Can I just say that Lisa Kudrow is a perfect fit for Scandal?
I was unsure what to make of Kudrow’s much-too-brief appearance last week, but she took center-stage in More Cattle, Less Bull and delivered an excellent performance. Equal parts headstrong and vulnerable, I absolutely loved watching Josephine’s dynamic with Olivia unfold. Interestingly enough, I did not see the twist with her sister/daughter coming, but it provided the storyline with a neat little twist that brilliantly culminated with the congresswoman winning America’s hearts during a debate. If season three is shaping up to be Fitz vs Josie (with Olivia stuck in the middle), then I’m all in.
More Cattle, Less Bull is also home to one of the most extraordinary sequences Scandal has ever produced. And yes, I’m talking about the downright gorgeous scene where Mellie practically professed her love to Olivia Pope. I love the fact that as bizarrely romantic as that scene felt, it strangely made a whole lot of sense. Mellie’s whole existence rests on Olivia making Fitz happy, so you totally bought her begging and pleading with her husband’s mistress to come back into the fold. Of course the scene wouldn’t have been such a success if Bellamy Young wasn’t such an astounding talent; the woman imbues every one of her lines with a ton of nuance and oh so many layers. Will Liv be running Fitz’s campaign? And can he win without the Roundtable of Evil by his side? All fascinating questions to ponder, and ones I can’t wait to see the show explore.
Of course the real meat of the hour is the truth behind Operation Remington being revealed. Every hair on my body stood up with that final goosebumpy reveal: Fitz is hiding the fact that he was in Iceland where he reportedly shot down a plane carrying over 300 passengers – one of whom was none other than Olivia’s mom! Obviously things won’t be so clear-cut, but this is still an enormously entertaining and shocking twist that’s bound to create some fantastic drama going forward. And hey, I’ve always wanted to learn more about Liv’s mom, so it’s commendable that the writers gave this mystery a personal touch and linked it directly to our heroine. Bring it on Shonda!
– Chilling teaser with Rowan almost-catching Jake in his home stealing files (after yet another uncomfortable dinner with Olivia).
– Funnily enough, it sometimes felt like Kudrow was still channeling Phoebe from Friends. And yet, it worked.
– While it was fun to see the gang in a cheap motel in Redsprings, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by this subplot. It seemed to drag down the hour for me.
– Did anyone else cheer when Jake pushed POTUS on the ground during their basketball game?
– I never really stuck with Heroes, but Jack Coleman was always a highlight. So I have a feeling pairing him in a storyline with Sally Langston is going to be awesome.
– I’d really like to go out for a burger with Jake and Liv. #JustSaying.
– A runner-up for my favorite scene of the hour (after Mellie’s jawdropper), is the late night phone call between Fitz and Liv. It was heartwarming to see them bond like they used to as she vetted his jokes. Naturally, Mellie had to break my heart as she listened in from the bedroom.
– So Sally might run for president independently, and it looks like she’s going to use Mr. Bergen to do it (particularly he rejected Mellie and Cyrus’ offer).
– What did you ladies think of Olivia’s dress/hair at the dinner? From a guy’s perspective, that was just weird (although I’m sure the black/white dress was meant to be thematically relevant with Liv straddling the line between good and evil etc..)
– Abbie sure looked gorgeous in that dress. But I’d like her and David to be a stable couple for once.
– I don’t think I’d ever looked at Olivia as a straight-up villain until she rejected Josephine at the end. Kerry Washington can really pull off that venomous look like nobody’s business.
– Quin has a gun now. Raise your hand if you give a damn.
Josephine: (to Olivia) Did you hear me? You heard my problem. Now go ahead and fix it.
Olivia: I forgot my phone.
Jake: Your phone’s in your hand; you forgot your secret-Ftiz phone.
Clerk: I can offer you store credit.
Quin: What a thrilling compromise.
Olivia: You handled that beautiful.
Josephine: I just destroyed the most important relationship in my life. I’m glad you found that beautiful. You’re fired.
Cyrus: Olivia Pope – the gift that keeps on giving.
Mellie: He is tired, and broken, and it isn’t the job; it’s doing the job without you. He’s not alive when you’re not here. He can’t breathe when you’re not here. He doesn’t have the will to run much less win when you’re not here. Because you, you’re everything to him Liv. He needs you. So I need you. Come back. Come back to us.
Jake: I don’t play second fiddle to anyone. Even the president.
While it wasn’t perfect, this was a solid and highly-engrossing episode of Scandal.