Revenge – Recap: Risky Bizzy-ness
Recap and review of Revenge – Season 3 Episode 7 – Resurgence:
Well that was fun. I first fell in love with Revenge when a friend recommended it to me in its first season, and it was a quickly acquired addiction. The series had tremendous fun in depicting Emily (Emily VanCamp) as she exacts punishment on the bad guys in increasingly clever, often humiliating ways. “Resurgence” is another return to that tried and true form, an episode that takes the blossoming love story between Daniel (Josh Bowman) and Sara (Annabelle Stephenson), and mostly sets it aside in favor of Emily’s plot to bring down Bizzy Preston (Ana Ortiz), the dirt-shoveling P.R. rep for Conrad (Henry Czerny). In taking the focus away from Daniel and centering it on Emily’s mission, it mirrors Emily’s own lack of focus on Daniel, a misstep that could cost her if this romance becomes something more than just a fleeting distraction. “Resurgence” isn’t among the best of the season (too much Jack and Margaux), but it’s pretty damn close.
Bizzy Preston is the queen of damage control, and naturally, this career has made her enemies, chief among them Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann). In order to protect a client, a young pop star just beginning to reach the spotlight many years ago, Bizzy outed Nolan’s sexuality to the world. This had the tragic effect of ruining his relationship with his father, a relationship that had only begun to mend. As a result, Nolan’s father spent the last ten years of his life estranged from his son, a loss from which Nolan hasn’t really recovered. And so Nolan is all-in when Emily comes to him with plans to take down Bizzy, who plans to rehab the Grayson image so that they’re more likely to buy Conrad’s upcoming memoirs, which he plans to publish through Margaux (Karine Vanasse). Emily sees the value in having Bizzy on retainer as an asset to their cause, but the only way they can rope her into the scheme willingly is through blackmail, and that means getting dirt on her. To this end, Emily makes up a phony first marriage for Bizzy to discover while doing a background check on her, knowing that the publicist will inevitably let it slip to Victoria (Madeleine Stowe). When Bizzy blabs, Emily and co. are listening in via a bug planted on her chair at the restaurant where the meeting is taking place, and it’s the information they gather that sets the ball rolling.
While at the annual Independence Day clambake at Grayson Manor, Emily and Nolan enact a complicated scheme in which Nolan paws Bizzy’s glasses and then offers her his own when she needs a pair to look at her smartphone. Little does she know, the pair of glasses is fitted with a camera that records everything Bizzy sees, including the passcode to her phone. Nolan views the footage, retrieves the password, and it’s only a matter of time before he and Emily have access to all of Bizzy’s client files, and all the dirty secrets contained therein. In mere moments, Nolan ruins Bizzy’s entire business, gleefully rubbing it in by revealing that he knows about the affair she’s been having behind her husband’s back. In desperation, Bizzy pleads with Nolan not to say anything to her husband, stating that he’s a good man who doesn’t deserve to have his heart broken. So Nolan shows mercy and agrees to keep her secret, provided she does whatever he says when he calls. And like that, Bizzy is not only brought to justice, but is also turned into an asset for Emily’s revenge scheme.
This was a wonderful little arc that brings Emily and Nolan closer together, as Emily tells Nolan that she never would have guessed two years ago that she would eventually have a partner in all this, much less a true friend like Nolan. It’s a moment that manages to be heartwarming without being treacly or overly sentimental, and it helps that Emily VanCamp and Gabriel Mann have such tremendous chemistry onscreen. It goes a long way in legitimizing Nolan and Emily’s partnership, which has more uses beyond simply allowing Emily to get revenge: as Nolan reveals, the glasses inadvertently picked up another image from the clambake, and he shows it to Emily with trepidation — it’s Sara and Daniel on the beach, about to share a kiss. In overlooking Daniel, Emily has now put herself in a position where she could lose him to another woman, which is a scenario I’d sincerely doubt the Revenge Pro had ever considered. The show continues to find new wrenches to throw into Emily’s plans, and a new love interest for Daniel is a plot twist so natural and obvious, I’m surprised they haven’t done it before now. This should be a great way to keep things complicated for Emily as we march on towards August 8th.
Yet things are complicated beyond simply what’s going on with Daniel, as Aiden is now torn: Victoria wants him to seduce Emily to create turmoil in her relationship with Daniel, but this is something that simply isn’t going to work, so Victoria kicks him out of Grayson Manor. Though she claims it’s because he’s failed to win Emily’s affections, it’s clear she’s up to something else, and we quickly see what that “something else” is. Spurred forth by Charlotte’s (Christa B. Allen) suggestion that Daniel and Sara clearly still have feelings for each other, Victoria decides to approach Sara at her house with a proposal to get her back together with Daniel, since Emily isn’t the right woman for him. Sara isn’t all that crazy about Victoria, and never really has been, as she reveals to Daniel on the beach at the clambake. Daniel doesn’t begrudge her dislike of Victoria, and he understands that it’s a long road to forgiveness. Granted, Daniel goes a long way towards obtaining that forgiveness early in the episode by offering Sara the opportunity to bake his and Emily’s wedding cake, knowing that baking professionally has long been a dream of hers. By episode’s end, they’re on the beach together, moments away from sharing a kiss underneath the 4th of July fireworks. Sara pulls away before it gets to the point of no return, but it might be too, little too late — you can’t unfeel those feelings, sister. Nor can Daniel, one would presume.
But not all romances are created equal. I love Nick Wechsler, and I generally like Karine Vanasse, but it’s really hard for me to get all that excited about Jack’s blossoming relationship with Margaux. The most compelling aspect of their back-and-forth romance is Jack’s decision to finally remove his wedding ring, after visiting Amanda’s grave and tearfully confessing just how much he misses her, even though he’s made the decision to move on with his life. Wechsler continues to deliver, and it’s heartbreaking when you realize this is a man who didn’t even get to enjoy 24 hours of wedded bliss before having his whole life ripped away from him. So I suppose it’s heartening, if you’re a fan of the Jack Porter character, to see him somewhat happy. But I just don’t find the prospect of him sleeping with Margaux to be all that interesting, although she does let slip about Conrad’s book deal, which could set the wheels in Jack’s mind turning. Let’s hope this means he gets back into the main action again soon, as I think he could contribute a lot to Emily’s revenge scheme, since he has it out for Conrad almost as badly as she does.
“Resurgence” is a fun episode of a season that is as fun as those first thirteen episodes of season one. Revenge has a wonderfully chaotic, soap operatic spirit about it, and it’s heartening to see its resurgence (pun intended) with each week.
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