One thing we didn’t like about this show was its flash-forward. We’ve said before that we think flashforwards to tease the viewer are cheap, especially when they aren’t that intriguing. LOST is, of course, an exception, and one of us thinks it's because by then, we care about the characters - in a pilot, we don't know anyone, so the flashback means nothing. We saw Emily’s fiance’s dead body on the beach on the night of their engagement party. The fiancé, Daniel Grayson, has a mom, Victoria (who is totally gorgeous and from The Last of the Mohicans). Victoria seems to suspect Emily of foul play when she realizes her son is missing.
We don’t know the dead man yet, so his death isn’t yet shocking. Wouldn’t it have been more fun to wonder if he would die and how, as we were watching him live and interact with the main character? Maybe this show has something more interesting up its sleeve than a mystery of whether this character was going to die.
It looks like Emily is responsible, even though she was at her engagement party when Daniel was shot on the beach. The engagement party has the theme “fire and ice,” with all the guys wearing white and all the girls wearing red. Everyone looks great and we really love that theme. After that, we got a flashback to Emily renting a house on the beach in the Hampton’s, right next to Victoria’s home. The house Emily rented was be her childhood home, where she lived with her father.
Then there were a lot of character introductions, pretty people gossiping, and walking on the beach, along with a few flashbacks of Emily’s memories. This all set in a serious, ominous tone, but it felt ordinary and probably went on too long. We found out that Victoria’s best friend, Lydia, was going through the beginnings of a divorce, and she didn’t want people to find out that she wouldn’t be able to afford her beach house in the Hamptons anymore.
Lydia was also sleeping with Victoria’s husband, Conrad. Emily knew about this. We find out in the end that Emily donned a wig, went to Conrad and Lydia’s favorite Affair Hotel (not the real name, but that would be awesome), posed as room service, and poisoned Conrad to give him heart attack symptoms. This was a pretty cool way to end the episode.
Victoria found out about the affair (because Emily made a crack about seeing Lydia’s ailing husband outside of the hotel - a serious "OH shit" moment that is so very difficult to explain) and announced at a hoity-toity auction that Lydia’s beach house will soon be on the market. Both Emily and Victoria are delightfully bitchy and ballsy so far. It’s great that Emily has a strong female nemesis that is similar to herself in temperament. Also at the auction was Daniel, a guy we are not supposed to feel sorry for, because he presumably killed someone while driving drunk years ago. His parents bought everyone off to keep him out of jail. Emily started wooing him.
Emily was (possibly) recognized by an old childhood friend named Jack. He has custody of Emily’s old dog from back when she was a kid (and we almost got teary when she was petting him for the first time). Jack was planning to take a boat to Haiti to work out with the Red Cross, but then he had to sell his boat to help his dad with financial troubles. Jack is clearly too good for someone who wants to murder a bunch of rich people for revenge, but we’re pretty sure he is going to be the main love interest. It’s going to be fun watching Emily actually fall in love while she is tricking another guy into fake love with her.
The man Jack sold his boat to was Nolan Ross, who absolutely recognized Emily. Emily is actually Amanda Clarke, and her father, David Clarke was framed for funding a terrorist organization. The framers? Residents of the Hamptons, including Victoria, her husband Conrad, and Lydia. David Clarke was Nolan Ross’ first investor who met Emily on her 18th birthday to give her a box of evidence that her father left behind, plus the money her father left her. Nolan told her that her father was innocent, but dead. David Clarke left a message for Emily, asking her to forgive the wrongdoers, as he had. But there would be no show if she chose forgiveness, would there?
We liked seeing Emily with dark hair, and it makes sense that she was in a juvenile detention facility. She was hardened by that and turned into the conniving main character we saw in this pilot, with her only soft side so far being her memory of her father. We had reservations about the main actress before, but now we are loving her. She does serious and vindictive well. Even though she is a cold-blooded killer, we are rooting for her/don’t hate her, and that is quite an achievement for this show. So far, this is fun, if melodramatic and soapy, and we want to know what happens.
Episode Grade: A-
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