This episode of Scandal seemed to be a trip down Meh Avenue for this week’s viewing crew: Raizel, Laura, Lauriean and me (Keidra). Join the dish. Were you into this episode?
RL: Finally, a normal episode — or at least as normal as Scandal can get. Courtroom drama galore.
KC: I feel like The Good Wife owned Scandal in the courtroom drama/intrigue tip this week. And it’s not like I’m a Good Wife fan.
RL: I find it so interesting that Scandal, like all courtroom shows, implies that the arrest happens one day, then there is lawyer day, and then … courtroom time. So not true.
LN: Like Jake interrupted mid-makeout, I was frustrated by the end of this episode. Mostly by the case-of-the-week, which took a bite out of The Good Wife’s bread and butter of “in-the-news” legal drama. It’s telling that most of us completely ignored the courtroom aspects of the episode when writing commentary, even though it took up most of the screentime. From the moment the premise was introduced, I knew there would be other women, there would be other Dick Pics™, there may even be another Carlos Danger-esque nickname. The only real twist was the Scooby-Doo ending (not 100% appropriate given she did get away with it, since a verbal bashing from Olivia does not yet equal a prison sentence.)
RL: Seriously, Olivia, you are outraged that you may have helped someone guilty go free? That is your business — to help the wealthy who are frequently, but not always, guilty.
LDD: So here we are, 4 episodes into the season and i feel…scattered. I feel like everything is all over the place. I don’t know if the show feels weaker to me or if its because we’re seeing more of Olivia’s vulnerability. Episode 4 did a great deal to show us that Olivia is a little different right now. Like she said, she’s scared. She’s not pulling the clients she used to, not able to pay the bills, looking to just not cause any trouble with her dad, her reputation is suffering. She seems very vulnerable right now. And maybe that’s what I’m feeling, and I’m uncomfortable with that. One of the reasons I like this show and her character is her strength (unless she’s having sex with a crazy dom prez). And that’s another thing, I’m missing the sex. One of the fun things about the show was the deliciously painful tension between Fitz and Liv that usually led to hot sex. It’s episode 4 and I…Liv…hasn’t had anything but incredible stress from, her career/reputation being flushed down the toilet and her murderous spy dad. Liv and I need some release, but I’m not gonna name any names. JAKE.
LN: I’m still scratching my head over this one. Why does our investigative PR team return for this plot in particular? Is it just a throwaway sex case, and we’re to focus on sellout aspect? (Olivia continuing to lose her gladiator self-identity?) Is it so we can throw another pretty lady under the slut bus? Whatever it is, I’m having a lot of trouble linking it to the Huck/Quinn, puppy eyes Jake, and funeral plotlines. I don’t know what it says about these characters, and it’s not novel enough for me to care about it on its own merits.
KC: The case-of-the-week really didn’t matter at the end of the day, it was a lazy plot point, and didn’t even help to move the A-plot along or illustrate it. I still like the idea of them doing the case-of-the-week format but it seems half-hearted now. Liv totally needs to bang Jake though. We definitely need some sex and Abby/David don’t count.
LDD: I really enjoy watching David and Abby together. They both have such hard edges during their jobs, but this sweetness together.
LN: Abby/David sort of seems less like an inevitability and more like a settling down. Like the writers realized we were getting late in the season and nobody was hooking up.
KC: You know, I really thought the sexting B-plot would be a great jumping off point to parallel the Fitz infidelity storyline in some way, and they dropped the ball here.
LN: Normally the case-of-the-week provides commentary on the rest of the episode. Take last week’s themes – personal demons versus national security, how we define heroes and villains, sacrifice. Ideas that color the rest of the episode’s interactions. Doesn’t have to be super serious. Even the silly stuff gets a lot more intense when you filter it through some good ol’ fashioned stakes.
RL: This show has gone in a serious slut-shaming direction that is tempering my enjoyment. Between Fitz’s fake “mistress” and this week’s victim, the sexual lives of characters are being used against them. And then there’s Olivia. But even Phoebe’s teenage pregnancy will be a slut-shaming storyline in at least the next episode, Thor’s hammer style.
KC: Again, I think this is a Shonda Rhimes thing, she’s had that undercurrent in Grey’s (old school Addison) and especially Private Practice (Charlotte!) of making women with sex lives who aren’t about making a beeline towards marriage and babies into some kind of an example of being a fucked up human being. Because Scandal is so hyper-realized, it doesn’t sting as much as it does on a show like Grey’s. And I dunno if that makes much sense, but I am sticking with it.
