The Graysons do a dance macabreIllusion is nothing new on "Revenge" — it's what the show's based on — but the illusions created and broken on the latest episode should kick the plots into a higher gear that's overdue.
The central illusion — besides Emily herself, of course — is Victoria and Conrad's wedding, which certainly isn't about love and family, though it's unclear what it is about. Protection from the Initiative? Tax shelters? In any case, it goes ahead as planned, and it's an umbrella under which some smaller illusions shelter (Aiden and Emily come together, pretending they'd not met before; Nolan acting like he doesn't know what Padma's up to with the records search; Daniel only inviting Nolan to see what he knows, then pretending he doesn't still have feelings for Emily when they dance). While the Graysons get ready for the wedding, Emily does some prep of her own, pulling Gordon's body out of a freezer and propping it up in a trailer of some sort, then dropping a distinctive cufflink of Conrad's near the body.
When "showing some initiative" is actually bad
Hamptons CSI evidently can't tell Gordon's thawed, not fresh, because they barge into the reception to arrest Conrad — who now thinks Victoria agreeing to re-team with him was an illusion so she could get all his money. She protests (believably, for once) that she had nothing to do with the frame-up, but Conrad notes bitterly that he's doomed anyway; to make bail, he had to agree to help the Initiative with another task — and he's not going to know what it is until it's assigned.
Amidst various flashbacks to Gordon being a shmoopy romantic, Kara finds out via a news broadcast that he's dead, so that's two illusions punctured: Victoria's of wanting to "protect" Kara, and Kara's of not loving Gordon. Kara, twisting her ring finger and looking unhinged in that patented Jennifer Jason Leigh, advances threateningly on Victoria, then only says good night…but Victoria might want to keep sleeping with that gun Conrad gave her as a wedding gift. (Right? So romantic.)
It's more romantic for Amanda and Jack — when he takes a knee and asks her to marry him, she says yes — but she's had a long day of selling a lie to Mason Treadwell about how she had her burn scars repaired, and why she keeps hanging around the Graysons. Emily has prepped Amanda extensively, assuring her that the story will lead him "back to the Graysons" by tracing a route through Gordon, so Mason seems to accept Amanda's assertions that she wanted to face her tormentors, and then Jack happened, etc. At the wedding, Mason can't resist needling Victoria about the fake kidnap plot; she in turn calls Emily a "juvie girl," which perks up Mason's ears. Later, we see him in front of a big bulletin board, connecting Emily and Amanda with red yarn and looking gobsmacked.
A love for the agezzzz
Elsewhere, we may have come to the wrong illusion conclusion about Padma, because when Nolan confronts her about researching David Clarke's contract, she's immediately apologetic and looks horrified that she might have hurt Nolan somehow. He asks how far she's willing to go "to protect us" — meaning their relationship — "from getting stung?" Pretty far, we'd guess, although the chemistry between them is still flat soda.
Speaking of which, Declan and Charlotte basically get back together when she blows off her parents' sham wedding to help Dec at the Stowaway's grand re-opening. Homeowner Kenny is trying, not very subtly, to drive a wedge between Jack and Declan, but Jack seems content with Kenny as a partner, making a toast to him at the party even though Kenny is also causing agita with the bar's longtime liquor distributors. Yes, this is considered a worthwhile subplot on a primetime soap opera in the most hotly contested timeslot of the week.
But we have hope for the show, and here's why. We've never loved how willingly everyone accepts that Amanda is the original Amanda, but it looks like Mason's finally going to raise the curtain on that, and it's about time. It's about time for Kara to go berserker on the Grayson family as well, and between the creepy smelling of Victoria's perfume (why do movie and TV characters always sniff each other's cologne? It's so weird and invasive) and her grief over Gordon, we predict some two-generation revenge on the next episode. And maybe it's just wishful thinking, but are the writers maybe trying to write the Stowaway and Declan out of the show? Will the no-confidence vote at Grayson Global finally force Daniel to pick a side -- and reveal Ashley as a second-rate schemette? Can Emily learn to trust Foxy Aiden (whom Nolan refers to as "Mr. Bond" at the wedding -- love that guy)? We're hopeful.
Watch last night's episode, "Illusion," in its entirety right here: