Salvator Xuereb in REVENGE - Season 2 - "Lineage" | ©2012 ABC/Colleen Hayes

Salvator Xuereb in REVENGE - Season 2 - "Lineage" | ©2012 ABC/Colleen Hayes

Stars: Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Henry Czerny, Josh Bowman, Nick Wechsler, Gabriel Mann, Ashley Madekwe, Christa B. Allen, Connor Paolo
Nikki Toscano
Christopher Misiano
 ABC, Sunday nights, 9 p.m.
Original Telecast:
November 25, 2012

Is it my imagination or are things about blow up on REVENGE, and I mean a serious E-Ticket ride to hell in a handbasket blow up? We have that body in Jack’s (Nick Wechsler) boat from the season premiere and a load of back stories in “Linear” that are as much about what’s about to happen as they are about explaining the past.

I’m going to take this storyline by storyline, since there’s a lot going on here and I do want to keep the speculation focused. The fun thing is that it doesn’t feel like one of those races to the finish episodes, possibly because the episode only features four stories.

This all takes place for Thanksgiving 2006. We’ve got Emily (Emily VanCamp) and Aidan (Barry Sloane) meeting up in a bar run by the Russia mafia. Emily’s been sent in by Mr. Takeda (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) to rescue some other sweet young thing and ends up rescuing Ashley (Ashley Madekwe), which has got to be the producers’ way of including her in the script, although maybe not.

In between all the fisticuffs and guns going off, it turns out that Aidan and Emily are after the same guy, Dimitri, who kidnapped Aidan’s sister Colleen right around the time of the infamous plane crash for which David Clarke was framed. Hm. Aidan’s father was a baggage handler for the flight and might know something about how the bomb got on board. Not quite sure how Emily knows how Aidan is involved in the flight thing, but kinda have to wonder if the Russian mafia has ties to The Initiatives, the evil cabal behind it all.

Anyway, Aidan kills Dimitri before getting the information they need, but talks Emily (who’s still Amanda Clarke at that point) into getting Mr. Takeda to take him on, as well, so that he can get revenge on the folks who kidnapped his sister and sold her into prostitution. The upshot is that in the present day Aidan ends up in Emily’s bed with her – which is where they were headed last week, and apparently, Emily bribed Takeda by saying he couldn’t have her if he didn’t take Aidan. Then Emily tells Aidan not to disappear on her again, further strengthening my case that it’s Aidan’s stiff in the sunken boat. But there are plenty more candidates.

Next storyline is a combined one with the Graysons. It’s Thanksgiving and Daniel (Josh Bowman) is home from his first semester at Harvard, not quite finding himself yet. First, he makes the mistake of inviting Victoria’s (Madeleine Stowe) mother Marian (Adrienne Barbeau) to Thanksgiving dinner. It seems that Marian was prone to marrying for money and not being too careful about how her boyfriends reacted to lovely young Victoria. Marian has a new one on the line since her last sugar daddy died and left her with no money.

Daniel, though, is debating whether he wants to major in business and follow in his father’s footsteps. In fact, he seems to have a gift for poetry. So why does he ask his father Conrad (Henry Czerny) to read his poems for his opinion? Oh. Right. Daniel doesn’t know what kind of schemers his folks are. We do, though, and it turns out that not only was Marian’s new hot one hired by Conrad to woo her, then dump her, Conrad’s set it up to send Daniel’s poems to a publisher who will then kindly reject them.

So, in the present day, Conrad and Victoria are at it again, this time trying to prevent Daniel from taking over the board at Grayson Global because that will make him a target for The Initiatives, with Conrad whistfully saying he should have let Daniel become a poet.

Now, we know that Emily has all the money in the world because Nolan (Gabriel Mann) made it for her because her father David Clarke was NolCorp’s first investor. The problem is that with a convicted terrorist (never mind that Clarke was innocent, no one believes it yet) as your first investor, it raises all kinds of questions about how he raised the money to invest in you. Which present day Daniel is hoping to exploit to gain control over NolCorp and Nolan is going along with to protect Emily.

Back in 2006, however, Nolan’s just a guy who has a thing for his CFO, a cutie named Marco. Problem is, the relationship is way romantic until Marco finds out that there’s this account on the Cayman Islands for half a billion that recently got emptied out. Nolan explains that since it was David Clarke’s money that got him started, he started the account for Clarke’s daughter, who was the one who cleaned out the account to keep Nolan out of trouble. Except that Marco doesn’t buy it and takes off.

Now, here’s the question. If Nolan has been playing with guys for most of his past (remember that nasty liaison he had going with the evil Tyler last season), then why is he suddenly hooking up with Padma (Dilshad Vadsaria)? I’m guessing we’re supposed to assume that he’s bi-sexual, but I suspect he’s got something more nefarious in mind with Padma. Not sure what yet, but in the present day, Daniel has called Marco and is asking for his help to bring Nolan down. I don’t think it’s Nolan whose stiff was in the boat (and it had better not be or I will be seriously peeved), but now all of a sudden we have Marco as a potential candidate.

Finally, Jack’s father Carl is trying to keep the bar going, but there’s a protection racket going on in town shaking down all the local businesses. Carl initially intends to stand up to the extortioner, after sending Declan and Jack off to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving. But Jack comes back at the wrong moment, the extortioner threatens Declan and Jack persuades Carl to pay him off. So just as he does, the extortioner gets shot to death – by one of the neighbors, but he used Carl’s gun.

In the present day bar, Kenny (JR Bourne) talks about his dad using the same phrase about an expensive bourbon that his dad did earlier. Oops. Kenny’s dad was the extortioner and thinks that Carl killed his dad. This could be interesting, since Carl is one of the few characters on this show who has stayed dead. It also sets Kenny up as another potential source for that stiff.

Not to mention Martin Treadwell, who is presumably in jail for killing Gordon Murphy, but come on, getting somebody out of jail is easy for this crew, so the stiff could easily be him. Or one of the other series regulars, but I’m thinking not. At least, I hope not. I’m a major Nolan fan. Daniel’s a bit of a weenie, so I could handle it if he’s the stiff. I love to hate Conrad, though, so I want to keep him around.  Jack’s just such a nice guy that it would be totally unfair. If Declan’s the stiff that would also be totally unfair to Jack, so I’m hoping it’s not him, either.


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