'Revenge' Recap: A Mother's Love - Rolling Stone
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‘Revenge’ Recap: A Mother’s Love

Amanda’s mother returns and more corporate secrets are revealed

Jennifer Jason Leigh revengeJennifer Jason Leigh revenge

Jennifer Jason Leigh as Kara in 'Revenge.'


It seems we’re at a point where Revenge is watering down its campy goodness with ho-hum corporate drama. There are still juicy bits, but we get bored when the Grayson Global storylines drag on too long. Make it stop!

We kick off with a flashback of five-year-old Amanda almost drowning in the ocean at the hands of Mommie Dearest, only to be saved by Father of the Year. Now that Emily/Amanda’s mother, Kara, has resurfaced, it’ll surely only take her a moment to show up on someone’s doorstep.

As the clock ticks, Emily wakes up crying from the bad dream with Aiden next to her. He decides this is the perfect time to share another secret about mum: Gordon Murphy wasn’t just Kara’s savior, he was her husband. That’s one way to kick-start the day.

Then, right on cue, Kara shows up at Grayson Manor, giving a shocked, pruning shears-wielding Victoria an awkward hug. Mama Grayson clearly thought this woman was “taken care of” years ago. At the very least, there’s something really, um, off about Kara. It could be that we know she’s crazy-pants, or it could be her Stepford Wife stare and hypnotically monotone voice. Either way, we hereby christen her “Creepy Kara.”

Not wasting any time, Creepy Kara questions Victoria about the man who supposedly kidnapped her, Gordon Murphy (a/k/a the white-haired man). In fact, she’s more interested in knowing where Murph is than how her daughter wound up in a coma. However, she gets no answers, despite her persistence. In subtle frustration, Kara draws blood by pricking herself while fidgeting with a thorned rose. Ah, metaphors.

At Grayson Global, Aiden is talking to Conrad about something snooze-worthy: Mr. Takeda‘s concern that there’s a possible rift in the family and the company. During the meeting, Conrad takes a call from a freaked-out Victoria, who informs him that Kara is alive, well, and in their bathroom, washing blood off her hands. He quickly dispatches Aiden to his son, Daniel. Conrad must depart posthaste! (This is exactly how stodgy the office scenes are.) 

Across the Hamptons, Charlotte returns a sweater that Declan leant her in a lame attempt to engage him, but he quickly brushes her off when Kenny, the shady guy he robbed, shows up. Aside from a good interrogation, seems like the Kenster wants to push a cleaning “crew” on Dec to help get the Stowaway up and running. He says it’s because he wants his money back, stat, but we’re guessing there are some ulterior motives. Duh.

Back at Grayson Global, they’re developing a weapon of mass destruction that would cause widespread drowsiness. Wait, no… Aiden and Daniel are discussing the company’s inner workings when Ashley reveals that someone is requesting to see David Clarke‘s records. Dun, dun, oh, who cares? Even Ashley changes the subject by wrangling both men into going out for drinks.

When Gordon Murphy’s hidden cell phone rings, Emily sees that it’s Kara calling for the umpteenth time but doesn’t answer. Just then, the once-vibrant-but-now-stuffy Nolan shows up, asking why he’s just hearing about her mother’s arrival and reveals that his dad died. Changing the subject, Emily admits she’s not sure where Kara is. But when they flip on the Grayson spycam, Kara’s chowing down at the Manor like an old chum. Why, they’ve even asked her to stay with them. How lovely.

Meanwhile, Amanda wakes up from her coma and meets baby Carl for the first time, although Jack doesn’t mention that Kara visited. When Emily walks in on them sharing a family moment, she flashes back to her own time in the hospital after almost drowning, when her padre told her that her madre was “gone.”

Snapping out of it, Emily encourages Jack to go home and take a shower. Er, his baby mama just woke up, like, 30 seconds ago. He can’t hang for a bit? Nah, off he goes. Maybe that’s the secret to good relationships: quit while you’re ahead.

