Revenge got back to basics last night as the show returned to its fun format of introducing a guest star and then utterly decimating his or her life by the hour’s end. This week’s sap: a smarmy biographer named Mason Treadwell (played by Broadway star and Desperate Housewives creep Roger Bart) who capitalized on David Clarke’s downfall by burying him in slanderous prose. It’s no wonder that Emily was so quick to pull out her SHARPIE OF DOOM and mark a big, fat X on his face.
There’s a good deal of backstory when it comes to Mr. Treadwell. You see, he used to be a lowly staff writer at “The Journal,” and yet he somehow wound up interviewing wee Amanda Clarke about her father. Back then, Amanda was just a small tyke — young enough to not be psychotically vengeful (but just old enough to read 400 page tomes and carry around matches). She ardently believed her dad was innocent, and you know what? Mason believed it too. Of course, back then, his name was Leo.
Well, things soon became very interesting for Leo/Mason (say both names fast, and it becomes “Liam Neeson,” which is who I like to think Mason turns into when he gets mad — but only the Rob Roy version). The intrepid reporter went and interviewed David Clarke who was all “conspiracy this” and “coverup that” blah blah blah (amiright people? Playa gotta give it up already). It seemed as though Mason actually believed David, but then fast forward about a year later, and there was that footage of the interview (Mason recorded all his interviews) being aired on a local news station with Mason haughtily citing this all as evidence of David’s delusion. According to Mason, there was not one single shred of evidence to back up David’s claim. NOT A SINGLE SHRED. Cut to Emily watching the interview with rage in her eyes. THERE IS EVIDENCE. THERE HAS TO BE.
So how did Mason go from ally to foe? Moneyball. As is always the case, the Graysons paid him off. After having interviewed David Clarke, Mason tried to go all Mike Wallace on Victoria, but Homey Don’t Play That. There was no way Victoria would be bullied by accusations of having an affair with David Clarke (something that wee Amanda not only witnessed but divulged to Mason). And so we were treated to the inevitable scene wherein Conrad and Victoria tempted greedy Mason with money, power, and fame. Stick with them, and you’ll be a superstar, they promised.
“Mason, your book is just wonderful!”
“I WILL DESTROY YOU.”
Sure enough, here we were years later. Mason had a new book coming out that he wanted to do a reading for at Victoria’s house. Little did he realize he was stepping into Emily’s latest trap o’ ‘venge. First things first, Emily enlisted faithful sidekick Nolan to do some dirty work. The mop-topped green bean sidled up to Mason and suggested that he wanted a celebrity biographer to tell his story. This afforded the two a free trip to Mason’s home office, where the author showed off his old typewriter and a manuscript of his memoir (one copy only… not saved on a computer… or the cloud… or even a floppy disk…. Just sitting there… destined for immediate destruction. You could practically see Emily licking her chops at the thought of scattering those papers all across Amagansett). Oh, also on display: a prominent archive of video and audio cassettes for every interview Mason’s ever done. Normally, a vain writer would place something more notable (ie. book awards, not Mini-VHS tapes) in a glossy display case, but I guess everyone has their own quirks, especially if it suits the outcome of the plot. Again, Emily had some serious eye-boners as she studied this treasure-trove of potential Clarke Family Vindication.
Victoria: “Oh great. There’s that contemptible little shrew, Emily.”
“Mason, I order you not to sign her book. Mason. MASON.”
“[clears throat] So wonderful to see you, Emily!”
Mason: “I suppose I could sign this one copy!”
Victoria: “You disgust me.”
Meanwhile over at Grayson Manor, Victoria was still rather unsettled by the arrival of Shhhamanda Clarke. Why was she here? What did she want? And why on earth was she in love with that boring barkeep Jack? Victoria wanted to get to the bottom of this (I imagine her stewing with curiosity while chomping down on her morning Grape-Nuts); so she called in a favor with Mason: go interview Amanda and find out what the dealio is.
