Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind...or red sharpied for treason against David Clarke. It's New Year's Eve 2002! And 1992! And 2012! That's a flashback within a flashback y'all (totally Inception-esque) and that means 20 years of style and dramz for us as we dig deeper into the motivations of Amanda (more than just a box of journals and photos!), meet early days Nolan, Jack with bad hair and a girlfriend, Lydia with her cap set at Conrad (10 year affair...well, played Lyds), and Queen V with a serious case of the sads for David Clarke. Of course, no one recognizes Amanda using her real name, so it's no wonder she's pulling off the whole Emily scheme.
As Conrad puts it during this episode - parties are a tax on the rich. And a tax we here at YKYLF agree with because they are so much fun to recap! Especially when it's a flashback in a flashback. The 2002 annual affair is a less flashy one for the Graysons because apparently your busness takes a beating when you frame a man for terrorism and pay off everyone you know.
Shall we break it down by year?
The Winter Olympics happened in France, Euro Disney opened, Bill Clinton became president, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and the dude who plays Peeta were born, Boyz II Men topped the charts with "Til the End of the Road", Billy Crystal hosted the Oscars and there were only five best picture nominees (Unforgiven won), and Victoria hadn't started her love affair with the dude she'd eventually have sent to prison.
Oh David Clarke, you were super dashing back in the day. In fact, you even had an adorably goofy side.
Oh you, asking Li'l Amanda, your adorable daughter for advice on tying a tie.
It's really no wonder Victoria noticed you at the party and invited y'all to brunch. I mean, the kid thing is only in theory, seeing as she wasn't so hot on having her own son around when he was a kid (seriously, y'all. There's been no Li'l Daniel in any flashback to date).
However, your taste in friends David Clarke? I feel like you could have spotted that Bill Harmon was a bad apple.
His red sharpie-ing was possibly one of the most satisfying of 2012 (or is it 2011? I'm all backwards on what year it is in Revengeland).
But the lady you're all dying to know "What she wore" back in the day...well...I guess it was fancy for the time. But it certainly is not the Victoria we know now.
Conrad still cut a dashing figure in a tux, but V! What is happening with all that sparkly lace? I know lace is still your thing, but this was not. Neither is the updo. It's nice to know though your penchant for the booze hasn't really changed (although, guilt might have sent it in the direction of something a bit stronger).
There is so much happening. So much sparkle on the top, in the bracelet, in the dangly earrings. So much high ponytail.
Guilt and evil doings must also bring you some style. Because seriously, what is up with the skirt on that dress?
The world gets a break from Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars (still only five nominees; Chicago for the win), Nickelback tops the charts with "How You Remind Me" (and Canada apologizes), the war in Afghanistan and Homeland Security get their start, Princess Margaret and one third of TLC died, President Bartlett is re-elected on The West Wing, Victoria is still holding on to the empty home of David Clarke only to lose it to Lydia when Conrad sells it and starts a ten year affair, and the gang reunites like a game of Clue (it was Mason Treadwell in the study with the horrible vest) to talk about how they took that David Clarke down.
Well, 2002 is a more subdued year for our friends. At least it is for Victoria. I don't think Mason Treadwell understands the word subdued.
She's chilling out in a wine coloured dress with lace, although, unlike 2012, this is actually her party dress. Not her afternoon drinking or greeting the media dress. But Mason? He must have been attempting to be the Nolan of the first decade of 2000, because let's take a closer look.
There are at least four patterns happening here and two of them are paisley. This is all kinds of a hot mess. The only answer when faced with that outfit and personality at a party? Drink.
Collective "bitch, please" happening over there as they try to one up each other. At least the evil Dr. Banks looked better than Mason in some gold brocade.
I like the dress, but I'm guessing that lady is only impressed by her own company at a party - everyone else is super tedious.
And while everyone is rehasing the take down of America's favourite domestic terrorist and being bored by each other's company, our girl Emily is still chillin like a villain as Amanda and learning that a thinly veiled disguise is your ticket into the Grayson's party.
She also learns they'll say anything around the help, since they assume the help isn't trying to red sharpie them all. Which is probably why Victoria dresses them so horribly.
That cater waiter outfit alone is enough to take some revenge (!!!) on the Graysons. I bet it's that awful polyester that cannot be stained, no matter how hard you try or how much cream of potato soup gets spilled on it (I feel your cater waiter pain Ems/Amanda. BT-Dubs - do I call you Emily or Amanda for this post? I'm so confused).
While the staff room was enamoured with Amanda's more "casual" bar star wear, we totally dug Lyds as our favourite classy outfit for the episode.
Lyds, you fabulous minx you, I don't know where they're hiding you in 2012, but I hope you come back to wreak some havoc and play faux besties with Queen V.
I can't believe either of you trusted the other. But whatevs, that's some serious neck hardware you were rocking back in '02.
Although your best accessory may be your smug bitchface.
I would have thought Victoria to be smarter and catch on to your affair by at least year five (she really should send Ems an personalized and embossed on expensive paper thank you note for exposing that shizz), but that could have been because the cognac was becoming her other bestie.
As I always say, blame it on the Henny.
But the one thing I think we can all agree on about 2002 is that Victoria was laying the groundwork for her newfound mad party steez.
So much better than 1992. And we only know she's going to step it up hard for things like garden parties in 2011/2012.
Speaking of which....
The other trial of the decade has just come to a wrap, freeing Daniel to party with Ems and his family and go see the Hunger Games and Avengers all he wants. Hopefully they didn't make him watch the Oscars with Billy Crystal and nine Best Picture nominees while he was on Rikers Island.
Love the skinny tie and the tailored look, even if you are on the slippery slope to evil Grayson style plots.
And Ems, blonde really is the better choice for you. And you're probably jazzed that this time you get to go to the Grayson party in a dress made of natural fibres with some bitchin' tailoring.
Dress fits you like a glove, as always. I like the navy party wear on you. I really hope we'll get a few winter parties in before the season wraps up and leaves us longing for a Hamptons summer.
And not unlike Lydia, the accessory you always wear best (aside from that great necklace you've got on), is your "Imma take you and your whole famiy down" bitchface.
I'm also hoping we'll see the red sharpie at least once more. Because you were on such a roll.