TV Review Revenge 1.06: “Intrigue” – “He’s better at this than we are.”

The Wonder Twins Plotting Their Next Move

It was only a matter of time before someone caught on to Emily’s game. That it turned out to be the Grayson’s security man and fixer makes sense. As Nolan said, Frank is better at this than they are. As much as Emily wants to be a vindication vigilante extraordinaire, she is only a 26-year-old woman with unlimited resources and personal motivation. There are flaws in her plan, exigencies she didn’t plan for, such as suicide/death of a mark and Frank.

Really, Emily’s first order of business should have been getting rid of Frank the Fixer. I’ve no doubt that the Grayson’s would have eventually followed the trail of ruined lives to their destruction of David Clarke and Emily, but it would have taken a while. By jumping on the opportunity to ruin Frank with Nolan’s video, Emily accelerated the disclosure of her identity and long game. Maybe. As of the end of Intrigue (★★★) all Frank knows is that Nolan and Emily are in it together. It’s only a matter of time before he figures it out. Because he’s better at this than they are.

Which brings me to Tyler. Using Tom Ripley as a guide, I assume Tyler’s goal is to supplant Daniel, to take over Daniel’s life. With Tripley spiking Daniel’s drink then trying to get him lay on the bed they clumsily suggest, as only a network television show can, that Tyler is into what’s in Daniel’s pants more than his life or his money. I’m not buying it. I don’t know what Tyler’s game is, and hopefully it’s more than a straight Tom Ripley knock-off, but him trying to convert Daniel to Family is implausible and ridiculous. Emily smoking out Tripley for the con-man he is was priceless. It takes one to know one. Why Emily hasn’t used her unlimited resources, or Nolan at least, to research Tripley is a minor plot hole, one I expect will be speedily remedied.

I guess it is the nature of her duplicity, but I can’t tell if Emily really cares for Daniel or not. The voice over at the beginning was unnecessarily obtuse about her feelings  – I can’t decide if they’re inspired by Socrates or  Jack Handy – and she did pull Daniel in the house for a morning quickie. If her feelings aren’t genuine, we can at least assume Daniel is good in bed.

I’m beginning to wonder, though, if Emily’s enigmatic nature isn’t due more to Emily Van Camp’s two note performance than to a lack of visual, verbal and subtextual information about her motivations. That she is using Daniel to get back at the Graysons is undeniable. That she will do anything to achieve her goals is unassailable. That she believes that any and all people connected, even peripherally, with the destruction of her father deserve what they get was manifest in her reaction to Lydia’s plunge from the balcony: she got what she deserved. (I wonder if Emily would have been so cavalier if Lydia had died?) The problem is that Van Camp is given very little opportunity to let Amanda Clarke come through. There have been fleeting moments when she is with Jack, that you see the person she could have become if her life had gone a different route, but the viewer hasn’t seen nearly enough of that. Instead, we see Van Camp either fake and smiling to the faces of the other characters or squinting under furrowed brows behind their backs. The show needs to take a break from scheming Amanda (as they did somewhat this week by shelving the Revenge of the Week plot for this episode), work on humanizing the character and give Van Camp something more to do.  Unfortunately, by the end of the episode, Emily has alienated the only character that has a chance of doing that. Jack.

Poor Jack. He declared his love, using a surprisingly touching sailing metaphor, only to be shot down. I hope he took comfort in the puddle of tears in Emily’s eyes. Since they didn’t trickle down her cheeks, he can convince himself that they were a figment of his imagination. If Van Camp has been able to have one tear slide slowly down her cheek, that would have sealed the deal. Everyone knows, even a Hamptons’ bartender, that a solo tear means true love. I wanted to enjoy Jack’s declaration, I wanted to believe it, but Emily and Jack haven’t spent enough time onscreen together for me to buy it. Yes, yes, he feels that way because Emily is the Amanda of his childhood, blah, blah, blah. I don’t care. I want to see more of them together. I want to get invested in their relationship. I want to be devastated for the both of them because They Can’t Be Together. All that scene did was remind me of the time my boyfriend thought I told him I loved him when all I said is I gotta go and he told me he loved me. Most. Uncomfortable. Date. Ever. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t end well. Revenge, I don’t want to be reminded of that moment in my life again. Ever again.

Other Thoughts:

  • Victoria and Frank, huh? Okay.
  • Declan and Charlot…zzzzz. I hope the point of this Z Storyline becomes apparent sooner rather than later.
  • Here’s an idea – have Declan and Charl..zzzz have a boating accident and drown. Then use their screen time to develop the relationship that Actually Means Something.
  • Oh, and more Nolan is always a good thing.
  • Hey, Ashley got to do something besides stand around with her iPad, planning a party. Progress!
  • They say there is more to Nolan than just the benefactor of David Clarke’s investment acumen. I predict that Nolan is David’s son! You heard it here first.
  • “Revenge, A Dish Best Served While Wearing Vera Wang” – a new weekly bullet point, focusing on the sartorial choices of our Schemers –  a rocking red dress for Emily. Deczzz and Jack go to a high society party in unbuttoned denim shirts over t-shirts? Really? Last I checked, people in the 99% do own ties. Nolan is, as usual, incomparable in a 21st century update of the 1980s look, layered polos!

One thought on “TV Review Revenge 1.06: “Intrigue” – “He’s better at this than we are.”

  1. Pingback: TV Review: Revenge 1.07 “Charade” – “Gay? Heh. Hustler? Maybe.” « Swamp of Boredom

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