Scandal S03E07 "Everything's Coming Up Mellie" Review: Collateral Damages.

By Badforthefish

Nov 17, 2013


Mellie. Oh, Mellie...

Excuse me while I push my jaw back into place and unplug myself off the saline I.V. This week was all about collateral damages, embodied in three main characters: Olivia, Mellie and Quinn. The episode was packed to the brim with drama, some predictable, some absolutely freaking less so.

On the predictable front we had the Remington plot and Quinn being used by B613. Olivia recruits OPA to find out what happened to her mother. It is a logical step, if a dangerous one which is why Olivia initially warns the rest of her team and offer them an out. Speaking of Olivia, the woman is at her lowest ebb, hollowed out by what she knows, or think she knows about the Remington operation: her father and Fitz are responsible for her mother's death.

The love of her life is suddenly a stranger and she tells him so. Olivia thought she knew Fitz inside and out, flaws and all, and even in the worst of times, when they kept hurting each other and hating each other, there was an unshakeable trust, a *knowledge* of what the other was made of. Then Remington came like a big bowling bowl and did a devastating strike on all that. I thought I knew you” this simple line says it all. Love does not matter when the inner core of a relationship, this intimate bedrock of certainty - has been shattered.

Olivia still can't resist the pull of of her Fitzphone – the Force is strong in this one - but she's letting it ring longer now, the chasm growing wider.
I'm surrounded by murderers...I'm surrounded by men who have a body count. I'm standing in a graveyard, made by people I thought I loved.”

Liv needs more than a hug. Right now I want to send her on a tropical island, put a colourful drink with a little paper umbrella in her hand, shove her in a hammock and surround her with uncomplicated young hunks with fans and massage oils.

The woman deserves a break.

Back to Remington, this is where we're at:

Big Jerry helped cover up the operation to protect his son. “Should have been some poor kid from some backwoods town who shot that plane down, not you, not my boy.” He was part of the Congressional committee that looked into the plane crash and agreed on “mechanical failure”.

Jerry told Mellie Fitz shot the plane down because there was a dirty bomb aboard, which is likely to be a lie Rowan made up for the committee.

Talking about lies, Liv did not believe the answer her father gave to her question last week. She tells her staff he gave Fitz the order to take the plane down.

Fitz signed up for Black Ops missions because even though he aced flight school he had been assigned to a desk job “raising flags and shaking hands” because he was a senator's son. Fitz joined the navy partly because he wanted to fly planes and partly to rebel against his dad.

Mama Pope is not dead, she's in prison under the name “Omar Dresden”. A federal marshall escorted “Omar” off the plane before it took off and Quinn killed the only witness.
I had hoped Quinn would have had some Machiavellian plan up her sleeve, that we would find out she'd been playing dumb in order to take down B613 from the inside, but so far it really does look like she just let herself be manipulated by Charlie and unwittingly helped B613 dispose of one of Remington's loose ends. This is just so predictable it is a tad disappointing. Quinn comes across as really stupid – a couple of kisses and she believes Charlie when they discuss the content of the syringes. WTF Quinn? Are you really this much of an idiot?



On the less predictable front we have Mellie - the main focus of this week's episode. In the present day she is first seen in the East Wing being followed by a camera crew, in an attempt to boost her battered public image. The First Lady is incredibly uncomfortable with the whole thing, and her fake laughter at Cyrus' feeble joke is cringeworthy.

It's bad enough that I actually have to spend my days choosing drapes and digging holes in the rose garden, but to pretend that I actually enjoy it on camera?”

Mellie is collateral damage for her husband's philandering ways (and as we shockingly find out later on, for his entire political career). The American people blame the both of them equally - Fitz for cheating and Mellie for talking about it - which as Cyrus points out, is not fair but American. Then he gives her some whore picking to do to cheer her up, because that's what true friends do.

I did a bit of a double take at the start of the flashback scene, when I realised the woman Fitz was in bed with, was his own wife, which was weird because the two people in that bed were laughing and joking, talking about making babies and snogging like crazy.


How about that? 15 years ago, Fitz and Mellie were newly weds in love. I had always assumed that there hadn't been much of a spark in their arranged marriage right from the start. Guess I was wrong.

So, Fitz and Mellie are in Santa Barbara and they get summoned down from their love nest by Big Jerry who introduces them to Walker, Texas Ranger, sorry, I meant: Cyrus Beene King Maker. Cyrus, sporting an improbable beard, has come to inspect the goods at Big Jerry's request to see if he can make a governor out of Fitz. “The wife is perfect.” My, what a misogynistic statement that was! Present day Mellie would have slapped his teeth out. But this Mrs. Grant is all fresh faced and young and grateful for this man who came to propel her husband towards the White House.

She's gorgeous, isn't she?” Ugh. Just shut up, jerry.

