It’s been two weeks since that fateful night on the beach. No – I’m not talking about our special ‘moment’ together; I’m talking about cray-cray Tyler (Ashton Holmes) biting it in true anti-climatic fashion. Now that Revenge has returned from its brief hiatus with ‘Scandal’, it’s time to examine the fallout from the night of the Fire & Ice engagement party.
Let’s bitch it out!
As usual, Revenge burns through as much plot in a single episode that other shows take a season to get through. ‘Scandal’ is no different, as the reveals pile up on top of each other. Whether or not you were satisfied with the reveal that Tyler was the body from the beach, you can’t fault the show for dilly-dallying around the circumstances surrounding his death because it cleared them all up in more or less a single episode.
As many speculated, there was a third person on the beach – Takeda (Hiroyuki Sanada) – and he is the one responsible for killing Tyler. In the final moments of the episode, we flash back 48 hours to see Daniel (Joshua Bowman) shoot Tyler once in the chest before being hit by Takeda in the head by a rock, at which point the sensei shoots Tyler in the back twice and grabs the red sharpie REVENGE picture. It’s a continuation of Takeda’s efforts to “protect” Emily (Emily VanCamp) from her emotions, which he suggests have caused “chaos”. Interestingly I always only thought that this was only a reference to her attachment to Daniel (which is why he’s framed Daniel for murder). Instead Takeda reveals as he and Emily spar in the flashback, that he is also aware that she has feelings for Jack (Nick Weschler).
I’m sure for most folks these reveals were the highlight of the episode, but I found the whole thing impeccably put together. From the drunk-goggles vaseline-on-the-lens opening highlighting the shock and disorientation of our core cast as they answer questions at the precinct to the film noir chiaroscuro lighting on Declan’s face as he suspiciously hunt down his brother’s hoodie, this episode raised the bar on technical achievement for the show. Beyond this, the narrative structure includes lots of little interesting take-aways:
- Emily and Charlotte (Christa B Davis) make a connection over their disgraced father, David Clarke (James Tupper). More of this and less of the “I’m taking pills to cope with the stress.” The teen overdose story has been done (Jessie Spano’s caffeine pill addiction!) – let’s move on…
- Did Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) suggest that she has had a previous affair? In flashback with David Clarke on the beach, she firmly states that no one can find out about they’re sleeping together because she’s “…lived that life before and I can’t do it again.” Did I misinterpret that? If not, who was the lucky stiff who tried to thaw the ice queen?
- Speaking of the Grayson elders, we also learn that Conrad’s (Henry Czerny) role in the plane crash that sent David Clarke to prison is a little more mundane than expected. Turns out that he was laundering money for the group responsible for the crash, which is zzzzzz. Hopefully there’s a bit more to this than we’ve seen.
- Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) finally makes her move! She leaks the “bloody billionaire beach battle” pictures so that she can turn into Gale Weathers and handle the press for the family. Love how it took Nolan (Gabriel Mann) and the Grayson family lawyer, Mr. Brooks (Courtney B. Vance) about five seconds to figure her angle/game out. But what will Nolan do with the information considering he reassures the former party planner that only the two of them know?
- Other people playing games: Daniel. Looks like he took his mother’s post-murder words (“Don’t say a word”) as gospel because he’s telling half truths about what happened on the beach to most everyone. Principal recipient: Emily, to whom he mostly refrains from clarifying what Tyler said on the beach. Throw in the fact that he was chatting suspiciously with Victoria just after the initial round of police interviews and my Spidey sense is tingling!
- Now that the Labour Day weekend has passed, it must be cold because this episode marks one of the few times we’ve ever seen Emily wear pants. As much as I liked the blazer/pantsuit combo, I think she should have gone more Lilo for Daniel’s sentencing. Side Note: Some of those beach flashbacks must have been chilly to shoot in real life!
- How nightmarish (and slightly Brazil-esque) was that sentencing scene (with rando appearance by Veronica Cartwright as a ‘bitter-against-the-rich’ judge’)? I honestly thought it would turn out to be a dream sequence because it was so randomly introduced and bordered on the surreal. Were they sentencing Daniel at night? Meh…all we know is that the rich white boy is off to the maximum security prison on Rikers Island for the duration of the trial. As Victoria hilariously stated earlier, “Jail is no place for a boy like Daniel.” Umm, is it because he’s too pretty?
- What happened to grandpa Grayson? We saw him at the Fire & Ice engagement and his grandson has been charged with murder, but he’s mysteriously absent for the entire episode. Was William Devane too expensive to bring back?
- The big remaining question mark: Where the eff is Fauxmanda? She’s glimpsed briefly in flashback, but I definitely thought we’d see her tied to a Dexter-gurney in an abandoned rail car or something at the end of the episode. No matter what, it’s clear that Faux is in a bad position because Takeda tells Emily that she can only save one – Jack or Faux. And clearly she’s going to go for the bar hottie with the ageless dog, not the former stripper with locks of gold, amiright?
Best line of the night:
- Nolan (about Fauxmanda): “Ever notice that whenever you want her to leave, girlfriend keeps turning up like a homicidal version of a whack-a-mole?”
What did you think of ‘Scandal’ fellow Revenge-rs? Happy to have the show back and churning through plot like butter? Or do you continue to feel burned by the fact that Tyler’s gone and Daniel is the one in fashion prison (undershirts AND prison green garb? High couture!) Sound off below as we wait for a looooong time for the next new eppy.