ConStar Watches Scandal “We Do Not Touch the First Ladies”

This week’s episode started off with a bang. Well, two bangs.

Olivia and Fitz meet up and “review the numbers” then have an all out RAGING fight. All with poor Jake awkwardly chatting with the Secret Service right outside the door. I loved the fight and it was about time Olivia stood up for herself. Fitz is getting more and more ridiculous with the things he says and the things he demands from the people around him, especially the women. He doesn’t appreciate Olivia for what she brings to the table, what she wants, what she needs and Liv finally let him know. He didn’t really do anything in the rest of the episode that told me he was adjusting or changing, so we’ll see if this is just his character and the way the writers are going to continue to write him or if this is leading to a character development arc. Because Fitz, of all the characters on the show, needs the most character development in order for fans to continue to like him or believe that Olivia loves this man. (You may say, but Quinn needs some character development too! No, Quinn needs to die.) I suppose, in lack of a Papa Pope Speech of the Week, we can give Kerry some serious award noms for her part in the fight. She really did tell him about himself and that not everything is about him. I almost forgot to look for Kerry’s baby bump!

Some of the episode flashes back to the California governor’s mansion 14 years ago. Andrew Nichols, in the present, owns to some prescription drug use that someone is planting to use against the Grant campaign. But back in 2000, it was Mellie who took the pills. She was feeling sick and tired of her life, unable to look at Fitz or even touch him, scared that her kid wasn’t his and really feeling overwhelmed. Nichols finds her and stays up all night to make sure she makes it through and boy does he fall hard. But Mellie has a backbone and resists his charms, despite everyone kind of understanding and knowing where Fitz is headed in terms of his own marital screw-ups. But two wrongs don’t make a right, until the present day, when Mellie couldn’t take it anymore. Nichols certainly gets to touch the First Lady (and with Mellie’s hair like it was, she looked so great!) and he did it once, so he decides to do it again–this time the painting of Jackie O he was admiring before he had another first lady to admire.

Fitz is already pissed about Jake being “a fox in his hen house” so it’ll be interesting to see what conniption he experiences when he finds out his other “loyal” “trusted” friend is a fox. Even with how he dismisses Mellie, he wants to have his cake and eat it too, he doesn’t want her to do anything he doesn’t want. Fitz’ control issues are spiraling out of control and I believe it’s all because he found out about Defiance. And he started drinking.

Speaking of spiraling (weak transition, I know), poor Jake. He’s been command for over a month now, but B6-13 let him get settled before delivering the whammy. He gets a suitcase of mysterious files, all of the nations secrets. With very daunting words like “protect the republic.” Jake doesn’t seem like he was ready for this; he’s seeing how lonely it is at the top. The suitcase clearly stated that he was to act with no interference from the executive branch and to stay a step ahead of the president, etc, etc. He thought he was going in with Fitz by his side, but between Olivia and the weight of his office, his buddy is getting farther and farther away and the weight is getting heavier. I know many of us certainly loved the scene where he uses his “boyfriend of Olivia Pope key” to demand some real food in the house and to go take a shower. But the seams are more visible and the pressure will get to him more and more, I am sure.

Well, I suppose at least Jake isn’t James. James is about to shake right out of his skin, he really wasn’t made for this covert ops, behind his husband’s back stuff. The littlest sound is setting him off and his meeting with David under the bridge (or wherever that seemed to be) made me laugh at how cliche it was for a secret meeting between “spies.” He’s not ready for B6-13.

And neither is Quinn (I’m really killing these transitions aren’t I ;-)). Quinn makes me more and more angry as the season progresses. She wants to find her own way? So go back to being the girl you were before you were Quinn. Olivia and Huck made you Quinn and if you want express your independence, why not go back to whatever your name was before (you make me so angry I’ve chosen to forget what your real name is)? Don’t pull a gun on the person who’s best suited to save your life when the time comes. She walked into Jake’s office cocky as I don’t know what, but you got caught on your first go round by Olivia. Not Rowan, not Charlie, but Olivia, who isn’t exactly covert ops material herself (she’d be in the command station doling out orders). You didn’t even try to hide when spying on Rowan and someone is going to get fed up with you and kill you. And the entire audience is going to cheer with glee (we’re all still kind of on Huck’s side about the torture thing–he just went a little too far with the licking).

