Sunday, October 16, 2011

OPINION: Emily Van Camp Continues to Shine in REVENGE As Character Development Is Amped Up!

REVENGE took a bit of a turn for me this a good way. There was both a procedural element and a level of ease to Emily's takedowns that was starting to become a bit repetitive. This week both of those elements were still in play but the focus seemed to shift from Emily's act of taking the revenge to the effects this particular revenge had on the major players that we are learning about and Emily's ultimate plan to take down Victoria. The stories that have been put into place are starting to ramp up and now that we are four weeks in I am invested enough in these characters that I am eager to learn more about what is going on. 

This week begins with Emily opening up to her therapist, Dr. Banks, about the unresolved issues stemming from the car accident which took the life of her parents. Obviously this is a part of Emily's plan because we all know that didn't actually happen. Dr. Banks is a real bitch and doesn't seem to have even an ounce of compassion.  Lo and behold our other favorite REVENGE vixen, Victoria, is also a patient of Dr. Banks. I'm shocked that Victoria  would open herself up to someone in that manner. Maybe she does have a soul? Dr. Banks records her sessions and Emily has access to them. We don't have any idea how, but she does. Yet another all too convenient level of access for Emily, but I'm willing to go along with this one. Emily watches one of Victoria's sessions with Dr. Banks and then switches to one of her as a child with Dr. Banks. Emily, known as Amanda at that point, is in a padded room being berated by Dr. Banks that her father was a bad man. Amanda pleads to be let out and Dr. Banks just leaves her in there. Not an ounce of human compassion is shown. How in the world did this wretched woman go into a profession where you're supposed to help people? Even Victoria seems to have a greater ability to empathize with people, and we all know that Victoria could eat people alive within thirty seconds. 

Victoria continues her streak of being the least liked member within her family by fighting in rapid succession with Conrad and then Charlotte. Conrad doesn't seem to believe Victoria when she insists she is not the person that sent those emails from his computer to Senator Kingsley. Before Conrad even leaves, Charlotte comes in to fight with her mother about their dress fitting for the mother/daughter tea that will be benefiting the cause that Dr. Banks is advocating: providing mental health care to low income special needs children. The last thing that this woman cares about is children. Meanwhile, Tyler is looking as smarmy as ever and trying to get Ashley, Emily, and Daniel to go out to the clubs with him that night. Daniel very wisely is trying to avoid the club scene and Emily supports him. I didn't for one second think that Tyler was going to take that one lying down. On the other side of the tracks, Declan is harassing Jack to sell the Stow Away. Jack isn't so quick to get rid of his father's legacy. I despise Declan. 

Later Emily goes to see Daniel at home but is instead met by Tyler. Tyler and Emily are doing a dance here and they both know it. Both sees that the other has an agenda but neither one of them are certain what that agenda is. Tyler has a similair dead on the inside look that Emily has. Could they be kindred spirits? Doubtful. Emily has some good in her that Tyler is lacking. Tyler shoos Emily away saying that Daniel isn't there but as soon as she walks out the door he sticks his head out of the bathroom. Oh how I love laying my eyes upon his gorgeous face. Tyler only wanting to increase his shady factor tells Daniel that Emily had to cancel dinner and then hides Daniel's phone. This dude is bad news bears. Emily isn't left alone that night, however, when Jack shows up with flowers from Sammy as a thank you. Thinking that she has been stood up, Emily invites Jack in for wine. They literally light up when they are together. This is the first time they have really sat down and spent time together. The stirring of feelings between them is starting to turn into rumbles! Emily convinces Jack to hold onto the bar and guess who comes upon them toasting.....Daniel. He goes back to Tyler to tell him what happened. Tyler being the really great friends that he is does some really constructive things: bashes Emily and then goads Daniel into starting to drink again. 

The next day the mother/daughter tea is in full effect. Dr. Banks looks busted. I don't know if she was out on an all night bender but it might have done her some good to look in a mirror before she came to this event. It seems that every single woman in the Hamptons is a patient of Dr. Banks. Why would they all go to the same person?  Victoria is leaving a frantic message for Charlotte wondering where she is when Charlotte appears. Victoria seems to be feeling actual gratitude. A human emotion! They share a warm and real moment that gives a small glimpse into the actual human side of Victoria and maybe, just maybe, how Charlotte could possibly be come a character that I don't want to scratch my eyes out when she comes on the screen. As the event gets into full swing, Ashley can't locate the DVD with the video presentation. Ashley is frantic when Emily just so happens to appear. Emily magically finds the DVD. I bet she had nothing to do with the DVD mixup. 

Conrad makes a detour to see Lydia in NY on his way to San Francisco. He implies that Lydia may have been responsible for blackmailing Senator Kingsley. Lydia seems remorseful for coming after Conrad for money but he actually seems to support her placing the blame for Lydia's position squarely on Victoria's shoulders. It's not like you were sleeping with her best friend or anything Conrad. Oh were. 

