‘Revenge’ recap: Episode 16, ‘Illumination’

REVENGE - "Illumination" - The queen and king of smoke and mirrors, Victoria and Conrad, make a calculated move, starting a charitable foundation in the late Amanda Clarke's name. But little do they know that Jack is not buying it and has a plan of his own. Meanwhile, Emily's past catches up to her again, on "Revenge," SUNDAY, MARCH 17 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/RICHARD FOREMAN) COLLINS PENNIE, CHRISTA B. ALLEN, MADELEINE STOWE

Credit: ABC

Tonight we see more of Eli James, Amanda’s foster brother, but it only raises more questions. What does he want? Why is he here now? Amanda and Aidan talk this over as they relax in Aidan’s secluded “safe haven.” He’s the last thing she needs right now, she says. Eli was her protector, and she promised to never separate us, and nothing did until she set the fire that burned their house down.

At the Graysons, Charlotte is so proud that Mommie Dearest is starting a charity in Emily’s (“Amanda’s) honor. Daniel is trying to figure out the Initiative and what they want, and Victoria and Conrad warn him to watch out for Aidan.

Elsewhere, at the Stowaway, Jack decides to set up an insurance policy for baby Carl, in case another tragedy strikes. Declan informs Jack that the night Emily died, someone told him that they had safely made it to their hotel in Nantucket.

Emily gets wind of the foundation and offers her services as co-chair. She also donates $250,000. Just then Eli shows up at the Graysons. He tells Victoria about his past in London working in the rare books industry (a lie) and that he went to Columbia (another lie). Victoria introduces him to Amanda and he’s suspicious of her. Victoria invites him to be an honored guest at the foundation’s kick-off. Nolan calls and Amanda uses it as an excuse to leave. She hightails it to his house and tells him about Eli. Could this be another Tyler? Nolan will check him out. Amanda wants to get to Jack before Eli does.

Conrad visits Daniel in his office and says that everything they do is “for something beyond ourselves,” for the Graysons and all future Graysons. Just then Aidian interrupts.

Eli has already beaten Amanda to the Stowaway. Emily asks Jack for forgiveness but he’s suspicious of her—Eli has told him that Amanda hated her dad, and if that’s the case why would she risk everything to prove that the Graysons were after him? Uh-oh, someone smells trouble. And Eli does too: Jack steps out, and Eli confronts Amanda. He knows her real identity, telling her she looks pretty good for a dead girl.

After a quick commercial break, Eli tells Amanda that he had spent years searching for her but that he could only find the stripper. When Amanda explains the whole switching-identities thing, Eli says it’s a bum deal: Emily got a broke boyfriend and ended up dead, and Amanda got a ton of money. Speaking of which, Amanda wants Eli to have her money if it means he’ll leave her alone. She can’t have him staying here and screwing up her plan. Her incentive: He’s got a criminal past—if she can have his record wiped clean (by Nolan, who can do anything), maybe he’ll leave her alone.

Some smartass starts a fight with Daniel at a bar and Aidan breaks up the fight, much to the disappointment of Daniel. He doesn’t want Aidan to defend him. They’re officially in a fight, I guess, which makes Aidan all the more likely to be receptive to Conrad’s call just a few moments later.

Jack asks someone at the dock about the night his wife died. He knows somebody pulled him out of the wreckage and saved him. The man says someone—he didn’t catch his name—paid him money to keep quiet about that night. When the man describes him as a tall, sandy-haired guy with blue eyes, Jack figures out it’s Nolan.

At the party for Amanda’s charity, Amanda brings Nolan (who looks spiffy in a gold tux). Victoria says Amanda can’t be co-chair because all her other philanthropic duties mean she doesn’t have the time needed to the devote to this. Burn! But fine, whatever, no problem for Amanda. She gets right down to business, introducing Nolan to Eli and having him wipe his record clean, plus giving him $100,000 to start over. But Eli’s not going without a fight.

Declan gets jealous when he realized Charlotte took the day off to hang with Eli. Amanda has a plan to kick Eli out—she tells Ashley that he and Amanda were not close and that he was in trouble and needed money. Ashley will do her part to dispose of Eli, except when Victoria hears this from Ashley, she’s all the more inclined to keep him around because the damaging words came from “Emily Thorne.”

In another corner of the sprawling Grayson mansion, Daniel and Aidan argue. Aidan, like it or not, has a stake in Daniel’s wellbeing. He says he’s moved on from Emily but that Emily hasn’t moved on from Jack. He tells him that Conrad was actually the one who sent him back to Daniel, which sends Daniel through the roof.

Friends, give it up for Henry Czerny in tonight’s episode. Homeboy had some serious angry face going tonight, and it was mighty convincing. That whole scene when he told Daniel that the charity was a front to keep their assets out of government reach? Kudos. They’re gonna make it look like Aidan ran off with their money, and the next move is in Daniel’s court.

Back at the party, Eli donates his check from Amanda to the foundation. Jack makes a special appearance at the party and takes the mic, thanking the Graysons for everything (lying through his teeth). He hands the mic over to Victoria, who names Eli the co-chair of the foundation, to the anger of Amanda. Nolan corners Jack—what are you doing? Jack tells him he knows that he was there the night Amanda died and is done listening to him. Nolan makes up a story that the boat was registered to Kenny Ryan and Jack buys it.

In a rather bold move, Daniel confides in Amanda about the Initiative and their plan to have Daniel take part in their next plot. He says he’s trapped, and he tells her that the charity is a front for his parents’ assets, much to the surprise of Amanda. Elsewhere, Conrad counts his charity money to the tune of just about $5 million. Daniel tells Conrad that it’s a lock that Aidan will be named to the board, and then gives a check of his own to the foundation (it’d look weird if he wasn’t helping his parents’ cause). Victoria thinks he got the money from Amanda (“Emily”).

Emily tells Nolan about the Graysons’ charity front. She has a plan—if she gets a hold of Carrion, now that she knows where all the Graysons’ fortune lies, she can bankrupt the family. Intriguing! She needs Nolan’s help.

Cut to Emily at Aidan’s place. She’s not gonna do anything about Eli right now. She and Nolan get started on their bankruptcy mission, but Carrion’s got a bug. Nolan’s seen this bug before. In a flashback, we see him telling David about it. But David doesn’t want to hear it. He’s done fighting, he’s accepted his fate, and he just wants to make sure Amanda gets the revenge box he’s made for her (“It’s her future”). Back in the present, Nolan tells Amanda that whoever wrote the code protecting the account sealed her father’s fate, and that that hacker, dubbed “the Falcon,” is back on the Graysons’ payroll. What’s Amanda’s next move? “Let’s go hunting,” she tells Nolan.


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