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Scandal: All Roads Lead to Fitz

"I don't like it when the bad guys get away."
"Then you shouldn’t have come to Washington."

After a slightly rocky start to season 2, Scandal is finally coming into its own. This episode was definitely one of the best so far. Sexy, intriguing, and fun. In short, it was a much, much better episode than any episode without Tony Goldwyn has a right to be.

I can now honestly say I like the way the season is shaping up. Quinn seems to have given up her most annoying traits, David is back on the job but still sleeping with Abby, James got a job covering his husband in the White House as revenge for not having a baby, and Huck is dating a chick from AA. On top of all this, the Cytron storyline seems extremely promising.

It seems like we have our conspiracy, but I’m not totally clear on a few points. Obviously, the oft-mentioned 4,359 votes Reston lost by were fraudulently cast. Our conspirators used Cytron and their involvement with the voting machine software to get those votes cast. Olivia and Cyrus were in it to get their candidate elected, Mellie wanted to be first lady, and Verna was promised a position on the Supreme Court. What was Hollis’ perk? A Republican president would be friendlier to the oil industry, but Reston wasn’t exactly portrayed as a flaming liberal. Not to mention, Olivia got Reston to become a gun nut by airing a few attack ads. If Reston had become president, he’d probably stay just as persuadable.

Furthermore, Verna made it sound like Hollis was the brains behind the operation, that it was his idea and the rest of them were only brought on afterwards. This doesn’t really make sense. From all we know now, Hollis had the least to gain by a Grant presidency. I’m far from objecting to the decided upon conspiracy, in fact I like it quite a bit, I would just appreciate a little clarification on this issue. I’m not worried; I’m sure it will be explained eventually.

My other big question concerns Fitz. Did he know? Does he know now? Something tells me no. The team waited to get together until Fitz was out of the country and the way he’s been portrayed isn’t exactly consistent with someone who would sell out American democracy to get ahead. To borrow Olivia’s phrase, he seems like a white hat. If I’m right, I can’t wait to see Tony Goldwyn play the scene where he realizes the election was fixed. He’s going to be amazing. And what about Olivia? I thought she was the good guy. What sort of good guy rigs an election? Maybe they’ll be extenuating circumstances or maybe I’m wrong about my whole conspiracy theory.

I also like the way the Abby/David relationship is playing out. In my last review I accused her of selling Olivia out, but it turns out she hadn’t been giving David inside information. She broke this episode when she realized that the man who got David to drop the investigation was a plant. Finding out her boss was playing her boyfriend seems like an appropriate push. To add intrigue, Olivia knows! Can’t wait to see how she’ll handle Abby next week.

It’s taken me forever to get to it, but the client of the week story was also great this week. It tied in with the seasonal arc and provided some really decent twists.

Tom Amandes (Everwood; it was driving me crazy trying to remember where I’d seen that face before) guest stars as Governor Reston, former presidential candidate and recent murderer. While I saw the lover not rapist twist coming, I definitely did not foresee the fact that Reston knew Bill and Joan (Brenda Strong) were sleeping together. Wow. Then Reston uses his own fate to blackmail Olivia into not turning him in. If he goes to prison, she loses her prestige in Washington and reputation for being able to fix anything. Nicely done. We didn’t get much resolution here; hopefully Reston will get his comeuppance before the season’s end. You can’t just murder someone on this show without repercussion. Unless you’re Hollis Doyle. Or Cyrus. Or Huck.

Bits and Pieces:

I don’t feel great about Edison and Liv. She belongs with Fitz, obviously. Plus, the chemistry between Edison and Olivia doesn’t hold a candle to the crazy sparkage between her and Fitz.

Kerry Washington’s hair seems less seventies than in the last episode, but the front is still too feathery for my taste.

I actually didn’t miss Fitz at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love him and Tony Goldwyn, but I think it says a lot about the show that they can produce an episode this great without one of their main characters.

