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Scandal "The Other Woman" Review: La Maîtresse

Scandal S02E01: "The Other Woman"

'The Nation's Pastor' dies facedown on top of his mistress.

A Pregnant FLOTUS begs for forgiveness.

A high ranking Washington insider photoshops a picture of a mass grave and passes it off as intel.

Immaculate pearl-colored suits.

IT MUST BE TIME FOR SCANDAL.

This week's "The Other Woman" storyline existed almost solely to give Olivia the chance to show the audience that she is NOT OKAY with having an affair. Deep in her heart, it's not what she wants to do, but love is love and the President is the President, even if he does complain he's more like a prisoner of the Crown Jewel of America's prison system. (AKA The White House, which has its own movie theatre, airplane, and brewery last time I checked. Fritz is so emo.)

After Olivia's team of morally flexible gladiators in suits moved a 300+-pound pastor back to his home so he could be found dead in his bed as opposed to dead on top of his mistress of 15 years, Olivia spent the rest of the episode whispering the word "Mistress" with all the coy intrigue of a Parisienne Viscountess. "She was hiz miztress, zat is zee way of zee whirl. Oui, she love him, and he love her, but what iz zere to be done? Such is Parizzz." That was basically the subtext. It also allowed Satan's FLOTUS, Millie, a moment of humanity as she comforted the Pastor's wife (expertly played by Lorraine Toussaint) as Olivia listened, chin trembling, behind a door.

Millie's argument that they were still partners and a mistress is nothing because WIFE was oddly hollow and undercut further by a scene in the car where she begged Fritz for forgiveness and he clasped her hand and gave her a Patriarchal blessing and then went back to reading his Emo Newsletter.

The moment of overheard psychological knife-twisting would lead Olivia to race to the Mistress's house (who was demanding more money for her silence as the pastor's high-profile funeral loomed) and have an Other Woman huddle that was waaaay sexier than the wife huddle. Then she brought the mistress and the mistress's illegitimate kid with the pastor to the funeral and in a genuinely touching moment the Pastor's widow took her arm as she walked down the aisle during the processional out of the funeral. (Genuinely touching…although also a good way to blow the pastor's cover.) So yeah, honestly all of that was pretty great and well done and looked fantastic. We even got a moment where Olivia and Fritz made eye contact in the same room at the funeral and practically set the place on fire.

Funeral boners are the greatest of faux pas, Mr. President, so control yourself.

The whole being-in-the-same-room thing was extra welcome because their phone conversations have been so cute. At first I super hated the phone conversations but the whole idea of 23 people having to stay up and Mr. President being okay with it and the genuinely brilliantly intimate tone the actors bring to it is kind of adorable. With 2 caveats:

1. How could Olivia reveal such a whopping huge state secret as the way she found the pastor over the phone? Has she not had enough experience with phone bugs and tapping and spying to realize someone, anyone, could be listening in on the so-called "secure line"?

2. The "cleansing bout of laughter" between Fritz and Olivia was really weird. It was kind of off and they cut back and forth waaaay too many times and it felt like the last take of the day. Like, there is no question that these people are not really laughing:

Knock it off, you two we know you're both utterly, untouchably humorless and that's the way we like it. Get stuck in an elevator together already.

Also, it looks like Quinn is living with Olivia, on Olivia's couch, so they can have more of their every-episode hissy fits at each other.

Quinn seemed to fill the position not so much of a roomie as a dog, with Olivia asking Huck to check in on her because she was getting "stir crazy" (take out the stir and you got it!). Huck found Quinn had escaped the apartment and ran away, so he grabbed a container of her food and went up and down the street shaking it.

Quinn had flown out to Forks, to meet with her estranged father for flapjacks and seemed offended that he was questioning her innocence. Yo, Quinn: you were accused of bombing a building and then you disappeared for YEARS with no explanation. Cut the guy some slack. He asked his ladyfriend to make you up a bed, so he's not disowning you, he just probably won't be down to shoot off some fireworks anytime soon.

