TLF Scandal Chat: Season 3, Episode 10: A Door Marked Exit

Eli Pope will tell you about yourself. Don't make him do it.
Eli Pope will tell you about yourself. Don’t make him do it.

KC: OMG I don’t even know where to start with this. The last episode wasn’t even that crazy by Scandal standards, but there was so many AWESOME scenes and moments that those alone will keep me talking for a bit. I found a lot of what went on with Sally kind of eye-roll inducing but the B613 drama appeals to me. Most specifically the Mama/Poppa Pope backstory which has just gone into a direction of TOTAL CRAY.

LDD: For some reason I’m really afraid they’re gonna put Poppa Pope in the hole. Why am I feeling this way?

KC: I think you are right. Jake From State Farm is coming into B613 from a place of vengeance, and regardless of everything we don’t know about him, Maya/Marie and Remington, Jake is going to use this opportunity to get back at him. Also my nitpick about Jake taking over as command is that if Fitz could have picked up the phone and kicked out Eli at any time, why didn’t he do it earlier? Why now?

VO: Because as much as Olivia is dickamatized, Fitz is totally sprung. He builds a house for her from locally sourced, organic Vermont stone. She says her dad is evil and her mom needs to escape, and he arranges a flight and chains up Rowan. She says her dad is good, he lets him go and hunts down her mom. He may be the head of the nation, but Olivia’s the neck and she turns him the way she wants to go.

Frankly I don’t know why he put Jake in there — except maybe they’re going to watch for Maya and he wanted someone at the head who is more impartial than the man WHO MARRIED HER. Honestly, I wouldn’t trust Jake much either. I figure this alliance between Fitz and Jake is gonna fall apart thanks to the love triangle.

Also, Rowan has got to have more cards up his sleeve. You don’t get to be the head of B613 without some contingencies in place. Did you catch the parallels with Rowan and Olivia at the end of Season Two? The whole walk, not sure what’s going on to Stevie Wonder, people are staring at them, and then BAM! Shit goes down as the door opens.

Okay (deep breath) THE speech. On so many levels this was an EPIC piece of television for me. For people like me that haaaaaaaaate Fitz, Poppa Pope’s nuclear level read was like everything I have ever thought about Fitz and wanted someone, ANYONE, to say to him: Mellie and Liv won’t do it because they’re dickmatized, Cyrus won’t do it because as ruthless as he is, he’s still fearful of losing the power he has. Eli’s bucket of fucks, however, is empty. REGARDLESS of whether he is Command or not, he will always see Fitz as “below his pay grade” and he LET FITZ KNOW IT. That was a Library of Congress-level read. That was a Reading Rainbow-level read. Even if you don’t get into the race and class critique of that monologue, on a personal level it is EPIC, but then when you do…

*sucks in teeth* Hooo boy. because you see, the way that speech FLIPPED THE SCRIPT completely with Eli’s repeated, pointed, deliberate use of the word “boy” throughout his takedown shows us where he is at. That word, long used to denigrate grown black men in the south, and Eli uses it, knowing it’s power, to denigrate Fitz. HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING THERE. GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! Oh my god, that is a masterclass scene.

It also says a lot about Eli himself. That he is the man that he is, not just out of his loyalty to the republic or to protect his daughter, but because he is a black man who fights to succeed in a world where where white privilege rules the day and Eli NEVER forgets that. (Much like the “you have to be twice as good speech to Liv in the season premiere) That speech was about Fitz, yes, but also about the simmering resentment that he has towards everything Fitz embodies.

Now on the flipside, I have big problems with the way both Fitz and Eli basically refer to Liv as a possession, as an object through the entire conversation. Now Eli does give her some dignity, saying that she will “always be the formidable Olivia Pope” but the talks about how he “made” her, he “created” her. Which really bugs me, and he is on many levels as messed up as Fitz in how he views his relationship with Olivia. But even with all that, I died and came back to life several times after that speech. And to see that on national TV? Hell yeah, on a broader level this season has been spotty but on an acting level it’s been stellar. Joe Morton better be brought on as a regular and get an guest Emmy nod. I did not run around the apartment screaming at the monologue, but I did scream out loud and ran around in my head.

VO: That speech was everything I ever wanted someone to tell Fitz and more. It was amazing and Joe Morton and the writers deserve extra props for that. Really, I give major props to the writer for that speech because it shows a good awareness of the characters, how they relate and even how they see the world. I loved it.

