Scandal 5×16 – The Miseducation of Susan Ross

"I am talking about replacing the white hat with a black skullcap."


Everything about this hour worked, and I mean everything!

Well I would have loved Scandal to take a risk and commit the entire hour to the debate (a la House of Cards), this episode maintained a great sense of narrative momentum. The best thing about the show at the moment is that I genuinely want both Susan and Mellie to win the Presidency, and isn’t that a wonderful dilemma to have?

I’ve often been hard on Kerry Washington, but she delivered her best work in a long, long time this week. Watching Liv cross so many villainous lines was just incredible; far too often, she endlessly preaches about doing the right thing, so it’s quite satisfying to see her threaten prisoners and scream at Fitz with all her might. Furthermore, I loved Fitz and Liv discussing Defiance – the single best arc the Scandal‘s ever produced. Its ramifications are still very much present, and I’m glad that the plot has not been forgotten, particularly as it related to Susan (with Fitz coming clean about how he never “earned” the Presidency). Great stuff!

The Miseducation also provided a ton of amusement by pairing Mellie with none other than Marcus. It’s no secret that I haven’t been a fan of the latter, but having him play off Mellie was a stoke of genius. There’s just something so refreshing about this duo, and their dynamic culminated beautifully as Mellie finally agreed to take part in Jimmy Kimmel’s hilarious “Mean Tweets” segment. I just love it when Scandal mirrors our own world (and I bet ABC loved the opportunity for cross-promotion).

Scandalous Bits

– Awesome teaser with Hollis asking Mellie how she could possibly have her husband’s mistress running her campaign? It is ridiculous isn’t it?

– Amazing speech by Susan about her husband’s death and how that motivated her to speak up. I kind of got goosebumps!

– Callback to the show’s past: Liv telling Mellie the “hell or high water” line.

– So let me get this straight: Huck suddenly has a conscience?

– Does anyone else really like Alex Vargas? I can actually see some sparks happening between him and Olivia; he feels like the male version of her. Cyrus screwing him over on the other hand? Not okay!

– It’s so unsettling to see Edison, Jake and Papa Pope – the three men who want to control Olivia – discuss her so casually. Interestingly enough, Papa Pope defending Liv and destroying Edison actually made me like Pope for the first time in ages.

– Jake eating chicken as Pope berated Edison – priceless.

– Would it be too much to ask the show to make Liv a full-on villain? How insanely thrilling would that be?

– I was a bit irked by how much no one seemed to care about Ronnie killing himself as the result of all the evil machinations.

– Another move I applaud the show for: having Liv and Fitz share a storyline that has nothing to do with romance. Now both have committed to run a clean campaign!


Edison: You need to go to her and pull back the reins and stop her in her tracks before she gets any more out of control. Did you hear me?! Olivia did this!
Pope: I can’t quite decide which part of your indecorous behaviour troubles me more, the decision to interrupt me while I was speaking, the distasteful reference to my daughter requiring reins, or this foolish belief that I would ever take orders from you!

Marcus: Are you kidding me with how annoying you are right now?! I mean, damn!
Mellie: Excuse me?
Marcus: You are relentless with your whining and your groaning and your complaining. You are officially the worst!
Mellie: You have no idea what I am going through, what I have been through, the kinds of things that people are saying about me.
Marcus: This is exactly why people don’t like you. This is exactly why I don’t like you, even though I’m being paid to like you. This is exactly why you’ll never be president.

Fitz: I haven’t been able to think of something pithy enough to say, like, “The fish rots from the head,” but I thought we’re keeping it real with each other now, so… Can I keep it real with you, Liv?
Liv: Whoever taught you that phrase should be fired immediately. Go ahead. Keep it real.

Olivia: I happen to think that Mellie will be a great president. She is smart, hardworking. She cares about this country. You married her, Fitz, had children with her. You must have thought the same thing about her at some point.
Fitz: What can I say? You think you know a person.
Olivia: Funny how that works.
Fitz: I am trying to change, Liv. I am trying to be the better person.
Olivia: Right.
Fitz: I don’t want what happened to me to happen to Susan! I don’t want her to win by deceit! I don’t want her to be the victim of another Defiance!
Olivia: Is that what you think you were… a victim? Please! You know damn well that receiving stolen property is a crime. You got exactly what you wanted!
Fitz: You think I wanted to win that way?!
Olivia: You think anyone did?!

David: I’m happy I could be of help, even happier that you’ve forgiven me.
Susan: You’re a prop, David. That’s all.

One of Scandal’s best episodes in a long time. Terrific!

Nad Rating

1 comment

  1. I like how Fitz is trying to help Susan not to make the same mistakes that have ruined him as President. This side of the character makes him seem likeable in a way he hasn't been in a long time. At the same time, I found myself hating Olivia with her single-minded focus on winning at any cost. I am just glad Huck and Quinn stood up to her with Abby's help.

    I wanted to punch Jake in the face so much during that scene in the kitchen when he is calmly eating his toast as Eli chews Eddison out. He seems so smug.

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