Scandal: The Heart of the Matter

Scandal S01E07: "Grant: For the People"

Is it common knowledge yet that Olivia Pope is based on real D.C. insider and crisis "fixer" Judy Smith? A Washington politico phenom who not only deftly hid Monica Lewinsky in a homeless shelter at the height of the Clinton impeachment crisis but who also served as deputy press secretary for George W. Bush? This is a woman whose expertise transcends political borderlines and who will occasionally dip in as a consultant for Scandal. And considering she's, um, VERY easy on the eyes and okay it's sexist to judge a professional lady on this but she is, like, super-gorgeous, sometimes I wonder if there are multiple ex-presidents watching the current season, tub of ice cream in hand, and totally hoping Fitz Grant is supposed to be them.

Last night's finale was allllllzabout laying the groundwork for next season (and the season after that). The show took our proxy Quinn's arc and brought it full circle: She went from being the rookie employee of Olivia Pope to Olivia's newest client (and did a great job pretending to be freezing to death while on speed, or afraid, or whatever that was when she was shaking and stammering and slipping around in a pool of arterial spray).

The Pope team rolled up their sleeves and unquestioningly cleaned up a murder scene to protect Quinn (and because, let's face it, they're a preppy cult family who will do whatever Olivia tells them) and then hilariously got busted for it later by the DA. It was very revealing of what a ragtag motley crew these guys are when they were standing in the apartment, blood all around them, and two of them started freaking out about NOT GOING BACK TO JAIL. Thank goodness for any comic relief in this episode. Also hilarious was Olivia begging the resident sadist not to kill the evil veep's best friend. Oh, you Popettes.

But the real purpose of the finale was to establish a fundamental fault line in the strength of the presidency and shabbily patch it up in a way that unites Olivia and President Grant forever and yet keeps them apart. Grant can, at any time, be called out on the sex tape by the first lady or vice president or even Olivia if she wants, and have his presidency screech to a halt in the coming seasons. That's a really good source of dramatic tension for the next couple seasons (I want this show to go on forever! I love it). And yet at the same time the show made President Grant just that much more lovable because HE wanted to tell the truth, shed the trappings of office, end his sham marriage, and be with Olivia. Swooning.

So while yes, Olivia and Grant are nearing iconic TV romance territory, if they were to abdicate their careers we couldn't rightfully be 100 percent okay with that because it would mean putting the vice president in charge. And this bitch does not need to be in charge of anything. If she were a manager at Staples she'd make her employees' lives hell; can you imagine the havoc she'd wreak if she had access to the federal budget?

Bad as she is, she's not as bad as her oily right hand man Stabby McStabbum, the crazed killer who sank scissors into the blogger's neck last week and continued on his roll by storming into a news conference and accusing the president of sexing Amanda, wrongly labeling the Olivia-Grant duet as proof. Did NOT mind that he got ended later in the episode.

Olivia actually seemed really down to leave her fashionably antiqued office behind and just go to the ski cabin and make the pancakes and maybe some babies with a former commander-in-chief, but unfortunately got caught up in one of Cyrus's rambling monologues. Brainwashed by his restrained delivery and an old-timey oil portrait of a pink-cheeked Alexander Hamilton, Olivia decided to help the first lady spackle over the scandal instead of pursuing her own happiness. The first lady hilariously bitched her out for not being a better first mistress and agreed to (sigh) have sex with her husband and claim the tape was them. (Though wouldn't the person who made it know that the first lady wasn't in the same room/at the same campaign stop as the president at that time or...? Not my problem, and I'm not going to split hairs.)

CLEARLY the first lady is the worst, and Olivia is dooming the president to AT LEAST another six years with this cow AND a beard baby, and while it's all very sad it was also all very Olivia's choice and let's face it, this series is about them being eternally together but forever apart, like my beloved LadyHawke.

So yeah, this was one of those classic "dissolving everything we built up" finales that reset the series at a huge emotional cost and left us with three huge reveals:

1. The president would happily give everything up to be with Olivia, the woman he loves. He's a true romantic hero! Swoon!

