Revenge, Ep. 2.03, “Betrayal”: One big, happy family

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Revenge, Season 2, Episode 3: “Betrayal”
Written by Salvatore Stabile
Directed by Matt Earl Beesley
Airs Sundays at 9 pm (ET) on ABC

The Grayson family are in seclusion this week as the press descends on their mansion after news of Victoria’s (Madeline Stowe) ‘kidnapping’ becomes public.

“Whatever you’re thinking, I’m not the enemy,” Aidan (Barry Sloane) tells Emily early in the episode. I’m still a little unsure of Aidan and the trouble he’s sure to bring Emily’s way but I’m also curious to see where the writers take him, especially when it comes to his relationship with Emily. When he finds Emily’s mother it’s clear that Aidan is more than a blast from Emily’s past, he’s smart and potentially very dangerous.

This episode also proves that while the White Haired Man is dead, his ghost is still hanging over Emily’s life. With Nolan trying to rebuild the his cell phone, Victoria still believing he’s a threat, and Emily slowly learning the truth about her mother, his presence is still very much felt. On a show where words often have two or three meanings and actions speak louder than words, it’s cool to see the White Haired Man’s pull on events even when he isn’t around.

One of the biggest issues I have with Revenge is its misuse of secondary characters. Declan (Conor Paolo), Jack’s brother, was always an inconsistent character last season. He was hard to like, but after the premiere it seemed like he was going in a more authoritative and useful direction. But with “Betrayal”, I’m having a hard time understanding or even caring about his new side business of robbing houses. This being Revenge, though, I’m also prepared for a bigger secret to be revealed.

While a lot of things are found, out the episode starts off slow. The usual bite that’s present from characters like Victoria and Nolan is missing.  Once Victoria takes the reigns, however, assuming control at the press conference, the episode more than redeems itself. She might not know Emily’s true identity and she might be cold, manipulative, and calculating, but I can’t help but feel likes she’s one of the only people on the show who’s actually able to take complete control of a situation. And besides, how eerie is it to see the entire Grayson family standing before the cameras presenting a “united front”? The Graysons might be the most dysfunctional family on TV, but that only makes them deliciously fun to watch.

Revenge has always been wonderful at dropping little tidbits for its characters. When Emily reminds Daniel that the only way to beat Victoria is to play her game we know that it’s going to lead to a great moment. Daniel has really been coming into his own as a character rather than being a pawn in Victoria, Conrad, and Emily’s games.

“Betrayal”, although uneven, is a good set up to the season. The arrival of Emily’s mother is like a slow brewing storm and you know it’s going to bring big things for the show and its characters.

Tressa Eckermann

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