Returning after a month’s break, the show hopefully offered up a glimpse of what to expect in the second half of the season, by getting back to its roots. Namely, Emily/Daniel, Victoria manipulation, Nolan-isms, and …. Red Sharpie!
The most terrifying thing you will ever see.
Victoria has a plan. She needs to find a way to get Daniel out of the clutches of The Initiative before it’s too late, and she knows that he will never listen to anything she says, so she intends to recruit a certain figure from Daniel’s past … someone with an ass for days with an unhealthy obsession for Daniel’s life. No, not Tyler, he’s dead! She plans to bring Emily back into the family fold, to try and talk some sense into her son.
She invites Emily over for lemonade (won in a hostile takeover of the lemonade stand down the street. Hey, Grayson Global has to rebuild somehow, and if those kids were stupid enough to trade shares for Beiber tickets, that’s their own fault), and they have a typically tense but fruitful meeting. She convinces Emily to give it another go with Daniel, in the hopes that she can help steer him away from the manipulation of The Initiative, and back to the manipulation of his family.
Emily agrees, knowing this is her way back into the family, and as luck would have it, a key figure in her father’s trial is staying with the Graysons for the weekend, and Red Sharpie is chomping at the bit to get some payback.
The Sharpie victim in question is Robert Barnes, who was the judge for David’s trial, and is a current nominee for the Supreme Court. Conrad asks (reasonably) why Barnes would want to come anywhere near their house, and Victoria explains that his wife Patricia heads a “wrongfully accused” charity, and Victoria has arranged a benefit for all those imprisoned unjustly, and because Conrad very nearly fell into that category, it would behoove them to use it as a chance to start rebuilding the Grayson image.
Meanwhile, Emily discusses the Judge Barnes situation with Aiden. She shows him a letter that she thinks was written by the trial court clerk James Palmer and sent to her father in prison. He confesses that he told Barnes the name of the one juror who was going to vote Not Guilty, and the judge used that info to replace the juror. Three days after the letter was sent, Palmer mysteriously died in a subway accident.
Emily sets the Operation: Reconciliation plan in motion, and she and Aiden have a very vocal breakup within earshot of Conrad and Daniel. When she arrives at Grayson manor for dinner with Daniel and the Barnes, everything is set, but an intriguing curve is thrown.
Emily brings up Palmer’s name at dinner, and it elicits the expected “He was a good man” response from Robert, but Patricia’s response is far more personal, as she says, ‘His passion for justice was unparallelled.” As Emily watches in growing awareness, Robert grabs Patricia’s hand and squeezes. And squeezes. Emily brings up David’s trial and if the Liberty project has ever tried to investigate if he was wrongfully prosecuted, and Patricia says no, that none of her husband’s decisions have ever come under any scrutiny.
Realizing that something is fishy, Emily does some research and discovers that Patricia has had multiple injuries over the years, with all signs pointing toward spousal abuse, and what’s more, she discovers a photo of a young and radical Patricia at an apartheid protest … with James Palmer. What if it wasn’t James who wrote that fateful letter … what if it was Patricia?
Emily gets her proof at the big benefit, when she approaches Patricia with the letter and tells her that “Amanda” read it when she was incarcerated, and it saved her life. Now maybe, Patricia can use it to save her own life. Patricia takes her advice, and when she gets up to the podium, admits that it was she who wrote the letter, and that her husband helped taint the jury. He is seeking more power, but “the greater the power, the greater the potential for abuse,” and she takes off her coat to reveal her bruised and battered arms.
Robert walks out, knowing his chances of becoming the next Supreme Court Asshat just exploded.
And with that, Emily brings out our old pal and crosses off another target. Daniel stops by that night to ask her to become the Grayson charity head … or something, and she says she’ll think about, and as the two of them walk out on to the porch, Emily notices Victoria watching from her perch, and she manipulates Daniel into kissing her. Victoria is pleased, but Aiden, who’s watching from inside the house … is not.
Welcome back. We missed your geometric judgment