I also agree on how they basically refer to Liv as an object throughout the scene, but I think that’s also a good indicator of where they are mentally. Papa Pope is like a lot of parents — they’ll only see their kids as children, not as adults and as a result, they’re going to interfere thinking that they know best. I think Fitz was trying to get under Rowan’s skin, but I also found it really disrespectful and amazingly crude for someone who keeps saying he’s in love with her. You don’t talk about your sex life with a parent’s kid unless you want to lose a few teeth, I’m just sayin.

KC: I thought Quinn was going to die this episode and unlike a lot of people I don’t want her to. I hate her, but it’s not like Fitz-level hate. I mostly pity her. And Huck is a really messed up dude who messed her up even more in some way. He is to blame, in many ways, for her descent, and it was not his place to Un-Gladiate her.

VO: Ever since you brought up Quinn going deep undercover, I’m wondering if that’s what’s going on now. Weirdly enough, I think now I can see Charlie/Quinn, but I think that it’s the actor opening up that chemistry. Who knew that body disposal would count as a date in Charlie’s mind? Oh wait. I would. Also, I’m betting right now Charlie is gonna be dead by the end of this season. His heart is open now and his head is not going to be in the game — remember Huck and his family and what happened to them?

I just wonder now with Jake in charge of B613, does Quinn even have a place there? Or is she going to be cut loose and take side jobs with Charlie?

And Huck is fucked up — I’m glad Olivia called him on it. But as usual, he’s unrepentant about it. I get the whole “Dead to me thing” I really do, but as an impartial outsider, I’m thinking “Dude. That was a bad idea.” You know Olivia’s going to have a major lecture for Huck when she finds that one out.

KC: Sally’s scenes are dumb. She’s one of the characters that see as the most lazily written. Because the way she talks about the “devil entering her” doesn’t sound like a fundamentalist but like a crazy person. I don’t know what’s going to happen with her, but I also think whatever happens it won’t be consistent or realistic in any way.

VO: I dunno. I liked that, but that’s because I like how it forced Cyrus to confront the damage he’s done and how it’s rippled out — affecting not just his marriage, but everything else also. I think that the speech and Kate Burton played it so it sounds crazy, which makes sense. Because it is crazy.

Daniel Douglas is also one of the dumbest men that ever got shanked by his wife. Don’t tell her your grand plan and then turn your back to her while she’s enraged.

And without this murder, we wouldn’t have had my biggest laugh of the night as Mellie swanned into Cy’s office all “GUESS WHAT GOOD NEWS I HAVE?” only to segue to “OH FUCK WE’RE SCREWED.” I loved that, as well as Mellie being mercenary in her own, genteel way as she mentioned obliquely to Sally everything that they’ve done for her.

WHO DOESN’T KNOW THAT SALLY MURDERED HER HUSBAND? Cy knows, Mellie knows and now Leo knows, along with James suspecting and David thanks to the NSA recording. To be honest, I’m excited to see how Cyrus is gonna tap dance his way out of this as the noose tightens around him.

Off topic, I have to hand it to the directors and cinematographers for this episode. The opening was relentless and you could just feel the tension thanks to their work also. Big props to them for bringing it.

KC: I am sad about James going to the dark side, but…. I kind of get it too. He feels like he has been duped and used in this marriage the entire time and now he has some emotional power, so turnabout is fair play. I think he’s in the marriage for as long as he can benefit from it and as soon as that is done he is gone. Oddly, I kind of hope he chums up with Mellie so that can be embittered spouses of convenience together, and not feel so alone.

VO: Dude, Cyrus, if you’re doing the “Please don’t leave me, I love you” speech, you don’t mention how you will rain vengeance down on the one you love. You’re not in that position to do that. Period. And what has he done for James lately? /Janet Jackson

I like it though — it’s moving towards that conflicted/hot couple and hopefully we see some of that scheming, backstabbing and hotness going on. I don’t know if I want him to chum up with Mellie (and I don’t think he can forgive her given the hand she played in the whole Daniel Douglas debacle), but I could also see it being good, catty fun.

KC: Finally that last scene indicated to me one of two things:

1.) Foreshadowing that Olivia will turn into her mother some day/is more like her mom than she thinks.

2.) Liv’s mom stole her coat while at her apartment.

I am going for 1.)

VO: I personally am voting for 2, simply because I know Burberry sold out of that trench.

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Comments (3)

This is amazing. But am I the only one who found this episode to be HORRENDOUSLY over-acted? Like…The Speech™ was fabulously written but ugh I had to laugh when he was spitting the words out.

Yeah, Paige, I gotta say I actually think the opposite. I think the bile that Joe Morton was spitting was so geniune, I am not 100% sure he was acting. I think that speech was directed to someone, or at least his anger was.

I LOVED this episode… and yes… Joe Morton deserves that emmy nod! KC – I agree the way he flipped the discourse was AHHHHH-mazing. 🙂

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