I will fully admit that there are days when I’m not overly interested in recapping a particular show, but – like any job – you suck it up and write it up. This has never been an issue with Revenge, the buzzy nighttime soap that has been the talk of every watercooler moment my boss and I have had since Lydia (Amber Valletta) took a plunge off the roof in episode 5 ‘Guilt.’ Now we’ve reached the engagement party from the pilot and it’s time to pull back the curtain to reveal the identity of the murder victim.
Let’s bitch it out!
Obvious issues first: As many correctly predicted, the body on the beach is not in fact Daniel (Joshua Bowman), but Tyler (Ashton Holmes), who returned for one night only to cause the titular chaos. What word describes how I feel? Disappointed. The decision not to make the victim Daniel seems like the first really obvious and dull choice the show has made in many weeks. Another word that explores how I feel? Expected. Let’s face it: Holmes was guest starring on the show and Bowman is one of its break-out stars (a recent EW cover feature with Emily VanCamp was suggestion enough that the show’s producers had no intention of killing him off). Still…it does feel a like a bit of a cop-out to keep him alive and get rid of crazy troublemaker Tyler (who was so much fun!).
Getting everyone into their place for our return to the pilot was an interesting – and fast-paced – hour. After the fallout from Jack’s (Nick Weschler) dinner party crash in ‘Perception’ in which he revealed the truth about Charlotte’s (Christa B. Allen) lineage, there’s a lot of tension in the Grayson family. Charlotte – in a drug abuse storyline stolen from recent episodes of The Secret Circle – turns to oxycodone for relief while Daniel refuses to speak to mama Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) and plots to elope with Emily to Paris and away from all the “secrets and lies.” Clearly that can’t happen, so he’s revealed to be the shooter (or presumed shooter) at episode’s end. In the coming weeks, creator Mike Kelly indicated the Hamptons set drama will shift focus to address the arrest and trial that follows tonight’s death, so there are some bad times coming down the pike for our rich-bitch would-be poet.
The other interesting story of the evening? The removal of the rose-coloured glasses from Fauxmanda’s (Margarita Levieva) eyes after Tyler kidnaps her and lets her mess around in Emily’s stolen box of REVENGE! There we find Treadwell tapes, a cell phone filled with Jack messages Emily kept from Amanda and other goodies galore. Initially Faux protects her friend, but later when our heroine goes to meet Tyler, Faux turns accomplice to the bipolar bisexual and they drive away with the box and the five million dollar ransom (laundered through Canada – hey hey!). Whether Faux intends on helping Emily after she escapes from Tyler is unknown, but she gets shot escaping his vaguely Smallville-esque barn lair. Naturally this causes Jack some alarm when she meets up with him on the Amanda. After he reveals that Emily always stuck up for her, she runs off, leaving him to chase after her with bloodied hands. While the party is still in full swing, Jack protects Faux by sending her back to his truck at which time the events of the pilot collide with the present: engagement speech, “Where’s my son?”, “Moooooooom”, “Daniel!” and the entire engagement party converges on the beach for the dead-Tyler reveal. Just as we’re stunned into not-overly-surprised silence, Daniel appears – confused and covered in blood – and Victoria whispers to him “Don’t say a word.” Annnnd scene!
- Victoria had a decent few days: 1) she poisons Daniel against Emily with insinuations that the young blonde is a gold-digger and 2) Mama Grayson initiates a big, bad plan for Grayson Global. After signing the divorce papers, she grabs a card for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which isn’t going to be good news for the troubled company (Side Note: How unfortunate that there’s an identical – albeit far less interesting – plotline going on right now on Ringer?)
- Grandpa Grayson (William Devane) clearly created the uncaring, unfeeling model his son and daughter-in-law adopted. He first persuades, and then bribes, Charlotte not to speak with a therapist in the wake of the revelation about her father to protect the Grayson name (and by proxy the company). Solid family love, there, gramps! Too bad Victoria has other plans.
- Clearly now that Jack is implicated in the murder (his prints will be all over Tyler), he’ll no longer be going to Port-de-Prince to do missionary work. How random was that phone call? We knew Jack was planning on sailing away at the start of the summer, but did we know it was to do this?
- Finally, the biggest and most interesting – for my money – questions of the evening: what the hell is Satoshi Takeda (Hiroyke Sanada) doing at Emily and Daniel’s engagement party? Clearly Conrad invited a bunch of investors (we hear him talking up investments shortly after Victoria signs the divorce papers), but since this is Revenge we know that Takeda has ulterior motives. First he asks for a private audience with Daniel, then refuses to take Emily’s call, then offers her the box of REVENGE back as an engagement party (he insists it is buried so that she can get her plan back on track). So far so good, right? WRONG because then during Victoria’s toast, he nods at Nolan (WTF is up with that?!). The finally “whaaaa?” moment for me occurred shortly after the shooting when Fauxmanda, stranded at Jack’s truck, accepts a ride from a stranger. Initially I thought the driver was Tyler, but after she gets in, we pull back to reveal…Takeda! Suddenly if I’m Margarita Levieva, I’d be looking for work because I can’t imagine that that girl is going to survive this encounter. He’s going to hack her body up into parts and feed them to the gulls before Jack even notices she’s gone. Mark my words: Faux is now the one in the most trouble, not Daniel.
And that’s the chaotic engagement episode – we’ve now come full circle to return to Labour Day weekend. What did you think of the big death ‘reveal’ on the beach? Were you happy it was Tyler, or sad it wasn’t Daniel? What will happen to Faux and how will her disappearance affect Jack? Or will he be too busy trying to dodge an accessory to murder charge? So. Many. Questions. Side Note 2: Ringer…please take notes. This is how you do melodrama. That is all.