Did that mini hiatus between Daniel’s proposal and the engagement announcement seem to be a mighty long one to you? It sure did to me, and the return of REVENGE did not disappoint. This is the penultimate episode leading to the big reveal that started this series oh-so-long ago (even though it has only been four months).
REVENGE Recap: Ep14 “Perception” – Two Graysons Walk Into A Bar…
Now that the engagement between Daniel and Emily is official, Ashley (Ashley Medekwe) has been put to work planning the engagement party. As we know from the Pilot, the theme is “Fire and Ice” although as Nolan (Gabriel Mann) points out, “Fire and Ice – hmm…subtle. Was Fire and Brimstone not available?”
The party invitations come in big red boxes decorated with a giant crystal that could quite possibly double as a magnifying glass. And it would not be a Grayson Event without official engagement photos like any decent royal family would have – how many couples can say to each other as they head to work “I’ll see you at the photoshoot”?
OK, so I am just a tad jealous, but I digress. Nolan wants to know why Emily (Emily VanCamp) changed her mind from taking things slow and reassessing her plans to going full-steam ahead with the engagement and finds Emily more determined than ever given Victoria’s (Madeleine Stowe) lie to Daniel (Josh Bowman) that David Clarke (James Tupper) had raped her 17 years ago.
Meanwhile, Nolan continues to show his concern for Jack (Nick Wechsler), now totally heart-broken after Amanda’s (Margarita Levieva) sudden departure and recovering from the broken ribs he got from the man Victoria sent to steal back the Treadwell (Roger Bart) tapes. What does a man do with a flat-screen TV the size of your house? Big-screen porn? Oh, how very Nolan to even think of that! Perhaps he should have given Jack a bigger trash can instead, for if Jack’s had been bigger, he might not have missed it when he attempted to throw Emily’s engagement invitation into it and been forced to bend over to pick it up, leading him to spot the video tape Victoria’s thief left behind under his bed.
Now, if you have been wondering where on earth one would still find a video tape player to play those Treadwell tapes, you are not the only one. Jack doesn’t know either, so he goes to the one gadget guru he knows – Nolan – for help. With a label as intriguing as “Interview with Amanda Clarke” on the tape, can anyone blame Jack for wanting to see what’s on it?
Jack calls Amanda, whose phone is now with Emily after she sent Amanda away, to tell her he has the tape and wants to meet in person. Emily has no choice but to ask for Amanda’s help (which I am glad to see because I really liked Amanda) in order to get the tape back. Unfortunately for Emily, Jack refuses to return the tape and is more determined than ever to find out what secrets Amanda is trying to hide that she is willing to throw away their love.
When Nolan and Jack finally sit down together to watch the tape, which is supposed to be secretly erased by Nolan with his degausser which, for those of you unfamiliar with the word, is a machine that erases the magnetic fields on the video tape, but somehow manages to remain intact (do I smell a rat here?). On the tape is an interview with ten-year-old Amanda Clarke, looking all adorable and begging Treadwell to find “the lady with dark hair” named Victoria who kissed her dad on the lips a lot to tell the truth about her father’s innocence.
On the subject of secrets, Daniel tells Conrad (Henry Czerny) he knows Victoria’s secret (oops, not the lingerie!) but their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Edward Grayson (in a fantastic guest appearance by William Devane), Conrad’s father and the founder of Grayson Global. Grandpa Grayson has arrived at the Hamptons for a family dinner to celebrate Daniel’s engagement. Here’s my first impression of Edward – he hates scandals as much as he loves calling Victoria “Vicky” and Daniel “Dan”. It totally shows that while the rest of the Hamptons consider Victoria their queen, in his eyes, she is “Vicky”, his daughter-in-law who, as much as he seems to adore her, is also capable of bringing down the family if she wanted to.
In an attempt to win back her daughter, Victoria tells Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) they should spend more time together like they used to, and even agrees to have lunch with Declan (Connor Paolo), who she tried to bribe to stay away from her daughter not so long ago. When a very dressed-down Victoria arrives at the Stowaway Tavern with Charlotte to meet Declan, he could not help but make a joke: “Two Graysons walk into a bar…”, he says innocently. Showing a softer side of Victoria that we have not seen before, she gracefully smiled and asked for some alcohol, perhaps to numb the pain of being seen in the “wrong side of town”.
So, back to the big dinner, or as Nolan calls it, Emily’s “revengenda of the evening”. Emily arrives at Grayson Manor with the DVD (converted from the dinosaur video tape) interview of her father telling Treadwell that he is the father of Victoria’s daughter. She plants the envelope, addressed to Charlotte, with the DVD just outside the Graysons’ door and pretends to be bringing it in for Charlotte. She meets charming Edward who is busily advising Declan not to let his current status deter him from striving to become a bazillionaire like him.
Edward asks Emily and Daniel how they met and, quelle surprise, a flashback reveals that the two had met while Daniel was in college, bemoaning to a girl that he feels weighed down by his family name when all he wants is to be a penniless poet instead of what he is expected to be. So, exactly how long has Emily had her sights set on marrying Daniel as her revenge plan? Did she take this strategy because she thought he was a spoilt, rich brat then? Would she have had a different strategy had she thought he was as good-hearted as he turned out to be?
Before the clan has a chance to sit down to dinner, Conrad apologizes to Charlotte for taking his frustrations with Victoria out on her. They share some tender father-daughter moments which Emily conveniently overhears and she changes her mind about revealing the truth about Victoria’s affair with David Clarke.
As is customary for all Grayson events, big and small, this dinner does not go without a hitch. An angry Jack storms into the Grayson house accusing Victoria of ruining Amanda Clarke’s life and running her out of town. He shows the video tape as evidence and Conrad tells Charlotte who her biological father really is. Emily watches in shock while Edward is none-too-pleased at the spectacle he is witnessing. He angrily tells Conrad he should step down as CEO of Grayson Global and that they should groom Daniel to take over.
Now that one of the big secrets is out, can did things work out the way Emily thought they would? While she is busily berating Nolan for his degausser not working, she returns home to find her secret hiding place under the floorboards open, with an RSVP to her engagement party that reads: “Miss Emily Thorne will be attending”.
Who could have found her hiding place? Who left the note? First instinct tells me it’s Amanda who, frustrated by the lies she has had to tell Jack and how much they have hurt him, has all but told Emily she no longer wants to be Amanda. But then again, the writers of REVENGE have a way of giving us red herrings, like the giant one that will be revealed next week when we finally find out who the body on the beach is at the engagement party.
Wow, let me catch my breath…until next week.