'Revenge' Season 2, Episode 18 Recap - 'Masquerade'

(ABC) Revenge season 2, episode 18 recap

One week may have passed in real life, but a full six weeks have gone by for Emily Thorne and friends. And boy, oh boy did a lot happen in the last month and a half! Try to keep up:
Nolan is cracking: Nolan is at his office on the phone with a detective following up on Padma’s case. The detective tells him nothing has changed; the first 48 hours are crucial in a missing person’s case, but since that and 968 more hours have passed, unfortunately the authorities are no closer to finding Padma.
Emily drops by NolCorp for a quick visit and realizes that Nolan is stuck deep in his own head, A Beautiful Mind-style. After Padma’s kidnapping, he found a love letter from her that thanks Nolan for sticking by her side after her original betrayal, and that she’d wait for him. He plans on running down every clue and dead-end alley until he tracks her down himself.
But help is on the way: Emily and Aiden are seen walking through New York City discussing Nolan’s difficult situation; they both feel as if they’ve let him down. Emily suggests Aiden tanks the Initiative’s investments with Grayson Global; that’s the only way to draw Mr. Trask out from hiding so that they may be able to get Padma and her father back alive.

A surprising attendee: While sorting through RSVP’s for the annual Grayson Halloween Masquerade Ball, Victoria tells Daniel that there will be plenty of pretty potential Emily Thorne replacements in attendance, namely his ex, Sloane Hanover. He reminds her that he’s not really ready to move on, since he only broke things off with her to shield her from the Initiative’s harm. (Daniel still thinks they sent him the photo of he and Emily in bed, along with two bullets, not knowing that they actually came from his own mother Victoria who was hell bent on breaking them up.)
Ashley drops by Grayson Manor with a stack of RSVP’s that were delivered to Conrad’s campaign headquarters; one of which bears a 1973 postmark and includes an acceptance note from the attendee named ‘From Your Loving Son.’ 
Choose your words wisely: Over at the Stowaway, Conrad is preparing for a Q&A session at the Town Hall meeting where he’ll try to win over the ‘working class.’ Jack Porter reminds Conrad not to call them that, as it’ll just make people more aware of the vast difference between them and him. Conrad is thankful for Jack’s down-to-earth wisdom and support—he’s actually helped Conrad appear much more ‘for the people’ and close the polling gap tremendously.
More on that suspicious RSVP: Ashley informs Conrad of the suspicious acceptance card, which had ‘expect the unexpected’ scrawled on the envelope alongside the 1973 postmark. She warns him that this just happens to be the first year his longstanding opponent was elected. Since it’s October, this could be their version of the ‘October surprise.’ They’ve decided the best course of action is to communicate through earpieces; that way they can quickly dismantle any bombs tossed their way.
Jack turns to Nolan for help: Nolan comes out of hiding to see what Jack Porter has been up to, and if he needs help in carrying out Amanda’s plan to make the Graysons pay for her father’s demise. Nolan’s just in the nick of time; Jack hands him his earpiece for the evening, along with Nate Ryan’s secretly recorded audiotape where he and Conrad were conspiring to kill Amanda.  
Emily vs. Victoria: While at Grayson Manor visiting Charlotte, Emily unexpectedly pops into Victoria’s boudoir where she’s sitting at her vanity staring at the unexpected RSVP. Emily humbly asks after her missing invitation, stating that she hopes it was lost in the mail, but Victoria assures her that isn’t possible as there was no invitation bearing her name to begin with.
About the Initiative’s investments: Emily’s plan actually works; Trask shows up in the flesh at Grayson Global to discuss the Initiative’s future. Daniel tries to assure him that they’ll get his money back and there’s no need for threats, like the photo/bullet sent six weeks ago. Trask matter-of-factly states that the Initiative doesn’t threaten in two dimensions; they actually act in three. Trask also decides to pull all of their assets out of Grayson Global effective immediately, and gives Daniel a brief head’s up to be very wary of Aiden. 
Daniel calls Emily as soon as Trask leave his office to invite her to the Masquerade since he’s now confident that nothing will come of that perceived threat. (Victoria won’t be too happy about this one crashing her party!)
The delivery of death: Victoria heads out onto the balcony to comfort Charlotte, who is seen staring at the old Clarke house reminiscing about Amanda. Their maid Marta comes in with a disturbing delivery—eleven black roses and one headless stem. The accompanying card explains it; it says “I’ll be wearing the twelfth rose.” Of course it’s signed, ‘Your loving son.’ 
Charlotte asks who their from, and a quick-thinking Victoria says they’re from the florist, thanking her for their business. But Charlotte isn't stupid—she recognizes a tragic, disturbing symbol of dying love when she sees it.
One point for Aiden: Trask is talking on his cellphone in the car park after leaving Grayson Global, he tells someone to their money should be transferred immediately, and it’s time to advance their plan to phase two. He hops into his coupe and is met by a cocked gun held by Aiden, who tells him to ‘Take Lexington. It’s faster this time of day. Unless you know a more direct route to Padma Lahari.”  
Trask leads Aiden to a dead Padma, who unfortunately was killed earlier that day. Aiden asks why the Initiative kept her alive for six weeks, and Trask states that every decision has its purpose and will be revealed when the time is right. He also informs him that the police are on their way; they were alerted to Aiden’s intrusive presence via motion detectors. Aiden decides to take one for the team and kill Mr. Trask. As he’s suffocating him, he tells Trask that he’s doing it for Padma and her father, as well as Aiden’s father and sister Colleen—all of who were killed by the Initiative. 
Then Aiden snaps Trask’s neck as police sirens begin to wail. (Ummm, ouch!)
A somewhat successful Town Hall meeting: Conrad successfully charms his constituents, until someone lobs a question about jury tampering and David Clarke’s trial his way. He’s flustered for a second, especially when Nolan plays stolen Nate Ryan tape into his earpiece. Conrad quickly recovers by promising to reopen the case and restore presidential pardon to the deceased’s reputation if he’s elected.
And Conrad knows about the bouquet: He found the black roses in the trash outside, along with the card. Conrad asks Victoria to ‘fess up, and surprisingly, she does—somewhat. She tells him that she got pregnant by her mother’s boyfriend when she was sixteen. She also leads him to believe that she terminated the pregnancy.

