Padma, you little minx. You’re either still an amateur at this whole cloak-and-dagger business, or you're such a professional that you know how to make yourself look like an amateur. Because you really could have gone about this whole “infiltrating NolCorp” agenda a lot more cleverly. I mean, you just pop on the scene, ambush Nolan Ross in the Hamptons, get instantly promoted to CFO, and hand over critical intel to Daniel Grayson that causes Ross to lose control of the company, and you think no one will be on to you? Well, I sniffed out your villainy long ago, even if the suddenly dunderheaded Nolan hasn’t.
Yes, folks, that was one killer reveal at the end of Revenge’s latest serpentine installment, “Sabotage.” Padma picked up the phone and had a little tête à tête with Helen Crowley, a.k.a. Mrs. Americon Initiative. She’s been working for the Initiative this whole time, the traitor!
Earlier in the episode, Padma got all wishy-washy with Nolan and said she didn’t think she was qualified to be his CFO. But she does still want to be with him romantically, of course, so she can have access to all his closest secrets….His other duplicitous CFO, Marko, tried to convince Nolan that actually he’d had his back all along. He’d given Nolan Revenge’s big Season 2 MacGuffin last week, the "carrion program," which was like digital plutonium or some other overcooked metaphor. And he said that with the carrion program he could reestablish his company apart from the Graysons and "defeat his enemies.” One of those enemies Marko implied was Padma. Ever since she showed up, NolCorp has been in free fall, right? Problem is, it really looks like, um, Marko was also involved in handing over the company to the Graysons. Or at least that’s the way Nolan sees it.
We’ll dissect that final reveal a bit more later. First Declan and Fauxmanda dealt with the aftermath of Jack getting arrested last week because of the drugs the Ryan brothers had stashed aboard the Amanda. Montauk’s most oddly accented teenager immediately confronted the nastier of the two brothers, Nate (a.k.a Mr. Starbuck) about what he knew was their setup. Nate, in turn, offered him a dollar bill as payment to buy the rest of the bar. Nice. It took Jack forever to figure this out, but he finally told Fauxmanda to steer clear of the Ryan brothers at all cost. That’s something you really do need to say to her, since we know that otherwise she might choose to solve her problems with a tire iron.
Back on the fancier side of the tracks, Aiden was really upset about that kiss Emily gave Daniel last week. Nothing personal, just business, Emily tried to reassure him. Now that her romance with Spaniel was renewed and she’d gotten a seat on his philanthropy council, she could arrange a fundraiser that would allow Daniel to look strong to his investors…and force Helen Crowley to cross paths with Aiden. Helen made contact with him last week and told him to stay away or he’d never see his sister alive again. A dire warning, but, still, he couldn’t let her go.
Revengers assemble! Emily, Aiden, and Nolan all showed up for Daniel’s fundraiser. It seemed like it was being held at a particularly upscale version of PF Chang’s. 007 references were dropped. Nolan called Aiden “Bond,” Aiden called Nolan, “Q,” and Nolan called Emily “Moneypenny,” meaning that they all have an overinflated sense of their own abilities. But sometimes you need to puff yourself up to be successful. That was kind of the whole point of this, even for Daniel: to prove himself confident and strong to the investors. He informally challenged one of his father’s old rivals, a guy named Jason Prosser, into bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars over a bottle of wine. Victoria plastered herself on Prosser to get him to keep plunging, and I was starting to think she just wanted him to be stuck with the carafe and lose a ton of money. But, actually, Daniel won the day—and the bottle—for $1 million. All the better for making Helen Crowley and the Initiative think that Daniel is capable of steering the Grayson Global ship.
NEXT: Conrad dismisses Jack as Fauxmanda’s “baby daddy,” and Emily, Aiden, and Nolan stage a ruse that James Bond probably would approve of.Ah, and there Helen was, observing these proceedings like the third of three Siamese fighting fish: the one who sits by and waits while the other two fight it out. Certainly, she knew right away when she saw Aiden that he must have been the one to put his “ex-girlfirend,” Emily, in charge of the forceful invite that brought her there. She just didn’t want to engage with him at all, though. However, this fundraiser proved a perfect opportunity for her to approach Daniel and say vaguely threatening things like, “Indecision is a sign of weakness in a leader. And you need to be better than your father in every respect.”
Speaking of tense meetings, Charlotte brought Fauxmanda to speak with Conrad about how he might be able to help leverage his power in the community to get Jack free. They said that Jack was innocent, that those drugs weren’t his. It only resulted in the Hamptons greatest quote-dispenser (sorry, Victoria) delivering this doozy of a response: “The difference is I was 100% certain of my innocence. But as for your baby daddy, Ms. Clarke, I hope you can respect that I have to act more prudently with regard to the influence my name affords me.” After Charlotte left, he told Fauxmanda that he wanted her to keep her distance, because he resented the way she’d dragged his daughter into a world of sex and violence. So, with no other recourse but to stand up to the Ryan brothers on her own, she bought a gun…with one of Conrad’s watches that she’d swiped.
Fauxmanda threatened Nate, and was just going to pull out her gun, when Ashley appeared and told her that Conrad had gotten Jack out of jail. Turns out Connie was willing to get some more mileage out of his name after all. He just wanted to make Fauxmanda sweat. And he really wanted to use the term “baby daddy.”
Back at the fundraiser, our troika of conspirators got down to the real reason they wanted to lure Helen Crowley there. In a true Bondian move, Aiden and Helen shared an elevator together…only for it to stop and the car to fill with gas. Gas that promptly knocked them out. When they woke up, they were in a garage or warehouse confronted by two masked gunmen with voice scramblers. Aiden quickly took back his gun and used it to stage a rescue of himself and Crowley. But Crowley bolted from him as soon as she had the chance. The implication was clear: Emily, Aiden, and Nolan had staged this abduction to force Aiden and Crowley to become allies, to make Crowley think that other forces were out to get her. “Well, let’s see if she buys it,” Emily said.
Now to the big reveal. Back at NolCorp, Marko further tried to prove his innocence to Nolan by letting him have access to his email account. Except that in that email account were missives he’d sent to Daniel tipping him off about the NolCorp assets to which Grayson Global could lay claim. Marko claimed that he’d never sent those emails. That he was being set up. But by whom?
I think we always knew whom. Padma picked up the phone, dialed a number, and said, “It’s me. I have an update. I have confirmation that Nolan Ross is hiding the carrion program somewhere inside the company.” Who should respond on the other end? Helen Crowley, with “Good, we’re counting on you.”
So what we suspected all along is true. Padma is evil. And Nolan fell far too quickly under her spell.
What did you think of “Sabotage.” And is Season 2 finally getting back on track?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: ABC]