Scandal: Hot Mess in a Clean-Cut Suit

Scandal S01E04: "Enemy of the State"

Olivia Pope is going off the deep end. Granted she's doing it while shivering delicately in a silk robe, looking absolutely radiant, but still: She's losin' it, and how interesting is it for the writers to take a world largely informed by how infallible Olivia Pope is, and then introduce the viewer the day that Olivia starts cracking. Because a grounded woman does not need to see seven positive pregnancy tests to know someone is pregnant. You get to three, you've got the idea, and once you're done you CERTAINLY don't put those used pregnancy tests on your kitchen counter.

Nevertheless, it's not like there wass time to reflect on this because an army had charged into Olivia's office and it NEEDED HER HELP. Well, the dictator who was leading it needed help, and he looked like a young Tony Shalhoub. (If that WAS Tony Shalhoub, your chemical peels are paying off, mister!)

You knew Olivia Pope speaks Spanish, right? It's one of the 18 languages she speaks fluently, when she's not making a suicidal intern guzzle water and pee on well-packaged litmus strips. Aren't you glad you hired Olivia, Amanda?

You didn't have to be versed in recent South American politics to understand the dictator storyline because, as usual, it quickly turned into an emotional problem, not a logistical/tactical one. The dictator's wife and children had disappeared, he assumed they had been kidnapped, but the wife had actually left him and fled to a women's shelter. Meanwhile at this point in the episode we were learning that Bargain Bin Julianne Moore (Julianne Less?) had been mercilessly beaten by her ex-husband. We actually learned a little bit about all the Pope-ettes, as Cyrus hired an investigator to vet Olivia's team after a nasty confrontation in his own garden.

Guys, I goofed: Cyrus has a husband, so it is LESS likely that he is dying of love for Olivia Pope as I speculated last week. In fact, not only is he not crushing on her, he made a rather nasty comment about how she should know if the president wore condoms or not. (And he didn't mean because of her infallible gut--the gut went radio silent this week! I didn't miss it!) Olivia did the classy thing and marched her pristine cream hems right out of there; I would have trampled his rose bushes.

So the after this catty exchange, Cyrus started literally digging up dirt, and the two most interesting revelations an investigator revealed to him about the team are: 1.) that Quinn "did not exist" before 2008 (OOOH!!! I hope she's a sleeper Russian spy a la Salt) and 2.) that Olivia is known to have had an affair during the president's last campaign...but it's unknown with whom!

Um, how does that work? How do you get the idea someone is having an affair without explicitly knowing who the partner is/whether the person is married? Would she throw her own hotel keys over her shoulder on the campaign trail and shout, "Won't be needing these! I got BEEEDDDS !!!"

Meanwhile, Olivia was screaming her head off at damp-eyed Amanda for wanting five minutes alone with the president, telling Amanda she is NEVER going to see the father of her child again and if she doesn't like it, TOO BAD. Olivia please, you could sext the president to meet up at your usual spot and he'd be there in thirty seconds. Goaded by Olivia, Amanda creepily revealed that what she wants is to see the president/his administration BURN!!! Yikes!

Wasn't this the point where Olivia should've been like, "Okay, you know what? I'm going to make some calls, I'm going to see about that five minutes, BRB." and then come back with a giant butterfly net, and round Amanda up for a quick trip to the loony bin? Like, that was not a plan coming from or going to a healthy place.

But it WAS leverage to get back at Cyrus for his barb about the condoms. Olivia told Cyrus she was taking her Amanda freak show on the road to 20/20, and Cyrus scared the sh-t out of the president with a monologue forecasting the downfall of his presidency, the nation, etc. That monologue was so rambling and dis-associative and indulgent and actor-ly. This show is the monologue-iest! I love it!!

It was actually my second-favorite monologue , after "No Frills Brand" Julianne Moore's revelation that in better, more morally upright days, Olivia Pope had broken her ex-husband's knees with a tire iron. WHAAAAT!?! With a tire iron!?! How come that didn't come up on the background check? I'm sorry, but Kerry Washington hitting anyone with a tire iron just makes no sense, my brain can't even imagine it. It's like trying to picture a fine tea service beating someone with a baseball bat.

