Revenge recap: 'Epitaph'
Everyone deals with the aftermath of Daniel's death.
And we’re back! In its first episode in the New Year, Revenge dealt with the fallout of its tragic midseason finale while also setting up the main conflicts that will drive the rest of the season. There’s a new revenge plot brewing and a newcomer arrives in the Hamptons at the end of the episode. But, more importantly, tonight’s episode reminded us that we’re still not over Daniel Grayson’s death.
We pick up almost right where the last episode left us, except we’re at the Clarke beach house, where we find David and Victoria rushing out the home toward Grayson Manor after hearing the gun shots. They arrive right as Emily mournfully closes Daniel’s eyes. Naturally, Victoria loses it when she sees Daniel’s body, and screams at Emily “What did you do?!” It’s rather heartbreaking to see Victoria’s grief and the guilty look on Emily’s face. But these characters can’t stop to grieve because there are more pressing and dramatic matters to be taken care of.
It’s right at this moment that Kate’s phone rings with a secret message from Malcolm Black asking where she is. Having just found out the truth about Kate’s parentage, David quickly points out that they’re all screwed now that they’ve killed Malcolm Black’s daughter. Black is a dangerous man and responds rather violently when his family members are hurt. Showing just how far he’s been drawn into Emily and company’s crazy world, Jack quickly suggests that they make sure Malcolm Black doesn’t find out about his daughter’s death.
Once they decide not to tell the police about Kate’s death, they need to come up with an explanation for Daniel’s death before the police arrive. The story: An angry and possibly drunk Daniel showed up at Emily’s home that night to confront her about how much she had ruined his life. He eventually grew violent and Emily, fearing for her life, had no reason but to shoot him with a gun. In flashbacks shown while Emily’s talking to the detective, we see how they staged the scene to make it look like Daniel forced his way in. Still shaken from everything that’s happened, Emily mixes up some of the cover story detail. While the detective brushes it off, eager beaver patrol office Ben hears her story and grows even more suspicious.
While Emily and Jack are dealing with the police, David and Victoria return home. Chief Alvarez, who is hardcore crushing on Victoria, shows up at the Clarke summer home to ask her some “questions about the circumstances of Mr. Grayson’s death.” David lies and says that she’s not emotionally ready to talk to anyone and is upstairs resting. Before he takes his leave, Chief Alvarez tells David that he left the keys to his van—the very van where they stowed Kate’s body in—in the back door. Once Chief Alvarez leaves, Victoria emerges from the upstairs bedroom and makes her objections to the cover story clear to David. For one, it’ll ruin Daniel’s reputation. Secondly, and most importantly, the complete opposite is true. When Daniel died, he was excited to be a father and had moved on from hating Emily. It’s hard not to empathize with Victoria’s pain.
Meanwhile, Nolan takes care of making it look like Kate is still alive. Hoping to direct Daddy dearest away from New York, Nolan lays some digital breadcrumbs to make it look like Kate went on an impromptu vacation to Florida. He also sent the phone itself to Florida in case Malcolm tracks it. However, before shipping it away, Nolan ripped all the data off the phone. With the newly acquired data, Nolan can track all of Black’s private planes. And, it just so happens that one of is prepped to depart from Ottawa. Who can guess where it’s heading?
Elsewhere, Victoria and David’s relationship, or lack thereof, continues to crumble when she finds out that David convinced Charlotte’s doctor to not let her come home for her brother’s funeral. Refusing to “be a prisoner to his lies,” Victoria tries to leave David, but he stops her. “I was a prisoner for two decades because of yours. You can hold on one more day.” he coldly retorts. That earns him a much deserved slap to the face from Victoria. What’s tragic about all of this is that it’s reminiscent of Victoria’s marriage to Conrad: She stayed with him and followed his lies out of survival, and she’s being forced to do that again. It’s clear that this partially motivates her decision to not remain at the Clarke’s summer home.
Needing someone to keep an eye on her while he disposes of Kate’s body, David forces Victoria to stay at Grayson Manor with Emily. “Are you out of your mind?!” is Emily’s immediate response, and it’s hilarious.
