Scandal's Season 2 Premiere: Bombs Away!

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Scandal S02E01: "White Hat's Off"


Scandal was so nuts last night! I've been looking forward to the premiere of this soapy procedural quite a lot and as soon as I saw the super pregnant FLOTUS talking about how her fetus was America's Baby I was like, "Time jump much?!" Yes, the world of Scandal has moved forward about eight months since the devastating finale, but everyone is still talking just as fast, dressing just as sleek, and angstfully denying their emotions in the way only gladiators in suits and leaders of the free world can. What a delightful bunch! Yet I'd be remiss if I didn't point out:

QUINN IS AN EFFING ALLEGED BOMBER? That's her super-secret-special identity? After a summer wondering whether Quinn was the last descendant of Anastasia Romonav or a part-alien intergalactic hooker, we learned she was merely suspected of blowing her boyfriend of six months—and his office—to Kingdom Come after finding a sexy text from another woman on his phone. Yes, hell hath no fury like a woman forced to wait in line at the Apple Store Genius Bar while her man freaks a bitch, and everybody who was not Olivia Pope was convinced that Quinn/Lindsay/Quinndsay was G-U-I-L-T-Y. I would've been, too! I mean, her defense was truly laughable: She had woken up in a hotel room shortly after the bombing with passports and legal papers laid out by some unknown, fugitive-helping fairy, and just figured, "Okay, I'll start a whole new life. Why not?!"

Which, makes total sense! Of course she would join a high profile lawyer's firm and pursue a career in relentless truth-seeking if she was two years deep into a completely false identity. NO, NO SHE WOULDN'T. Even if she took the identity, which I'd argue is the move of a total sociopath (bye parents, friends, and family! ), she'd lay low and either try to get to the bottom of what had happened or live off the grid in one of those tiny houses with a wood-burning stove, eating deer and knitting.

With such a weird, crazy backstory to investigate, I worried that her trial would basically be Season 2. And Stephen Colbert Washington's D.C.'s DA, certainly seemed to have the same impression, seeing the upcoming trial and certain conviction as being the legal equivalent of his own personal one-man show. It was going to make him a STAR!

Meanwhile, the FLOTUS used her televised reveal of the first baby's sex to suddenly commit America to stopping genocide in the East Sudan. I bet a lot of new moms have that reaction to finding out about the gender of their baby. The president got scary-angry the way only a man without eyebrows can, kneeling with rage and screaming that "NO ONE ELECTED YOU," which, really, he was taking the words right out of my mouth. Ms. Rhimes has created a female villain I despise more than maybe any other villain on TV. FLOTUS Millie is an absolute masterpiece of manipulation and bitchiness. So many cheers for Bellamy Young but also if I ever see you in line at the store forgive me in advance, I may give you a mean look before I can remind myself this show isn't actually happening.

I know in Olivia's position I would have finished that damn wine watching the FLOTUS weep about her baby/the Sudan three times. But it only makes her a greater foil for Olivia: The president called Olivia up to get her advice and they had a cute little "opposite day" conversation about hating each other and she gave him a pep talk about being his own man. I love that these two connected, but I kind of wanted to see them in the same room. Without them clenching their fists and making steamy eye contact person-to-person, this show is just not the same. Let's hope they get stuck on a White House elevator together next week.

In the midst of the Quinn trial and the FLOTUS being a real POS, some congressman also had to spin a sex tape which zzzzzzzzz. It was a bit much for the episode, I wasn't sure why or how it happened, I had enough to think about watching Quinndsay having shouting matches while dressed in a jail jumpsuit. Oh, I can watch sweet muffin-faced 20-something actresses yelling while in jail jumpsuits all day long. It cracks me up! Also Olivia shouted her down so effortlessly. DO NOT HAVE A SHOUTING MATCH WITH OLIVIA POPE SHE WILL WIN IT. How many times have they had shouting matches at this point in the series? I hope these two have Throat Coat in their trailers.

To the premiere's eternal credit, rather than dragging out Quinnsday's trial, Olivia made a single phone call and got her acquitted. DAYUMN. What the hell? And then in a STARTLING REVEAL—Olivia was the magic fairy who gave Quinn her fresh identity! Two things about this:

1. Whoever knocked Quinn out seemed to use the same methodology as the person who killed the intern that was supposed to be carrying the president's baby in Season 1. Soooo…what's up with that, Olivia?

2. Olivia got to pick a new name for someone and picked Quinn?! That is just such a funny, unusual name. Do you think she sat up late with a baby book to pick that out? I would have gone with "Krystle" but that's just me.

More importantly, this reveal established that there is someone even MORE powerful pulling the strings than Cyrus, FLOTUS, and Olivia who Olivia called to get the acquittal to go through, and for some reason that person is invested in having Quinndsay's boyfriend and his coworkers KILLED and yet leaving Quinnsday unharmed. This season certainly has some explaining to do, but ultimately I don't care about that side of things, as long as Olivia and the President get to attend another White House ball soon.


QUESTIONS

– Who is this Big Bad who got Quinn her acquittal?

– Would you assume a whole new identity laid out for you under such mysterious circumstances, and if so would you pursue a high-profile career or move to like, France?

– Did it weird you out that Abby kept watching the sex tape? What was that about?

Jimmy Kimmel put in a cameo: I bet he legit loves this show, don't you think?

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