2. Quinn is something pretty effing crazy and Olivia has known it ALL ALONG.

3. Cyrus ordered the death of Amanda Tanner. He cannot be trusted! He is a poisonous, cold-hearted asp lurking 'mongst the roses. He's Olivia's work hubby but he's also a cold and calculated man who will do what it takes to, um, keep a moderate Republican in the White House so he has a chance of bettering gay rights? Like, what? Also it always makes me blue when there is ONE gay character and they are capital-E Evil. So I'm not crazy about Cyrus being full-on bad but I appreciate the job Mr. Katimski is doing with the monologues and the brooding.

I did think it was pretty cheap that the show ended on the cliffhanger of WTF is Quinn? I do think it should have told us and then blacked out. But other than the cliffhanger being a little too much hang from not enough cliff, and the Evil Gay stereotype being shamelessly perpetuated, this show made a lot of great decisions to build off of in its WELL deserved Season 2. Can't wait, you guys! What did you think?


QUESTIONS:

1. Did Olivia make the wrong call in sacrificing Grant to save the presidency?

2. What the Eff is Quinn?

Comments (24)
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Wonderful news to hear Season 2 is on the horizon. Having worked as a nonpartisan political person I find this show to be right on the money regardless of what side of the fence you are straddling (or sitting on)as if that matters. Olivia is sizzling hot and love her alpha female pedal to the metal character. Thank you for the entertainment and hope this goes into perpetuity! The writing, characters, surprises are fun and the focal point, IMHO, is NOT Quinn, hello remember the lead characters? The subtle humor is refreshing. Best wishes and congratulations. YES
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This is a terrible show. Mainly, the writing is bad. It is also politically toxic. If it were on Fox News it might make sense, but as Republican Propaganda there is absolutely no understanding of politics. It is like the writing in the Twilight series, where the point is to get the male characters out of their shirts, and everything is written around that. Except instead of Vampires or Werewolves, it is Republicans. I once knew a woman who had a fantasy about Donald Rumsfeld, and I thought that was bad. This show is worse. I hope this show is canceled soon.
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So happy it got renewed. I would rather have Grant still in office then that thing of a Vice Pres taking over. I hate the 1st lady gets her hooks back into Grant, but this sacrifice needs to be made. No clue what or who Quinn is. It better be good since they're dragging it out to season 2.
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I just Love this show. I want to be on the show. LOL I cant wait to watch the new season.
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Also, regarding Quinn, my first thought was lovechild. But no idea whose.

She is a little too old to be the president's, so maybe Cyrus'? But that wouldn't be mind blowing enough to warrant all the secrecy. Double agent? Defected terrorist sleeper? Was she held in a dungeon by the veep and her husband?

I bet it's something lame like witness protection program and abusive ex and murder in self defense.
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What I love most about this show is that by the end of the 1st season, not only do we have a nice cliffhanger and a good idea of who Olivia is (I only wish we knew more about the rest of the Scooby Gang), we also have an excellent villain, and it isn't Cyrus or Stabby McSpinzone or the President, as I was expecting, it's the evil First Lady!

And their rivalry is not even about a emotions, because FLOTUS doesn't give a shit about that whiny manchild she is married to, it's a powergame!!

And every single one of the characters are shady in one way or another, the only ones who aren't are the Veep who tries to stick to her nutjobs principles but gets blackmailed into silence, and Cyrus' poor suffering husband who just wants a chinese baby.

Season 2 better hold up!
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the FLOTUS better watch out Cy an the POTUS may decide to bump her off an make Liv first Lady so Pres can have cake an eat it too
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This show is GREAT! I love it! I knew all along that Cy was somehow involved .. it was clear. And about Quinn, I don't know, but from the way she freaked out with the blood, maybe as a child she survived some kind of mass slaughter involving her parents or else. Then she was put in WitSec.
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My buddy's sister is a hooker, so what?
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I think it's great and I'm so glad we get more of the Pope in but three short months as it was renewed along with the Bee in 23...
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I think the Cult pop up and Quinn are tied together but i really love the Gay character that is Cyrus, i haven't seen a gay person before. Usually their flamboyant and over emotional.
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"Usually their flamboyant and over emotional"?

