With her former foster brother on the scene, Emanda finds herself in an awkward situation. On the one hand, here's an important familial (albeit ridiculously contrived) link to her past. On the other, this person could very easily expose her. After some initial interactions, Eli calls Ems out in private for being the real Amanda Clarke. It turns out Eli has a bit of a sordid past, himself, so Emanda offers to pay him off and get Nolan to wipe his record clean so he can leave the Hamptons with a fresh start. Inexplicably, she follows through on her end of the deal before Eli gives any real indication that he won't renege on his end of the bargain. Now, Emanda has created a powerful enemy for herself -- a guy with some money, a clean record, and who is charismatic enough to gain the admiration of the Graysons.
Here's how bitch-move this guy is. Within minutes of being handed a check for $100,000 by Ems, Eli turns around and hands it to Victoria as a donation to the Amanda Clarke foundation the Graysons have just launched as a front for their own assets. He even gives Emanda a little stare-down to say, "Yeah. What?" Again, Ems has no recourse because she and Nolan have just given him carte blanche. Victoria likes the cut of this guy's jib. Within a day of meeting him, she names him her co-chair for the Amanda Clarke Foundation. Sure, why not?
The guilt of everything that comes with being Daniel Grayson has really gotten to him. Every scene he's in there's a glass of liquor in his hand. Seeing this, Aiden starts hovering a bit too close because he's still gunning for a spot on the board at Grayson Global. When Daniel almost gets himself in a bar brawl, Aiden intervenes, only succeeding to repulse Dan. Lucky for Aiden, Conrad saw the whole thing, noting the lengths this man would go to protect Daniel. Conrad appoints Aiden as the Treasurer of something or other, much to Daniel's chagrin.
Sure it's two episodes later, but Jack suddenly is wondering, "Hey! How did I end up back on shore that night on a raft? Who did that?" He does some half-assed investigating at the docks, but still very easily deduces it was Nolan who saved him. This only serves to drive a further wedge between Jack, Ems and Nolan. To try and save some face, Nolan doctors up some files and documents that say Kenny Ryan was the one who bought the speedboat involved in some of the events of that night. Jack appears to forgive Nolan, but Jack's learning to put on a fake face from all his dealings with the Graysons.
Once Nolan and Ems discover the Graysons' plan to use Amanda Clarke's charity as a front so their assets can't be frozen, the obvious course of action is to infiltrate that account and ruin the family financially. It's simple revengology. Instead of using his normal avenues of achieving all the cyber crime he normally perpetuates, Nolan decides to use Carrion to bypass the firewalls of the Graysons' account -- simply to establish for us that there should be nothing in the world that could stand in his way. When Nolan gets to the last line of defense, he's met with an impenetrable block on the account with the ASCII and l33t calling card of "Falcon," a coder that Nolan idolized as a young man and who must be currently on the Graysons' payroll. So... let me get this straight: The Initiative has been after Carrion because it's the be all, end all of malicious code, but meanwhile they couldn't just tap the guy who can outcode Nolan well enough to stop Carrion? Maybe this is why the Initiative is so inefficient that we still don't know what they're doing after two season.
-- Pablo G. is some guy who lives in Austin, Texas. He used to co-host TWoP's original "Trailers Without Pity" with his brother Omar G. Check out their webcomic Space Monkeys! and follow Pablo's writing at Pablog. Follow him @PendejoJoe on Twitter.
It's almost nightfall in the world where David Clarke is still able to hold his daughter close and read her a bedtime story in front of the fireplace. Little Amanda finishes each line her father reads from "The Little Match Girl" like she's heard it hundreds of times, but it will never get old. Emanda voice-over: "To carry a secret is to play with fire. Try to pass it on and you risk hurting someone else. Hold onto it and eventually you'll get burned." Fade into the future where Aiden pokes the embers in the fireplace of an unfamiliar house. Ems enters, asking if they can be sure nobody knows about this place. It's their save haven, Aiden says. Emanda has just come back from the cemetery and her encounter with her foster brother Eli. As best as she can tell, Eli didn't recognize her. Aiden asks if there's any reason to believe he might have ill will towards her. Ems: "I burned down our house." Oh. FLASHBACK: Little Amanda lights a match, waves it out and uses the burnt end to scrawl an infinity x infinity symbol next to a bunch of other ones on a piece of paper. Little Eli walks in to ask why she always draws the same thing. Goooooood question, Eli. It's a reminder that her father lied to her, she replies. Their foster mom comes upstairs because she smells the burned matches, so Amanda goes to hide while Eli steps up to take the punishment. He's told he needs to get in "the bin." You know... with the other orphans nobody wants. Am I right? Oh, whatever. /FLASHBACK. Ems explains to Aiden that Eli was always her protector in return for the promise she'd never leave him. "And I never did... until I set that fire." So... you did leave him.
Grayson Manor. Charlotte hands over photos from Jack and Amily's wedding to Victoria at the breakfast table for use in the launching of a charitable foundation in Amanda Clarke's name. This sort of thing is apparently all it takes to get Charlotte behind her parents. She tells them how proud she is of them before heading off to school. Daniel walks in as she's leaving, running on no sleep. He can't stop thinking about what the Initiative might have in store for him. Frankly, if you're going to let an international terrorist organization get in your head and run your day, you're just not cut out for this life. Being the dimwitted, alcoholic son of a well-to-do family seems to be all Daniel can muster these days. Conrad advises his son that the plan should be to deflect anything that may come their way onto someone else -- namely Aiden Mathis. That doesn't really jive with Dan since Aiden has recently proven his loyalty to him and the company. After David and Amanda Clarke, Daniel doesn't see why another innocent person should pay for his family's sins. He storms off.