“If we choose to, we can live in a world of comforting illusion. We can allow ourselves to be deceived by false realities. Or we can use them to hide our true intentions.”
From the first line of Emily’s opening monologue I knew this was going to be a badass episode. I mean, come on, how perfect is this theme? The signature schemes and deceit are fully ramped up and epitomized by Conrad and Victoria Grayson’s marriage of convenience. As the episode begins we see the Victoria doing her makeup and preparing for her wedding, her sickly sweet fake smile plastered to her face.
The next couple of scenes involve some classic plotting: first between Daniel and Aiden, who are trying to get solid intel on David Clarke’s investment in Nolcorp, and then between Emily and Amanda. Emily is coaching Amanda on their cover story for her lack of the scar Treadwell creepily noticed. She also has a master plan to take him out of the picture and get some sweet revenging done in the process.
Back at Grayson manor, Kara is still kind of creepy and mentally unstable and fishing for information about Gordon Murphy. We see a flashback to the two of them being the most adorable mental patient and hired killer you have ever seen. He even brings her a daisy. So Kara doesn’t quite buy it when Victoria tells her that Gordon spent his days torturing her just because he is that mean.
Speaking of the White Haired Man, Emily gives Aiden a casual ring to ask if she can please have the murder weapon that killed him back and Aiden is all too happy to accommodate. Why does she need it? Well, it has something to do with the fact that she is digging around in some kind of frozen storage area for Gordon’s body, which she has kept handy in case of a rainy day. Good thinking.
Meanwhile, Daniel and Ashley decide to invite Nolan to his parents’ wedding so that they can casually grill him for information in a social setting. Unfortunately for them, Emily has cameras in their room (um, awkward) and overhears their plan. She goes on to warn Nolan but he throws caution to the wind and plans to attend the wedding anyway.
After a fun round of spying on the Graysons, Emily heads to the beach to bond with her mother. It’s kind of like sneaky mother-daughter bonding since Kara doesn’t know who she is, but still. They both like to draw and they talk about boys. They connect most of all when Kara ominously says that the Graysons will get what’s coming to them. Like mother, like daughter. Seeing how vulnerable Emily is with her mom makes me sad. She so wants to have a parent who is there, but I think Kara will just let her down.
Kara’s fake daughter is busy feeding Treadwell their cover story. She shows him evidence that she had the scar removed, and then plants the idea that the Graysons are connected to the White Haired Man. She also convinces him that although she wanted to take down the Graysons at one point, her family is now more important to her. Treadwell is beside himself with glee to “pick up the torch” and is easily baited into falling right into Emily’s plan to frame Conrad for Gordon Murphy’s murder. SO WELL PLAYED by both Amanda and Emily. When Amanda calls Emily to report she tells her that if Treadwell threatens her family again she’ll handle him “her way.” Suddenly I want to see her go mama bear style on Jack’s evil business partner when we find out what he’s up to.
Charlotte is opting out of her parents’ wedding to instead attend the re-opening of The Stowaway. In a sweet scene she gives Victoria something borrowed and blue, but she calls her parents out on their completely false public image. I think this is actually a pretty cool move on her part because she isn’t just rebelling. She is understandably exhausted from the insane web of lies she’s been sucked into because of her parents. When Charlotte shows up to help get ready for the re-opening Declan is like, “Isn’t your parents re-marriage kind of a big deal?” and she’s like, “eh, I’ll catch the next one.” They smile and it’s cute. Their still innocent, young love is refreshing in the midst of the other more complex relationships.
The big event of the episode is, of course, the Grayson wedding. It is so good. First, Aiden and Emily come to the wedding together and there is a slightly awkward encounter between the two of them and Daniel and Ashley. Emily says how great it is that they are all friends. Can I just say: Hottest. Friends. Ever.
Mason has traced Emily’s clues to a trailer where Gordon Murphy’s dead body is stashed, sitting in a chair with music playing and an ornate cufflink with Conrad Grayson’s initials sitting on the floor. It is a beautiful, perfectly crafted crime scene. Emily is a revenge artist.
Oh my God Conrad and Victoria. Their love-hate dynamic right now is downright delightful. Well, love might be a strong word. I’m pretty sure it’s just hate on her part. Conrad is obviously drawn to Victoria, but that may have as much to do with the thrill of the power struggle as anything. Conrad comes in to see Victoria before the wedding and gives her a gun as a wedding gift. It is amazing.
