Revenge Review: This Time It’s Nolan’s Takedown
This week’s Revenge brought about a changing of the guard, as we saw Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) take the reigns, and lead the charge as Emily (Emily VanCamp) played wingman. There is a new publicist looking to work her magic on the Graysons, but she outed Nolan to the media years ago to end her client’s rumors, which put her in his crosshairs. There’s also Jack (Nick Wechsler) coming to grips about the death of his deceased wife, and Emily comes across what might be her biggest challenge yet in actually landing this upcoming wedding. Let’s break down Nolan’s episode of Revenge-ing, shall we?
The new publicist is a career-driven woman who goes by the name of Bizzy Preston (Ana Ortiz). Yes, she’s a publicist, always on her phone, and her name is Bizzy. You get it? Good. She’s the one who has been hired to put Conrad (Henry Czerny) back on track in his political aspirations, but even she realizes just how big of a mountain that is to climb. She’s not shy though, as she sets her sights on mending the relationship between Emily and her future mother-in-law, Victoria (Madeleine Stowe). The mere notion is a laughable thought (seriously, I laughed), and they share this cute little moment where they glance at each other and mentally decide “nah, not going to happen honey.”
The new publicist is an annoyance for Emily, but she talks to Nolan and tells him she’s prepared to handle it. When she mentions the woman’s name, however, Nolan lurches back. Ah, the connection! Nolan was getting involved in the life of a client, and after a certain little hook-up mishap, Bizzy went to the press and told everyone Nolan was gay. At that time, he had only just been starting to get back in his father’s life, and his father had even bought a plane ticket to go and see his work. Alas, the story leaked, and he never heard from his father again. Ten years later, his father died. I felt for him, and instantly wanted him to get his moment. Thankfully, he did, and Emily informs him that this take-down is going to be one of his own.
Par the course, there’s a fancy, expensive social event to give Emily and Nolan a setting. This week on Revenge, it’s Victoria’s Independence Day party, which will be held at the Grayson Manor. The plan begins when Emily links a little nugget of information that she has been married before, and pleads to Bizzy when she blabs. This woman may like burying secrets, but I was getting the vibe that she was the kind of lady to spill, especially if pushed, but Emily was already one step ahead of me. That girl can plan.
I spoke last week about the X-factor that could potentially be a major storyline for Emily this season; that X-factor was (and still is) Sarah (Annabelle Stephenson), the complicated past love of Emily’s fiance, Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman). This week, my prediction came closer to the truth as the Grayson women began a push for the woman. Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) had gotten her a job at the Stowaway, and helped plant the seed that led to Daniel asking his fiance if his ex-girlfriend could make the cake for their wedding. Emily allows this to go down, and I wonder if she was temporarily blinded by sympathy, or just honestly missed this one. The energy between Daniel and Sarah is palpable, and she is really underestimating Victoria here.
Margaux (Karine Vanasse) came back to the Hamptons in time to get herself an invitation, but before that, she shared quite the romantic date with our Stowaway hero, Jack Porter. Well, it was romantic, until she leaned in, made her move, and found the boy across from her hesitant. Jack still had the heavy weight of his deceased lover (the fake Amanda Clarke) on his heart. To solve this, he popped by her grave, had a pretty tearful discussion, and then took off his ring, He found Margaux later at the party, apologized, and when she noticed he had taken off his wedding ring, it was on. They went at each other romantically for a good bit, we all clapped for Jack and Revenge in general that we got that whole boring good-bye stuff down in two minutes flat. Hail the heroes!
When Sarah shows up at the Independence Day party, Victoria rips her so hard I made that face where your fist goes to your mouth and the other arm just shoots out. She got her good. I thought “oh no, maybe they won’t do it” for a second, but then Charlotte appeared later on, and did all but shout “Use Sarah to break up Daniel and Emily!” Only then did Victoria see the light, but now that she has, she’s looking at Sarah like a kid who just tripped over what he thought was a rock, and discovered later was a PS4. Victoria knows she’s an asset. She’s also quite good at using her assets for her own agenda, and as likable of a character as Sarah might be, we’ll be seeing her under there soon.
