Stars: Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Henry Czerny, Josh Bowman, Nick Wechsler, Gabriel Mann, Ashley Madekwe, Christa B. Allen, Connor Paolo
Writer: Sunil Nayar & Sallie Patrick
Director: Matt Shakman
Network: ABC, Sunday nights, 9 p.m.
Original Telecast: January 20, 2013
You know, it suddenly occurs to me that the reason REVENGE‘s episodes happen at such break-neck speed (six story-lines serviced before the opening credits of “Collusion” – and one scene actually featured two stories), is that the writers are trying to cover up that the over-all story arc has a few gaping holes in it.
Like we’re not supposed to notice that Aidan (Barry Sloane) is smart enough to help Emily run rings around the evil Initiatives, but is suddenly too dumb to realize that a video of his sister as proof that she’s still alive could easily have been made right before they killed her and is no proof at all? Or that Nolan (Gabriel Mann) who is also smart enough to help Emily run rings around the evil Initiative, not to mention think of all sorts of clever ways to spy on people via complicated technology, is also too dumb to figure out that Padma (Dilshad Vadsaria) is playing him and then some? Even before it became obvious that Padma was being pulled by Initiative face Helen’s strings I knew Padma was playing Nolan.
The problem is, when scenes are running under two minutes apiece, you don’t really have time to get invested in the storyline before it changes, which leaves you all sorts of time to wonder about the above or giggle because you recognize the hotel where the episode was shot (it’s the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California, if you must know).
The episode begins with Aidan making love to Emily (Emily VanCamp). Or is it Daniel (Josh Bowman)? Or is she just dreaming? But then we have Charlotte’s (Christa B. Allen) birthday, which Daniel has forgotten, but Conrad (Henry Czerny) has not. Never mind that Conrad is more interested in entering politics and with the scheming Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) at his side, why not? Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) is trying to put the spanner in Daniel’s plans to buy Stonehaven Disaster Relief in an attempt to save him from The Initiatives’ control without Daniel finding out about it, and Aidan is having issues because Helen claims his long-lost sister is alive and Emily is trying to be supportive. Padma is helping Nolan find a new house – he’d better scour that one for surveillance technology, and Daniel, instead of taking Emily to lunch, flies her away with him to snag the Stonehaven deal, while Helen produces the not-so-believable video of Aidan’s sister and tells Aidan to go kill Victoria or they’ll kill his sister. Yep. All that happened before the opening credits.
We also have a relatively minor storyline going with Conrad helping Jack (Nick Wechsler) and Amanda (Margarita Levieva). Jack, who’s been busted for drugs and the murder of the evil Ryan brothers’ father, is not going to be charged, thanks to Conrad’s help and now Conrad wants to help get rid of the Ryans. Well, Conrad wants to look good with the locals so he can get elected. Jack doesn’t buy it. So he tries to get Matt Duncan to confess to the murder, because, like, Matt was the one who really did it, but Matt’s not playing ball. But Conrad steps in, anyway, and tries to buy the Ryans’ half from Kenny Ryan. Funny how, the other, really nasty Ryan brother decides to step in and convince Conrad that working with him would be a better idea, since the actual goal of the Ryans is to re-develop the dock area and make massive amounts of money. Oh, and Conrad can point to all the jobs he helped create. Funny how the Ryan brothers don’t even come close to looking like each other. This all happens through out the episode, but since it’s easier to track the action story-line by story-line, I’m doing it that way.
Amanda (who is only just posing as Amanda Clarke, the real Amanda Clarke being Emily Thorne, who is exacting revenge for her father’s false conviction and subsequent death on the Graysons) goes to visit Charlotte, who is the real daughter of David Clarke, not Conrad Grayson because Victoria had an affair with David before he was falsely convicted. Anyway, Amanda gives Charlotte a sweet little handprint of Amanda’s baby Carl, and gets Charlotte thinking about family and stuff. So at the end of the episode, she announces that she’s changing her name to Clarke. Whether that’s going to be important later, well, we’ll see.
So now we go to Los Angeles, where Daniel is trying to seal the deal for Stonehaven, while Victoria is working with his competitor, Jason Prosser, to get the whole thing scuttled. And Victoria will do whatever it takes, including sleeping with Prosser, even as Aidan is trying to shoot her with a high-powered rifle. Funny how Aidan forgets to tell Emily that he’s under orders to kill Victoria from Helen, even as Emily and Daniel are getting Nolan to come up with the right dirt on Prosser to get him out of the deal. That works for them, only Daniel is trying to get Emily back with him and Emily is not going for it. Yet.
So Emily does manage to talk Aidan out of killing Victoria, which kind of back fires, because it sure looks like they killed his sister. The problem is, who knows when the killing actually took place – and why doesn’t Emily point that out? Maybe because Aidan is the guy whose body is in the sunken boat that we saw in the season premiere. I would put some money on it, if I could. Seriously.
Victoria is peeved with Emily for backing Daniel, Aidan is peeved with Emily for his sister dying. It’s not looking good for Emily. And she’s got one other mis-fortune, Nolan crying on her shoulder when he finally realizes that Padma is playing him. You see, many moons ago, Nolan developed this nasty bit of code called Carion that will take Manhattan off the electrical grid (shades of Revolution), only Padma slips and he figures out that’s what she’s after. I say it’s about time Nolan woke up. Harrumph.
Now, the network is teasing us with a shot of the sunken boat, saying that someone Emily cares about will sacrifice himself for her. I’m thinking it’s not Nolan, but could be. I know it’s not Daniel or Jack (long story there). Like I said, my money is on Aidan. Or maybe Nolan makes a sacrifice, but it’s not dying on the boat. Or maybe Aidan does and it’s one of the Ryan brothers on the boat (that would be cool). We’ll have to see in three weeks or so.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: TV Review -REVENGE – Season 2- “Collusion”