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

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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.


QUESTIONS:

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.

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