This week’s episode started off with a bang. Well, two bangs.
Olivia and Fitz meet up and “review the numbers” then have an all out RAGING fight. All with poor Jake awkwardly chatting with the Secret Service right outside the door. I loved the fight and it was about time Olivia stood up for herself. Fitz is getting more and more ridiculous with the things he says and the things he demands from the people around him, especially the women. He doesn’t appreciate Olivia for what she brings to the table, what she wants, what she needs and Liv finally let him know. He didn’t really do anything in the rest of the episode that told me he was adjusting or changing, so we’ll see if this is just his character and the way the writers are going to continue to write him or if this is leading to a character development arc. Because Fitz, of all the characters on the show, needs the most character development in order for fans to continue to like him or believe that Olivia loves this man. (You may say, but Quinn needs some character development too! No, Quinn needs to die.) I suppose, in lack of a Papa Pope Speech of the Week, we can give Kerry some serious award noms for her part in the fight. She really did tell him about himself and that not everything is about him. I almost forgot to look for Kerry’s baby bump!
Some of the episode flashes back to the California governor’s mansion 14 years ago. Andrew Nichols, in the present, owns to some prescription drug use that someone is planting to use against the Grant campaign. But back in 2000, it was Mellie who took the pills. She was feeling sick and tired of her life, unable to look at Fitz or even touch him, scared that her kid wasn’t his and really feeling overwhelmed. Nichols finds her and stays up all night to make sure she makes it through and boy does he fall hard. But Mellie has a backbone and resists his charms, despite everyone kind of understanding and knowing where Fitz is headed in terms of his own marital screw-ups. But two wrongs don’t make a right, until the present day, when Mellie couldn’t take it anymore. Nichols certainly gets to touch the First Lady (and with Mellie’s hair like it was, she looked so great!) and he did it once, so he decides to do it again–this time the painting of Jackie O he was admiring before he had another first lady to admire.
Fitz is already pissed about Jake being “a fox in his hen house” so it’ll be interesting to see what conniption he experiences when he finds out his other “loyal” “trusted” friend is a fox. Even with how he dismisses Mellie, he wants to have his cake and eat it too, he doesn’t want her to do anything he doesn’t want. Fitz’ control issues are spiraling out of control and I believe it’s all because he found out about Defiance. And he started drinking.
Speaking of spiraling (weak transition, I know), poor Jake. He’s been command for over a month now, but B6-13 let him get settled before delivering the whammy. He gets a suitcase of mysterious files, all of the nations secrets. With very daunting words like “protect the republic.” Jake doesn’t seem like he was ready for this; he’s seeing how lonely it is at the top. The suitcase clearly stated that he was to act with no interference from the executive branch and to stay a step ahead of the president, etc, etc. He thought he was going in with Fitz by his side, but between Olivia and the weight of his office, his buddy is getting farther and farther away and the weight is getting heavier. I know many of us certainly loved the scene where he uses his “boyfriend of Olivia Pope key” to demand some real food in the house and to go take a shower. But the seams are more visible and the pressure will get to him more and more, I am sure.
Well, I suppose at least Jake isn’t James. James is about to shake right out of his skin, he really wasn’t made for this covert ops, behind his husband’s back stuff. The littlest sound is setting him off and his meeting with David under the bridge (or wherever that seemed to be) made me laugh at how cliche it was for a secret meeting between “spies.” He’s not ready for B6-13.
And neither is Quinn (I’m really killing these transitions aren’t I ;-)). Quinn makes me more and more angry as the season progresses. She wants to find her own way? So go back to being the girl you were before you were Quinn. Olivia and Huck made you Quinn and if you want express your independence, why not go back to whatever your name was before (you make me so angry I’ve chosen to forget what your real name is)? Don’t pull a gun on the person who’s best suited to save your life when the time comes. She walked into Jake’s office cocky as I don’t know what, but you got caught on your first go round by Olivia. Not Rowan, not Charlie, but Olivia, who isn’t exactly covert ops material herself (she’d be in the command station doling out orders). You didn’t even try to hide when spying on Rowan and someone is going to get fed up with you and kill you. And the entire audience is going to cheer with glee (we’re all still kind of on Huck’s side about the torture thing–he just went a little too far with the licking).
Huck kinda made me nervous though, bringing Olivia coffee like he was. Who knew what could have been in that coffee, considering his background. But it was apology coffee. Not for hurting Quinn, but for Olivia’s anger about it. Huck doesn’t let his desire for an apology stop him from telling Olivia about himself and herself. “You should have never given me someone to love. Monsters eat people, Liv. It;s what we do.” Oh Huck. It’s so telling about how he sees himself and his relationship with Olivia. And he loved Quinn. He took her under his wing and loved her and she went betrayed the master (if we’re sticking with Huck’s puppy metaphor), so he had to take a couple bites out of her for that. I wish he’d gotten a couple of more bites in.