However, after being reminded that she used to have the kind of moral conviction it takes to righteously break a man's knees, Olivia talked the dictator into letting his wife leave with their kids. Her argument? If you don't, there will be a tell-all. OH THERE WILL BE A TELL-ALL!!! It's true, 9 out of 10 regimes fall because of racy memoirs.

Then Cyrus showed up for the announcement we all saw in the promos for this week's episode, there is to be WAR between Pope and President. I hate promo-cutters. This scene should have happened in the first five minutes, but whatever. So Olivia then rounded up her gladiators in suits (this show believes repeating a phrase gives it power and so do I!) and let them know first things first: Were they WILLING TO GO TO WAR?

Of course, while she was fishing for compliments back in the office, client Amanda was casually kidnapped and injected with what I think might be baby-killing serum between her toes. WHAAT!!! Way to leave us with a cliffhanger, Scandal.

I'm really feeling this show, it is so luxuriously melodramatic and ridiculously juicy and the crazy, well-crafted monologues show there are some capital-"W" Writers laboring over these scripts and capital-"A" Actors delivering them. My only two qualms are 1) I wish the show was on every day, like a classic soap opera. 2) Scandal for-serious needs to stop filming through crystal paperweights. But otherwise, yes, let's do this, war it up Olivia Pope! You make crazy look so good.


Questions:

– What do you think was injected between Amanda's toes?

– What is up with Quinn's missing past?

– What's the bigger moral obligation here: for Olivia to help Amanda come clean about the president or for Olivia to protect her friends at the White House?

– Were you disappointed by the lack of steamy eye contact between Olivia and the president or is he officially an unlikable weasel?

– Breaking someone's knees with a TIRE IRON?!

Comments (34)
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The Cyrus monolugue in he Oval Office was fantastic. I have long thought the actor has been underrated for years. Actually, since the days of Nash Bridges. He was quirky even then.



I enjoy the show but I do have one big problem...Shonda's face! She curls her lips and screws up her nostrils and eyebrows when she speaks. When she gets mad or intense they really go to town. Calm them down girl and you'll have a very happy viewer.
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Her face movements is exactly what I think about when I see the show I even forget what she is saying lol but it's still awesome!
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Never intended to watch "Scandal" but the network aired it a few weeks back in place of my fav Castle. Went ahead and watched it and discovered why I was not interested in the first place. Nothing new, nothing exciting, they talked too fast, we're way too slick, storyline was run of the mill. I am so disgusted because it is on in the same time slot as another new show "Awake" which is original, nail butting, excellently acted, and just simply a terrific show. I just read that "Awake" will probably be cancelled while same old same old dribble "Scandal" was renewed. It never ceases to amaze me how people are so joined at the hip and just keep watching the same story just reworked over and over and shy away from new and original.
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Since Fringe is leaving next year, I can see why Thomas Ian Cusack from Lost jumped ship. Glad he landed another role. Surprised Alcatraz did not borrow him for cameo or any other Lost alumni because it would actually help the new series. lol Only recognize 2 actors from Alcatraz. Anyone notice Meredith's ''Dad'' Grey's is now on Scandals? Who was also in Nash Bridges yrs ago. Still prefer Practice but moving it to Tuesday helps my dvr so I can watch Awake at 9. Oops! sorry I like escape TV, not more politics reminding me of Edwards case. lol
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Oh I dont know..Cyrus monologue? Over-the-top poorly delivered with the wrong sarcasm at the wrong places. No Olive here..
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Cyrus' monologue was in fact one of the best on tv ever...bravo to the writers and

the actor for pulling it off so well...i knew this was going to get mentioned in the review!
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How did I miss this..this week. Oh right the three days it took me to watch the episode because the power went out and only recorded half.



- I know when I kidnap somebody I'm all for the white towel over the mouth and under the nose..but hey, injection is effective. I honestly don't know. Single white professional female...best way to make her appear to be a secret junkie is to inject her between the toesies and get her hooked on something. Maybe that was the case.



-Hmm that was interesting. Quinn in Witsec? Possibly but unless it was self imposed hiding, her marshal would be all over her butt for working with someone so high profile. She has orphan vibes. I can see her growing up as another lost kid in the system.