Quinn was later shown sobbing while watching the pastor's funeral. Sack up, ho! Or mourn for a famous figure, whatever, this was kind of an intense moment to just throw in there.

You know who should be sobbing for reals is Abby. She seriously has the worst job of all the Pope-ettes/cast of Scandal. Every episode finds her racing through a room talking at an extra or yelling at a prop phone or sorting through a garbage bin. She's the first line of contact for all the stuff we really don't care about, and she's become so isolated from all the storylines we do care about, that the tone of her voice makes my brain shut off at this point. It doesn't help that her editorializing while laying out the specs for a case has the same rambling, psycho-energy cadence as the label for Dr. Bronner's soap.

Like give her something to do or at least a massage, cool it down.

And in this environment already chock-a-block with crazies, the D.A. has SLIPPED INTO MADNESS.

Yawn.

More interesting: Olivia met up with a pack of cigarettes in a white wig that was also a Supreme Court judge. Teasingly, Olivia and the Supreme Court Cigarettes eye-f-cked in the mirror and discussed how Quinn had been a cover-up for a larger conspiracy that could TEAR THIS COUNTRY APART…

NEXT WEEK! Hey guys, I'll be watching, you don't have to hook me all hard, I'm already hooked…

That having been said, PROMO LOOKS AMAZING!

…QUESTIONS

…Do you like the POTUS/Olivia phone relationship?

…When she said "Let me go" what does that mean and do you relate?

…Did you feel sympathy for Millie this episode or do you not even care about that bitch?

…Could you forgive your husband's mistress?

Comments (16)
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-Yes. The Prez and Livi could be sending each other secret messages using a carrier pigeon and I'd love it. I love them. I hate that I love them, but I do. Kerri W. and Tony G. have this amazing chemistry that is just captivating to watch. It's almost effortless...I think even the actors themselves have said about the same. And no, for the record, I'm not implying this is anything like Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin. I promise.

- That's what you're supposed to do. That's what we're both supposed to do...but it ain't happening. Nope. Can't say that I do.

- Yes. As crazy as she is, I actually do like Mellie. She's wicked and awesome. She's awesomely wicked and wickedly awesome. I actually find their relationship equally as intriguing but in an entirely different way. I can't say that I'll ever believe that Fitz was in love with his wife...but I do buy that they both were partners and friends and entered into a marriage for some personal gain, not for love and without the expectation of fidelity. Sort of like Cricket and her gay hubby in GCB. Just...minus the gay part...and the liking each other part. Their marriage is like a business deal...or marriage in it's most traditional form before we as a society got wrapped up in being in love. I see them as two people who were genuine friends and somewhere along the way (even before Olivia came into the picture) they grew apart and stopped being friends. I'd actually like some more backstory on them in seasons to come.

- Hell no.

Quinn, I've never had much interest in her character. All of last season she was pretty much the audience's surrogate up until the finale, and all this season she's just barely necessary for a bigger storyline.

-I like Abby. They need to do more with her but she amuses me with her rants and raves.

- Why no mention HUCK?!! LOVE Huck! The man is clearly going to fall off the wagon and Olivia his savior is the one who pushed him there. He will do anything for her even to his own detriment and clearly that's the case now. Do I sound sadistic if I say that I chuckled at him running down all the things he'd need to dispose of the body before Olivia gave him the side eye and said that wasn't what she was talking about?! And Whiskey as a euphenism for killing people. Stellar.

-Cy and James are hilarious.
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Juvenille.

It means, this stupid crap needs to stop, you need to be a husband to your wife and father to your soon to be born kid and we both need to let go and move on. (But I really don't mean it.)

Is Millie the FLOTUS? I did for a few seconds when she was describing their relationship in the car. But I think no matter what, she will look out for number one no matter who else has to burn for it.

