Scandal "Hunting Season" Review: Big Brother Loves You

Scandal S02E03: "Hunting Season"

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.


QUESTIONS:

– 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?

Comments (36)
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Cant Stand the Red head, I've disliked her from the start. And in your question re the Fitz/Olivia pairing, I do believe this so-called love affair is Shonda's idea of real love and romance, even though it is adultery. how can one condone adultery. I like Huck, he is the most interesting character on the show, next to Olivia I guess. And when I say that I mean I'm not a huge fan of the actress. So I can't really care about her yet. If Huck handed that guy back to the NSA that would mean he is essentially dead now. Great post Lily and a very entertaining and funny review.
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I'm fairly confident that Rhimes believes adultery is one of those quaint, outdated concepts, like fidelity or monogamy: an interesting historical study but not related to the real world. But then she works with Washington D.C. and Hollywood. Which of those 2 cultures really values faithfulness?
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Oops

Meant to reply to someone and deleted my previous post

Only thing worth saving is lily sparks, you're the best

Last year's "yer a wizard Harry" tag for huck was priceless
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I'm glad Olivia yelled at her workers. She's the only one that knows all the pieces of the puzzle, yet the workers constaintly secnod guess her orders, even when lives are in danger and every second matters. Especially that shrew redhead!



I don't care much for Quinn, she seems slow-witted despite having earned a lawyer degree. But that shrew redhead was going all catty on Quinn every opportunity, so I was glad when Quinn finally told redhead off.



I think I saw non-verbal type communication between the secret service guards when POTUS forced himself on Olivia, like 'OMG dude, how should we handle this', until they saw Olivia melt into the POTUS' arms, then they turned their heads away. I'm glad she was able to come to her senses and push him away! She knows first hand how difficult it is to hide scandals.
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I want to know huck's story? His sociopath leanings are fairly troubling and I want to know why Olivia feels so safe knowing what he's capable of / has already done.



Exhibit a: " I love my job" before shooting the guy with a tranquilizer dart and torturing him.



Ps. lily, huck didn't kill him, just tortured him a little and turned him over to the NSA
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Huck rules
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Oh yeah - and Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn are the best-looking lovers on tv. How can her skin be so flawless? And how can he be in such fabulous shape at his age?
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- Eh. Just enough hollering.

-Hmm. This one is difficult. Because I like THEM and I like HIM I'm inclined to overlook certain things, however given the situation that they are in and just it in general, it left me with mixed feelings. It was kinda hot but the two SS agents were there and he's going off on her as though he has a right to when he doesn't, and she's right...she isn't HIS. I know a lot of people said they were turned off by his aggressiveness and possessiveness and jealousy and just him in general in this episode. Between the way he treated Mellie and the way he treated Olivia, but here's why I think it was kind of essential. Tony Goldwyn has the daunting task of coming off as incredibly charismatic...and he has to make you root for him as this man who is in love with this woman he can't have...yada yada, yada. But in playing that part he also has to come off as presidential. He has to seem believable as a no nonsense, hardcore, leader of the US. I like Fitz but if he didn't have moments like this where he was a bit commandeering and more aggressive than we're accustomed to him being, he would have started becoming dangerously close to not being believable as the POTUS. Thus far we've seen how he's basically being controlled by other people, and it's hard to have that portrayed w/o him slowly becoming too pathetic for words and unworthy of respect. So in that sense, I thought the scene and even the scenes he's had with Mellie in the past couple of episodes have worked...because he's showing that he does have a little fire in him instead of being a love sick puppy dog.

- Dudette. It's the gov. Big Brother is always watching. Believe that.

- Don't know, didn't see it. Eagle Eye.1984. Live Free or Die Hard...etc.

- Amusing. I have my reasons.

- Scandal is...Scandal.



I'm not a big Quinn fan. She's just kinda boring even with this whole "Who is Quinn?" bit. I honestly don't give a damn. But I don't think she's a liar because she took on a new identity. She did what she had to do. It was probably the smartest thing she did at the time...for her...and she's not too bright. When I take I.D's and passports left on a random night stand miles away from my home, I like to ask a few questions...figure the shizz out, do a little research, have an anxiety attack. I'm weird that way. I like Abby more than I like Quinn. But Abby officially reached childishness in this episode. Get.Over.It. They all have secrets and they all have stories that Olivia is privy to but the other Gladiators aren't...Abby doesn't have a right to be as mad as she is. She was uber bitchy and super unprofessional and by the end of the episode I was glad when little Quinnsey went off on her, to Harrison's amusement. I know Abby is supposed to be like the one problem child who raises a stink and asks all the questions that the others probably wouldn't, and she's all rebellious and fiery and what not. Fine. It works. It's her role...but it was supremely juvenile in this episode and she annoyed me more than usual, and I'm usually okay with her. Her sleeping with the D.A. Should be interesting.

