‘Revenge’: The Return of the Takedown

Emily VanCamp in "Revenge" (ABC)

Revenge” fans, it’s the ultimate shocker. Emanda (Emily VanCamp) actually takes someone down, complete with Red Sharpie,  in this this week’s episode, “Victory.” Yes, the Season 1 formula that we all know and loved is back. Hallejulah! In addition, new and improved Jack (Nick Wechsler) continues to be far more efficient at this whole revenge thing than Emanda, a dull character is taken off the canvas, and a genuinely surprising twist at the end. Now that’s true victory. Welcome back, show!

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Revenge of the Foster Kids: Emanda’s foster brother, Eli, who has made himself right at home in the Gryason mansion, persuades Conrad (Henry Czerny) and Victoria (Madeline Stowe) that the Amanda Clarke Foundation should support his former foster mother, Miss Hayward.  Of course, she is a Dicksensian monster who used to lock the kids in a coal bin.  Once Eli explains to Emanda that he, too, is actually out for revenge, and gives Emanda a letter David sent to her from prison proclaiming his innocence that evil Miss Hayward kept from her, she is on board. He wants to get the rest of David’s letters back for her.  The former foster siblings persuade their surprisingly gullible former foster mom, who i s on the verge of losing hr mini-gulag, that the Amanda Clarke foundation will not only save her home but will donate a quarter million dollars a year if she just shows up at their  press conference. After Victoria makes a lovely speech about the foundation’s commitment to helping foster children, Eli publicly calls out Miss Hayward for being abusive and greedy. Not only does Hayward deny it, she says that Eli was the one who set the fire when they were kids and let Amanda take the rap for him. This is actually true — sort of. Emanda set one that quickly burned out. So Eli re-lit it, hoping only to keep her from being adopted so they could continue living together, but the fire spread out of control leading to Emanda getting sent to juvie. Eli let her take the rap out of cowardice. She angrily tells him how he wrecked her life and asks him to leave town before crossing out  Hayward’s photo with the Red Sharpie. Yes!  He makes amends by beating the hell out of Hayward and extorting a written confession revealing she sold David’s letters to none other than Mason Treadwell.

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Viictoria Has Yet Another Secret: In a too brief scene, Emanda visits Mason (Roger Bart) in prison, reminding him that she has the information that could free him. He tells her that when she set his house on fire she burned all of David’s letters. oops! Fortunately he remembers the most incendiary revelation: Victoria gave up a son for adoption as a teenager! This plot twist will be far more interesting if the long lost non-Grayson is somebody we already  know. Even though the timeline might not match up, could it be Nolan, who looked nothing like his alleged father, or Aiden? The potential Victoria Baby Daddy suspects include Victoria’s mother’s pervy boyfriends, whoever she was dating in high school, and, what the hell, Takeda.

Nolan and Aiden: The Less Then Dynamic Duo: Padma shows Nolan (Gabriel Mann)  a video of her dad holding a current newspaper requesting she bring Carrion to a location to save him. Nolan agrees to give up the infamous program, handing the flashdrive to her enclosed in a turtle cam. It’s no whale cam, but it will do. Aiden’s 9Barry Sloane) plan is to kill the Initiative members ho make the drop. Then Padma and her dad will have to disappear. Nolan is devastated that he will have to let his boring girlfriend go. I am not.  They share tearful “I love yous.” Nolan vows that someday the Initiative will be exposed and they can be together again. But really, by then Nolan will be with a fun gay guy. Everything starts to go to hell when the time of the exchange changes. Emanda can’t come because she is stuck in New Haven attending Yale, er at lunch with Daniel. Who goes to lunch in New Haven if it can be avoided? Daniel’s behavior would be suspicious, since he is the Initiative’s pawn, but he truly seems out of the loop on this one.

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So Aiden and known lousy shot Nolan are stationed on a roof top above the alley where Padma will make the drop. An uncomfortable Nolan tells Aiden,  “Sorry Lee Harvey. I get a little nervous when I am about to kill people.”   Padma hands Trask the drive. Instead of freeing her Dad, he throws her in the back of his car. Nolan puts his hand in front of Aiden’s gun, stopping him from taking a shot, which he instantly realizes was a mistake. Trask takes Padma to what appears to be a warehouse. She can hear her father behind a closed door, He asks her to take a seat. Nolan and Aiden, tracing the location via Turtle cam, arrive after they have left.  They get a text from Trask:  ‘”Sorry about your friend. It’s a terrible thing to lose one’s head. There’s a box on the table. Unfortunately, neither Padma’s nor Gwyneth Paltrow’s head is inside,  just the tracking device. RIP, Turtle Cam.  Aiden realizes the Initiative  was onto their plan all along,  lending credence to my theory that Aiden is the mole and Falcon. Nolan astutely tells Aiden, “You really should consider another line of work.” Sure enough, Nolan discovers computer evidence that Falcon is working for the Initiative and is worried that the one person who could outmaneuver him has Padma. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Ashley turned out to be Falcon?

Jack the Barkeep: Jack is trying to track down Kenny, even though he seemed to doubt Nolan’s claims that the slightly less evil Ryan brother was the one who rescued him the night Amily died. Declan 9Connor Paolo) makes himself useful by crashing intoTrey at school so he can steal his cell phone which has Kenny’s phone number. Declam tets him as Trey and sets up a meeting. This is officially he best thing Declan has ever done,  Jack shows up. Kenny denies rescuing him or buying the boat. He think Conrad set him up. He admits there is something he didn’t tell the cops. Nate taped their meetings with Conrad. He agrees to hand them over. Let’s hope this is the last we see of the Ryan brothers. Jack listens to audio of Conrad implicitly ordering a hit on Jack. Now he just needs proof that Conrad paid the Ryans.

Fortunately, Conrad is down in the polls because the 99 percent hats him. No kidding. He makes Romney look as salt-of-the-earth as Lincoln. Conrad’s awesome solution is to recruit Jack to be his Joe the Plumber. Jack agrees, knowing it’s the best way to get the goods on Conrad. Jack has the steepste learning curve on the show, He may be better at this revenge thing than Emanda.

A Bullet is a Stylish Accessory: Over the aforementioned lunch in New Haven, Daniel tells Emanda that the board has chosen Aiden to take the fall for killing Helen. He promises to keep her safe. The next day, Daniel receives a photo of their lunch in an envelope that also contains two bullets. However, it’s not from Trask, who has his hands full. Victoria just happens to have a jewelry box full of bullets. Talk about a Statement Piece.

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

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