Emily’s opening voice over usually paves the way for the theme of the episode and this week is no different. In the episode “Sacrifice,” the show opens with a diver searching the wreckage of the Amanda; interspersed is scenes of Jack and Amanda making love on the night of their honeymoon. As Emily speaks of “unspeakable loss,” the diver spots a male hand with a ring it. Could it be Jack?
“Sacrifice by its strictest definition takes something precious in exchange for the appeasement of a higher power. And abiding devotion to a cause that cannot be satisfied with a simple promise. Because an oath no matter how solemn asks nothing in return. While true sacrifice demands unspeakable loss.” – Emily Thorne
Grayson Family United, Divided Over Principle
The Grayson Three (Victoria, Daniel and Conrad) debate what to do with the body of the Initiative member Helen Crowley. Victoria gets an idea and in the next scene, is shown entering the limo dressed as Helen. The next morning it’s business as usual for Victoria and Grayson, as they prepare to move on with their lives as if nothing happened. Daniel questions his parents’ ability to move on so easily, to which they basically tell him to “man up”. Conrad and Victoria reveal Amanda will take the blame from Victoria’s death due to her ongoing vendetta against the family. Victoria feels no remorse for wanting to feed Amanda to the Initiative, whereas Daniel appears to have issues with it. Conrad dispatches Ashley to do whatever she can to get her hands on the evidence.
Daniel and Victoria put on charade for the Initiatives spying eyes. With the Initiative watching, Victoria tells a modified version of the truth; Daniel accuses his mother of setting everything up to get him to turn on Helen, allowing Conrad to take back control of the company. Well played Graysons. Victoria comes up with a pathetic excuse to see Charlotte, asking her to come to the house for Conrad’s big announcement. In reality, she’s only there to frame Amanda – placing Helen’s phone under her bed. During the party, Conrad and Victoria are more connected than over, much to her chagrin. They encounter an Initiative member named Trask, who is searching for info on Helen. The Graysons set him on the path to Amanda, a path he easily follows to The Stowaway where he finds the evidence Victoria effortlessly planted.
Conrad announces his plans to run for office, much to the delight of his guests. Daniel and Charlotte look unamused. Daniel is obviously burdened by the guilt he feels. Later, Daniel joins his parents as they overlook the ocean. Daniel questions how they can live with what they’ve done. Victoria tells him they’ll do what they always do, live like it never happened. Daniel asks, “What about Amanda Clark?” Victoria replies, “Poor girl. She chose the wrong enemy.”
I Will Go Down With This Ship (She Let Go)
The traitorous Ashley shows up and tips Emily off to Amanda’s recent dealings with Grayson. She used a Computer? Yes, Emily’s super-secret spy computer. “Damn it Amanda. What have you done?” asked Emily.
Meanwhile on the Amanda, Jack and Amanda wake up the morning after their wedding (and hours of sea sex) full of bliss and completely unaware of the danger on their boat. Jack discovers a pack a cigarettes and then sees Nate with a gun on Amanda. Nate demands the information Amanda used to blackmail Conrad. Amanda feigns innocence and has to deal with Jack’s stupidity that Nate will let them go if they do what he says. When Nate can’t get a signal to contact Conrad, Jack suggests sailing closer to shore. When Conrad doesn’t back up Jack’s version of events, Nate renews his plans to get the evidence. Amanda tries to play Nate but he’s “too smart” for that. When her plan fails, Amanda tells Nate she’s only using Jack to get revenge on the Graysons and the computer he wants is in Montauk. Jack shows some intelligence and turns on Declan’s computer to try and get help. Nolan is able to hack the camera, giving him and Emily eyes on the boat.
Amanda and Jack fake a fight trying to buy some time to escape. They lock Nate in the boat and try to escape on a secondary raft. Before they can, Nate shoots his way out, wounding Jack. Amanda pushes him off the boat and hopefully to safety. Nate knocks Amanda out, locking her beneath the boat. When she wakes, Amanda breaks the valve in the floor, allowing for water to flow into the boat. She floods the electrical system, stopping the boat and creating another opportunity for her to escape.
Emily and Nolan get to Jack and pull him into their boat. Jack tells Emily he won’t let anything happen to Jack. Emily takes the raft and heads off to rescue Amanda. Emily and Amanda tag team Nate. In the fight, a propane tank begins to leak. Amanda shoots Nate and gives them another opportunity to escape. Emily tries to stop Amanda from heading back to get her necklace. As Amanda grabs it, she spots Nate with a lighter. She yells for Emily and screams for her to get down just as the boat explodes. Oh my god!
Emily survives (of course) and calls for Amanda. In a very touching scene, Amanda tells Emily to take care of her baby and Jack. Emily becomes emotional and apologizes; Amanda tells her not to be, as she’s given her a real family. When Amanda hands over the necklace, Emily flashes back to when she was a teenager in the detention center with Amanda. As Emily and Amanda say their goodbyes, Amanda hugs her and tells Emily she loves her. Emily doesn’t reciprocate the sentiment. In present time, Emily finally tells Amanda she loves her too as she takes her last breath. Emily breaks down and holds on to her body. When it becomes too burdensome, Emily is forced the body sink. Jack is shown in surgery. Soon after Nolan returns in search of them both. Emily sets off the flare.
While on a video chat with Nolan and Emily, Aiden suggests using Padma to get closer to the initiative, but Nolan refuses (at least initially). Emily backs Aiden’s suggestion. Later, Aiden is able to successfully convince Nolan to bring in Padma on their scheme to get closer to the Initiative. Aiden tells Padma that before she turns over the program to the Initiative, she needs to get proof that her father is alive. Padma calls Helen and leaves a message, unaware that she’s dead. Later, Trask from the Initiative calls Padma, demanding the program or her father will be killed. When Padma tells him what she wants, he tells her she just signed for the proof. He tells her to feel free to check the fingerprint. Yes…ew.
“Sacrifice demands the surrender of things we cherish above all else. Only out of the agony of those loses can a new resolution be born. An undying devotion to a cause greater than one’s self, and a moral duty to see a journey through to its absolute completion.” – Emily Thorne
Final Take: I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. This is what sweeps is all about baby! Explosions, twists and turns, murder – it’s just another day in the Hamptons. Emily VanCamp did an excellent job during the death of Amanda. I found myself crying along with her.
The introduction of the Initiative has been a controversial issue for many fans who feel it sidetracked the show from its original premise. I’ve loved and hated the Initiative’s involvement. Based on the promo for the next episode (oh my god we have to wait until March), it seems like Emily is returning to what she does best – seeking Revenge on those who’ve wronged her. The Graysons better beware, Emily is on the warpath!
What did you think of the episode? Were you surprised that Amanda finally met her maker?