Gladly, my Lady. And would you care for some biscuits in the parlor?
Sorry — slipped into Downton Abbey.
Anyway, Mason went off to interview Amanda, but little did the author know that Amanda had already tipped off Emily about the impending tête-à-tête. And little did Mason know that Amanda was really Emily and Emily was really Amanda, but that’s neither here nor there. With the help of Nolan’s high-tech earpiece wizardry, Emily managed to dictate all of Amanda’s responses to Mason’s questions, ending with a hostile threat that if Mason didn’t come clean about covering up evidence that would exonerate David Clarke, she would take REVENGE (name of the show, in case you didn’t realize).
Well, this all rattled Mason, but at the afternoon reading at Grayson Manor, he still refused to come clean. No surprise there. It was all part of Emily’s plan (isn’t it always?). And so that night, Nolan went out to dinner with his would-be biographer, allowing Emily the chance to break into Mason’s house, steal all that raw interview footage, and then torch the place — manuscript and all — with none other than Amanda’s favorite lighter. Yes, it would appear as though Emily had taken down yet another enemy and set up her pain-in-the-ass stripper friend to take the fall. Yessshhhh!
What Emily didn’t realize and what will surely come back to ruin the plan was that while the house was flaming away, Amanda and Jack were headed off to Atlantic City. Why? Well, as it turns out, Amanda appeared to be getting a little stir-crazy in sleepy ol’ Montauk. She’d taken to making out with horny girls at the bar, much to the chagrin of Jack, who refused to be entertained by such antics. Be shhhhpontaneous, Amanda insisted, but Jack wasn’t having it. Did she really expect him to loosen up? This is a guy who listens to nothing but sad emo at ALL TIMES.
Enter Connor Paolo — he of the suddenly distracting chest hair — who overacted his way through yet another scene as Declan. Loosen up, bro, or else you’ll end up like Dad: DEAD. That was his advice. And so Jack decided to take it. He whisked Amanda off to Atlantic City, which means that Emily will have quite the difficult time pegging the arson on her frenemy.
As for Declan, he really didn’t have much to do this episode except mope that his girlfriend would be going off to prep school. I swear to God, if the writers make Charlotte skip out on the FINE EDUCATION SHE DESERVES for this stupid twerp, I will be very angry. Then again, Charlotte’s about to have a whole lot of MAJOR DRAMZ come her way. Why?
Well, minor twist.
Turns out that when Emily later went digging in Mason’s footage, she found an interview with her pops that offered up incontrovertible evidence that he and Victoria were having an affair. Charlotte, it turns out, was actually HIS daughter, making her EMILY’S half sister. Insert organ chord here.
This certainly make for an interesting situation.
The custody arrangement, first of all, will now be a total mess. And let’s not speak of the moral toll it will take on Emily, who must now destroy her half-sister’s entire family. Even cold-hearted bitches have their limits.
That limit has become murky in the Daniel-san realm. I think Emily has fallen in love with him (how could she not? Does anyone else fill out a black polo with white accents as well as Daniel Grayson?), but she’s going to have to cut him loose sooner or later. He didn’t realize this though. Daniel is head over heels for Em-dawg, and now he wants to marry her. It should be noted that his motives are two-fold. First, there’s that whole love thing blah blah blah. Second, if Daniel marries Emily, he gains access to the shares of his dad’s company — shares that together with his mother’s mean that they will control Grayson Enterprises (or whatever it’s called) and ruin Conrad.
So there’s that.
“Mom wants me to move back in with her. She’s also forcing me to walk around shirtless and do a lot of stretches in front of her. Cool, huh?”
It seems as though things are moving along in a wonderfully controlled, chaotic way. I still don’t see how this all leads to Daniel being shot on a beach, and my fingers are tightly crossed that it’s all a fake-out because someone as pretty as that doesn’t deserve to die so soon.
What did you think about this episode? Happy with the developments?