Back at the benefit, Dr. Banks introduces her video which starts to play this lovely message about low income children needing mental health and very quickly changes to the website playing Dr. Banks recorded therapy sessions. We start with a couple of random people in attendance at the party and quickly see clips of Emily and Victoria. Very clever, Emily. Very clever. Victoria, just having had a break through moment with Charlotte, is forced to watch a clip of her saying that she never felt very close to Charlotte and that perhaps a second child was a mistake. Charlotte runs off and Victoria directs her rage towards Dr. Banks. She looks at her and bellows, "I am going to destroy you. I am going to ruin you." I thought that Victoria was going to invoke lightening and thunder behind her and a tornado to envelope Dr. Banks. Victoria is not only upset about the exposed videos, however, because apparently Dr. Banks..."knows too much." Frank, as always, is on the case. Victoria thinks back to when she first met Dr. Banks and told her that Amanda should be institutionalized. Victoria offers to make her career in exchange for keeping Amanda institutionalized and separated from Daniel. This bitch is cruel. 

Declan is angry that Jack isn't going to sell the bar. Shut up, Declan. Tyler and Daniel come into the Stow Away drunk. Daniel is obviously looking to start something with Jack. Jack is confused but we are all well aware where Daniel's aggression is coming from. We are all also well aware that Daniel is frigging hot. 

The police show up at Victoria's door to ask her questions about Dr. Banks. Victoria threatened her in front of several witnesses, of course she did, and then hours later she placed a call to 911 from her office that it had been ransacked. When the cops showed up, Dr. Banks was missing. Frank comes in and tells another lie that Victoria had been with him all afternoon. Frank had been at Dr. Banks office, but the cops were there. All of her videos and files were gone. Frank tells her to clue in Conrad but when she calls him he doesn't answers because he is in bed with Lydia. Oh that one is a real shocker. Ashley lets Victoria and Frank know that the DVD had been missing until Emily had found it. That is a part of the plan that Emily did not count on Victoria finding out. She files that information away for later when Daniel and Tyler walk in wasted from the Stow Away. Victoria is livid and shady Tyler tells her that he tried to stop Daniel(or pushed the alcohol on him) and stayed with him so that he wouldn't get hurt. Tyler is sober. What is the agenda here? When he puts Daniel to bed he gives him a really creepy look. It would be AMAZING if Tyler was obsessed and in love with Daniel.  Emily is at the Stow Away during all of this after Nolan sent her a video of a very drunk Daniel flirting with girls. By the time that she gets there, Daniel has left but she has a really nice moment with Jack. Of course we all know that was Nolan's intentions for sending that video. He is obviously team Jack and Emily(Amanda). Nolan directs Jack to the hamptonsexposed website after Emily leaves to hear all the nice things that she had to say about him. He listens and watches a video of her talking to Dr. Banks about a guy she just met and how he could be the one. What about that implies Jack?'s possible but it could just as easily be Daniel that she is talking about. Later, Emily calls Daniel but Tyler still has his phone and erases all her message. What the f?

Dr. Banks is being held in a storage unit begging to be let out. Emily watches from afar and remembers when she was a kid and begged to be let out of her room and her pleas fell on deaf ears. Later, an anonymous tip tells the police where Dr. Banks is. They have no leads on who the tip came from and have zero suspects however the storage unit was registered to Grayson Global making Victoria a suspect. No one can ever say that Emily isn't thorough. What I like about this is that it not only exacts revenge on Dr. Banks but it also is another step in her plan to take down Victoria Grayson. Frank vows to get to the bottom of the situation and then Victoria asks him to stay the night in the house. It doesn't seem to be a sexual thing but there does seem to be a connection between them. Yes, Frank is always there to clean up his messes but there seems to be something else going on. And with this shady bitch anything is possible. After all of this, Charlotte comes home and glares at her mother. We have Declan to thank for her return. They have a heart to heart and I wish that a meteor would fall on the two of them. 

The episode ends with a flashback to a rainy night. Victoria sneaks into David's house and stealing his computer. She passes it to a waiting Frank(of course) right as Daniel catches her in the house. He doesn't see what she has done, but a hidden Amanda does. Victoria lies and says that she told Conrad that she was leaving him and wants to be with David. As they head upstairs, Victoria and Amanda lock eyes. I love that these two were enemies from the time that Emily was 8 years old. I enjoyed this episode more then any other episode of REVENGE. I feel the revenge of the week was intermixed with the ongoing story in a way that was much more appealing to me. Dr. Banks served to further along everything that was going on with our characters rather then the focus being on Dr. Banks and what was happening to her. I'll be back next week to see what happens...and I think it's going to be some Daniel/Emily sex. I can get onboard with that. 

Brian Hewson contributes primetime reviews for We Love Soaps. Along with Greg Turner, Brian is the creator, writer, and producer of the web soap, EMPIRE, which can be found at Brian loves soaps.

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