Scandal 2×11 – A Criminal, A Whore, An Idiot And A Liar

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How in the world does Scandal keep blowing my mind? I seriously don’t even know where to start because this hour was yet another piece of spectacular television. I don’t think I’ve ever given this many A’s in one season but this year has just been an utterly astonishing achievement in storytelling.

The highlight of the hour (if I had to single out the brilliance) was the birth of our favorite Roundtable of Evil. I don’t know how, but Shonda managed to make the group’s election-rigging plot completely believable within the realm of the show. The fact that Olivia eventually gave in and I found myself convinced by her choice, speaks volumes as to how layered each of these characters are. The ramifications of their collective decision is one that ominously looms over the show and infuses it with real stakes that keeps the momentum flowing. Splendid work here.

And can we just discuss that elevator scene? So many layers. First off, Fitz pretty much almost-rapes Olivia. And just when you think things can’t escalate any further, Mellie catches them and apologizes to Liv? Followed by a hug? Who would have thought these two feirce ladies were once so close. It’s a phenomenal scene that completely subverts your expectations on ever level. One conclusion I can wholeheartedly attest to: Fitz is an (admittedly-charming) slimeball.

The introduction of Fitz’ dad also proved to be quite fascinating. Tony Goldwyn was stellar throughout and is really managing to hold his own in a role that could have been completely unlikeable. He had a number of standout sequences in the episode but one of the best was undoubtedly Fitz breaking down in Olivia’s arms as she towered above him. It’s a breathtaking moment that cements just how emotionally invested we’ve become in these characters and the riveting world Shonda has created.

And finally, on top of everything else, the episode still managed to drop a bombshell on us: Fitz wants a divorce. I seriously didn’t see this twist coming (so soon at least) and I can’t wait to see its impact.

Scandalous Bits

– Olivia’s 5 point speech to Edison; can Kerry Washington be any more impressive?

– Whenever we get flashbacks on Scandal, I just know it’s going to be an extraordinary hour.

– I really loved Fitz interrupting Sally’s briefing and announcing his arrival.

– Cyrus mocking Sally on her way out of the Oval office was too amusing.

– Fitz’s memory problems were tense to watch. Here’s hoping the writers push this plot point forward.

– In the midst of all the chaos, the writers still managed to show us Abby hilariously getting introduced to a homeless Huck.

– From Liv’s double Fitz pep-talk in both the past and the present, to his debate/press conference in different time periods, the editing in this hour was astounding (and technically seamless).

– Was Sally actually being genuine as she apologized to Fitz? Because that was a nice moment. I’m pretty sure she’s faking it though.

– So many quotable one-liners and monologues in this one. The Quipyness section just might implode today.

– Cyrus’ “we create the history” and “we are the people” speech to Liv was outstanding. These two are always electric together.

– I can’t get over how marvelous the ending was with Olivia saying “it’s a yes” through tears and the roundtable basically changing the world with one little phone call from Air Force One.

Quipyness

Olivia: Five — that’s sexist and insulting. You’d never suggest Scooter Libby was screwing Dick Cheney. Four — the lengths you are going to try to twist this into a conspiracy are cause for concern. You should speak to someone about that. Three — the president is awake and talking and the suggestion that he isn’t is partisan political crap that I thought you had enough integrity to rise above. Two — In the past three minutes, you’ve called me a criminal, a whore, an idiot and a liar so this is pretty much the last time we’ll be speaking, so one — who I am or am not screwing… what I am or am not doing… is no longer any of your damn business.

Hollis: Quit bitching and start pitching.

Cyrus: That was small of me. I need to work on that.

Grant: Do we bring pillows to a knife-fight son?

Grant: (Looking at Huck) Perhaps we need more experienced and… house-trained people working on this.

Olivia: You almost died.
Fitz: Yes.
Olivia: Don’t do it again.
Fitz: Okay.

Fitz: But you can’t tell the story at your father’s funeral about how you stood outside his door on your 10th birthday and listened to him bang his secretary. I’m not sad, I’m relieved. I’m free.

Cyrus: Don’t roll your eyes at me. You are one of us Olivia. We march behind him, We sing his happy tune. And then we pick up our hatchets and we chop the Judases into bloody little pieces and dance around the corpses because that’s our job. That is what we do. We take care of Fitz. And we don’t do it because we are believers, which we are. We don’t do it for the rush or the high or the power, which we are most certainly junkies for. We do it because Fitz can’t. He can’t do it. If he could do it, we wouldn’t worship at his altar. People like Fitz, they go down in history. People like us, we create the history. We run this world so he can lead it.

Conclusion
Another masterful and immensely absorbing hour from Scandal‘s practically perfect sophomore season.

Nad Rating
A+

6 comments

  1. I knew you'll gonna love this ep, Nadim.
    Nice review, btw.
    My fave part is also the elevator scene.
    Kerry's and Bellamy's acting were superb.
    This show's actors really knew their characters
    down to the needed
    expressions even if the camera is not closed on them.
    They have nailed their characters and the nuances
    (body language, looks, etc.) make you love them or
    downright hate them.

    Love this show. 🙂

    Below is my post at Billie's which I am also posting here for the record. 🙂

    *************************************************************************************

    There was really no doubt on why Livvy went with the election rigging.
    It was not just for the love of Fitz but that she knows that he will be a good president.
    It would be interesting to know how Fitz will take that fact later when he gets to know about it.

    I nearly fell from my seat laughing in the elevator scene after Millie caught Fitz and Livvy.
    The expression on Livvy's face was so funny. 🙂

    No whining James this time. Goody!

    Barry Bostwick was great!
    A shame that his character got “killed” early.

    I love the Livvy/Edison scenes.
    Man, that Livvy really has guts like stone with matching deadpan expression. Hahaha.

    Sally? Way out there, this lady is one opportunistic evil bitch.

  2. Glad someone liked the episode, Nadim! I don't think Fitz is a slimeball. I will grant that he has a few less than attractive qualities, but overall, he's a good guy (IMHO). LOL re: Roundtable of Evil. I also loved Mellie apologizing to Olivia. I can't figure out though, if she was being genuine or being Mellie. Did she already know they were sleeping together?

  3. Hahah RoseBud I love how you keep track of both sites so efficiently 🙂 Glad you're still loving the show. This episode was beyond brilliant.

  4. He's a good guy of course but forcing himself on Liv in the elevator was pretty reprehensible!
    As for Mellie, I wondered the same thing. I couldn't tell if she knew they were sleeping together and was just totally fine with it or this was still in the period before she discovered the truth and just assumed Fitz was being “slimy” (hehe). I guess time will tell as further flashbacks continue to clarify all of these characters' histories.
    And I didn't just like this episode sunbunny, I found it pretty perfect! I'm too in love with this show at this stage!

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