Everyone’s pursuing their own agenda in this week’s Revenge as Emily (Emily VanCamp) is forced to reevaluate the strength of her alliances in the wake of a mutiny.
Let’s bitch it out…
The high point of ‘Dissolution’ for me is the verbal sparring match between Nolan (Gabriel Mann) and Emily. It’s been a long time coming: for the better part of two seasons Nolan has been little more than Emily’s underling, a manservant that she orders around when she needs something techy. This hasn’t really been the case this third season as Nolan’s role on the show has changed. Following his brief stint in the pen (securing cooking tips from Mafia Dons, apparently), Nolan’s not as engaged in Emily’s plans for REVENGE, preferring to focus on his personal life.
This makes sense given the rocky relationships he’s endured in the past, including Tyler (S1), Marco (S2) and she who shall not be named (S2). Now you can toss another name onto that list as Nolan’s burgeoning relationship with Patrick (Justin Hartley) circles the drain. You can take it further, though, as Nolan’s closest relationship – aside from Emily – is Jack (Nick Wechsler), the friend he’s held at arm’s length for as long as we’ve known them. So when Emily sweeps into Nolan’s house, alternately barking orders to do things or tells him to stay away from certain people, it’s only natural that Nolan eventually snaps and tells her to shove her mission down her pie-hole. In a way, it’s incredibly satisfying to watch him take her down a notch or two.
For Emily this comes as a surprise, but even Aiden (Barry Sloane) saw it coming. He practically strokes her head and calls her a lovable little idiot outside of the gallery, suggesting that she’s leading a selfish life (Nolan provides a variation when he states that Emily believes everything orbits around her). Let’s face it – we need Emily to be a selfish, REVENGE! oriented character because he show is called Revenge and we’re watching to the evil, nasty Graysons get their comeuppance. The show escapes its genre trappings, however, when it acknowledges that Emily’s plans have a tendency to lead her into the same morally murky waters that the Graysons frequent. Nolan and Aiden (and Jack to a certain, self-righteous extent) are just more able to see it. At this point Em just needs to own it; no matter how many white shirts she wears, she’s not the nice girl she’s deluded herself into believing she is.
This all leads to a final confessional scene in Nolan’s kitchen as Emily finally opens up to the boys about her August 8 wedding plan. It’s obviously meant to be a doozy, but the plan is actually pretty straightforward and obvious: she’s going to frame Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) for her murder. As far as soap opera/melodrama plotlines go, this one is a classic. It’s safe to say that in tried and true Revenge fashion something will likely go wrong – after all, Emily can’t simply disappear after the “murder” or else the show ends (despite the lowered ratings for S3, ABC probably isn’t quite ready to let go of the show just yet).
And so, we’re five weeks away from the wedding of the summer. In the world of Revenge, things are just heating up…
- Emily’s not the only one trying to control the orbit of our Hamptonites. Looks like Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) is getting into the game as she tries to maneuver stupid, clueless Daniel (Josh Bowman) into collision with former squeeze/car accident victim, Sara (Annabelle Stephenson). ‘Cause nothing says rekindled romance like “I didn’t pay for your physio”. Look, the fact that Charlotte is a conniving beyotch is hardly surprising – we’ve known that she dislikes Emily for some time now, though why she would think that a disgruntled former girlfriend is a better long-term prospect than the cold fish neighbour is unclear. Guess Charlotte can’t afford to be too picky since there’s only about fifteen people living in the Hamptons on this show
- Side Note: Sara’s introduction – yelling at Daniel across the pastry counter – is both awkward and obvious. Surely there was a better way of reintroducing her?
- There’s no take-down this week as Aiden and Emily run around like chickens trying to keep the Graysons in line after Victoria and Conrad (Henry Czerny) inch closer to divorce. Keeping the Graysons together (and residing in Casa Grayson) is all part of the frame job, but the constant barrage of threats and one-up gamemanship between Victoria and Conrad is far too repetitive week after week. Let’s hope that with Patrick (Justin Hartley) out of the way and the family fortune recovered, these two find better ways to expend their aimless energies
- Ah Patrick we hardly knew you! Much like Emily’s mother in S2, Revenge bids adieu to another high profile guest star early in the season. It seems far likelier that Patrick will return, however, since Hartley’s storyline has been more successfully integrated into the main arc and his character is…well, hotter. Plus you’re telling me that Nolan’s really going to give up sexxing a guy that destroys the furniture in every room of his house when they do it?! I don’t think so
- Does anyone else wish that VanCamp and Sloane had played up the camp factor in the scene when they bash in Emily’s walls? They’re drinking beers and tearing down walls, making out like Victoria doesn’t watch the house with binoculars all the time. At this point the show is basically a cheap erotic thriller, isn’t it? ABC melodrama porn, perhaps?
- Finally, Conrad jokes that they should turn Casa Grayson into a home for wayward boys (potential residents include Jack, Aiden and Patrick). There’s a sitcom spin-off in there. Or perhaps another kind of porn…
What are your thoughts on ‘Dissolution’? Was Nolan’s explosion a long time coming? Are you surprised by Emily’s plans? Did you think Sara was awkwardly introduced? Are you ready for the divorce threats to end? Will you miss Patrick and his furniture breaking sexcapades? Sound off below
Revenge airs Sundays at 9pm EST on ABC