Aiden: This week, Aiden continues to be blackmailed by the Initiative, with Helen showing him a video of his sister, Colleen, proving that she’s really alive. (The actress’ regrettable English accent sadly doesn’t convince us to feel all that sorry for her.) Helen orders him to kill Victoria or the Initiative will kill Colleen. But both of Aiden’s attempts to shoot Victoria, as he follows her to LA, are thwarted; the first as Victoria entertains Conrad’s old rival, Jason Prosser, in his hotel room, and the second as Emily – who’s hacked into his phone and thus cottoned on to his plan – implores him to stop. Meanwhile, Aiden’s jealous boyfriend act continues, growing a little older. By the end of the episode, when he receives a second video message from Helen, in which his sister appears to be dead, Aiden blames Emily for whatever they’ve done to Colleen, since Emily stopped him from shooting Victoria.
Emily: Emily’s all over the shop romantically, as the episode opens with her having a steamy dream about Aiden. While they’re going at it, Aiden’s face morphs into Daniel’s. Collusion, indeed. She also has to stay on top of a number of operations this week: there’s Daniel and securing the Stone Haven deal in LA (which she needs to do in order to keep the Initiative close) and the problem of Aiden’s envy – as he catches up with her in LA – and rage about Colleen. We’re guessing he wants nothing to do with her now. If that was indeed a breakup, this one certainly wasn’t fake. Tough luck, Ems; you’ve only one beautiful boy’s heart left to break.
Victoria: Though Queen V doesn’t know it, Aiden’s been trying to dethrone her for good this week. Victoria’s also fast losing Daniel to Emily, who helps him win over the Stone Haven deal, which Victoria’s been trying to sway Jason to vie for; Victoria’s fully aware of the Initiative’s ties to Stone Haven, which could land Daniel in danger. While she eventually gets what she wants from Prosser via strategic seduction, when Jason loses the deal, outsmarted by Daniel at a business dinner, he accuses Victoria of setting him up – at which point she looks genuinely hurt. As if all that weren’t enough, Victoria learns that Ashley’s back and receives her as we did last week, with a wearisome groan.
Jason: Jason’s business trip to LA has been an ordeal, to say the very least. He’s been getting an awful amount of mixed messages. After his tip off from Victoria last week, Aiden – trying to help Daniel score the Stone Haven deal, so that Emily can hurry back to him and the Hamptons – approaches Jason and convinces him to withdraw his interest in the company. But then Victoria appears again to throw Jason off, persuading him to fight for the deal after all. And though he thinks he’s winning, as he has his way with Victoria, he winds up losing Stone Haven to Daniel anyway, and goes off in a mighty huff. A befuddled Jason just doesn’t know who to believe anymore.
Daniel: The young Grayson may have won Stone Haven, and managed to whisk Emily away to the West Coast, but he’s continuing to lose and he still doesn’t know it. As his “business” trip is cut short, Daniel’s poolside dreams of a romantic vacation with Emily are dashed. Back in the Hamptons, as Emily (in part) confesses to Daniel the nature of their relationship – that Victoria had more than a meddling hand in it – things slow down even more between them as he asks Emily if they’ll ever get back to being the way they were. Of course, what decides Daniel’s loss this week is the Stone Haven deal. As Victoria points out to Emily, she may have brought about his biggest loss by helping him win, bringing him closer to danger.
The Stowaway: Jack’s seemingly out of trouble’s way as he strikes up a deal with Conrad to protect his family from the Ryans, now in business with a Grayson – much to Declan’s chagrin. (Though it is fun to see Conrad out of his comfort zone, on what we can safely presume is his first trip to the Stowaway.) Taking Conrad’s advice, and to explain the gun stashed in his boat, Jack gets Matt Duncan, his father’s old friend, to sign a confession admitting the murder of the Ryan brothers’ father – who the Ryans believed was killed by Jack and Declan’s father, hence their vendetta against his sons. But Jack doesn’t know Conrad’s in talks with the Ryans, so things are bound to get worse. Though frankly, it’s gotten to the point where circumstances are so bleak at the Stowaway that we’re losing interest, patience, and sympathy for Jack and Declan. Their plaid shirts and collective hopelessness are beginning to wear on us. Cheer up, we beg of you.
Padma: Turns out her victory last week – which came with the startling discovery that Padma was the Initiative’s pawn at Nolcorp, her mission to seek out the Carrion program – was but brief, as she lets her knowledge of the Carrion program slip to Nolan.
Nolan: It didn’t take Nolan long to figure out Padma’s game, and now that he has, he’s determined to play her at it, planting the fake Carrion program within her sneaky reach. Games aside, though, Nolan’s pretty gutted about Padma; he’d begun to really like her.
Charlotte: It’s Charlotte’s 18th this week. And yet, it seemed that Charlotte was losing at first. Her brother was rubbish and forgot her birthday, preoccupied with whisking Emily off to LA. Meanwhile, Victoria’s cancelled Charlotte’s birthday plans to also attend to business on the West Coast, Daniel yet again taking precedence as Victoria’s favorite child. But Charlotte does get her birthday soiree, after all, as her mother returns early. Still, the party turns sour for Victoria, as Charlotte announces her first adult decision: to change her name. Many happy returns, Ms. Clarke.