By Kelsea Stahler, Hollywood.com Staff
Revenge, why so serious? For an episode revolving greatly around a sex scandal, the salacious bits were significantly toned down, while the business dealings rose to the top. For god sakes, a man was brutally beaten to a pulp on the docks by Jack's bar, and that incident felt less important than watching the Initiative monitor Daniel through his nifty Brookstone desk clock, which is of course, their hidden camera.
Of course, that's because in truth, the implications of Daniel rising to the throne are so much bigger than a little sex tape or an age old grudge match between Jack and the Ryan brothers. Still, Revenge bought our love with a sexy promise, is it wrong for us to want just a little more?
The Boy Who Would Be King
Now that Daniel's got his lynchpin in the form of Marco, Nolan's bitter old CFO who's privy to Nolan's dealings with David Clark, he's ready to nab Nolcorp for Grayson Global and take his seat at the head of the company. The vote to dethrone Conrad is imminent, and when Daniel takes a 51 percent share of Nolcorp for the company, he seems to have the vote in the bag. Of course, it can't be that simple. There is one more piece: a controlling investor in the form of Salvador Grobet.
Conrad and Victoria are doing their best to woo Grobet into keeping his faith in Conrad, but it's clear that Grobet is a malleable man. Aidan is determined to help Daniel secure Grobet's vote, but when Ashley suddenly expresses her distrust of the Englishman, Daniel bows his head like an obedient puppy and follows her lead. It's a bad move for Miss Ashley, because now that Emily's got a partner in revenge and love thanks to her reconciliation with Aidan, they're practically unstoppable.
Emily has Nolan send an incriminating video of Ashley having sex with Conrad to Victoria, throwing the queen bee into a vicious spiral that ended with Ashley being forced into a sexual encounter with Grobet to secure his vote for Conrad. Of course, this would be quite a turn for Miss Ashley if we hadn't seen her willingness to sell her body in last week's flashback which showed Emily saving her from a life of prostitution. She will do whatever she must to survive.
Unfortunately for Ashley, Emily and Aidan are always one step ahead (even when Victoria's conniving ways throw them a curveball like the Grobet sexual proposition). Aidan meets with Daniel to convince Daniel to let him back into the fold at Grayson after Ashley convinced him to cut Aidan out. When Daniel's arrogance slaps Aidan in the face, and Daniel simply says Aidan has no real right to be a part of Grayson's ruling party going forward, Aidan unleashes the emotional Kraken: he takes Daniel to catch Ashley in the disgusting act. And in a move that signals this betrayal was the one thing standing between Daniel and him becoming his father, Daniel callously snaps a pic with his phone. (Was that a Blackberry? Get with it, Grayson-mini.) He threatens to send it to Grobet's wife if he doesn't support Daniel as the new head of the company.
The next day, Grobet reluctantly does Daniel's bidding and Little Boy Grayson becomes the new head of Grayson Global, but the fact that he can only do so by scheming just like his parents brings this out of the victory pile and puts Daniel firmly on the wrong side of the battle. He's just as corrupt as the rest of them. It doesn't help that Aidan assumes that since he was the one who brought the Ashley situation to Daniel's attention, he'd be guaranteed that board member position - an assumption Daniel firmly squashes like a pest underfoot.
Of course, while Daniel is stomping around his new empire like so many giant, city-gobbling monsters, he has no idea what kind of trouble he's just bought himself. Victoria tries to warn him that people will be after him if he takes the throne, but he has no idea what level of trouble he's getting himself into. The Initiative inducts him into their little set of playthings with the gift of a clock along with a card that says "Welcome to the fold." Of course, the hideous clock from the Super Rich People With Bad Taste Collection at Brookstone has a camera in it and Daniel is officially under Initiative surveillance.
But it's not just the Initiative that's becoming a problem for him. After he kicks Ashley out, he deletes all of their photos together in a swift motion. He then opens another folder: all of the photos of him with Emily that he clearly never cleared out. The suspicions that arose during Victoria's marriage ceremony a few weeks back are a sealed deal: Daniel is still in love with Emily. Why else would he turn so quickly and easily against Aidan, who's been his right-hand man but is openly with Daniel's ex?
Victoria, of course, is the perfect helicopter parent and she's well aware of Daniel's poorly-hidden torch. She puts off whatever mission stems from her knowledge of Daniel's feelings when she sees that Emily and Aidan are caressing one another on Emily's porch, but it's clear the Emily-Daniel story didn't end with the return of Aidan. It would seem that given the intense connection between Aidan and Emily, that Daniel is S.O.L., but when Emily says Victoria's call is an unexpected advantage, it seems that she may be back in the faux-relationship game. How this connection will benefit or even affect Daniel's new position remains to be seen.
Next: Is Nolan going to keep giving up everything for Em?[PAGEBREAK]Nolan, Interrupted
Now that Nolan's a part of Grayson Global, you'd think his troubles had fully taken their toll. But you'd be wrong. Marco hasn't quite finished taking his revenge. He notes that "Amanda Clarke" hasn't seen a penny of the money Nolan said he was giving her. This is, of course, because Emily is the real Amanda Clarke, but Nolan can't spill those beans. He instead, falls prey to Marco's threats and has to find him a position at Nolcorp. Naturally, Padma is indignant, but Nolan's hands are tied. Of course, Nolan has now compromised his company and his lady love in the name of Emily Thorne. He's loyal, but how long will it be before Nolan gets tired of being her lapdog and left to a few tiny scraps of happiness? Yes, as Aidan and Emily both note, a lack of solid happiness is part of what it means to be in the revenge game, but Nolan isn't a career revenger like those two. Will his resolve hold out?
Trouble by the Bay
Jack and Amanda are celebrating their happiness with baby Carl's christening, an event that makes Emily question her choices and covet Amanda's newfound happiness. But little does Emily know, that happiness is actually under siege. As we found out last week, the Ryan brothers are actually targeting Jack because they think his father killed their father. It turns out the killer was Carl's fellow business owner Mr. Duncan, who used Carl's gun so the goons would think it wasn't him. And so far it worked.
The brothers take down Duncan on the docks because they think he's got information about Carl committing the murder, but even after they beat him senseless, he doesn't give up the truth about his past actions, leaving the brothers to assume they're on the right track by going after the Porters.
But Jack knows the truth. When he helps Duncan and takes him to the hospital, he learns the truth and realizes he needs to find his father's gun. Of course, before he grabs it from beneath the floorboards, the Ryans come by the bar with all the elements of your average threat disguised as a friendly visit. When Jack grabs the gun, it's unclear whether he's planning to get the gun dusted for Duncan's prints or if he's planning on using it against the thugs that he's welcomed into his life. Either way, Jack is forced to become a more vicious version of himself.
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[Photo Credit: ABC]
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