Scandal: Top of the Hour

"You messed up and there was a price. Betrayal always has a price."

I’m never that excited about standalone episodes of Scandal, even when they’re good. This episode had a lot to boast about. Olivitz moments, some Quick (Quinn + Huck) bonding, a reasonably detailed client storyline, Cyrus and Mellie battles, and a total OMG moment. Still, I felt it could’ve been better. Or perhaps I’m still bitter about the three week hiatus.

The theme of sexism and double standards was present, but the show didn’t emphasize it as much as it could have. It mostly only pertained to the Sarah story, when it could have been continued throughout the rest of the episode. The show is set in Washington DC, one of the most notorious boys’ clubs ever conceived. Surely Olivia must have experienced sexism rising through the ranks of the Washington elite. As for double standards, just take a look at Mellie and Cyrus. The tougher and more devious Cyrus is, the better he is respected and trusted. The tougher and more devious Mellie is, the less she is liked. But we didn’t engage with that so, let’s move on.

The parallels between Sarah and Liv were a little heavy handed and forced. Liv betrayed Fitz by rigging the election and Sarah betrayed Phil by cheating on him. It’s been done before and better (“The Other Woman,” “Boom Goes the Dynamite”). I have to give it to the show for the scene where the two couples fight, Fitz and Liv over the phone and Sarah and Phil in the background. That was very well done and oddly poignant. It was a great way to make Fitz and Olivia fight yet again without it getting boring and it made for a gorgeous scene.

Cyrus continues to be perplexing. When angered, he has the propensity to turn into a complete misogynist, which I find interesting. Early in season one, Cy called Liv “trashy” for sleeping with a married man. This week, he says a lot more (see quotes section). Cyrus is at his most dislikable in this episode. He is crude and offensive. From a character standpoint, it’s obvious he’s frustrated and has been backed into a corner by Fitz and his new insane scotch-swilling persona, but really, that’s no excuse. He’s seemed heartless before (killing Amanda Tanner in season one) but here he was just plain mean.

Olivia and Jake’s relationship progressed this week. They were caught together by a photographer who was later robbed of his camera and beaten up by a mysterious ski-masked figure. I was completely shocked when said figure turned out to be Jake. I thought for sure it would be Huck on an errand from Olivia. The hoodie was a great mislead. We’ve never seen one on Jake and have never seen Huck without one. Now it’s clear the lengths Jake will go to to avoid being discovered by Fitz.

In a switch, the Quinn parts of the episode were actually my favorite. Who woulda thunk it? Taking off her shirt in the dry cleaners and her sheepish confession of failure to Huck? The most adorable and least annoying she’s ever been. Huck is training his newfound protégé in the ways of stealth and she’s proving to be a relatively quick study. She is eager, but perhaps a little too much so. She nearly gets herself caught a couple of times and Osborne now has surveillance photos of her. Still, I’m not worried. He doesn’t know who he’s up against.

New this week: Lauren, Fitz’s assistant/receptionist person. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of her. She’s been on the screen a total of two minutes and I already like her. She stood up to both Cyrus and Mellie. That takes guts.

I feel like I should mention that the hostages got rescued, although I don’t have much to say about that.

Bits and Pieces:

What was up with Lisa Edelstein’s hair? It looked like she stuck her finger in an electrical socket.

I hate when they do the whole ‘tear up the paternity results’ thing. It might not matter to the characters, but I still want to know!

I loved the bluff Abby came up with to get Sarah out of trouble. It was very Scandal.

Quotes:

“It’s not true.”
“Then why can I hear you pacing?”

“Is your vagina apolitical?”
I so almost made this my lead-in quote.

“Classic sexual harassment. Or does that only matter when it’s boy on girl?”
God, Cyrus was an ass this week.

“Where your husband is dipping his signing pen these days isn’t my primary concern.”
It wasn’t just Olivia. All women feel the wrath of Cyrus Rutherford Beene this week.

“You’re pretty and you talk real fast but I think I can take you.”

“I trusted you, you know? You were all I had. You ruined me. I’m ruined”
“I’m ruined!”

three out of four rescued hostages

3 comments:

Nadim said...

Hahah Seriously Lisa's hair! It was very distracting! Your line made me laugh.

While this episode was pretty standalone-ish, I really enjoyed it. Don't you kind of want Lisa to join the cast? I've never seen House but I thought she was immediately likeable yet flawed.

I do hope the second half of the season is as masterful as the first half now that they have a new arc with Osborne. Please don't disappoint us Scandal.

Billie Doux said...

I'm also finding Huck and Quinn rather cute. And the double fight scene was very well done. I never watched House, though, so the guest star did nothing for me. She really does need to find a less fright wig style for her hair. :)

The tearing up the results test thingy annoyed me, too. It's not just that it would take an extraordinary human being to do it -- I mean, wouldn't you just want to know? Won't he wonder for the rest of his life? -- but what about the daughter? Doesn't she have the right to know who her father is?

ChrisB said...

I loved this episode and felt that each of the characters had something to do this week besides just take up space. Yes, some of it has been done before, but I was completely caught up in it.

Like the rest of you, the tearing up of the test results annoyed me. As Billie says, certainly the daughter has a right to know.