Now that Victoria salivates at the mere thought of Sarah, she finds she has little use for Aiden (Barry Sloane), and welcomes him with a suitcase of his things. She makes some funny Independence Day jokes (Aiden’s British), and then he got the boot. Later on, after the party, Emily will explain to him that he should just leave for the time being, but he’ll be popping up again soon, I assure you. You don’t just set the foundation for the protagonist’s romance and then whisk him away for the rest of the season.
The takedown at the Independence Day party was probably one of my favorite so far, probably because it had James Bond all over it. Nolan and Emily swarm Bizzy, wrap her up in conversation, and Emily asks her a question about a date to some thing, and the publicist pulls out her phone. She can’t find her glasses (cue savvy look between Nolan and Emily), and Nolan offers his own. Bizzy puts them on, gets in her phone, gets the date, it’s all over. It seems like nothing happened, but Bizzy just handed over her entire career. Nolan shows us the power of technology when he takes the glasses off to the side, and shows us they were recording what Bizzy was seeing, and what she was seeing was her phone’s password. Nolan got himself everything he needed from that phone, something Bizzy would find out wasn’t the end of things to come.
Nolan shows up the next day to break the news. He looks like an absolute boss in a smoldering gray blazer with the collar all popped up. Bizzy is now property of Nolan Ross, and the only work she’s going to be doing if she wants to keep things under wraps, is for the man in the smoldering gray blazer. Nolan stuck to character though, and showed a human side in all of it; he had information that Bizzy was having an affair, but instead of just ruining the marriage and everything around it, he simply told her to end the affair. If she didn’t, though, then he would release the information. It was nice to see Nolan get his moment of revenge, but also very nice that he didn’t go all the way with it. He’s a man of compassion (and style). He suggests that his takedowns have a “silver lining,” which almost sounded like a playful shot at Emily.
Our episode ends with Emily’s realization of the X-factor. Turned out there was some extra footage that Nolan came across with the spyware, and he caught a screen grab of Daniel two inches from Sarah’s face, hand caressing her head. Just like that, everything clicked for Emily, and she realized it was too late to try and avoid it; she’d have to take Sarah out of the equation. With Victoria already aware of her asset, however, how easy is it really going to be for her?
This episode was near perfect. Getting to see Nolan Ross as the headmaster in the school of Revenge was a pleasure, and you really felt for him when he let his emotions out on Bizzy. Speaking of our new publicist, Ana Ortiz was wonderful, good enough that I would definitely enjoy her showing up again in the future. Nolan did say he would call upon her if she was needed, so maybe that time may actually end up coming.
Sarah seems real nice, but she’s about to get caught up in a world she totally doesn’t understand, though she has previously experienced life in the Grayson wing. To Daniel, she’s a living, breathing, (gorgeous) girl, but to Victoria, and even to “in the zone” Emily, she’s basically just an amulet, and whoever has control of it has the power. That being said, Emily-Victoria struggles are always awesome, so I approve. Plus, this show has been dealing a lot lately with the conscience of our protagonist, and Emily having to do anything to Sarah will potentially hurt her. Basically, she’s going to have to hurt someone who, at least at this point, doesn’t deserve it in the slightest. Can she really do that and be ok with it? Hopefully, she’s going to try and do it in the easiest and nicest way possible.
Revenge is rolling, piling great episodes on top of each other like pez candy. I’ve always found that with TV shows that span out over the course of 20-some episodes get a bit laggy mid-season. Filler pops up, things get unfocused, all the likely assumptions. I hope Revenge can find a way around that, because it’s been the best season yet, and every episode has had memorable moments and jazzy one-liners. If anyone can keep the flow going, it’s those dastardly Graysons.
Season 3, Episode 7: “Resurgence” (originally aired November 10th, 2013)
Revenge airs Sundays at 9/8c on ABC.
Images courtesy of Richard Cartwright and ABC.