Huck kinda made me nervous though, bringing Olivia coffee like he was. Who knew what could have been in that coffee, considering his background. But it was apology coffee. Not for hurting Quinn, but for Olivia’s anger about it. Huck doesn’t let his desire for an apology stop him from telling Olivia about himself and herself. “You should have never given me someone to love. Monsters eat people, Liv. It;s what we do.” Oh Huck. It’s so telling about how he sees himself and his relationship with Olivia. And he loved Quinn. He took her under his wing and loved her and she went betrayed the master (if we’re sticking with Huck’s puppy metaphor), so he had to take a couple bites out of her for that. I wish he’d gotten a couple of more bites in.

Finally, I sat on my last post for about a week, hoping to unleash my theory about Adnan Salif working with Mama Pope and they reveal it the very next episode! I still KNEW IT! I really wonder what they’re up to, though. Adnan has now gotten her way into the Grant campaign camp, despite Cyrus knowing how criminal she is, and it was Mama’s idea? What’s the plan? And how will it interact with Eli’s plan to destroy Fitz? No way Maya wants Fitz to continue being president (certainly not without some damage somewhere), he knows about her and was the man who pulled her trigger. But if she does something to destroy Fitz, how does that play with Eli’s plan? Will they end up working on the same team somehow? What dangerous red strings of fate are being intertwined as we hurtle toward the end of the season?

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ConStar Watches Scandal “Everything is Coming Up Mellie”

I don’t even know where to begin! It’s amazing how you can guess certain plot points (and plan to *finally* try to write spec scripts based on them) and STILL be shocked when they actually occur on the show.

Mellie has long been the underdog of Scandal since the beginning. People fight over #TeamFitz vs #TeamJake for Olivia’s affections, but rarely is anyone on Mellie’s team. This season we’ve seen a different side to Mellie’s character (including the ever memorable Drunk!Mellie scene–we’ll all have to go back and watch that for hints!), but tonight’s episode takes the cake!

We flashback 15 years to before Fitz was in the political eye. His father is awful as usual and Fitz doesn’t want to run because of what he did as a marine/Operation Remington. “Big Jerry” continues to berate him and take the credit for everything he is (“That’s all you are is my son…not as smart…I made you…I can destroy you.” ), leaving Fitz unwilling to run for office, despite Mellie and a bearded (in more ways than one) Cryus’ pleas for him to do so. Mellie tries to talk to Big Jerry, but in his drunken state, he rapes her. It’s awful and Bellamy Young pulls off the horror of the act and walking back into her and Fitz’ bedroom just right. The choice of her full length clothing, turtleneck included, and no makeup is a classic but heartbreaking choice. But Mellie soldiers on, dedicated to the cause of getting Fitz elected. Weeks later, Mellie tells Fitz–who’s decided to run for office after Mellie gets Jerry to back him up–that’s she’s pregnant. Fitz knows his father’s going to make them name a boy after him. And the entire audience shudders.

I had a theory that Teddy wasn’t Fitz’ kid (which is still a valid theory, not yet proven), but as @DetroitDelta15 on Twitter thought–what if Fitz is infertile? None of those Grant children could be his. This certainly explains why they have been shipped off to boarding school all this time; Mellie must have a hard time looking at them.

Mellie’s portion of the episode was about sacrifice. She says to Fitz, that he doesn’t understand what she’s given up for him, given away. (Again, I need to rewatch the drunk!Mellie scene for clues in that speech.) What has Fitz given up? For Mellie? For Liv, even? He “threatens” to give it all up for Liv all the time, but he hasn’t. He’s still the president, they are not in Vermont making jam. He’s still married. He still calls Liv. He has it all. Liv gave up her relationship with Edison and is not fully committed to the one she kinda has with Jake right now, because she’s still hung up on Fitz. We see what Mellie gave up for him. When will Fitz have to sacrifice anything?

As if this wasn’t enough for one episode, Shonda Rhimes pulls another one on us in the other half of the episode. While Quinn tries to get down with Charlie from B6-13, the Pope and Associates gang look into Maya Lewis’ death. They determine that someone was brought off the aircraft before it took off; everyone goes looking. They track down someone who might’ve seen the passenger who was taken away, but Quinn kills him because she was distracted by Charlie’s lips. He told her she was drugging the guard, but the poison kills him instead. Quinn has been initiated into B6-13. Clearly by her reaction after the man dies, she isn’t ready, but we’ll see what Rowan’s plan for her is.

