Get ready for an emotional episode, Revenge fans. Emily’s about to get to the root of her blackouts, lots of feelings are about to get hurt, and the writers are about to skewer the Hamptons some more in one of the strongest episodes of the season.
And now, Revenge Season 3, Episode 15 “Struggle.”
Emily wanders through the beautiful faux-Hamptons scenery and over to the beach house in a fugue state. She quietly traces the Double Infinity carving on the porch with her hand…then takes out her knife and destroys it. This is going to be a happy episode!
Montauk. Slum city. Stevie visits Jack with a shoebox full of baby pictures and mementos she’s collected over the years. Jack is resentful that she gave him up in the first place and suggests she keep her distance. Stevie sighs and leaves. Like I said, a happy episode.
Patrick heads to Jimmy favorite dive bar for a wake thrown by his drinking buddies. Just when you think Ted Danson’s going to show up to deliver the final laugh track line, Patrick interrupts, calls Jimmy a rapist and a brawl breaks out.
Back at Grayson Manor, Victoria is preparing for the Hamptons Art Walk* when Stevie drops by, assuming she’s packing her things. Victoria and Stevie argue over the house some more. Stevie wants to raze it to the ground and holds her own against Victoria’s cruel words (she’s still a pawn, after all), but is visibly shaken when Victoria walks away.
*Hamptons Authenticity Alert: While we appreciate the show recognizing that the Hamptons has a large art community, there is no “Hamptons Art Walk,” and if there was, it would probably be for one town, not the entire South Fork.
Nolan is also preparing for the (fake) Hamptons Art Walk when Emily enters all upset. Rather than be an adult and go to therapy, Emily instead clutches her knife and storms off. “What are you gonna do?” Nolan asks. “What I should have done in the first place. I’m gonna kill them all.”
Will someone get killed at the Art Walk?
Victoria bails Patrick out of jail and tells him not to let his rage consume him. Too late, he shrugs. Meanwhile, Nolan meets up with Aiden and implores him to help Emily. Aiden points out that Emily planted a katana for a psycho lady to find and then kill him, so he’s not really feeling the love. Nolan explains what’s been happening. Aiden looks concerned.
Daniel (remember him?) hires a young, handsome dude as a PI to spy on Emily, noting that his sister is spying on Conrad at Voulez. Charlotte, meanwhile, does her intern thang and gets Conrad to start talking business. Conrad is preparing for the Art Walk as well and can’t stop gushing about how fun it is to work with his daughter. Poor Conrad.
Emily is caught by Aiden at the South Fork Inn getting ready to set up Conrad’s murder. Aiden brings her to Nondescript Dungeon Set of the Week and tells her it’s time to cut the crap. (Let’s be clear: the Hamptons just doesn’t have this many abandoned creepy places—real estate is way too valuable.) He then reminds her of a technique Takeda taught them to restore lost memories. After a flashback to the Season 2 premiere: Aiden WATERBOARDS Emily.
Nolan, who is apparently the Chair of the Cultural Arts Board* (didn’t specify which township, but I’m guessing Southampton?), wraps his meeting with all the ladies. Victoria — who, by the way, is the only one wearing black — stays after and confronts Nolan for giving Patrick information about his father. In a rare genuine moment, Victoria reams out Nolan for not having the sensitivity to leave well enough alone and being cruel, and Nolan realizes that Patrick is a child of rape. Victoria storms out. Nolan actually feels bad!
*Hamptons Authenticity Alert 2: There is no “Cultural Arts Board” in the Hamptons. And if there was, we doubt that Nolan would be the Chair, since he’s a convicted felon and all… (He might chair the Watermill Center… maybe)
Jack visits Stevie at the Inn. She’s happy to see him, but Jack is less than pleased with his new mom — apparently, she put in a good word and he got the house he was trying to buy. Jack recounts a story about his mom (the one who raised him) making him an amazing breakfast with ice cream and everything…and it turned out she was overcompensating because she was leaving. Stevie says this is different, and is sorry Jack feels this way.
Nolan visits a shirtless, sweaty Patrick (this character’s still good for something!). Nolan gives his ex some tough love (or as tough as Nolan gets) and calls Patrick out, knowing he killed Jimmy. “It was an accident!” Patrick cries. “Yeah, that’s fast becoming a euphemism for ‘Patrick did it!’” Nolan counters. Patrick is clearly aware of this. Nolan tells him he should show his work at the Hamptons Art Walk and leaves.
Aiden continues to shove Emily’s face into the water (sexier timeslot, remember?) and she finally has a flashback of her father running on the beach in the middle of a storm. She gasps, “My father. He’s to blame for everything!”
