It’s the start of a new week and we’ve all got that lethargic Monday feeling. The only thing making it better is the knowledge that Monday brings with it a brand new episode of Revenge…hallelujah! Things suddenly don’t seem so bad; in fact Mondays could quickly become my favourite day of the week.
With episode two, aptly titled ‘Trust’, our cunning countess Emily is continuing her ‘roadmap to revenge’, with her homing signal locked onto a fresh target. After destroying Lydia’s reputation with spectacular style in the previous episode, Emily is stepping up her game.
The episode begins at a polo club with our two favourite ladies, Emily and Ashley, gossiping over one Daniel Grayson. ‘He’s dangerous’, Ashley warns. If you mean his cheesy chatter might bore Emily to death then yes, he is dangerous. I think Emily has it covered though. In an amusing social media reference Ashley chirps, ‘I assume you’ve been studying the Hamptons group on my facebook page?’ I wish this actually existed; English audience members could do with a little Hamptons protocol guidance.
The polo match for the stinking rich gives Emily an opportunity to do two things. Firstly, meet Bill Harmon, a money motivated hedge-funder. It flashes back in time as Emily remembers pseudo uncle figure Bill from her childhood. Cue Emily’s first icy stare of the episode, it’s a particular goodun’! Emily realises that the way to get Harmon to take notice of her is to flaunt her acquaintance with Nolan. As she sparks up money-orientated conversation with a curious Bill we learn that like Lydia, he testified against David Clarke – marking him take-down target numero duo.
Emily also gets the chance to step up her flirtations with a fawning Daniel, who unsurprisingly fully reciprocates her interest. She bets on him to win and he asks her out for dinner, it’s all very jovial. Whilst Daniel on his own is a bit like watching paint dry, there’s a connection between him and Emily, a certain spark that you can’t help but be intrigued by. Whether this is solely down to Emily’s brilliant master plan and her crafty ability to lie unreservedly is yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, Queen Victoria saunters around the polo match in slow motion. Does wealth make time move slower? It certainly seems that way. We’re also introduced to Frank, the Grayson’s shady security guy, who at Victoria’s command has been digging up info on Emily. Luckily she comes up clean as a whistle, much to Victoria’s dismay.
Doing all the work as his brother sits about texting Charlotte is our favourite captain Jack. After the pilot episode where he becomes increasingly worried about his father’s financial issues, he decides to sell his boat to Nolan after all. An agonising choice for him, but a thrilling turn of events for Nolan who goes on to admit that he doesn’t actually know how to sail. He tries to convince Jack to hang out with him and captain the boat. ‘Why would I want to do that?’ Jack says sourly. Whilst he may come across as the epitome of Mr. Nice Guy, Jack has some hidden sass, which reveals itself around Nolan. The sourpuss act doesn’t last long as Jack can’t bear to think of his pride and joy being mistreated, so he reluctantly agrees. I see the makings of an oddly matched friendship.
Whilst Nolan and Jack go off on their first forced, ‘bromantic’ boating trip, Dec is thoughtfully prepping for a romantic boat-ride with Charlotte. That’s going to be hard with no boat. He also doesn’t bank on her turning up with her obnoxious posse, who are instantly the type of people you’d like to set Emily on. Dec however takes it relatively well and a group trip is on a menu. Shame he’s left standing on his own when they find the boat gone. Not exactly the afternoon he had planned. A lucky escape in my opinion. Back at the tavern a little later Mr. Lonely maxes out his petulant teenager quota with Jack about the boat situation. Probably not the best day for acting like a bratty child. Our humble hero swoops in and gives baby bro a reality check by telling him he had to sell the boat to keep the tavern going. Unfortunately Jack’s father hears this revelation and blows his top. A little gratitude would be nice when your sons basically saved your livelihood.
After Lydia’s demise the beach house goes on the market and Emily makes what we can only imagine is a substantial offer, one that isn’t good enough. A chipper Nolan gets a shock when he gets into his car to find Emily hiding out in his back seat. She threatens him because he in-fact bought the beach house. In a surprising twist Nolan reveals that he bought the house because Victoria outbid Emily. Cheeky Queen V, playing dirty… I’m sure adding another property to her estate wasn’t her sole motive. Nolan doesn’t actually want the house and offers it to Emily as an early birthday present, prompting him to reveal the rationale behind his motives. It’s a sincere moment when he tells Emily that her father was the only person who believed in him. You’d think this might soften Emily a little, make her see Nolan in a different light. He tries to bond with her but she remains cold as ice. Even when he saves the day and gives houses as presents, Nolan can’t seem to win Emily’s thanks.
