Scandal: Defiance

“You’ve been gone three weeks. Not one phone call. I was starting to think you were dead. I mean, I knew you weren’t because I saw you on the news, but a girl can dream.”

Oh my God.

In a show about presidential politics, the most dramatic thing you can do is have someone attempt to assassinate the president. It looks like Scandal is going there. From a showrunning perspective, I’m frankly a little worried they had to pull this out of their bag of tricks so soon. From a viewing perspective, it was totally awesome.

I really thought Mellie was going to have a miscarriage. It was a very good mislead. Miscarriage and/or early labor would have explained her intuitional misgivings over going to the party and been melodramatic enough for Shonda Rhimes. But, no, we decided to go the whole hog and shoot Fitz.

Obviously Fitz will live. The writers of Scandal aren’t creative enough or cruel enough to kill off their leading man. Is Tony Goldwyn working on a movie? He’s been absent the past couple of weeks and now he’s (I’m guessing) up for a long stay in the hospital, during which he’ll probably not be seen much.

As for who is behind the assassination attempt, I can only guess it’s Hollis. He threatens Cyrus and then later that same day someone shoots the President of the United States? Wouldn’t that be one heck of a coincidence. Gregg Henry makes an exceptional villain. Whoever cast him really had their thinking cap on. Henry has a folksiness that puts you immediately at ease, which of course makes him all the more scary.

Meanwhile, James is hot on the Defiance trail. The dinner scene made one thing crystal clear: Fitz does not know the election was rigged. If he had, obviously, he wouldn’t have been bragging about how all the polls miraculously turned out to be wrong. I loved watching Cyrus, Verna, and Mellie during Fitz’s story. And James’s face when the truth first dawned on him. Excellent acting from everyone.

In other news, Harrison has officially replaced Desmond as Olivia’s second in command. It’s nice to see he has some misgivings over how he got the job. Harrison genuinely cares for Abby and feels really guilty about breaking her and David up. Whether this guilt will lead him to confess to Abby in a later episode is anyone’s guess.

Quinn is off the bench and back on my nerves. After a few weeks of lying low and being cooperative she’s decided to return to her unjustified anger routine. What a shame. I was beginning to like her. I’m not a monster and I understand how she might be feeling. She was, after all, kidnapped. I could see her being curious, confused, angsty, and perhaps even a little bitter, but Quinn is mad as hell and I do not get it. Whoever kidnapped her was instrumental in saving her life. Can’t she just let it go? Her life is much, much better thanks to being kidnapped. That sounds horrible, doesn’t it?

I really don’t have much to say about Harold Pierce, the client of the week. Classic Scandal. A difficult but highly amusing problem eventually becomes easy to solve through the simple medium of talking to the parties involved. Ta-da! Despite the cheese, I found it sweet that both father and son had been basing their actions on a firm desire to help the other, although I fail to see how the father shooting the son can be justified as ‘help.’

Bits and Pieces:

This show is getting really stressful to watch!

I’m disliking Edison less, although I can’t say why. I suppose I’m just getting used to him.

Is that how electronic voting machines really work? Is it really that easy to tamper with them? Why do we even use those?!

Quotes:

“There was Shayna. She was an artist. We dated for five months, but she didn’t like to read. That was an actual thing she said: 'I don’t like to read,' as if that is okay.”
That is not okay. If you don’t like to read, you should at least have the good sense to be ashamed about it.

“There’s nothing to tell.”
“Because you’re so ugly, no one wants to be with you?”
Ugh I know. Kerry Washington is oh so hideous. I can barely look at her.

“Whoever he was, he really hurt you, didn’t he?”

“You know how many conspiracy theorists bombard me with nonsense every week? I should’ve known when you asked to meet at a national monument.”

“That’s not an easy thing to recover from. Painful. It’s gonna take some time to get over it.”
“The Senator’s actions were a blow to the country.”
“Wasn’t talking about the Senator, but let’s all be WASPs about this and pretend that I was.”

“The secret to politics is never listen to pollsters.”
I feel like we just learned the exact opposite lesson in the most recent real world election.

three out of four shotguns for the main plot; four out of four for the cliffhanger

3 comments:

ChrisB said...

I just love a good Holy Mother of God moment. You know, you're calmly watching a show and the next second you are shouting "what?!?" at the television. Fitz getting shot was an exceptional HMoG moment for me. I watched that final scene three times, jumping at the shot each time.

I'm not 100% sure that Mellie's misgivings were intuitional. Could she have been part of the plot (it would explain the insistence on the gala) and then chickened out at the last moment? She and Hollis would make a very scary double act.

This whole thing with rigged voting machines scares me on two levels. First, it's beginning to feel a bit like the writers are painting themselves into a corner. A scandal like this would reverberate the way that Watergate did, nearly bringing down the government itself. Unless the writers believe that this show is going to end at the end of this season, I'm afraid that they are setting up a situation that will only take impossible story lines to get out of.

Secondly, the machine I used to vote on a couple of weeks ago looked not dissimilar to the ones on this show. I agree with your comment -- if they can be rigged, why are we using them?

sunbunny said...

Interesting theory about Mellie! Even if she wasn't part of the plot, maybe she had some knowledge of it. Like Cyrus told her Hollis had been threatening them or something.

As for the voting machine scandal bringing down the Grant administration, only James knows so far. If Hollis is willing to shoot the President, something tells me he won't have much of a problem killing a reporter. If it does get out, you're absolutely right, the Grant administration will go up in flames. Not sure even Olivia Pope can spin rigging a presidential election.

As for real life voting machines, we still use Inka-Vote where I live which is like a Scantron thing you fill in with a little stamp thing. No hanging chads, no pressing one name and the machine stubbornly telling you that you voted for another (happened in Ohio this year). I don't see why everyone doesn't switch to this system.

Billie Doux said...

I definitely got the vibe that Mellie knew, or suspected. Why else would she want to bail on a party she forced Fitz to attend?

If Fitz is dead, I'm going to be Extremely Put Out.