Shut. Up.

What a vile, vile man. Look, I haven't been kindly disposed towards POTUS in quite a while but after seeing the way his father treated him - like an object he owns and control - I feel like cutting him some slack. Yes, Fitz is messed up and it's no wonder if he was brought up by this monster. If you ask me, he's doing pretty well, all things considered.

Do you feel like you lost a piece of yourself,when you got married? That you made sacrifices to join the Grant political dynasty? ” the reporter asks Mellie during their White House tour. I doubt this board has a font big enough for the “DUH!” I wanted to type.

Since the show began, Mellie has been the character viewers love to hate. She's shamelessly manipulative, is a ruthless political animal, can craft the best insults and has a fondness for calling Olivia a whore. She's often been the occasional comic relief, what with the drunken speeches and the dramatic threats delivered in zipper busting low tones.

If anything, Season 3 will be remembered as the season who turned an interesting, fairly amusing character into a complex, multilayered and deeply moving one.
I dare anyone tell me they hate Mellie after tonight. You can't. Unless you own a poodle called Precious and you're busy buying hoses and skin lotion. In which case....well, do carry on by all means.

Using sexual assault as a dramatic device in a show is tricky because many viewers will always see this as a cheap, awful, manipulative exploitation of a sensitive issue. I suspect the TwitterSphere must have burst into flames on Thursday night, amirite? I perfectly understand this point of view and to be honest, I didn't know what to think when I first watched this harrowing scene take place. Was the show crossing a line it shouldn't have?

All I can say is that Scandal is a show about power. About women and power. The power they wield, the power they lose, the power they can't have access to, the power that is taken from them, the power they reclaim. And rape is the ultimate loss of power; so in this light, it is not that surprising that such a subject matter would make an appearance on the show. Plus people, you may want to remember the name of the show you are watching. It's called “Scandal”. Just saying.

So anyway, Mellie - looking so young and innocent without her First Lady make up - goes through this traumatic, horrific experience, with her own step father no less, and yet, manages to use what happens to her as an instrument of power. She uses the event as leverage to force Jerry to give Fitz what he needs to win: praise and support. In that moment she becomes what Cyrus was talking about, she becomes “The Wife” and Fitz becomes her full time job. But at what price?



That is one Hell of a twist. The strength of character of this woman is unbelievable. Do you remember back in S2 when we were wondering why Mellie was fighting so hard for a man she didn't love. Well, now we know why: she paid such a high price for her husband, she's not about to let him go.

The scene where she limps back to her bedroom and has to lie down with Fitz was heartbreaking. Bellamy Young made her character's voice sound so small and fragile, it was damn impressive. LET HER TAKE A DAMN SHOWER FITZ, YOU SELF CENTERED IDIOT!


When present day Mellie, standing barefeet in the Oval Office rants about all the sacrifices, the pieces of herself she had to lose to get Fitz in that place, her words are all the more potent.
She said similar things in the past but we thought by "sacrifices" she meant her career as a lawyer. Now we know the full extent of what Mellie gave up for her husband. I bet things cooled down considerably in the marital bed after that, as Mellie dealt on her own with the trauma and all the PTSD that must have gone along with it. What happened most likely paved the way towards the death of their relationship and shaped FLOTUS into the emotional cripple with a skewed moral compass she is now.

Greek tragedies got nothing on that show.

This oval office scene was outstanding. Fitz is not only a stranger to Olivia but to Mellie as well. He's the guy who doesn't show up. I believe his wife's speech was quite a wake up call. Mellie is on your side Fitz, get this into that thick head of yours.

And in the end Fitz did show up. And defended his wife. Mellie looked shocked. Oh honey, you weren't the only one, I thought I was going to choke on my 2010 Fitou. Good for you Fitz. You don't have to love the woman, but she is your wife (and you probably have no clue what this title means to her) so freaking act like she is. My urge to smack you round the ears with a cricket bat is not so strong now.


Look at them...awww. Olitz? What's that?

RANDOM:


As you can see I learnt to use Gimp, hence all the pretties. Yay me. I'm a fusspot when it comes to screencaps and could not find the ones I wanted, so I made my own.

Why is Mama Pope kept in jail? Was she working with Sydney Bristow's mother?

Fangirl moment: Olivia joins the infamous Scully “I'm Fine.” Club. Denial goddesses the both of them.

Fitz is surprised Liv knows about Rowan. Then he finds out why when he asks his secret services to: A) protect Olivia. B) start digging.

Which brings me to: Papa Pope's clearance card says “Rowan Pope”? And his real name is “Eli Pope.” UH? This is Spy 101 Epic Fail if you ask me. I mean nobody in that jail saw this card and went: “Pope? Hey, are you related to...” *PHUMP PHUMP*. Come on prop people!!!

