Scandal "Spies Like Us" Review: Wherefore Art Thou, Fitz?

By Lily Sparks

Nov 16, 2012

Scandal S02E06: "Spies Like Us"

A couple pushing 40 get gooey about a drawer.

World-class spies are summoned to the garrett of a Parisienne building in Washington, D.C.

A main character gushes about how beautiful it is to kill people.

It must be time for Scandal.

Like many of you, I am constantly frustrated by my mail service. I know the USPS is about a billion dollars short on funds these days, but sometimes I don’t get my mail until ten o’clock at night, and that’s pretty crazy. So I knew just how this guy felt, but still—a little dramatic, dude!

Yeah, that’s taking it a little too far.

Suffice to say, this was supposed to be the hook for a premise that basically lead to all the Popettes treading water for another week. Huck called all his friends to the top of the crumbling, chic office bâtiment via radio signal (it can’t be traced! Spies are so old school. Basically if you see anyone with a transistor radio, know that they are a spy) for a tense standoff that ended up with one of them wisely killing the “leak” in the group. Yes, one of Huck’s incredibly intense spy friends had been about to sell documents detailing the government’s bad guys to Scandal’s bootleg Julian Assange Wikileaks-type guy.

After hyping up his spy buddies like the Avengers were coming to town, the show decided to make them everyday, normal people adept at murder, which was cute. Still, it was hardly the closed-room murder mystery it could have been, with all of them sitting around waiting for Olivia to call with the news of who the mole was, just chilling in a room more drafty than Rodolfo’s apartment in La Boheme. Did phones kill the closed-room murder mystery? Maybe.

Olivia was standing in her office looking terrified and sorrowful and painfully beautiful just because hey, weekday, when Harrison finally got a scene by barging in and demanding she let him do her a favor. As Harrison-starved as this show has been, as perfectly delivered as his rapidfire monologue was, I already knew that Harrison was ready to lay his life down for Olivia, so this wasn’t exactly revelatory. What is your nature, Harrison? What do you do for fun? Are you single, Harrison? Boxers or briefs? These are the questions we’re all asking. Though I did love that Olivia’s marching orders were so high school: Go break up the nerds, please!

Abby and David’s shudder-inducing sex life mercifully careened to a stop last night, for which I praise the writers and Shonda to the skies. Nothing personal, actors, but the combination of your characters is like the combination of jelly and the skin between my fingers. NAW, THANKS! So while I resented that Harrison twisted the knife as much as he did, telling Abby he loved her like a sister before constructing the end of her relationship (in the most painful and manipulative way), like Olivia, I’m glad that’s over.

I mean, are we supposed to sympathize with David and Abby maybe? And therefore be like “Oooooh Olivia, that is messed up!”? Like she told Cyrus: Whatever you have to do to save someone’s life, you do. Although Cyrus handled his particular situation a hell of a lot more adroitly.

Any argument that ends with a kiss is a win-win, and it's emotionally consistent that his hubs would wait on pursuing his career to protect Cyrus. Cyrus what have you done to deserve this man? Maybe James is just really into horrifying bouts of screaming, because Cyrus has been treating him to plenty of that.

So yeah: The spies put me to sleep, and the show crawled without Fitz. Like why are we kidding ourselves, writers, this is a love story, and when one of the romantic leads is offscreen it's kind of agonizingly dull.

Even with the illuminati. Even with Huck’s awkward speech about loving murder to pieces. Even with the insane amount of funk songs drifting under the otherwise colorless procedural scenes. Sorry, but playing “Tell Me Something Good” almost inaudibly during a Poppette Clubhouse scene just makes me want to pause the show and listen to that song at full volume while I dance around my living room.

The only thing I absolutely loved about this week’s B-story was that Olivia picked up the haughty laptop spectre and just threw that shit on the floor. I laughed out loud. I wish this happened more often in movies. It really underlined how powerless he was and how completely Olivia was about to take him out of the game (or, you know, wink, who did the dirty work and the dirty clean up).

What was good—very good—was Olivia’s reaction to Edison at her door. It was sort of ambiguous; was she overwhelmed by her competing emotions (love of Fitz, gratitude that a good man had brought over some movies) or was her heart breaking in that moment as she caved into her loneliness despite the fact she and Fitz will always be in love? Personally I think the tears were an excellent way to let the viewers decide the depth of her heartbreak. And because I know in my heart that Fitz and Liv are soulmates, I saw this ending as truly devastating.

Not that Edison isn’t a nice guy who clearly puts just as much time into pushing weights as pushing bills through Congress, but for a man named Edison he just can’t seem to get a buzz going between him and Liv. Granted, he’s not supposed to, because Liv and Fitz are Lizzy and Darcy basically, but wow, even Lizzy Bennet had her Wickham. Edison is no Wickham. He’s just a nice young man with weird taste in liquor/sandwich pairings.

What I’m looking forward to is two weeks from now, because the promo said gala and gala means ball. And Fitz crying over pictures of Olivia with Edison. And Olivia making an entrance in a gown like Cinderella. YES. Let’s get on over to THAT, please! In two weeks, sigh.


1. Olivia betrayed her friend to save her life; is there any way to save David Rosen?

2. Spy side story: boring or fun?

3. Is Quinn supposed to have gotten the empty office? That doesn’t seem right.

  • Comments (21)
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  • marcusj1973 Sep 24, 2013

    "And because I know in my heart that Fitz and Liv are soulmates, I saw this ending as truly devastating"

    I'm counting down the episodes until you come around on what a complete dbag Fitz is and just how bad of a person he is...especially for Olivia

  • marna Nov 19, 2012

    I totally agree with you, I found this episode quite boring and the writing a little out of place... and really why is that every relationship needs to be normal? you love who you love because it feels right... Fitz was really missed, and the chemistry between those too is so intense that there is no point in holding it back for the "right" reasons... I guess we have to wait and see what will happen next, but with no Fitz there is no point in watching...

