Welcome to the first installment of our weekly Revenge recap series, where you’ll get a real Hamptons perspective on ABC’s hit show. We’ve already set the stage for Season 3 of this Hamptons-set primetime drama, so check out the primer for all the dish leading up to this point.
What you need to know: Emily Thorne, a.k.a. Amanda Clarke, has come to the Hamptons to avenge her father, who was wrongfully convicted of financing a terrorist attack nearly 20 years earlier. Now entering its third season, Revenge follows Emily as she systematically destroys the lives of the true culprits, the Grayson family, and looks fabulous while doing it.
Now for the Season 3 premiere…
We open on August 8 aboard a gorgeous yacht, as Emily—in a wedding dress—solemnly watches the water. She turns and sees someone off-screen, offers the mystery person an apology, and is promptly shot and left for dead in the ocean.
Two months earlier, Emily and fiancé Daniel Grayson lounge around a luxurious pool, chatting about where they’ve been since we left them and overloading the audience with exposition. Emily’s planning a big Memorial Day party, which can only mean one thing: It’s takedown time!
Victoria Grayson, who hasn’t seen her kids, husband or Emily for about six months, is enjoying a horse ride with a handsome blond stranger, who chivalrously helps her down in the stable. The shockingly warm ice queen tells this sexy horseman that it’s important nobody find out he’s there, and he understands. He leaves, but not before slowly kissing a purring Victoria on the cheek (it’s super creepy, and you’ll find out why later). Victoria’s daughter (and my least favorite character) Charlotte shows up to witness the creepy exchange, and Victoria gives her a stammered, surprised greeting in which we learn she miscarried following Declan Porter’s death at the end of last season, graduated early, went off to Paris for six months and grew bangs. But Charlotte has no time for pleasantries—her Paris trip was cut short due to family money issues. Victoria reassures her daughter that everything is going to be okay, but Charlotte would rather flip her hair and storm off.
Emily goes to a nondescript federal prison to greet Nolan Ross, who spent the last six months locked up after being framed for cyber-terrorism at the end of last season. Nolan casually jokes about being able to decrypt the database of the bad guys for the FBI in exchange for exoneration, and the audience breathes a sigh of relief when Emily declares that she doesn’t want to hear the words “Carrion” or “Initiative” ever again. Amen, sister!
Conrad Grayson is in full political diva mode, demanding changes on his in-progress portrait. Daniel arrives to greet dear old dad, and Conrad informs him he’s ordered massive security for the Memorial Day party. Daniel rolls his eyes and shakes his head when Conrad informs him of his intention to run for President in the future.
Emily heads to the old shanty town of Montauk to say hi to true love Jack Porter, but is greeted by bitchy, social-climbing former best friend Ashley Davenport, who demands she be invited to Emily’s party and declares that she’ll blackmail Emily until she gets what she wants. Oh, Ashley. You just crossed the wrong faux-Hamptonite.
Back in California—sorry, I mean Southampton—Charlotte runs into Patrick, the mystery man from the stables. He explains that he’s not Victoria’s lover but her long lost first son and that he wants to be part of the family. Charlotte gets up in his (handsome) face and warns him not to get comfortable, before storming out. More important, though, is that he wears nothing but a towel this entire scene. So far, we’ve seen Patrick kiss his mom on the cheek like a red-hot lothario and get into a “heated” argument with his younger sister while naked. Am I the only one sensing something is off here?
Daniel schmoozes with a sexy French woman named Margaux and we learn they have some kind of past. So far there’s no reason she’s here, other than to show that Daniel is clearly not ready to settle down—within two minutes they already talk about her not wearing a bra. Emily, meanwhile, connects with Jack, who says he understands why she lied about her identity (he knows the truth, along with Nolan) and kisses her passionately before breaking away and cruelly tells her he felt nothing.
The Memorial Day party commences, and Emily—who’s officially frenemies with Victoria again—starts to work her takedown magic. Nolan, who is carrying a mystery object that wouldn’t get through security, parachutes in wearing a swanky white suit. Conrad is feeling flustered, so Emily hands him a water bottle. She unveils his portrait, and as he gives a speech to all of Beverly Hills—sorry, I mean Southampton—he suddenly starts sweating and passes out. At the hospital, the doctor delivers the devastating news that Conrad has Huntington’s disease, a fatal neurological disorder. Daniel tries to issue a statement to the press, but learns that news of Conrad’s condition has already spread. Emily tells Victoria that she thinks Ashley is behind the leak—she was flirting with Conrad’s doctor at the party.
Emily runs into Jack, who tells her she has until the end of the summer to finish her plot or he’ll tell everyone who she really is. Victoria is crushed when Patrick decides to leave and head back to Manhattan.
Later that night, Emily and Victoria lure Ashley to the airport, where they threaten to go to the police about her “involvement” with trying to have Conrad killed at the end of last season, leaking Conrad’s medical condition to the press and dressing poorly (I made that part up). Ashley maintains that she did no such thing, but gets on the plane after calling the two women “evil.” But they’re not evil, Victoria says; for better or worse, they’re family now. Ashley leaves, and the future mother and daughter-in-law part ways.
Emily comforts Daniel, who is sad about his dying dad, by setting their wedding date for August 8 so Conrad can be there. Later, she and Nolan reflect on their crazy day, where we learn that Nolan smuggled in a drug to the party that Emily planted in Conrad’s water bottle, tampered with his test results to make it look like he’s dying and ruin his political career, and then used it all to get Ashley out of town. “What’s next?” Nolan asks. Emily responds as she burns a picture of Ashley with her faced crossed out in red ink. “The wedding of the century.”
But just when it appears Emily is back in charge, Victoria is greeted by a surprise visitor: Aiden Mathis, Emily’s former partner and lover, who wants to exact some revenge of his own—on Emily.
There was way too much exposition in this episode, but things should be fun now that the stories have been put into place. Watching Emily take people down is always great, and seeing her destroy two different people at the same time is a treat. Stay tuned for next week’s episode, titled “Sin.” Not too on the nose, is it?
Season Three, Episode One Takedown(s): Conrad Grayson, Ashley Davenport
Best Moment: Nolan parachutes in on the party
Worst Moment: Charlotte
Question of the week: What is the significance of Emily choosing August 8 as her wedding date?
Tune in to Revenge every Sunday at 9 p.m. on ABC, and check back every Monday for our Weekly Hamptons Revenge Recap, right here on DansPapers.com!