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Revenge

Revenge Review: Happily Never After

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Wow. The twists, turns and revelations aren't exactly in short supply on a regular basis, but Revenge upped the crazy ante with one of its all-time episodes Sunday. A true game-changer, "Illusion" had it all.

It's amazing that a show where so much transpires every week can still find that extra gear when it needs to. Give the producers and cast a round of applause for this one ... once your heart stops pounding.

What else would you expect after the sham wedding of Conrad and Victoria, Emily making her boldest move yet, the Initiative responding in kind and her identity being discovered, all in the last half hour?

If that's not a Revenge All-Star opportunity, to quote Nolan Ross, what is?

Aiden and Emily at the Wedding

If you wondered for weeks what Emily did with WHM's body, there's your answer. We've seen her go to great lengths in her quest for payback, but preserving a corpse and framing Conrad on his wedding day?

Impressive stuff, Ems. Aiden's knowing look after the FBI raided the event said it all.

Speaking of our girl's dashing partner in crime, he's really coming into his own as a character. You can tell he relates to her in terms of their unrelenting desire to triumph over those who caused her anguish.

Whether their respective endgames diverge, and how deeply their feelings are explored remains to be seen, but it sure looked like tonight signaled the beginning of a romantic relationship between the two.

Revenge does a consistently great job of keeping Emily Thorne human. Even on nights when she dons the black hoodie and does her worst, there's an innocence and vulnerability just beneath the surface.

Expect that complexity to manifest itself even more with Aiden in the picture, along with her other two male admirers. Daniel clearly still has a thing for her, and Jack? How's she going to react to that?

We'll get to the smitten Mr. Porter in a moment, but first, a brief rundown of the developments Emily's framing of Conrad - impeccable as it was from a criminal standpoint - unknowingly set into motion:

  1. The Initiative is in planning mode. Having sprung Conrad on bail hours after his arrest, the mysterious organization revealed there is a new mission and the Grayson patriarch is now a participant.
  2. Kara Clarke is devastated. Not exactly a stable individual on her best day, Emily's mom promised the Graysons would get what's coming to them. This was before she knew her beloved Gordon was even deceased. It's surprising she didn't go Single White Female on Victoria tonight ... don't rule it out in the near future.
  3. Mason Treadwell knows. Already suspicious of Amanda, the light bulb went on after that throwaway comment from Victoria, and confirmed on his Beautiful Mind-style bulletin board. He knows.

Physics dictate that every action causes an equal and opposite reaction. Or three, in this case.

Mason is going to have to be dealt with, and promptly, as the exposure of Emily's identity and motives could cause everything else to unravel. He's a formidable foe, but don't bet against those steely eyes.

Kara and The Initiative? Both total wild cards in their own, sociopathically insane way.

Mother and Son Dance

We learned some additional things in "Illusion," and not just that Emily VanCamp looked amazing in that red Alexander McQueen dress, or Madeleine Stowe in her Vera Wang (the black bouquet was a classic touch).

There's definitely more to Ashley than meets the eye, and Aiden is clued into it. Whether he knows more than he's letting on is unclear, but there should be a major Ashley reveal in our future. As for her boyfriend, Daniel is more his father's son than he'd probably like to admit. Emily hit the nail on the head there.

His struggle for power against Conrad will be fun to watch, particularly given his surprise release from jail and the lingering issue of Grayson Global's potential controlling interest in a certain telecom giant.

Meanwhile, Nolan implored Padma to protect NolCorp at all costs after her ill-advised inquiry into David Clarke's contract. This was almost an afterthought tonight, but should rear its scandalous head again next week.

Finally, Jack and Declan both got haircuts! Plus the Stowaway is finally reopened!

Oh, and Dec got back together with Charlotte and Jack got engaged to Amanda.

Aside from Kenny Ryan continuing to set them both up, it was a good night for the Porters. Jack and his bride-to-be did seem smitten, but there's no way it can last, right? This is, after all, FauxManda. The feelings may be real, but at some point this is going to reach critical mass and the fallout could be pretty spectacular.

And speaking of Kenny ... that guy has body-in-the-ocean-off-Block-Island potential.

All in all, Revenge just keeps getting better and better. The writers never cease to expand the narrative with surprising new twists, while the characters anchor the show, keeping you invested more every week.

How will Emily deal with Mase? Should she and Aiden hook up? What will happen with the Initiative? How and when will Kara snap - or actually recognize her real daughter? And will Jack and Amanda actually tie the knot?

