Welcome to a new season of our beloved faux-Hamptons soap, Revenge! When we last left off, Emily avenged her father’s death, only to find that Victoria had murdered Aiden, Jack got in trouble for kidnapping Charlotte, Daniel woke up in bed with a dead woman courtesy of Gideon, and Conrad was stabbed…by David Clarke (Emily’s supposedly dead father—who started all this madness in the first place)!
Now, Revenge Season 4, Episode 1: “Renaissance”…
Victoria sits in group therapy, affirming to the creepy Dr. Miller that she’s realized that the only way to heal is to move on from her past and forgive those who have wronged her. Ha! Fellow patient Phyllis takes Victoria’s hand and assures her things will get better. The doctor is mildly impressed with Victoria’s positive attitude, and when a beautiful redhead walks in, Victoria notes to Phyllis that the woman has an “air of elegance.” Phyllis snaps at Victoria and attacks her, jealous. Victoria feigns surprise.
Grayson Manor. Emily has bought Grayson Manor (no doubt after reading that it was for sale in Behind the Hedges) and is redecorating while planning a posh party. Nolan asks her if there’s anything revenge-y in the works, but she shrugs and says she just wants to have a nice summer in the Hamptons. Yep, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Meanwhile, Margaux and Gideon are doing a photo shoot when Daniel drives up, making out with a model. We learn that Daniel quit Voulez suddenly (probably because Gideon blackmailed him). When Margaux says that Gideon is a better partner, Daniel bites his lip.
A locker room. Hot, shirtless men get dressed. Jack, all muscles, is now a cop. We meet Ben, Jack’s partner. Ben asks Jack why he became a cop and he responds that he wanted to start a college fund for Carl and that he isn’t comfortable letting people get away with murder anymore. Ben laughs and asks how many cops have gotten away with being detained for a Class B felony, explaining away the kidnapping bit.
In Southampton Village (or a soundstage that kinda-sorta-not really looks like Southampton Village), Emily tries to drive a hot, white car with Nolan, but accidentally backs into the parked car behind her. An angry woman named Nancy rushes over to them and goes on a diatribe about tourists coming to the Hamptons during the summer and causing trouble. Emily offers to pay for the repairs and invites her to the Memorial Day party. Nolan commends Emily on solving a problem without a red pen. Yeah, right…
Montauk. Charlotte is playing with Carl at the Stowaway when Jack rushes in, livid that she would take him out of daycare. Charlotte hasn’t forgiven Jack for allegedly kidnapping her, and she makes some veiled threats and leaves.
The mental hospital. Victoria plays solitaire and receives a premonition about rain from a crazy old lady holding an umbrella. Phyllis sits down, pouting, when we learn that her outburst earlier was all a ruse so Phyllis could swipe a phone from an orderly for Victoria.
Emily and Nolan chat with a married couple who run the Long Island Harbor Conservancy*. They are going to be naming their new yacht at Emily’s Memorial Day party, where they hope to get rid of any bad press from the death of their skipper last year in a freak accident. The phone rings; Emily answers and it’s Victoria! They have a quick (but epic) verbal smackdown and Victoria is caught by Dr. Miller.
*Hamptons Authenticity Alert: Though the name is close to some existing orgs, there is no Long Island Harbor Conservancy. We have The Nature Conservancy and the Harbor Committee, but no self-respecting Hamptons-based group or cause would use “Long Island” in their moniker, when “East End,” “Peconic” or “Hamptons” sounds so much classier.
Grayson Manor. Emily tells Jack that Nolan was wrong; he looks nothing like a stripper in his new cop uniform! Jack spills some exposition about wanting to become a cop when Fauxmanda and Declan died, but couldn’t when he learned Em’s true identity…which is a direct contradiction of what actually aired, since Jack was indeed on the verge of assassinating Conrad when he learned that she was Amanda. Emily is alarmed to hear about Charlotte’s behavior and promises to make it better.
Manhattan. Charlotte and Daniel commiserate about their fallen family and we learn that Victoria has been “sending postcards” from all over Europe. Charlotte asks Danny to pay for her $7,000 rent, and he promises to pay it, but we soon realize he’s going destitute.
Victoria meets her new roommate—the beautiful redhead, Louise, who was under the impression from her mother that she was going to a health spa. Louise claims she’s not crazy, and Victoria comforts her while noticing the spacious designer suitcase she brought.
