Useless Bastards and Conrad's Latest Revenge Meltdown

How often do you think about Emily Thorne's nearly inhuman level of productivity? I think about it a lot when I'm procrastinating over things I should be doing. I thought about it when writing (and procrastinating on) this piece. For all her brilliant revenge skills, it's worth noting that she's honestly just a real go-getter with an amazing work ethic. We should all aspire to be like Emily Thorne. WWJD? No. WWETD — What Would Emily Thorne Do?

This week, the answer to that question is: Kidnap her sister, make a sexy detective humble, and put a monster behind bars.

See what I mean about Emily Thorne being a real go-getter? A true inspiration, she is.

"Impetus" is a great episode of Revenge — the best of the season — because for the first time in a long time, it feels like the show has forward momentum. No more wheel spinning. No more talk about Voulez. (Let's be honest, who wants magazine publishing talk in show about schemes? The answer is Ugly Betty, not Revenge.)

Emily Thorne finally got revenge, plain and simple. After with what seemed like an eternity, but has only been three seasons, Emily put Conrad Grayson behind bars. There's finally a light at the end of the revenge tunnel for Emily. I'm getting ahead of myself, though.

"Impetus" opens with a kidnapped Charlotte being locked in a room with a newspaper. See what I mean about this season feeling like an eternity? No one got the memo that print is dead. The kidnapper? Aiden. In fact, this kidnapping is just the latest in a long line of revenge tactics for Miss Emily Thorne. Again, this is what I admire about Emily Thorne: I would kill to have an attractive guy with a British accent (or even Aiden) so tightly wrapped around my finger that he would kidnap my little sister for me.

Actually, I wouldn't literally kill anyone, which again is what makes me an inferior being to Emily. Sigh.

With Pascal dead by Conrad's evil (so, so evil) hand, the only way now to bring the truth to light is to get Conrad and Victoria to confess. So Emily uses her sister as leverage, assuming the Graysons will do the "right thing" for once. It's a very cranked-to-11 Emily sort of thing to do, and Aiden, Nolan, and even Jack tell her as much. How can Emily expect to have a relationship with Charlotte after this?

Honestly, how can Emily expect to have a relationship with anyone after she's gotten her absolute revenge? I haven't thought about it in a while, but I feel like Revenge having a happy ending would be a betrayal to the show's original mission statement, if not simply a cop-out. There's a reason the pilot of Revenge opened with the Confucius quote "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." If Revenge ends with a happy-go-lucky Emily Thorne watching the sunset with Jack (sorry Aiden, but it's going to be Jack...unless he goes the way of Declan), it could feel like the journey was all for nought. Especially the writing off of Ashley "Queen of Schemes" Davenport.

Perhaps a "happy" ending could work for the show, but does anyone on this show really deserve one? They're all kind of terrible people. That's what makes them so great! Actually, I take it back; after seeing the smile on her face and tears of joy as she realized she'd finally nailed Conrad to the wall, there's no way I don't want her to have a happy ending. Stay tuned, by opinion might change three more times in the span of next week's season finale.

Margaux spends her small part of the episode attempting to find out what really happened to her father, and I think the plot's a success if for nothing other than the introduction of Detective Hosko and his face. I hope I wasn't the only one who had "Shorty got that what what / Shorty got that good good" playing in my head every time he entered a scene. I like to think Emily had it in her head when he released her at the precinct too. Sigh. Just...sigh. He's in charge of the case for Pascal's death, and he agrees with Margaux that foul play is involved, so he allows her to have a copy of the security tape from that night. I like to think Margaux probably had a very Veronica Mars-ian plot offscreen, and Detective Hosko was her Deputy Leo.

Since Nolan won't answer his phone (because of the whole kidnapping party thing), Jack does the most ridiculous thing he could possibly do: He has Javier track Nolan's phone. I understand Jack being worried about Charlotte and possibly Nolan, but having someone who just betrayed Nolan the other day track him down (when Nolan could always be on revenge business) is just a bad idea. Still, supposedly bad ideas are the name of the revenge game, and Jack sticks around to make sure nothing bad happens to Charlotte. Emily, rightfully, reminds all the men in her revenging life (even Aiden can't keep his revenge big boy pants on this time, since Charlotte reminds him of his sister) that Charlotte Grayson is so sheltered and protected that not even Conrad Grayson would be so terrible as to not do anything in his power to save her. She'll be fine, so crank up the video stimuli in the form of Flight 197/David Clarke nostalgia.

Then Jack does the actual most ridiculous thing he could possibly do: he lets Charlotte go.

Like I said though, bad ideas are essentially Revenge 101, and Emily expects it. She also expects Charlotte to confront Conrad about Flight 197 and David Clarke — the truth about Flight 197 and David Clark — so she has her wired beforehand.

And Conrad recites the most amazing, surprisingly non-coronary-inducing speech ever.

That speech. That speech from Conrad. Until the reveal that Charlotte was wired, I was certain Conrad was going to kill her. Charlotte's greatest flaw is her naïveté. Really, that's the greatest flaw of both of the Grayson children, only Daniel decides to play the villain with smirks and verbal jabs, and he's proven time and time again he's pretty terrible at it. Charlotte is still very young, and for all her attempts at being an adult, she fails at it. But here, she finally stands up to the man she's always called Dad, and confronts him about what he did to her real father, and it's the most mature thing she's ever done.

The Emily/Conrad relationship has been a favorite relationship of mine on Revenge for quite awhile, and the worst thing I see coming out of this episode (other than Javier somehow getting involved with things that matter) is the dissolution of that. Of all the Graysons, Conrad has been the only one to ever truly accept Emily at face value, with all the irony that stems from that acceptance. Part of me feels like Emily is the daughter Conrad always wanted, which makes it all just the more delicious. So when, in that speech, Conrad reveals his true feelings about Charlotte in this episode, what with her being a "useless bastard" and all, all I can think is that he would never say that to Emily. Also, I'm caught between a rock and a hard place, because him calling Charlotte a "useless bastard" is a really terrible thing to say, but 90% of the time, it's 100% true. She's like a Hamptons version of Jon Snow. (No one else has ever made that comparison, have they?)

While Conrad finally gets what's been coming to him, all these years, it doesn't look as though Victoria will be anytime soon. She spent the episode stalking around, stealing DNA from Baby Carl (Jack should fire his nanny, who sees nothing creepily evil about Victoria at the playground) and matching it against Charlotte's hair. What she discovers makes her believe the ball is in her court, and I wonder if next season will be Victoria Grayson getting her revenge on Emily Thorne in some way.

Seriously, I'm curious to see what a season with Victoria Grayson planning revenge would be like. Would there be a higher body count? Who would be her Nolan? Would Justin Hartley come back? What do you think Victoria's Homeland Security alias would be? Will her catchphrase become "Do rot in hell"?

[Image via ABC]

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