‘Revenge’ Season 2, Episode 16 Recap: Last Night’s Winners and Losers

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Life is so much more interesting in the Hamptons. At least, it is in the soap world of Revenge, where it’s a high-class hotbed for the exploits of the rich, beautiful, and irrevocably corrupt. Though it’s quite different for the beguiling Emily Thorne (née Amanda Clarke), who’s returned to the Hamptons of her childhood with a hefty agenda: to learn the truth about her past, and retribute those who framed her father for a heinous crime he didn’t commit. We’re keeping weekly score of Emily’s endeavors, and the many others of our favorite Hamptonians, by calling each episode’s winners and losers. This week, we get to know Eli James as the prodigal brother’s arrival rattles Emily’s revenge plans, while the Graysons host their most twisted charitable event yet. Find out this week’s winners and losers below – as has become nearly custom, the negative outcomes far exceed the positives – and don’t forget to let us know how we played in the comments!

WINNERS

Eli James: Amanda’s foster brother is the talk of the town this week, as he comes to the Hamptons and manages to stir up quite a ruckus quicker than any other guest character on the show, despite the terrible acting. Nolan wonders if he’ll be another Tyler (remember him, Daniel’s college friend turned psychopath gun-wielder?), and though Emily reassures him he’s not dangerous enough, with a lengthy criminal record, we can’t help but wonder if Nolan’s right.

Victoria: Victoria’s always happiest (well, the slight, upturned crease of her lips at least suggests an imitation of happiness) when she’s having a party. Though this one’s hardly an occasion for celebration, she’s especially keen to introduce the the Amanda Clarke Foundation, a charity that she and Conrad have fabricated supposedly in Amanda’s honor, but really with illicit intention. Most of all, Victoria’s really excited about the arrival of Eli James – if only to use him as a pawn in a cruel game, as she recruits him to co-chair the foundation (and to get at Emily, who she’s noticed is hostile towards him – “all the more reason,” she says, to welcome him with open arms).

Aiden Matthis: Aiden’s having a swell week. Things with Emily are going swimmingly; since it appears that she needs him more these days, she’s over at his place – which, by the way, is gorgeous, as we get a peek inside his sleek Hamptons abode. (Even Nolan has a little swoon when he visits.) At the end of the episode, following Emily’s advice to tighten the noose around another’s neck to save his own, Daniel welcomes Aiden to Grayson Global, where he’ll take on his father’s old position in the company, giving him more leverage and access to the Graysons, but also keeping him perhaps a little too close to his enemies.

LOSERS

Conrad: In what might very well be the most tiresome plotline of Revenge (save the first half of this season’s Stowaway blues), Conrad continues playing hardball with Daniel in the show’s father vs. son story. This week, Conrad’s in cahoots with Aiden, who Daniel has only just had a brawl with in a bar at the start of the episode, and who he hates for vying for his position at the company and for having been with Emily (of course, Aiden and Emily are still together, but Daniel doesn’t know that). Making Aiden the treasurer of the Amanda Clarke Foundation, in an effort to frame him for a crime he won’t commit (sound familiar?), Conrad unknowingly gives Daniel’s rival the most power in the operation that is the Amanda Clarke Foundation. As we learn later from Daniel, who, feeling guilty, divulges his parents’ cover-up to Emily, the funds Grayson Global is raising for the Initiative’s next action plan are to be hidden in the foundation, protected from the government in the event of an investigation. Another thing making Conrad look silly this week: those woolly granddad cardigans he keeps wearing!

Emily: In a panic after Eli realizes that she’s Amanda Clarke – he spots the telltale infinity tattoo on her wrist – and that “the dead girl” is someone else, Emily’s unsettled by his presence, worried that her cover will be blown. While she endeavors to get rid of Eli, she explains her revenge plan to him – at least, the SparkNotes summary version. When that doesn’t work, she enlists Nolan’s help to try and buy him out of town with a cleared criminal record and a generous check. But at the Graysons’ benefit for the Amanda Clarke Foundation – where Victoria’s made sure that Eli’s an honored guest – he sticks a proverbial middle finger up at Emily and Nolan as he donates their check to the Graysons’ fraudulent cause. This is Emily’s own doing, however, as she makes the mistake of fabricating an uncouth truth about her former foster brother, telling Ashley that from what Amanda had told her about Eli, the Graysons wouldn’t want him under their roof. When he overhears a tactless Ashley tell Victoria what Emily said – and who she heard it from – he decides to get his own small revenge, making things that bit harder for Emily. To make matters worse, Jack’s still not talking to her. On the plus side, learning from Daniel that the Graysons are using the Amanda Clarke Foundation essentially to churn out more blood money is a small victory.

Jack: He’s avoiding Emily, and now he’s mad at Nolan – though not for long. Curious about how he was saved from the boat on his honeymoon, and who pulled him out of the little lifeboat somewhere in the Atlantic, Jack visits the docks-man where he was rescued, and pieces together enough information to figure out that it was Nolan. Yet Nolan manages to convince Jack that it was Kenneth Ryan – the guy who hijacked the Amanda (the boat) – and that he’d perhaps had a change of heart. Jack goes along with the dumb cover-up and even apologizes for ever doubting his friend. Meanwhile, he’s still grieving someone else who lied to him.

Nolan: Nolan may have swerved being found out by Jack, but he’s been outsmarted by the “Falcon,” a master hacker who has managed to access Carrion, and who had hacked into previous software Nolan used with Emily’s father. On another note, as Nolan tests out the program on his laptop, Carrion looks somewhat like a fun, slightly outdated, video game – like Pac Man with much direr consequences.

Declan: With Eli in town, Charlotte seems to have forgotten her boyfriend as she spent her day showing Amanda’s handsome foster brother the Hamptons, much to Declan’s chagrin. Poor Declan might be the only one unexcited by Eli’s arrival this episode.