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Revenge - Retaliation - Review:"What is it about this girl?"

“Rule of the Red Sharpie: It’s hard to put the cap back on.” –Nolan

This week’s episode of “Revenge” carries on Margaux’s attempt at “Retaliation,” in her twisted vendetta against Emily, for having tarnished Daniel’s memory. The show seems to be back to the level I have come to expect, and after a couple of slower episodes, the show has returned to its fast pace, to its entertaining takedowns, to its conniving characters, and finally a storyline I can seek my teeth in. You know the show is back on track, slowly recreating its glory days; when the episode includes a Hampton’s Style, 4th of July, party and all kinds of fireworks.

The promo hinted at three takedowns, but I’m pretty sure if we were to count them, there were more than three tentative takedowns. A lot happened in this episode of “Revenge.”

Jack, Ben, Emily and April
Last week, Margaux tried her hand at blackmail, using information she had on Ben’s ex-wife, so he would side with her, and betray Emily. “Retaliation” showed Ben going down the sensible route, and siding with Emily in the conflict that has since escalated into epic proportions. Aware of Margaux’s plan, Nolan, Emily and Ben feed Margaux a fake Birth Certificate, in the hope giving themselves enough to find April, and keep her out of harm’s way. Emily and Ben embark on a road trip that’s “more revenge than romance,” to find the woman who’d been out of Ben’s life for 10 years.

The fact that Emily needed convincing, a little push from Nolan, to realise she shouldn’t let Ben deal with the “twisted chess game with real stakes” by himself, says a lot about their relationship. It’s not in her habit to take no for answer, not in her habit to detach herself from a fight, but somehow, she didn’t feel it was her battle to fight. It’s usually always her battle to fight when the people she loves are involved.

“Retaliation” also made me question my future, because if a Hampton’s PD Cop drives a Mustang, I’m in the wrong line of work…

The road trip demonstrated one thing amongst others, and it is that things between Emily and Ben, opposite of things between Jack and Emily, are simple, they’re easy. Maybe because they both have baggage, both have unresolved issues, and both have one foot out the door, making their relationship somehow lack the drama. He’s not over his ex-wife, and she’s not over her ex-fiancĂ©, not sure she can ever come back from Aiden’s death. Maybe it’s their detachment that makes them good for each other, because that’s what Emily needs, simple, why she chose Ben over Jack.

Upon learning Ben betrayed her, and learning the Birth Certificate he gave her was a fake, Margaux demonstrates she does not make empty threats. In the name of revenge, in her crusade against Emily, and everyone who helps and enables her, Margaux sends the ex-con after April.

“I assumed common sense would prevail. What is it about that girl, that makes people act against their own best interest?” -Margaux

Margaux definitely crossed a line in this episode of “Revenge,” when she sends a dangerous, violent man, after an innocent woman, a harmless bystander, unbiased in her war. And the more this war continues, the more Margaux’s reason’s for hating Emily seems petty. Desperation can be dangerous, and the woman is itching on the edge of crazy. Had Emily and Ben not been there, how would she have lived with herself, knowing she caused the death of someone?

Ben’s ex-wife, April, had to ditch her life, hide from her ex-boyfriend, a violent criminal after a raid Ben called turned out empty, a criminal who still wants her dead. It isn’t what an eye for an eye is. Emily should, sooner rather than later, unleash her inner-ninja before Margaux gets someone hurt or killed.

As, I said before: unresolved issues. (Or is it just wishful thinking, that way we can see more of Sarah Lancaster? Who knows…) Ben and Emily saved April, and had Wes taken into police custody, and Margaux feels like she failed. Her ego is bruised that once again, Emily was one step ahead of her. I have a hard time believing she really expected to send Ben’s ex-wife to the hospital, or underground? Isn’t it a bit much, dear?

Putting an innocent’s life at risk isn’t enough for Margaux, and she will stop at nothing in her crusade against Emily, against everyone orbiting around her. The ending moments of this episode were spectacular, in a dramatic kind of way, when Margaux decided Jack was going to be the first to pay for Emily’s sins. Margaux’s actions are making no sense; they’re actions of a deranged individual, blinded by her desire for revenge. She’s doing what she blames Emily of doing, wrongfully destroying a person’s image, Jack’s.