-Mellie. I really feel for Mellie and it's interesting to see them explore her more. I still prefer her as the cold and icy HBIC, but glimpses of her vulnerable works too. The scene with her and Fitz in the beginning was great...and then to see the hostile way in which he regarded her at the dinner table when she thought they were finally heading to a more stable ground was great too. Bellamy Young is really great with that role. More than anything else, I believe that she and Fitz were friends and that is what she's missing the most. She thought they were possibly heading to that again and then he sort of shut the door on it again. They have an interesting relationship and I don't think the show loses anything in making her character sympathetic...it only makes her more complex and multi dimensional than she was.

-Huck.Is.Awesome. Seriously. My fave character. I love that they finally had some acknowledgment thrown in on just what Olivia has been asking him to do and he reassured her that he was okay. I love their relationship. It's the most interesting one out of her work relationships and I suspect with Stephen being gone their bond will only get stronger.
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I was worried that the NSA spying story was too big for them to resolve, but it worked it out okay. I wasn't completely satisfied because there was still a lot left on the table that I doubt they will revisit. That program was way powerful and no one seemed to be in control of it. Cyrus is using it to spy on the President. Does that mean he has minions who are doing the actual listening and reporting to him?



Why steal a watch when you have waited 16 years to make this deal of a lifetime?



Did Huck, the NSA or some agency find out who was going to buy this all powerful spy program?



Is Olivia less enamored of Fitz knowing he is spying on Americans?
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You totally forgot all about Brenda Song and that obsessive cop guy. This show should get Brenda Song as a regular. She cracks me up all the time.



"shave and pants. fine. just pants"
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Oh and as freaking pure evil as the FLOTUS has been portrayed up to this point, she had my full sympathy this episode.

I hope I am going to be ok.
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Mellie got no sympathy from me this episode. They tried to garner it, they really did. She got great sympathy camera angles and music, but big deal. All I need to do is look at her and I can remember instantly that she is bringing another unwanted child into the world. She and Fitz are awful human beings and complete failures as parents. So no sympathy.
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Mine too, and I'm not real big with the sympathy.
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- Too much. Although the "I'm not Lindsay" smack down had me rolling on the floor.

- It was GROSS. As a woman to stand there and have my married ex-lover accuse me of what Fitz did and then come back (presumably to deliver more), he probably would have gotten a knee in the jewels. I don't care how much "love" they are supposed to be in, where's the respect?!?!?!

- Gov't brat, therefore, no comment.

- More like the machine on POI.

- Well ducks are cool in a WASPy sort of way, so it depends. Do I get to keep them?

- No change. I actually like this because it is an escape or perhaps it helps make fun of the madness.
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1- too much hollering, especially at her employees!! i mean it's their right to question her judgement once in a while right?

2- the kiss was hot and everything but I couldnt help but cringe at the fact that the 2 secret service boys were just feet away... hearing stuff... plus i dont know if it's just me but it seemed like EMO-POTUS reached for her belt or something, as if he was totally ok with doing it right then and there

3-wow, poor dude at the gvt. I do hope he can filter somehow to eliminate the houses where the DVRs are overused, like mine haha

4- All i ask for if my prince has to lace me up in boots, please bring some socks!!!! you thought of the huge boots for HIKING but no socks?!!
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I'm pretty sure the belt was your imagination. He just unbuttoned her jacket. Regardless, that encounter was way too much in front of secret service and where the hunters could also just walk back and see them.
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Yeah, he did reach for her belt of something. Which I think maybe her rationalize and pull away. Come on the guards we like 10 feet away. Talk about awkward. Lol, I was thinking the same thing. No socks?
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Guys never don't have socks. It would never occur to a guy that with Olivia's wardrobe she probably doesn't even own a pair. Just like every time a girl tells me she doesn't have her ID or her keys, I will look at her like she's a child for a few seconds, because while woman don't always have pockets, that just doesn't happen to a guy.
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I love this show. I mean I hate myself for loving it, but I do. The shoes!!!! and the kiss!!! ohhhh it was so good! yes, I'm totally pathetic, I know, but I really enjoy this love-hate relationship. And by the way, the kiss didn't look like assault to me - just look at Olivia's body language - she certainly didn't mind it! until her sanity kicked in, at least.
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"I'm Quinn, b*tch!" Most cathartic comeuppance I've seen in a while. The redhead pisses vinegar anyway. Forget poor redhead, poor District Attorney! The wall'o'photos didn't make me think he's crazy, but his choice of bedpartners means he's certifiable.
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I was happy when she finally stuck it to her a bit. I think I was more annoyed then anything with their back and forth all episode, but thank goodness for Harrison being the comic relief. He was like the amused bro in the middle of watching his two sisters have a cat fight.