Emily heads to the beach house, which is dark and empty. We’re treated to a flashback of her discovering Aiden dead. She sheds a tear and leaves, not noticing David hiding in the shadows.
The Memorial Day bash. Emily greets Nancy, who apologizes for her rudeness a few days earlier. Nancy has been under a lot of stress, having lost someone very close to her recently. Lest things become too heavy, Nolan comes in, carried by sailors and the catty festivities begin!
Margaux and Emily catch up and Margaux admits Daniel was wrong about her. Jack and Ben arrive, and Emily and Margaux wave, prompting Ben to rib his rookie about his upper-class connections. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the serious when Jack and Ben walk in on Charlotte about to do a line of cocaine with Gideon. Ben is angry when Jack refuses to arrest her, but decides to give Jack one free pass.
Phyllis hides in Louise’s suitcase when an orderly puts it in storage, then crawls out and sets off the sprinkler system. Victoria, dressed to impress, borrows the premonition lady’s umbrella and, in a soon-to-be-iconic moment, walks through the sprinkler-fueled bedlam completely dry. She gets outside just as the sprinklers are turned off. Louise just misses the door before it closes, and is pulled away as Victoria walks off.
As Emily gives a speech about the Southampton Yacht Club (did the writers mean to name a real place?) and that they will now name the big yacht (for those of you confused about this subplot, you’re not alone—this episode introduced about 900 new characters). The Long Island Harbor Conservancy couple takes the stage, and the man announces that he’s naming the yacht after the love of his life—only to discover too late that instead of his wife’s name, the name of his mistress “Valerie” has been printed on the yacht! The man’s wife Jennifer freaks out and announces to all of Southampton that the skipper died as a result of her husband’s negligence. And surprise! The skipper’s wife is Nancy, the angry local, who is devastated.
Nolan is livid with Emily for ruining the party and performing an unsolicited takedown, but Emily thinks she’s done right—until Nancy goes to leave, crying that she’s reliving the worst day of her life over and over. She tells Emily that nothing will bring back her husband and that it’s not worth the pain to continue to be defined by it. Emily storms into her bedroom when Nolan calls her a revenge addict and that she’s doing this because of Aiden.
Margaux confronts Daniel about why he really quit the magazine. Daniel confesses that he panicked when he woke up with the dead girl a few months earlier and didn’t want Margaux or the company to suffer because of his mistakes. Margaux is horrified when Daniel tells her that Gideon orchestrated the whole thing and blackmailed him. She wants to make things right, but Daniel wants nothing to do with Gideon anymore…until she tells him that Gideon’s gotten Charlotte hooked on drugs.
Emily calls Nolan and apologizes. She admits that she doesn’t know who she is without revenge. Nolan understands. Emily answers the doorbell and finds Victoria. “Hello, Amanda. Oh, you didn’t invite me to your party?” Victoria gloats. Emily tries to roll her eyes, but Victoria— in the most intelligent moment of this wacky episode— calls Emily out, telling her that instead of all the lies and backstabbing, she could have just come to the Hamptons and told everyone who she was from the beginning. That way, she would have been able to learn the truth in a safe way, gotten to know Charlotte and made peace. Emily is stung by Victoria’s words. “Welcome back,” she sighs, slamming the door in Victoria’s face.
Victoria, vindicated, heads for her car, but is abducted by David! She looks him in the eye and he chloroforms her…
Closing Thoughts: Uh, what just happened? This was a great episode, but it moved so quickly and there were so many new faces that things were a bit confusing. The only “important” new roles, as far as we can tell, are Ben (played by Brian Hallisay) and Louise (played by Elena Satine), who is surely stung that Victoria didn’t help her in the end and will likely come back for her own revenge. It seems as though the writers still have no idea what to do with Charlotte, and they seem committed to making us like Margaux again, after the weird 180 she did last season. We’ll be recapping Episode 2 next Monday, so don’t miss it.
Best Hamptons Moment: Nancy complains about the entitled summer crowd.
Worst Hamptons Moment: What Long Island Harbor Conservancy?
Best Line: “Gideon is two parts Madoff, one part Manson.” – Nolan
Catch up by reading all our Weekly Hamptons Revenge Recaps from Season 3 here! And stop by Thursday for the season’s first of our weekly Revenge Top 5 lists.