Scandal "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" Review: Fiery Flashbacks

By Lily Sparks

Dec 07, 2012

Scandal S02E08: "Happy Birthday, Mr. President"

The Constitution is groped.

A Supreme Court wannabe slams a door to make a point.

The POTUS removes a thong on Lincoln’s desk.

It must be time for Scandal.

Holy cow this episode was steamy, guys. It went from a beleaguered fake news guy (an actor trying desperately to make us believe he was getting breaking news on an ear piece at the most bare-bones newdesk set outside of SNL's "Weekend Update") to Mellie slapping doctors in an emergency room (nice move, Mels. Ugh.) to Olivia getting clasped by Fitz in an Oval Office flashback.

Like, oh my goodness, is this why they cast Fitz? Based on the fact that his huge, manly hands absolutely swallow Liv with one bear hug? Good gracious. Sexy + Steamy + Sensual. There’s not a doubt in my mind that the president is not allowed to leave his inaugural events without a team of aides and a security detail literally at his elbows, and it was incredibly dumb of him to think there weren’t surveillance cameras in the Oval freaking Office, but we can enjoy the moment. This is Scandal, after all, not Super True: How the President Lives (A Documentary).

Basically this episode was pretty bare-bones, it laid out a lot of things we already knew while trying to create suspense over Fitz’s life hanging in the balance! (He won’t die, yawn.) And once again it showed us that Olivia Pope is who you want handling your life when the sh*t hits the fan. Still in her gala gown, she waded through an ER full of hysterical people and immediately went into crisis-handling mode, with the presence of mind to wrangle White House staff, throw someone some keys, and shout them a laundry list. “I’m going to need a pearl suit, a beige suit, a cream suit, an ivory suit, and six lace thongs. And stilettos. All the stilettos.”

If I were sending someone into my closet during a crisis my demands would have been more like “I’m going to need sweat pants, a sweat skirt, my cozy socks, two banana clips, the hoody without the blue popsicle stains down the front, and my Uggs. No, they’re not actually Ugg brand.”

Despite the many confirmations on information we got last night (everyone connived to get Fitz elected and the Cytech? Cytron? whatever office was blown up without OP’s knowledge to cover her tracks and James really was promised a baby and the Supreme Court Justice is kind of a jerk, and Huck shot the president—more on that later), the meat of the episode was the highlight reel of Fitz and Olivia’s relationship. Olivia’s frequent flashbacks, brought on by small things like smelling Fitz’s sweatshirts in the First Closet, gave us some serious facetime between our two romantic leads for the first time in weeks.

Olivia and Fitz rolled round nuzzling each other in a cabin while “working” on the State of the Union address, Olivia told Fitz she loved him after he let her touch the Constitution; in so many ways their relationship weirdly is wound around Important Political Ideas. (How much did you love Mellie coming to the cabin? Olivia looked horrified, Fitz was awkward, and then Mellie just had this smile on, like, “So why does this cabin smell like my husband’s dick?”)

Anyway, despite Olivia’s obvious distaste for adultery, it seems that combining her passion for reformative legislation with physical chemistry is what really sets off her fire. When Fitz offered via screaming in a rose garden to leave this all behind and run off with her, it was almost like, well, would Liv even want that? Maybe deep down Liv loves the president kind of because he is the president?

Call me crazy, but Olivia’s passion for righting wrongs seems very intertwined with her passion for Fitz and hence the reason she left her job when she found out how corrupted the little cabal was that had put him in place. If they did run off together and leave D.C., how long before she’d be missing her suits, smartphone, gladiators, and ability to steer a press conference like Santa handling his reindeer?

Of course there was their beautiful scene full of very romantic speeches which for some reason they SHOUTED at the top of their lungs while standing 10 feet away from each other. Uh, guys, he has security detail, this looks like the uh White House Rose Garden and you’re having an illicit affair. Screaming “I EXIST FOR YOU!!! I WANT TO ESCAPE ALL THIS AND RUN AWAY WITH YOU!” is a good way to end up on the front page of every national tabloid. Also it’s not sexy, Fitz. What was that acting choice to just holler at Liv? I don’t care how knee-melting the words are, no man will ever yell in my face like that and get any reply other than my back being turned to him.

So the Huck reveal is B.S. Obviously Huck’s brain got hacked or he had to shoot the guy who was actually shooting the president or I don’t even care. I did laugh at Hagrid Huck turning up in the episode and Liv telling him without a trace of humor to shower before he touched anything in her apartment.

So yeah, weird episode. What did you think?


1. Why did Huck shoot the president?

2. What items of clothing would you send a White House intern out for?

3. Would Olivia love Fitz as much if he was, like, a history teacher?

4. How do you feel about touching the Constitution?

  • Comments (51)
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  • dkunney Dec 11, 2012

    Um well first of all, YOU SUCK. your review was misleading a best and annoying at its worst. That episode was EPIC and judging from the number of comments you have on ur terrible review, MILLIONS DID ALSO. Maybe your not up there yet to understand the show so much of it went over your head. Be fair when judging especially a show that is so Obviously good, because you sounded kinda biased to me. Scandal is a great TV show and this episode was just....Everything....

  • sraley2 Mar 23, 2013

    Wow. If you are so passionate about the quality of this broadcasting that you will address another person (as it turns out, yes, Lily Sparks is a real human) in such a fashion, then you should probably try some new meds.
    What really SUCKS is that the internet allows people to behave so embarrassingly.

