'Revenge': Six years ago
Sex traffickers, pedophiles, first meetings and a daughter's revenge
The entire episode flashed back to Thanksgiving 2006, starting with Emily and Aiden's first meeting. He was working the bar at a swank club and after a shot of vodka, she revealed she was looking for Sergei Lofstky. Dejected, Aiden assumed she was a hooker and sent her back with "the other girls." One of them was Ashley, who was so nervous she was trembling. Em' followed the scared newbie into the bathroom and offered her friendship. Ashley didn't need friends: She needed money, which she couldn't earn with her MFA in art history. Emily warned Ashley not to audition for Dmitri Bladov, because he was a sex trafficker. She paid off her new friend, asking Ashley to text the 411 on Dmitry's arrival and then get lost.
Armed with the Dmitri's arrival info, Emily met with Takeda and told him she wasn't scared of her mission: she was ready. Her plans against the Grayson's were on schedule: she'd cut ties with NolCorp, closed all her accounts and set up dummy fronts, one of which she used to buy a building on 57th Street. She had the photos of Conrad's affair with Lidia, but was going to use Takeda's sex trafficking diversion to set things in motion, instead. It had something to do with a young girl named Colleen, who'd been kidnapped by Dmitri in Seoul. Takeda gave her an earbud for communication and said that once she helped him with Dmitry, she could return to her "true cause."
When she returned to the bar all tarted up, Aiden tried to warn her off. She brushed past him and told Sergei her roommate couldn't make her appointment with Dmitri, but agreed to fill in for $3000. Aiden put the kibosh on her plan by aiming a gun at Dmitri. "This is for Colleen, my sister," he cried, but Emily threw him down. An impressed Dmitri left her in his safe room while he went to handle the intruder. Takeda wanted Emily to stay put, but she insisted on helping Colleen's mysterious brother. When the Russian mobsters left Aiden alone, she untied him and quickly figured out that the people who had framed her father had also used Aiden's father to get their bomb on the plane. Before they could escape, Dmitri returned.
Takeda intercepted them as they were being walked through the hopping club. After he and Emily kicked some butt, Aiden got Dmitri back in his sights and demanded to know where his sister was. Emily begged him to not pull the trigger and he backed down, until Dmitri taunted that Colleen had grown to like being a sex slave. Aiden took out Dmitri. While Takeda stayed to deal with the body, the young heroes bonded over their lost families and Aiden proclaimed his intention to train with Takeda to save his sister… or punish anyone who helped destroy her.
Over in the Hamptons, Conrad was lecturing college frosh Daniel about the bad etiquette of leaving a Harvard finals club waiting, especially the Phoenix. Daniel wanted to make his own name for himself, but his mother insisted he should make the most of the name he already had. Then Conrad gave him grief about blowing $600 on dinner instead of studying.
With Charlotte away, Victoria was thrilled to have her two men to herself on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, her estranged mom arrived uninvited. Even worse, Daniel was in cahoots with Grandma Harper, aka Marion, who wanted to put the past behind them. Her reunion efforts were clearly for the benefit of her suitor, Greavy, and Victoria barely hid her contempt. Marion hoped her daughter would impress her silver haired fox and insisted this was genuine love, not a means to an end like Thomas had been. Marion was sure her life's decisions had all been worth it, since her daughter was now matriarch to one of the richest families in the country. "You landed on your feet," she said.
Victoria flashed back to primping at her mom's beauty table as a teen. Marion ordered her not to steal Thomas' attention from her during Thanksgiving dinner. She was counting on a proposal, since they were almost out of money.
Back in 2006, Daniel told Conrad he wanted to ditch business for creative writing and shared a poem with his dad. "Anything I can do to help support you dreams," Conrad said. During dinner, Greavy asked after Daniel's new interest and Conrad raved about his son's talents. He was going to send the poems to a publisher friend. Victoria cooed that he should do whatever makes him happy, staring pointedly at her mother. When Marion insisted Victoria was her greatest blessing, Victoria told Greavy about how her mother had kicked her out of the house at only 15.
