Quality, thy name is Scandal.
I don’t know why, but part of me was afraid Scandal would drag out Olivia coming clean with Fitz about the plane crash. Thankfully, the exchange finally came to a head in the episode’s closing moments, and Fitz predictably refrained from confirming or denying the allegations. As much as I think Shonda is a godsend, I doubt she’d be willing to do something as monumental as make Fitz responsible for the death of Olivia’s mother, but the allegation still makes for undeniably juicy drama. How is Olivia going to tackle this one? And can we please spend some more time with Olivia’s mama? The few minutes in the teaser were much too short, and I have a feeling that relationship is going to be a goldmine of revelations and nuances.
Lisa Kudrow really came into her own this week and completely delivered as presidential candidate Josie Marcus. I’ve often wondered if I could ever take Kudrow seriously as an actress outside of Friends (her turn as Phoebe Buffay was downright iconic). Lo and behold, she’s positively spectacular on Scandal. The moment that really sold me was the incredible rant she delivered to James during the interview (the speech in its entirety can be found below). It didn’t just convince me of the character, it made me want to see a female win the US presidency in real life as well – and that’s a testament to the brilliance of the material.
I’ve often nagged about Harrison and the fact that he frequently has nothing to do besides dig up dirt and blab about being a tough-as-nails gladiator; I guess I should be excited now that he’s getting his very own subplot. His past has been a mystery so far, so the jury’s out on how compelling the whole Adnan Salif storyline will be. One thing’s for sure, Salif sounds like a bad man, and Cyrus has no qualms bringing him into the country and threatening Harrison’s safety in the process. Let’s hope this turns violent.
I love the fact that Sally is slowly amping up her game in her bid to become the next President of The United States. Leo’s plan to have her cause a ruckus through religious debaters and then swoop in and peddle herself was quite genius, and I’m looking forward to watch her hatch further dastardly deeds. An interesting kink in her plan is her husband Douglas (impeccably played by Jack Coleman) and his wandering eye. Could he and Mellie be starting up something soon? I gotta say, that prospect excites me as the two had some excellent chemistry during the dinner sequence.
I’m less interested to see what Quinn is up to with her gun training, although it was admittedly intriguing to see her bond with psychotic Charlie of all people. As long as these two intersect with the season’s main arc soon (and it looks like they will with the reveal that Rowan is pulling the strings), then I’ll be a happy camper.
– How creepy was Mellie’s utter glee at the prospect of Liv coming to The White House?
– It was extremely amusing to watch Liv manage Josie’s campaign by lining up the “fat cats”. Even better were the little touches throughout like Josie snapping at Liv during the mock interview, and the two sharing a touching hug at the end. I love their dynamic.
– Olivia’s drunken phone call to Rowan was pretty heartbreaking.
– Seriously, Kudrow was perfect in that speech. One of the show’s most memorable moments ever.
– I’m glad to see that Cyrus isn’t a total idiot, and that he anticipated Sally’s plot.
– It’s fascinating how Mellie has absolutely no sympathy for Sally, another cheated-on wife. She’d much prefer to win and take down anyone else in her path. That’s why we all love her right?
– I’m not quite sure what to make of Jack’s informant almost killing him and the former being saved at the last moment. But, I am glad good ol’ Jake is getting proactive.
– Great touch with Josie’s sister Candace figuring out that Abby and the gang created the video that pissed off Josie.
– Nifty editing in that final sequence as Olivia opens the door. Were those white flashes something from her childhood?
Cyrus: This is a Greek tragedy in the making – winged mistresses flying too close to the sun.
Harrison: (to Jake) Stupid, super spies.
Abby: What’s the very first thing you do at The White House?
Josie: Change the sheets.
Olivia: I have so many questions I want to ask you but I’m afraid you’ll kill my friends if I do. So you know, let’s just talk about the weather or how I can’t form attachments to people because my mother is dead and my father is that thing that goes bump in the night.
Jonathan: You’re a shameless monster.
Cyrus: Who loves you dearly.
Mellie: (to Conrad) Don’t play the saint, you hate those holy hillbillies as much as I do.
Candace: Is there a line you won’t cross?
Abby: We’ll let you know when we find it.
Josie: There’s something my grandmother used to do whenever I’d start dating someone. I would tell her his name and she would say, ‘Oh, what part of town does he live in?’ That was her way of asking if my boyfriend was white. Oh yeah, my grandmother was an out and out racist, so I know what prejudice looks like. It’s not about experience, James, it’s about gender. Reston’s saying I don’t have the balls to be president and he means that literally. It’s offensive. It’s offensive to me and to all the women whose votes he’s asking for. The only reason we’re doing this interview in my house is because you requested it. This was your idea and yet here you are, thanking me for inviting you into my “lovely home.” That’s what you say to the neighbor lady who baked you chocolate chip cookies. This pitcher of iced tea isn’t even mine, it’s what your producer sent here. Why? Same reason you called me a “real-life Cinderella story,” it reminds people that I’m a woman without using the word. For you it’s an angle, I get that and I’m sure you think it’s innocuous, but guess what? It’s not.
A skillfully-executed hour from Scandal that’s equal parts riveting and bold.