During their alone time, Emily apologizes to Amanda for putting her in a situation that landed her in the hospital. When Ems reveals that mom is back, Amanda says, “At least it wasn’t all for nothing.” Then Emily invites her and the baby to stay at her place till the Stowaway reopens. Plus, it makes it a whole lot easier to plot and scheme.

Now, more Grayson Global white noise as Nolan’s girlfriend Padma is revealed to be the person requesting David Clarke’s records. Wha? Ok, so, we’re not good at feigning interest, but this has something to do with the framed check she found while cleaning out Nolan’s dead father’s storage unit, and now she’s concerned that David’s involvement might muck up NolCorp’s audit. Or something. Yawn.  

Back at the hospital, Emily/Amanda is cradling baby Carl when Creepy Kara sneaks up on her and demands to know who she is. It’s the first time that mother and daughter have come face-to-face in 20 years but, while Emily is shaken and stirred, Kara is seemingly unaffected because she thinks faux Amanda is real Amanda. As Kara reveals that Amanda was “innately good” as a child, kooky investigative journalist Mason flutters right into their conversation and gasps, “God, I love the Hamptons!” when he sees that Kara is back from the dead. (Yeah, that’s about as Halloweeny as this episode gets.) 

Upon faux Amanda returning to her room after some tests, she meets mommy for the first time, too. When Kara probes Amanda as to whether she remembers her, Emily rushes Kara and Mason out of the room. Before he leaves, though, Mason stares at Amanda’s smooth, exposed back. Remember this, people! No, he’s not just a perv. Well, he could be, but that’s beside the point.

Out getting tipsy with Aiden, Daniel spills too many beans about the decaying state of Grayson Global, including the fact that Padma is the one looking for David’s files. Aiden immediately tells Emily what he’s learned for fear it could expose her identity. The next day, Emily calls Nolan to warn him while he’s having breakfast on the beach with Padma. A romantic moment, ruined. 

Still cashing in on those loose lips, Aiden stops by to see a hung-over Daniel at the office, now knowing all the inner strife at the company. But instead of, say, blackmailing Daniel, Aiden encourages him to usurp power from his father, Conrad.

Upon crashing at Emily’s pad, Amanda says that she wishes she could just come clean about the fact that Carl isn’t really Jack’s baby. Using this as an opening, Emily prods Amanda to tell Kara “the truth”: that she doesn’t know who she is and wants her to leave ASAP. Amanda is confused; Emily spent all that time looking for Kara and risked Amanda’s life in the process. What gives? Emily reveals the attempted drowning. So, adios, mamacita!

But … it doesn’t quite work out that way. When Kara comes over, she has a remorseful talk with Amanda, explaining she wasn’t well around the time of the drowning. Because of that lapse in judgment, she thought it was best if Amanda thought she was dead. Instead of telling her to scram, Amanda forgives her. All while a teary-eyed Emily/Amanda is eavesdropping outside.

Over at the Stowaway, Jack ponders selling the bar to Kenny, who will forgive Declan’s debt if they do so. Sure, why not sell the family business to some shady dude? Go right ahead, new dad Jack. 

While that’s going down, Victoria ransacks Kara’s room and finds a cell phone with just one number on it – Gordon Murphy’s. She and Conrad freak out: clearly Kara’s been feeding him info all this time. Mid-meltdown, Conrad gets on one knee and proposes. Proposes! Ah, but it’s because if the exes were to marry again, they won’t be legally obligated to testify against each other in a court of law. Say yes to that dress, baby.

Meanwhile, Emily reveals some relieving news to Amanda: Jack is the father. She lied about the paternity test to keep Amanda “on her side.” Uh, that’s some circular logic right there.

But wait, these girls have new, pressing issues. Remember how Mason seemed to be checking out Amanda’s backside at the hospital? Turns out the nosey newsman noticed she was missing a giant scar she got in a foster home fire as a teen – and he calls her on it. Booyah.

Previously: Blood on Their Hands

In This Article: Revenge


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