Southern melodrama, murder (almost) at the Montauk Lighthouse and semi-logical explanations for confusing plots abound in this week’s episode of our favorite faux-Hamptons drama.
Here’s our recap for Revenge, Season 4, Episode 12: “Madness.”
2003: The prison riot in which David was presumed dead. David is in an ambulance and meets a person who tells him that Malcolm Black is impressed with his work in Flight 197. David protests to deaf ears that he didn’t actually have anything to do with it, and the man says Malcolm Black is going to give David a second chance.
Today: Victoria asks David why he wasn’t in bed last night. The two discuss Victoria’s confession to him about her involvement in his downfall (which was cut short by the inconvenient murder of her son by a gun-wielding psycho FBI agent). David tells her he read that Malcolm Black died in Florida, and she’s relieved that it’s over. Vicky agrees she should move out, but David says they should meet at their old rendezvous, the lighthouse in Montauk.
The country club. Nolan and Louise meet Lyman, her handsome, smarmy brother. Lyman is a little worried that Louise is getting out of control and spilling family secrets (Nolan gave Margaux some dirt a few episodes back), but Nolan covers for her and says the gossip was his fault. Nolan makes nice by inviting Lyman to dinner.
David heads to Emily’s and tells her he’s going to kill Victoria at the lighthouse in Montauk. Emily, surprisingly, asks him not to do it, thinking Victoria deserves to suffer more. She tells David she wants to leave town with him. He reluctantly agrees and the two bond a bit.
Jack leaves Carl with the sitter and leaves his apartment, but Malcolm Black is waiting for him outside. He introduces himself as Kate’s father (but not as Malcolm Black) and makes a veiled threat about Carl before leaving. Jack frantically picks up his phone. “We have a problem.”
Louise (whose Southern belle accent is more pronounced than usual) gets ready to play tennis with Lyman. While he gets ready, Nolan asks Louise if Lyman was threatening to send her to the loony bin earlier. Louise tells him she needs Lyman to see how good she’s doing; Nolan assures her they’ll have a good dinner. Emily arrives and meets Louise for the first time—12 episodes into the season. After expressing her condolences for Daniel, Louise heads off to play tennis. Ems tells Nolan that she and David will be leaving town, and he’s thrilled for her. She also mentions that David agreed not to kill Victoria, which relieves them both since murder is just a bit extreme. He then invites Emily to help size up Lyman at dinner. If Lyman turns out to be a jerk, it could end up being Emily’s farewell takedown!
David calls Victoria to cancel their murder date, then meets with Jack to discuss the Malcolm Black situation. Blah blah, plot, et cetera—honestly, this is the least interesting part of the show.
Emily and Beat Cop Ben walk on the beach. BCB’s excited because Alvarez wants to discuss a promotion with him (I guess nobody’s found Alvarez’s body yet). He reminds her that they’re supposed to go on a date, and Ems says she’s leaving town. She then heads to the country club, where she overhears Lyman scold Louise for not taking her pills. He tells her she’s a danger to herself and others and that she’s going to announce that she’s leaving the Hamptons that evening.
Victoria invites Margaux to go through some of Daniel’s things. Margaux (who is wearing black clothes and dark, harsh lipstick) is still angry that Victoria has accepted that Daniel died trying to kill his ex-wife. Victoria tries to give Margaux some of Daniel’s things to give to her baby, but Margaux refuses. “The only thing I want to give my child is the truth,” she says in disgust as she leaves.
Emily arrives at Nolan’s and tells him what she heard. Nolan is trying to find a good outfit for dinner, but Emily is concerned that Louise may be dangerous. Nolan reluctantly tells her that Louise allegedly locked Margaux in the steam room, and then shows Emily Louise’s criminal file. Nolan asks a skeptical Emily to keep an open mind.
Beat Cop Ben tells Jack that Alvarez didn’t show up for their meeting, but Jack is distracted, texting his nanny to check on Carl.
David calls Malcolm on Kate’s phone and the two share threats. We get treated to a flashback in which Malcolm shows Dave some pictures of Fauxmanda as a stripper and threatens to hurt her if David doesn’t work for him. In the present, David bluffs that Kate is alive when Malcolm threatens Victoria and Carl’s lives. David wisely doesn’t reveal that Amanda is actually alive and well.
