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Revenge S1E14: Perception

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Charlotte For Ever

Featuring the most dysfunctional social function yet while laying the foundations for the apocalypse to come – the Fire & Ice Ball, rechristened “Fire & Brimstone” by the always reliable Nolan – this episode chronics the Grayson family implosion. One has to credit the writing team for staging the equivalent of a train wreck with multiple casualties and irreparable damage. When it unleashes the full power of the meanness presiding over the series’ central concept, Revenge, for all its visual sins, is quite a nasty piece of work.

Fastidiously recaping the chain of events depicted this week would be less interesting than highlighting a few salient plot points. After affirming her resolve to bring down Victoria last week, Terminily does a good job messing things up, weathering not one but two failures. She’s almost absurdly resilient though, so her hit-and-miss approach to revenge keeps bearing bitter fruits: this time around, she intends to reveal the identity of her true father to Charlotte, then changes her mind but it happens all the same, courtesy of Bar Jake, devastated by Karamanda’s disappearance. She also manages to turn her doppelgänger against her, which will lead to another probable battle royale in the series’ near future, but never was that the plan in the first place.

Voice-of-reason Nolan’s head spins faster and faster and he would like to put a brake on Emily’s whirlwind into chaos. He has the best lines as usual while disobeying her order to erase the tape (this week’s McGuffin), because Jack and him are now friends and he wishes to bring him closure. It is pretty obvious by now that Emily will tug his leash too hard at some point; one just hopes it won’t happen too soon because his character is by far the most nuanced in the show.

Grayson-wise, Pops pops up for the engagement diner. A self-made man, he kinda takes a shine to Declan while firmly objecting to the family affairs hurting the family business. Does he have a point or not? Where is Captain Obvious when we need him? Conrad, a not very interesting character – or actor – to begin with, comes and goes with furrowed brows and matching alacrity, his position as Grayson Global CEO in jeopardy because of the bad publicity an antagonistic divorce would foster. Daniel, ever the cad, sincerely feels sorry for everyone but is as powerless as usual. Charlotte is devastated as expected.

And that leaves us with Victoria, reaching a new station of the Cross when her affair with David Clarke is revealed at the diner table, alienating Daniel, her only remaining support. Emily stifles a smile, but voilà, her secret cache of dirty laundry has been emptied when she comes home which is, one supposes, as good a cliffhanger as any.

Fun fact of the week: the Graysons eat A LOT of grapefruit for breakfast. And there is this line of dialogue which could have deserved a rewrite: “This is something we both have in common”. Oops.

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