Let the masquerade commence!: Victoria and Conrad make a grand speech to greet their guests before splitting to circle the room. Victoria is busy scanning every male’s suit jacket; she’s looking for a black rose in place of a pocket square. She thinks she sees one before realizing that her eyes are playing tricks on her. And then she sees her archenemy Emily, who snidely informs Victoria that Daniel invited her.
Emily makes her rounds: Nolan is at the masquerade, too, so Emily strolls over to thank him for helping Jack make Conrad promise to reopen her father’s case. He tells her it was his pleasure, he saw a chance to help move their plan forward and took it. Emily is grateful that he was proactive.
The Porter brothers also turn up, so she and Nolan say hi. Declan and Nolan head off in pursuit of snacks and cocktails, leaving Emily and Jack to make awkward small talk before a clueless Daniel heads over to thank Jack for actually making his father electable, and to sweep Emily away for a long overdue dance.
Supporters are anxious: At the party, Conrad is fielding calls from voters and friends alike; they’re interested in knowing what his first-term angle will be should he get elected. He puts one at ease before basically firing Ashley for the audiotape incident. Jack overhears this conversation; we wonder when he’s going to use that convo to his advantage!
Daniel wises up: Sloan Hanover makes her way over to Victoria to say hi and shows her a Page Six article that confirms the rekindled romance between Daniel and Emily. Victoria storms over to Daniel to warn him about the Initiative’s plan to harm he and Emily, but he shuts her right up when he hands her the two telltale bullets and suggests she ‘use one for each of her two faces.’ Burn!

