What happens when a dangerous organization takes over nearly every scene of Revenge? You get “Collusion,” an episode full of The Initiative and little else. Though the show’s primary focus has shifted to its darkest villain, that didn’t leave it without some loose ends to tie up.

The Players:

  • Director: Matt Shakman
  • Writers: Sallie Patrick and Sunil Nayar
  • Cast: Emily Van Camp, Madeleine Stowe, Gabriel Mann, Nick Wechsler, Henry Czerny, Josh Bowman, Christa B. Allen, Ashley Madekwe, Connor Paolo, Barry Sloane, Dilshad Vadsaria, JR Bourne, Michael Trucco, Wendy Crewson, Dylan Walsh, Sherri Saum

Episode Title: “Collusion”

Emily sticks by Daniel as he fights his first battle in business, while Aiden starts down a darker path. Elsewhere, Conrad stealthily takes control of Amanda’s life.

The Good:

  • Recognition: After months of being led astray, Nolan is finally on to Padma. Leading her to Carrion, the program she’s been searching for, has to be part of his belated plot for vengeance. If that throws a wrench into The Initiative’s plan there will be a fantastic backlash.
  • The Disillusion: With the fight for Stonehaven United began the unraveling of Emily and Victoria’s partnership. To preserve her position with Daniel, Emily burned their bridge by admitting her agreement with Victoria. Watching the ladies work together was a pleasant change, but returning to their places as rabid foes is more rewarding.
  • True Allegiance: Nothing is ever as it seems with The Initiative. The initial video Aiden saw of his sister could have had the same unhappy ending as the one he saw at the episodes close. Especially since the video Emily hacked into had Colleen doing drugs as well. It’s hard to remember that when you’ve just watched your sister overdose. Since the death comes on the heels of Emily’s advice to not kill Victoria, the way is clear for her to reignite her relationship with Daniel for real. Aiden hates her and all. Her path will undoubtedly intersect with Aiden’s in the near future; battling the Initiative means their fates are intertwined.
  • Meant to Be: Even through text message Nolan and Emily impress and entertain. Begging for more screen time for the BFFs seems pointless now. Savoring their scenes together is all we have left.

The So-So:

  • Trading Dragons: Conrad’s bribe to rid The Stowaway of the Ryans would have been problematic even if it had been a success. Him as a co-owner, he would have been ridiculous enough. Now Conrad’s learning strong-arm tactics at Nate’s knee. It’s asinine that the Grayson patriarch and second most devious member would need assistance snatching power from others. Almost as asinine for us to hope something good will come out of this bastardized plot. 

The Bad:

  • The Family Name: Much like any forgotten child, Charlotte vied for attention in the most shocking way she could.  Someone should remind her that she lives at Grayson Manor. If she wants to get noticed she could do a lot better than changing her surname to Clarke. And if the writers want us to suddenly care about her again, they can conjure up more than that.


In “Collusion” all roads point to The Initiative. Victoria, Emily, Daniel, Aiden, and Nolan all lay embroiled in schemes for or against them, either knowingly or not. Strengthening The Initiative’s mystique does nothing to bolster the rest of the show’s plots.

Rating: 8/10

Revenge airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.

What did you think of this episode?