Dear readers, welcome back! How was your summer? Mine was good, thanks. Hope you’re strapped in, because a lot has happened on and off-camera in the “Revenge” world of late.
We’ll get back up to speed about what’s going on in Amanda/Emily land in a sec, but first order of business: Hello, new showrunner! That’s right — Mike Kelly, who created and exec produced "Revenge," stepped down in a “mutual decision” with ABC, he said (read: he got fired), so now, let’s give a warm welcome to new head Sunil Nayar! Sunil, hope you know what you’ve gotten yourself into with this series.
Last we ended things, s— hit the fan. Aidan went on the lam, Nolan went to jail, Declan went to heaven (presumably, unless he was a lot worse in this life than we thought) and Amanda went all, “I’m gonna tell Jack who I really am.” So that leaves us in a very interesting place to pick up with for this season. Let’s not waste any more time. To the recap!
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We open on a boat, with Amanda mumbling something about fear. Oh, there she is in a wedding dress. This must be another flash-forward. Before we get a moment to process any of her monologue, she breathlessly tells someone off-camera, “I’m sorry,” and then boom! Three bullets to the stomach. Yikes. Amanda goes overboard. And that’s all we know. That scene seamlessly transitions into her and Daniel cavorting around a swanky NYC rooftop pool. This show wouldn’t work without a fancy party in every episode, and it looks like this episode’s will be a big Memorial Day family reunion. It’s been six months since we’ve last checked in with the gang, and we’re not the only ones who haven’t seen Queen Victoria lately — Daniel and Emily haven’t had any words with her either.
You see, Victoria’s quite content away from all the drama. She’s doing just fine spending her days horseback riding with her (very handsome) son Patrick, who we meet in this season opener. Patrick’s been staying with Victoria for the past six months. You know who hasn’t? Charlotte. Victoria sent her away to Europe to try to help her forget the whole Declan situation, and it looks like, as we learn tonight, Charlotte miscarried their baby too. But as a new season begins, the drama picks up, and Charlotte makes a very adult, lady-like return home (love the bangs, girlfriend!) She enters the stable a little peeved with her mom for selling their Parisian property — poor girl learned the hard way when she just showed up and didn’t have a place to crash, so she came back to the States.
Amanda returns the “I’ll bail you out of jail” favor to Nolan, who was imprisoned for being behind Carrion (remember that thing? That little program that caused the big NYC blackout last season?) Amanda and Nolan catch up — Nolcorp’s “gone the way of the flip-phone,” and Amanda’s doing her best to avoid setting a wedding date to her Daniel. She apologizes for involving Nolan in her mess and gifts him a sweet house on the water. It’s all good, Nolan says — he still wants to help her exact revenge. Their first move: Wreak havoc on that Memorial Day party.
At the Grayson mansion, new governor Conrad is asking his portrait artist to pay more attention to his eyes, which I found laughable. Daniel walks in, and Conrad explains that he’s amped security for the big party — lots of prep needs to happen for a future presidential candidate, ya know (that would be Conrad). Conrad offers Daniel a cushy VP job in his dad’s org, but Daniel doesn’t want any of it. He wants to blaze his own trail. (OMG, remember when Daniel wanted to be a poet? Could you imagine Daniel Grayson making a career out of language? Is his vocabulary even bigger than 100 words? I digress.)
Amanda visits the Stoweaway, but Jack’s not there. Ashley is though. Oooh, she’s turned into a little devil now. Her deal with Conrad is over and now she’s threatening to expose Amanda to the Graysons for who she really is. The two girls have that sort of passive-aggressive bitchy conversation that only girls can do, and then Ashley leaves.
Back in NYC, Daniel is enjoying a cocktail solo at some swanky bar when in walks Margot, some French girl from his past. She’s coming to the party, she tells him, and he tells her he’s engaged to Emily (Amanda). Hope Margot’s not holding out hope for him. Cut to the Hamptons, where Charlotte goes over to Amanda’s house and the two embrace and catch up. Later, in another move only “Revenge” could pull off, Amanda visits Victoria at her house, where she’s playing the piano. “Beautiful,” Amanda tells her, as America gags. Victoria mumbles something about fresh-picked asparagus and then Amanda gets straight to business: She tells her about running into Ashley, only switches the story to say that Ashley knows Victoria is having an affair, and is blackmailing Amanda to keep the secret. Victoria and Amanda agree that Ashley’s beyond cuckoo, but Amanda does notice a little glint in Victoria’s eye — could it be Patrick who’s been making her so happy these past few months? Yes, that’s right, Victoria says — “he’s changed my heart,” she tells Amanda.
Amanda quickly hides a bottle of what I guess is poison when Daniel walks in the door at his house. She fills him in that his mother is going to make a grand re-entrance to society at the big party. Then Conrad comes home, and lo and behold, we have the big Conrad/Victoria reunion. They talk in such elegant cadence that it’s easy to forget they pretty much hate each other. Anyways, he asks if she’ll do him the honor of representing him at some Binghamton event coming up and she’s like “Who do you think I am?” He counters that she owes him big for keeping them alive, and that he’ll sell the house to make back some of the money they’ve lost.
All the security Conrad’s planning to use at the party means Amanda needs Nolan’s help to hack the X-ray machines so they can take part in some old-fashioned trouble. But Nolan’s all, “I’m Nolan 2-point-NO, so I ain’t doin that.” He’s got a better idea. And then he tells her Jack is back, which pretty much sends Amanda over the edge. Elsewhere, Charlotte is convinced that Patrick is Victoria’s lover, not brother. Funny!
