Holy crap! Plots colliding everywhere! Allegiances and missions reaffirmed! Best episode of season two so far, hands down. I really hope the last half of the season can live up to its promise. Because hot damn.
1. Team Revenge to the rescue! Finally, some actually competent people working together and taking care of long overdue business.
Emily and Nolan side by side? His promise to do whatever it took to save Jack? Her refusal to leave Fauxmanda behind — and then tag-teaming with her to kick some ass? LOVE. IT. ALL. (Best line of the episode? “You’ll never know.” Vintage bad ass Emily.)
Oh, and hey —
2. OH MY GOD, THEY KILLED FAUXMANDA. For real, this time! Those bastards.
Of course, the minute she exposed herself by openly moving against the Graysons, she was pretty much doomed. I can’t fault it from a plot perspective — the way the frame up all came together was pretty damn beautiful. This season may have been all over the map so far, but watching those disparate threads suddenly weave themselves into a focused, coherent umbrella arc almost made it worthwhile.
But man, you guys. That was rough. Emily VanCamp is so good, for real. This scene just about killed me. You could practically see her channeling child!Amanda in her desperation:
When Emily ugly cries? I UGLY CRY.
And poor Fauxmanda! Finally getting the three little words she’s been longing for all this time. I WEEP FOREVER. These two have been so strained, and even though Fauxmanda’s been pretty obviously in love with Emily, the show always walked a fine line about how much Emily was just using her and how much she really cared.
Well, now we know. Raise your hand if you got a few chills during Emily’s voice over at the end, recommitting to the fight. That’s the Emily I’ve been missing. Hate on, Ems. Hate like the wind.
Farewell, Fauxmanda. I’ll miss you, you crazy butterfly! (And I guess, RIP, Sam Anders? Whatever, you kind of sucked.)
3. Team Grayson covering up murders together! Hey, what’s that old saying? The family that slays together…
(Although Daniel’s faux outrage over his parents’ misdeeds was kind of rich, considering how quickly he doubled down on family loyalty after learning the full, nasty truth about David Clarke. Shut up, Daniel.)
Meanwhile, Conrad and Victoria’s vicious verbal foreplay was in top form this week:
CONRAD: May I say, you are positively radiant in your natural element.
VICTORIA: You mean in the midst of a crisis with blood on my hands.
CONRAD: No, I mean, in that dress at one of your wickedly extravagant soirees.
VICTORIA: Conrad, your gall never ceases to repulse me.
They can pretend the magic is gone all they want, but you know Conrad has never been more turned on by Victoria than when she successfully outwitted the new Mr. Initiative.
4. Speaking of which… Burn Gorman is the new Mr. Initiative! His niche is now apparently playing slimy minions of massive conspiracies, but he’ll always be douchey Owen from Torchwood to me.
All right, show. I find him an acceptable substitute for the magnificent, late Madam Initiative.
5. Aiden and Padma? I don’t hate it. Just saying.
(Also, raise your hand again if you yelled WHAT’S IN THE BOX at the end there. Guys, never, ever look in the box. Come on, now. That’s like rule one.)