The first episode of “Revenge” begins with a bang in the form of a gunshot. Simultaneously, in a voice-over, a female eerily explains her views on revenge. Note that the beginning of the episode takes place in a flash-forward; it happens 5 months after present day in the episode. The woman in the voice-over emphasizes that this story is not about forgiveness. Somebody fires more gunshots, and a young man falls victim to them and collapses on the beach.
Still in flash-forward time, the people who aren’t wearing bullets are dressed in fancy attire at an engagement party for Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) and Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman). Thanks to the fireworks at the party, none of the guests hear the gunshots. Emily is the person who was speaking in the voice-over; she’s wearing a pretty red dress, but it doesn’t seem like she’s in party mode. Her fiancé, Daniel, is a no-show at his own party. A friend of Emily’s, who is working at the party, asks Emily about Daniel’s whereabouts. Emily replies that she and Daniel are having a “thing,” and he took a walk on the beach. Does “thing” mean fight? Or perhaps it means shootout. Emily assures her friend that Daniel will be back shortly. Next, Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) greets Emily, but their conversation does not seem friendly. Emily scolds him; according to her, Nolan shouldn’t be at the party. Nolan taunts Emily, “That makes two of us.” Isn’t she the bride-to-be at her own engagement party?
Meanwhile, a teenage male guest expresses his adoration for his tuxedo. He complains that he looks like a jackass. The girl he’s with flirtatiously leads him out of the party and towards the beach, not realizing that they’re walking into a crime scene. A man pulls the dead body out of the beach and onto the sand, then hides when he notices the teenage couple stripping down to their underwear by the water. This man could be a pervert, a murderer, or completely innocent.
Legal Note 1: My blog policy is to explore the broken laws when we know who is responsible for them. Right now, we don’t know who shot the dead guy at the beach, but when we find out, I’ll definitely be exploring this fatal shooting further. I don’t want any readers thinking that I failed to notice that murder is illegal.
At the party, Daniel’s mother, Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe), gives a speech about Emily, but Emily is too busy making a phone call to pay attention to fake compliments. At the beach, the dead guy’s cell phone rings. The (alive) man retrieves it and sees that Emily is the caller. Emily’s call causes the teenagers in their underwear to notice the man’s presence. The couple yells at him for spying on their private party, and the man runs away with the phone.
(Potential) Broken Law # 1 Alert!Note: -Although at this point, we haven’t yet learned the identity of the man who just swiped a dead man’s cell phone from a crime scene, since we learn who he is later in this episode (Jack Porter), I’m choosing to cover this one. -I’m labeling this as a “potential” broken law, because for now, we don’t know what the man’s intent was for taking the phone. New York Penal – Article 215 – § 215.40 Tampering With Physical Evidence (in relevant part)
Back at the not-so-private party, Emily hangs up her phone as Victoria gushes about how great a girl Emily is; Victoria announces that she approves, and that it’s not easy to gain her approval. Victoria saunters towards Emily and whispers “Where the hell is my son?”
At the beach, the teenage couple discovers the grim scenario at the beach. The girl, who it turns out is Charlotte Grayson (Christa B. Allen), finds the gun, and the guy finds the dead body. Charlotte screams upon realizing the reason for her brother’s absence from the engagement party; he’s dead, or at least Charlotte thinks he is. Charlotte screams for her mother and runs towards the party (still in her underwear). When Victoria sees what has happened, she screams and cries for her son. Before any of this is clarified, the show jumps back 5 months.
In present day, a realtor shows Emily a Hamptons beach house while gossiping about its owners. Courtesy of a cheating husband, Emily’s lucky enough to have the opportunity to rent this house. A married couple owns the house, and it’s up for rent because of the husband’s infidelity.
Broken Law # 2 Alert!Note- Since we learn in this episode that the woman with the cheating husband is Lydia Davis (Amber Valleta), I’m covering this one now. Lydia’s husband didn’t just break her heart, he also broke the law. New York Penal- Article 255- § 255.17 Adultery.
