Everyone's waiting for Daniel to be fully cleared of charges after the abrupt "suicide" and "confession" from Grayson Goon, Lee. That is, except for Emanda, who is pretty wrapped up with finding out more about who was responsible for murdering her father in prison. She inadvertently stumbles upon some info when she goes to talk to Charlotte out of concern for her well-being. Since Charlotte has grown a bit obsessed herself with finding out about who her father was, she has a number of photos and news clippings strewn about her room. Emanda notices a photo of David in prison, dated the day he was murdered. In the photo, he is writing in a journal that was most certainly not delivered by Nolan. She confronts Nolan and finds out he's been hiding it from her (that rascal).
The reason behind hiding the journal turns out to be that it leads straight to an informant David had at Grayson Global... who turns out to be Nolan's aunt (!). He knew Emanda would track her down, and for him, protecting family is much bigger than Ems' revenge plot. Nolan's aunt had been working with another man to try and get David's name cleared, but the Graysons caught on and had the guy murdered, so she faked her own death. The only lead that comes out of this is for Emanda is that the guy who murdered David was a scary-looking white-haired man.
When Daniel is finally cleared of all murder charges, it becomes evident that he is nowhere near being cleared of the perception by the general public that he is a murderer. He agrees to do a televised interview to try and fix that. At the same time, Jack has grown so unsettled by what he knows of the circumstances of Daniel's exoneration not matching up with what he knows that he seeks out Daniel. He confesses about being on the beach that night to cast doubt on Lee's sudden confession, in hopes Dan will be cautious of bringing Emanda into a corrupt family. It raises enough questions in Daniel's head for him to confront his father, who has finally been taken down by Victoria's ace in the hole: her contact at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Conrad tells Daniel the entire story of David Clarke's framing while Emanda eavesdrops through her bug.
Just before Daniel's interview, Emanda gives him a slight pep talk to remind him that he doesn't need to protect the Grayson name, and he might have a chance to be his own man if he comes clean. She very clearly hopes he'll do the right thing and expose his family's crimes... but he doesn't. He endorses his father as a son and a business partner. Emanda is no longer on the fence about Daniel. He has revealed himself to be "one of them."
Speaking of family existential crises, Charlotte continues her terrorist-father-induced downward spiral. Declan, always trying to do the right thing the wrong way, tips off Collins Prep's headmaster about Charlie's drug problem. They search her locker and find her pills, suspending her. Victoria finds out about this and realizes her daughter is completely imploding. She takes her aside to finally explain what David meant to her and how much she sees of the man in Charlotte. It's a genuine bonding moment for two women on the verge of complete disintegration, and seems to be the start of an understanding.
In We Don't Care land, Ashley resigns from her post at Grayson Manor to take a job with Brooks as a media liaison. Just before she starts, Victoria realizes Ash was the one who leaked photos of Daniel to the media, and tips off Brooks, who subsequently retracts the job offer. Conrad overhears all of this and swoops in to offer Ashley a job at Grayson Global, anticipating the coming shit storm. It's not much of a happy ending, but at least we won't have to hear Ash complaining about her job for a while.
-- Pablo G. is some guy who lives in Austin, Texas. He co-hosts TWoP's original "Trailers Without Pity" with his brother Omar G. Check him out at The YES and NO and Pablog and follow him @PendejoJoe on Twitter.
Snow falls in front of Emanda's out-of-focus face. Ems voice-over: "Absolution is the most powerful form of forgiveness -- a full pardon from suspicion and accountability. It's the liberation of a stolen future -- a future my father never lived to see." Emanda is in a graveyard. She clears off some snow from her father's grave and lays a single rose on it. VO continued: "Absolution is a mercy the people who killed him will never know."
A reporter speaks over a brief montage of protestors outside Rikers Island and Brooks meeting with Daniel. She says there is a great deal of suspicion from people who have closely followed "the new trial of the century" after Lee supposedly committed suicide and left a confession just before the defense was to present its case. The judge has been in her chambers all morning, presumably preparing to drop all charges on Daniel, but the reporter notes this certainly won't clear him in the court of public opinion. And rightfully so; the sweater he's wearing is unfortunate.
The Porter brothers watch this report from the Stowaway and are in full agreement. Jack suggests to Dec that if it turns out the Graysons are indeed behind all of this, he should avoid Charlotte. The new and improved Declan fires back at his brother sarcastically that it would be just like he did with Amily. Dec blames himself for Charlotte's current downward spiral, but Jack thinks that's all the more reason the Graysons wouldn't hesitate to harm him if he opened himself up to it.
Casa Emily. Ems reads a news clipping about her father's death in prison while sipping coffee. Nolan shows up and cracks wise about Emanda going over her wedding invitation list, assuming her plan to get her fiancée freed from prison works. (Why wouldn't it? She's Emanda) Actually, she's now going over a list of all the inmates involved in the prison riot and she can account for all of them. Though the trail's gone cold, Emanda knows from Conrad's conversation with Lee's murderer that this is likely a repeat of what happened to her father and they've simply covered up the killer's identity. For now, Emanda is off to see Charlotte because she's worried about her.
Grayson Manor. The massive, unfinished painting of Victoria now occupies an entire wall in the house. Victoria stares at it in pain. Conrad enters and, noticing his emotional triumph over his wife, decides to be an ass about his victory over Dominik. Ever proud, Victoria won't give him the satisfaction of admitting her anguish. Conrad expresses his disappointment. Victoria: "When I choose to react, you'll know it. And I guarantee that you'll not just regret each and every one of your petty little torments, but that the suffering you so glibly spread around will come back at you tenfold." It's nice to see there's a little bit of venom left in the broken Queen.