Emily arrives for dinner with Nolan, Lyman and Louise. Nolan admits to Emily he can’t tell if Lyman is brother of the year or a jerk. Emily goes to the ladies’ room to check on Louise, who promptly spills her pills everywhere. Emily picks them up—is she up to something?—and Louise says it’s just a Xanax. Emily assures Louise that any friend of Nolan’s is a friend of hers.
David and Jack meet in the rain. Jack is concerned, but David tells him he’s going to lure Malcolm to “Kate” and kill him.
Beat Cop Ben leaves a voicemail for Emily to see if she wants to hang out. Margaux, who apparently lurks in the police station now, confronts him and blows a gasket, thinking he is dating Emily and covering things up. She promises to throw the media at him, but suddenly gets dizzy and faints in the bland beat cop’s arms.
Dinner with the Ellises: Lyman is talking about his various political platforms, namely mental illness, which Louise doesn’t appreciate. After she asks him to stop embarrassing her in front of her friends, Lyman tells everyone Louise is mentally ill and that she needs to go home with him. Nolan calms the situation by handing Lyman a check for his campaign, but the damage is done. Louise looks at Nolan, only to find her imaginary mother sitting next to him! Her mother rants that Louise is insane and that nobody is her real friend. She snaps and starts yelling at her mom, culminating in slapping Nolan! Lyman apologizes and leaves with his hysterical sister. Nolan wonders if Emily was right about Louise being dangerous, but Emily isn’t sure. “I think you might have been right. About Lyman.”
At the hospital, Beat Cop Ben tries to make nice with Margaux, who coldly thanks him. The doctor comes in and tells her she needs to relax and think of the baby’s health. Victoria enters and tries to make inroads with her. After making Margaux promise to keep quiet about any secret she’s about to hear, Victoria begins to tell her the truth—the whole truth, admitting that Daniel died saving Emily. She then goes back to the beginning of the saga, admitting that Emily is Amanda Clarke. Outside, Beat Cop Ben overhears everything…
Emily and Nolan visit Louise, who’s packing to go home and be with her family, and see the family doctor. Emily then tells Louise that she checked the Xanax Louise dropped from earlier and showed it a friend in the city (that was quick). It turns out that the Xanax was laced with Lariam, an anti-malaria drug that can cause psychosis and delusions—her family’s been drugging her for years! Louise thanks the two, but Emily sees the photo Louise has of her from the blue envelope and asks where she got it. She and Nolan realize that Victoria sent Kate the photo, which led her to find and attack Emily, which led to Daniel’s death.
Jack meets David and tells him he turned in the jump drive with all the evidence against Malcolm. David then tells a horrified Jack that Malcolm turned him into a cold-blooded killer after kidnapping him, forcing him to do unspeakable things to prove himself. When David tried to get a security guard to send a message to Amanda, Malcolm found out and made David kill the guard, which David says “damned him to hell.” That at least explains the dissonance between David’s diaries and his current personality…
Meanwhile, a SWAT team pulls the evildoer over and arrests him. But David shakes his head in disgust to Jack, warning him that Malcolm is still going to win. Jack stops by the precinct and learns that Malcolm was arrested but let go because of a lack of evidence!
Nolan meets with Lyman, who feigns shock that Louise was being drugged. Lyman promises to make it right, but Nolan tells him that Louise will be staying in the Hamptons and that Lyman will leave her alone.
Victoria gets a text from David to come to the lighthouse. When she gets there, she is only semi-surprised to see that it’s Emily who sent the message. Emily is furious that Victoria gave the photo to Kate, setting in motion the events that led to Daniel’s death. She tells Victoria that David won’t show her mercy when he finds out. Victoria is unafraid, but her retort to Emily is cut off when she’s shot with a tranquilizer! Before Ems can react, she’s shot too, and as she falls to the ground, she sees Malcolm Black, who has just figured out that Amanda Clarke is alive…
Closing Thoughts: This was the most entertaining episode of the season, mainly because the show held back on silly violence and action and instead treated us to that tense dinner with Emily, Nolan, Louise and Lyman. The action stuff with David is still not very compelling, but next week it looks like Emily and Victoria are going to be forced to work together, so that should be fun.
Tangled Web Notes: Confused as to why Malcolm would threaten David about little Carl? Carl is Fauxmanda’s son, so Malcolm thinks Carl is David’s grandson, hence the threats.
Hamptons Authenticity Alert: While we commend the show for attempting to use the Hampton locales more, that definitely wasn’t the Montauk Lighthouse.