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‘Revenge’ Review: “Ashes”

REVENGE
Season 4, Episode 3
“Ashes”
GRADE: B-

Last we saw of Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke, she was about to be a crispy critter.

Charlotte had knocked her out and set fire to their meeting place: Jack’s kick-ass seaside bar and grill, The Stowaway. Of course, being that Emily is the main character of Revenge, the whole ordeal is less “Will she escape” and more “#EMILYSURVIVESLOL”. In other words, it’s predictably fruitless effort ending with a predictable resolution. It was an especially needless situation and one that really makes little to no sense, given what happens later in the episode.

Before I get ahead of myself, Charlotte Grayson, the guilty party, tells surrounding witnesses that nobody was in the bar. This, of course, runs contrary to Jack’s discovery of Emily’s lifeless body and, of course, he ventures in and saves the day., braving one of those suddenly-heaving-at-the-camera fireballs which only appear in television and movie fires.

Meanwhile, Daniel Grayson and Margaux are a thing. Grayson, however, is hemorrhaging money while still, unknowingly, attempting to take care of Charlotte’s drug habit. He can’t even help his own mother when she comes calling. He wants to be a “financial advisor” based on his name alone but nobody wants to hire him for that very reason. His hotel room is even taken away from him by management because his credit card was declined. Good thing he still has the money to spend on glasses of expensive whiskey in the hotel bar, though. If you’re gonna end up poor and on the street, might as well get the alcoholism requirement started.

Jack attempts to discover what happened to his bar and ends up finding out that Charlotte was behind it through the same witness who first spoke to her. The fact is later confirmed by Emily, miraculously 100 percent despite being stuck in a massive fire in an enclosed space for minutes on end because only Emily Thorne can survive a fire without so much as damage to her lungs from smoke inhalation or burns on her body. The situation does give us a great exchange between Emily and Nolan, her loyal friend and confidant:

Nolan: “[These gifts] were supposed to spruce up your hospital room, but I just came from there and, weirdly, it’s empty…and…’unspruced’.”
Emily: “I checked myself out.”

Nolan: “It’s a hospital. Not a hotel.

At least the dialogue makes us aware that the writers aren’t really trying to fool anyone.

Apparently, Emily really has no time to waste on Victoria and, instead, wants to try to make amends with Charlotte, the girl who hates her, knocked her out and tried to murder her. She even uses her magical pouting powers to convince Jack that she will “take care of Charlotte”, which Jack just accepts even though he lost a huge investment in his bar.

The crux of the plot revolves around a new wrinkle: Louise, the strange redhead that Victoria met when she was in the inescapable psych ward that doesn’t seem to really care if Victoria escaped anymore, is out of the psych ward. She wants to hang with Victoria — but, since Victoria’s a little busy planning her revenge on Emily and seducing the hell out of her father, Victoria’s like the Guess Who: she’s got no time left for Lou(ise).

Victoria, instead, visits Charlotte and attempts to make amends with her. Charlotte drops what she believes is a bombshell: Emily Thorne is Amanda Clarke. Of course, Victoria already knows this and ups the ante by dropping the real bombshell: her father, David Clarke, is alive and well. Charlotte ends up meeting his daughter for the very first time.

At the same time, Emily makes another attempt to make contact with Charlotte at the old Grayson hunting cabin — but ends up seeing the business end of a shotgun held by Victoria. When Emily dares Victoria to shoot her and end this once and for all, Victoria balks, saying that it wouldn’t satisfy her. She owes Emily so much more and tells her that she should “buckle up”. At the end of the visit, Emily runs into the smitten Officer Hunter, who just happens to be there in the middle of the woods, looking into “underage drinking”. The two have chemistry. If, by “chemistry”, you mean that awkward feeling you get when you interrupt the busy clerk at the pizza parlor to ask for a box for your leftovers. It starts that way and ends that way.

Hunter does let Jack know that The Stowaway burned down “by accident”, as determined by the local fire department. If I’m not mistaken, the place went up due to heavy use of a lit accelerant — a fact that should be plain as day to any fire forensics team. But, whatever, Jack’s gonna get his insurance money.

Oh…let’s go back to Daniel: while drinking his Scotch, he happens to bump into Louise…and Louise needs a bit of financial advice to get out of the pickle she’s in with her family…and Daniel may be just the guy to help.

The episode ends with David Clarke upset with Victoria for keeping the fact that Emily visited while he wasn’t around. Victoria goes out to attempt to get some more cash so that they can move out of the place they’re in. Clarke wants to go with her but Victoria advises him to protect Charlotte. She leaves — and so does David. His mission is to kill Emily Thorne once and for all.

Little does he know (I love that: “little does know”) that Nolan is staying with Emily to “re-boot her Security Systems” (not a euphemism) and protect her. This pays off. He sees David’s attempted assault on camera and scares David off. The problem? Neither Emily or Nolan know it was that attacked her, due to the fact that he was donning a hoodie under the cover of darkness.

As usual, the show plays fast and loose with logic but the intrigue and multifaceted plotting is what makes this fun. All the loose ends are seemingly being tied up. The only real crime would be to continue this another year.

This is another solid episode and one only hopes it continues this way. If Season 2 is the basis of comparison in terms of quality. then this season has, thus far, surpassed that.

About Matt Perri

Matt Perri
Matt Perri is one of those literary Ronin you’ve never heard of until he shows up and tells you he’s a literary Ronin. He’s a native Californian, a film buff, old school gamer geek, and a sports/entertainment fan. A lifelong Giants, 49ers and Sharks fan, he also covers the world of pro-wrestling, writing recaps for WWE Monday Night RAW and Total Divas at Scott’s Blog of Doom. You can follow the guy on Twitter via @PerriTheSmark as well as here at The Workprint and his own blog, We Hate Your Gimmick.

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