ABC's Revenge Recap -- 2.01 "Destiny"
Destiny has two ways of crushing us - by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them. -- Henri Frederic Amiel
Revenge picks up its second season with another flash forward: Labor Day weekend sees divers exploring the ruins of the Amanda, Jack’s boat. They find his golden compass—and a body. As yet we don’t know who it is, though the arm we see seems to me to be male. The divers conclude that the boat’s sinking “was no accident” – and then we travel back three months to just before Memorial Day.
So far, so familiar.
Now, Memorial Day is about two months later than we last left our heroes. Daniel is mourning the loss of his mother—though it seems Ashley’s companionship is helping him out with that a big. Charlotte is sixty days sober and begging to attend the Memorial Day art auction, once run by Victoria, now being held in her honor. Conrad doesn’t want her to push anything, but her counselor, Dr. Thomas approves—as long as he’s by her side.
As for Emily? Well, she’s back in Japan, working under Revenge Master Satoshi Takeda (now played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa after original actor Hiroyuki Sanada’s scheduling conflicts led to a recasting.) And by “working under,” I mean she’s tied to a post in the ocean, struggling against both the ropes and the waves. Takeda and a new man stand on the shore, watching. The latter seems more concerned than the former. Underwater, Emily has a flashback—swimming in the waves with her mother, then visiting her in the hospital. She seems about ready to learn more when the second man from the shore cuts her free and brings her to the surface. She doesn’t know or care who he is—he has no right to interrupt her memories like this. Takeda is unhappy with her, but she swears that after she finds her mother, she’ll come after anyone who stood between them.
Nolan, after a rough first season, is taking some boxing classes. Good for him. Emily finds him to fill him in on the details while Nolan casually mentions that he’s sold his house and just as casually asks if Emily has a lot of spare rooms. I cannot explain to you how excited I am by the prospect of the wacky adventures of roommates Emily and Nolan.
We head back over to the Graysons, where Ashley is coming into her own and even has her own new assistant—one that she treats just like Victoria treated her a year ago. They’re working together to plan the Memorial Day Art Auction, choosing the least expensive piece in the house to add to the auction. Conrad assures her he’s already seen to that last part. Meanwhile, Daniel is drinking again, and doesn’t seem all that interested in Conrad’s business proposal to free up his trust as long as he uses it all to buy into Grayson Global. He’s also feeling pretty guilty about Mommy Dearest’s death, but Conrad points out that rich or poor, he’d still be feeling that way. Conrad prefers rich.
Emily has tracked down the hospital where she’d visited her mother all those years ago. It was bought out by a private organization and shut down just days after David Clarke’s original arrest, and the building’s just been gathering dust for nearly twenty years. Emily and Nolan break in, inspiring further developments in Emily’s flashback. She didn’t visit her mother in any ordinary hospital—it was the psychiatric ward, and mum was strapped down. Emily finds the room, finds the leather straps that kept her mother in place, remembers her mother begging her father not to let their daughter see her this way.
She’s struggling with the memory when Nolan finds her, along with the visitors’ log. Emily’s father visited just before he was arrested, and another visitor soon followed—Charlotte Clarke, David’s aunt and young Charlotte’s namesake. Except by then, Charlotte the First had advanced Parkinsons, which means she couldn’t have been visiting anyone in prison.
They take the visitor log with them to determine, by matching handwriting, that Victoria was the Charlotte Clarke who visited Emily’s mother. They watch last season’s fateful tape again, and Emily decides she must once again get close to the Graysons—more specifically Charlotte, with whom Emily has kept in contact all during the girl’s time in rehab. Charlotte heads off for one last blood test but not before inviting Emily to the art auction.
Nolan goes to visit Jack (and Amanda). They’re still good buddies—and to my eye, Nolan still seems to have a thing for Jack while still wanting Jack and Emily to wind up together. Jack, unfortunately, has other problems on his mind—the Health Inspector won’t let the Stowaway open for the summer until the water damage in the kitchen and mold that accompanies it is taken care of. That and the whole pregnant Amanda situation.
Emily meanwhile comes to see Amanda, who has been debriefed by Takeda during her time away. Emily thanks Amanda while pushing her away, and the latter threatens that if Jack finds out the truth about her, everyone will find out the truth about Emily. Jack comes in, seeing Emily for the first time in months—and Emily decides to keep both friends and enemies close by declaring that Amanda has asked Emily to be the baby’s godmother.
We head back to Japan, where Takeda’s new-to-us revenge student seems to have a past, and plenty of regrets—but he promises he’ll make sure Amanda stays on task. Will “on task” include sexytimes with Emily? We’ll just have to see!