Finally, I sat on my last post for about a week, hoping to unleash my theory about Adnan Salif working with Mama Pope and they reveal it the very next episode! I still KNEW IT! I really wonder what they’re up to, though. Adnan has now gotten her way into the Grant campaign camp, despite Cyrus knowing how criminal she is, and it was Mama’s idea? What’s the plan? And how will it interact with Eli’s plan to destroy Fitz? No way Maya wants Fitz to continue being president (certainly not without some damage somewhere), he knows about her and was the man who pulled her trigger. But if she does something to destroy Fitz, how does that play with Eli’s plan? Will they end up working on the same team somehow? What dangerous red strings of fate are being intertwined as we hurtle toward the end of the season?
As always, where do I begin?
Let’s first begin with the greatness that is a primetime show with a black female lead, a black female showrunner, and a black female director (Ava DuVernary) of an episode. When has THAT ever happened? On TV ever? (The episode was not written by a black female, however, I think our brains would’ve exploded). Such a rarity to see those things together; hopefully we get to see more of it across all media.
Now, on to the episode. While last week’s episode gave us lots of backstory, this episode is setting us up for next episode’s Winter Finale (we’re not readdyyyy!). However, I think this was my least favorite—and the weakest—episode of the season. Many moments were kind of forced (really Liv? You still think he murdered your mother— sorry, we’ll get that later) or fell flat (the Josie storyline is just gonna end like that? Whomp whom). But there were some nuggets of character for the Parental Popes that I am enjoying trying to figure out.
We didn’t learn as much about Mama Pope as I think we were hoping, in terms of the actions that got her in prison, but I think we learned a lot about her personality wise. She is fierce and bold, a little nuts (you nearly threw up in your mouth when she chewed her own wrists, didn’t you), but that move made her ingenious. She goes after what she wants and does whatever it takes to get there. But what does that mean about her past? Did she use these same traits to hurt people? To pass secrets? To take action to blow up a plane? Later, I’ll ask you guys to give me your favorite Mama Pope theories (I’d like to do another blog post on those); for now, we’ve just been given her character traits–which we’ve seen have passed on to Olivia. (As well as a love of popcorn.)
Turning to her relationship with Eli/Rowan, I can’t tell where they’re at right now. His entrance into her cell didn’t seem like a surprise. He cradles her wrists in the hospital and hands her water. He brings her pictures of Olivia, touches her shoulder, laughs with her. She laughs back. They don’t seem to hate each other. She told him to take care of Olivia. Have they seen each other in the last 20 something years? Has he done anything to help her? Can he? They don’t seem to have ever talked about Olivia in all these years, but they don’t act like it’s been 20 years and a conspiracy driving them apart. I don’t get it. What could the circumstances of Operation Remington be that they’re almost cordial with each other until he denies her what we might call “visitation rights.” Then he’s Command and the leader of B6-13, angry that a prisoner escaped. We’re they operatives together? Was she on our side but then turned traitor? I need answers and I need them now.
Things I Didn’t Like (Shocker, I know)
Harrison and Candace. I called their UST from the moment they met each other in the episode, but I’m upset because it’s (so far) served no purpose. He didn’t get a storyline in the episode about it, the two don’t even seem to be sticking around for the next episode (there is clearly no room for them in the winter finale) so he and Candy probably won’t continue to see each other, and it didn’t help either him or Candy in the episode. So what was the point? To pretend to give Harrison some (literal) love? How is this helping Cyrus’ proposed blackmail to bring that guy back into the country? Did that even happen? Have we forgotten about that in honor of non Harrison story lines? Even Abbie and David’s storyline has had more forward movement than anything Harrison is given. It was disappointing. As was the Marcus storyline as a whole. I was hoping Lisa Kudrow would go out with a bang; her presidential candidacy barely last a month? Liv is free to go back to the Grants?