Hamptons Art Walk. Stevie runs into Victoria with a member of the *Southampton Historical Commission. Stevie assures them she’s not planning on gutting the mansion anymore. Instead, it’s going to be a halfway house! Victoria declares they’re trying to have Grayson Manor turned into an historical landmark, and Stevie retorts that they’re only historical for tabloid fodder. Victoria thinks she’s one-upped her rival, but Stevie gets the final word. “It’s funny, I wouldn’t think you’d need so much help,” she says, shrugging as she walks off.
*Hamptons Authenticity Alert 3: This one’s particularly silly, since there is a Southampton Historical Museum. Curiously, upon Google search, there is an Historical Commission in Southampton, Massachusetts. Methinks an intern didn’t do his research…
Emily tells Aiden that her father carved the Double Infinity the day he was arrested. The night before, Emily (Amanda, actually) overheard Victoria saying she wanted to run away with him as they ran up the stairs. So little Amanda went up the stairs and found Daddy in the throes of passion with Victoria. “Get out!” he shouted, startled. Amanda ran out of the house into the rain and David chased her, apologized and told his daughter she’d have to get used to Victoria — they’re going to be a family. Emily sighs to Aiden. “He got his wish. I’m a Grayson now.”
Patrick gets his artwork together at the Walk. Victoria is glad to see him and tries to be selfless and supportive but ends up ranting about Stevie. Patrick seems to think Victoria’s planning on murdering Stevie. Uh-oh. Hide the knives!
Emily’s cured of her blackouts, thanks to Aiden Takeda-torturing her (I think she needed a few more sessions, personally, but hey). She knows it’s time to forgive her father and she and Aiden kiss.
Back at the never ending Hamptons Art Walk, Stefano Leone, a world-famous (fake) artist, likes Patrick’s work and offers him an apprenticeship in Tuscany.
Emily peacefully stands at her porch and flashes back to David carving the Double Infinity. Jack shows up unexpectedly and tells her about Stevie. They talk long lost moms and how Emily wishes she could have talked honestly with Kara. The two have a moment and Jack touches her hand before walking off. Sorry, Emily/Aiden fans. I’ve always been on Team Jack, and that hand touch was a million times more romantic than her making out with Aiden (or the waterboarding).
Victoria listens to Patrick explain that he’s leaving to study art with Stefano Leone. He says that he goes to a dark place when he feels like Victoria’s hurt and that he doesn’t want to be that person anymore. We’re made to think he’s talking to her in person, but in keeping with the dreamy, pseudo-surreal structure of the past few episodes, it turns out he left her a voicemail.
Back at Voulez, Charlotte is excited that Margaux’s father Pascal LeMarchal is coming to the Hamptons, and Conrad explains it’s all a tactic to take control of the magazine. Anyone care about this story? Didn’t think so. Moving on…
Jack visits Stevie again and says that he needs to know that she didn’t walk out because of Jack and his dad. She shows him a token and reveals her alcoholism. Conrad and Victoria are triggers for her, obviously, but she is ready to face them and Jack. She’s overjoyed when Jack invites her to visit baby Carl.
Victoria and Nolan meet for some wine by the pool, where it’s revealed they did a sort of reverse-takedown on Patrick. Victoria and Nolan conspired to get Stefano Leone to hire Patrick and Victoria intentionally made it seem like she was plotting to kill Stevie. Victoria thanks Nolan for his help. Nolan thanks her back. “You let me help break your heart,” he says. The two toast to Patrick and sip their wine.
Remember Daniel? The PI with the fake New Yawk accent shows Daniel pictures of Emily and Aiden kissing. Meanwhile…
Emily cleans up the beach house and chats with Jack on the phone. She’s happy to hear that he’s letting Stevie in and is supportive when Jack explains that Stevie is a recovering alcoholic. After hanging up, Nolan shows up with a gift: an all-new, touch-controlled, super high-tech Infinity Box! Nolan grabs the martini glasses to celebrate and Emily remembers something she read in David’s diary. She reads it again and realizes that Stevie once tried to represent David! She looks at Nolan and declares that Stevie’s secrets are about to come out…
Final Thoughts: Thank goodness we’re done with this blackout arc. Emily’s memory of her father was unexpectedly poignant, and I’m glad Nolan pointed out that Patrick’s got a little crazy on his face when it comes to Victoria. And Victoria and Nolan? Totally an awesome pair! I’d like to see the two of them a little more.
Aside from the three egregious Hamptons authenticity mistakes, this was quite a good episode. The emotional scenes between Emily and Jack, Steve and Jack, Nolan and Victoria and Patrick and Victoria show that this show can be quite powerful when it takes a back-to-basics approach. Let’s hope next week keeps up the momentum.