Emily goes out to the deck and finds a carving of two infinity symbols. This triggers her to think about the past, and we’re taken to a flashback. Emily remembers her father, David Clarke (James Tupper) promising that they’d spend every summer at the same exact beach house that Emily is currently looking to rent. For some mysterious reason, in the flashback, Emily’s father calls her Amanda. As he draws two infinity symbols in the sand, it becomes clear that it’s no coincidence that Emily’s looking at this particular house. In present time, Emily quickly informs the realtor that she’ll take the house.
Next, Emily’s friend Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) comes to Emily’s new summer home. We recognize her as the girl who was working at the engagement party in the flash-forward. She works for “Queen Victoria Grayson,” who lives just next door to Emily. Ashley is in charge of the guest list for Victoria’s upcoming Memorial Day party, and Emily nonchalantly purchases a $10,000 admission ticket. She acts like she just gave Ashley a penny; Emily clearly has a lot of money, and that makes Ashley jealous.
Next door, Victoria and her husband, Conrad (Henry Czerny), discuss the new girl next door. Meanwhile, Jack Porter (Nick Wechler) and his younger brother Declan (Connor Paolo) bring items from their boat to the bar that their father owns. We recognize Declan as the guy who was with Charlotte in the flash-forward, and we recognize Jack as the guy who was pulling the dead body out of the water. Nolan stops by; he wants to purchase Jack’s boat, which “coincidentally” is named Amanda, the same name Emily’s father called her in the flashback. Jack refuses to let Nolan rent or buy the boat.
At the Graysons’ Ashley, Victoria, and a group of Victoria’s friends banter about the upcoming party. Victoria plans to auction off a piece from her art collection, but not the Van Gogh from Lydia and Michael, of course! Victoria comforts Lydia as she laments about her latest crisis; Michael has threatened to sell the beach house. Lydia is already disgusted by the idea of a stranger renting the house, so this concept is just outrageous. If this was a twitter post, I’d label this one “#RichPeopleProblems.”
Emily puts her feet in the water and has another flashback. This time, she recalls her father teaching her how to get used to the cold beach water. In real time, Lydia comments that Emily must come from a family of polar bears if she can stand to have her feet in such cold water. She’s solved the entire mystery; Emily’s a polar bear named Amanda! Lydia explains that she owns the house that Emily’s renting; it’s clear that Lydia feels bitter about this.
After her swim, Emily goes inside and watches footage from her father’s trial. We learn that Lydia was once David Clarke’s secretary, and that she testified against him along with Victoria and Conrad Grayson. David Clarke was accused of treason. In the video of her interview, Lydia alleges that she shredded documents that linked David Clarke, who she calls a “monster,” financially to a terrorist group responsible for a plane crash.
Emily has a flashback to her father getting a phone call from Victoria. In the flashback, David asks “Amanda” to take their dog Sam to the other room for this phone call. We hear Victoria asking if David’s there, but before he can answer, a bunch of federal agents burst into his house. “Amanda” screams for her father. The agents violently arrest David for crimes against the United States, and they take “Amanda” away too, as David yells for them not to touch her.
In present day, Emily presses something on her computer that gives her access to a video of Lydia taking place in real time. She’s at a hotel and the man with her is not her husband, but Victoria’s husband, Conrad. While Conrad’s at the hotel, Ashley and a bunch of workers prepare for the party on the Grayson’s yacht. We hear a phone call between Ashley and Emily next; Ashley apologizes to Emily because she can’t go to lunch with her as planned. When we see Emily take the call, we realize that she’s at a hotel restaurant; it’s the same hotel that she saw in the video of Lydia and Conrad, The Southfork Inn. When she looks at pictures on her phone, it’s obvious that she deliberately followed them there. We see her watching Lydia and Conrad as they walk into the hotel lobby.
Broken Law # 3 Alert!While we don’t know exactly how Emily orchestrated the surveillance on Conrad and Lydia, it’s obvious that she was spying on them intentionally and those videos didn’t just magically appear on her computer.
NY PEN LAW 250.45 Unlawful surveillance in the second degree (in relevant part).