As the guests are all being seated at the wedding, Nolan shows up and flags down Emily and Aiden (aka “Ems and Mr. Bond”). When Victoria walks down the aisle, the look on her face can only be described as overjoyed, and it isn’t because of Conrad. Treadwell called to let her know that the police are gearing up to arrest Conrad, leaving Victoria with all the benefits of the marriage without the marriage.
Back at the bar re-opening, I finally pay attention when they say Evil Business Partner’s name! It is Kenny Ryan, FYI. Jack makes a speech about how thankful he is for good old Kenny’s help and maybe Kenny feels a little guilty about trying to screw him over in some way. I feel that we are almost to finding out what Kenny’s master plan is! Please let it be something cool and very evil.
After the wedding Daniel dances with his mom and he’s being nice but she’s just scheming about how she’s going to use his position in the company when Conrad is gone. Next he dances with Emily for old time’s sake and his remaining feelings for her are clear. He has all these questions about what if, and tells her that she was right about him turning into a gross Grayson. When she says he could still change course he gets really hopeful. Aiden asks Ashley to dance as well and they are generally sexy and British together.
In a scandalous climax to the episode, the police show up and arrest Conrad at his own wedding. Victoria makes a scene out of being upset but breaks out in a truly devilish smile as soon as her back is turned. This is like the ultimate Revenge event. Nolan is impressed by the take-down action but wonders how this will help them get rid of Treadwell. Emily is absolute perfection in a gorgeous red dress and a smirk. As I’ve said in past recaps, I do love the emotional depth she has this season, but it is always fun to see her scheming and manipulating with a smile on her face.
At the bar, the news hits that Conrad has been arrested for murdering Gordon Murphy. Charlotte heads home right away while Kara is quietly freaking out over the realization that her beloved White Haired Man is a goner.
Treadwell is so incredibly smug from his (completely set up by Emily) successful investigation that he brags to Victoria that his next move is to uncover the truth about her kidnapping story. Yeah, Mason, tell Victoria Grayson that you are about to target her. Great idea. Everything seems to be going to Emily’s plan until Victoria mentions that Emily was once in juvy. A light bulb clicks on in Mason’s head. Crap.
In jail, Conrad gets a visit from the nice Initiative lady. He thinks that they are the ones who set him up to take the fall for the White Haired Man’s murder, and they use their influence to get him out on bail and presumably out of this mess – on the condition that he help them again. Last time he helped them they took down a plane and framed David Clarke. When he gets out and shows up in his and Victoria’s room on their wedding night, she is startled and pulls their wedding gun on him. Awesome. Elsewhere in the Grayon house Declan is, ahem, comforting Charlotte. Yay Declan/Charlotte smooches!
We get to see one more flashback to Kara and Gordon Murphy’s relationship. It’s the classic “when I finish this one last job I’m retiring and we can settle down together” talk that happens right before someone dies on their one last job. When she approaches Victoria on her balcony she kind of seems like she’s going to push her over. She is so quietly insane. Victoria finally catches on to Kara’s feelings for Gordon.
Jack is starting to be more likeable and less whiny again with a new family and the bar successfully reopened. He brings Amanda onto his boat for a surprise romantic dinner and, whoa, when did I start shipping this so hard? Jack apologizes for not being there for her and at one point she reminds him not to let his happiness be determined by how well the bar does and I JUST WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY. But then Jack is like, “do you remember when we were kids…?” and we are forced to remember that she is lying to him every day. And she is an example of not just creating an illusion for others to see, but she’s also kind of lying to herself. And then he proposes. I can’t help it, I love it, even though I know it is Revenge and this can only end in tears.
Back at Emily’s she and Aiden are discussing revengey things and looking fabulous while they do so. Aiden seems a little jealous when he mentions Emily dancing with Daniel and her past feelings for him. Then he just so earnestly makes a plea for her to trust him, and there’s one of those sexual tension moments where you’re internally chanting “KISS KISS KISS” but Emily sends him away. In this episode about illusions and lies, it still stands out to me that Aiden and Nolan are the two people who know who she is.
The end of the episode features an awesome montage of revenge hoodie Emily setting up all the pieces of the plan to set up Conrad and take Treadwell out of the picture…and it ends with Treadwell discovering the connection between Emily and Amanda. This should be interesting.
I was definitely way into this episode. I can safely say it was my favorite of the season so far. Am I the only one who loved it?