Take a look at ABC's promo for next Sunday's "Exposure" and comment below:

What did you think of this week's Revenge? Discuss!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (324 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Drea-xoxo

1) the episode was a 4.5
2) aiden is growing on me now, want to know more about his and ashley's relationship.....
3) daniel and amanda/emily let it go can't happen. he'll turn on her asap when he finds out
4) nolan and padma, at last she's realised want these two to work out
5) con n vicks love em love em love em!! 5* as always
6) everyone else can be removed, take up time...kara bores me n no use

Runlikemad

Seems like Emily's new theme is red dresses, so far she's worn red to most of the major events this season - (this latest McQueen dress was also seen on Jane in the 666 Park Avenue pilot episode) Treadwell will probably end up dead by the end of the season, the man just doesn't know when to stop.

Egrey

that was really good.
THey need to do something about mason.. he's gonna be dead soon :)
please its all about emily and daniel. it was so sweet when ems said you can still change course. and daniel said you think
they belong together..
jack and fauxmanda are getting married hmm.. may this be the second wedding of the season.
I LOVE THIS SHOW!!

Fortyseven

Nolan(to Emily and Aiden): Ems. Mr. Bond

Fortyseven

Good. Better than the other episodes that have been setting up or rushed storylines. Conrad bought Victoria a gun as a wedding present. That was great. The ending scenes of Emily setting up Conrad could have been cut. Charlotte needs a better storyline than hanging out with Declan. Maybe she could investigate Chris Argent?
Charlotte: "I'll catch the next one".
Nolan: "Lifestyles of the rich and shameless."

Avatar

(part 2) - Fauxmanda's and Jack's engagement: something tells me that very soon, Jack's gonna know the truth about his beloved. I don't see that wedding happening any soon. - Charlotte and Declan: don't care that much, but I like them as a couple, or rather I like Charlotte standing up and going for what she wants, what makes her happy. But I'm still waiting for a good storyline for them. I'm just bored every time I see the Stowaway or Kenny. - As for who's in the ocean, since the man is apparently wearing a wedding ring, I thought maybe Conrad. Now that the Initiative comes more and more into play, it could be that Emily sets him up, and the Initiative decided to take matters in their own hands. I just hope it's not Jack, for Emily's sake.

Avatar

- Grayson's arrest: loved it!! It reminded me of the early days of Revenge, where Emily choose a target and set them up. I just love it every time Emily puts on her revengey blackie hoodie ^__^ - Mason knows: love it too! Something that I wanted to see in this season was someone figuring out the switching of the girls, and not stumble upon it to be killed shortly after. I was afraid at the beginning of the episode that Mason would drop that line of thought. I love Mason's charachter, so I'm thrilled that he's the one. Plus, he's not exactly a fan of the Grayson's and has some morals (sometimes), I can see him joining Emily in her quest, at least for a few episodes. What he'll do with that info is what I'm most looking forward to next week! - Aiden and Emily: with Jack engaged and Daniel being a true Grayson, I won't mind seeing Emily with Aiden, unless it jeopardizes her relationship with Nolan (more than it already did). - Fauxmanda's and Jack's engagement: something tells me that very soon, Jack's gonna know the truth about his beloved. I don't see that wedding happening any soon. - Charlotte and Declan: don't care that much, but I like them as a couple, or rather I like Charlotte standing up and going for what she wants, what makes her happy. But I'm still waiting for a good storyline for them. I'm just bored every time I see the Stowaway or Kenny. - As for who's in the ocean, since the man is apparently wearing a wedding ring, I thought maybe Conrad. Now that the Initiative comes more and more into play, it could be that Emily sets him up, and the Initiative decided to take matters in their own hands. I just hope it's not Jack, for Emily's sake.

Marisa1983

I hope mason treadwell becomes an ally of Emily. He knows a lot about the Greyson and is very resourceful. I can't wait to see how Ashley's storyline plays out. She was Emily's friend at the beginning, Emily said she's known her for 6 years. I hope she'll get back on Emily's side eventually. It would be nice to see everyone turn their back on the Greysons.

Marisa1983

Amy Lynn I heard the same thing. I think Declan is the one who dies on the boat. Simple guess, since he's not really essential to the storyline except for being Charlotte's boyfriend.

Saad702

This was quite an interesting episode. Nice to see the take down ep happening. I still don't trust Aiden. I loved how Nolan acknowledged Aiden; Hello James Bond (or something like that). I love how the stories and intrigue is just piling on. Its amazing. I hope Mason dies soon. Aiden seems to be doing something to someone and it could be Mason or Nolan.

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