This week’s Revenge episode, “Absolution,” provided some revelations and a number of changes to the characters and their relationships with each other.
“Absolution is a washing away of sin. A promise of rebirth. And the chance to escape the transgressions of those who came before us. The best among us will learn from the mistakes of the past. While the rest seem doomed to repeat them.” – Emily’s voice-over.
“Absolution” opened with Emily visiting Charlotte and finding her knee-deep in some David Clarke research. Charlotte shows Emily a photograph of David that was hidden in Victoria’s personal belongings. The photograph is from the day that David died and as Charlotte points out: “he doesn’t look like a monster […] he looks scared.”
Emily being Emily discovers that the journal her father was holding in the photograph is one that Nolan secretly kept away from her. Following an angry confrontation with Nolan, Emily gets a hold of the journal and finds out that her father was waiting for evidence of his innocence to arrive from a woman named Carole Miller that supposedly died two days after David Clarke. With the help of a nurse and Homeland Security agent disguise, Emily discovers that Ms. Miller is alive and now goes by the name of Carole Thomas. After Carole pulls out a gun on Emily, Nolan arrives to confess some secrets. Apparently, Carole is Nolan’s aunt and was helping David get the evidence necessary to prove he was framed. Days before all would’ve been revealed, Conrad figured out the plan and ordered David’s murder, at that point, knowing that she would be next, Nolan helped his Aunt fake her own death. Carole informs Emily that there was a “terrifying” man with a “head of white hair and ice blue eyes” that was in a number of secret meetings with Conrad, including one on the morning of David’s death (a flashback showed that the mysterious man was the one who killed David). Later in the episode, Emily realizes that this white haired man is the guard pictured in the photograph that Charlotte uncovered.
Following Lee’s fake suicide note, Daniel is officially released from prison to the angry reception of a public that does not believe he is innocent. Ashley suggests that Daniel provide the media an interview in order to quiet the public and Daniel agrees.
Jack pays Daniel a visit almost immediately after Daniel gets out of prison to admit the truth about his bloody hoodie. Jack tells Daniel that he thinks Victoria and Conrad hired Lee to steal the sweater and then framed Lee to help out their son. After Daniel asks Jack why he would admit that potentially incriminating information, Jack responds “because Emily trusts you and if she’s gonna spend the rest of her life with you, you owe it to her not to ignore this.”
Victoria, still angry from Conrad’s actions against her artist ex-lover, contacts an agent from the FCC to reveal the secret dealings of the Grayson business (you know, corruption, fraud, terrorism, etc.) in exchange for full immunity for her part in the crimes. The FCC arrives at Grayson Global and seizes all of their documents.
After Jacks’ revelation, Daniel chats with Emily about his family’s questionable actions and confides in her his worries about how he fits into everything (“what if the man I am is no better than my DNA?”). Emily suggests: “You don’t need to be that guy, Daniel. Maybe this interview is an opportunity for you to be honest – to separate yourself from your name.” Emily obviously wants him to distance himself from his family’s crimes. Almost right away, however, Conrad reveals to Daniel everything – EVERYTHING – about the Graysons and their crimes (all while Emily listens in through the bugs she has planted).
This week Victoria was back to vying for the Mom of The Year Award after Charlotte was suspended from school, and the two actually have a very sweet moment. While trying to connect with Charlotte, Victoria realizes that Charlotte’s troubles stem from her idea that she is hated by her mother because her father is a terrorist monster. Victoria takes Charlotte to David Clarke’s grave and explains that David was a good man and that it is Charlotte’s connection to David, a man Victoria truly loved, that makes Victoria love her all the more. While at the cemetery, the two find a rose on David Clarke’s tombstone and realize that someone has been visiting the grave.
Moments before the major interview, Emily continues to encourage Daniel to separate himself from his family’s crimes and not follow in their footsteps. During the interview, Daniel reveals his true self by stating that he will stand by his father. He states that the FCC is trying to take advantage of the public’s vitriol by creating a baseless case against Grayson Global. This visually pisses Emily off.
Before the credits roll Nolan asks Emily what her plans are now that Daniel knows everything and still choose to stand with the Graysons. Emily, confirming what her cold stare already revealed, very calmly states: “I’m going to marry him. And I’m going to track down the man that murdered my father [and] I’m gonna kill him.” Beware, Daniel, you’re on Emily’s shit-list and that is not a good list to be in.
In the end, it was Jack, Declan, Nolan, and Victoria that all set out to absolve themselves of their past actions when presented with the opportunity. Jack revealed the truth to Daniel about his hoodie, Declan stopped hiding Charlotte’s pill-popping, Nolan revealed the secrets he was hiding from Emily, and Victoria made the government aware of the Grayson crimes. On the other hand, Conrad and Daniel both turned down all opportunities that were presented to them and instead chose to further the transgressions of the past. This creates interesting changes in the dynamic of the show with the lines now appearing to be unofficially re-drawn. Whereas in the past Daniel tended to side with his mother and attempt to stay on the good side of things, he seems to have completely changed his views. And with Victoria and Charlotte’s sweet new bond, it seems that within the Grayson clan there’s more a #teamCoverUpOurCrimes v. #teamDavidIsNotAMonster delineation forming and things are looking very interesting.
Revenge airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.