She’s baaaaack. After a few months off for the Olympics and some other crappy ABC scheduling, Emily (Emily VanCamp) is back to kick butt…provided the blackouts don’t kill her first.
Let’s bitch it out…
‘Payback’ wastes no time getting right back into our little tale of revenge. It’s packed to the gills with storylines, jumping continuously from one plot to another with barely a rest, so eager to get us caught up on everything that it starts to feel like work to keep up. If taking a break from seeing the show weekly has done anything, it has made it clear just how much fat is hanging off this show’s carcass. When you dive into the ‘Other Observations’ section below the photo, I challenge you to identify even one storyline that interests you. I’m willing to bet you can count the number on a single finger (if you even need one at all).
At this point Revenge is bloated. So much so that Emily seems barely present in ‘Payback’ at all. Oh sure, part of that is because she’s having blackouts that cause her memory lapses during which she indulges in all kinds of questionable behaviour, including taking strange meetings with bad people, engaging in wild animalistic sex attacks on her ex and breaking people’s phones in Hulk-like rage attacks. So basically she’s Lindsay Lohan.
Lindsay Lohan + blackouts.
Sooooo Lindsay Lohan.
Thankfully the memory loss clarifies one icky plot development up: the shocker of an ending from the last episode when Ems woke up in Conrad’s (Henry Cznery) room at
Southfork South Hampton Inn. Turns out that it was nothing more than a bait and hook ploy and Emily did not sleep with Conrad.She has, however, been plotting with him. On what exactly she isn’t sure (damn those convenient blackouts for all of the things I don’t care to remember!), but as the hour passes it’s clear that his plan involves getting her divorced from Daniel (Josh Bowman) and possibly helping Conrad stick it to Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) in his divorce proceedings.
We also learn that the first Mrs. Grayson, Stevie (Gail O’Grady) is in town because of Ems. Initially it doesn’t seem like she’ll stick around, but by the end of the hour, she’s already involved in the second soapiest plotline of the evening: she’s Jack’s (Nick Wechsler) mom. (The first, if you were wondering, involves the evening’s completely predictable cold-blooded murder. More on that below).
I’ll be honest that with so much ridiculousness in this script, I figured that Emily’s big revelation to Nolan (Gabriel Mann) at the end of the hour was that she has a brain tumour. Colour me only slightly underwhelmed to learn that it is still a medical malady – one that is completely unrelated to her shooting (naturally): she’s inherited her mom’s penchant for psychotic breaks.
Woot woot! Everybody climb aboard because apparently the crazy train is now leaving the station!
- The evening’s soapiest storyline sees Patrick (Justin Hartley) plot to execute his own revengda against dad, Jimmy Brennan (Brett Cullen), but Patrick hesitates to strike a killing blow when Brennan spins a different tale about his conception. Of course that lasts about five seconds until Brennan attacks Victoria, Patrick smokes him in the head and Victoria decides to let him bleed to death on the floor. Just another week in the Hamptons!
- Boo urns on Niko’s (Stephanie Jacobsen) revengda against Aiden (Barry Sloane). Her fight with Emily is too brief and the climax is underwhelming (though it seems likely that she’ll be back – if only because you can’t introduce a kitana without someone getting stabbed). But really, can we discuss the sheer number of candles Nico set up around that room? This is one of my favourite Hollywood clichés; I love it because it’s so ridiculous.
- Daniel recruits Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) into his army of two against Conrad as the Voulez war heats up…or as much as it can be said to heat up because it is soooooo boring. Whether or not this is part of Daniel and Margaux’s (Karine Vanasse) plan to wrestle control of the magazine back from Conrad is unclear, but the way the writers keep name dropping Margaux’s dad, we should expect big things from him shortly.
- Oh yeah, Margaux and Jack (Nick Wechsler) bought a house. Woot?
- Finally, what is with Emily’s ‘beyond beige’ terrible outfit when she meets with Stevie Grayson? I know she’s trying to look conservative, but this is not the Emily we know and love! Emily’s 80s track suit dress at the birthday party, on the other hand? Much better…
- Nolan (after Emily confesses she told Stevie about Aiden): “So blackout Em speaks the truth?”
- Victoria (to Emily, discussing have children): “Sadly it’s an experience that you’ll never have…Which makes me wonder: who were your parents? Where did you come from? And why are you still here?”
- Nolan (discussing the blackouts): “I wish I could just keep you locked up here until the full moon”
- Patrick (after he and Victoria kill Jimmy): “What is wrong with us?” That’s a valid question that could be asked of nearly every character on this show.
Your turn: what did you think of the show’s return? Are you surprised that Em’s problems appear to be genetic? Surprised that Victoria and Patrick killed someone in cold blood? Are you concerned that Victoria is being kicked out of
SouthFork Grayson Manor? And which Voulez storyline is less boring: Daniel using Charlotte or Margaux visiting her dad? Sound off below.
Revenge airs Sundays at 10pm EST on ABC. Here’s a promo that appears to bear no connection to this week’s episode at all.