  • write2ap Nov 19, 2012

    I really loved this episode which I found surprising because like the reviewer, I believe that Scandal is a love story. We need more of Fritz and Olivia together (please let it be in bed). However, that being said, I love the spy stuff this week. The episode flew by for me, it was very entertaining. Huck is awesome. The Harrison, Abby, and David storyline was very well done. Also, I kept waiting for Fritz to show up . The entire episode was like a giant tease. Is it Fritz at the door? No. Edison. Hate Olivia with Edison, he looks like Bill Cosby's son. No chemistry.

  • bluemystique Nov 18, 2012

    -Of course. We're talking about OP. She can fix pretty much anything.
    -FUN. I'm biased because I love spy stuff. Also I love Huck so I was thrilled to see him get to say more than two lines and of course I love the Huck and Olivia dynamic so that was an extra bit of win for me. The spies were awesome, from their sleeper normalcy to their adorable nicknames and profiles. Yes, I loved Wink the soccer mom. Total BAMF with a wicked crackshot. Shame on the associates for not assuming that they were carrying more than one weapon. They ALWAYS have more than one weapon. They're career assassins for crying out loud. Amateurs! Not that I, you know, have experience with this sort of thing or anything. Hm.
    -I thought Harrison was supposed to get it. It was a great episode for Harrison, I thought. He actually got to say stuff and once again pledge his loyalty to Liv in a passionate way instead of being the quiet but suave dude in the background making snarkies. Team Harrison too. I loved his scenes with both olivia and Red because it was great feeling the bond they have. It's no secret that Stephen was Liv's bestie and she's been a bit lost w/o him, which has brought her even closer to Huck. Which I love to pieces, but also there is only so much your pet serial killing bestie can do so it's great having the back up. And the back up this go round was Harrison. I loved that. Did I mention I love the dynamics in this show? Olivia and Huck is my fave. Olivia and Harrison is awesome. Even though Quinnsey gets on my nerves I love Quinn and Harrison, and I like Harrison and Red too. Dabby sibling rivarly is wicked.
    -I don't hate Quinn. I'm just indifferent. Why is she there again?
    -I like Fitz but I didn't miss him per se. The show can still get on w/o him which is fine by me.
    -I don't feel any chemistry between Liv and Billy Cosby jr. He's nice enough but eh.
    -I don't trust Huck's booty call either. No one is normal. No such thing. He made me proud running her info. I mean he is a former spy. Old habits die hard...and who hasn't run a cursory Google search or you know, hacked into NSA for a thorough background check?

  • hamblemary Dec 16, 2012

    Billy Cosby Jnr?
    Im on the floor! :D

    Love your posts.

  • jools19 Nov 18, 2012

    I just want to point out that Huck's speech about not killing the traitor who's name I forgot was just endearing, but I like him so much that the fact that he says killing people is beautiful scares me because I continue liking him very much. So, therapy. Anyway, I think his girlfriend is very suspicious and also, I'd like to point out Huck's speech has the same or very similar cadence and phrasing as most other speech and monologue Olivia has delivered so far and I would like his character to be better developed. Also, I loved the arthritic spy that runs a B&B.; I dont miss Fitz. I miss Olivia fighting with FItz and shaming him into being a better president, but I don't miss Fitz.

  • bluemystique Nov 18, 2012

    It's okay. I've found that in my tv viewing I have an affinity for socially challenged, sociopathic serial killers. So endearing.

  • daniellecio Nov 18, 2012

    Well Huck's new girlfriend was cool with the fact that on Friday nights he likes to spy on some random family so she can't be that suspicious about his crazy

  • jools19 Nov 18, 2012

    Or maybe she's just really crazy herself? *shudder*

  • stanking Nov 17, 2012

    Don't miss Fitz at all - show is NOT a love story! Better without him.

  • Akeele Nov 17, 2012

    i miss Fitz.

  • Crabtreeacres Nov 17, 2012

    The absence of Fitz has turned this show into a big blob of nothing. Thank God he'll be back in two weeks (two weeks!! Sigh) and he and Liv can return to staring longingly at each other. Edison, sadly, is no replacement, although I for one was glad for Liv to get some. She clearly needed it.
    I had hoped -nay, prayed- for Abby to be in the wind over her david Rosen thing but I guess she's staying. Investigative whiz or no, she's the worst. Even worse than Quinn.
    Love huck. Huck and co not so much.

  • rye06p Nov 17, 2012

    I couldn't disagree with you more when it comes to Fitz. He is the worst and these two episodes have been the best of this season and what's different about them... Oh yeah, Fitz has been missing. He turns Olivia into a soppy, weak, teenage girl. He tries turning Mellie into this uber-bitch when in reality she has every right to be an uber-bitch after what he's done to her. Could Fitz maybe never come back? Thanks!

  • bobster_bsas Nov 17, 2012

    I liked the spy story (it was obvious tha Holland Manners was the leak, he used to run W&H; )
    I didn't miss Fitz, although it's time for him to get back

    I wanted olivia to confront abby abou er relationship with David

    Fun episode overall

  • Crabtreeacres Nov 17, 2012

    True. Would have been great for Liv to call out Abby for her foolishness but i get it. Liv must always wear the white hat and yelling at the Benedict Abby would have tipped off her macgruff the crime dog instincts so she'd know Liv was up to something bad.

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