Once again, it’s getting difficult to fully see the line between genuine emotion and Emily’s very convincing displays of concern, sympathy, and/or affection. We know she doesn’t want to get emotionally involved with anyone. Revenge is her top priority. But that doesn’t mean emotional involvement isn’t happening on its own. Call it the Veronica Mars marshmallow syndrome if you will. You can only keep the walls up for so long.
Emily’s friendship with Nolan seems to be the most honest relationship she has right now, which is probably why the two keep bickering and making up. Nolan might not be the only person who knows what Emily’s up to (as we saw tonight, Huntley is also in on the game, and Emily revealed her motives to Amanda), but he is the one person who isn’t willing to let her behavior slide completely. Emily calls it “passive aggressive judgment,” and maybe it is. But she needs that, if only to keep her somewhat in check.
The problem is, even with Nolan, the walls don’t come down completely, which makes it difficult for us as viewers to know where her head is at during certain key moments. Take the situation with Jack tonight. Believing that Amanda was the one who stole Mason’s tapes and burned down his cottage, Victoria hired one of Frank’s old criminal-for-hire friends to break into Amanda’s place and steal the tapes back. In searching for the tapes, the man ended up coming across Jack and beating him up pretty badly (enough to leave him bloody, and eventually shirtless and bed-ridden anyway). Emily, who hovered over Jack while he slept - causing me to flash-back to Victoria hovering over Lydia creepily once upon a time - seemed genuinely sad to see Jack hurt, knowing she was to blame for it. There was no one to witness her tears, so they must have been real, right?
And then she tearfully confessed her true motives to Amanda, revealing the truth about her father and the Graysons and explaining how Amanda’s presence is putting her (and now Jack) in danger. The whole thing seemed genuine, until Emily exchanged phones with Amanda and gave her a new passport. Then it felt like it was all part of the plan. So while it seems her tears for Jack were real, she managed to use them to get rid of Amanda. There’s a line in there somewhere, I’m sure of it.
So, Amanda’s gone, having left a good-bye note for Jack. I’m sure she’ll be back eventually, possibly returning whenever it is Emily and Jack (finally) get together, whether that be this season or somewhere in the distant future of the series. It’s bound to happen.
What we do know is that Emily’s plan for revenge is in full effect, though it was nearly deterred tonight. Daniel proposed to Emily on the boat where they met. He popped the question in the pouring rain, which made the affair even more romantic, strangely. But between everything that was going on, including the reveal that Charlotte is her half-sister, and Jack getting beat up, it seemed like Emily was having second thoughts about her revenge approach in using Daniel as a weapon against the Graysons. And then she found out that Victoria led Daniel to believe that Charlotte was David Clarke’s daughter and that her conception was the result of rape rather than a love affair.
Technically, Victoria didn’t say David raped her. After confessing that David was Charlotte’s father, she teared up and said she couldn’t talk about it, which led Daniel to assume the conception was the result of a forced attack. Now, whether that’s what Victoria wanted him to believe or she was genuinely tearful, feeling ashamed, and he just jumped to that conclusion on his own is unclear, but Victoria seemed ok with letting him go with that story. At least, she let him hug her sympathetically afterward. If Emily was beginning to soften, she now has one more reason to despise the Graysons. Not only have they made her father out to be a terrorist, but Victoria may now be alleging that he’s a rapist as well.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Victoria runs with this story as a defense against Conrad. He’s threatening to go public with the fact that Charlotte is David Clarke’s daughter if Victoria doesn’t agree to whatever crappy settlement he’s offering her. But she can turn around and claim that David raped her, then Conrad couldn’t use it against her.
Caught in the middle of all of this, of course, is Charlotte, who knows nothing about David Clarke being her father, yet. What she does know is that, all of a sudden, her father is looking at her with the same contempt he has for her mother. It seems Conrad is already pushing Charlotte away. Granted, looking at her likely reminds him of his wife’s infidelity, but it’s still harsh to hold that against Charlotte, considering he’s supposed to love her like a daughter.
Meanwhile, Emily doesn’t want the fact that Charlotte is her half-sister to steer her off course or cloud her judgment in any way, but the moment Charlotte found out Emily and Daniel were engaged, she hugged Emily and announced that she always wanted a sister. It seems highly likely that Emily is going to warm to Charlotte. Whether she wanted one or not, she has a half-sister and a really sweet, nice one at that.
Other stuff worth noting
Victoria fired Huntley just after he revealed that Amanda’s DNA and Charlotte’s indicate that they are half-sisters. That “proved” that Amanda was really Amanda Clarke, which is more or less irrelevant now since she’s gone, but at least it will keep Victoria from suspecting that Emily is Amanda Clarke... for now anyway. And we soon learned that Huntley is on Emily’s side. He believes David was innocent. This explains the lab results, and adds some context to the brief flashback we saw a few episodes back, of dark-haired Emily meeting with Huntley.
Ashley and Nolan seem to be buddying up. Nolan seems sort of flexible when it comes to his sexual preference. Is he and Ashley headed toward a budding romance? Or perhaps just a friendly alliance? That could get messy, considering Ashley’s on Team Victoria.
Speaking of Ashley, she secretly overheard Conrad essentially blackmailing Victoria to agree to his settlement or he’ll tell everyone that she was having a “torrid love affair with the most hated man in America.” What’s more, she also heard Victoria announce that David Clarke was no terrorist (“...and he was twice the man you are!”) So Ashley may very well know (or have an idea of) the truth about David Clarke, and she definitely knows that David is Charlotte’s father. What will she do with that information?
And that wraps it up for the week. The episode ended with one of Emily’s trademark icy stares, while Victoria stood high up on her balcony staring down at her. The rain may have subsided but a bigger storm is most definitely on the way.
And we didn’t get a preview video for the next new episode, which is harsh on ABC’s part. Even harsher? It looks like we’re in for reruns for at least the next two weeks.