Last week Emily’s (Emily VanCamp) plans went to hell after Conrad (Henry Czerny) realized that his Huntington’s disease had been faked. Also: Nolan (Gabriel Mann) made out with Green Arrow. Where do we go from here?
Let’s bitch it out…In hindsight the writers probably could have retitled ‘Control’ as ‘Emily puts her boys in their places’ and called it a day (admittedly it’s a bit less catchy and contradicts the show’s penchant for one word titles, but hey). Traditionally our girl is an ace when it comes to emotionally manipulating guys, so it’s solid fun to watch things fall apart across multiple relationships all in a single episode. I’ve said it repeatedly in the past, but when the wheels come off Emily’s plans, that’s when this show is most interesting. As much as we may identify with her, the simple fact is that watching Emily break out the red sharpie of doom to chalk up another successful take-down got old around five episodes in. Since then Revenge has been best when it suggests that Emily isn’t a Rhode scholar manipulating a bunch of imbeciles. It can’t be easy to take down the Graysons, otherwise there would be no show which means we need things to remain complicated.
Traditionally things mess with Emily’s plans when other characters begin thinking. And that’s what happens here: Jack (Nick Wechsler) once again throws down his ultimatum, Aiden (Barry Sloane) lets his jealousy direct his actions and Daniel (Josh Bowman)…well Daniel basically pulls his head out of his a*s long enough to realize that his fiance is never around and doesn’t seem to love him. So yeah…Emily has boy troubles.
Let’s begin with Aiden, Emily’s partner in crime (and supposed lover). Aside from clearly living on borrowed time, Aiden is supposed to helping out by stirring up trouble in the Grayson household. Unfortunately he’s jealous, so he uses his influence over Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) and Conrad (Henry Czerny) to fix their sights on Jack. Thankfully Emily sees through this relatively obvious plot nearly as quickly as we do, and by calling him on it, manages to right things by episode’s end. (Side Note: using Conrad’s desperation to reconcile with his daughter as a way to shift blame for the car crash away from Jack and Justin Hartley’s Patrick is pretty genius).
Guy #2, Jack proves more troublesome. Not only is Jack completely righteous in his self-imposed timetable for Emily to complete her revenge, but he frequently pouts about how put-upon he is…by her. Hopefully the new romance with Margaux (Karine Vanasse) will bring back some of the levity in him, but for now Jack is pretty much the resident wet-blanket of the show. The writers likely think he’s the new conscience of the show, especially now that Gabriel Mann’s Nolan has drunk the kool-aid and fallen in love/lust with Patrick. Ultimately it doesn’t matter how we feel about Jack; we might as well just accept the woh-woh factor since he’s clearly Emily’s endgame, despite the animosity between them right now.
So that leaves Guy #3, Daniel, who finally wises up to the fact that Emily bails on him at every opportunity, never sleeps with him and is generally kinda a bitch to him. The stunt she pulled with the magazine article last week may have been the straw that broke the relationship, but their separation has been in the works for some time now. Nolan’s advice to share a real piece of her heart with Daniel is a little too Disney for me, but Nolan’s not incorrect in his assertion that Emily has generally done a crap job of convincing anyone that she’s excited about her engagement to Daniel. It’s a little unbelievable that a simple story about her father (her real father) and the explanation that she’s lost “true love” is enough to win Daniel over, but let’s be honest, do we really want to see them struggle to reconcile for another two or three episodes? No. We all know that we’re headed towards for a ceremony on the high seas and a shooting, so let’s not pretend these weren’t getting back together.
By episode’s end, things seem relatively patched up. Emily has made smoochy faces with Daniel and Aiden, deflected attention away from Jack for the accident and in some kind of crazy alternate reality scenario a relatively sane girl is attracted to Jack (plus he’s ditched baby Carl, so there’s more opportunities for him to leave the Stowaway!). Now Emily’s plans for world domination, or at least the part that contains the Graysons, can get back on track.
Until next week at least…
- Remember that time that Jack met Aiden for the first time? Apparently it’s in this episode! Is anyone else surprised to learn that these two have never interacted before? How is that possible considering that this show that has, like six characters?!
- I know that Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) is “acting” in her confessional scene with Conrad, but holy hell is Allen bad throughout this entire episode. I’m unsure if the intention is that we think she’s playing Victoria (maybe she’s high?), but none of her scenes work for me. Time to send this girl off to the “Nomi Malone School of Overacting” to rein it in
- Soooo….what’s going on with our two new characters? Margaux: is she for real or is she just a shark intent on using the Graysons to get Voulez off the ground? It seems much more likely that Patrick is a truly shady guy – and that’s before we factor in that he tried to kill Conrad – so we’re on more solid footing here. Is there any chance Patrick’s feelings for Nolan are real? (Bear in mind that last season’s Nolan and – ugh – Padma relationship was also supposedly real)
- Since we don’t see him, let’s cast Margaux’s father, media mogul Pascal. I’m thinking Vincent Cassel because he plays sleazy powerful men really well. Or go against type and offer the job to the main guy from The Artist, Jean Dujardin. What do you think?
- Clearly we watch with baited breath each week for our obligatory Victoria vs Emily catfight and shade throw-down each. This week has to go to Victoria for daring to touch Emily’s hair! I’m surprised Ems didn’t break her wrist right then and there
- Finally, apparently in the fictitious world of Revenge, instead of TMZ we have TMI and the paparazzos are desperate enough to follow Emily, Victoria and Charlotte go engagement dress shopping. Slow news day, I guess…
- Conrad (suggesting Aiden is Victoria’s valet): “If I need someone to handle my handbag, I know who to call”
- Jack (when he learns Aiden works for Emily): “Who are you?!”
- Victoria (to Margaux, re: her disapproving father): “You can spend your life being controlled by powerful men, or you can learn how to control them” Obviously a personal motto – and possible throw cushion decal – for Victoria
- Emily (discussing Daniel with Nolan): “I can’t stand to be around him” Wow, we’ve never actually heard her say it! It sounds so cold when she says it out loud
What are your thoughts on ‘Control’? Are you surprised that Patrick was behind Conrad’s accident, or that Charlotte took the fall? Do you think Jack is too much of a complainer? Which couple has less chemistry: Emily and Aiden or Emily and Daniel? And who won the bitch off between Victoria and Emily this week? Sound off below
Revenge airs Sundays at 9pm EST on ABC