So much happened on Revenge last night, yet there were no red X’s marked over people’s faces and no daunting images of cottages being burned to the ground. No, what happened in “Commitment” was almost entirely emotional. And did it ever pack a punch.
Let’s not bury the lede. This week we saw Daniel’s super romantic, rain-soaked proposal to Emily, which she of course accepted. As you can imagine, Daniels’ parents were not thrilled. By the end of the episode we had watched Emily decide not to go through with the engagement, and then call off that detente again to keep on truckin’.
Why was Emily about to put her revenge mission on hold? Emotional and physical damage, that’s why. Obviously, she was much more concerned about Jack than Charlotte, but let’s talk about Charlotte first.
Poor Charlotte. She’s just a rich, pretty teenage girl who wants to spend her last year of high school with her boyfriend. She has no idea that the father she adores isn’t really her father, which would leave her only with the lunatic mother she detests. (Not that I think Conrad is any better a person, but Charlotte certainly does.) Daniel knows now, and that conniving witch Victoria has concocted yet another lie, lest her son believe she’d been unfaithful with a terrorist – she told Daniel that David Clarke had raped her, resulting in the pregnancy.
Emily made sure that Conrad discovered the truth about Charlotte’s true paternity, because it means dashing any hopes Victoria has about getting a good divorce settlement. Conrad kicked Charlotte out of the South Fork Inn, and she showed up at Emily’s beach house. She noticed the ring on Emily’s finger and had a much warmer reaction to the news of the engagement than the rest of Daniel’s family, telling Emily “I’ve always wanted to have a sister.” Oh, the subtext! Even Emily, with ice water running through her veins (in a way that I very much admire, that’s not an insult) had to have felt some kind of sympathy there. This girl is her father’s child, after all, and we all know Emily loved her father.
Emily’s goal this week was not only to inform Conrad of the paternity scandal, but to frame Amanda for revealing that information. That meant sending footage of Treadwell’s interview with David to Conrad, and then planting the original tapes in Amanda’s possession. Victoria has long been on to Fake Amanda though, and she invited her over for tea to sneak a DNA sample. Luckily for Emily, that lawyer who so kindly offered up his services to Victoria (I thought he was trying to get in her
pants cocktail dress) has been in Emily’s pocket the whole time. He switched the samples so that the DNA test confirmed that Fake Amanda and Charlotte are half sisters. We also learned that the only reason the lawyer didn’t appeal David Clarke’s conviction in the first place was because David knew that would mean drawing Amanda into the trial and he insisted on protecting his daughter.
It sounds like Emily has everything well under control, but that’s not true. Her plans went awry when Victoria called in one of Frank’s thugs-for-hire to search Amanda and Jack’s apartment for the tapes, and he beat the crap out of Jack in the process. Collateral damage that Emily regretted, but it also gave her an opportunity to convince Fake Amanda to leave town. Amanda wasn’t willing to go before, but with Jack’s safety on the line she gave in. For now – I think we all know it’s not the last we’ll see of the Amanda Clarke imposter.
Nolan, who acts as Emily’s conscience more and more these days, forced her to face the ugly truth that innocent people are getting hurt thanks to Emily’s vendetta. She considered putting her plan on hold, reassessing and finding a way to take the Graysons down without marrying into their family. Of course, thanks to the pilot we all knew that wouldn’t happen so I’m glad Emily only briefly considered this notion. Her mind immediately changed when Daniel confided in Emily about Charlotte’s true paternity, with Victoria’s added embellishment that the pregnancy was the result of rape. Revenge? Yeah, that’s still on.
“Commitment” was a great episode, and it was interesting to see Emily have to face some of the harsh realities of her plans. In a lot of ways, she’s becoming all too similar to the woman she’s trying to take down. Victoria tricked Conrad into marriage with a fake pregnancy and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Emily’s intentions with Daniel aren’t what she’s made them out to be, and she too has proven that she won’t let anyone get in the way of her journey for vengeance. You can’t ignore that people are suffering for Emily. Nolan took a knife to the arm as well as had his affair with Tyler revealed against his wishes. Jack was bloodied and bruised. And other than being rich and having horrible parents, we’ve seen no reason as to why Daniel or Charlotte should suffer, but they inevitably will. It’s what makes this show so good.
A couple other things to note:
- Jack still has an interview tape under his bed, that should become important.
- The moment where Nolan tried to comfort Emily by putting an arm around her and she rejected him? Very Lisbeth Salander, which I loved.
- I don’t feel sorry for Ashley, but it was a little funny when she realized that Victoria is a sinking ship, telling Nolan (of all people!) that “All I’ve got to show for my summer with the Graysons is a gun-wielding psychotic ex-boyfriend who made out with you.”
- Nolan dropping a truthbomb on Emily: “I may have Jack’s blood all over my jacket but you have it all over your hands.”
- If/when Amanda comes back, do you think she’ll have something to wear other than too-short denim cut-offs and an army green tank top?
- From what I read (but I avoid reading too much, so no spoilers please!) February sweeps is going to be very good to Revenge fans.