Abby, tiptoeing around Olivia when it came to hugging was a lovely friendship moment. I bet our Liv, all steel jawed that she is needed this.

Bearded Cyrus had a wife. They fought a lot. Figures.

You're way better at picking out hookers than china patterns.” She sure is. Amber was lovely.

Oh, you control everything,which is precisely why I wanna kill you and have sex with you at the same time.” Ahahah! Good one James.

Poor James, not only was he fired, but it looks like Cyrus is going to use him as gay bait for Daniel Douglas.

The paternity thing was wayyy OTT guys. Writers: know when to stop. You could have kept this for later. We didn't need such a scene in an episode that was already chok-a-block with drama.

That screechy sound you're hearing is my carving Bellamy Young a freaking marble pedestal because SERIOUSLY.

~Fish~
  • Comments (13)
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  • ellianacox May 21, 2014

    Harrison and Olivia should be a couple.

  • erhabori Nov 24, 2013

    I am honestly starting to dislike Olivia and am actively hating Fitz. In the beginning I rooted for their love story but now they are just being unbelievably callous and selfish (this is more about the next episode than this one). Why is it that Mellie always seems to have to beg for consideration from her husband and every time Fitz is a little nice to her it's like he's granting her a favor out of the goodness of his heart? Think about everything she's done and everything he's done, she doesn't deserve the way she is treated. I'm also quite over Quinn, she is so easily manipulated.

  • citizens13 Nov 18, 2013

    1. Wow, this episode was deep. Damn you Shonda for making me like Mellie. Not that I loathed her before this, but I never really understood why she put up with it. It was really sad to see what sacrifices she had to make and that whole Fitz's first born may be his sibling twist was really weird. I guess it was nice to see that she used the rape to her advantage (?) but at the same time it was still kind of sad and disappointing. Is it just me or did it seem like everyone except Fitz was asking her to play "The wife" role at the beginning of their marriage? I'm really glad that Fitz stepped up in this episode and was there for Mellie. However, I'm still team Olitz maybe just to a slightly lesser degree now.
    2. This season is going to be crazy, it seems like everybody has secrets that affect someone else.
    3. Oh, crazy delusional Quinn. Does anyone else think she is not strong enough to be in B613? She too impulsive.
    4. Fitz don't feel bad for not knowing that Rowan is Olivia dad. Common people we've all made that mistake where we didn't put a last name together with another person.
    5. Cyrus, please do not pimp out James. I love James.
    6. Side note, I found Charlie strangely attractive in the episode.
    7. Fish keep up the good reviews.

  • Kazy Nov 18, 2013

    Funny, to me no time had passed or barely between the two last flashbacks and Mellie was making that face because she figured she was already pregnant when he raped her. She doesn't drink the glass that Jerry gives her when he rants about his son... I took it as a cue.

    Honestly, I cannot believe that the writers would use that trope. I know they love drama but there's drama and just absolute horror. COME. ON. Cut Mellie some drama slack.

  • tonyaking5036 Nov 18, 2013

    I thought I was seeing things when I saw a Scandal Review listed. Oh Happy Day!! Great Job.
    I never liked Fitz's dad now I officially hate him. Did he sit behind Olivia's father for The Worst Dad in History class?
    I don't think the rape scene was needed to get the viewers to pity Mellie. I already feel pity for Mellie whenever Fitz disregards her like a second class citizen. Please don't go down the line of Fitz's son could be his brother story. That's just f..ked up.
    I called it from the beginning of the Mama Pope story that she was still alive, so that was no surprise for me. Was Mama Pope the one on the plane with the dirty bomb and that's why Rowan has her in hiding? Did she work for B613, I hope not.
    Baby Huck, what were you thinking? I'm so not liking Quinn's storyline right now. I hope she's has ulterior motives, and she's not just an adrenaline junkie - cause if she is, she's totally screwed right now.
    Sally can't know her husband is in the closet - marrying a gay man - never, that's not in her beliefs. I can't wait until Ms. High and Mighty finds out.
    Cyrus please don't pimp out your husband.
    Also Cyrus had a wife - lol!!

  • gzeigler3 Nov 18, 2013

    I believe Sally knows her husband is gay. Remember when Mellie told her that one of her female aides claimed he made a pass at her? Sally immediately said that she must be mistaken.

  • Prsnl_Stylst Nov 18, 2013

    So glad Mellie got her time to shine. This episode was shocking and heavy -- even for Scandal, which is regularly pretty shocking and heavy. I don't hate her like a lot of other people do. She's a crazy b*tch, sure, but that's kind of why I like her. Also, I've always kind of felt sorry for her (at least since we found out about Olivia and Fitz) . This episode really solidified that.

  • Twezzy90 Nov 19, 2013

    Me too... I've personally always loved Mellie and her crazy-ness. This just really makes her a more rounded out character and explains how detached she is most of the time.

