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Maybe I’ve watched too much Downton Abbey but does helping Victoria pick out her outfit now qualify Ashley as a lady’s maid? Titles aside, tonight’s episode was delicious, despite the fact that there were plates of food on display that once again, went uneaten. I need to stop obsessing over that.
Let’s start with some of the randomness...
Did they recast David Clarke? Because unless I’m seeing things, the man shown in the videos and in Emily’s photo in the flashback did not look like James Tupper... (Or maybe I'm way off, in which case, disregard.)
Nolan had two great references in tonight’s episode, the first of which seemed almost plucked from my own mind as I watched Emily coaching Amanda through the secret earpiece and thought of Cyrano de Bergerac, only to hear Nolan make that exact reference just after the conversation ended. The second one was the geek nod to his disappointment in Phantom Menace. Nolan gets better every episode.
Moving on to the meat of tonight’s episode, we’ll begin with the revenge of Mason Treadwell, or as Nolan likes to refer to him....
“That spineless, seer-sucking dilettante!”
With Tyler out of the picture, the timing was perfect tonight for Emily to re-rail herself back on track for a bit of revenge. Tonight’s target was Leo “Mason” Treadwell, a former journalist who once assured child-Amanda he’d help tell the real story about her father, only to go on to print a book that accused the man of everything he was convicted of, thus helping to convince Amanda that her father really did finance terrorism.
Conversations with Victoria, flashbacks and glimpses of the recordings Treadwell made of his conversations with David Clarke revealed to us that, despite Clarke giving Treadwell his version of the story, the writer was swayed by Victoria to say things her (and Conrad’s) way and earn himself a seat in the Grayson inner circle. Treadwell went on to achieve fame and success for “The Social Connection,” for the price of helping paint an even darker (false) portrait of David Clarke.
Emily gave him a chance to come clean. After Victoria sent Treadwell to snoop around Amanda to find out what she’s doing in town, Emily used the sit-down as an opportunity to confront Mason. Speaking through a very (unnervingly) convincing Amanda, she encouraged Mason to come clean at a reading of his memoirs, which was being held by Victoria. But Victoria had the last word (threat) and managed to re-convince Treadwell to stick to his story. Either because he didn’t really see that he had two different guns pointed at his head, or because he thought Victoria’s was bigger, Mason chose not to tell the truth about David.
Emily repaid Mason for his lies by breaking into his house, stealing the recordings of her father, then burning the place to the ground. Burning down someone’s house would be considered a harsh act under most, if not all, circumstances, however, earlier we learned that Treadwell’s adorable little cottage once belonged to Hemingway. It also contained Mason’s awards, hundreds of hours of recordings with the “key players” featured in his book, a fancy antique typewriter once owned by John Cheever, a big collection of first edition books, and the only copy of memoir. All gone. Nice one, Emily.
She also managed to leave a certain tell-tale piece of evidence behind: Amanda’s lighter. But here’s the thing, if Amanda gets arrested for arson, won’t everyone find out that she’s not Amanda Clarke? And what’s to stop her from outing Emily, especially if she figures out Emily stole her lighter and framed her for the crime?
The Big Reveal
Emily took the stolen recordings home and watched them. It was during this scene that it was revealed what I and others have theorized for a while: Charlotte might be David’s daughter! David told Mason Treadwell that Charlotte could be the proof of his relationship with Victoria. Judging by Emily’s reaction, she was not aware that she might have a half-sister.
She’s a Forcer
When she wasn’t helping Emily with Treadwell, Amanda was going all Coyote Ugly at the bar, making out with some random girl, lighting drinks on fire and pouring shots into people’s mouths. Jack seemed put off by it for the most part, but after Declan pointed out that he needed to loosen up, Jack made amends with Amanda by inviting her to Atlantic City to blow the tip money on gambling. Jack’s efforts to be more impulsive are sweet, but I could see the tornado that is Amanda causing problems in his life (or with his business if he isn’t careful). In the meantime, given everything he’s been through, he’s due for some fun.
An Impending Proposal
It seems like the whole Conrad/Victoria divorce drama is all just a bit set-up for the two to make a right mess of each other’s lives. I still believe sooner or later they’re going to get back together, likely more as a business arrangement than because they’re in love. Tonight had Victoria plotting to join forces (and stock shares) with Daniel in an effort to gain control of Conrad’s company. Conrad, in turn, decided to set a clause in his son’s trust which states that he can’t access it until he’s 30 or married. Not sure why the married part was necessary but it sure does make for more drama.
So, now Daniel’s preparing to propose to Emily. To be fair, while the timing seems to be more suited to the trust/stock thing, he does seem to love her. At least, when he was talking to his mother about it, the proposal didn’t sound like an evil money-making scheme as much as it was a conveniently timed gesture of love. Plus, Emily just happened to be nudging Daniel out of her house, claiming traditional values, though I suspect she’s trying to take some of that free milk away in the hopes that he’ll pay for the whole cow... or however that saying goes. Her comment about absence making the heart grow fonder suggests that her motives for discouraging Daniel from living with her are because she wants him to want her more.
Speaking of free milk, let’s celebrate Emily’s use of the trench-coat-over-lingerie ensemble as part of her strategy to offer Daniel some late-night affection. That get-up beats the more obvious too-small tank-top situation that Amanda went with tonight.
Victoria seemed apprehensive about Daniel’s decision to propose to Emily, which isn’t surprising since she doesn’t like or trust Emily. She used Ashley as a way to spread the news to Emily of Conrad’s “marriage clause,” so we know Emily knows if Daniel proposes, it’s at least partially because of the money. Meanwhile, Conrad conveniently put Daniel in the path of a rich woman named Sophie who barely masked her flirtation with him. I’m assuming we’ll see more of that in the future. Will Daniel end up cheating on Emily with Sophie? Or is Conrad going to set it up to look like that to make sure his son doesn’t have Emily as an option for marriage?
Off to the side, there’s Declan and Charlotte, who have their own scaled-down problems to deal with. Charlotte has school coming up and Declan is worried that they won’t get to spend a lot of time together. Not sure what the other options are, but it was sweet to see him with a copy of Paradise Lost (and the Cliff’s Notes). If you can’t drag her away from her overachieving studies, join her, right?
Soapy Moment du Jour
I was going to give tonight’s soapy moment to Emily for her trench coat and sexy lingerie, but instead, it goes to Nolan for the dramatic noises he made while firing the gun at the shooting range. Second prize goes to Emily for pretending she wasn’t as good a shooter as she is.