Scandal‘s midseason finale was a masterpiece, so I had terribly high expectations going into the show’s midseason return. Was I satisfied? Hell yes; this was astounding.
A lot of people turned on Scandal this year. It’s not exactly surprising since the pop culture behemoth has lasted at the top of the Twittersphere for much longer than anybody expected. But I think Scandal deserves all the accolades and acclaim it can get. Yes the show burns through plot at a manic pace, but it’s all so wonderfully insane and addictive, that you can’t help but find yourself mesmerized by the relentless bombshells dropping left and right.
I know I’ve said it countless times before but someone has to give Joe Morton every award on Earth. His turn as the diabolical Rowan has been one of the biggest revelations of this year’s television season. His speech to Olivia in the park (found in its glorious entirety below), has to be one of the most remarkably-written and impeccably-performed monologues I’ve ever watched. I genuinely can’t imagine the show without him going forward. Phenomenal.
Bellamy Young has been a bondafide superstar this year. And although it was especially harrowing to watch her traumatic rape backstory unfold, I’m eager to see her dynamic with Fitz’s VP pick, Andrew Nichols, play out. The final flashback revealing their romantic past was a great little twist, and the impact that development will have on Fitz and the rest of the cast is bound to produce some fascinating reactions. Bring it on Shonda.
In Scandal‘s debut season, Quin started off as the most irritating character of all time. However, she slowly began to gain complexity, and today I find myself captivated by her evolution into part-time baddie. Watching her and Charlie kidnap the child and blackmail the coroner into lying to Abby and Harrison was particularly devious. What will Olivia’s ex-protege do next? The sky’s the limit is all I can say. Someone hand the woman a power-drill.
One could definitely make the case that Olivia and Fitz’s dynamic is getting repetitive, but the rest of the show is so on-point that my enjoyment definitely did not dwindle throughout the episode. One scene in particular, eclipsed Rowan’s speech as the highlight: Mellie and Liv’s lunch date. Everything from the fake smiles to Olivia singling out all the press in the room, was flawlessly executed. And the perfect culmination? Mellie handing the “whore” a list of potential bachelors. Wow.
– Absolutely epic teaser with Mellie entering the Oval Office only to see her husband, The President, sucking face with Olivia Pope. And hey, she’s sort of fine with it. I love this show.
– It needs to be restated: Rowan’s speech to Olivia is perverse, twisted, and so very bone-chilling.
– I loved the black and white slo-mo shots this week. The one with Olivia strutting after Leo named her as the mistress was badass.
– I liked Andrew Nichols, especially when Olivia was interrogating him.
– There was one moment this week that proved to be unintentionally hilarious: Fitz talking to Olivia about her mother, “an international terrorist”. I won’t deny that the moment felt so darn unbelievable. Plus it gave me flashbacks to Alias once more.
– Incredible twist: Adnan Salif is a woman, and played by none other than Nazanin Boniadi (most recently seen on How I Met Your Mother). The actress is both gorgeous and talented, so this casting choice single-handedly managed to get me invested in Harrison’s storyline. Trust me, that’s an enormous achievement.
– Although it should have been painfully obvious to me, I honestly didn’t expect Olivia to pick Jake as her PR boytoy.
– So James is Publius and he’s been listening in on Cyrus’ office; I guess he won’t be forgiving his “monster” of a husband anytime soon.
– Leo and Roan = a match made in hell? This can’t be good.
– The episode’s final shot with Mellie holding both Andrew and Fitz’s arms up high was fantastic. Who doesn’t love a good love triangle?
Roan: You have no idea what happened. You’re skipping around in a field full of bombs and mistaking them for daisies. The married man you can’t seem to stay away from had me abducted, and locked me up in chains and spoke to me about the way you taste while he allowed the terrorist who snaked her way into my marriage bed to clear U.S. airspace. What happened was, the man you screw betrayed me by freeing the woman who gave birth to you as a bargaining chip. What happened was, the man who defiled you also defiled an organization that I gave my soul to build. That is what happened. What is currently happening, is that President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III has made an enemy. The worst kind of enemy, because I know all his secrets. I know where every body is buried. And the greatest weapon I can use against him calls me “Dad.” Uncommon valor was a common virtue. The thing about that quote, Olivia, is that it is from the good old days, it no longer applies. Today everyone is afraid, everyone should be afraid, the president should be very afraid, and if I were you, Olivia, I would be terrified. I would pick up whatever chips you have left, and run as far away as possible from that burning building known as the White House. Run, Olivia, run, because mark my words; Fitzgerald Grant is not going to make it to the end of his term.
Olivia: You wouldn’t dare.
Roan: Watch me. Start grieving now, Olivia. Rend your garments, curse the heavens, it will save you time down the road. But first — run.
Sally: It is because I have turned my back on the faithful and condoned abortion.
Leo: Abortion? Really? Because when I rank the things you’ve done, sin-wise…
Sally: I did not murder my husband, Leo. The Devil murdered my husband when he snuck inside me.
Olivia: Vermont keeps getting further away.
Olivia: Serving the Republic, I always thought it was a good thing, a great thing. True service, a calling. Now I think…I think it eats at you until you are not you anymore, until you are lost. Until you can’t remember who you were. Until you forget yourself and all you can see is the greater good. All you can see is God and country and you’re so busy being a patriot that you forget to be a person.
Jake: I couldn’t say no! I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.
Olivia: Don’t we all.
A stunning and riveting return from Scandal.