Revenge: Illusion

This week’s episode is brought to you by the letter D and the theme illusion. Together they create the very center of the Revenge universe; delusions. This entire world is built on illusion and the delusions those lies create. There are illusions of identity, illusions of guilt and illusions of innocence. It’s ironic since, as Emily pointed out, you cannot create an illusion without trust and hardly anyone trusts anyone either. Or at least that’s what they say, but everyone has to trust someone.

Jack , because he’s stupid (and desperate) trusts that a man who has been burglarized by your brother will then sink all his money into your failing bar with no ulterior motives. Daniel (also not the brightest) trusts that his new business partner will help him destroy his father and take over the company with little in it for himself. Emily trusts Amanda to perpetuate her lies and protect her, even though she has never done the same.  And even Conrad, though he has little choice, trusts The Initiative to bail him out, regardless of their price.

Of course illusions can be bigger than that. The illusion of Fauxmanda’s identity is creating the delusion of happiness for her. She knows her life and her family are built on a substantial lie, but gladly takes that delusion over reality. The illusion of who Gordon Murphy was to Kara is a threat to anyone who stood between them, namely Victoria. Victoria’s assessment of his character may be more accurate, but Kara’s illusion of him is stronger. The Graysons already took one love away from her; she won’t let them get away with stealing another.

Even if that particular crime can’t be attributed to Conrad, the Graysons can hardly claim they are innocent, yet they cling to that illusion tighter than any other. They made one mistake (laundering funds for terrorists) and in the course of covering that up they have committed more heinous and unforgivable acts. Personally they have torn their family apart and publically their names are splattered across the media in conjunction to murder, kidnapping, and corporate greed. They are have blood up to their elbows and can’t even host an event without it ending in a police raid or a bloody body. It would have been far easier to tell the truth; to admit their initial wrongdoing and begin to make amends with the law and the public. Of course the longer they wait to do that, the more difficult an option it becomes. And yet, they have continued to fight the inevitable for fear of being ruined without realizing they already are.

Perhaps the more intriguing illusion proposed this week is the illusion of Ashley. I have long had a suspicion that she was more than an over eager party planner (if only because Revenge is otherwise so meticulous it seemed unlikely they’d include such a useless character). Conrad has written her off as an opportunist, Emily sees her only as an easy mark, but Aiden is the first to realize how seamlessly she has made herself an integral part of the Grayson machine. It was only a passing thought this week, but I believe this is the bigger Chekov’s Gun than the much less subtle one given to Victoria as a wedding present. But just like that one, this information will be making a bigger splash in the third act.

Of course the most dangerous illusion to Miss Thorne is her illusion of control. Gone are the days when each move was carefully calculated and executed. Gone are the days of methodical planning and easy takedowns. Increasingly it feels like her plan is a car that has lost control on the highway, careening to and fro and hoping it hits the right targets before it crashes. At least that’s how it feels to us. The problem is Emily still thinks she’s the one in the driver’s seat. Her framing of Conrad was nothing but a ploy to distract Mason, but one slip of a minor detail and Mason is back on the trail of the real Amanda. Emily has spent countless years plotting her revenge, but if it can all be unraveled by one slip of the tongue, perhaps she was never in as much control as we thought.

– Devin Mainville


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