Jesus you really need to stop watching Glee and get out more.
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1. Hell I thought she made the wrong call wearing a winter white trench coat to a bloody crime scene...but this is Olivia Pope. She's a badass...she escaped that grotesque scene with not a drip drop of crimson on her. That's badass. A woman who can do that pretty much can do anything in my book. My head and my gut...ahem, says no. But my heart and the teeny tiny, miniature romantic in me whom I deny ever having if anyone asks me...says YES! Dammit Those two are so hot together! Fitz looks like he's about to maul her whenever he sees her....ugh. I love it. I hate it. I hate that I love it so much. And I do. It's scandalously delicious.



2. They emphasized agencies were after her...I'm thinking maybe some sort of witness to some serious stuff going on? I mean clearly the girl is too dense to know that you shouldn't yank the scissors out like that. Clearly the way she left evidence of herself all over she's no criminal mastermind...and if she's a criminal she's a bloody horrible one.....ha ha kind of literally in this case.She's not cool, calm, or collected so I'm banking on a witness of some sort. Oddly enough I don't care all that much! I mean for her to be the character that the audience is meant to identify with and see things through because she's the newbie...she's been bordering on incomptent and irrelevant for the majority of the entirely too short season.



In a show where everyone is so wickedly flawed and....well, scandalous...I'm willing to make an exception for Cyrus being the evil gay sterotypical role. He does it so well....he's such a cleverly written character that I can't work myself up in a frenzy or stand on my soapbox about perpetuating certain stereotypes on television. He's deliciously bad...complicated, conniving...he's an unabashed diabolical genius. I can't not love that. Just like I can't not love how freaking evil FLOTUS is! I mean that's one badass chica! There is no end to how opportunistic and scandalous she can be! I want to hate her and her despicable ways...but I can't!



I love the irony that Fitz is undoubtedly the purest of them all. He has a childlike innocence and sense of moral integrity and goodness that makes him endearing....and yet he's a cheater...how is that possible? God, I love that man though! Broke my heart listening to him putting it all on the line and laying down some kickass swoonworthy lines only to be shot down by both his wife and Olivia for the greater good. I look forward to seeing how this relationship progresses in the future. I can't wait for the second season. Scandal parties have already been set up...live chats across the country...parties being thrown...it has that effect.



Little miffed at the Gladiators. Grant it I don't care for Quinn but they of all people being so reluctant to help out as per Olivia's request. I mean they have quite the pasts...their team is made up of a felon, a basketcase, and a certified sociopathic killer...They needn't judge Quinn for being whatever the hell she is. Something tells me that wasn't their first time cleaning up a crime scene. Especially my boy Huck. Who is freaking awesome! Nothing like offering to kill a man for the woman you respect the most.....now that's a loyal friend. He even played the semantics game and got it handled anyways (not losing sleep over that at all). I think he's my favorite...he's definitely my favorite...which sort of scares me. LOL!



The quotes on this show are incredible!



Cyrus' "He can talk all he wants about a regular life. Some men aren't meant to be happy. They're meant to be great." How poignant.



Even the humorous ones....like Harrison's insistence that he's not going back to prison and Huck's witty comeback about him only being there for two days.



Typical Scandal awesomeness:

-stripping quinn down and it being so far from sexual it wasn't even funny.

-Olivia wearing white again. Is it another symbolic white hat...sort of ordeal? symbolic of a chess match or something? I don't know...but she's always wearing white and looking gorgeous in it and again...who else can pull off wearing white at a crime scene and it getting away unscathed?

-The bordering on sadistic gleam in Huck's eye and disturbingly happy inflection in his voice at the implication that he kill Billy...

-Huck's silent but sarcastic humor...Harrison whining about not wanting to go back to prison when he was most likely playing tennis in the court yard with billionaires for two days in a federal prison....and someone like Huck has probably spent time in foriegn prisons being tortured in ways the geneva convention can't fathom...haha!