Aiden comes bearing bad news: He turns up at the masquerade to update Emily on the Trask situation. He informs her that Mr. Trask is now at the bottom of the East River, and Padma is dead. Emily tries to break it gently to Nolan, but he doesn't take the unfortunate news so well. Nolan blames himself and Emily and collapses into tears. He urges Emily to get back to the party, as he wants to deal with it on his own. 
Charlotte’s a bit of a bad ass: Little sister Grayson overhears a girl named Regina making snide remarks about Amanda Clarke being a drunkard and a druggie. To shut her up, Charlotte smacks her—hard. Declan comes over to stop the situation from becoming a full-blown fight and asks Regina and her date to leave. He also reminds Charlotte to not let things like that get to her. (Who knew young Declan would turn out to be such a strong voice of reason?!)
All’s fair in love and war: Emily is seen chatting with Aiden again when Daniel makes his way over to gloat on the fact that he got the girl. (Remember Emily and Aiden dated publically a bit last year?) Aiden says there are no hard feelings before heading over to the bar, while Daniel tells Emily that he plans on keeping a close watch on Aiden. Daniel knows Aiden is up to something, he just can’t figure out what it is.
Jack vs. Victoria: He goes over to her to express his thanks for being invited to the lovely party; she makes a snarky remark about Charlotte hitting a girl and how it’s the new blue-collar influence her father Conrad is embracing for the campaign’s stake thanks to Jack’s advice. She also congratulates him on Conrad’s promise to follow up on David Clarke’s case, calling it a victory for Amanda. Jack angrily informs her that there is no victory; his wife Amanda is dead and their son is left without a mother.
The black rose finally makes an appearance: Victoria spots a guy wearing a black rose on his lapel and tries to follow him through the party. Only, he’s wearing the exact same suit as Aiden, which is who Victoria bumps into. She’s being driven mad with worry and can't take all the pressure. She faints into Aiden’s arms, and he lays her out on the ballroom floor. (The decoy guy wearing the rose exits stage left past Emily who makes it crystal clear that she was behind this little shenanigan.)
The results are in: Conrad and his campaign team are seen discussing the recent polling results in his living room. He’s working from home the morning after the ball because he wants to stay close to Victoria and make sure she’s OK after last night’s health scare. She comes downstairs and Conrad dismisses the team so that he and Victoria and chat in private. He wants to know why she got so worked up that he fainted, and infers that he thinks she’s lying about having terminated the pregnancy 40 years ago. She says she’ll give him proof, but when she does, he needn’t ever mention this situation again.
Jealousy always rears its ugly head: Emily drops by Aiden’s house for a showdown; even though they’re dating and a couple in secret (only Nolan knows), she has to sleep with Daniel, too, to keep up the ruse since she and he are publicly a couple. Aiden doesn’t like it, but he deal for the time being; sharing Emily is necessary to bringing down Victoria and Conrad. 
Emily also warns Aiden that Daniel is looking into his background; if Daniel turns to the Falcon for information, Daniel may find the link between Aiden and the Initiative, which could bring their whole carefully constructed house of cards tumbling down. They need to get to the Falcon before Daniel does.
Also, Emily is tracking Victoria’s cell phone and realizes that she’s on her way into the city. She needs to follow her. Aiden is headed that way, too, but says they should go into town separately. (Double ouch!)
An unlikely ally: Jack texts Ashley and asks her to pop by the Stowaway for a chat. He tells her that he overheard the conversation she and Conrad had at the party and essentially tells her everything. She figures out that he played the tape just before he asks her to join his side in getting revenge on the Graysons. Ashley tells Jack that she’s with him.
Now Nolan is a suspect: Nolan is back at his office, which is covered from ceiling to floor with inside information about Padma’s disappearance. The detective Nolan was on the phone with earlier shows up and asks about Nolan’s whereabouts yesterday after their call; Padma died less than 24 hours ago and Nolan is now a suspect. Nolan informs the detective that he has nothing to say.
Back to the convent we go: Victoria is in the city meet with Sister Rebecca, the nun that helped Victoria with her inconvenient baby issue 40 years back. The nun tells Victoria that she kept her promise to never reveal any information about Victoria’s whereabouts to her estranged son, even when he showed up looking for her several years back. Victoria thanks the nun for everything and walks off.
Soon after, Emily sits next to the nun and desperately asks for her help. She lies and tells the nun she’s pregnant, but she knows not what to do! (Lying on church grounds—we’re surprised she didn't catch fire immediately!)
And now, the questions—inquiring minds want to know:
-Now that Daniel knows his mother was behind the bullet/picture threat, what will become of their relationship? It’s already on shaky ground; how many times can he forgive her?
-Will Ashley double-cross Jack and let Conrad in on his plan? Ashley is all about financial gain and knows exactly who butters her bread…
-What proof will Victoria offer Conrad in regards to her supposed 40 year-old abortion?
-Now that Mr. Trask is dead (right along with Helen Crowley), who is the Initiative’s next front man? And will they be a bit more cautious than their not-so-lucky predecessors?)