It’s the Memorial Day Art Auction, arranged nicely by social climbing Ashley, still yelling at assistant girl. Daniel watches Emily approach, and it’s clear he’s not all out of feelings for her yet. Conrad even urges him to pursue her again, assuring him she’s better than Ashley, the very woman he was praising to her face less than a minute before. Oh, that Conrad. Daniel refuses Conrad’s business offer, much to the latter’s chagrin. Daniel, Ashley, and Emily run into each other and pretend it’s not awkward, but luckily Nolan comes to the rescue.
Jack tries to fix the water problems in the Stowaway—they can’t afford to bring someone in to do it, after all. Amanda confronts him about their relationship problems, saying the baby will need “stability.” Jack agrees, and decides to move off the boat and back to the house. Hey Declan, you don’t mind living on the boat, do you? Declan doesn’t mind, but he does want Jack to come clean with Amanda: little brother knows he doesn’t love her, and doesn’t think he’s doing the kid any favors saying he does.
Back at the glamorous party, Charlotte tells her father she’d rather spend the summer in the city than in the Hamptons, filled with bad memories. Daniel can buy out her share of the house, which they jointly inherited when Momsy’s plane went down. Ashley kicks off the auction by paying tribute to Victoria Grayson before revealing the piece from the Grayson collection going up for auction—“Victoria Unfinished” by Dominic Wright! If only Victoria were alive to feel Conrad’s little knife twist there!
Charlotte, already miffed that Conrad isn’t giving the tribute himself, asks to say a few words. Surprisingly, they’re generally nice and not at all secret-revealing. That is saved for a few moments later, when Dr. Thomas receives a call about Charlotte’s not-so-drug-free blood work. As Dr. Thomas takes her away, she begins screaming to everyone that she’s not using, her father did this to her, just like he crashed her mother’s plane! She breaks away, runs to Emily and whispers something in the woman’s ear before she’s carted back off to rehab. Emily’s already stony face grows stonier still.
The scene shifts to a secluded cabin in the woods. A knock on the door, and who else would be there but the lovely and unkillable VICTORIA GRAYSON? Well, that didn’t take long. I knew they wouldn’t be getting rid of the inestimable Madeleine Stowe anytime soon, but I have to admit I was still startled. She demands to know what Emily is doing there.
“Charlotte sent me.” Victoria admits Emily quickly and just as quickly brings her up to speed—or as up to speed as she wants her to be. Conrad blew up the plane, trying to take out the evidence and witnesses against him all at once. The government is keeping Victoria safe so they can build a case against Conrad. So what happened to Lydia? The show doesn’t ask this—I do. Emily and Victoria wonder if there is some kind of conspiracy to keep Charlotte locked up, and to test this, Victoria calls a burner phone Charlotte keeps taped under her desk at her swanky rehab facility. The counselor answers it, and Victoria immediately hangs up. Charlotte begs for the phone back, but Dr. Thomas refuses to give it up, accusing her of using it to contact her dealer. As soon as he leaves the room, however, he calls into Conrad to report: the bloodtest was a false positive, just like he’d wanted, and the discovery of a burner phone can be used against her. Thomas asks about his payout, and Conrad assures him he’ll get it—as soon as Conrad gets Power of Attorney over Charlotte’s inheritance so he can invest it to save Grayson Global. What a creep!
Emily comes home and tells new roommate Nolan (!) everything. Nolan takes everything in stride, as usual, and agrees to make a small clam statue into a camera so Emily can spy on Victoria’s digs. RIP Shamu Cam, long live Clam Cam! I’m glad this plot device is sticking around.
Jack arrives, hoping to talk to Emily. He swears he had no idea that Amanda was pregnant back when they’d kissed, but now that he’s got a baby on the way… Emily understands, but warns Jack that Amanda’s led a troubled life. “Are you absolutely sure the baby is yours?”
Emily returns to Victoria with research on Dr. Thomas, proving that he’s glad to take a payoff to keep a patient or two in rehab longer than he should. The real reason for her visit, however, is to plant the Clam Cam.
We get an episode-ending montage: Amanda and Jack still have issues; Daniel is conflicted about his mother, Ashley, and even Emily; Charlotte struggles against locked door and despairs; Emily reflects out by the ocean, looking at the leather strap she’s taken from the hospital. When she comes back inside, Nolan is at the computer. “You’d better be house hunting,” Emily says with a chagrin I hope she doesn’t mean, because who wouldn’t want Nolan as a housemate? All of a sudden the Clam Cam pays off: someone is visiting Victoria. It’s the White Haired Man! The plot thickens! He and Victoria have a problem: Charlotte told Emily Thorne “a version of the truth.” They decide they must eliminate the liability. Nolan worries this means they’re coming after Emily, but Emily relishes it. Let them.
Nolanisms: As Emily explains more of the conspiracy, “The plot curdles.” Warning that getting closer to the Graysons may be tough “after your broke poor Spaniel’s heart.” While looking at a large picture of Victoria at her memorial, “Do you think she’s somewhere looking up at us?”
Welcome back, Revenge.