-Abby forgetting to turn off the ringer on the cell phone. Oh abby!

-FLOTUS accusing Olivia of dropping the ball and not being a good side piece? Damn that woman is so despicable I don't know whether to hate her or oddly admire her!

-The DA kind of sort of possibly ignoring the cleanup of a crime scene!

-It taking three people and I don't know how many hours for them to come up with the solution of saying that it was FLOTUS on the tape...I said that the moment it was released! Sheesh! Not that I minded hearing POTUS say "Take off your clothes" I'm getting a t-shirt made...to add to the "who cut the Lvad wire" collection.

-Cyrus pruning roses in a gorgeous garden while plotting people's untimely demise...diabolical and reminiscent of President Snow in Hunger Games.



Nice recap Lily! : ) This show is as addicting as Revenge!
More+
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Ditto. Nothin more to say here other than "Looking forward to Season 2!".
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Ditto!
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Whoever Quinn was in her previous life, she clearly had not the smallest bit of first aid training. Seriously, who DOESN'T know that you don't pull stuff out of a wound? Maybe she forgot the number for 911? Ah ... so we know at least that she was a blonde.... :p
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AND WHY COULDN'T SHE JUST CALL AN AMBULANCE RIGHT AWAY AAARGH YOU SO DUMB QUINN!
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She's with the same idiots on TV that still don't know (1) don't go alone into the woods, (2) don't run around during a gunfight - get down and be quiet, and (3) all criminals now use burn phones, so don't bother trying to trace phone records. At least the Popettes have watched enough CSI to know how to clean a crime scene.
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Kinda annoying that they gave the first season only 7 episodes. Because that's really just not enough. Thoug I could just be saying that because the season now ended with a major cliffhanger. I'm okay with cliffhangers in general, but this one was different from a bunch of people in the woods after a plane crash (can you say Grey's Anatomy?). You KNOW that the people in the woods will get discovered and somehow most things will turn out okay. But here, you were just left with this huge question mark. Big difference. A whole lot less fun too, 'cuz I need to know! And now it'll have to wait until September at the earliest...
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"You KNOW that the people in the woods [after a plane crash] will get discovered and somehow most things will turn out okay." Have you ever seen a little show called "Lost"?
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Lily I officially love you after your LadyHawke reference, you sexy, smart, funny lady you.



Love this show too. Thank you Scandal for giving me exactly what it says on the tin every week. For thrilling me with your twists and your bold break neck paced plot and thank you most of all for giving me a dose of Kerry Washington every Thursday (those sad doe eyes of hers make my heart ache in the best way).



At first I thought Quinn might be in Wit Sec ('cept now that I think about it they don't put witnesses in major population centers) but after the ADA was like: "Every US agency ever is looking for you." I'm more inclined to think that I have no fraking clue. Seriously what could meek little Quinn be or have done to pull that kind of heat? I'm really looking forward to finding out I'll tell you that. Also hats off to Katie Lowes for her acting chops. I totally felt her adrenaline heightened panic attack during the clean up scene.
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Great episode, The season was awesome and I loved the episode though I had to watch it the next day cause the Grey's episode made me too depressed to watch it. It was awesome though and can't wait for next season
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First, lemme say, I'm kinda hating on Shonda Rimes and Co for getting me all riled up about a dude with no eyebrows and OP. Damn her! It was a thoroughly romantic and heart-breaking episode and I am not sure I can take this! My heart! Sigh... And yes dammit, I want them to go into the woods, have some babies, Fitz chops wood while Liv makes pancakes and watch CSPAN during dinner.



But really, in a way, Liv ( though Fitz is heart-broken) did the right thing in not letting him give up being POTUS. Just taking what they want without regard to duty is not gonna really work for them being who they are. At least for now... I do believe they must be together eventually though. Darcy and Lizzy made it happen so they can to! You hearing me Shonda!?



About Quinn, I was convinced she's Mellie's kid. Whomever she is though OP knows that she is in some way an asset and maybe even a trump card. Cause why would she hire her to be a Popette?



"Would bum out a bake sale" efffing funny Lily! Until next time!
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