It was that fateful Thanksgiving with Thomas. He'd ultimately revealed he was never going to marry Marion, so she'd offered to send Victoria away and then wondered if Victoria was the one he'd been coming to see all along. Sickened, he stormed out. There was a gunshot. After Marion blamed Victoria for "batting your eyelashes like a little whore," she cleaned her prints off the gun and ordered her daughter to take it, shoot Thomas in the chest and say he'd attacked her. Victoria wasn't indicted for murder, but she was sent to a psych hospital for six months. When she returned home, her mom was already with Maxwell. When Marion spied him sneaking into Victoria's room, she kicked out her fifteen-year-old daughter.
Marion tried to defend herself to Greavy, claiming Victoria came between her and all her men, but a disgusted Greavy walked away. Teary Marion asked why her daughter had killed her last chance. "Serves you right for choosing a pedophile over your own daughter," Victoria sniffed, before kicking her out.
"Vindictive bitch," Marion shot.
"I learned from the best," Victoria smiled.
Back upstairs, Conrad read one his son's poem to Victoria. He was impressed. It was powerful. It burned quickly in the fireplace. Conrad shrugged that it was "for his own good." He'd have a few publishers send official rejections so Daniel would take his rightful place at Grayson Global. Then Conrad commended Victoria for breaking the cycle with her mom. Conrad had paid Greary well for playing his part in her revenge con and he wondered if setting her mother up had helped lift Victoria's darkness. "Ask me tomorrow," she smiled, eyes moist.
Over at The Stowaway, Papa Carl was refusing to pay protection money. His pal Matt warned Ryan was going to get tough with the holdouts. He worried their families were in trouble. On Thanksgiving, Jack found his dad standing guard at the bar, but the gun wasn't any help: Someone set the place on fire. Carl refused to call the cops. Then some guy named Gillian showed up and threatened Declan, so Jack agreed to pay. Carl was angry his son had spoken for him, but had the money when Gillian returned to toast their new union with Johnny Walker Blue, AKA "The Rich Man's Candy." Out of nowhere, Matt shot Gillian. The gangster had put his daughter in the ER. Carl hid the gunshot by making Jack's new boat backfire.
Nolan's staff was working through the holiday when he dropped the bomb that they were going public and sent them home with bottles of champagne. Then he and his CFO/lover Marco exchanged presents and kisses. The moment was over once an accountant called to tell Marco that $500 million in company assets was missing from Nolan's Kaman Islands account. Marco was ready to walk, so Nolan revealed the money had gone to the daughter of their first investor, David Clarke. Marco thought he was nuts for buying David's innocence. Nolan countered that they didn't have a future if he didn't "get" that Emily deserved the money. He fired Marco, who refused to take any more of Nolan's blood money.
Back in the present, Aiden and Emily were enjoying their reunion between the sheets. He marveled at how far he'd come in six years. "You fought for me when no one else would," he said, but he wondered if Takeda had been setting them up all along. She sighed that he better not disappear on her again. "I won't, Amanda," he promised.
At the Stowaway, Trey thanked Declan for letting them use his boat slip to bring in their booze. He poured himself a shot of Rich Man's Candy... just like his pops used to drink.
Daniel called Marco, waking him with a business proposition. Marco was in. Upstairs, Victoria worried about her son making himself a target. She told Conrad he had to help her protect Daniel. "Then we have to block him from taking control of the board, no matter what it takes," Conrad said, sighing over the irony of wanting to stop Daniel's ascent. "Perhaps Daniel should have been a poet, after all."
Now that Emily trusted Aiden, she showed him her father's box, which included everything about her father and "the girl I left behind when I started on all this." He fingered her wrist tattoo, which matched the double infinity symbol on the box.
"The journey with no end," she said.
"Revenge" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.