Following the pilot in which we learned of Emily’s adversaries and her motivations, Revenge could have gone down a couple paths–serialized, where Emily concocts a massive plot to take down Victoria, or the procedural route, which Revenge is taking. Both would be unrealistic given the circumstances, but the procedural route is easier to handle, as the audience doesn’t really need to watch every week to keep up and the writers don’t need an overly complex web of plots.
What we see from “Trust” is an ability to blend the procedural parts–Emily taking down Bill Harmon, a very good friend of her father–and the backstory which still needs filling. The procedural parts bring new people for Emily to destroy and in turn the audience sees what this person did in Emily’s past. Put in procedural terms, the somewhat dense mythology seems much simpler. Meanwhile, Emily courts the Hamptonites and endears herself to Daniel who we know is her fiance in the future and will be killed. Victoria digs up Emily’s past and there are anomalies found, so this won’t be an unimpeded revengefest for Emily.
I’m troubled by the random plots outside of Emily, however. The stuff with Declan, or the Porters in general, seems disconnected from Emily. Yes, Emily knows Nolan, Emily knows Jack from the past, and Nolan is hanging out with Jack, but these connections don’t seem to be leading anywhere. Declan, of course, is the most useless of all, with the typical class stratification plot.