But that’s the easy choice; what will Shonda do to unravel Olivia and Fitz? She certainly fused them back together for a moment that might have had fans cheering a few episodes ago, but now felt extremely forced. I’ve mentioned before I’ve faltered between Team Jake and Team Fitz, but Olivia thinks he KILLED HER MOTHER. At the very least, he killed hundreds of people (under orders he’ll keep saying) and never told her about it. Then he has the nerve to be upset that she didn’t tell him about her father (who—as far as Fitz knows—could have a similar “don’t tell anyone I am your father for national security reasons” hold over her). His upset about that really made me angry (also, leave the girl be for ONE MOMENT, instead of using your power and emotional manipulation to get her to do what you want. -____-) so I was disappointed that she thought that a house (that he has to keep secret because he is STILL MARRIED) was enough to forget all of that for one night. And I get it, he’s her weakness. She forgets herself and her morals when she’s around him, but where will her self control come in? I hope Mama Pope will smack some sense into her daughter and cause another rift (final? because what else could drive Liv and Fitz apart once and for all?) between Olitz. I think I am officially over Team Fitz.
Also the end. We knew Olivia and Maya would meet again, but it felt a little flat to end it on their first meeting. I might have preferred if Liv had actually passed out (she certainly looked like she would. and maybe they’ll begin next episode with such a move). but it was kind of anticlimactic because we’ve met her mom, we knew where she was going and that they’d meet eventually. If mom had been doing something else (killing someone, breaking into Liv’s apartment, something), maybe it would’ve have been a good ending, but since it was expected, and came after the HUCK KNOWS moment, it fell a little flat for me.
But part of this is being the set up for the winter finale, it’s putting as many pieces in place as it can to set those explosive events in motion. I just wish the moments hit stronger in this one; because now I have to wait two weeks for the next episode and I was underwhelmed by this one. =/
Mellie, Mellie, Mellie. She was so sad and had such a change of heart about the Honey Trap when she learned Fitz and Liv were off somewhere together. But what can she do next? She’s already threatened divorce, outed his affair on national television, he’s already been shot at—what’s left for Mellie? After all that she’s sacrificed and she still will only get to be the First Lady for another term—she hates being First Lady.
Will Shonda write in an Olivia pregnancy from the Vermont scene? I think she could ave written it in by now, but maybe the timing wasn’t right when Kerry told her about it? If it had been written in before, the obvious plot would’ve been the question of whether it was Jake’s or Fitz’. If done now, it would most certainly be Fitz’. And where would that leave us? I was hoping they wouldn’t write it in at all, but now it’s certainly possible; hiding Kerry in those black and white pants suits, giant coats and behind lamps will only work for so long, I suppose. And in order to keep the scheduling promise they gave us, these run of episodes, then the next set after winter break with no reruns, Kerry will have to keep working through the baby bump, until probably mid/late spring when she’s likely due. So it’s highly likely they just wrote in the pregnancy and when we get back, Liv will be having the president’s baby. Guess it’s good she told him to keep the house, huh? I wonder what that might mean for the Grant kids, of which I am not sure any of them are his. Can he only reproduce with Olivia? Mellie might snap on that information.
Finally, what are your Mama Pope theories? She and Rowan were my favorite parts to this episode, figuring out what their current relationship is and what events in the past determined it is really fun. The one thing I truly believe they agree on is that they love their daughter. It looked like they loved each other too. So what happened to destroy it all? Let me know your theories!
- Ava DuVernay directs latest episode of ‘Scandal’ (thegrio.com)
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“You get to ask me one question”
We’re gonna need more than one question to make it through this week’s episode of Scandal, but I’ll start with one from each major plot point and go from there. No guarantees about the amount of questions I ask. Please don’t kill my friends or try to recruit them for your evil, secret government agency, thanks.
This week’s episode went through these major storylines:
Liv and Operation Remington: Why does Fitz refuse to acknowledge Operation Remington to even Olivia—even after finding out it was her mother?
I had a feeling that Fitz didn’t know about Olivia’s mother being on the plane, but it concerns me to no end that he refuses to acknowledge his part even after he knows about her mother. Liv already knows the worst of it. She knows more than HE did, seeing as how he didn’t know about Mama Pope (Maya Lewis is her name). And yet, despite his claims of how much he loves her and they know each other, and it could be how it was before, yadda yadda, he doesn’t admit to the operation and he doesn’t even say sorry or console her. There must be more to his side of the story.
This Remington storyline is a clear mirror of the Defiance storyline with Liv at the center: everyone is plotting around her to keep her from knowing some awful truth about how she got where she is today. But Fitz needs to learn that he can’t throw that in her face anytime he wants; not anymore. This is about her mother. Who he shot down in the sky. He may not want to talk about it or the circumstances, but if he wants Liv to ever speak to him again, he’s going to need to come clean about Operation Remington once and for all.