I don't know. My ex-husband's "mistress" was the bottle, so I am not the person to speculate on this sort of thing. After the Alicia Florick and the FLOTUS to the Pastor's Widow speeches, I think there is a far too fine a line between being the better person and being a freaking door mat for me.
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I love Scandal don't get me wrong, but it feels like the "web" of conspiracy and lies is getting bigger and more intricate every episode to the point where it's somewhat hard to keep up with whats going on. I hope it's for a reason, I hope all Olivia's lies come crashing down on her sometime soon, because if this "web" is not building to something major for Olivia then I'll be pissed.
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Remember when NCIS first brought in Jenny Shepard to be director, do you remember her hair? Scandal must have hired NCIS Director Jenny's hairdresser to do FLOTUS' hair this season! Probably the same hairdresser that forgot to dye POTUS's eyebrows when they dyed his hair.
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LOL! The eyebrows! Where the hell are his eyebrows!
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1) Most of this episode was really well done. Let's face it, I really watch the show for Liv/Fitz moments. So, yes, I love the phone relationship. So sad and angst-ridden.



2) She wants him to tell her she can go off and have a life without him always orbiting her world. Can sooo relate.



3) Mellie did pull at my heart strings.One of the things that I enjoy about this show is that it explores the grey areas of these complicated matters. But make no mistake that woman will take you down if she needs to.



4) If he had a mistress I would be examining the condition of the marriage. All that stuff are symptoms of a bigger problem in your relationship.



5) Where are TG's eyebrows?



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This episode was really well done. I loved it. Mistresses consoling eachother and cheated on wives consoling eachother. Just expert stuff.
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Hey Lily, not a single mention of Huck..aren't you intrigued? He isn't just a nut-job cleaner he is also the super IT guy...and i think he is beginning to crack.. Was i the only one who thought what he said at the AA was funny?



"My name is Huck and i am an alcoholic..i like to drink, lets say.... whiskey... i used to get paid a lot of money to drink whiskey because I'm really really good at it....



I know drinking whiskey is code for..lets say ..killing..or whatever awful things he used to do for whoever he worked for. Olivia trust him more than the rest of the crew. So with him beginning to crack and Quinn a bit messy...oh well, am interested to see how they keep on fixing clients while they are all messed up.



BTW if u r going to be somebody's mistress...POTUS?? Outspoken preacher?? Love is a beautiful thing.
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Oh yeah - Mr. Brooks - I mean Huck. Now there is a time bomb ticking down...
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I missed something, why was the president's wife asking for forgiveness?
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Staff
-late in Season 1 they established the FLOTUS was cheating with a dapper gray haired man well before Olivia and POTUS ever met.

-Millie is constantly using publicity junkets to announce her husband's new policies, many of which he has vehemently told her he is not in favor off off-screen, putting him in an awkward position

- I have a feeling she farted in the car as well.



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In The Trail (s01e06), they did not establish that Mellie had an affair. The dirty trick was to make it look as if she were having an affair. The voting public didn't need an actual affair to be turned off from the Grant family. They only needed to observe the coldness between the spouses and the inference of an affair. Also, if Mellie had an affair, you would have heard Fitz say something about it by now.



I think she wanted forgiveness for their marriage being a disaster. She said she forgave him already but she wanted the same from him. He was willing to forgive her, but not move forward with her. I don't know if she was seriously thinking they could rebuild their marriage. For her sake, I hope not.
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2. Seriously? Never been strung along?
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I know the promos do look amazing and by amazing I mean Olivia and Fitz getting in on in the forest.

1). I do like the phone relationship. It is not as amazing as "one minute" or inching closer in elevators, but it does make sense given the circumstances.

2). I thinks she means we have to end this. I can't personally relate, but it must be horrendous to want to be with some (and they want to be with you) but you can't.

3). Well I thinks it's obvious how you feel about MIllie. lol. However, I did feel some sympathy when they were talking in the car about their old apartment. However, she needs to get over it. It obvious that he doesn't love her anymore, and there is nothing she can do about it. Honestly, not even this baby is bringing them closer together.

4). Probably not. Uh, depends on the circumstances.
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I thought he was expert in the way he telegraphed "so not into you anymore" in the car. After that heartfelt "I forgive you" then right back to reading like she wasn't even there anymore. Ouch!
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fine episode, not the best but still good.
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