Very quickly, we find out the RSVP card last episode was a bit of misdirection. Amily hasn't laid a trap for Emanda. It's actually Tyler, fresh out of a hospital for the criminally insane, who is out for revenge. He makes it very clear he plans to show up at the Fire & Ice Ball to score some vindication against Daniel and Emanda. Amily does factor into this because Tyler has managed to somehow track her down and kidnap her, using her as a hostage in case Emanda tries to cancel the engagement party. In the time leading up to the party, Tyler starts planting seeds of doubt in Amily's head about Emanda having always been her competition for Jack, and makes sure to fulfill every kidnapper cliché there is. The Stockholm Syndrome conditioning confuses Amily long enough to get her to help Tyler when Emanda gets the drop on him as they meet to exchange money for the infinity x infinity box.
Despite being coaxed by Tyler into examining the evidence within the infinity x infinity box that supports Emanda was using Amily, she eventually chooses to make a break for it and escapes Tyler's grasp. She absorbs a gunshot and heads straight for Jack, who has been offered an opportunity to get his life back on track by being part of a project in Haiti. Amily catches him just as he's getting ready to leave and is ready to set sail with him when Jack offhandedly mentions that Emanda was always in Amily's corner when it came to the two of them being together. This causes Amily to realize she owes it to Emanda to stop Tyler, so she immediately leaves just as Jack realizes Amily has been wounded. He gives chase and they both end up at the beach right after Tyler and Daniel face-off. Amily finds the body, and Jack doesn't hesitate to tell her to run away before assuming responsibility for moving the body, assuming Amily was the killer. Jack is entirely one of those boyfriends who's too good of a boyfriend for his own good.
Daniel was down on the beach because he and Emanda had argued about Dan wanting to elope to Paris to get away from all the lies and secrets of his family. Emanda dragged her feet about this because it probably doesn't serve her plan to poetically run away with Daniel, and Satoshi Takeda mysteriously has returned to town claiming he is poised to set the plan "back on the righteous path." From this point we relive the Fire & Ice Ball as seen in the pilot. Daniel is nowhere to be found as his mother makes her speech, Nolan and Emanda are nervous, Dec and Charlotte go out to strip on the beach and encounter the body being moved by Jack.
There are some things different from the pilot, though. Namely, Daniel wasn't the one who got snuffed. It was Tyler! We've been given the old switcheroo. What makes it work is that Charlotte had started drinking out of depression about finding out David Clarke was her father, and taking Oxycodone she found in Jack's medicine cabinet at the Stowaway, so she easily could've been confused when she found the body and ran back to the party screaming that it was her brother. When it's revealed that the body is Tyler's, Daniel comes stumbling onto the beach covered in blood and disoriented. Victoria is so relieved to have her son that she bursts with relief and reverts to her maternal instinct, telling Daniel not to say a word when it seems like he might utter words of guilt in his daze. Emanda's plan has gone completely off the rails, and Takeda has absconded with Amily, seeming as if he might prefer her as a protégé. Revengin' ain't easy.
-- 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.
Faint moonlight glints on the dark ocean. Emanda voiceover: "There comes a moment in each of our lives when the control that keeps us sane slips through our fingers." Gunshot. The camera quickly rotates from the ocean to show Dan fall face down on the beach in his white tuxedo coat and black pants. Ems VO continued: "Most of us aim to seize it back. The best way to fight chaos is with chaos." Inside the party, we get a new glimpse at the giant cake for Dan and Emanda and a slideshow of sappy couple photos fades into a leather-gloved hand back out on the beach reaching down to pick up a group photo that has fallen next to Daniel's body. That hand fires two more shots. Gloved hands are always the hands of perfectionists.
24 hours earlier. We're at the motel where Amily had been staying. Nolan and Emanda frantically search through the room for the infinity x infinity box for any clues to Amily's whereabouts. No luck in either case. Emanda is pretty steadfast in thinking it couldn't have been Ams who broke into Casa Emily because she didn't know where Ems kept the box. Also, she's too loyal to Emanda to pull something like that. Emanda pulls out her phone, which prompts Nolan to ask who she's calling. "We're about to find out," Emanda replies. Cut to familiar items from the infinity x infinity box while a cell phone rings inside of it. A hand reaches for it and puts the phone up to the ear of a man we see only from behind seated in the shadows. Who is this mystery man? What business does he have derailing the revenge? Then, we hear the trademark smarmy voice of one Tyler "No bullets in the" Barrol. How did he get out of jail?! That's the first question out of Emanda's mouth. Tyler wasn't actually locked up, but instead sent to Springhaven Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Sounds lovely and very lax in the "keeping homicidal maniacs from returning to the scene of a crime within a couple weeks" department. Tyler is his usual smug self, registering Nolan's surprised background chatter and asking Emanda how Nolan's arm is doing. Ignoring the slime coming through her phone's speaker, she asks what Tyler wants. He thinks money would be nice, but he might prefer vindication. He immediately segues to asking how Daniel, the main target of that vindication, is doing. Almost instinctually, Emanda threatens that Tyler won't get anywhere near their engagement party. The problem with that is Tyler has taken Amily captive. He lets Emanda hear her moan through a gag while she struggles chained to a wooden post. Somewhat a step ahead of Ems and Nolan, Tyler threatens that he will kill Amily if the engagement party doesn't go on as planned. I don't know about you, Emanda, but I think that's a pretty sweet deal.