Forgiveness is something we’d like to think we’re capable of doling out with ease. We’d like to believe we’re all these lovely, caring people who favor peace over anger when it really matters. And in some cases, we accomplish this. But oftentimes, when one relationship is burgeoned and repaired by a wave of forgiveness, another relationship feels the pain. The relationships on Revenge are no different. For every cause, there is an effect.
Here’s how it shook out with the Revenge set:
Emily and Her Mother (And Amanda, Too):
Of course, the titular forgiveness is that of Emily towards her mother, Kara. And oh, what a mountain that is to climb. At the outset of the episode, we see a flashback of David Clarke trying to save Baby Amanda after her mother nearly drowned her. (This shouldn’t be a “memory” because she couldn’t possibly be remembering a scene in which she was unconscious the whole time. But she wakes up from the “nightmare” so we’ll have to accept the improbable dream.) Her takeaway, upon waking, is that her father lied to her to protect her, a train Aidan takes the opportunity to hop on: he was hiding the fact that Kara was married to Voldemort to protect her, just like her father did. She’s not buying it, and turns him out after he spent all night comforting her in a move that she will surely regret later. Cold, Ems.
Later, Emily goes to visit Amanda in the hospital; she’s already out of her coma and ready to go home in a few days. (So much for that soap opera device.) After apologizing to Amanda for putting her in a dangerous position with Victoria, she asks that she continue pretending to be Amanda long enough to chat with Kara. This includes some uncomfortable time in which Kara, who once tried to kill her own child, is holding Amanda’s baby, Carl.
When Amanda flat-out says she doesn’t remember Kara, Emily offers to drive her home and has to endure the whining of a woman who can’t even recognize that her own daughter is sitting right next to her. We see the first glimmer of her motherly instinct, because after saying that David wasn’t her only love (just her first), she says she’s glad that “David didn’t destroy Amanda.” Well, his fate did turn her into a revenge-monster, but other than that, she’s alright.
This sends Emily into another flashback, in which she remembers her father waking her up in her hospital bed to tell her that her mother was “gone,” which of course, Emily assumed meant “dead.” When Amanda moves into Emily’s house temporarily, Emily tells her about the drowning and how all she wants is for Amanda to tell Kara she doesn’t remember her and send her away. Amanda immediately forgives all of Emily’s needy demands upon hearing the story and agrees to get rid of her murderous mother.
There’s just one small problem: Kara comes totally clean and makes Amanda and Emily want to forgive her. As Emily eavesdrops outside, Kara explains to Amanda that she was the one who decided baby Amanda should think her mother was dead and she adds that David forgave her for her insanity. She says she wasn’t well and wasn’t in control of her own actions. It turns out that Mama Clarke was actually rather selfless. This breaks Emily down into a puddle of tears while Amanda tries to remain stoic and unfeeling. But it’s not long before she breaks and tells Kara she forgives her. Emily’s tears confirm that she’s in agreement, as does her assertion later that day that Amanda “wants to” forgive Kara, when the duo meet on the beach.
Emily’s even feeling a little mushy and sentimental when it comes to Amanda. She tells her it’s alright that she forgave Kara, because it was the right thing to do. And with that, she comes clean about Carl’s paternity: he really is Jack’s. It doesn’t take long for Amanda to forgive her, likely because she’s got her own share of guilt. Amanda admits that she knew Emily had feelings for Jack when she decided to let him think she was the real Amanda Clarke he knew from his childhood, and now that she’s got “a beautiful family” she feels as if she stole it from Emily, who she says deserves it. Emily appreciates the sentiment, but has obviously forgiven Amanda enough to realize that she should leave it alone. Either that or she still loves Jack and doesn’t want to crush his sudden happiness with the truth.
Emily and Aidan:
And here’s the effect: Emily can’t be all mushy and loving towards everyone. She’s got a cap on these things and she’s busy wrestling with her feelings for her mother as well as her concern for Nolan now that someone is looking into David Clarke’s connection to Nolcorp (we’ll get to that). Unluckily for Aidan, he burned her in the past and she’s got no room to forgive him. Apparently, romantic wounds are still some of the hardest ones to heal.
Next: Emily, why so cold?
He keeps appearing in her life, trying desperately to be the comforter and the partner her thinks she needs, but she repeatedly pushes him away, finally touching on his last nerve. This turns him quickly against her (and by proxy, Nolan). As Takaeda’s financial proxy, Aidan is meeting with the Graysons to gain insight into their operations. Initially, this is all to help Emily’s plan to cripple Grayson Global. But when she spurns him again, he takes aim at her and her friends instead. He witnesses Padma (Nolan’s CFO and recent lady love) coming into see Daniel to request David Clarke’s records. Daniel believes Padma’s request is nonsense because Nolcorp was never involved with Grayson. Unfortunately, he’s wrong. David’s personal funds were involved with Nolcorp, but went through Grayson. Aidan helps Daniel put the pieces together (and plants the idea of Daniel taking over his father’s position in his pretty little head) and suddenly, Daniel and Aidan are on a path for Grayson to claim its stake in Nolcorp thanks to this little discovery.
