Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen Revenge Season 2, Ep. 18 – “Masquerade”.
Last season, when every plot felt fresh and new, I wondered how this tale of singular revenge could be spun out into multiple seasons. During these idle musings, the thought crossed my mind that the Graysons had screwed over enough people in their lifetime to warrant an entire army of revenge seekers. It was a passing thought and I have since thought of better ways to sustain the plot (detailed here), but it looks increasingly likely that this was more than just a passing thought for the Revenge writers.
This week awkwardly picked up six weeks after the last episode, but very little had changed. Emily was lying low, reduced to haunting Victoria with memories of her abandoned son, Jack was lying low, ready to strike Conrad when the moment presented itself, and Nolan was lost in a world of grief, blaming himself for Padma’s kidnapping and doing everything in his power to find her before they killed her. So why the six week jump? Because we needed a Halloween masquerade, obviously!
Really, every episode should have a masquerade ball because there is clearly no better backdrop for revenging. And there is a lot of revenging going on.
Amanda’s death has refocused Emily on her plan of revenge for the Graysons (but mostly Victoria) and it has also given birth to a new vendetta that Jack has launched against our favorite Hamptonites. It has also given him a few more brain cells because he actually pulled off a rather genius bit of revenge. At a town hall Q&A, Jack (with help from Nolan) threw Conrad for a loop when the earpiece meant to coach him through townie interactions was commandeered by audio of him ordering the hit on Amanda. Combined with a slipped in question about David Clarke, the psychological strike was a success that resulted in Conrad agreeing to reopen the case and seek a presidential pardon Papa Clarke.
It’s a different tactic than the public humiliation take downs we’re used to, but Jack wasn’t the only one implementing the slow burn method. Emily was enjoying the information about Victoria’s secret son as much as her smile last week suggested she would. But this information isn’t valuable for a take down just yet; instead she used it to torture Victoria. She sent her an RSVP for the ball dated 1973 and signed, in blood red, “your loving son” (wonder if she learned that trick from Tyler) and also sent her 11 black roses with the promise that her son would be wearing the 12th at the masquerade. It’s a note to the writers that they took this moment to remind us how tragic Victoria is (it was her mother’s boyfriend who impregnated her as a teenager) and to show us her tender side. It will of course be gone again soon, but fleshing out your villains always makes for a much more compelling story.
I will assume that the masked, black rose wearer was simply an actor hired for the night to roam a fancy party and not let Victoria get too close. The real reason behind it (besides literally driving Victoria crazy) was to force her to lead Emily straight to the source of finding the real son. And she did. Will a nun whose taken vows of secrecy be the ultimate match for a vengeful ninja, or will Emily take her down as easily as an abusive politician?
But the newest member to our league of revengers is actually an old member. Nolan has been on team revenge from day one, but the revenge wasn’t personal. Now that Padma has been killed and he’s being framed for it, it’s very personal. The only question that remains is who will he be exacting his revenge on? In his grief he blamed himself, but also Emily. Since Emily is his strongest ally and his true friend (Honestly, how sweet was that scene between them? “I’m not leaving you alone.” “I love you too, Ems.” It’s too much, I was a weepy mess), I doubt he’ll be taking anything long term out on her. So, how long until he comes to the conclusion that everyone else has; it’s all the Graysons’ fault.
For a few weeks the number of characters seeking revenge as grown exponentially, but for the first time it feels purposeful. The focus of these separate revenge plots are all refocusing and almost everyone has found the Graysons directly in their crosshairs. Will they all team up into one giant army or will each vendetta inflict its own brand of pain onto the family that has made a living out of ruining others?
Other Random Musings:
You know how I just said everyone is taking a subtler approach to revenging? Well, make that everyone except for Aiden. Who has time for subtly when the necks responsible for killing your sister are within snapping distance?
Did I miss how Daniel figured out it was his mother and not The Initiative who sent the bullets? I may not know how he discovered it, but I’m going to guess he had some help.
Our other newest revenger is yet another person I suspect has been working the revenge angle from the beginning; Ashley. What other reason would she have for coming back after everything they’ve put her through? So, moment of truth, whose revenge team would you want to be on? Team Vengeful Ninjas or team Townie and Social climber? I hope you don’t actually have to think about that too hard.
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