Tonight’s episode was revenge plot lite, with Nolan taking the lead against publicist Bizzy Preston, hired to help the Graysons (mostly Conrad because no one else was interested) revitalize their image. Meanwhile Daniel grew closer to Sara in another solid episode that’s only failings were its mild attempts at making Margaux a fully realized character and trying to make the audience believe that people actually care about the Graysons enough to make them trend on Twitter.
I wanted to like Margaux, I really did, but from the moment she got naked in front of Daniel I’ve been in a constant state of wondering why. Why is she here? Why am I supposed to care? Why did Revenge saddle a newly intriguing Jack with this boring woman? Why? “Resurgence” provided no answers, only more questions as Margaux ended up dealing a lot with Conrad,who’ s going to be penning a memoir (or as Jack called it a “book of lies”), and Jack who is now a serious romantic interest for her. I understand what I’m supposed to be getting from Margaux and Jack, but none of it’s there. All the pieces have been laid out, but the pair lacks chemistry. Even with Jack’s sweet request to go on a date, his heartfelt decision at Amanda’s grave to try and move on and him and Margaux kissing in the glow of fireworks, they just don’t work. They’re just so boring. The best thing that could be said about their sex scene is that the music wasn’t bad.
Doing the exact opposite of Marguax and Jack are Daniel and Sara. Because it’s not weird at all to ask your ex-girlfriend to make your wedding cake, Daniel offered the job to Sara. Though a lot of his interest seems to stem from his guilt in what happened to her, before that there were real feelings on both of their ends so it wasn’t surprising when Daniel almost kissed Sara before she deftly avoided it. If I cared about Daniel as a character, I’d be really excited at this chance for him to have a real relationship with someone. He’s an unwitting pawn in Emily’s plans and only functions as her means of finalizing her vengeance against Victoria. This cuts him off from any real relationship in which his feelings are returned (sidenote: how messed up do you think Daniel would be if Emily’s plans went well and Victoria was accused of her murder?). But since Daniel is annoying, though nicely subdued and tolerable in his scenes with Sara, I’m more interested in how Emily’s going to neutralize this new threat.
Though Charlotte initiated this entire setup, she was quickly shuffled to the side as soon as Victoria got involved. This week’s “So Victoria” moment came with Sara and Victoria’s encounter at the Fourth of July party. “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable watching the fireworks in a field somewhere?” Victoria asked as though anyone would be a fool to find that offensive. She changed her condescending, classist tune pretty fast once Charlotte pointed out the benefits of having Sara around which begin and end with breaking up Daniel and Emily. And per usual, as soon as Victoria heard that this could free her beloved Daniel from Emily’s shady, manicured clutches, her eyes lit up.
Now that Victoria’s enlisted Sara, she has no need of Aiden. Apparently Revenge doesn’t have anything for him to do either because Aiden got sent off to make preparations for his and Emily’s future, disappearing down the beach to do whatever it is he likes to do offscreen though I’m sure his absence will be shortlived.
In the week’s big revenge plot the target was Bizzy Preston, ambitious and annoying publicist who many years ago outed Nolan in the press, causing a falling out with Nolan’s father which kept the two from reconciling before his death. This little glimpse at Nolan’s pre-Revenge life made me want more of it, and though this is largely Emily’s story, Nolan’s become such a fixture that I wouldn’t mind learning more about his history especially if he and Patrick are done for the timebeing and won’t be making out anytime soon. But anyway, Nolan wanted Bizzy to burn so Emily was demoted to wingman to help him through it.
Nolan’s revenge was a delightful juxtaposition to Emily’s, whose journey this season is pointing to her own destruction as she pursues the Graysons. Nolan, on the other hand, left his vengeance gig feeling a lot better. He crushed Bizzy’s career, but allowed her to maintain her marriage and even got a genuine apology from her. This empowerment isn’t something Emily will see at the end of her run, not with three bullets in the stomach anyway, and since we’re on season three and the Graysons are over expressing any guilt for what happened to David Clarke, it’s unlikely she’ll ever hear an apology. But Nolan’s mini-vengeance arc was a different look at vengeance than we’ve gotten thus far, as something empowering rather than destructive. But for Nolan, his vengeance was a one-off, but Emily’s is her entire life so hers is going to leave a much bigger mark, both on her target and herself.
Nolan and Emily shared some great scenes after Emily’s confession last week (though where the Jack and Emily scenes were, we just don’t know). I have a weakness for Nolan and Emily as the best friends everyone knows are best friends but know absolutely nothing about (can you imagine what bystanders think about the Emily/Nolan friendship?), and the two of them flitting around the party giggling with Bizzy while planning on ruining her life, were gems. It wasn’t all gossip and giggles though as they shared a nice scene of Emily lamenting leaving Nolan, her truest friend, behind when this whole thing ends.
I have no idea if the Graysons were actually helped by Bizzy, but I can’t believe Conrad’s still trying to be someone while the rest of the family just wandered around lifelessly and trying not to look too annoyed. Shouldn’t Conrad, and his entire family, have faded into the recesses of the American consciousness by now? They aren’t the royal family or the Kardashians so who’s trying to follow Daniel and Emily’s wedding preparations in the tabloids? And who’s going to buy Conrad’s Book of Lies?
Next week Victoria throws Emily what will probably be the most lavish, passive-aggressive bridal shower ever, and Emily takes drastic measures to keep Daniel in line.