‘Revenge’: Unwelcome Houseguests

Amber Valletta and Madeleine Stowe on Revenge (ABC)

Amber Valletta and Madeleine Stowe on Revenge (ABC)

This week, “Revenge”  opens up its guest bedrooms to a couple of people it would rather send packing. The episode “Treachery” also sends the Party of the Week the way of the Red Xs of doom. This installment is all about the aftermath.

Houseguest Number One: Amily

For the sake of everyone’s sanity, the character that Emily VanCamp plays — the real Amanda who now calls herself Emily — shall be called Emanda. The character Margarita Levieva plays — the real Emily who now goes by Amanda — shall be called Amily. Emanda, desperate to contain her former juvie buddy turned stripper turned murderer of Frank – dumps her at Casa de Nolan. Emanda refuses to tell Nolan (Gabriel Mann) who Amily is. She also asks Nolan to photoshop her face out of Lydia’s picture from the 2003 New Year’s Eve party. When is Emanda going to do a favor for Nolan?

Because Nolan is the smartest person in the Hamptons, he soon notices a bloodstain on Amily’s jacket. Nolan has Phoebe Cates‘ bikini from “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” available for guests to borrow. Amily wears it to practice her breast stroke. Jack (Nick Weschler) is as impressed as Judge Reinhold when he drops by in the hope  of borrowing Amanda The Boat from Nolan. She asks him to apply sunscreen to her back then teaches him to make a cocktail called the Black Dahlia. It’s a real drink named after a Hollywood starlet who was murdered in the 1940s that is going to get ordered a lot this weekend. It may also foreshadow Amily’s fate. Emanda arrives and Jack “introduces” them realizing he doesn’t know Amily’s name. Amily tells Emanda that Jack lives up to the stories she told in juvie.

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Emanda promises to give Amily a new identity, offering her an apartment in Paris. Amily says she’s the closest thing she ever had to a sister. Flasback to Warden CCH Pounder telling Amanda, who is bleeding after a fight with Emily, that she is smarter than Emily and should get Emily to work for her rather than against her. Another flashback reveals that when Emily was released, Amanda picked her up and offered her 500 grand for her name. So Amily was given half a million dollars at 18 and still ended up stripping. The warden was right about her intellectual capacity.

After reading about Frank’s death, Nolan goes CSI:Hamptons, and confronts her about her bloody clothes.  Amily soon tells all. After he confronts Emanda about the whole unwittingly housing a murderer thing, Emanda gives him Frank’s phone and asks him to disable the GPS before they look at it. She is such a taker. Emanda gives Amily a passport in Emanda’s mother’s name, which does not seem too smart.

Nolan stops by the Stowaway and gives Jack back his boat and says he no longer has to pretend to be his friend. Jack apologizes for blaming him for Emanda’s rejection of his romantic overtures. The bromance is back on! Finally, someone appreciates Nolan as much as the audience.

Amily professes to be excited about her first international trip, but she has a couple more IQ points than Emanda realized and never gets on the plane to Paris. Instead, she pops up at the Stowaway and asks Jack to make her a Black Dahlia, planning to follow it up with a big glass of Jack.

Houseguest Number Two: Lydia

Lydia (Amber Valletta) wakes up with convenient amnesia. She remembers who she is, but none of what transpired over the duration of the show. Sometimes the old soap plots are the best. Conrad (Henry Czerny) thinks he and Victoria (Madeline Stowe) need to get their stories straight in case she remembers. Victoria’s solution is to move Lydia into the Grayson house while she recuperates. Lydia has no idea who Emanda is when she stops by. Yet when Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) and Emanda drop off boxes of her belongings, Lydia suddenly remembers the New Year’s Eve party, telling Victoria to find the photo. Really? That’s what she remembers? Perhaps she’s faking her memory loss to get some revenge of her own. Of course, Emanda has replaced it with the photo Nolan altered, so she’s in the clear.

The police tell Conrad that Frank is dead. Victoria tells them that Frank’s final words to her were that Emily is not who she seems to be. Victoria suspects Conrad could have killed Frank. Lydia overhears their argument. She pretends to be asleep when Victoria comes in to her room. Victoria steals her phone.

Two cops ask Emanda about Frank ‘s death. Meanwhile, Frank’s phone and wallet are on her porch courtesy of Nolan. She says Frank threatened to tell everyone she was in juvie for defending herself against an abusive foster parent. Daniel (Joshua Bowman)  gives her a truthful alibi, explaining that they were shagging when Frank died. Once they leave, Emanda deletes incriminating photos of Amily’s mugshot from Frank’s phone. Daniel confronts Victoria, about her treatment of Emanda, saying he he no longer wants anything to do with her. Then he moves  in with Emanda.

Housguest Number Three:  O.G. Tyler

Tyler’s (Ashton Holmes) been freeloading so long that he almost seems like he belongs. But he’s a hustler, baby. After having transactional blackmail sex with Nolan in the prior episode, he still had enough energy to give Ashley the best sex of her life.  When Daniel decides to quit bartending and accept an internship with Conrad, Tyler sees the keys to the kingdom slipping away from him.

Ashley complains about Victoria to Tyler, saying people like them are disposable to the Graysons. Tyler says Emily is the worst of them because she hides behind her smile.  He thinks they need to stop playing nice. So, drugging and trying to seduce his friend is Tyler’s definition of playing nice. Victoria shreds Lydia’s speech exposing Victoria’s numerous misdeeds. Tyler pieces it back together.

On a serious note, one of the reasons this show works is because it features members of the 99 percent taking down the one percent. In a strange way it captures the anger of the Occupy Wall Street movement that did not exist when the pilot was filmed in the same way that “24” coincidentally launched after 9/11. That’s a lot of subtext for a guilty pleasure show.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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