Scandal "Defiance" Review: The Race Toward Destruction
Last night on Scandal we had a number of people racing toward their own destruction. I don't even mean Fitz, who hopped out of the car into a hail of bullets in a particularly enraging cliffhanger. First there was Cyrus's lovable husband, spending all night painstakingly crafting himself a noose by criss-crossing the country to follow up on rigged voting machines when he knows he is married to a self-described monster who put a bitch to sleep last season. Every time I saw him frantically waving down a janitor or asking about memory cards I started getting sad. "Please don't kill of James!" I screeched to an empty room, horrifying my neighbors no doubt.
Then there was Edison, who was chasing down sorrow by querying Liz about her ex and getting restive when he caught her on the verge of tears watching an announcement about the President's birthday. Edison was cracking cases like Sherlock Holmes last night, sizing up Olivia's lovelife. Dude, calm down. Need to know basis, and you will never need to know.
And finally, in terms of people throwing themselves under a sword, we had Quinn, who had the NERVE to try to outfox Huck, the man who gets all warm and fuzzy when he's slicing people's ligaments. She pulled the bubbly ditz act a couple times and then accused Huck—a cold, hard killer / possible member of the bassett hound family—and her boss of carrying out a top-secret mission against her. Fantastic. You know you almost got locked away for life, right Quinn? Was hopping on a roller coaster with the seat unbuckled and blowing your hair out in the bathtub just not enough to get your adrenaline pumping that you had to take on Huck in a dark room?
P.S. You know he smelled your hair while you were knocked out on that plane. I'd say just go ahead and kill her but Quinn did make me laugh this episode when she said the line, "Hundreds of billions. Of dollars." Oh DOLLARS that's what they trade on the stock market thank you so much. All this time I thought it was Jordan almonds.
Poor Harrison and Abby got SHAFTED last night, having to babysit this week's extras through the goofy, broad B-story of a crazy billionaire and his trophy wife who, whoops, wasn't so crazy! He just needed to talk to his son for five minutes which no one had tried yet. That's how people who build multi-billion-dollar corporations that span the globe are: terrible at communicating!
What did make me laugh about this week's procedural clients was the trophy wife bringing the chips out to the car and Abby unsuccessfully trying to pull Harrison into a discussion of her personal life. All those little sighs in the car after she checked her voicemail, how unbearable. Office co-workers who overshare their romantic histories are the best, aren't they? They're always skinny, well-preserved ladies in their late thirties and they will take ANY excuse to share the kind of details that would make Emily Post put her head in the oven. "Then I unpacked my suitcase at his place and I told him where can I put my diaphragm and he just gave me this look and I thought well, maybe it's too early to bring a night bag! But we've spent every night for the last five weeks camped out on his sofa making love and watching The Wire and eating popcorn." Said to a small room including the accounts payable guy, two interns, and the temp who buys the toilet paper. I eat it all up, I'm sorry, I love it so much. Abby is EXACTLY that lady, except all saddy and with a bobo Dr. Who scarf.
I felt deeply, deeply cheated this episode of my "Olivia Pope Grand Entrance at a Gala" moment. Last season her flawless entry to a similar event really clinched the show as a fave, and I looked so forward (because of the lying, mendacious promos) to seeing her swirl around a dance floor on Fitz's arm. While I am not even remotely concerned about Fitz dying (like, hello, please, why not just burn a barrel of money while you're at it, showrunners), I am hoping that there's a scene where Liv appears at his hospital bed in that gown with that hair and he asks if he's in heaven and she's an angel.
The other moments that made this episode 1,000 percent worth my time were Fitz going weak at the knees staring at Olivia when she couldn't see him, Kerry Washington in blurry focus like a photograph in a gallery and him practically fainting like a lady from the Victorian era. Cyrus is going to have to start carrying around a fan and smelling salts once he's out of the hospital. And then of course the Most Passionate Review of Surveillance Photos ever.
Like I appreciate the heat but I worry Fitz's hands were covered in paper cuts after this snatchy little moment of Fitz literally tearing through the pile of shots of Edison and Olivia watching TV together. (What do you think they were watching? Or should I say, which Angelina Jolie movie do you think they were watching?) He "forgot" to cancel his surveillance order on her. I'm so sure! And he made Edison the Majority Leader of the House because he's over her. I'm so sure! Just like the moon gets over the Earth right around dawn, that's how he's over her, but he'll be back.
The big question marks are how Olivia Pope can possibly justify rigging an election, or being party to people who would do such a thing. I mean, we've come to the conclusion that the people in her employ aren't so much gladiators as self-righteous criminals, but Olivia herself up until now has not done anything explicitly incorrect. She's all nerve and heart and emotional justice, none of which ties in with rigging an election. (How much did you love all the side-eye when Fitz went on a speech at that dinner across from James about how he won against every pollster's predictions? The judge was cracking me up. Do you think her little legs were flailing out under the table trying to kick him in the shins? "Shut up shut up shut up!" said the judge's eyes.)
Am I worried about who the gunman was? No. It's not Huck, if it is I don't care, and new characters don't interest me, frankly. It was probably the Angry Southern Stereotype guy or his cronies, he probably helped rig the election to put the super-conservative VP in office, waited out the first year, and now figures he can kill the president and let his gal take charge. Wow, it's just a guess but I almost want to say spoiler alert before all that because it seems so accurate.
More importantly, what did you think?
1. Are you mad Olivia and Fitz never made it to the dance floor?
2. Abby: the worst?
3. Harrison: deserved better costars this week?
4. Edison: on to Olivia and Fitz yet?
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