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Revenge Review: An Indecent Proposal

I was never all that interested in Lydia Davis (Amber Valletta) before she was presumed dead. She always seemed to be one of the more soap-ish parts of Revenge (I know, I know, it is a soap, pipe down), and she became irrelevant (at least to me) pretty quickly, before she was whisked away on that plane. At least, that’s what we thought, because she’s survived it all, and I’m pleased to say she’s come back with a bang. She’s dropping evil grins, she’s stepping into the con game all fresh-faced and ready to create drama, and I dig it. Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) might be craftily managing her wedding, carefully trying to dodge the plot holes, but Lydia’s an unpredictable variable, and that kind of thing creates trouble.

Revenge Surrender3Lydia has come back as a source for Margaux (Karine Vanasse), who is still hoping to build her story on Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny) and find the truth behind the mystery man. She scoffs at Margaux’s suggestion that her per diem is to be used to cover room service. She prances about, then gives Conrad a fake call as a writer for TIME who wants to do a story on him. When he shows up, she’s in a hot, flashy dress, and tries to get him to deliver the goods. Conrad, maybe playing it smartly or just getting lucky, doesn’t say anything damaging, and now that Lydia has shown herself and gotten nothing Margaux considered her useless. She was kicked out, but that didn’t keep her down for too long. She went back to Conrad, easily able to land a spot in his bed (Conrad is essentially a simple man), and now she’s got a nice permanent spot for her plans. Conrad had pulled out some of the photos from the archives for his memoirs, and Lydia flipped a picturebook to the photo where Emily (or Amanda Clarke) can clearly be seen at an old Grayson party. Huh, that was convenient.

Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman) was experiencing the great crisis of which beautiful woman to hand his heart to, a choice which was made more complicated recently when Emily announced she was pregnant. Despite the news, Daniel remains distant with Emily, and he still clings to thoughts for his newfound relationship with Sarah (Annabelle Stephenson). Daniel gives some bogus excuses about keeping the pregnancy secret, but both the audience and Emily know the real reason is because he hasn’t decided what to do with his other woman. Daniel then tells Sarah he can’t call the wedding off, because the story of it is increasing circulation for the magazine he’s started with Margaux, Voulez. When a man is telling you he can’t call his wedding off because his magazine needs to sell, it’s probably time to cut the cord. Alas, Daniel seems completely at odds, and Emily decides an extra push is needed if she’s going to seal the deal, so to speak.

Emily and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) are sharing one of their many, “nice on the outside, screw you on the inside” moments, when Victoria’s clothes start flying through the sky, dropping to the yard below. Victoria and Emily discover Lydia, and after Lydia flaunts around for a bit, she pushes Emily upon her exit. Emily makes a huge scene of it and goes sprawling to the ground, which causes Daniel to demand she see a doctor immediately. Victoria objects, and Daniel breaks the news that she’s pregnant. Later on, on their way to an appointment, they are surrounded by paparazzi, and drive away without actually attending the meeting. Victoria has this one pegged, as she tries to reason with Daniel that she’s been framed in this, and Emily has made her play to keep him away from Sarah, but he shoots her down, calls her crazy, and then everyone hops on the Team Emily Thorne rollercoaster, as Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) sets her up with a mani/pedi, and scolds her mom for the meddling they’ve done over the past  few weeks. Conrad seems delighted by the whole thing, and everyone just wants Victoria to drop it. Daniel is staying with Emily, and Sarah gives him back that necklace, where Daniel then drops it into the ocean.

Revenge Surrender2Victoria, coming to terms that she’s lost the battle, concedes to Emily at her place. She hands her back the RSVP, nothing that she is respectfully declining. We know the look Emily gets on her face all too well; it’s the face of surprise, and unexpected trouble in her very well-planned revenge. Victoria is pegged to be the murderer at the wedding, which means if she doesn’t go, she can’t be the murderer. Emily will have to find a way to get her to that wedding, which will probably mean lots of Daniel-harassing until he convinces his mom otherwise.

Margaux also found out, with a little help from Nolan (Gabriel Mann), that the story she was chasing was also a story directly related with her boyfriend, Jack (Nick Wechsler). Nolan urged him to bring it up himself but Jack refused, saying Margaux would then treat him like a source and be more interested in the story than the man. She proves him wrong however (at least for the time being), dropping things when she says that there are plenty of stories out there, “but only one Jack Porter.” Aww, now that’s sweet.

Aiden (Barry Sloane) and Emily continued to set up her plan for the wedding. Emily plucked one of Victoria’s bracelets, and wore it while she took some shots a target, getting gun residue all over it. They enjoyed a romantic evening scanning viable passports for their exit strategy, where they’d be traveling as some of Nolan’s distant cousins. Aiden also made a wedding proposal of his own, as he set up a little intimate lighting and vowed to love her and all that other romance stuff. Emily might be hatching her eggs a bit too early though, because she’s still got to get Victoria to show up and pull this thing off.

This episode ran wild with fierce dialogue, characters dropping one-liners on each other with fire and spice. I was a bit on the edge about the point of Lydia’s return, but I’m totally feeling it now. We’ve been building to the wedding for forever, and knowing it’s just one week away is almost hard to believe. It’s obviously going to be one of the biggest episodes of Revenge yet, and I’m hoping the mid-season finale gives us a major cliffhanger that we can speculate about for the month-long break we are forced to go through.

We’re all rooting for Emily to get her revenge, but I don’t think she’s going to get it just yet.

Season 3, Episode 9: “Surrender” (originally aired Dec. 8th, 2013)

Revenge airs Sundays at 9/8c on ABC.

Images courtesy of Richard Cartwright and ABC.

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