Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 1x07: "Charade"

Written by Mark B. Perry And Joe Fazzio
Directed by Sanford Bookstaver

Amanda: “You obviously know who I am, who are you?”
Emily: “Emily. Emily Thorne.”

As in holy shit – there’s an actual Emily Thorne out there and now she’s made her way to reconnect with the woman who’s been using her name for the last while and we can all thank Frank for this little reunion. Well, we could but sadly, he’s no longer with us thanks to the real Emily actually taking care of him to protect herself and Amanda.

I know this is kind of strange but I actually feel bad for Frank here. Okay, his part in making sure Victoria ruined David Clarke’s life obviously doesn’t do much to endear him but it’s painfully obvious how much he values Victoria’s opinion, especially considering the lengths he went to in this episode to make amends to her.

Of course as soon as he pieced that Emily Thorne was really Amanda Clarke and the real Emily was a stripper working in a seedy looking bar, he was obviously gonna die. Amanda hasn’t quite yet gotten to the level of actually killing those who threaten her (good thing for Tyler that) but Emily on the other hand had no problem with killing Frank to keep him quiet.

The only problem is that she should’ve timed it quicker. Frank had more or less heightened Victoria’s doubt in Fake Emily and because the real Emily has now made contact with Amanda, it doesn’t take much to guess that both girls are going to be under fire for the next couple of weeks.

As for the real Amanda and Emily relationship – two troubled girls in a detention centre who went from trying to beat the crap out of each other to aiding each other in pursuing false identities. Of course, with one of these girls living it up in the Hamptons and the other one lap dancing for a living, it’s hard to tell how much of a bond these ladies really have. In other words, Emily/Amanda is basically screwed.

It’s a good plot though and one that’s certainly going to make the next couple of episodes all the more exciting as Fake Emily certainly has had to deal with a lot of problems in the last few weeks. The arrival of Fake Amanda was definitely something she could’ve done without, couldn’t it?

Speaking of problems, you have to admire Tyler and his determination, don’t you? Despite Daniel actively warning him not to stir the pot, Tyler went out of his way to continue his hostility with Fake Emily, all by getting some reporter to write a piece of the budding romance of the year. I admire the way Fake Emily dealt with it but at the same time, I think I would’ve preferred seeing her kicking seven shades of crap out of Tyler instead.

Thankfully then, Nolan managed to come into excellent use this week by doing some actual research on Tyler and finding out some interesting tidbits. If I hadn’t read the spoilers beforehand, I wouldn’t have guessed that Tyler was some form of a gay hustler but the bit about his family’s financial crisis however seems to make a lot of sense considering his brownnosing with the Graysons.

As for the Tyler and Nolan tryst, nice to get a confirmation on both characters sexualities (Tyler’s basically gay for pay, Nolan’s bisexual) but this definitely not a relationship to look at with rose tinted glasses folks. Tyler’s willing to sleep with Nolan in order to keep him out of his hair and similarly, Nolan’s only doing it to help out Emily, though he was savvy enough to film their encounter though.

Also, I’m sure people have noticed that I’ve complained a bit about Ashley’s lack of character development and now that she’s gotten one, I’m not sure if I like it though. Ashley more or less admitting that she wants to be Victoria really makes me hope that she fails in her endeavours or learns from her role model’s screw ups because there are certainly better things and people in life to aspire to.

As for Victoria, I think this episode gave her more layers. I actually gave a crap when Conrad openly admitting his annoyance that she doesn’t love him like she did with David and her advice to Daniel about love in relation to Fake Emily was pretty much on the money as well. However, it’s still really hard to tell how much real affection Fake Emily actually has for Daniel though, especially in light of her conversations with Nolan this week, which justifies Victoria’s dislike for the woman.

Also in “Charade”

Another episode minus getting revenge on someone. In fact, this week, Fake Emily actually got Sharon Stiles to help cover her tracks with Frank. Too bad it didn’t work out so well for her.

Emily (re Big Ed): “You hired a bodyguard?”
Nolan: “You would too if Frank had almost blown your kneecaps.”

Jack lost my respect this week when he took being rejected by Emily out on Nolan but I did like that him and Emily got to clear the air.

Emily: “You should leave before I call the police.”
Frank: “Go ahead, though I suspect you don’t want them nosing around.”

Sharon: “What is the first thing I taught you?”
Emily: “Never underestimate your enemy.”
Sharon: “And never let your guard down. This one seems determined.”

The real Emily Thorne was put in the detention centre for attacking her father, who was a child abuser.

Conrad: “I thought you didn’t believe in luck.”
Victoria: “I don’t believe in good luck.”

Emily: “About the other night?”
Jack: “Can we pretend it didn’t happen? I’m still pretty embarrassed.”
Emily: “Don’t be.”

Victoria was paying for Lydia’s medical bills in this episode. Lydia also woke up while Conrad visited her and both Victoria/Conrad’s 25th anniversary dinner ended in disaster.

Tyler (re meeting): “I won’t be there.”
Nolan: “You will and you’ll be prompt. I can be a very impatient person.”

Nolan (to Tyler): “Ambiguous sexual identity. I guess I’m about a three on the Kinsey scale myself. Still doesn’t tell me what you’re up to.”

Even though he had a point, I found Declan’s whole attitude during Victoria/Conrad’s party a bit out of line actually. I don’t know why Charlotte puts up with him. Maybe she’s too nice for her own good.

Frank: “Actually I just wanna talk.”
Amanda: “You’re one of those. It’s your money. What do you want to talk about?”

Daniel (re Emily): “Why don’t you like her?”
Victoria: “I don’t want to see you getting hurt.”

Standout music: Kurt Vile’s “Baby’s Arms” during Emily and Daniel beach frolics.

Emily (to herself): “Just as there are two sides to every story, there are two sides to every person. One we reveal to the world, another we keep hidden inside.”

Chronology: A few days since the events of “Intrigue”

Now, this was definitely a lot of fun. “Charade” saw Frank bumped off, introduced us to the real Emily, saw Lydia wake from her coma, completely obliterated Victoria and Conrad, gave us more back story for certain people while also changing the game a little. This show is definitely becoming an increasing joy to watch every week.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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