RL: Is Harrison’s entire point to introduce the musical montages? And then stand in the background? Because it seemed like Cy’s intern had more lines.
KC: I thought we were promised a Harrison backstory soon and we are in the middle of S 3 and that hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know if it’s just that the writers don’t care about him or they are setting him up for something epic.
RL: A couple of clicka-clicka sound effects and all of the background investigation is over? You have a hacking genius killer on staff and you never bother to look into where the cell phones were? Or the cameras outside of the victim’s building? Are ya’ll gladiators just so glad to have the water bill paid?
KC: Water bills are expensive.
LN: Perhaps I’m picking on structural flaws because Olivia isn’t anchoring the show anymore. Liv, honey, you got less stressed when you thought the President knocked up an intern and ordered her death. You’re not in the news anymore, you’ve known about your dad’s proclivities for what, five years? Break out of your couch-wine-phone cycle and be the fun TV character we need. Cause Huck’s whiskey monologues are terrible.
KC: Yeah, I’d like a better storyline for Huck, that doesn’t involve creeper-ass Quinn.
LDD: I have a feeling either Jake or Huck won’t be making it to the end of the season.
KC: I am voting Huck and it will be Quinn’s fault.
RL: Quinn is such a violence voyeur! Only this show could make me say “Give that trained off-the-rails killer some space, yo!” Can’t Quinn spend more of her internship learning to do mini-Huck computer stuff rather than trying to kill?
KC: LOL!!! Huck’s a crazy trained killer, but he’s also an introvert. It’s possible to be both you know… [looks from side to side]
RL: I’m bothered by how Olivia needs Huck and Jake to bring her around to going against her father. Her vacillating between Olivia Pope and Associates to being afraid continues to undermine her intelligence and skills. I would have been fine with her just saying that she will never go against Daddy Pope and “end of discussion.” She still has Sunday dinners with him!
LDD: Jake told Olivia exactly what I’ve been thinking. Rowan doesn’t love Olivia. He’s truly an evil man who will not hesitate to hurt her if she so much as looks sideways. He proved it with Huck, hurting Puddin’ Pop, and Jake.
KC: It’s so weird, looking at older episodes and now and Liv has been defanged a bit. To a certain extent, I get it. No matter how bad-ass you are, family power dynamics will always come into play and keep you in the same place, emotionally. What I don’t get is why Liv thinks Rowan loves her. Or maybe she doesn’t. Maybe this is connected to how her mother died. (IF she died)
LDD: Anyway, I agree with Liv being a good girl. Personally, I’d rather be Jake’s good girl. Ok, was lost for a moment but I’m back. So yeah, Liv is scared NOW? What about way back in the day when she realized with whom she was really dealing with?
LN: The Mellie-Fitz handhold was by far the most interesting thing in the episode.
LDD: Is Fitz really that oblivious when he shows affection to Mellie, or is that part of the game? I’m guessing she figures the latter due to her reaction and pulling away from him.
KC: Her FACE! Mellie’s face killed me there. I want her to be happy, but not with Fitz. He really is that clueless/selfish. I want Fitz to die and Mellie can hook up with Hal the secret service agent or something.
LDD: Lisa Kudrow’s performance seemed oddly stilted during the debate scene. I hope it gets better next week because so far I’m underwhelmed.
KC: I never thought she was that great of an actress, so it’s pretty much par for the course here.
LDD: This song they are playing during Peter’s funeral. Nina Simone? One of the best uses of music in this show.
KC: That is one of the things they have remain consistent about and I love it. It was really well done here. Here and closetgate from S2.
LDD: Can anyone tell me the the relationship between Rowan and Cy? How did they meet each other?
KC: They’ve never been explicit about it, Yet. I am sure we’ll find out,I am hoping the Rowan/Cy/Fitz connection will bring some of the twisty goodness back, and maybe, finally, cement how fucked up Ftiz is.
LDD: Oh GAWD FItz. I hate when he plays the wounded puppy. Liv moves on, now he’s going to go on a tear and call her just the mistress or some other hurtful shit verbally abusive people do. Ugh. This is getting old Fitz.
KC: WAY old, why do people still want them together? I swear I don’t get it. I still think Jake is crazy though.
LDD: I still don’t know what to make of Jake. I don’t know if he’s been sent by Rowan to completely take down Olivia and everyone around her or what. But I STILL think she should bang him. Several times. Sideways.