Emily, even if you can’t stand Conrad and Lydia, you can’t just creepily spy on their crappy behavior!
Additionally, although we don’t know Emily’s exact intent here, it most likely isn’t anything good. This means she could potentially also be guilty of:
Potential Broken Law # 4 Alert!NY PEN LAW 240.26 Harassment in the second degree (in relevant part).
This new girl in town is causing a lot of trouble already!
Back at the Graysons’ Victoria criticizes Charlotte’s choice in bathing suits, but Charlotte’s saved by the brother! Daniel arrives home from college in the middle of Charlotte and Victoria’s conversation. Charlotte is happy to have him home and fills him in on the upcoming “charity stunt,” as she calls it. Charlotte leaves to go to the beach and before going to take a nap, Daniel asks Victoria where Conrad is. She thinks that he’s golfing.
If Conrad’s golfing, he’s certainly at an unusual golfing course. Back at the Southfork Inn, we see him and Lydia in bed together; it’s obvious that they just slept together.
Broken Law # 5 Alert!New York Penal- Article 255- § 255.17 Adultery. *See Broken Law # 2 above; Conrad and Lydia guilty of the same thing as Michael.
Conrad goes to get champagne for himself and Lydia, but he collapses, displaying symptoms that look like those of a heart attack.
Meanwhile at The Porters’ Stowaway Tavern, Jack teaches Declan how to use a cash register. Declan takes care of the “mean girls table” where Charlotte and her friends are seated. Charlotte attempts to pay Declan off to serve them alcohol underage, but he’s not interested in her money. His reaction seems better when Charlotte offers her phone number instead.
Legal Note 2: While the look on Declan’s face indicates that he might have served Charlotte and her friends alcohol, we don’t see whether or not it happened. If it did, he would be guilty of serving alcohol to minors and Charlotte and her friends would be guilty of drinking underage.
A man who appears to be a bank employee shows up at the bar looking for Declan and Jack’s father, Carl Porter. It doesn’t look like he’s come bearing good news.
Outside the SouthFork inn, Conrad is getting rushed to the hospital in an ambulance as Lydia freaks out. Emily runs up to Lydia asking if the sick man is her husband and if Lydia needs a ride to the hospital. Lydia declines.
Next, Emily, carrying Ashley’s dress that she picked up from the Dry Cleaners, runs into Jack who is attempting to play fetch with Sam. Emily immediately recognizes her old dog, and has a quick flashback to when she (as Amanda) first met Jack. In present day, Emily whispers Sam’s name, and the dog pounces on her; it seems like Sam remembers her too. Noticing that Sam got dirt on Emily’s clothing, Jack offers to walk her to the Dry Cleaners, but Emily declines. Jack also offers to put her on the comp list at his bar, but Emily declines that offer as well.
Victoria rushes to Conrad at the hospital. It turns out, he didn’t have a heart attack, but something he ate at the Southfork Inn didn’t agree with him. The doctor explains that symptoms of this stomach issue can mimic heart attack symptoms. The doctor also completely blows Conrad’s cover; Victoria’s catching on to what happened. She sharply tells Conrad “Don’t do it again.”
At the beginning of the party, Emily congratulates Ashley on how great everything looks, but Ashley jokes that it’s too soon for that; hasn’t Emily ever seen Titanic? Boat parties don’t always go so well. Ashley gives Emily a tutorial on the guests at the party. Emily notices Victoria’s son, and Ashley tells Emily that he got in a car accident after drinking and driving, and the waitress he was dating at the time was injured. Of course, Daniel’s parents paid off everybody they had to in order to keep him out of jail.
Since not everybody has the luxury of Victoria and Conrad Grayson taking the law into their own privileged hands, here is the actual law that Daniel crashed into:
Broken Law # 6 Alert!NY VAT Law 1192. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (in relevant part).
Ashley points Nolan out to Emily and describes him as the richest person out of everyone at the party and a pain in the ass. Victoria greets guests as Emily watches her. Emily asks Ashley to introduce her to Victoria, who is currently talking to Lydia. Emily greets Lydia and makes sure to mention seeing Lydia and her sick “husband” at the Southfork Inn. Victoria puts together what really happened between her “faithful husband” and “best friend.”
