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After getting off to a rip-roaring start, Emily Thorne and her Great Revenging Machine have pretty much ground to a halt. The easy targets have already been eliminated. All her long cons are still in various stages of being conned. Now she’s got a lot of time on her hands, two pesky obstacles in her way, and no idea how to get rid of them. What is a girl to do? Well, call up her very own revenge sensei. Of course.

There’s something sublimely ridiculous about this development. The great thing about a soap is you can introduce the most outrageous things and get away with it as long as you do it within the confines of the show’s tone. For all of its scheming, sexual politics, and greed, Revenge is a fairly serious-minded show. So when Sensei Satoshi is introduced seriously, as a person Emily relies on to ground her in her revenge, it works; kung fu and all. Don’t get me wrong: it’s fucking ridiculous. But it’s precisely the ridiculousness of Emily practicing kung fu while getting lectured about losing focus that makes it work. And hey, if she ever needs to fight her way out of something, she’s got that covered, too.

Despite the big tease of Sensei Satoshi’s introduction last week, he spends most of this very low-key episode off screen, just popping in at the perfect times to both help Emily in her quest and remind her to keep her eye on the ball, so to speak. Those pesky complications we’ve been discussing all season are coming to a bit of a head, as Emily is far fonder of Daniel than she ever planned. Here’s the thing, though: is she? Sensei Satoshi can see it, and it’s the logical progression, but they’ve been less successful at showing it from Emily’s perspective. She still seems far more emotionally connected to Jack.

Jack, poor pure Jack, he’s hopelessly caught in a web of Real Emily Thorne’s lies with no end in sight. Our Emily seems to be working on a way to get the Real Emily out of the picture without having to force her had, and her plan somehow involves giving Real Emily a book full of Amanda’s memories so she can form a better connection with Jack. The writers are obviously having fun with this new character dynamic, and it gives Jack something to do, so it will be interesting to see where this one goes. It doesn’t seem likely that our Emily will allow Real Emily to take over Amanda’s identity for good, though.

Much more eventful, and ultimate more confusing, was Nolan’s dilemma. Nolan is the most compelling personality in all of this, as he has personal stakes but also appears to just be enjoying all of the chaos this is bringing into his lonely life. He’s fulfilling his promise to David Clarke, but also getting some fun hot scheme worthy sex on the side. What’s interesting about Nolan is he has a line—a set of moral checks and balances—that Emily simply doesn’t. Him recording his encounter with Tyler? On the right side of the line. Emily using it to stealthly manipulate Tyler? Over the line. He’s necessary as Emily’s confidante but also as a bit of the audience’s conscience. The only thing I question: Does he truly have feelings for Tyler, as suggested, or was that just all part of his ruse? Was he really going to run off to Monte Carlo with him?

As for Tyler, he’s a bucketful of crazy in a thimble-sized container and it is delicious. The show has always been building to something big with him, and the reveal of his anti-psychotic medication (which he conveniently just ran out of) paired with the screws tightening on him in regards to his relationship with Conrad Grayson can only lead to even more insanity. Every good soap needs a villain you love to hate, and Tyler fits the bill. Now that he’s blackmailing Conrad into giving him a position at the company, he’ll only have to keep doing more and more extreme things to maintain his status.

Part of Emily’s plan is going extremely well, and that’s the complete destruction of Victoria and Conrad’s marriage. Conrad has filed for divorce and Victoria has hired a lawyer, the lawyer who just so happened to reject helping David Clarke out with his appeal so many years ago. Emily’s whole mantra, as explained by Sensei Satoshi, is to exact revenge by having her targets participate in their own demise. Now that she has a connection to both Victoria and her lawyer, Emily is basically circling her prey very, very slowly. Between this and Victoria’s newfound knowledge that Amanda Clarke is back in town, things are looking to get even more complicated for Victoria in the near future.

Stray observations:

  • I know what Emily was doing probably isn’t kung fu. I am not up on my martial arts lingo.
  • I love Shamu the revenge whale. That thing gets around.
  • Myles McNutt would think less of me if I didn't mention the show's continued use of horrible, horrible green screens. It's sort of like community theater, except if you watched community theater through a television so basically not like community theater at all.
  • “One thing you can count on. I never forget.”
  • “So you’re not even bi?”
  • “Miami is for trolls.”
  • “You sabotaged our alliance because you fell for a hooker.”

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