Is Scandal more or less delightful in an election year? I'm on the fence. With all the talking heads, juicy debates, and continuous political coverage happening in real life, it may be that our brains are at a saturation point with politicking politicos, thus making it almost impossible to care about fake ones. Last night's episode opened on some talking heads on a fake news show and my inner voice whispered, "I need a vacation from this vacation!"
Still, it's not like the politics of Scandal bear any relation to what's going on currently in the real world: a Republican Bill and Hillary, essentially, and lots of HOLLERING! Olivia hollered at everyone last night! Usually Olivia spends part of the episode whispering and part of the episode silently incapacitated by a deep love for Fitz before hollering at a couple people. Last night, the shout switch never got flipped off. A wrathful Ms. Pope shouted at:
– all of her devoted employees
– Top TV network executives
– a client she believed was in mortal danger
– a senator who politely asked her to the ballet
– the President of These United States
She spent the episode on edge after a man who looked like the real-world version of Family Guy’s Quigley appeared in her back seat and told her the U.S. government was doing that one thing Batman did in The Dark Knight, spying on everyone in the U.S. via their cellphones and laptops so the government could have access to everybody's secrets. And also THEY KNEW ABOUT THE LATE-NIGHT PHONE CALLS!!! Yes Olivia and Fitz's late-night gossip sessions are practically a matter of public record! The one place she could really let down her hair and laugh about the nation's pastor: no longer safe.
So Quigley became this week's client and the show cued its typical "Rollickin' Motown" underneath a rapid-fire explanation of who and what Quigley/Thorngate was. Frankly, the combination of Sorkin-speak and irresistible bounce and the unmistakable lyrics of "Let me tell you it's always cool / And the boss don't mind sometimes, if ya act the fool / At the car wash / Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa" etc. dovetailed my consciousness in such a way that no information passed through my brain.
I mean, not even stuff like "I am sitting on a couch." It was like hypnotism or something, my cerebral cortex was tied up and twisted like a skirt in a Dave Matthews song. Sound editors: No lyrics in background music, PLZ. Luckily, Scandal is not the kind of show that needs you to genuinely care about the information at hand, all you have to do is appreciate the leader of the free world's lip quivering when he realizes his lady love brushed shoulders with her ex-boyfriend.
Ladies, we have GOT to STOP liking it when guys are super possessive. I know it's kind of hot in theory but it leads to abuse and limited opportunities and in this case, a senator getting basically fired? And also a hunting trip? As much as Cyrus is a poisonous Iago set on murdering young interns, I do like that he finally acknowledged Fritz's rage problem in his weekly monologue.
Cyrus knows that when the president is gwumpy it's probably from starvin' for Olivia, so Cyrus essentially KIDNAPPED Olivia so the president could have some quality time with her during his hunting trip. The moment we have all been waiting for for WEEKS—these two getting some alone time—was spent with the two of them running up a hiking trail shouting at each other. (After the POTUS lovingly dropped to one knee, took off Olivia's sensible chunky heels, and laced her into some duck boots. Why do I feel like this is Shonda Rhimes’ ultimate romantic fantasy? “We need a scene where he slowly changes her into more comfortable shoes. Trust me.”) Still, I wish they had spent part of their long shouted argument holding still; it looked pretty exhausting to walk at a clip uphill while hollering: "YOU ARE SPYING ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT IS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE!" "YES BUT BATMAN DID THE EXACT SAME THING IN THE DARK KNIGHT!"
Until the President grabbed Olivia and passionately kissed her.
(Ladies, we have also GOT to STOP finding it attractive when men impetuously grab us and kiss us in a smouldering rage although I am right with you here it is pretty hot.)
It did make we wonder, would the Secret Service restrain the president from sexually assaulting a lady or are they always on "his side" no matter what?
Olivia was able to hold her own by telling the president, "I am NOT YOURS!" and blowing out of those woods (duck boots still on). For an in-person reunion, it was not as effective as some of the times we saw them together in Season 1, but I will take what I can get with these two they ARE Lizzy and Darcy 2K12.
So anyway, the client actually double-crossed Olivia (which they found out in part because he was somehow connected to a rental car rented by "Will B. Watching." This is just what elite government conspiracies are known for, their sly puns.), and then engineered his own escape and embarassed the Popers in front of the NSA and major TV networks, so Huck had to hunt him down and kill him.
Meanwhile, the FLOTUS, who was rocking a crusty blowout for most of the episode, did a sort of about-face on Olivia. Whereas previously she had demanded Olivia attend to her husband's needs and keep his rage from boiling over, she had a truly terrible speech (sorry, but it just sounded soooo written, so so so written and soapy and written) about how she would blow him away if he was with Olivia again and her political future and she and her baby would take him down etc. etc. I think Millie was a more effective character when she icily did not give an EFF about her husband and was having an awesome affair with a gray-haired guy. I don't like that Millie had an emotional breakdown, but I do like that this is hopefully the end of the needy, insecure, emotional, "Maybe we could make this work!" Millie. She's so much more effective when she's just a conniving robot.
Finally, Quinn needs to STFU about her name being Quinn and her not being a liar. Basically every time she piped up last night I just laughed at my TV, "HI PSYCHO!" because she is legit a psycho. She walked out of a hotel into a new life yet somehow is not a liar? I agreed with everything the redhead bitchily snapped at her and when Quinn told her off at the bar she sounded ridiculous. "I'm not a liar!" Everything ABOUT you is a lie. You are DEFINITELY Lindsay.
Then the redhead had sex with the DA, which, you know, poor thing. Does the redhead have THE WORST ROLE ON SCANDAL?! This may clinch it.
– Too much hollering or not enough hollering?
– Was the president's rageful kiss incredibly romantic or borderline sexual assault?
– Do you fear the government spying on you or do you pity the poor gov't employee who would have to go through your stuffed inbox and watch you picking wedgies all day?
– ThornGate: basically the exact same premise as The Dark Knight, right?
– Would you find it romantic or upsetting if the man you loved laced you up into some duck boots?
– Is Scandal more or less fun at the height of the election madness?