Emily goes on to have a tea date with Victoria who gives her a good grilling. Emily however stays as cool as a cucumber, with a sophisticated and intelligent response for every question fired at her. She’s the type of person you want around when you can’t think of a witty or clever retort – she’d slaughter people. Victoria is more than pleased when Emily tells her she had some troubles with the beach house bid, only for Emily to turn around and drop the magnificent bombshell that problems or no problems she is now the proud owner of the house. Bam! Victoria might as well have sucked on a lemon for her sour facial expression was a treat! As usual it was quickly replaced by that deceitful faux smile I’m learning to love.
Afterwards Frank brings some interesting information to Victoria’s attention. He believes Emily and Lydia’s husband Michael had an affair. Of course Victoria immediately thinks this is the ammo she’s been searching for. As if Emily would be so sloppy.
With Victoria preoccupied with Emily, Conrad meets with Lydia in his car, on a street corner of all places. Annoyingly it turns out we haven’t seen the last of her. She tells Conrad to write her a cheque, to which he looks at her dumbly. I guess saying no is out of the question?
Back to Bill Harmon – I’d almost forgotten about him! Emily leads him to believe that she’s interested in taking a risk with her money on a Chinese smart phone manufacturer. Bill, being the act-first-think-later type, takes Emily’s lead and invests everything in the most gullible move of the century. He risks it all and just as quickly loses it. It happens so quick that if you blink you could miss it. Emily can give herself a little pat on the back because Harmon is broke and ruined. It was almost too easy!
After Jack ignores his calls, Nolan visits the tavern in search of his new buddy. The exchanges between Nolan and Jack make for some of the best lines in this episode. Their conversations are dripping with sarcasm and jesting, with Dec adding a little cheek to the mix. These three could have their own show and I’d gladly watch it! After Dec informs Nolan of why Jack sold his boat, Nolan offers to give it back at the end of the season if Jack hangs out with him. With supposedly no hidden catches, it’s an offer which is too good to pass off. I want to believe that lonely Nolan just wants a new friend, but he clearly has ulterior motives.
When Charlotte’s boyfriend/non-boyfriend (do we care?) spies a text from Dec on Charlotte’s phone, he beats him up royally with the help of some brutish friends. Dec gets a nice head-butt in, which had me fist pumping the air. Poor little Porter takes his beating out on his dad by telling him some home truths. Ultimately the stress of everything causes Mr. Porter to have what we assume is a heart attack and he collapses on the floor of his tavern.
Away from the violence, Ashley throws Emily a surprise party. Just what Emily wanted for her birthday, a house full of random people she wants nothing to do with. Adding in an additional surprise is Nolan, who turns up with Jack and Sammy the dog. There’s that ulterior motive. Emily barely hides her lack of enthusiasm for the party. When your life is one deliberate, thought out plan, surprises only spell disaster. As she takes a breather from the party Emily has her second encounter with Jack. Ah the chemistry! At this stage I have to ask, Daniel who? It takes a lot for Emily to remain aloof, but Jack isn’t part of her plan. Keeping a distance is vital for her to stay on track and keep him out of the messy path of revenge that she’s travelling down.
In an interesting curve ball Frank reveals to Victoria that a chunk of Emily’s past is sealed by the court. This should prompt Queen V to step up her stalkerish antics and dig further into the mystery of the young lady that is swiftly stealing her son’s heart. As Victoria once again stands on her balcony made of ice, watching Emily’s beach house, we see Emily and Daniel share a kiss. Looks like Victoria is already too late to stop this particular blossoming romance.
In a flashback to Emily’s childhood we witness the startling discovery that like her husband, Victoria once boarded a train called ‘affair’ – with Emily’s father no less. The plot thickens.
As this second episode comes to a close and Bill Harmon gets a satisfying blood-red cross over his face we learn that people’s actions, like most things in life, are not always black or white. The people we think we can trust aren’t always the right ones; and the people we consider to be the least honourable might just turn out to be loyal allies. One thing’s for sure, in a world of revenge people’s hearts aren’t always the most trustworthy guides.