I’ve just enjoyed the latest episode of Revenge, ‘Sacrifice’.
We knew that crossing the Graysons wasn’t going to end well for the fake Amanda Clarke. The moment Amanda used “Emily’s” (well, the real Amanda’s) laptop to blackmail Conrad, it was pretty apparent that, according to the laws of television and crossing the Grayson family, she had signed somebody’s death warrant. A team of scuba divers comes across The Amanda, Jack’s boat, at the bottom of the ocean. And in the Amanda, there’s the hand of a man wearing a wedding ring. This was the scene that started the season off.
We flash back to dry land, where the Grayson family is coming to terms with their latest misdeed: Victoria’s murder of Helen Crowley, their Initiative contact. Her murder was inconveniently timed, as Victoria turned homicidal right as Conrad was set to announce his candidacy for Governor–he was also in the middle of his plot to end the newlywed bliss of the Porter family. But as anyone knows, it’s a law of socially prominent Hamptons families that if anyone breaks their WASP-y reserve and obsession with appearances, the terrorists win. So they decide to go ahead with their plans, and speed up the date of Conrad’s announcement to the family’s yearly Labor Day party. Daniel is mopey, burdened as by the knowledge of just how much he’s screwed up by engaging with the Initiative, and also his struggles as CEO of the family hedge fund that he seems to have no qualification whatsoever to run.
Elsewhere on the island, Emily, Nolan and Aiden continue their separate plotting against the Initiative with three-way video chats, nice cars and other spy stuff. Then social-climber Ashley arrives to let Emily know that Amanda has found her way to the wrong side of the Grayson family. Emily also realizes this bodes poorly for the couple, who are cuddling on The Amanda, unaware of the doom they’re set for. Until, that is, Jack goes into the boat to find one of the sinister Ryan brothers holding a gun at Amanda, demanding to get whatever leverage that she has against Conrad Grayson.
The evil Ryan brother on the boat, who continues to threaten them, as the Revengers struggle to track their location. Emily figures out that it’s one of the Ryan brothers because he was creepily lurking right by the window as Amanda and Jack were taking their honeymoon pictures. As soon as Emily gets a location, she and Nolan are off to attempt a rescue. Aidan remains at The Stowaway to meet Padma, in a side-plot about how the Initiative is holding her father hostage, just like they did with Aidan’s sister. This is one of the best ways for the Revengers to keep ties to the Initiative, though, since Emily has mostly lost her in with Daniel since he got involved in his mother’s murderous plot.
Back in Manhattan, Daniel and Victoria set their plot into motion to cover up Victoria’s death. They put on a show for the cameras in his office, pretending that Helen left the Grayson house unharmed and that Daniel is still on the Initiative’s side. The Initiative is seeming less and less scary as the episodes progress–with just Emily working against them, they were a formidable foe, but with her and the Graysons plotting against them? We’d watch our backs.
On the open sea, the evil Ryan brother is proving himself to be a challenging opponent, as Jack and Amanda try all sorts of schemes to wrest back control of the boat. Amanda only-sort-of-lies, saying that Jack was her cover to get revenge against the Graysons, and tries to get the Ryan brother on her side. Jack hears, and with some playacting and some real hurt feelings, gets into a fight with his new wife. This is where we learn that the evil Ryan brother is most likely unhappily married, as he says lots of angsty things about how wives ruin you and such. The couple’s plot comes to fruition though, as they’re able to lock the evil Ryan brother in the boat and blow up a life raft to boat to safety. But as they’re boarding the raft, Jack is shot. Amanda pushes him onto the boat and stays behind to protect him. Emily and Nolan come across a barely-conscious Jack as they get close to the boat, and Emily sends Jack back with Nolan, setting out on the life raft herself to save Amanda.
As this all is happening, the Graysons are in their element, having their Labor Day party. We meet our new Initiative baddie, who looks vaguely like the villain in Casino Royale, who demands to know where Helen is. But the Graysons are able to wrap this one up in a neat little bow, as they frame Amanda for the murder.
Back on the boat, the evil Ryan brother is just about to do Amanda in when Emily appears. The two fight it out in the boat. Amanda had already started letting water in, and then a gas line gets hit. While the boat Amanda clearly isn’t going to make it, Emily gets the upper hand and it looks like the fake Amanda will be safe. But then, the evil Ryan brother decides to blow the whole thing up, in an uncharacteristically self-sacrificing act of pure evil. Amanda gets the worst of it (shielding Emily with her body), and dies in Emily’s arms, after making her promise to take care of Jack and their baby. She’s the biggest character to die in the show to date, and the only one that Emily has really gotten upset about other than her father. Emily swears revenge on whoever orchestrated it.
Conrad, unaware that Amanda had Emily on her side, is busy announcing his candidacy for Governor. That occurs over a flashback of the Graysons’ “handling” of the Helen situation, as they bury her under the new children’s hospital the family is paying for. In Revenges’ Hamptons, charity always comes with a side of crime.
It was a brilliant and revealing episode, and I’m very much looking forward to the fallout next week.
Thanks for reading.