NEXT: Something wicked comes to the Hamptons
Like everyone else, Jack is not handling things well. Throughout tonight’s episode he remains rather shaken after completing his first kill as a cop. He even goes so far as to request some time off.
Back at Grayson Manor, Margaux shows up and immediately breaks down in Victoria’s arms. Having spoken to Daniel right before his death, Margaux knows he was over Emily and she’s convinced Emily is lying to the police. She thinks that Emily somehow lured Daniel to her home and killed him cold blood. Victoria lies to Margaux that she believes Emily’s account: “Daniel and Emily could never escape one another. And what she inflicted upon him was something he could never forget, and I will always hate her for it. But, it’s why I also believe her.” Although she’s talking to Margaux, these words are clearly meant for Emily, who is watching the conversation from the balcony. Not one who is easily dissuaded, Margaux decides to go to the police without Victoria’s support.
Aspiring detective Ben calls Emily down to the police station for further questions. Having seen Emily crack under pressure the night before, Jack tries to convince Emily to not go through with it, but she’s convinced that she can handle herself. In the ensuing interrogation, Ben proceeds to challenge several parts of Emily’s story and accidentally reveals that Margaux was pregnant. This hits Emily like a ton of bricks—a ton of bricks she can’t handle. Emily tries to end the interrogation, but Ben has one more question for her: Why aren’t there any defensive wounds on his body? Her answer is that she held back because part of her still cared about him and felt bad for breaking his heart. “There was a genuinely good guy just trying to find his way,” she says.
Ben then poses the logical follow-up question: If that’s the case, then why did she resort to lethal force? Taking a page out of Victoria’s book, Emily uses a bit of the truth to help her with this lie. She explains that she was convinced he would kill her because he tried to do just that the night of their marriage when he found out she wasn’t in love with him. “Daniel said that was the night I ruined his life. Turns out he was wrong,” Emily says. The poignancy of this entire scene comes from the fact that this is one of the few moments we get to see such an emotionally vulnerable Emily Thorne.
Following the interrogation and disposal of Kate’s body, everyone’s relieved to find out that Malcolm Black’s plane did not stop in New York, but kept heading south, which means he bought Nolan’s ruse. Furthermore, David also took steps to make sure Florida was Malcolm Black’s last stop by informing some of his enemies down there that he would be in town. However, the group’s relief is quickly cut short because Margaux shows up at the home and promises Emily that it’s her life’s goal to make her pay for murdering Daniel. Seems like Emily’s about to get a taste of her own revenge medicine, albeit undeserved. Margaux, with Victoria’s approval, also disinvites Emily to Daniel’s funeral.
Victoria then heads to Daniel’s apartment to pick out his suit. As she’s standing in the mirror with the suit, she imagines Daniel coming in and asking her opinion about his chosen outfit and to help him fix his tie. We’ve all heard it said that a parent’s worst nightmare is to outlive their children, but the show does an exceptional job of conveying this.
While on his way to the funeral, David stops by Grayson Manor to check on Emily and reveals that before Daniel died, he was planning on killing Victoria. Naturally, Emily’s shocked to hear this. But, there’s no time to discuss because they have the funeral. Despite Margaux and Victoria’s wishes, Emily shows up, but watches from afar. Once the ceremony ends, Nolan lets David know that there was a blood bath in Miami; an unidentified arms dealer turned up dead and in pieces, which they both take to mean that they’re out of the woods…
…Except they aren’t. In the final scene of the episode, a man with an awful American accent and claiming to work for the FBI stops Chief Alvarez in the parking lot of the police station to ask about Agent Kate Taylor. Alvarez explains that she left town a few days ago, but suggests that he talk to Jack. If only he had stopped talking right then, but he doesn’t. He points out that this FBI’s agent’s car doesn’t have government tags. With his cover seemingly blown, the man reveals his real Scottish accent and kills Alvarez. Guys, we just met this season’s Big Bad: Malcolm Black. (And he’s played by Tommy Flanagan, fresh off SOA.)
—For some reason Louise is still hanging around. This week, Victoria uses her to retrieve the envelope containing Emily’s photo that she gave to Kate from Nolan and Jack.
— Who else couldn’t handle the flashback to Daniel proposing to Emily?