Revenge recap – 1×18: ‘Justice’

Courtesy of ABC

It’s a week of call-backs as Revenge goes on trial. The latest episode joins the Grayson trial in medias res (at Day 15), but by the end of the hour is it ultimately proven pointless. The real ‘Justice’ is being doled out by two powerful women – Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) and Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) – well outside of the law.

Let’s bitch it out…

I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m a little disappointed that the trial proved so inconsequential. I suppose, in hindsight, that it makes sense that the real drama would be outside the courtroom where Victoria and Emily reign supreme. It just seemed like we were building towards a big court case, so I’m a little shocked that it’s over almost as quickly as it began.

But really, who’s complaining that we don’t see more evidence and juror tampering (excuse me as I stifle a yawn) – that’s not why we’re watching Revengeamiright? No – we watch it for the catty bitchiness and the devious twists and in that regard, ‘Justice’ is pretty solid.

The best part of the episode is how easily both Emily and Victoria get Daniel (Joshua Bowman) off for Tyler’s murder. In a way the two women are almost acting like a team, despite the fact that they secretly (and not so secretly) hate each other. After Jack Porter (Nick Weschler) returns from his long stint looking for the MIA Amanda Clarke (an unseen Margarita Levieva), Victoria zeroes in on him. In some ways it’s very similar to her plan from last week: Jack will lead them to Amanda, who Victoria sees as the fall guy (or girl, rather). Even if neither is the true culprit, that’s enough doubt to get Daniel off. When it becomes clear that Jack is in danger, Emily acts quickly. A quick break-in at The Stowaway to retrieve the bloody hoodie of doom and access to Victoria’s thug, Lee’s (Derek Ray) car and voila! One guilty party framed and sent off to prison. It’s here that Conrad (Henry Czerny) finally gets his hands dirty – calling in a ‘David-Clarke style’ favour that leaves Lee the victim of an apparent suicide and Daniel free.

This is all good – the ease with which it all happens is a little contrived & convenient, but I’ll shut up and go with it. Mostly because this feels like a call back to previous Revenge moments. A break-in at The Stowaway to retrieve incriminating evidence? That was our introduction to Lee back in ‘Commitment’ when he grabbed the Treadwell tapes. The convenient death of a Grayson employee who is dangerously close to exposing the truth? Sounds similar to poor Frank’s exit back in ‘Charade’. And even the final revelation – that the Graysons literally ordered the death of David Clarke in a prison fight – echoes Victoria’s actions last week when she arranged for Daniel’s transfer from prison after his prison fight.

Courtesy of ABC

Ultimately that final revelation – that the Graysons killed Emily’s father – doesn’t pack the punch that I think the writers wanted it to have (the fake-out of Daniel’s suicide – now that was effective). Many of us have been operating under the assumption that David Clarke may still be alive (as one commenter on another site explained: the rules of television dictate that no on-screen body = still alive). Even if her father isn’t alive, though, Emily’s always been out for REVENGE against the Grayson’s for their role in her father’s situation. While murder is clearly a step-up from incarceration, does this mean that she’s taking the kid gloves off? If she hasn’t been going after them seriously before, then this show is going to get seriously messed up. But if we’re being honest, as the AV Club ponders: “How does she extra-destroy them for this new crime?” I don’t know that she can, but it should still be a helluva lot of fun to watch!

Other Observations:

  • Conrad also sends hacky painter Dominik Wright (James Purefoy) packing. Meh – in two episodes I didn’t really see him add much. Plus I’m sure he’ll be back. It was fun to see Victoria get all whiny about it, though. “I can’t believe my husband sent my man-candy away? Waaaah”
  • Charlotte (Christa B Allen) is still on oxy. In related news, I’m still bored by her.
  • Daniel goes from rational to town drunk in the space of a few scenes. I did like that he finally calls Emily out for not taking his calls and being dodgy because it means that people aren’t completely oblivious to her odd behaviour. Of course the fact that he gets trashed and breaks the conditions of his parole to do so aren’t exactly demonstrations of “smart” behaviour. He’s pretty, so we’ll call it even.
  • Victoria’s white “my painter BF is gone” coat: love it or wonder why she’s wearing it after Labour Day?
  • So Ashley’s (Ashley Madewke) only role on the show now is to do press releases? WHY IS SHE ON THE SHOW?!
  • Best line of the night: “You have a collect call from…your worst nightmare.” Tee hee. Oh Lee, we barely knew you, so we can’t miss you too much, but you seemed kinda fun.

That’s all I’ve got. What did you think: were you surprised by the Daniel/Lee suicide switch? Do you think Conrad is more dangerous that Victoria? And how will Emily get even more serious about her REVENGE now that she knows the Graysons were responsible for her father’s death? Sound off below!

Revenge airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on ABC

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

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