'Revenge' recap: The Emily of my enemy is my friend

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"Revenge" -- "Power"
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We had a handful of New Year's resolutions we hoped "Revenge" would make -- get back to the "Emily avenges her father" plotline; pack Nolan's dialogue with first-season-style snark; and swap brooding for scheming.

Based on "Power," it looks like the show made all of them. Even the Porters' plotline kind of rocked! Well, relatively. The Ryans' endgame -- using the Stowaway as a base for a drug-dealing operation -- becomes clear when Declan finds dope stashed in a bag of coffee beans. (Charlotte throws herself into the project of distracting the Ryans during Dec's evidence hunt… shortly after throwing peanuts at Dec's head when he's not listening to her. Love her.)

Jack is like, that does it. He packs Amanda and Little Carl (another improvement: they call the baby plain old "Carl" for once!) off to Emily's, and narcs on the Ryans to his high-school friend who's now a cop. But of course the Ryans spotted a smushed coffee bean on the floor, smelled a rat, and moved their stash… to the boat, where the K-9 unit finds Dec and Charlotte cooking eggs and making out. Oh, and a packet of drugs and a gun. Dec's about to get arrested when Jack substitutes himself, and now Jack is so mad, he's going to… call Amanda and cry into the phone. Hey, we didn't say it was perfect.

The axis of...something

It's certainly no alliance between Victoria and Emily, which is what's going on on the "right" side of the tracks. Victoria invites Emily over for lemonade (…heh) and snappy dialogue on the spying porch. Emily: "What a lovely view of my beach house." Victoria: "I hadn't noticed." We stifled the giggles to listen to Victoria's plan: she needs Emily to get close with Daniel again, to make him the better man he used to be while they were engaged (read: "to talk him into giving the company back to Conrad"). Emily's happy to oblige; if she's in with Victoria, she can get face time with Judge Barnes, who presided over her father's trial. Barnes is up for a Supreme Court seat, and Barnes's wife Patricia runs a non-profit called the Liberty Project. The organization seeks to right judicial wrongs, but it's never looked into David Clarke's case -- even though Emily suspects that Judge Barnes's court clerk is the author of an unsigned letter sharing firsthand info that the Clarke jury was tainted. 

The Barneses are staying with the Graysons, so all Emily has to do is 1) make a fat donation to the Liberty Project and 2) "break up with" Foxy Aiden. She does the latter at lunch, two tables over from Daniel and Conrad, while Conrad makes girlishly gossipy remarks about how Emily is a "man-eater" and Daniel fails to see how staged the situation is because he's... sort of a dimwit.

And that whole situation is Nolan's time to shine. Nolan, to his delight, has been asked by Daniel to nose around the GG intranet and find any "rogue files" that look hidden on purpose. Nolan's response, delivered with both brows lodged firmly at his hairline: "Listen to you; trying to sound all… tech-y." Nolan asks why "London Fog," a.k.a. Foxy, isn't on the job, and Daniel smugs that Foxy isn't at Grayson Global or Emily, Inc. anymore, so Nolan dashes over to Emily's house to get the scoop; calls Foxy "Remington Steele" this time; jumps a foot when Foxy ninjas up behind him; realizes the break-up was a scam; and groans, "Ohhh, a fake-up ?" Love that guy.

PS: He's wearing a button-down over a polo shirt and they're both buttoned to the very top. No wonder Marco is trying to get back together with him, bringing him the Thanksgiving dinner they missed the night they broke up, and handing over a zip drive with some abandoned but valuable Nol-ware on it. Nolan's not having it, for now, but at least we didn't see Padma this week…

Abuses of power

Nolan isn't at the Liberty Project benefit dinner, but it's still pretty amazing. Emily confronts Patricia with the letter, and with the fact that the judge is clearly abusing her, possibly to keep her quiet. She says intensely that "Amanda" had a rough go after her father went to prison, and that that letter kept her alive with the hope it provided. Inspired, Patricia reads the letter aloud; as the guests gasp, realizing David Clarke got framed (or, in the Graysons' case, realizing it's all about to come out), Patricia also strips off her jacket to reveal the bruises her husband gave her. So much for that Supreme Court appointment, Your "Honor."

Foxy isn't there either. Nolan is naturally reporting all the goodies he finds buried in the GG computer files to Foxy first; one security-cam trail in particular leads to Initiative Helen, who calls a meeting with Foxy beneath some dungeon-y underpass. His sister Colleen is alive, she informs him. The Initiative has kept her as potential leverage all these years, but if Foxy moves against Helen, she'll have Colleen killed -- a point emphasized by the confetti of sniper laser sights strewn across Foxy's chest during their exchange.

So Foxy sneaks back to Emily's for a nice, hot shower… and a front-row seat to The "Daniel Comes by Without Calling, Asks Emily to Run the GG Charities, Then Macks on Her" Show. And from the look on Foxy's face, that show is getting a double thumbs-down.

But we give the first 2013 ep a hearty thumbs-up.

Watch the full ep right here:

"Revenge" airs Sundays at 9 PM on ABC.

And what did Twitter think of the show's comeback?

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