So Amanda heads to the Stoweaway to reunite with Jack. At first it’s really romantic: The sun is low, he’s got her face cupped in his hands — he understands why she’s doing what she’s doing, he says. They share a passionate embrace, but of course, this is “Revenge,” so it won’t be this easy for them to reunite (if they do at all). They smooch and then Jack gets cold. He says he wasn’t sure what he felt for Amanda until that moment, and now, sorry, he doesn’t feel anything. He’ll keep her secret but he wants to be left alone. Oh no! Poor Amanda, I guess. I have a hard time sympathizing with her. I mean, yes, I feel bad — that pretty much is the worst thing that can happen to this girl — but come on, she needs to get over this whole vendetta. When is enough enough?
Anyways. Patrick tells Victoria he’s leaving. I guess the whole confrontation he had with Charlotte freaked him out a bit. Victoria’s suspicious someone said something. Well, your motherly instincts are right, Vicky! Blame your daughter! Then, it’s time for the party. Of course it’s one of those parties where everyone has to wear white, and of course Amanda breaks the mold by wearing a red-accented white dress (oooh, symbolism). Margot is there, and so is a doctor named Jorge Velas, who hits it off with Ashley (also there). We learn that Margot is the daughter of some famous French publishing mogul and is here to start a stateside edition, against her daddy’s wishes (sometimes you gotta do that, she says).
Nolan parachutes into the party, because really, why wouldn’t he? Conrad is beside himself with stress about this. Here, you look pretty shaken up, Amanda tells him — have some water. So he drinks. Bad move! He goes to speak once his portrait is unveiled and quickly collapses.
At Suffolk County Memorial Hospital (which by the way does not exist, I checked), the press is getting antsy — someone needs to release a statement about what happened to Conrad. Dr. Jorge enters and he’s got bad news: Conrad has Huntington’s disease, a neurological disorder that will ultimately kill him. Yikes! Daniel briefs the press, making up some lie about dehydration and yada yada yada. Margot sends condolences to Daniel for his dad's disease — but how does she know about it? Someone must have leaked something. The only person who could have done so was Ashley, who was getting close with Dr. Jorge. He must have slipped it to her, everyone surmises, and she must have gotten a pretty hefty payday from the press.
Amanda goes back to her house and Jack’s there, all confrontational. “You’re responsible for today,” he accuses her. She’s quick to confess. “He had no right to be governor!” Yeah, but Amanda and Declan had no right to die. Touche. Jack wants her to finish whatever is she’s got to do by the end of the summer, then get the hell out.
Cut to an airplane hangar. Amanda, Victoria and Ashley are there. Ashley got tricked into going (you should know by now, pretty lady: Stop trusting the Graysons). Victoria tells Ashley she knows about the little plan to blackmail Amanda — wanna explain? Ashley says that Jack tried to assassinate Conrad, and that Conrad planted the bomb in the building that exploded last season, and wanted Jack to die. But bad news: That info came from a text on Ashley’s phone, so they accuse her of being in on it too. Ashley denies leaking info about Conrad’s health to the press, but it’s too late: They want her gone. They tell her to get on the plane that’s waiting and bury the evidence (her phone). “You two are evil,” is all Ashley can reply. Victoria says like it or not, we’re a family. But then, ironically, she and Amanda go their separate ways out of the hangar. That seemed symbolic, right?
At home, Daniel’s reading about Huntington’s, and Amanda tries to comfort him. She thinks picking a wedding date will maybe help, so she suggests Aug. 8 and they agree to it. 8/8 — just like her revenge tattoo! THE SYMBOLISM ISN’T LOST ON ME, SUNIL!
At Grayson Manor, Victoria’s waiting for Conrad to come home from the hospital. Charlotte comes by and tells her mom that since she obviously loves Patrick more than her, she’s moving out. Fine, Victoria says. Charlotte is half-surprised, half-not that her mom doesn’t beg her to stay. Victoria gets a text from Daniel telling her to save the date for Aug. 8 (now that has a nice cadence to it!).
Conrad comes home and tells Victoria he’s not selling the house — “we’re not going anywhere.” On the beach, Nolan and Amanda are toasting to Ashley’s downfall — poor girl’s got a big red X on her picture now (it’s a picture of Amanda and Ashley we saw Amanda lingering with earlier in the episode, by the way). Nolan makes a joke that she’s been “Daven-de-ported” (I always love his humor), and we get a flashback that explains what really went down in this episode: At the Memorial Day party, when Nolan parachuted in, he passed off the poison Amanda originally had back to her. Amanda then poured that poison in the water bottle she gave to Conrad when she told him he was not lookin’ so good from all that stress. So what really caused him to collapse was not Huntington’s, but just an unknown toxin in his body, but while the doctor wasn’t looking Amanda changed the diagnosis that got leaked to the press.
So what’s next, Nolan asks. Amanda tells him Jack came to see her. What will you do, Nolan wonders. “Have the wedding of the century,” of course, and take down Victoria once and for all. She shares the date and Nolan draws the double eights in the sand on their side, so they look like two of Amanda’s tattoos interlocking (for anyone who the symbolism was lost on earlier before).
But back at Grayson Manor, Victoria’s got a new ally. Aidan mysteriously appears on her doorstep. What is he doing here? “Looking to destroy the girl next door.” Oooh! Amanda’s now got two of the men she cares about the most hating on her. Can she get out of this? Does she deserve to? And most importantly, whose haircut do you like better, Nolan or Charlotte? Let me know your thoughts below, and see you next week!