Last week, we watched a (mostly) Thanksgiving-themed flashback episode. In it, we learned about Nolan's (Gabriel Mann) hot-and-heavy relationship with NolCorp's former CFO, Marco (E.J. Bonilla), and the secret that tore them apart. We also took a deep-dive into Victoria's (Madeleine Stowe) past, as her mother, who is arguably more wretched and awful than her daughter, came to visit. Ah, family.
WHAT WE LEARNED
Daniel vs. Conrad: This episode begins with a rich person's game: skeet shooting. Shooting is also, of course, a fond favorite of the Grayson family for reasons other than the fact that they have money—they're interested in getting ahead any way they can. We're introduced to Salvador (Joaquim de Almeida), a married, rich investor who sits on the board of Gray. We found out that his vote matters—a lot. Both Daniel (Josh Bowman) and Conrad (Henry Czerny) begin scheming over how to win him over, or, more accurately, blackmail him over. And we're off.
Daniel Blackmails Nolan—but Nolan Fights Back: Last episode we met Marco, Nolan's former CFO and lover. Things between them ended badly. Like, never talk to one-another again badly. Until now. Daniel knows that if he brings NolCorp into the Gray fold he'll have leverage over his father when it comes to being named CEO of the company. Investors want profits, and Daniel is pining to bring just that to them. So what does he do? He brings in Marco against Nolan, and suddenly Daniel is privy to that little matter of a missing half-billion dollars. And NolCorp is on its way to becoming part of Gray. But Nolan's got some tricks of his own up his sleeve—especially now that, by the end of the episode, Marco is back on his side, and will soon be a part of NolCorp's inner-workings again. If that seems like a quick turnaround for Marco's character arc, that's because it was.
Daniel Catches Ashley With Salvatore, and Blackmail Ensues: Well, here's where things really get dicey. Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) and Aiden (Barry Sloane), sleuth detectives that they are, have video of Ashley (Daniels' girlfriend, mind you!) sleeping with his dad. Mr. Grayson. To ruin any potential sway she may have (she wants Aiden off the board of Gray, and tells Daniel just as much) the duo send the video to Victoria. But it backfires, as Victoria uses the video as blackmail against her, forcing her to go to Salvador's bedside, and, well, basically whore herself out. Some mother. Aiden and Emily (Emily VanCamp) catch onto Victoria's reversal, and send Daniel there. He catches them in the act. And, damn, suddenly Ashley's word doesn't matter (for now), but more importantly for Daniel, he now has photographic evidence against Salvador, which he swiftly threatens to send to his richer-than-rich wife. Boom. Daniel has the Salvador vote.
Daniel Ousts Conrad: And just like that, Daniel is on top. Even though there are a number of unanswered questions, Daniel overthrows pops. But it comes with a warning from Victoria, and with good reason: Be careful. People are after you. He has no idea what she's talking about. Something tells us we'll learn more about this is the second half of the season.
Jack's Christening—Is There More to It?: Emily is serving as Jack (Nick Wechsler) and Amanda's baby's Godmother. But, of course, the memories of the past are a lot for Emily to handle, and you have to wonder what she's thinking as the camera spends a lot of time studying her sadly pensive face. She, of course, is looking at Jack. What else about this scene is important? Jack hears a rumor from Duncan (Jonathan Adams), a guest and friend of Jack's late father, that Jack should get as far away as possible from his new business partners.
Mr. Duncan, Stabbed by Nate and Kenny: Meanwhile, outside of the Gray world is the unfolding drama between Jack and his business partners, Nate (Michael Trucco) and Kenny (J.R. Bourne). By the end of the episode, Jack has finally learned that these guys aren't who they say they are—Nolan does some digging to find this out—and, as a matter of fact, Jack's life is at stake. Duncan gets stabbed outside the bar, and it turns out the guys are the sons of Joe Ryan. Jack is finally starting to get it. But is it too late? We're going to have to wait until January to find out.
"After my kidnapping I developed a fondness for firearms."—Victoria
"Nobody plays dirtier than the Graysons"—Emily
"I should come to The Hamptons more often; beautiful women seem to fall from the sky."—Salvador
"You don't have to keep secrets from me."—Aiden, to Emily
"I'm not destroying lives, Amanda, I'm righting wrongs."—Emily
"What the hell could you be holding over Ashley to force her to do something like this?"—Daniel
"Victoria, Conrad: I bet you're so proud."—Emily
"No, no cops."—Mr. Duncan