Scandal: Hunting Season

"I am angry because you are behaving like a traitor to your country."
"To my country or to you?"

This week the show rewrote nine episodes of character development for the convenience of the plot. This is why I stopped loving Charmed. You can’t change the rules of your universe just to make one episode work.

Previously, the writers have established that Olivia’s gut is never wrong, that time with Olivia (even tense time) calms Fitz down, and that Fitz is a good president, a moderate who never takes extreme action without thinking it through thoroughly. All that went out the window this week. This week, Fitz became a man who can, without qualm, justify spying on American citizens. He gets angrier after his confrontation with Olivia and as for Olivia’s gut? I’d have to agree with Abby that it’s “broken.”

In Sweet Baby, the romantic scene between Fitz and Olivia was rough and almost violent. This episode follows that line. It made me rather uncomfortable. If Olivia hadn’t had the Olivia-ness to scream at Fitz in turn, the pushing her against the tree thing would have been really disturbing. As it was, it was only marginally creepy.

The show is usually about the passionate love between two deserving people who are kept apart by circumstance and ambition. Not this week. Fitz was so unlikable there are almost no words to describe it. Petty is not a good color on him. This episode did not have me rooting for their relationship at all. Hopefully it was just an outlier, and we’ll be back to romance and looks of longing this time next week.

As for the story of the week, I wish they had sold the spying thing as being super scary earlier. The idea that someone can type in your name and immediately get a video of you is terrifying but ‘The government is spying on you’ can mean anything. When they were first talking about Thorngate, I couldn’t help thinking it was no big deal. After 9/11 the government started spying on us in all sorts of less intrusive ways. At first I just assumed Artie meant the government was listening to our phone calls, tracking our cell phones, reading our texts, etc. It’s certainly not okay, but we’ve seen it before. And on the news, not a TV show.

This episode really missed the cohesion provided by the season-long arc. I’m not saying standalone episodes can’t work, but this one didn’t. All we got are three short, isolated scenes in David’s apartment, most of which was just the restating of information we already know. Not enough.

Bits and Pieces:

Olivia is totally right about stripes on TV. It’s so annoying when they strobe.

Thorngate? Why would you use the -gate suffix for your secret spying program? When it gets out and becomes a huge scandal, the media will have to call it Thorngategate.

Fitz has a pregnant wife. Who is he to complain that Olivia had a conversation with her ex-boyfriend in the park?

Abby finally got (a bit) of her comeuppance. Not only did Quinn stand up for herself, but Harrison kept calling her on her shit. It’s true, she can’t do good cop.

Quotes:

“I don’t have cash on me. I don’t carry debit cards. If you’re hoping for a ransom, I don’t have many friends. And if you’re planning on anything else, you should know that there are security cameras trained on every inch of this garage and the police, who I am dialing right now, will identify you within minutes.”
I must remember to use this speech if I ever find a crazy person in my backseat.

“Every year, I have to spend a day squatting in some weeds...”
“A marsh.”
“...Shooting helpless chickens...”
“Ducks.”
“...So the gun crazies...”
“The good people of the NRA.”
“...Can feel good about some nut job...”
“Citizen.”
“...Carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle in the back of his truck.”
“Exercising the freedoms afforded to him by the United States Constitution.”
This exchange was one of the first times they really seemed like a couple to me.

“Lately, you’ve been happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed it, not because of the happiness but because it’s been weird, like seeing a grandma in a bikini or a Democrat with a Bible.”

“You talk a good game, Fitzy, but you couldn’t hit the side of barn from the inside a barn.”
Fitzy! That guy from that episode of Firefly called the president Fitzy! How silly.

“I want him to look polished, not one colander hat shy of a crazy person.”
Colanders are so passé in insane fashion. The new thing is to wear a popcorn tin painted to look like a top hat. It’s true. I read it in WWD (Women’s Wear for the Deranged).

Two out of four helpless chickens ducks

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

And my favorite Sunbunny comments are:

1. Thorngate? Why would you use the -gate suffix for your secret spying program? When it gets out and becomes a huge scandal, the media will have to call it Thorngategate.

and

2. Colanders are so passé in insane fashion. The new thing is to wear a popcorn tin painted to look like a top hat. It’s true. I read it in WWD (Women’s Wear for the Deranged).

Fitz losing it and being petty didn't seem that off to me. The poor guy is trapped in all sorts of personal ways as well as by his job, and he has to make so many big decisions; he's not perfect.

ChrisB said...

I saw this episode slightly differently than you did, sunbunny. My take on Olivia's broken gut is that she lost sight of her client. She was so focused on the device and getting even with the government (or Fitz), that she failed to notice the guy right in front of her.

I agree that Fitz was unpleasant in this episode and I did not like at all his shouting at Olivia when she was sitting in the car. In fact, that whole "hunting" scene was scary. I kept waiting for the ticking bomb to go off.

But, I saw his behavior much as Billie did. He feels trapped both in a marriage to a woman he obviously dislikes more and more and a job that won't let him even call his girlfriend without being found out by his Chief of Staff. I can understand a certain level of irritation at it all.

The scene that I loved was the one at the end when Mellie threatens to ruin him so that she can become president. That woman is a force of nature. Having just lived through a true force of nature, they can be terrifying things.