  • LilyRoRoSparks Staff Dec 12, 2012

    I loved the episode I just don't like the President shouting at Olivia! It would have been a slightly sexier speech in the rose garden if he hadn't shouted. If you read my reviews consistently you'll see I have a lot of love for Scandal...but that being said it is a soap opera at times and anything melodramatic opens the door to parody and humor.

  • afroindia619 Dec 11, 2012

    Love your sense of humor and I'm with you on picking apart the whole "who shot Fitz" or "what the Huck" situation...but as for Liv & Fitz, I so needed those flashbacks! I didn't start watching the show until the end of last season because I didn't know about it. So for me, things are coming to a full circle and I better understand what's going on this season. Also, after a hard days work and other bull-shit...I need my glass of Chardonnay and steamy can't live without you impossible kind of love affairs. To me, the fact that she's highly intelligent but still falls hard for a man, makes her real. If she didn't have flaws then I would think I was watching a Marvel Comic character...not realistic to me. Now that the show has given us a taste of the other character's backgrounds, I think they're doing a good job of moving the story line around a bit from character to character.

    Anyway, I'm just going to sit back and be entertained....

  • FoxZerro Dec 10, 2012

    The one thing that keeps hitting my mind as we watch the whole Scandal about rigging the election for Fitz is that had she not put the plan into action then she could have been with the man she loves. Since she put his advancement before her happiness then their is no doubt in my mind she loves the title not the man, as much as I don't want that to be true... All the evidence points to that being the case

  • FoxZerro Dec 10, 2012

    Also, Huck is a professional. If I really had to make a guess I'd say he wounded Fitz in order to keep him protected from the real threat that Doyle was planning.

    There is also this niggling thought in the back of my mind that the Aisan Woman who ended up dieing was the actual target and the other shots were taken in order to create a distraction from the real person they wanted dead.

  • edge1710 Dec 09, 2012

    If the writers have guts and follow trough what they have been signposting from the beginning Huck shot the president because he is mentally unstable. He feared for America as the president was part of a conspiracy to rig elections and destroy the constitution (with his greasy fingers)

  • SokkaAppa Dec 10, 2012

    The president doesn't know anything about that scandal. They are all conspiring to keep him in the dark about that matter.

  • SokkaAppa Dec 09, 2012

    obviously, Horace Doyle threatened olivia's life if Huck didn't go and shoot the president.

  • msdione22 Dec 09, 2012

    First off, loved the flashbacks down memory lane. 1. Now, Huck was brain washed!!! Don't see why he would just wake up and go, "I'm gonna shoot the Pres. today". He was put up to it. 2. Pajamas and comfy slippers. 3. Don't even think they would have ever met if he was a history teacher. That political brain of Fitz is what does it for Olivia. 4. I think it did more for Olivia then it would ever do for me.

  • aaghee Dec 09, 2012

    Scandal is the best show on television in my book. Seeing how Shondra writes, the real reason would be another surprise. I don't know what to think about Huck and the assassination. I would not be surprised if the President was involved in order to be with Olivia. My thoughts are also going on Mellie being involved. Why plan the gala and tell Fitz he doesn't get what he wants; then at the last minute say she doesn't want to go. I believe at the last minute she realized she cares for him and got scared; but it was too late. To tell you the truth, I really do not know who was behind the whole thing. I do know, if it was Huck, he did not do it by himself.

    As for what items, I would ask for: suits (because I am a professional), sweats, underwear, pajamas, slippers, toothbrush....etc.

    I would touch the constitution although when it was created, it was not thought about everyone.

    Love is Love....I believe Olivia would love Fitz. When you fall in love with someone, sometimes you don't care what they are doing for a living, as long as they are making a living.

  • LILGIDGE Dec 09, 2012

    1. Hollis must have threatened to hurt Olivia if Huck didn't shoot the POTUS and the press secretary. She was definitely a main target. If he was trying to shoot the real assassin they would have found the body.
    2. Jeans, tennis shoes, socks, undies and a hoody. (Preferably grey not red)
    3. Chemistry is chemistry. She would have been front row in his history class.
    4. I hope their hands were clean.
    5. Verna is already a Supreme Court Justice present day. I don't think she was involved.
    6. Why didn't Mellie want to get out of the limo. She was quite insistent that they not go to the party at the last minute. Was she in on it or was it just a premonition?

  • vmarslover Dec 09, 2012

    all I have to say after all those flashbacks, for a secret affair, their little white house romance was pretty obvious to anyone who's not blind or deaf!

  • LilyRoRoSparks Staff Dec 12, 2012

    Yes I can't believe how open they were, shouting in the halls and beneath the cameras of the oval office.

  • Crabtreeacres Dec 08, 2012

    Huck was trying to kill the real sniper. That's my theoryand I'm sticking to it.
    I laughed out loud at Lily's list bc mine would have been similar minus the cozy socks. Real world we r talking the same as Liv 's list but more shoes. She only asked for three pairs.
    Olivia is def down for the power. But the POTUS is gorgeous and smart. That helps.
    As much as I'd like to think I would ignore the constitution bc it discounted so many citizens (that we the people meant we the white people ), I know I would have put a pinky on it for sure.

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