Of course, that’s the opposite of what Emily wants. That “investment” from David Clarke is actually Emily’s mysterious trust fund and while she’s since sold the Nolcorp stock, Nolan and his company are at risk and she aims to protect them. He’s now in danger because Emily can’t get over her broken heart from years ago. Sure, Aidan’s plan for his cover only took care of the Graysons (he told Amanda Takaeda was trying to set him up with Emily), and he hadn’t yet figured out a way to stay hidden from Kara, but that’s no reason to turn the guy out. So far, he’s done nothing but help Emily. The problem is that he doesn’t help like Nolan does, doing side jobs as her highness needs them. Aidan is trained in the same arts, and therefore his actions take tasks off Emily’s plate, and we all know how she hates to have any of her vengeful tasks carried out by others. She’s selfish, and she wants the revenge all to herself. But let’s not forget, she’s been burned by this tall drink of British water and she is not one to reach the point of forgiveness easily. And with Kara tugging on her heartstrings, her capacity for forgiveness is reaching its max.
But she’s better be careful. We saw the way Ashley was eying Aidan. She could be ready to lose yet another man in her life.
Nolan and His Strumpet:
While we’re at it, we may as well get Nolan and his sneaky, little CFO out of the way. Padma opens up the inquiry about David Clarke after she sees the framed receipt in Nolan’s father’s locker. But, when Nolan asks if she did anything with it later that day, she denies it. (Sorry, lady. Using it to start a mini-investigation on your company’s behalf is certainly “doing something” with it.)
She’s rewarded with an evening in which Nolan was unwilling to answer his phone (we can read between those lines) and breakfast on the beach in the morning. It’s all picturesque and perfect until Nolan gets a call from Emily, who’s frustrated with lack of availability. She tells him that Padma is the one who opened the inquiry with Grayson. We can’t be certain about Nolan’s forgiveness policy, but his face suggests that his girlfriend’s goose is cooked.
Victoria and Her Loyal Subjects:
Queen Victoria is adept at appearing to forgive. That’s her way. And while she doesn’t fool us, her daughter certainly seems to buy it when Victoria explains that she’s trying to “help out” by letting Kara stay at Grayson Manor. In truth, she’s trying to figure out why Kara isn’t dead, if this will bring the Initiative after her and Conrad, and if Kara was the one supplying the journals and sign in sheets from the asylum.
Victoria doesn’t yet have all the answers, but she finds Kara’s cell phone, which has a series of outgoing calls only, all of which go directly to Voldemort’s cell phone. Because Victoria has no idea Voldemort is dead, this begins to concern her and Conrad. He decides to forgive her long enough to get remarried... but only so they don’t have to testify against each other in court.
Of course, while Kara isn’t connected to the initiative, she is connected to a man who was supposed to kill her and married her instead. Her motives aren’t clear (we can’t trust anyone to show up out of the blue with only a motive of forgiveness on this show), but either way, she’s shaking every last character to their core, and that’s all we can hope for from a good twist.
Jack and Amanda:
It’s amazing what a short-lived coma can do. Now that Amanda has recovered, Jack has changed his mind about the whole breakup situation. He tells Amanda he’s not leaving her and the only reason she’s staying at Emily’s still is because he’s inviting a construction crew into the bar to repair all its damage.
Declan has a recommendation from Mr. Big Teeth for a half-price service that will get the bar up and running and after checking with Jack, they do it. High on his Amanda reunion, Jack sees nothing sinister in any of it, right up to the point when the bar passes the inspection and Mr. Big Teeth offers to buy it. Jack is so excited to spend time with his new family, that he doesn’t see the Mr. Big Teeth has just played him completely. If this lovable dope ever wises up to all the deception that’s created the live he currenly lives, he’s going to be crushed.
Of course, if there’s one person who never forgives (and never receives forgiveness himself) it’s Mason Treadwell. And he’s back, waltzing into everyone’s private homes and conversations with plenty of sass and uncomfortable questions.
He skewers Kara and Victoria because Kara is alive, when Victoria (and subsequently his book) claim that she’s dead. Really, her being alive is bad for the book business.
But, he’s especially unforgiving now that he’s figured out Amanda Clarke isn’t Amanda Clarke. In the final moments of the episode, he confronts Amanda and tells her he knows the truth, throwing down a folder of documents on the bench next to her. She doesn’t do us a favor and open the docs on camera, but whatever is in there is sure to put Emily and Amanda in a very unforgiving light.
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[Photo Credit: ABC (2)]