We were delinquent in putting up the recap for last week’s Scandal recap. Or, um…I guess I should say I was delinquent in doing so. )That’s my bust, homie.)
So here are some random observations from last week’s episode — just in time for this week’s episode!
Last week’s big reveal was that Mama Pope was the one who sent Adnan to hit Harrison up for info1 and strongarm Cyrus. I’d almost forgotten about her! She’s a terrorist , but I don’t think we’ve ever been told about her motivations. Whatever she’s cooking up, it’s going to be more complicated than it needs to be. I say that both because this is Scandal, but also because when they cut to her, she was bathed in a green light a Batman villain. When this storyline wraps up, we’re definitely going to be like “wouldn’t it have been easier to shoot her?”
When I say more complicated than it needs to be, I mean moments like Abby “kidnapping” Will Bailey before Superman’s Voice could assassinate him on Cyrus’ orders.
“I should have said last night…I love you,” Rosen muttered
“You better,” Abby said. “I just saved your life.”
She couldn’t have rolled up to him and stage-whispered, “Bae— it’s a trap! Get in the car!” Was all that really necessary?I’ve been trying to come up with a list of things that have to happen in every episode of Scandal. One of them was an Olitz fight that veers violently from declarations that they’re tedious, on-again, off-again affair is over…to a “romantic” monologue by Fitz that he needs Liv. She gives a token protest, then he walks over to her and she’s all No! No! Don’t you do that! Not this time!In this episode, the writers were gracious enough to get this out of the way in the first scene.
So Mellie kissed ol’ boy, finally. They were in the room where the pictures of the First Ladies hung, and you were snarking about the weird camera work in that scene, and those bananas jump cuts to the portraits of Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Kennedy…who seemed to be side-eyeing Mellie’s adultery!But I wonder if those weren’t side-eyes of approval. For your consideration: FDR almost divorced Eleanor to be with his mistress, but he knew that a divorce would hurt his political career. John F. Kennedy banged everything that moved, if the stories are to be believed. Maybe those vaguely sentient portraits were on some Get it! in solidarity with one of their sorority finally lending herself a side-piece. Just a thought.
- And speaking of Mellie, last week you tweeted this:
I think this is right, but it also gets to something that’s been sort of gnawing at me for a bit. So much of this show’s popularity among black women — who, let’s face it, are the engine of its success — is because it’s ostensibly centered on this complicated, stunning black woman at its center (to say nothing of the savvy black woman who’s helming the ship). So isn’t it sort of odd that the show’s secret hero, its most fleshed-out and sympathetic character, is the white woman who’s that aforementioned black woman’s romantic rival? They’ve spent this season fleshing out Mellie while both Liv and Fitz have been reduced to sulking and shouting, with few gradations in-between.
It would seem that Mellie has quietly become the closest thing we have to a protag on this show. #Scandal
— stacia l. brown (@slb79) March 7, 2014
What do you think, Stacia?
- G.D. 1. Also, penis.↩
I also tweeted this last week:
Remember in Love&Basketball when Sidra hobbles up to Monica @ a party? “Never let a freshman take your spot?” Liv : Sidra :: Mellie : Monica
— stacia l. brown (@slb79) March 7, 2014
And now that I have more than 140 characters to flesh that sentiment out, I think that either by way of Kerry’s acting choices or due to the writers’ choices in characterizing Liv, this show as gotten away from its lead… and been delivered to Mellie (and by extension, Bellamy Young) — who was only supposed to be a recurring guest star or something at first, right?!
Now we’re rooting for her adultery and her White House jump-off.
But since we’re on that…
Andrew is as disconcerting a choice of partner as Fitz if, in the wake of Mellie telling him the whole story of her rape at the hands of her father-in-law, he’d come at her on some, “I missed you,” trying to get some kind of extramarital party started with her. Dude is tryna kiss the same mouth he was fishing an overdose of pills out of weeks earlier. How about if he’s really feeling her, he makes sure he’s whole before he starts horning in on her?
That leads us back to the kiss thing with the First Ladies. If those were side-eyes of approval, I’m as on board as Eleanor an’ ‘em about Mellie and Andrew. Enough time has passed for Mellie to have rebuilt or steeled or healed herself following the assault. And she’s finally ready to give up on the possibility that Fitz still has it in him to be a decent husband (but probably not ready to give up the proximity to power her position as his wife affords her). So mack on, Mellie. Get yours.
I can’t call it with Harrison, Adnan, or Khandi Alexander.
But I’ve long-observed that action-suspense dramas on ABC follow a pattern of duplicitous parents (especially mothers). Lots of espionage and double-agency. In contemporary series, this was most notable in the once-great Alias. It also happened in Revenge (which peaked in the first half of its first season). We rallied for Liv to have a personal life backstory, but what we got was wacky black ops shenanigans from her murderous, not-so-fast-they’re-just-protecting-Liv-or-someone! parents. If this were the first time this network had gone to that well, I might be interested in it. But what I really would’ve preferred were just some scenes with normal people Liv once knew before her life got so insane. One of the great things about Alias, early on, was that its protagonist, Sydney Bristow, had a couple of friends who provided her an outlet of normalcy, people with whom she didn’t have to stage-whisper about assassinations and natural security. Liv needs a Will and Francie.
The closest things she has are Jake and Huck. That doesn’t work because they’re all under the thumb of the same secret top security evil government agency. Or whatever.
I have to talk about Huck’s weird victim-blaming/blame-shifting/coffee-bringing thing last week, in which he refers to himself as Liv’s pet monster. She’s freezing him out because he tortured Quinn (and speaking of things that could’ve been handled easier: what was that even about? We still haven’t figured out why he felt it necessary to pull her tooth and lick her when she was fine with cooperating, right?). He can’t blame Liv for his psychotic break. All she did was try to restore some humanity to his depraved life to which he’d been reduced. He’s got to own his decisions in this, because he’s steady making them. And they’re all bad. He ain’t so far gone he don’t know how to come home (with coffee), so he needs to come with some better than, “This is what you made me,” if he wants back into the inner circle of the firm.
Sally’s subplot continues to be a snoozer. I want her to confess to the murder tonight so they can write her off or something.
Finally, I loved that Jake’s inside man in the Secret Service gave him that tape where Liv confesses that she “doesn’t know” if she has feelings for him. She does. Because when Jake disagrees with her, he doesn’t feel the need to shout her down. And sometimes, when he disrobes, it’s just to shower, not to force her into some tryst over her cries of “No! Stop! Not this time!”
We gotta go get ready for tonight’s antics! Thanks to everyone for rockin’ with us, late-pass and all.
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