"Revenge" unveiled the Initiative's master plan last night -- finally, after weeks of serpentine plotting that generated neither sense nor suspense -- and it's surprisingly brilliant. Stonehaven United, as we've heard umpteen times, is a disaster recovery firm; Nolan's secret program, Carrion, can knock Manhattan off the power grid in seconds, as we heard for the first time in this episode. If the Initiative controls them both, well, responding to a "natural" disaster the Initiative itself created could generate billions of dollars.
Corporate rapacity and cynicism at its most diabolical? Check. A merciful end to the Victoria-versus-Daniel mustache-twirling that tried to make us believe Daniel is a competent titan of industry? Check. Nolan realizing at long and glorious last to the fact that his lady friend is neither lady (going through his desk; trash-talking Marco) nor friend (in order to get Initiative Helen the program)? Check and checkmate. Well played, "Revenge."
So, Daniel acquires Stonehaven United. There's a lot of machinating on the way there, including an "It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World"-type group road trip to L.A. in which Daniel whisks Emily onto a private jet to help him woo Stonehaven; Victoria, terrified that Daniel might get the company, follows them west to more or less trade her love to Prosser in exchange for him outbidding Daniel for Stonehaven; and Foxy Aiden follows everyone, on a video tip from Helen that his sister Colleen is still alive and in Initiative custody. The price of Colleen's freedom? Assassinate Victoria.
Don't go away mad; just go away
Madeleine Stowe is in the credits, so we know that isn't happening, and if anyone assassinates her, it's going to be one of her kids -- Daniel, who literally has a tantrum in the hotel lobby when he sees Victoria there; or Charlotte, who's turning 18 today, but basically nobody cares except Amanda. Even Conrad -- who remembers her birthday, but hands her a check and snorts that she shouldn't "spend it all in ten places" (heh) -- is too busy playing politics with the Stowaway. First he offers Kenny Ryan 50k, and Matt Duncan's confession to their father's murder, to go away and leave the Porters alone. Then, when Nate points out that he "could have roulette wheels spinning by Memorial Day" if Conrad invests in his special brand of felonious persuasion, Conrad changes his mind.
So when it's finally time to have cake and candles, Charlotte announces her "wish" -- that they support her decision to change her last name to "Clarke," a switch she's already filed papers on at the courthouse. Burn!
It's Amanda who noted that Charlotte's not really a Grayson; it's also Amanda who impatiently informed Conrad that Matt Duncan shot the Ryans' father. Jack is still clinging to some deluded notion of honor; he doesn't want to sell Matt Duncan out, or owe Conrad anything. Amanda's like, look, we have no leverage here and you will go to jail forever, so shut up, and when Declan objects that they've gone from Ryan frying pan to Grayson fire, he's also told to shut up, which makes us like Amanda for the first time in a while.
We're not really loving Foxy that much; he's all jealous-creeper about Emily's continuing string-along of Daniel (with, maybe, good reason… the episode opens on a sex dream Emily is having in which Foxy turns into Daniel partway through). He's also obsessed with freeing Colleen, and Emily interrupts him before he gets off a kill shot on Victoria just in time, which means he misses Initiative Helen's 24-hour deadline for killing Victoria… which means the next video he receives is of Colleen, forced at gunpoint to shoot heroin, overdosing and "dying." Foxy is furious and blames Emily, who points out that it's the Initiative and Colleen is probably not only still alive, but perfectly safe in a little ranch house in Massapequa or something. Foxy isn't trying to hear that: if Colleen's dead, "it's on" Emily, and also, he's dumping her.
And it's not like she can run to Daniel, either. She does head over to Grayson Manor, to confess that Victoria planted her near him to prevent the Stonehaven acquisition; it's unclear why Emily admits it, but hilariously, the show would actually like us to believe that Daniel knew all along. Riiiight -- the same shrewd businessman who suggested going straight out on a vacation junket the minute they got back to the Hamptons airstrip? That Daniel, man of a thousand accents? Um: no.
Next time: Padma steals "Lemonade Stand"
So, Foxy dumps her, Daniel sees through her, and Victoria's mad that Emily didn't stick with their plan. But Nolan's back in the revenge plotting with both feet after Padma slips and reveals that she knows that Carrion is a program. He rigs his own office with a camera, sends her on a fake errand to "find his platinum card," and watches grimly as she rifles through his desk, finds a thumb drive, and jams it into her iPad. Hilariously, the program boots up with the kind of "Welcome to Carrion!" ASCII screen you used to see on an Apple IIc. (We're old.) The program isn't finished -- Nolan keeps the last few lines of code in his head to guard against exactly this sort of Padma-ing -- but as he stares glumly at the cam footage, you can see he regrets being so mean to Marco (a.k.a. "Groucho Snarks" -- Nolan's nicknames are the best).
Coming up in February: Amanda and Jack get married, someone drowns, and Little Carl is named VP at Grayson Global, because why not.
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"Revenge" airs Sundays at 9 PM on ABC.