But turning to Papa Pope for a moment: I truly believe those were real tears he shed when he was watching the news of the plane crash. What I want to know is: was he in charge of B6-13 then? He says he didn’t order the plane down. I believe him (not just because I believe in his love of Olivia, and I hope to extend that to Maya, but because of Joe Morton’s acting choice of shaking his head no before he verbally responded to Olivia’s question over the phone (homegirl needs to just chug that wine from the bottle—saves time on washing wine glasses)). The “no” was a visceral response to the question, probably not even conscious. But he can’t talk about the rest: What did he know when it was being planned? Could he have stopped it? Did he try? Knowing they killed his wife—and subsequently destroyed his relationship with his daughter—why did he accept command of the organization (or continue as leader if he was already in charge). Side note: I was DONE after seeing Joe Morton in that hairpiece and moustache! Especially knowing that he didn’t look that way back on A Different World. lol
12-year-old Olivia’s love of Fruit Loops makes me wonder if she can ever eat them again, all things considered. It might be a nice moment, to see Olivia have a box of Fruit Loops in her cabinet (but no milk in the fridge…).
Baby Huck/Charlie: What is Rowan’s plan for Quinn?
Quinn is spiraling out of control! Huck gave her the taste for darkness and she’s grasping at it. It’s interesting to me that Rowan/Charlie think they’ve “planted a seed” in Quinn that they must watch bloom, when this has been growing in her this whole time with no one tending to it but Quinn herself. They didn’t introduce the gun to her, she bought it on her own. Rowan told Olivia he wouldn’t kill her friends, but he didn’t say nothing about turning another one into B6-13! (I think fans, and possibly Olivia, won’t mind as much about this one. Baby Huck has been getting on everyone’s nerves since she arrived… I’m surprised the whole office doesn’t groan whenever she speaks.
I wonder if she will be trained to replace Jake’s would be assassin. Maybe B6-13 operates with a Token Female…
Actually, I would LOVE for Quinn to join B6-13, because then she’d be able to destroy it from the inside (not because she’s awesome, but because it would just implode due to her presence, annoyance, and incompetence).
Harrison/Cy: Will Cyrus’ threat spur Harrison into action against Olivia?
Finally some Harrison backstory! It’s been a long time coming that we find anything about Harrison Wright. What I understand so far is: Harrison was a used car salesman. Then he was involved in insider trading. This man, Saliff, is out of the country and if he is allowed (?) to return, he will kill Harrison. I suppose Harrison sold this man out to save himself. We know that Olivia “fixed” it for him. If he allows Cyrus’ threat to move him against Liv, Liv won’t fix him twice. But I think there must be more to it—they waited so long to give us a Harrison storyline, and Olivia trusts him with her company but then snubs him every time he asks her a question. I wonder what the whole story could be. I do know that Cyrus wildly underestimated Harrison’s loyalty to Olivia, but I don’t know how much more of Olivia’s dismissals Harrison will take.
The Election: How does Mellie plan to use the wandering First Vice Husband against Sally’s betrayal?
This part of the storyline was mostly set up for future chess pieces moving around. Josie Marcus’ bits were great, I know her interview with James will go viral on tumblr, due to the strength and truth of her comments. But the Sally/Mellie/Cyrus parts of the game were just pawns being moved into place. Mr Vice First Husband (Heroes’ own Horned Rimmed Glasses!) is making eyes at Mellie; but if he doesn’t know already, he is going to learn that Mellie will do whatever it takes to keep Fitz in office (including “rolling up your whore and unrolling her at your feet” !!). Whatever Mellie’s plan is, it is going to be devious.
“Icarus” is an interesting title choice. Obviously it involves flying and something crashing down to the ground, but it is also about parent/child relationships, escaping imprisonment (feelings of being trapped), and a tragic downfall. These themes apply to many characters. Fitz is trapped with Mellie (and kind of trapped in the White House by Mellie and Cyrus and the ghost of his father’s influence on him. Liv is trapped in the situation with her father, she doesn’t want anything to do with him, but he keeps appearing in her life and if she doesn’t stick with him, he may kill her friends. Obviously the plane crash is the prime example of the myth in action; did Maya get too excited about something for her own good and it led to the plane “needing” to be shot down by B6-13? Did someone ignore the warnings they were given to not fly too close to the sun? Is the sun B6-13 or something else?
I suppose they’ll start covering Kerry Washington’s baby bump with large coats, because I highly doubt Olivia will get pregnant and they’ve already established her wardrobe as a symbolic device.
They took all episode to get to Fitz learning that he killed Olivia’s mother. His eyebrows tell me he clearly didn’t know, but he schooled his expression real quick and continued to not acknowledge Olivia’s question. What does this mean for the coming weeks? Let the torturous wait til next Thursday begin!
Please , please, please check out my (condensed) version of this post on UnderScoopFire.com: Scandal ‘Icarus’ Discussion: “You Get One Question”
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