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Revenge Recap: The Craziest Baby Shower Ever

REVENGE - "Intuition" - Playing with the Graysons is definitely playing with fire, and Amanda learns that the hard way. Meanwhile Emily and Aiden each get blindsided, and the wheels start turning as Daniel begins to take matters into his own hands, on "Revenge."

Emily is right: “Some think intuition is a gift, but it can be a curse as well.” With an opening line that clunky, my intuition told me that “Intuition” wouldn’t be Revenge’s finest hour. I was right — perhaps too right. We were cursed with the worst episode of Revenge yet, full of endless missteps, unintentional hilarity, and soul-sucking subplots. All the guilt, none of the pleasure.

A sign of how far Revenge has fallen: “Intuition” begins in media res with one of the Grayson family’s hired hands mopping up a pool of blood. On a lesser late-night soap, I might give this hackneyed opening a pass, but Revenge has consistently strived to stretch past the clichés of its genre. This far into the game, the series needs to be pushing itself, not resting on tired tropes.

We won’t find out whose blood got spilled for some time (hint: it’s Amanda’s), but instead jump back 24 hours to Emily and Aiden chatting on the beach. Aiden’s still keeping mum about finding Kara, but he does point out that time and cohabitation with White-Haired Men can change a person — probably not for the better. Emily, however, is determined, and that means pulling Amanda’s puppet strings one more time.

Exactly why is Amanda still blindly following Emily’s commands? She went from worthy adversary in season one to pregnant doormat in season two, and it’s honestly a little embarrassing watching her give in so easily. Amanda, this will not end well for you. See above regarding the pool of blood. I don’t mind that Emily is often unsympathetic — part of her appeal is that she’s kind of a monster — but it’s less fun when her pawns don’t even put up a fight.

Em’s plan involves Amanda baiting Victoria with David Clarke’s journal in order to get more information about Emily’s mother. Emily plays Cyrano with Amanda, feeding her lines to make Victoria open up. Victoria swears she doesn’t know anything about Kara — which we know is a lie because of flashbacks —  but Emily (via Amanda) is relentless. And an impromptu baby shower serves as the perfect opportunity to pump Victoria for more information. Also: petits fours!

Elsewhere, Aiden catches up with Kara again, this time telling her that he’s an FBI agent looking for fellow agent Gordon Murphy, deep undercover in the Americon Initiative. It was at this point that I realized I have no idea what the White-Haired Man’s true allegiance was — and while I realize Revenge doesn’t want to lay all its cards on the tables, I think I’ve actually stopped caring. I mean, I’m not sure if he was a double agent or a triple agent or a quadruple agent, but I know he’s dead now. Let’s focus on that.

Aiden’s confrontation with Kara leaves him tied up in the middle of nowhere, which is basically how I’d like to see all of the other characters in the terrible subplots Revenge continues to foist on us. No matter how these threads eventually come together, there is no excuse for the amount of time we’ve now spent on Declan’s life of crime and Padma and Nolan’s budding romance. None.

With Declan, at least, the character has always been a dud, so it’s not a huge loss to see his character relegated to a plotline this stupid. In “Intuition,” we learn that Trey and Mr. Ryan are working together in an attempt to con Jack out of his bar. What we don’t learn is why we’re supposed to care. As for Nolan, it’s a real pity that Revenge’s former best character is now saddled with a love story no one asked for. Padma’s intrusion into his life has been so forced that it’s no fun watching the sparks fly —  and frankly, there aren’t many. God, I miss Tyler.

Which reminds me: Ashley is also in this episode. Good for her.

At the baby shower, Amanda randomly shows up with an entourage of strippers, which is only the second most hilarious moment in the scene. During the gift exchange, Victoria not-so-subtly hands Amanda a check for $100,000, as per Emily’s plan. Em doesn’t want the money —  she wants a sample of Victoria’s handwriting. Honestly, I’m sure there are easier ways to get that, but whatever, Emily, you do you. Amanda confronts Victoria with the visitor’s log from the mental hospital where Kara was kept — the matching handwriting proves Victoria visited Emily’s mother shortly before David was arrested. Are you on the edge of your seat? Stay tuned because things are about to get really silly.

Victoria finally admits that yes, she’s been holding back about Kara. David never wanted Emily to know the truth —  that her mother tried to kill her. The shock! The horror! It can’t be. (It totally can. There’s a flashback to Kara trying to drown her daughter and everything.) Victoria grabs the visitor’s log, and Amanda is so overwhelmed that she, um, flips backwards over the banister and lands on her head. She is literally floored. See, I told you the strippers were only the second most hilarious moment in the scene.

We reconvene at the hospital, where we learn that Amanda is in dire straits. I’ll let Jack explain it as he does to Declan: “Amanda. She’s not good, man.” As per Amanda’s wishes, the baby is given priority over Amanda’s life, because what Jack really needs right now is to be a single dad. (Christ, just take the Graysons’ blood money already.) With the baby recovering in NICU, Amanda ends up in a medically induced coma, perhaps dreaming of a world in which Revenge didn’t suddenly get crappy.

But there are signs of hope. Amanda’s injury brings Kara out of hiding and right into Emily’s path. Now that Kara’s fully in the mix, Revenge might be able to find its footing again. I’m not fond of preemptively declaring that a show has jumped the shark.

And yet, that last scene looked an awful lot like a fin, as Emily broke down in Aiden’s arms. Ah, yes, exactly what Revenge needed: its strong female protagonist showing her softer side in a man’s embrace. Gross. Mommy Issues or not, this isn’t the Emily we know and love, and the dreadful coda pushed “Intuition” from bad to worse. Fingers crossed that next week’s episode begins with Emily once again knocking Aiden out. Crocodile tears, guys. I can’t believe you fell for it.

Photo: Vivian Zink/ABC