Things between Jack and Emily are strained. He’s mad; he’s hurt. Emily doesn’t want things to be weird between them, but it’s too late, they already are. It’s what tends to happen when two friends don’t feel the same way about each other, when two people aren’t in the same place. It’s what’s expected when one gives his heart to someone who isn’t ready to receive it. She’s still going to do anything she can to clear his name, and Margaux will not know what hit her.

Side note: I don’t know how this will play out, but if Margaux’s PI planted the faulty breath analyser in the arresting cop's car in order to have Jack convicted of having drank before taking the wheel, therefore putting his son in harm’s way the car, Jack would, in Canada at least, need to take another breath analyser test at the precinct, on a different machine, in order to validate the data, and make sure the machine was well calibrated. It probably won’t go down that way, though...

David, Natalie and Victoria
“Retaliation” was a fast paced episode, but for the David, Natalie and Victoria part of the story, maybe the development was a tad too fast. I’m disappointed with Natalie and what they’ve done to the character. Was that the whole purpose of her character? She acts as Victoria’s nemesis for three episodes, then makes a weak attempt at tarnishing David’s reputation in Conrad’s name after having seduced him for one episode. And just like that, next episode, she’ll probably be gone. I hope it’s not the end with her character, that it isn’t what she amounted to, because if it is, it’s just lame.

If only one thing can come out of this episode, it’s that David is an incredibly bad judge in character. The brief romance that started with the gift of a boat continued and ended in this episode, after Natalie, flaunting her fortune in Victoria’s face, throws the Fourth of July Party, with David at her arm in the hopes of destroying him, just like Conrad had, 20 years ago.

Victoria warns him, convince him she’s their common enemy. Emily sure as hell didn’t inherit her witty repartee from David. His exchange with Victoria, at the beach house felt flat. I’m unsure at this point if it’s the character, or the actor.

“I guess there’s a silver lining in not having killed me after all.” –Victoria

David finds a watch, one he’d already seen, and he teams up with Victoria, behind the scenes to bring Natalie down. I love seeing Victoria getting what she wants but I would also have loved to see Victoria and Emily together, if Natalie hadn’t done the bad guy rookie mistake and explain her twisted plan out loud. But maybe having Emily clear her father’s name, again, would have been redundant.

Nolan, Louise and Lyman
Nolan and Louise still are a poor substitute for Nolan and Emily, but I like their interactions, and enjoy seeing them work together. Their marriage isn’t all couple’s massages, and cooking classes, they’re having marital problems. It’s a surprise they lasted this long before hitting a rough patch because while I had a hard time understanding their marriage, and it seems like so do they. They aren’t exactly looking for the same thing, and as long as they don’t determine what they want, they’ll continue to live the trouble in paradise until they do. Their arrangement seems to have the disadvantages of marriage without most of the perks, if you ask me.

“This is still a fake marriage, right?” – Jack

It made me laugh that Nolan keeps taking off his wedding ring because no one hits on him when he wears it. He isn’t even wearing it in the house. Who does he expect to hit on him there? His wife? His sister from another mother and father? Or Jack?

Louise, desperate for love, acceptance, and her family, desperate to see the good in her brother, believes him when he comes knocking on her door and tells her he’s turned a new leaf. The devil’s advocate, having failed in securing himself the funds for his campaign within Victoria’s inheritance, sides with Margaux, in the hopes that Nolan’s secrets will secure his campaign financial stability.

It’s a little hard to believe that Lyman managed to hack into Nolan’s private computer, one that was hidden, and one that contained all their revengedas, but let’s let that slide. Louise finds her brother, downloading personal information from her husband’s computer, and realises she’s been taken for a fool, again. They fight over the USB Key, and when Louise attempts to throw it away, Lyman ends up falling, to his death.

I usually don’t usually realise this but the special effects when Lyman was falling were terrible. They almost made me laugh. Anyone else?

Louise keeps her brother’s death a secret from Nolan. Was she was afraid he would leave? Does she not realise all that Emily’s done, Nolan is one faithful friend. It looks like it’s going to be back to crazy town with Louise. Gold Star for Elena Satine, for making me like Louise, and wish she stays on the show by delivering her lines with perfection. She’s giving Gabriel Mann, a run for his money, in terms of quotes.

“The way you’ve threated me, I trust you as far as I can throw you. And we both know I inherited feeble Aunt Fay’s upper body strength.” – Louise

Agree? Disagree? Anything to add?