Speaking of Papa Pope, he goes to a prison looking for the passenger who got let off the plane. Shoddy prison blanket unrolls and it’s none other than Maya Lewis! Who has been alive this WHOLE TIME! Many fans knew it, but why is she in jail? Why is she under the name Omar Dresden? Why didn’t she seem too surprised to see Eli?

Going back to the theme of sacrifice, I’m sure it will be explored more next week, but it is clear Maya Lewis-Pope sacrificed something. Eli did too, if he loves her. If he doesn’t, he still gave up Olivia, who he clearly loves. They both sacrificed their happy family–for what? Hopefully we’ll find out next week.

Quotes

“How am I? I’m surrounded by murderers. That’s how I am.”

“I’m standing in a graveyard made by people I thought I loved.”

“I love you.” “So what?”

“The pieces of myself I have given away.”

“Our daughter has been asking about you.”

We’ll have plenty of time to discuss Mama Pope’s survival next week. This week I want to know: Are you #TeamMellie? What convinced you? Was it her revealing past in this episode? Or are you yet convinced she deserves our sympathy?

sidenote: I really did think about writing a Scandal spec today and was legit thinking of 1. Quinn trying to kill someone and either doing it and freaking out or killing the wrong person. Either way, she is and will always be in over her head. It also featured Liv discovering Fitz wasn’t Teddy’s dad and Mellie needing Liv to “fix” it for her. That’s as far as I got. Crazy how it just got shot down basically. #sigh #tvspecwriterproblems

 

ConStar Watches Scandal “Icarus”

“You get to ask me one question”

We’re gonna need more than one question to make it through this week’s episode of Scandal, but I’ll start with one from each major plot point and go from there. No guarantees about the amount of questions I ask. Please don’t kill my friends or try to recruit them for your evil, secret government agency, thanks.

This week’s episode went through these major storylines:

Liv and Operation Remington: Why does Fitz refuse to acknowledge Operation Remington to even Olivia—even after finding out it was her mother?

I had a feeling that Fitz didn’t know about Olivia’s mother being on the plane, but it concerns me to no end that he refuses to acknowledge his part even after he knows about her mother. Liv already knows the worst of it. She knows more than HE did, seeing as how he didn’t know about Mama Pope (Maya Lewis is her name). And yet, despite his claims of how much he loves her and they know each other, and it could be how it was before, yadda yadda, he doesn’t admit to the operation and he doesn’t even say sorry or console her. There must be more to his side of the story.

This Remington storyline is a clear mirror of the Defiance storyline with Liv at the center: everyone is plotting around her to keep her from knowing some awful truth about how she got where she is today. But Fitz needs to learn that he can’t throw that in her face anytime he wants; not anymore. This is about her mother. Who he shot down in the sky. He may not want to talk about it or the circumstances, but if he wants Liv to ever speak to him again, he’s going to need to come clean about Operation Remington once and for all.

But turning to Papa Pope for a moment: I truly believe those were real tears he shed when he was watching the news of the plane crash. What I want to know is: was he in charge of B6-13 then? He says he didn’t order the plane down. I believe him (not just because I believe in his love of Olivia, and I hope to extend that to Maya, but because of Joe Morton’s acting choice of shaking his head no before he verbally responded to Olivia’s question over the phone (homegirl needs to just chug that wine from the bottle—saves time on washing wine glasses)). The “no” was a visceral response to the question, probably not even conscious. But he can’t talk about the rest: What did he know when it was being planned? Could he have stopped it? Did he try? Knowing they killed his wife—and subsequently destroyed his relationship with his daughter—why did he accept command of the organization (or continue as leader if he was already in charge). Side note: I was DONE after seeing Joe Morton in that hairpiece and moustache! Especially knowing that he didn’t look that way back on A Different World. lol

12-year-old Olivia’s love of Fruit Loops makes me wonder if she can ever eat them again, all things considered. It might be a nice moment, to see Olivia have a box of Fruit Loops in her cabinet (but no milk in the fridge…).

