After treading water for several episodes, Revenge went right back to firing on all cylinders with the much-anticipated wedding episode and the reveal of the person who shot Emily. “Exodus” was a fast-paced hour that continued ramping up the tension until the closing credits filled the screen and it was time to finally let out the breath we’d been holding since the beginning.
I’ve spent the last few weeks harping on the show for not getting to the point faster so I’m going to take my own advice and jump right into it: Daniel shot Emily. Let’s just take a moment and let that sink in: Daniel Grayson shot his not-so-blushing bride on their wedding day and stood by as she fell into the water before he casually went back to join the party like nothing happened.
This could have been a jump the shark moment for the show or one of those, ‘let’s just pick the least likely person for shock value’, but it wasn’t. Instead, every little moment and reaction and misunderstanding and conversation of the season between Daniel and Emily led to this confrontation and I can see why the writers decided that it had to be Daniel and all the pieces fell into place. It was hard to see this coming, but it definitely did not spring up out of nowhere.
Since meeting Emily, Daniel has gone from the pampered playboy with a poet’s soul to a ruthless businessman willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family name and fortune. But then Daniel’s world got ripped apart once again when he saw just how far his parents were willing to go and he wanted no part of it. Instead, he clung to Emily and ran off to Paris with her, reveling in the chance to start over and form their own happy family that his parents could not touch or ruin.
But there was one problem: Emily didn’t love him and for most of the season, that was pretty obvious. She kept him at arms’ length, she barely noticed that he was reconnecting with a past love and she only opened up to him when Nolan urged her to give him a piece of herself to prove that she cared. Then, when it was really do or die time, Emily lied and said that she was pregnant and Daniel knew there was only one choice for him. He would marry Emily because he loved her and their baby and he felt terrible about what he was doing to Sara, but this was the life he wanted.
Except once again, things came crashing down on him. He received a phone call that Sara had tried to kill herself. And then he overheard a smug Emily admitting to Victoria that she’d taken a page from her playbook and pretended to be pregnant so Daniel wouldn’t leave her. Victoria wanted to expose her, but Emily had backup. Aiden came out of the shadows and took Victoria away and that was when Daniel came from the opposite side and told Emily that he’d heard everything.
Major kudos to Josh Bowman, who hit every single nuance the scene called for. He’d had too much to drink, he was upset about Sara and now he’s faced with the fact that the woman he’s loved and just vowed to spend the rest of his life with has been lying and manipulating him for two years. It would have been easy to go for the over the top shouting and gesturing, but Bowman kept his performance subtle and that made it feel so much more real. Emily’s eyes went to the gun, but Daniel got there first. He didn’t even seem to make a conscious choice. She apologized and he fired.
Now that we’ve talked about the major moment, let’s hit some of the little ones. Patrick returns (aka Justin Hartley is back on my TV and I am a happy, happy girl). I was curious how they’d manage to bring him back to the Hamptons after he tried to kill Conrad, but Emily is a clever girl and used Conrad’s fondness for her to trick him into going to find Patrick and giving him a reprieve so that they can use him to control Victoria into doing what they want and attending the wedding.
But getting Victoria to the wedding wasn’t the only use Conrad had for his newfound Patrick card. After mistakenly believing that Lydia was still spying on him and throwing her out of his life, a conversation with Margaux made Conrad realize that Lydia loved him. So he went to the hotel and told her that he was ready to follow through on his promises to love her and be with her and all that stuff, starting with the wedding cruise. Victoria tries to put a stop to Lydia joining them, but Conrad reminds her that if he can coexist with Patrick, she can do the same with Lydia.
As it turns out, having Lydia on the boat meant a side benefit for Victoria. Once Emily attempted to put her plan into motion, Lydia followed Victoria into the bathroom and showed her the picture of dark-haired Emily at the Grayson party years early. Victoria was thrilled at finally having some ammunition against her unwanted daughter-in-law. Of course she didn’t get very far with it because of Aiden, but it’s definitely something we imagine will be coming up again once the series returns.
Patrick didn’t make it onto the boat because Nolan texted him and asked him to come to his place. Earlier in the episode, the two shared a not-so-happy reunion when Patrick made it clear that he was sticking with his mother and couldn’t be with Nolan. But Nolan needed to keep him away from the yacht for Emily’s sake and for his own. Nolan and Emily shared a goodbye at the wedding and as far as Nolan knew, the plan was going off without a hitch and he needed to worry about his own future.
He made it clear to Patrick that he didn’t give up on people he loved (aw!) and he wanted to be with him, even if it meant getting along with Victoria (again, an easy promise to make when Nolan assumed she’d be in jail). Patrick wasn’t going to turn Nolan down twice and as the two prepared to spend the evening in the shower, Nolan tasked Patrick with turning on the music. But Patrick picked up the wrong remote and discovered the hidden panel behind the painting. Will he investigate?
Speaking of romantic plans going awry, Aiden did everything in his power to make Emily’s plan happen, including dealing with last minute problems like Lydia (who he stopped from entering the ceremony) and Victoria. He also squeezed in a HOT moment with Emily where he slipped her garter on and stole one last kiss before she walked down the aisle to marry Daniel. He was left waiting on the beach, only to find Emily’s bloody dress in the water when she didn’t show up at the rendezvous point.
But he wasn’t alone. Jack was there too. Earlier in the episode, Emily went to the Stowaway to say goodbye to Jack and she told him the truth – she’d been with Amanda when she died. She also gave him Amanda’s necklace back. Jack was furious there was another lie that she’d been keeping, but later, a conversation with Sara gave him a change of heart. That was why he headed to the beach so he could give Emily the necklace and leave things between them on a better note.
This was a great episode that opened a lot of storyline possibilities for the rest of the season. There will be three episodes in January before the show takes a longer hiatus and returns in March. I have so many questions. What’s going to happen to Daniel now? Will the frame job they started be enough to make Victoria the chief suspect? Where does Emily go from here? Her plans have failed and while the previews indicate that she won’t remember, Daniel will and so will Victoria. And how will this affect the men in her life? Will Patrick discover the entire truth?
And just like them, I’m back to being invested in this season. Before, a lot of moments felt like fillers or ways to waste time until the wedding. But now we have all these possibilities and directions the show could take and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This is how good prime time soap is done. Well played, show.
What did you guys think? Was it a shock to see Daniel holding the gun or does it all make perfect sense? Will Victoria be blamed? Will Emily remember? Hit the comments and share your thoughts and theories with us!