Stars: Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Henry Czerny, Josh Bowman, Nick Wechsler, Gabriel Mann, Ashley Madekwe, Christa B. Allen, Connor Paolo
Writer:
Nikki Toscano & Sallie Patrick
Director:
 Tim Hunter
Network:
 ABC, Wednesday nights, 10 p.m.
Original Telecast:
 February 8, 2012

There is a problem with elaborate plans, such as Emily Thorne’s (Emily VanCamp) to exact REVENGE on Victoria and Conrad Grayson (Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny) for arranging to have Emily’s father David Clarke (James Tupper) wrongfully convicted of terrorism. You could even legitimately argue that it’s a problem inherent in the premise of the show, but we won’t. The more elaborate a plan is, the more things can go wrong. And in “Perception,” there’s a lot going wrong.

Which, even if it’s a problem with the premise, is a handy problem to have if you’re a producer trying to stretch a straight-up revenge story across multiple seasons.

Let’s go back to the last episode, which left Jack beaten to within an inch of his life, and Amanda Clarke (Margarita Levieva) sent packing by Emily. Jack (Nick Wechsler) who is in love with Amanda (and still thinks she’s the little girl real-life Amanda Clarke), is devastated. He finds one of the interview tapes that evil author Martin Treadwell made of Amanda as a little girl, but can’t watch it because he doesn’t have the right equipment – like who has mini-VHS anymore?

In the meantime, Emily is back full-steam ahead and Nolan (Gabriel Mann) is trying to slow her down, worried about the collateral damage being done to Charlotte Grayson (Christa B. Allen), the love child of David Clarke and Victoria. Conrad, her supposed father, has already rejected her once, but is rethinking that. Then Conrad’s father, Edward Grayson (William Devane) steps in and lets Conrad know that if his divorce from Victoria gets ugly, Conrad will lose his position as CEO of Grayson Global. What they both don’t know is that Emily has plans to make sure Charlotte knows who her real father is.

And in an interesting flashback, we find that Emily has met fiance Daniel Grayson (Josh Bowman) before, back when she was still Amanda Clarke. But we have no time to think about what to make of that little bit of information, because Amanda (formerly the real Emily Thorne) is trying to get the tape back from Jack before he gets Nolan to help him look at it – at Emily’s behest, of course. Then Amanda will split, except that she’s in love with Jack, and tries to go after him.

Except that Nolan, who was supposed to make sure Jack didn’t see the tape, since Nolan is the only one with the antique technology to read the tape format, instead lets Jack see little girl Amanda talking about how she saw Victoria kissing her dad on the lips.

What follows is an explosion of epic proportions, when Jack bursts in on the dinner party with Grandpa Grayson to celebrate Emily and Daniel’s engagement and accuses Victoria of all kinds of things. And Conrad bursts out in front of everybody that he is not Charlotte’s father (before Emily can tell her and we’ve already seen Emily back off on that). And Daniel tries to defend Victoria by telling her fib that David Clarke raped her. And Conrad makes it clear that he knew durned well Victoria had an extended affair with David. And, gee, aren’t things set up to get even uglier when Daniel finally gets shot next week?

Not a spoiler – we saw that in the pilot and the network teased it at the end of the episode.

This is one of the good episodes, where there’s a lot going on, but it’s advancing the overall plot and it’s tightly focused on the most important threads. The kind that leaves you wanting to see the next episode, like, right now.

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Article:
TV Review -REVENGE  – Season 1 – “Perception”

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