January 17, 2013 by Susan Miller
This week on Revenge we found out that Conrad is (illogically) running for public office and Ashley is (illogically) his campaign manager. Emily, Aiden and Nolan staged an elaborate and illogical kidnapping to try to endear the Initiative to Aiden, and Daniel blew a million dollars on a bad bottle of wine. Oh, and Victoria sort of flirted with Sean McNamara from Nip/Tuck and he took the bait on the Initiative stock tip. Some Stowaway stuff happened too, but Charlotte and Declan are still alive, so it’s a bit of a bummer. But the big news is that Padma is BAD and Marco is GOOD. What a twist!
Now that Padma is working for the Initiative, what do you think this Carrion business is about?
Susan: Boom! Padma got interesting! Last week I thought that the show wanted Nolan to decide on a sexual orientation, but it turns out they were just testing him to see if he could tell the difference between good people and bad people. Turns out he can’t, but I kind of blame Emily for that. Prolonged exposure to Emily and her twisted web would turn anyone’s judgment a little hazy. So now that Nolan has ditched Marco and re-hired the lady enemy, do you think we’ll get any information about this secret R&D called Carrion? Was Nolan working with the military? Is it linked back to Emily’s Dad? Is he secretly alive somewhere? I’m still holding out hope. Speaking of, it’s been a looooooong time since we’ve had a flashback with James Tupper. Is that because they’re saving him for a present day scene? Please, yes. It would be wonderful if Revenge just went full-on soap and brought back all their dead characters. Do you remember when Days of our Lives killed off everyone and then they all showed up alive on that island Melaswen that Stefano was controlling? That was the best. That, plus the timely death of Charlotte and Declan would completely redeem this season for me.
Steven: First off, Dang you, Padma! I trusted you! I thought that you and Nolan should be together, even though he is clearly a 7 and a half on the 7-point Kinsey scale and you lack his desired effeminate but muscley physique and sparse facial hair. I’m so upset at Padma that I don’t even care what Carrion is at this point. (Also, I have no earthly idea what in the world it could be… the program that downed that jetliner?)
As for bringing back Papa Clarke, if Emily’s mom is any indication, I predict intense weirdness and no real contributions to the plot if the writers decide to move in that direction. Just a thought. (Sorry, boo.)
How is it possible that Emily doesn’t know about Jack’s legal trouble?
Susan: The stupidest part of the Stowaway story is how it refuses to intersect with any of the other story lines. When Jack needs bail money, why doesn’t he call Nolan first? When Amanda (logically) suggests that they call Emily and Jack tells her to keep her out of it, why doesn’t Amanda just do what she ALWAYS does and call her anyway? And even without action from Amanda and Jack, why don’t Emily or Nolan stop by the Stowaway anymore to check on little Carl and their supposed buddies? It’s all so stupid.
Instead, Amanda runs to Charlotte, who runs to her Dad, who says no and then gets persuaded by Ashley who magically talked her way back into a job in 30 seconds. Again, stupid. (This show really crumbles when you start recapping it. It can’t possibly be written on a regular schedule, right? They have to just be making it up as they’re shooting it, throwing in new scripts the second they’re finished.) Anyway… Conrad is running for public office, because that’s the least likely thing he could possibly do. Somehow his “platform” will be “strengthened” by cleaning up police corruption, so he bails out Jack. Will he try to help with the actual problem with the Ryan brothers? No way. I’m guessing he’ll be completely out of the Stowaway story by next week. But congratulations, writers. You found the most complicated way to get Jack out of jail! Good for you!
Steven: Clearly the sophisticated surveillance, intelligence gathering, and general CIA-ninja training and equipment at Emily’s disposal does not include a subscription to the local Hamptons Herald. I’m going to throw my “suspension of disbelief” card down at this point and remind the reader that if he or she was after a realistic narrative, Revenge was the worst possible choice to make. May I suggest Downton Abbey. Everybody tells me that it is simply GENIUS (in bold, capitalized, italic letters). And a lot of those people have even seen some episodes. Or you could try that show on PBS where the guy makes tables. Can’t get more realistic than hand planes and doweling jigs. (It’s actually kind of mesmeric to watch that guy shaving away those spiraling strips of wood.)
Anyway, this is kind of a biased question from the start. How doesn’t she know? How doesn’t Jack know not to call the cops on shady drug dealers? They conned you out of your bar, dude, you really think they’re not going to be able to evade a drug search? Drug dealers are like mice. Either you kill them immediately or you let them go about their business. Live traps just mean you’ll trap the same little rodent two days later, and this time he’ll bite you when you try to let him out of the cage.
Stray Thoughts (brought to you by Susan)
Turns out the million dollar bottle of wine went bad. Seems like a sad metaphor for this show.
The million dollar bottle of wine (and bidding war with former Nip/Tuck’er, Dylan Walsh) made me CRAZY. First off, frivolous spending like that always makes me nervous, even on a show as far removed from reality as Revenge. But if Daniel really had a million dollars to blow (he has that in his checking account? He was able to write a check minutes later?) why isn’t he just using the money to get out of town and write his poetry? A poet could last a long time in Walden with a million dollars. He could even afford to drink a lot of regular non-bad wine while he worked. Oh, and he wouldn’t have to deal with Initiative people and his crazy family and wear a tie every day. Use that pretty head of yours, Daniel!
The other thing that is deeply unsettling (to me) about this scene is the idea that wine can go bad and that you can know it when you taste it. If I drank a million dollar bottle of wine and it tasted bad, I would just think, oh hey, that’s why I buy Two-Buck Chuck and cut it with ginger ale. Wine is one of those things that reminds me I’m not a real adult. And that is not something that I want to be reminded of while watching my night-time soap opera.
We’re more than halfway through the season and I still have absolutely no idea what the Initiative is. Luckily, the folks over at TVLine had the same question and better resources, so they asked an actual member of the show to enlighten us. Here’s what Henry Czerny (Conrad Grayson) had to say about it: “People go through life assuming they can control their environment. The Initiative is the cloud over them that they have not addressed thoroughly that gets in the way of them being able to appreciate what’s going on without having to control them. It’s not simple. It’s nebulous. You can deal with The Initiative very simply: You can acknowledge it and move on. [But] the Graysons feel that it’s an albatross they need for some reason to pay homage to.” So… basically… it’s weed philosophy?