Revenge Visits Past and Present Transgressions

The Revenge season finale is finally upon us coming up next week (trailers confuse me!) and it’s been quite the ride.

The last two episodes were a mashup of present and past as we dealt with the fallout of the faux confession/suicide and Daniel’s attempt to return to normal life while Emily discovers that Nolan had some hidden nuggets of information about her dad’s conviction.

First off, we learn that Nolan has another tie to Grayson Global through his aunt, who was Conrad’s secretary. He tipped her off to get the hell out of dodge when David Clarke was murdered and then made extra sure she was safe by faking her death and setting her up upstate.

When Emily finds the aunt’s name in her dad’s journal, she tracks her down and gets the full backstory from Nolan. The added bonus is that his aunt can ID the guy in David’s last picture the day he was killed—not by name, but by sight and reputation (James Morrison is the actor playing him)—that he was a fixer whom Conrad was afraid of. [I have to call bullshit that the guy would’ve been photographed, but whatever.]

In that same episode, Daniel gets a full confession from Conrad about ALL the Grayson dirty laundry when Victoria sets the SEC on him. Emily overhears everything via her bug in Conrad’s study and she’s happy Daniel will be on her side now but is instead devastated when he takes an opportunity to rip the rug out from under his parents on national TV and doesn’t do it. They run this development up the middle like Daniel really is that stupid, so if it turns out he actually had a plan, Emily and I will both be surprised.

Ashley gets a job with the attorney who was handling Daniel’s case and then loses it when Victoria outs her for leaking the crime scene photos to the press. By the end of the episode, Conrad has reversed her fortunes again with the keys to a fancy Lexus and a new job at Grayson Global. Out at the cemetery, Victoria tries to convince Charlotte that she really does love her, and she really loved David, and they’re startled to find Emily’s rose on his headstone.

Last week’s episode tabled all of that for a blast from the past to the last week of 2002 that showed us a much more fragile Emily who went blazing up to the Hamptons full of rage but not poised enough yet to take on the Graysons. Nolan rescues her from an NYC bar fight and tells her she really needs to read the journals so she finally does. Then she stints at the Graysons’ New Year’s Eve party (where she ended up in the background of one of the photos as a cater waiter).

In a neat casting trick, the party is a sea of people she’s since checked off her list. We find out the motivating factor for her vengeance on all of them was Roger Halstead, the one promising lead at the party, who was David’s friend and who Frank (remember, we’re back in 2002) kills because there was a concern about him coming clean about what they’d all done. When Emily finds Halstead’s body, she’s shattered and newly resolved to get her mad on. She also takes the time to tattoo the infinity on her wrist (which I think is a retcon, but I can’t be 100%).

We also learn that Nolan had previous dealings with Jack’s dad when he bought their house along with their neighbors, which is what sent the family to live above the bar. Turns out Nolan did them a favor because Declan and Jack’s mama came calling for a divorce and only wanted cash. I found it odd that neither Jack nor Declan has made any sort of comment in the present about Nolan’s swankienda sitting on their former land.

We get a sidebar of how Lydia came to own the Clarke house—the Graysons had kept it and only decided to relinquish it when Lydia wanted to be nearby. Victoria confesses to Lydia that she’d kept it as a remembrance of David, the only thing she had left. So I’m guessing Lydia didn’t know David was Charlotte’s father. That Lydia had already thanked Conrad for the house earlier that evening by launching their affair is particularly skeevy.

In the extra backward flashback, we see how Victoria and David met at a New Year’s Eve party at the Graysons, but we don’t get the year of that party. When Emily lands in the Hamptons, it’s New Year’s Eve 2002, and she tells Nolan she’s been on her own for ten years (which would make Sammy over 20 years old, so I do now have to also call bullshit on that).

We finish back in the present with Emily and Daniel leaving for a New Year’s Eve 2011 party, where I’d bet we can expect Emily to launch her own fireworks.

It’s been a meandering 22 episodes. As I said a few weeks ago, I think the first 15 were super tight, but the back five so far have treaded a bit as they tried to figure out what the end game is for the first season. I’d guess we’ll get a cliffhanger, or a new crime, or both, to wrap up. It was announced Tuesday that the show will be moving to Sundays in the fall, inheriting the Desperate Housewives slot. I get that ABC needs the eyeballs, but I’ve been kind of partial to my midweek soap fix. Either way, I’m glad they’ll be back.

Two more episodes!

Photo Courtesy of ABC

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