The claws come out as everyone initiates power plays and coups against their enemies in a deliciously melodramatic hour that is hampered solely by a continued focus on woh-woh Padma (Dilshad Vadsaria).
Let’s bitch it out…A masquerade ball is always going to offer up some kind of secret identity, unfortunate event or missed communication. The entire point of such an event is to conceal who you truly are, so how can deception and intrigue not follow?
In the world of Revenge, six weeks have passed in the blink of an eye between last week and this week. It definitely makes for some awkwardness of its own as the writers go out of their way to remind us how much time has passed, although none of the relationships appear to have changed from when we last saw them. The exception is Nolan (Gabriel Mann) who’s come a little…undone, shall we say, in the intervening time. His obsessive search for Padma is bordering on psychotic, so much so that Emily (Emily VanCamp) takes a break from snogging Aiden (Barry Sloane) to swing by and let Nolan know that she’s worried. And she has a plan! A REVENGE plan! One that appears to have nothing at all to do with finding Padma except for luring Initiative man Trask (Burn Goran) out into the open so that Aiden can use him as a driver and then snap his neck. Umm…okay…was that part of the plan?
Okay, so the plan is dumb, but we do get the sight of Padma play-acting dead on a slab in some Storage Wars locker, so she’s totes dead, amirite? Still. Not. Falling. For. It! The only way to rescue this travesty of a storyline is to expose Padma as the one-armed woman behind the curtain who’s been pulling all the strings and when she walks away, her limp disappears. Until then I refuse to believe that we have suffered through her just so that she can die some kind of martyr’s death.
Oh…and Nolan’s now likely going to lock-up because having pictures on the wall = murderer (detective work in the Hamptons has never been great). On the plus side, maybe he’ll meet someone cute in the brig?
Back to the masquerade: Ems hatches a plot to eff with Victoria’s (Madeleine Stowe) mind by making her think that her first-born son has returned for (what else?) REVENGE. To prepare for the big Halloween ball, she breaks Victoria down, piece by piece. First, she sends an RSVP note (ohhh scary!) and then, the piece de resistance: eleven black roses. So wait, Victoria is meant to be scared by notes and flowers? This is the bitch who sent her own son a bullet in the mail!
It all leads up to the fated appearance of the mystery man at the ball. It’s all a little confusing because we’re clearly meant to think that the man posing as Vic’s son is Aiden (same suit), but then we see Aiden moments later as the mystery man ducks of following a congratulatory pat from Ems. Soooo Ems hired an actor or something? Weird.
Anyways, the best part is the sequence when Victoria chases the man through the party. It’s great because it’s filmed like a lurid fantasy sequence straight out of Ridley Scott’s Legend: slow-mo damsel in distress chases and then swoons into unconsciousness clutching a blood-red tablecloth as the camera hovers from an ominiscient birds-eye perspective. It’s a great setpiece that never looks like an extravagant commercial for either perfume or women’s sanitary napkins. Bravo!
- Other great masquerade visuals: Em’s sultry white gown (Scandal‘s Olivia Pope approves), Nolan’s Liberace get-up, Jack’s (Nick Wechsler) Crazy 88 mask and Aiden’s 007-inspired tux with white trim embellishment. Gorgeous people looking gorgeous, that’s what it’s all about
- Now that the animosity between Victoria and Em is back out in the open (Victoria tells Em she isn’t welcome at the party and Em comes anyways), these two are so much more fun! Points to Em for providing us with another great EYEROLL in their earlier conversation
- Under the helpful hand of Jack Porter, Conrad’s (Henry Czerny) campaign is within four points of a win. At least until Jack initiates his own plot by planting a David Clarke question in the townhall Q&A and filling Connie’s head with mildly threatening audio from Nate Ryan. The pay-off isn’t really there, however, until Jack recruits unemployable Ashley (Ashley Madewke) to help bring the Graysons down. Now we’re talking!
- I have less than nothing to say about Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) and Declan (Connor Paolo) aside from the fact that Charlotte bitch-slapped that Regina girl really well. Fingers crossed there’s a B-story featuring Charlotte’s rise in the ranks of amateur girl boxing in S3
- Finally, once Trask is out of the picture, Daniel pre-emptively releases the picture of him and Em at lunch (from six weeks ago) to Page Six so that they can announce that the power-couple is back together. This A) more or less leads to an Em/Aiden break-up and B) creeps me out. Shouldn’t you like, I dunno, check with the person you’d like to date before announcing it to the entire world? It’s super controlling and kinda blackmail-y
- Nolan (when Em announces she has a new plan): “Start your revengines”
- Victoria (talking to Daniel re: Emily): “This is just a seasonal trifle (to Ashley, who walks in) not unlike yourself.” Burn!
- Daniel (giving Victoria back her bullets): “Use one for each of your two faces.” Double burn!
What did you think of the ball: fun or too melodramatic? Would you have thrown those black roses in the garbage, too? Do you think Padma is actually dead? Who gets Aiden’s sweet house in the divorce? When you want to date someone, do you just automatically take out a column in Page Six announcing it, or are you more sly? Hit the comments below with your thoughts.
Revenge airs Sundays at 9pm EST on ABC