Scandal: Grant: For the People

“You can’t do this. You can’t have him.”

Pope & Associates are on clean-up duty. So are the writers of Scandal. After a whole season (cough, six episodes, cough) of creating an elaborate mystery, they have given themselves one episode to resolve everything. While some of the attempts at clean-up were overly simplistic (Huck getting Charlie to murder Billy), they did a credible job and even managed to set up a mystery for season two.

This show has me so conflicted. I really do love the Fitz/Olivia storyline, and I feel like, with better writers, this episode could have been amazing. I know that sounds harsh. The show isn’t bad. It’s very entertaining, in fact. If the writers only dialed down the entertaining portions, including the montages set to zippy pop music, the show would have more of an emotional base.

The title of the episode is “Grant: For the People.” It sounds like it could be a slogan for a political campaign, but is actually a subtle jab at President Grant (Fitzgerald, not Ulysses S.). Fitz is not the one who works “For the People” in this episode. Instead, his actions (or proposed actions) are purely selfish. He wants to resign in order to be with his true love. Understandable, yes, but doing so would leave the country in the hands of an inferior president, one who does not agree with the ideals or values of our main characters. It is Olivia who sacrifices her own happiness for the good of the people.

Kate Burton totally nails the character of VP Sally Langston. The accent, the quoting Bible verses in arguments, the wardrobe, the hair, everything about her is perfect. The idea of a smooth talking, Bible-thumping, southern right wing Christian conservative may be a stereotype, but Burton plays Langston for real, and not for laughs. She contributes an earnestness to the role that makes it very difficult to hate Langston.

It turns out that last week’s ‘Billy killed Amanda!’ revelation was all for naught. It was Cyrus after all. It was insanely creepy to have that revelation immediately preceded by James trying to convince Cyrus to adopt a baby. He can’t adopt a baby! He’s a murderer! They screen for that, don’t they?

The show rarely mentions Fitz and Mellie’s children. We know they have at least two, but so far they are unseen, as well as nameless and genderless. I can’t help but feel sorry for them. Not only do they have to deal with a father who is the President of the United States (and therefore, likely very busy) and a mother who is an ice queen, no one ever seems to think of them. In this ep, Fitz wants to start over with Olivia and Mellie wants to hide away in Santa Barbara, where her kids can visit occasionally, at least until school is out. Now they’re getting a little brother or sister, created solely for political points. Do Fitz and Mellie win worst TV parents of the year? Okay, probably not, but you can’t tell me they’re not nominated.

Bits and Pieces:

Don’t pull out the scissors, you stupid girl! Also, you probably should have grabbed the phone before you started applying pressure. C’mon. This is finding your boyfriend bleeding out on the floor 101.

I know I say I hate Quinn, and I do, but Katie Lowes really did a good job with shaking and stuttering shocked Quinn. Still not likable, but good acting.

If someone asked me to go to a prayer breakfast, I’d close the door in their face, too.

What a horrific waste of Mark Harelik. I was thinking they might be setting him up to play a bigger role in next season, but then Cyrus fired him. Oh well.

Quotes:

“Morning again, Mr. Chambers. You’ve been a busy man. Most people are just prying their eyelids open and you’ve already been out causing trouble.”
Understatement alert.

“I’ve been to prison and I’m not going back.”
“It was three days.”
“It was prison!”

“Then lie!”
“I can’t.”
“Why the hell not?”
“Because I’m not you, Mellie.”
Dude, it’s just hit the media that you cheated on your wife with a White House aide. Maybe you could try being nice to her for like five minutes?

“You’re a murderer.”
“I am not proud of that.”
Well, as long as it’s not a point of pride for you, all is forgiven.

“Oh wonderful! So now we got a slutty president problem?”

“A man who isn’t president has options. A man who isn’t president can divorce his wife. A man who isn’t president can have a life, the life he wants, the life he’s always wanted, with the woman he loves.”

“Some men aren’t meant to be happy. They’re meant to be great.”

Three out of four pairs of bloody scissors

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I really enjoyed all seven episodes of the first season, and I'm glad I have more to look forward to. Ditto for your reviews, Sunbunny. The Fitz/Olivia relationship is fascinating, and the actors are both so good.

He can't adopt a baby! He's a murderer! They screen for that, don't they? LOL.

ChrisB said...

I really enjoyed the first chapter of this story. Yes, it is pure soap and, yes, there are parts that are painful to watch (I'm with you on the scenes with the zippy music), but the arcing story has me completely enthralled.

I thought the scene between Olivia and Mellie was a masterpiece of writing and acting. Lady Macbeth has nothing on this First Lady. Imagine blaming your husband's infidelity with a kid on his mistress. The look on Olivia's face was astonishing.

I like Fitz, but I was annoyed with his tactics at the end. For someone who is currently being taken apart by the press to use Sally's daughter's actions against her is pretty low. Guess he doesn't really want that normal life so badly after all.