I’m adoring the scenes between James and Cyrus. They’re hilarious and brilliantly acted. Jeff Perry and Dan Bucatinsky have great rapport.

Things between Huck and the girl from AA seem to be progressing in a quirky and adorable fashion. I loved Quinn and Abby cooing over him before his date. Also the pair of them abandoning their fancy restaurant to stalk a so-called normal family. That was just ridiculously cute. And weird. But mostly cute.

I know it’s just an expedience of TV, but why would Reston keep the proof he was a murderer on top of his desk? There’s not a better place for that? Hell, why would you even hang onto it? That’s what fireplaces are for.

Quotes:

“I find when I’ve been called in by my boss for the sole purpose of being fired, which is, by the way, rude, it’s rude to make someone come to the office so you can fire him FYI, I find that when I am dragged into work to be fired it’s best to adhere to the ‘If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all’ rule I learned from my mother. Do I have to clear out my desk or do you have my stuff in a nice dirty box already?”

“Funny story.”
“Don’t funny story me.”
“Funny story: I am now the chief White House correspondent for the most powerful news outlet in the nation and I’m childless, so I got plenty of time to give it my all.”
LOVED this exchange. James is playing dirty and it’s hilarious.

“Okay, but then what? You throw your incredibly promising legal career that you’ve worked your entire adult life on away to become a professional conspiracy theorist? Hold conventions in the desert? Sell ‘Who is Quinn Perkins’ t-shirts for the rest of your life?”

“You gonna do a stacked stone with rustic wall cap?”
“I was gonna lay the bed with Saginaw river rock first.”
“Then add some keystone and arch stone?”
“You get all that off the internet?”
“Every single word.”

“So did he have a lot of arguments with people?”
“What kind of question is that? Do you have a lot of arguments with people?”
“I’m about to.”

“Dude, you’ve hacked into the NSA’s mainframe. You don’t think you can make yourself a dinner reservation?”

“You are a terrifying political animal who would eat off her own foot if it meant she could get ahead--a trait I respect.”

“You may be an animal, but I’m a monster and I am much more terrifying than you can ever imagine.”
Finally! A reference to Cyrus killing Amanda last season. He truly was terrifying here. If I were Mellie, I’d watch my back.

“The lady would also like a glass of ginger ale.”
Ohmygod so cute.

four out of four rigged voting machines

4 comments:

  1. Definitely a clever episode. The conspiracy stuff is intriguing, and like you, Sunbunny, I can't wait to see Fitz's reaction when he finds out, and we all know he will.

    Cyrus is a fascinating character. I was amused by his marital conflict with James spilling over into the West Wing, and totally creeped by him threatening Mellie in the hallway.

    Huck is also such an interesting character, but I kept wanting the woman from AA to run in the other direction -- he's a very dangerous man. You don't suppose she's a plant of some sort? I don't see it ending well.

    Terrific review, Sunbunny.

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  2. I couldn't stop praising this episode either! What a stunning hour! The conspiracy is just taking the show to a whole new level of awesomeness! Honestly I think Scandal is one of the best shows on television at the moment! I just love the world Shonda has created! I have a feeling this is going to be one heck of an explosive year! Great review sunny!

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  3. Billie, I also have suspicions that AA girl is a plant. Based on nothing, of course, except that she reminds me of that woman from Alias who met Will at an NA meeting and tried to get him to return to his story on SD-6. For Huck's sake, I hope she's not. Having another person who cares about him has to be a stabilizing factor in his life, right?

    Nadim, I'm confused, so do you like the show or not? Your comment was a little ambivalent. ;) I have high hopes for this season as well, especially now that we know it will be a whole 22 episodes.

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  4. I was pretty sure from the beginning that the governor knew about the affair; but, what I didn't see coming and what made me catch my breath was how he caught out Olivia. Fantastic story telling.

    I am liking the new couples as well. The Abby/David one is fun to watch, but will be really something when Olivia confronts them. The AA chick has to be a plant. I, too, have seen Alias too many times!

    ReplyDelete

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