-Tough call. Sooo morally grey...soooo morally ambiguous. What's good isn't always good (helping Amanda) what's bad isn't always bad (covering for her WH compadres).There is no right answer for that.



-I think he's an unknowledgable weasle. First order of business in anything...cut out the middleman. No way should he keep listening to Cyrus tell him about Olivia. No way should she listen to Cyrus. I'm game for the steamy eye contact along with a healthy dose of actual conversation that has nothing to do with their relationship. They ogle each other but never talk about the important stuff.



-Badass!! You'd think she'd be concerned about getting blood and dirt and whatever else on her white coat.



Abby and Cyrus had the best monologues ever!! Loved finding out stuff about the team. Best way to build a team of people who would always be loyal to you is in the manner in which she acquired them. They love, respect, and sort of owe her in their own ways. That makes for unshakeable loyalty. I'm dying to know more about Huck!! His protective streak of Olivia is something that continues to intrigue me.
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Is anyone suspecting the President's wife of being involved? Either to destroy him, make him own up to everything or protect him.
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-I thought they injected her with drugs so when they find her body, it can be said that she was a drug addict.

-I was wondering if Olivia knew about Quinn's missing past.

-I know this the moral obligation for Olivia is to help Amanda. However, I'm wondering about the phone call that Amanda got when she said that she can't do this anymore and she's going to tell them the truth. What was she talking about? Is that baby not the president's? Hum...

-Not disappointed by the lack of steamy eye contact between Olivia and the president. I do wish that Cyrus, Olivia and the president would get in a room and talk, so then they will learn that Olivia didn't send the CD and try to blackmail the pres. and they can learn that a third party is out to get them. Oh, he is a weasel.

-Dude was a wife beater. No sympathy for him, so if Olivia handled him with a tire iron, YOU GO GIRL!!!!
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Staff
I think you're onto something with drug addiction, but in that case why inject in the feet? Why not make the most obvious track marks you can?

- I am starting to feel like the baby is NOT the President's. This intern is solid bad news. Maybe she even faked her suicide attempt?
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Watching this show is like being in church. You just get preached to for an hour.
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Wait, is the "Julianne Moore" thing a joke or do you really think that's Julianne Moore and not Darby Stanchfield on the show? Sorry, I'm new here.
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Its definitely a joke but I love your screenname. Very scandal apropos!
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Ah I thought so. And thanks! Loved the article by the way.
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LOL, its a joke... =) she sorta looks like Julianne Moore but isn't quite Julianne Moore, so I guess that entitles her to the nickname "Julianne Less".
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Yep I definitely see it :)
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I vote that Quinn is in some kind of witness protection thing. She seems just too nice and perky to secretly be a super spy a la Jennifer Garner. Maybe it was just wrong place at the wrong time, she saw something she shouldn't have and was relocated to D.C.? Although, working with Olivia Pope is not really the most discrete job in the world so might be a stretch!
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/shonda shonda shonda!! You go girl!!!!
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when I grow up, I wanna be just like her.... sigh...
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She's got a way with the TV shows. I bet when she goes and pitches something to the Network they write her a check halfway through her first sentence.
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1. Amanda's DEAD or kidnapped - kinda expecting kidnapped what with all the secret phone calls she's prone to making

2. Super secret agent Quinn - she puts you off guard with her crying

3. Neither is probably going to happen but technically the bigger moral obligation is to come clean

4. I R WEASEL - said el presidente - btw love that show

5. That's just awesome - when I heard that I was like OMFG did they just say that and keep it moving like it was nothing - "I just broke someone's knees with a tire iron today, and I made this awesome hot chocolate"
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Love this show and loved this episode. I hate the fact that Amanda was clearly using Olivia and her team me thinks the person or people behind Amanda's schemeing are also behind her kidnapping. I can't believe Cyrus would go that far.
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You know, I actually think Cyrus would go as far as hooking Amanda up to trick Olivia and then having her removed from the picture.

