Perhaps figuring that everyone would be watching the Golden Globes instead -- and we wish we had been -- "Revenge" phoned in last night's episode. Both confusing and dull, "Sabotage" focused primarily on Foxy Aiden and Emily's attempt to convince Initiative Helen that, um… to fool her into thinking she's… OK, we have to admit we don't get what they're trying to do with Initiative Helen. Emily, realizing Helen has bugged Daniel's office, leverages that knowledge to lure Helen to her charity wine auction; then Helen and Foxy get "kidnapped" out of an elevator, Foxy advises her not to give in to their interrogator (actually Emily, dressed in ninja drag and using a voice-altering contraption), and then he saves her. So either Helen owes Foxy now, or Foxy thinks she should ally with Foxy against these shadowy kidnappers, or something.
The idea is to get them both closer to Helen, Foxy to figure out what became of his sister, Emily to continue her increasingly complicated plan to avenge her father -- so, according to Foxy, that means Emily can stop pretending she wants to get back together with Daniel, right? Emily's not willing to give up that Plan B just yet, in case Helen doesn't fall for their… whatever it is. (Nolan's typically hilarious name for said plan: "Faux-mance Part Duh.") Foxy isn't sure Emily's "pretending" to have feelings for Daniel, so much.
The lion's den
Daniel, meanwhile, is making his play, even bidding a million bucks on one of the auction wines to show off for Emily… and to his shareholders as well, as he gets in a junk-measuring contest with one of his father's business rivals, Jason Prosser (Dylan Walsh), whom Victoria is also whispering sweet nothings to, in the hopes that he'll screw Daniel up somehow and drive Daniel out as head of Grayson Global. We think?
Helen, meanwhile, is more or less ordering Daniel to buy a company called Stonehaven, which is a disaster recovery firm. Based on Victoria and Conrad's reaction to that news, it's likely to reveal their roles in the David Clarke frame job, but as we said, the tangled web woven by the show is a snarly mess at this point, so who knows where that's going. We do know Victoria "accidentally" let it "slip" to Prosser that Stonehaven is in play.
Elsewhere, Marco is trying to convince Nolan that Padma is a mole who tattled to Daniel about Nolan's secret program, Carrion. ("Carry-On"? "Carrie-Ann"?) Padma wins this round, though, worming her way back into NolCorp as a Marco underling and telling Nolan that Marco is the one who told Daniel about the program. Thanks to a ghost-email Padma set up that implicates Marco as the betrayer, she's the one Nolan chooses to believe, although 1) Nolan of all people should know that those things can be faked, and 2) his chemistry with Padma is so weak that it's not entirely clear whether we're supposed to think he's on her side. But it's Marco who gets the boot, and it's Padma who calls Helen (!) to inform her that the program is secreted somewhere inside NolCorp. Great! We were right: Padma sucks! Now reveal her perfidy and kill her off already.
Senator Grayson to the rescue
Elsewhere, the Porters have finally figured out what the Ryans want -- the bar, and revenge for their father's demise -- but Jack is still stuck in jail, and thinks he and Dec got set up because the local cops are corrupt. We doubt the cops did anything except find the drugs/guns the Ryans moved to the boat, but everything else on the show is excessively complicated -- why not this subplot? Charlotte offers her parents' help, saying her father owes her big-time, but when she and Amanda go to see Conrad, he refuses to get involved at first. But Ashley's back -- she's blackmailed her way back onto the scene as an adviser to Conrad, on the condition that she not have to deal with Victoria at all, and we understand the actress has a contract, but wouldn't Ashley just take a five-figure payout and a glowing recommendation and be on her way? Because she could use the cash to buy some less voluminously unattractive shorts -- and she suggests that Conrad could build a case for himself as an elected official by "fighting" local police corruption, so later, he springs Jack from the hoosegow…
…but not before Amanda has nicked a gold watch from his desk and gone into the city to trade it for a gun. (We're pretty sure the gun-runner is the guy in the old "Got Milk?" ads who couldn't say "Aaron Burr" because his mouth was full of peanut butter.) She's in the act of threatening whichever Ryan isn't Kenny when Ashley comes to inform her that Jack is out of jail. Please, please let Amanda go crazypants on the Ryans! It would solve so many plot problems!
What did Twitter think of last night's events?
but like where is this Helen chick hanging out all the time...the bat cave? #revenge— Rudy Foster (@rudy_the_star) January 14, 2013
Look at Declan...trying to stand up to the Ryan brothers. Sit down, fool. #Revenge— The Buzzcast (@BuzzWorthyRadio) January 14, 2013
What they said.
And here's where we leave it for now: Daniel brings the million-dollar-bottle of wine over to Emily's to share, only to find it's gone to vinegar; Victoria and Conrad share a nightcap and a sly smile; and everyone else seethes.
Watch the full ep right here:
"Revenge" airs Sundays at 9 PM on ABC.