|Fitz spent two hours posing for his |
presidential portrait only to eventually
realize there was no one painting him.
On rare occasions, Scandal disappoints. This was not one of those occasions. My God, I missed this show.
As it is wont to do for major episodes, Scandal abandoned its formula to deal almost exclusively with fallout from the season finale’s revelation. We also set up some for season three, which is shaping up to be just as shocking and delicious as the previous seasons.
I always thought it was odd that Olivia was the character the audience knew the least about. She is, after all, the show’s main character, but her past has been an un-commented upon mystery thus far. With the introduction of her father, it looks like we’re ready to get into her background. And does it look dramatic. Her father was absolutely terrifying. What is his name? IMDb lists his character as “Rowan Pope.” Cyrus’s information on Olivia says her father’s name is “Eli” (obviously, one could be an alias given his line of work). I don’t think anyone has ever called him anything besides “Dad” or “Sir.”
Fitz leaking Olivia’s name is something I don’t quite get. Yes, he took away Mellie’s biggest piece of ammunition, but he damn near ruined Liv’s life doing so. Did he plan for Mellie and/or Cyrus to lay the blame off on an innocent third party, or was that just a ‘lucky’ happenstance? And if that was the overall plan, that’s a pretty dickish move. I assume his intentions are still to divorce Mellie and marry Liv, but his actions here really didn’t communicate that to me. Fitz is such a tricky character to nail down. He does so much terrible stuff, but, at the end of the day, I still like him. Damn you, Tony Goldwyn. If I didn’t love Fitz so much, I would love Mellie and Olivia to gang up on him, form a ticket, and run against him in the primary. That would certainly be a twist.
This show isn’t short on powerful women. Olivia, Mellie, Sally, even Quinn and Abbie. Every single one has been or is currently being held back from achieving their potential because of a romantic relationship. Quinn’s problems began back when she was still Lindsey and suspected her boyfriend of cheating on her, leaving an angry, emotional message on his answering machine. That message was later used by Hollis Doyle to frame her for said boyfriend’s murder. Abbie was an abused wife of a politically powerful scumbag until Olivia rescued her from that life. Sally’s husband, this episode suggests, is cheating on her. And Mellie and Olivia, obviously, are being held back by Fitz.
Mellie’s statement about how bored she gets and how she’d rather run a war or the CIA is paired with Olivia’s dad’s comments about her not striving to be Secretary of State or Chief of Staff. Both women are clearly capable of more than being the love interest of a powerful man. Olivia, at least, still has a career (or what’s left of a career...), but Mellie is completely hampered by her role as First Lady. Every time she talks about her education and intelligence being wasted in the job, I can’t help but relate this to Michelle Obama. She has a law degree from Harvard, she did her undergraduate work at Princeton, but ever since her husband became president, her most visible work consists of guest appearances on Sesame Street. (This isn’t of course, to impugn Michelle Obama or any First Lady. I just think it’s ridiculous that, in 2013, political wisdom still dictates that political wives be little more than arm candy. Rant over.)
I really loved the scene in the...safe house? bunker?...where Olivia, Fitz, and Mellie cooked up a (later abandoned) plan. Gold acting stars for everyone, particularly Kerry Washington. Her face as her capital-L Love was downgraded to a two-time fling was heartbreaking. It was also fun to see how much of the affair Mellie had worked out. When did she figure it all out? Before the Inauguration, obviously. I thought Fitz was acting oddly cool when I watched it the first time around, but, in retrospect, his non-plussed attitude can be ascribed to the fact that he was the one who leaked Olivia’s name and thus the one most prepared for the shitstorm that followed.
Now poor little Jeannine Locke, the president’s press secretary, has been labeled as Fitz’s mistress. Her situation mirrors Amanda Tanner’s from the beginning of the show’s run. The difference, of course, is that Jeannine Locke actually is innocent, whereas Amanda Tanner did sleep with Fitz. Does anyone else find it odd that she would show up at Olivia’s for help? I mean, it will make for good TV, but don’t you think Jeannine would be suspicious of Olivia?
Bits and Pieces:
Scott Foley has joined the main cast. I’m guessing that means he will eventually get out of that hole.
Am I the only one who flashed back to the Friends finale when Cyrus was begging Olivia to get off the plane?
Both Abbie and Quinn were sporting new, eyeliner-heavy looks. I like it. Especially on Abbie.
The sequence where Cyrus puts together a kill file on Olivia detailing her “daddy issues” made me cringe.
Great bit of continuity with the client list. Everyone mentioned was a character from a previous episode.
Although I expect the plot point to get heavier as the season progresses, Quinn suggesting they kill an intern (“a bad one”) was a hoot.
Does Cyrus know the head of B6-13 is Olivia’s dad? Does Fitz? I hope not. I love big revelatory scenes.
(uncharacteristically short, I know)
Cyrus: “I am a monster, but honey, I’m your monster.”
Weirdly, one of the most tender moments ever between Cy and Liv.
Cyrus: “The Lord does not have the right to vote in the United States of America.”
Mellie: “That is not you making a mistake. That is not you cheating on me. That is you...”
Fitz: “That is me being in love with another woman.”
four out of four media circuses