure they save the baby as she is being wheeled away in the ambulance. Emily calls Jack to let him know what happened and he rushes to the hospital. To this point, I feel like Emily has pretty much regarded Amanda as a tool to be used. She obviously looks down at her and seems to have no reservations about manipulating her to her own ends. She has seemed pretty resentful of the happiness Amanda has managed to achieve using her name and has treated her like something of a pet to be controlled. Maybe it was calling Jack and the realization that her actions may lead to him losing his child, but she seems for the first time to be, dare I say remorseful? She relays Amanda’s wishes to save the baby. Jack laments how terribly he has treated Amanda and sparks fly between and Declan and Charlotte when they run into each other at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Kara is driving away from the hotel where she left Aiden tied up when she hears on the radio that Amanda is in the hospital. When Emily happens by Amanda’s room and sees her mother by her bedside, she suddenly remembers the horrible truth; she remembers her mother trying to drown her in the ocean. This is the memory she almost unlocked in the first episode of the season.
In the last scene, Aiden has freed himself from the hotel and goes to warn Emily that her mother may be headed her way. Emily ends up sobbing into his arms, finally falling apart after everything that has happened to her. I wonder what she will do now that she knows where her mother is but remembers the truth. I like Aiden more than ever in this scene. He seems to bring out her vulnerability; I just hope he doesn’t exploit it.
There are a couple of other things that I forgot to mention: first of all, there is a scene between Conrad and a member of the Americon Initiative who explains that they are looking for the White Haired Man and interested in his side of the story. In other news, Nolan’s father dies and Padma helps him go through his estate. They awkwardly make out over some boxes, so that’s cute. But then Padma gets the “I’m being suspicious” look on her face and I’m like, great. She is totally using him for his money or is part of some nefarious plot.
I love everything about this episode that had to do with Emily. The emotional impact of her memory with her mother was intense. I think the tension between Daniel and Conrad is building to something interesting, but aside from that I care very little about the other stories going on right now. Emily’s relationships with everyone on the show and the varying degrees of lies and truth she tells them is what makes this show so good. Now that she has found her mother, I hope Emily gets back on the track of revenge. She’s at her best when she’s making the guilty pay.
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