Olivia was obviously a thorn on his hide since forever, otherwise he wouldn't have pushed so hard to have the President fight with her. He was probably the one who had Amanda record that awful nasty tape of them doing the dirty and then presented it to the President without having to cover up his tracks because there were no other tracks to cover, which is why no one else even found out about the tape and/or leaked and rumors to the press. Then he blamed Olivia who, btw, still has no idea that was the beginning of her end so as to not the President suspect someone else might have taped him and Amanda doing "it".

Either way, if Olivia went ahead with Amanda's case she would go up in flames because the white house would black-ball her and she would lose credibility before potential clients and just be overall ruined. Then Cyrus would have free-reign of the President. Also, I think Cyrus might be in with the First Lady, being they both considered Olivia an unnecessary distraction to the President and threat to either of them.

Also, I could totally see Amanda trying to switch sides and cut Olivia lose from all the pending drama and Cyrus having to off her (amanda) because she knows too much, isn't doing what she's told and/or he doesn't want to comply with her demands.
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Yeah who was she calling? Its weirdly early to bring in a double cross, but I like that kind of gutsy choice.
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This show is crazy juicy and addictive. I NEED MORE.
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Hah, called it last week. Cyrus is gay. And... Republican? And bemoaning marriage inequality? Wut? So emo president is also Republican, and yet feminist black do-gooder career woman Olivia Pope just had to have a piece of that because EMOTIONS?

Oh Scandal. Scandal, Scandal, Scandal. Tsk tsk tsk.
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I know, right? And Juliette Less is full-on worshiping a Republican-linked fixit wizard while espousing leftist positions on a weekly basis? (And I'm saying that because the media has so clearly taught me that Republicans hate women.)



Honestly, the mix of political preferences that these characters have expressed may be the least believable element of the whole thing.
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Are they Republican? How did I miss that?! Fill me in?!?!
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What Bionic said. And even though Dem-Rep presidential ticket is possible, all that would accomplish in today's world would be to alienate both the left and the right.



What are the chances that these writers are not-so-subtlely referring to George Bush and Condoleeza Rice? If that turns out to be the case, I will be incredibly disappointed in their lack of originality.
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During Cyrus' Hamlet monologue, he mentioned that the VP was a evolution-denying, women-hating Tea Party Republican, so unless the Mr. Emo is a Democrat who ran for President with a Tea Partier for tactical reasons... he's GOP.

I don't necessarily object to that (he does seem to be a reasonable Republican, if you can overlook the cheating and the no eyebrows), it would certainly make the love story between him and Olivia juicier, but I just don't see how Olivia would be attracted to him in the first place, or agree to being the other woman. Not from what I've seen so far.
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Am loving this show right now. The scene with Amanda getting kidnapped was very disturbing, no? I just knew for sure that we were watching her or that baby getting killed.



I read somewhere that Shonda Rhimes feels the president is still a guy to root for. Okay, as long as he doesn't go into jerk territory (a la David on OUaT). I was hoping that Fitz and Olivia fell in love before his campaign, because this show is all about image, and if they were together and he wanted to be president, then what? Having Olivia on his arm was not going to cut it, and it'd be cool for the show to explore that because sadly, it's true. That would also explain the animosity from the first lady who seems like she's about to make some waves, because I think their marriage was just to save face. Fitz even admitted his love for Olivia, though drunk, it was to his most trusted man Cyrus when there was really no need to say anything.
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There are obviously more than two sides in this conflict. Amanda obviously still has a hidden agenda (if she's still alive, that is). Cyrus claims to be on the Fitz's side, but he's lied to Fitz to play him at least once. Quinn's innocence may be a complete mask. And the one character that the writer's are carefully NOT pointing to when it comes to anything important is David, which leads me to believe that he's the mastermind.
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I'm guessing the blogger has connected the intern with someone else who's offering to funnel her money/protection/exposure whatever. I do think Olivia needs to just back away from this whole desctructive enterprise. Her job is to diffuse scandals, I thought? But maybe her team are just professional busy-bodies.
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Olivia can't back away because (1) she thinks she owes Amanda for trying to stomp her in the first place, and (2) she can't stand the fact that she got played by Fitz and now it's personal. But, yes, she SHOULD back away; we just know she won't. When it gets personal, both her gut and her brain flatline.
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