Revenge Episode 4 Review: Public Humiliation for Everyone!

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’ve liked Revenge since the pilot, but this week’s episode completely cemented my love of this fun new drama. It’s true that it’s somewhat ridiculously easy for Emily to take down her enemies each hour, but who cares when it’s so much fun to watch? Not only that, but the most recent episode episode wasn’t just about setting up and taking down the conspirator of the week. It also built in a few additional mysteries, revealed some effective backstory and set up some interesting storylines going forward.

Let’s start at the beginning. Years ago, when Amanda Clarke was still a young girl after her father had been arrested, she was being evaluated by a court-appointed shrink by the name of Dr. Michelle Banks. Back then, Dr. Banks was visited by Victoria, who suggested that Amanda be institutionalized. Why would Victoria have suggested that? Was it just to keep Amanda quiet about the affair (since we know she saw Victoria and her father together) or was it more than that? Whatever her motives, Victoria essentially offered to set Dr. Banks up with a private practice and plenty of Hamptons patients, if only she would recommend that Amanda be placed in an institution. (Update: As pointed out by a commenter below, it does seem likely that Victoria wanted to keep young Amanda locked away because she saw Victoria steal David’s computer and give it to Frank. That will teach me to watch an all-important final scene while distracted!).

Dr. Banks was horrible to Amanda. It wasn’t enough to lock her away, she was incredibly spiteful and said terrible things about both Amanda and her father. This is one conspirator I was especially happy to see get her just desserts.

Fast-forward to present day, where we learned that Emily has been visiting Dr. Banks for a year and also tapping into her patient recordings. Fortunately, Victoria presented Emily with the perfect venue to exact her revenge: a Mothers and Daughters charity luncheon for mental health. Victoria was in attendance with her daughter Charlotte, with whom she has a tumultuous relationship. Unfortunately, Emily made things far worse when she decided to play Dr. Banks’private patient videos at the luncheon, which humiliated Victoria (who admitted she was unsure if she actually wanted Charlotte in the video), the various Hamptons socialites, and Dr. Banks.

Naturally, Victoria vowed revenge herself because her private conversations had been released. But her angry voicemails for Dr. Banks came back to bite her when the doctor actually went missing. The police came by to interview Victoria, who claimed ignorance about the doctor’s whereabouts. And Victoria was telling the truth, because Dr. Banks had actually been put in a storage container by Emily so that she could feel what it was like to be locked away. Just desserts, indeed. But Ashley later inadvertently cast suspicion on Emily when discussing how the DVDs could have been switched and now Victoria and her security man, Frank, seem to realize that something bigger is going on here.

Meanwhile, in between destroying and humiliating various people on tonight’s episodes, Emily continued to date Daniel. Or, at least, she attempted to do so, but was continuously thwarted by his former Harvard buddy, Tyler. Tyler’s actions perplex me. I have a crazy theory that he’s actually gay and in love with Daniel, which is why he’s deliberately trying to sabotage his relationship with Emily. On the other hand, it could simply be a case of Tyler not wanting Daniel to grow up and leave him behind. Whatever his reasons, I suspect Emily will soon catch on to Tyler’s schemes and I hope Daniel does as well.

In slightly less interesting news, Conrad visited Lydia in the city, which will precipitate her return to the Hamptons in next week’s episode (which should be far more interesting). Declan was also anxious to unload his father’s tavern after his death, but Jack seems determined to keep it in the family. Declan also grew closer to Charlotte, who became incredibly upset after her mother’s feelings about her came out at the luncheon.

As I said before, I loved this week’s episode of Revenge and think it was the best one yet. The flashbacks are no longer just about seeing young Amanda’s relationship with her father, but are now showcasing how large a part Victoria played in what happened to the Clarke family. And it’s becoming clear that Emily’s plan for Victoria is far more involved and complex than her normal ‘take down one person a week’schemes. Revenge is not really about the week-by-week plots, it’s about one ultimate goal: the destruction of Victoria Grayson. Victoria is proving herself a more worthy adversary as the weeks pass. She (and the completely indispensable Frank) are starting to catch on fairly quickly that something larger is happening.

I can’t wait to see Victoria and Emily face off against each other for real. As the characters gain more complexities, my desire to see a show-down between these two formidable women grows. I haven’t felt this excited about a primetime soap since the first season of Desperate Housewives.

Don’t miss an all new episode of Revenge on October 19. You can view photos and a trailer for next week’s episode here.

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