If this episode of Revenge is any indication of the season to come, it appears that the noose that is Emily’s gigantic web of lies is finally about to start to tighten. The first half of the season was all about Emily setting up her grand scheme to set up Victoria for her murder—a scheme that failed on essentially every level—but now? Now, the show gets to have some fun as Emily’s failure to pull it off sets up the beginning of a domino effect of the Graysons finding out she’s not as angelic as she seems, a domino effect that could dismantle everything she’s been working on for the last two years.
Emily would probably be very concerned about her entire world falling apart around her if she could remember anything about that world. Yes, Revenge went to the soapiest tool in its soap arsenal by giving the injured Emily amnesia. Amnesia is also one of the most universally reviled narrative plot twists, so I’m sure this will be a controversial choice for many. For me, though, it completely works. Revenge has always embraced its soap roots, even if it prefers over-the-top verbal spars to the hair-pulling fights of ‘80s repute. What better way to give Emily an obstacle to overcome while simultaneously giving her enemies the unfettered time to gather information to use against her?
Specifically, the people Emily needs to be the most concerned about are Victoria and Patrick. Fueled with the new knowledge that Emily was specifically targeting their family and made up her pregnancy, Victoria is determined to find out exactly what she is up to. The key to her quest appears to be Patrick, who is newly disgusted with Emily, Nolan, and Nolan’s ties to Emily and promises he’ll help Victoria take down everyone who wronged her—a tally that includes Emily, Nolan, and Conrad. Patrick remains a tricky character; Justin Hartley is a fine addition to the cast, but Patrick continues to be such a cipher that it’s difficult to know how to take all of his constant loyalty shifts where Nolan is concerned. Taking him at face value, as of now he is firmly only in Victoria’s camp and is willing to share that Nolan has the engraved infinity box, which Victoria matches to Emily’s tattoo, and the first domino falls. How many more will fall before Emily’s memory returns and she can fight back?
Victoria is up to far more than just figuring out Emily and Nolan have more going on behind the scenes. Her big move tonight was to get Conrad to agree to frame Lydia for shooting Emily in order to stop Daniel from confessing. The beauty is how perfectly it brings what Conrad asked Victoria to do to David Clarke full circle, and how it has the potential to ruin Conrad just like framing David Clarke ruined Victoria. Lydia is now gone but not jailed, ready to pop back in to cause trouble in the future as the plot necessitates, which feels like a smart move.
This was a solid, wonderfully soapy episode, but what’s most interesting to me is how it sets up so many options for where to take Emily’s story in the future. The amnesia is a temporary solution to a big story problem: What happens now that the Graysons know Emily isn’t exactly what she seems? Victoria and Patrick are coming right for her, but what does all of this mean for Daniel? And Conrad? And how much damage will be done before Emily is able to fight back? Revenge was stuck in quite the rut just a few episodes back, and this was just the shuffling the status quo needed to keep things fresh. Emily has plenty of enemies, but this is the first time they’ve really had ammunition against her, which makes it a whole new ballgame. When Emily revealed to Charlotte that her father was David Clarke, it was exactly the kind of soapy fun the show should be embracing. Revenge will never again be what it was during season one, when Emily was pulling off weekly revenge schemes in delightfully over-the-top fashion. But while it’s turned into something a bit different, the show has proved it still knows how to have soapy, satisfying fun.
- I’m holding out judgment on Aiden’s new doctor friend until we find out more about her ulterior motives. Considering she was about to squirt orange drink into Emily’s IV, I doubt she’s shooting straight with Aiden.
- Victoria remembers everything about her encounter with Emily but not getting dragged from behind before she was chloroformed? That’s very convenient.
- Gabriel Mann did some nice acting throughout this episode, but his desperation to help Emily when Jack and Aiden seemed less concerned was especially good.
- Lydia pouring wine all over Victoria’s chair and “tarnishing” it was quite delicious. I will miss that chair.
- “I will let you know if I meet anyone innocent.” It was very, very fun to see Nolan finally be able to tell Victoria off.