  • sunnyday Nov 17, 2013

    I have always loved Mellie. Does this mean I support her actions- god no. But I have always felt there was more to her character than we had seen. I knew she was bitter- giving up her own ambitions for Fitz(remember she was the smart one, the top of her class at Harvard unlike her husband) but I always felt that at one point she must have loved him.

    It was good to see that she had loved him and they were HAPPY at one point. I do believe the moments Cyrus made that speech about being, "The Wife" and her subsequent rape by big Jer is when that marriage began to die. I totally agree that scandal is a show about power how we get it, how we treat those with it, what we sacrifice to keep it. I really think this glimpse into Mellie was incredibly telling and impactful of a storyline.


    And can we all agree that Quinn is the worst? I thought she was awful when she dated the reporter in season one against Harrison's advice and last season with the drill made me despise her more but her sheer stupidity in this storyline angers me to no end.

    And poor Olivia. Can she love a man who is not a killer? I wish Abby wasn't with David and he was available for Liv. Not that I think she would know what to do with a kind, stable man given her deep daddy issues.

  • MarlboroMagpi Nov 17, 2013

    Good job ! It is hard to write a review about scandal especially with such an episode with so many things happening.

    Bellamy Young part as Mellie was suppose to be shorter but her performance made Shonda Rhimes gave her a longer arc.

    I too was hoping Quinn was playing dumb to get into B163 (part of me still hoping) because she was really stupid and it would be a stupid plot if there was no deeper plan. Without any deeper plan,she would really be an adrenaline junkie as Huck makes her to be.

    Scandal is a fast pace exciting show that draws a lot of audience so I am sure someone will do a review soon. Scandal is a good show but it will never be a GREAT show mentioned in the same breath as Breaking Bad.

    It tries too hard with lots of plots/twists to surprise you. Sometimes that makes it too soapy. Its a pity because it does have such great potential.

  • gzeigler3 Nov 17, 2013

    By the end of this episode, my emotions were all over the place. While this is normal after an episode of Scandal, I couldn't move and couldn't breathe right after this one. You would be correct about the reaction to the rape scene. I came across many commenters that found the scene to be gratuitous, and some (women and men alike) even blamed the victim, stating that Mellie didn't resist enough. Many of those comments turned my stomach more than the scene itself. It was powerful and very telling of how Mellie became the woman she is today. Do I like her any more than I did last week? No, no I don't. If anything, I pity her. I've always felt she needed some type of therapy. That scene only explained why. Also, I suspect that she was messed up before she married Fitz. That incident only did more damage. Or course, seeing even more of the detestable Big Jerry explains a lot about Fitz as well.

    It was clear to me that their first born child might not be Fitz's after that scene as well. This tidbit is too much for me. It's very obvious that Fitz doesn't know about the rape or the uncertain paternity. And while I'm all for shock value for entertainment purposes, I can't sign on to THIS. I need to find out, as a viewer, that Big Jerry IS NOT THE FATHER.

    Cyrus had a wife! Tee hee! Oh the fun Shonda shall have with that!

    Sally's husband is gay. I didn't see that one coming. Obviously she knows. But why?!?! Why is she married to a gay man? Is SHE gay as well, and they are putting on a ruse for the American people? And if he's gay, what was that foolishness at the dinner they had last week? Why did he appear to be flirting with Mellie and she appeared to be jealous?

    And Quinn. You poor fool. I, too, hoped and wished that she was doing some undercover type thing to find out about the inner-workings of B613. Actually, I still hope this is the case. After all, she's IN. Sure she had to kill some one to get in, but she's still IN. She would clearly have access to more spy-ery now.

    Mama Pope's alive. Here too, I hoped and wished and hoped and wished that she would be alive. It would have been too juicy a story line to pass up. But I have no idea what it means, and I don't think we'll know the whole story for a while.

  • dref22 Nov 17, 2013

    I've been reading fan comments about the rape and the fandom looks pretty divided about that and I can say that both sides have good points. I know I could have done without that plot point, but I also realize this show is famous with its "omg" moments, but rape is a very serious issue, so....yeah. Sometimes it's better not to touch it especially in a soap like this.

    Everything about Quinn is very boring now zzzzzz. Her storyline feels very forced bu it'is still bearable because of Charlie.

    I love that some fans refer Daniel Douglas as "Double D" now LOL. And "Dames" FTW! I'll celebrate this new ship until they decide to sink it and we know things die fast on Scandal unless they're about Fitz/Olivia. I've decided to watch this show because of Jack Coleman and so far I'm loving what I'm seeing regarding his character. :P DD is gay! I can't believe I didn't see it coming! I guess it's because Jack Coleman has played 3 gay characters until this show and two of them were very recent shows actually. So I was like, "naaaah, he is not gay this time". Boy, I was wrong.