I'd rather not see David sleep with anyone. I like him best when he has his back and forth with his assistant. Brenda Song is awesome! And his love/hate relationship with Olivia was fun. Anything else...not so much.
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1). Just the right amount of hollering.

2). The kiss was hot, but leaning more towards borderline sexual assault. However, only because Fitz totally called her out and made all these ludicrous accusations about her and her ex-boyfriend. Um, hello "how's your pregnant wife".

3). I pity the poor government employee because honestly my life is not that interesting.

4). Yeah, I think the machine from Person of Interest is a more accurate premise. However, they were both written by the same person (Jonathan Nolan) so yeah.

5). It depends, if he were staring at me the same way Fitz did when he was lacing Olivia's boot, then romantic.

6). Honestly (for me) the election hasn't played in on making scandal more or less fun. Plus, tv/movie presidents are always more interesting than the real thing.
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I don't think taking a new name and identity is lying any more than taking a new job or a new citizenship. She IS Quinn. She's also whatever her name was before. John Barrowman IS British; he is also American. Lily Sparks IS a writer; also an artist.
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I agree. I legally changed my name. I would be "lying" if I used my birth name.
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She didn't legally change her name! She picked up documents left for her in a hotel room!
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Exactly. She couldn't legally change her name, because the legal system was her enemy. Besides which, the law is not the arbiter of all truth. If a law was passed in your town that said you didn't own your pet unless you paid a 10,000 license fee, is it lying to say your dog is your dog? No, your dog is your dog, your truth is your truth, and your local government is your adversary.
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I can and I am. You are putting words inher mouth. If she were saying all of that, she would be lying, but she is not. I think I can boil down my argument to one succinct sentence: Lying is intentional deception through misrepresentation of the facts. Your sentence fits that and her sentence does not. Her sentence does not misrepresnt the facts. Yours does. The basic problem you seem to have here is that you believe a person has one identity that is issued by the government, and as anyone with the identity "mom" can tell you, that's just nonsense. A person can be Janice, mom, and Dr. Taylor, and none of those identities are lying.
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Whether the government is your enemy/adversary has no effect on the truth - or lack thereof - of the words coming out of your mouth. When "Quinn" presented any of those documents as proof of identity, she wasn't just saying, "I'm Quinn." She was also saying "This is who the U. S. Government claims me to be, and they issued these documents to me. The date and place of birth, the parents listed on the birth certificate, the stamps on the pas.sport: they are all true." And whether she presents those docs to TSA or an airline at the airport, to a leasing agent for her apartment or a rental car, to a traffic cop, or to the security when she goes through the courthouse, she's lying by representing those documents as valid and not counterfeit. You can argue that the lying is justified if you believe so, but you can't argue that she's presenting the truth.
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Of course they have meaning, but they aren't defined by government paperwork. If, at the time she said she was Quinn, she meant it, she was not lying, that was her new identity. To give the opposite example, when Annie Walker says she works at the Smithsonian, she is lying, even though she has government paperwork to back it up.
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By your definition, then, truth and lying really have no meaning. Are you really safibwana, or Bill Clinton?
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The strict definition of "lie" is to speak an untruth, but most of us include any communication, verbal or nonverbal, that is intended to deceive or hide the truth. Lying for survival is still lying. Quinn is definitely a liar. Everyone at Pope & Associates is a liar (for pay). That includes Redhead, and she's a self-righteous hypocrite as well.
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I don't understand. She is Quinn. That is not an untruth. Just because other things are also true doesn't make it less true.
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saf, you understand more than you let on. Self-deception is also lying. Yeah, she's Quinn, but the first time she said it, it wasn't what anyone would say is true, so much as "I'm deciding to be Quinn, and I'm in the process of becoming that identity." But when the obvious, self-protective motive is to deny who she's been and to hide her past, that's lying. Nobody on the show said the lie she told was "I'm Quinn". It's who she pretended not to be that was the lie. You can call it fraud if you like, but don't pretend you don't understand fraud is lying.
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Wasn't self-deception. I wasn't as verbose as I should have been. What I intended was to address the point I thought you might mean, while also saying I thought you might mean something else that I didn't catch.

Now that I know you meant her name change, I still disagree. Fraud is not lying, fraud is a construct of the government, and if the government is hunting you unjustly, you have no moral obligation to play by the governments rules.

Also, there is no process, an identity in this sense is just a label, or a set of labels and documents. She BECAME Quinn instantly when she decided to take that identity.
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The red head is the worst ever. She puts me on Quinn's side, which makes me hate myself. Also, WTF is Henry Ian Cusick doing if he's dead on Fringe and not on this show anymore?
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I don't think that was Henry Ian Cusick. Although, I did have to do a double take and rewind my DVR.
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