Tonight’s “Secrecy” was the most delightful episode of Revenge ever if only because it gave me exactly what I wanted from Emily Thorne and her approach to the neutralization of the threat of Sara. Though the episode was weighed down with boring plots with Margaux and Charlotte, it made up for it with Emily’s final push to keep Daniel invested and the return of a thought-dead character.
Lydia is back!
I didn’t know I cared until she was onscreen. Not to mention this may inject from intrigue into Margaux’s storyline. Who am I kidding? No it won’t. Here’s to hoping Margaux disappears entirely and Lydia takes over her alloted screentime.
But back to my favorite part of the episode: Emily vs Sara. An Emily backed into a corner is a great Emily, and I’ve been waiting since the first season for Revenge (and Emily) to go the pregnancy route to keep Daniel hooked. A fake pregnancy fits perfectly into the show’s soapy register, and with Daniel about to break off the engagement, Emily had to pull out the big guns.
Her initial attempt at appealing to Sara (completely with tears and a rundown of how insecure she is about Victoria’s hatred of her) seemed to work at first. Sara was hard to make sense of as she said multiple times that she didn’t want to get between Daniel and Emily, but then turned around and met Daniel secretly. The most interesting part of this plot was Daniel’s realization that Emily and Victoria are just alike, and his assertion that he doesn’t want to marry his mother (I imagine such a notion to be upsetting for Victoria). I’ll give him that one, especially since Sara’s so different in her unwillingness to manipulate and play games whereas Emily’s entire life is one calculated maneuver after another, most often against Victoria.
And in the midst of everything, Emily was playing her game, laying the groundwork for Victoria to be blamed for her murder. It was almost pathetic to watch Victoria stumbling into Emily’s traps with her obvious hatred of her, but as the wedding approaches (one more episode until the big day is upon us!) Victoria’s growing increasingly desperate. So naturally she pulled out Emily’s former husband in the hopes of stopping the wedding, but since Emily Thorne is a saint it’s revealed that the wedding was to secure a green card for Rohan so he could stay in the States and follow through on his romance with partner Benny.
Rohan’s appearance did more than make a fool of Victoria, it also gave us a glimpse of what Emily expects post-vengeance. Takeda’s training demands total silence about the vengeance after its completion, and Rohan found happiness with Benny afterward so maybe Emily can do the same?
Emily’s life after vengeance was a focus of the episode as Jack became aware that Aiden was going to be disappearing alongside Emily in the end. After Revenge‘s insistence on shoving his relationship with Margaux in my face, I was both relieved and annoyed that his feelings for Emily hadn’t been dropped completely. Relieved because Margaux never ceases to bore me to tears and annoyed because if she’s not a real option for Jack, then why is her presence being foisted on me at all?
Anyway, Jack was very annoyed to learn that Aiden and Emily were going to leave the Hamptons together. Revenge did a good thing in making Jack’s distrust of Aiden not only rooted only in any residual feelings for Emily, but also in Aiden’s shady treatment of Jack a few episodes ago. That way it’s not quite as easy to determine what Jack’s reasons are, but his earnest confession that he doesn’t hate – and could never hate – Emily definitely tipped the scale in a certain direction. His and Emily’s conversation at the episode’s end was great as they both acknowledged how different Emily is now from when she was a child and wishing for nothing to ever change.
I wouldn’t mind Jack and Emily reconnecting romantically now that Jack knows who Emily is and what her goals are. Their “puppy love” was just as annoying to me as it was to Aiden, but an in-the-know Jack is a far more compelling romantic partner than Aiden whose sketchiness continues to know no bounds.
Though it’s definite that Aiden’s on Emily’s side, it’s becoming clear that he doesn’t really know her. He threatened Jack despite knowing about Emily’s protective instincts toward him, and he used Charlotte without a thought. Instead of telling Emily and point out why it shouldn’t matter that he had to use Charlotte to get an opening with Victoria, he decided not to tell her at all. I suspect Aiden knew exactly how Emily may feel about it and decided to sidestep that argument.
The problem with both Jack and Aiden is that they each only knew one side of Emily. Jack knew Amanda Clarke, the optimistic, innocent little girl and Aiden met Emily Thorne, cynical, traumatized and obsessed with vengeance. Jack continues to appeal to that part of Emily, the part that cares about the wellbeing of others who get caught up in her plans, but Aiden exists alongsie the Emily that doesn’t care about the costs. The only person who knows where these two identities meet is Nolan, but Jack’s more likely to become acquainted with both sides than Aiden is.
The sideplot of Charlotte’s missing cell phone and “artful” nude photographs really was unnecessary. Everything Charlotte does at this point is to further someone else’s arc. Tonight she was there to push Jack and Aiden into an argument about Aiden’s intentions toward Emily and cryptically and ineffectively threaten Emily. At this point I’d rather Charlotte be shipped off to some elite boarding school or college or anywhere really because she brings nothing to the Revenge table, and I think I’m done hoping she eventually will.
I’ve chosen to pretend that Conrad’s badly titled memoir (The Choices We Make? Seriously? I’m not surprised since Daniel was the one who titled it) doesn’t exist.
In three weeks Revenge returns, and Lydia’s resurfacing throws a wrench into everyone’s plans but especially Emily’s.