‘Revenge’ recap: Has Emily lost ‘Control’ of Aiden?

I’m not quite sure why Charlotte has become so peripheral to the twisty-turny drama of “Revenge,” but for the past few weeks her appearances have seemed largely ornamental and, yes, kinda ridiculous. Tonight, she might as well have hung a sign around her neck stating, “I am the plot twist! Please ignore previous character development!” Granted, there hasn’t been much of that this season anyway. Other than twirling around and muttering in French, she’s seemed unclear about who she should be hating and why. Next week I’m expecting Emily to hand her some note cards so she can keep up.

Charlotte’s odd turn — admitting to an attempted murder on Conrad that she didn’t commit out of a baseless fear that Jack would be charged — seemed nuts for many reasons, not the least of which being that I highly doubt Charlotte Grayson knew what a brake line was, much less how to poke a hole in it. At the very least, she should have pointed a finger at a maid or a butler or a house slave as the guilty party. But that was just one of many “huh?” moments we’ve had on “Revenge” this season. 

Somehow, Aiden has become a deliriously-in-love hothead who can’t stop messing up Emily’s plans out of love for her. Margaux has fallen in love with Jack, with whom she has nothing in common except maybe a love for decent scotch. Nolan has continued his pursuit of Patrick, which is pretty clearly headed the way of all of Nolan’s romances — total and complete disaster. When your roster of exes has such a high fatality count, it’s time to consider robot sex or a monastery.

At least Nolan is a dependable friend, more or less (this week, he seemed thisclose to telling Emily he’s over all this revenge stuff, which would effectively make Emily and Victoria the only characters who aren’t flip-flopping all over the place. Emily’s friendship with Jack just doesn’t make much sense any more. Why aren’t you the girl I remember from when we were kids? Hurry up and marry that guy you hate, then leave never to return! What? It’s clear no one could think of another ticking clock to get the nuptials firmly on the fast track, but it’s killed whatever spark Emily and Jack once had. Of course, Jack’s moved on to Margaux and at the end of the episode Emily has recommitted to Aiden, so I guess that’s not important anymore.

I’m not sure what is important anymore, really, as Emily slogs along her increasingly convoluted path toward getting those Graysons where it hurts. While I can appreciate that her laser-like focus on payback has made her more like Victoria than she’d ever admit, I miss the episodes when she’d pick a minor player out of the book, cross out his or her face with a big red X, then dispatch them to an early grave or a life of disgrace in short order. The long game here doesn’t seem to be coming together coherently, especially with Jack yelling and screaming intermittently, Aiden messing things up, Nolan always sleeping with just the wrong person, and Daniel falling in and out of love with Emily as if he actually has a personality and free will of his own. 

I am interested to see what develops with Patrick, whom we now know not only tried to kill Conrad but made a point of shaming Nolan for snooping into his past. If Patrick has nothing to hide, there’s no reason to get so upset that a billionaire checks out his dates before he jumps their bones, which just leads me to think he’s far too smooth not to be manipulating everyone within his sight line. That Nolan is so immediately cowed is entirely in character, but disappointing, too. After Tyler, you’d think his pick-up line would be, “Hey, what’s your name and number so I can give it to my guy who runs background checks?”

Patrick is his mother’s son (if Victoria really is his mother, which I doubt). I have to admit that this show keeps me coming back to see Victoria and Emily circle one another like sharks, expressions frozen either due to a minimalistic approach to the soapy material or a hella lot of Botox. Whenever the story goes too far away from this core battle, it becomes shaky.

Next week, it seems as if far more trouble is afoot (or at the very least, Nolan falls asleep at an awkward angle in his bathtub). I’d like to say this season has had so many surprises, I have no idea what’s ahead. Unfortunately, I think I have no idea what’s ahead because someone somewhere is staring at a white board in a writers’ room, throwing darts. 

Do you think Emily made the right decision in choosing Aiden? Do you think Nolan is making a mistake to pick Patrick? Do you think Daniel is just a sucker?