Scandal: Icarus

Abby: "Decent ensemble."
Liv: "It's missing a giant handbag."
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

There was absolutely nothing wrong with this episode. Parts were really good, in fact. But it still left me with sort of a ‘meh’ feeling.

I think it’s because of Fitz’s refusal to tell Liv about Operation Remington (or rather, the fact that he wasn’t on Operation Remington; the nomenclature is confusing!). I think we were supposed to be outraged at his desire to protect himself over giving Olivia the closure of knowing how her mother died. The thing is, we don’t know enough about the plane crash to determine that with any degree of certainty. Looking at it objectively, of course the President of the United States wouldn’t tell his ex-mistress super, crazy top secret stuff. Was Fitz trying to hide the fact that he’s responsible for the deaths of over three hundred people or was he legitimately trying to protect the secrets of the country? I find myself believing the latter until we get more backstory on this.

I’m usually able to overlook the absolute ridiculousness of Fitz’s immense free time, but this episode really pushed it. Olivia is able to stroll over to the White House and find Fitz, waiting for her in the Oval Office? For the episode’s conclusion he once again has time to visit her apartment. The only time we’ve ever seen him doing any running-the-country-type work was way back in season one. All his time is spent worrying about reelection or dealing with Olivia Pope-related drama. I worry about this fictional America.

In what I hope will be a pattern, the typical client format is ditched completely this week to focus on Josie Marcus’s campaign. I really liked that they didn’t show her as some sort of holy political superhero. The scenes where Josie begged lobbyists for money were very well done. They acknowledged the country’s less than perfect elections system while not being overly preachy.

The standout scene of the hour has to be Josie’s interview with James. I willingly admit it: I cheered. Still, parts of it did feel a bit unfair to James. He has producers and people he’s responsible to. He didn’t personally do everything she accuses him of. Also, upon reflection, Josie’s speech about the pervasive and unacknowledged sexism in everyday life feels a little hypocritical coming from Scandal, which, let’s face it, has more than the occasional feminism issue itself.

In a completely unpredictable twist, Charlie has taken Quinn under his wing and is teaching her the shadowy ways of hired killers and spies. In another completely unpredictable twist, he’s only doing so because Rowan ordered him to. Were we really supposed to believe Charlie happened on Quinn at the gun range by chance? I realize my problem with the story isn’t so much it’s inherent creepiness, it’s that Quinn’s downfall has so far been unconnected to anything else going on. Hopefully these new developments will be able to reunite Quinn with the main story in an agreeable way.

Bits and Pieces:

Olivia doesn’t look much like her mother, but she does seem to dress like her.

So, Olivia’s parents were still married when Maya died. Does this track? In the season premiere, Olivia told her father that Maya told her he would destroy her. That doesn’t exactly sound like the picture of wedded bliss to me.

Raise your hand if you were surprised that Leo’s plan backfired? Really? No one? Of course Cyrus was going to find out. Never try to out sleaze Cyrus Beene.

Harrison finally gets something to do besides talking really, really quickly. Yay?

I was surprised that Kate tried to kill Jake. I thought it would be the other way around, with the shadowy guy following him getting shot by her. I like that Fitz put security on Jake. He doesn’t want him dead.

Rowan says he wasn’t the one who gave the order to have the plane shot down. For some reason, I believe him. I’m not sure I believe his last words to his wife, though.


Harrison: “Stupid super-spies.”

Cyrus: “This is...‘weird’ isn’t the right word. ‘Strange.’ No... ‘Greek.’ Mythic and disturbing. This is winged horses. Wait, is it the horses who had the wings almost melted? Or I don’t know, I can’t remember. My point is this is a Greek tragedy in the making. Winged mistress flying too close to the sun.”

Mellie: “I did everything but roll your whore up in a rug and unfurl her at your feet.”

Jake: “We’re only digging up dirt on the most powerful man in the world. How dangerous could that possibly be?”

James: “You’re a shameless monster.”
Cyrus: “Who loves you dearly!”

Josie: “It’s not about experience, James. It’s about gender. Reston’s saying I don’t have the balls to be president, and he means that literally. It’s offensive. It’s offensive to me and to all the women whose votes he’s asking for. [...] And it’s not just Governor Reston speaking in code about gender, it’s everyone, yourself included. [...] The only reason we’re doing this interview in my house is because you requested it. This was your idea, and yet here you are, thanking me for inviting you into my lovely home. That’s what you say to the neighbor lady who baked you chocolate chip cookies. This pitcher of iced tea isn’t even mine. It’s what your producers set here. Why? Same reason you called me ‘a real life Cinderella story.’ It reminds people that I am a woman without using the word. For you it’s an angle, I get that, and I’m sure you think it’s innocuous. But guess what? It’s not.”

Cyrus: “How about you get to keep all that righteous indignation that fills your collection plate every Sunday and President Grant and I go pray on some new tax breaks?”
Reverend: “The Lord speaks through you, brother Beene.”
Cyrus: “Yeah, I get that a lot.”

Candi: “Is there a line you won’t cross?”
Abby: “We’ll let you know when we find it.”

Cyrus: “Mr. Wright. Ah, that’s funny.”

Jake: “It might be the only chance I ever have of sleeping with both eyes closed again.”
Fitz: “Or is it the only chance you may ever have of sleeping with her?”

three out of four prop pitchers of iced tea


Heather1 said...

I wasn't surprised Kate was trying to kill Jake and was, herself, shot by the mysterious guy following them... this is a series of scenes listed almost entirely from The Sting (yeah, I'm showing my age). I also believe Olivia's mother is not dead. You don't cast Khandi Alexander just to show her in flashbacks. Plus, if her mom were truly dead, they could have cast a younger actress to be mom to a much younger Olivia in those flashback scenes. Khandi Alexander is the right age to play mom to a grown up Olivia... and that's what we'll see at some point. About Quinn... I don't really mind that her story doesn't tie up with big arc just yet... I'm just offended at how stupid she is. The agents of B613 have instincts... she, apparently, has none.

Billie Doux said...

Maybe not a great episode, but I enjoyed nearly all of it. I also felt frustrated with the Fitz secret stuff. I hope what he's protecting turns out to be really cool, or it's going to feel like it's there to generate drama and for no real story purpose.

I'm not a big fan of Lisa Kudrow's, either, but I think she's doing a great job with the part. I loved the interview.

And yeah, Heather1, I'm pretty much certain Olivia's mother isn't dead, or they wouldn't have cast someone so high profile. :)

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Cyrus is oblivious to the fact that Eli is Olivia's father? He referred to her in Eli's presence as if she were nothing more than an unwanted third third party....It seems to me that Fitz is also unaware of Olivia's parentage...

sunbunny said...

Heather - I think Maya isn't dead based on Billie's Tenth Rule of Television. I hadn't put it together with Khandi Alexander's age, though. Great observation!

Anon - I'm sure Cyrus and Fitz don't know Liv's father is Command. It's going to be fun watching them find out! :D

ChrisB said...

The interview with James was smashing. I, too, cheered and I loved the twist that Olivia had manipulated it.

I'm enjoying the re-election arc and loved Sally getting played. The whole thing with her husband could prove interesting. It's hard to be high and mighty about your opponent's sexual history (both Fitz's and Josie's) when your husband is stepping out on you.