Much better. After last week’s disappointing premiere, this was a definite improvement. Not fantastic, but certainly more effective.
My main problem with Scandal – and this is a flaw that I’ve discussed at length numerous times in the past – is the fact that the entire cast is so darn unlikeable. Apart from Mellie and Abby, I honestly don’t like any of the show’s characters, and that’s extremely problematic. Fitz in particular, has reached whole new lows. I positively despite how childish, entitled, and whiny he has become. And he’s not the kind of villain you enjoy watching either; it’s more akin to me wanting to turn off the TV every time he’s on-screen. That’s why watching Susan put the President in his place was such a satisfying moment. It wasn’t enough to make the rest of his arc worthwhile, but it was certainly a start. Perhaps the lovable VP should be running the nation instead?
What is encouraging is the fact that Scandal didn’t return to its status quo with Olivia safe once more. Instead, the writers THANKFULLY took a risk and had Liv confirm the infamous affair in the episode’s powerful final moments (that’s the second brilliant ending in a row by the way). It’s about damn time the show puts Olivia in the crossfires and has her face the truth without peddling back and forth. If handled properly, this story arc could prove to be one of the show’s best yet. After all, we’ve been building up to this for five seasons. Please Shondaland, don’t screw it up.
Finally, what exactly are the writers doing with Quinn and Huck? I was enjoying the fact that the former was being so harsh on her ex-mentor, but they ruined it with that useless bonding scene at the bar. After everything Huck has put Quinn through (need I remind anyone of that licking incident?), I can’t take these two sharing any sort of quiet moment seriously. I simply don’t buy it and it doesn’t feel earned from a storytelling perceptive. I’m all ready for Huck to leave the show for good.
– Please make Sally a regular on the show. After Mellie and Abby, she’s the only one I can stand (and that’s saying a lot seeing as how she’s PURE EVIL).
– Olivia nervously munching on popcorn while driving? Priceless.
– Quinn’s best moment in years: taking out the reporter. This girl has ninja potential!
– Incredible scene: Cyrus giving a salad-eating Abbie advice on treating the President like a child.
– Anyone else kinda enjoy the family dynamics between Olivia, Jake and Gavin?
– Priceless moment: fans rushing at Liv and trying to sake selfies with her. I bet this is what Kerry Washington deals with on a daily basis these days.
– Loved Abby taking initiative in the press room and announcing that Mellie was still living in the White House (when she in fact, was not!).
– Who else felt bad for Jake during that spooning scene?
– Stellar work by Washington as Olivia discussed all “the shame” she has to live with.
– Abby’s “cyclone” speech was typical Shonda, and it wasn’t one of her good ones.
– Liz leaking the pictures ended up being an ENORMOUS anticlimax. But I did enjoy Abby asking for “equality”.
Olivia: Quinn, close the door and put the gun away. They’re reporters, not assassins.
Mellie: But the minute she stepped through these doors, the minute she moved in here, she became what we all become when we live here, and what is that? Yes. A statue, inhuman, viewed from every angle, discussed, exposed. She’s not just a mistress now. She’s America’s mistress.
Mellie: Those pictures made people feel sorry for First Lady Grant, but they make Senator Grant look weak and frigid and sexless and like she can’t keep a man. And we both know America will never elect a woman who can’t get laid.
Abby: He does have strings, but that… that Olivia is in the wind, and she took the strings with her.
Quinn: Oh, you’re like his slaughter sponsor?
Mellie: He may have told you to come here in some sort of official capacity, but right now, you are no better than some two-bit bus-stop divorce attorney.
Cyrus: You want POTUS to fall in line, to behave. Be the adult. He’ll become the child. That’s the secret of the Oval Office, Red. You want the power? You want to be the kingmaker? You want to be the hand that rules? You are the adult. He is the child, and you don’t ask children when bedtime is, and you don’t listen to children when they say they don’t want their vegetables. You threaten them and you make them eat those vegetables.
Abby: You’re a terrible father.
Cyrus: Who do I hate more than Elizabeth North?
Abby: No one?
Fitz: Susan, I’m a flawed person, just like anyone else.
Susan: Mr. President, you don’t get to be just like anyone else. That’s not the job you signed up for.
Olivia: I’m scared, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have any answers. How is that a good thing?
Jake: Well, we’re at our best when we’re scared. Your instincts are heightened. Your adrenaline’s right beneath the surface. Everything’s crystal clear and your focus becomes like a laser and you just know what comes next. You know what to do. You know the answers. And you just act.
Liz: That’s all you want… equality?
Abby: Equality. I thought we could both be the adults around here, but if you have a problem with that, I can certainly try making you my bitch.
Much better than the season premiere but still not good enough. Here’s hoping that ending injects the season with the right dose of excitement and thrills.