We learn that Jack plans on setting sail the next day to Haiti, when his father toasts to him at the bar. A man from the bank comes to the bar again and tells Mr. Porter that he needs to pay the money he owes now. Jack finds out that the bank plans to foreclose unless they get a full payment on the arrears.
At the party, Emily purposely/ “accidentally” spills her drink on Daniel, who offers to get Emily a dry martini; apparently they’re less messy. Victoria gives a speech about charities, and takes the opportunity to completely humiliate Lydia. Victoria announces that Lydia won the art auction and the prize is the Van Gogh painting. That’s Victoria’s way of saying “screw you” to Lydia while appearing polite and professional to the crowd. Victoria requests for Lydia to be escorted off of the boat, then she announces that Lydia’s beach house is up for sale because Lydia is leaving the Hamptons. Apparently Queen Victoria is exiling Lydia.
Daniel tells Emily bad jokes and informs her that he no longer drinks alcohol, although he used to drink “epically.” He’s glad to meet Emily because she doesn’t know the “old [Daniel].” She can definitely relate too that sentiment; she’s not even using her real name!
Conrad gets incredibly angry at Victoria for what she did to Lydia. They fight about his affair and Victoria reminds Conrad that she once helped him destroy a man, presumably referring to David Clarke.
Nolan watches a video he took of the party and zooms in on Emily. He gets a phone call from Jack offering to sell him his boat; he wants to save his father’s bar. Nolan shows up at Emily’s house; when he zoomed in on her in his video, he figured out Emily’s secret. Nolan reveals that he knows that Emily is really Amanda Clarke. After he says, “Welcome home, Amanda,” Emily violently grabs him, pushes him against the wall and presses hard against his neck. She points out how easy it would be for her to crush his windpipe.
Broken Law # 7 Alert!Depending on whether or not Emily actually caused physical injury to Nolan, she would be guilty of one of two crimes. If she physically injured him:
NY PEN Law 120.00 Assault in the third degree (In relevant part).
Nolan protests Emily’s violent behavior, commenting that her father would not approve. It turns out, Emily’s father trusted Nolan, and Nolan saw firsthand what these people did to Emily’s father. It appears that he knew him well; David Clarke made a generous investment in Nolan’s company. Nolan promises to keep Emily’s secret, and he offers to help her. Emily refuses Nolan’s offer; she can deal with these people on her own. Nolan reminds her that he can be just as powerful of an enemy as any of the people Emily wants to take down.
We see a flashback of Emily (as Amanda) leaving juvie, greeted by Nolan. Nolan informs her that her dad passed away, and insists that she accept the box her dad wanted her to have. Nolan says that her father was protecting her and that he’s not guilty of what Emily/Amanda thinks he is. Also, Emily now owns 49% of Nolan’s company.
Emily had believed that her father was a criminal and a murderer, but her father left a note, journal, and pictures to prove and explain his innocence to her. Emily’s father requested that she forgive, but Emily, in a voice-over, says that she couldn’t keep that promise. She crosses Lydia’s face out of one of her father’s pictures.
Next, we see a part of the hotel scene that wasn’t shown earlier in the episode. During this, Emily, posing as a hotel employee, brings Conrad his soup, and we see her pour poison into it. According to Emily, all she has left is revenge, and apparently she doesn’t mind how many laws she breaks in order to obtain it.
Emily had no problem posing as a hotel employee, but New York law does not share that sentiment.
Broken Law # 8 Alert!NY PEN Law 190.25 Criminal impersonation in the second degree (In Relevant Part).
Also, when Emily put the poison in Conrad’s soup, she put herself in danger of getting arrested.
Broken Law # 9 Alert!NY PEN Law 120.05 Assault in the second degree.
At the end of the episode, Victoria calls a private investigator and requests that he find everything he can on Emily Thorne. That’s it for now; I can’t wait to update with entries on more episodes! For now, I will select a few from each season until I’m fully caught up. Thanks for your patience and for reading!