Baby Huck/Charlie: What is Rowan’s plan for Quinn?

Quinn is spiraling out of control! Huck gave her the taste for darkness and she’s grasping at it. It’s interesting to me that Rowan/Charlie think they’ve “planted a seed” in Quinn that they must watch bloom, when this has been growing in her this whole time with no one tending to it but Quinn herself. They didn’t introduce the gun to her, she bought it on her own. Rowan told Olivia he wouldn’t kill her friends, but he didn’t say nothing about turning another one into B6-13! (I think fans, and possibly Olivia, won’t mind as much about this one. Baby Huck has been getting on everyone’s nerves since she arrived… I’m surprised the whole office doesn’t groan whenever she speaks.

I wonder if she will be trained to replace Jake’s would be assassin. Maybe B6-13 operates with a Token Female…

Actually, I would LOVE for Quinn to join B6-13, because then she’d be able to destroy it from the inside (not because she’s awesome, but because it would just implode due to her presence, annoyance, and incompetence).

Harrison/Cy: Will Cyrus’ threat spur Harrison into action against Olivia?

Finally some Harrison backstory! It’s been a long time coming that we find anything about Harrison Wright. What I understand so far is: Harrison was a used car salesman. Then he was involved in insider trading. This man, Saliff, is out of the country and if he is allowed (?) to return, he will kill Harrison. I suppose Harrison sold this man out to save himself. We know that Olivia “fixed” it for him. If he allows Cyrus’ threat to move him against Liv, Liv won’t fix him twice. But I think there must be more to it—they waited so long to give us a Harrison storyline, and Olivia trusts him with her company but then snubs him every time he asks her a question. I wonder what the whole story could be. I do know that Cyrus wildly underestimated Harrison’s loyalty to Olivia, but I don’t know how much more of Olivia’s dismissals Harrison will take.

The Election: How does Mellie plan to use the wandering First Vice Husband against Sally’s betrayal?

This part of the storyline was mostly set up for future chess pieces moving around. Josie Marcus’ bits were great, I know her interview with James will go viral on tumblr, due to the strength and truth of her comments. But the Sally/Mellie/Cyrus parts of the game were just pawns being moved into place. Mr Vice First Husband (Heroes’ own Horned Rimmed Glasses!) is making eyes at Mellie; but if he doesn’t know already, he is going to learn that Mellie will do whatever it takes to keep Fitz in office (including “rolling up your whore and unrolling her at your feet” !!). Whatever Mellie’s plan is, it is going to be devious.

Other thoughts:

Icarus is an interesting title choice. Obviously it involves flying and something crashing down to the ground, but it is also about parent/child relationships, escaping imprisonment (feelings of being trapped), and a tragic downfall. These themes apply to many characters. Fitz is trapped with Mellie (and kind of trapped in the White House by Mellie and Cyrus and the ghost of his father’s influence on him. Liv is trapped in the situation with her father, she doesn’t want anything to do with him, but he keeps appearing in her life and if she doesn’t stick with him, he may kill her friends. Obviously the plane crash is the prime example of the myth in action; did Maya get too excited about something for her own good and it led to the plane “needing” to be shot down by B6-13? Did someone ignore the warnings they were given to not fly too close to the sun? Is the sun B6-13 or something else?

I suppose they’ll start covering Kerry Washington’s baby bump with large coats, because I highly doubt Olivia will get pregnant and they’ve already established her wardrobe as a symbolic device.

They took all episode to get to Fitz learning that he killed Olivia’s mother. His eyebrows tell me he clearly didn’t know, but he schooled his expression real quick and continued to not acknowledge Olivia’s question. What does this mean for the coming weeks? Let the torturous wait til next Thursday begin!

Please , please, please check out my (condensed) version of this post on UnderScoopFire.com: Scandal ‘Icarus’ Discussion: “You Get One Question”

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ConStar Watches Scandal “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”

I was hoping Scandal season 3 would be good; I wasn’t expecting it to be THIS good! I don’t even know where to begin!!! I’ll try to organize my thoughts to make it easier to read! (but it’s shorter than last weeks, actually! Surprised me!)

Quotes

“I can kill a man with very little effort and a lot of joy but I try not to.”

“You’re evil.” “You’re welcome.”

“I am your father. So I’m going to explain to you how to behave in my presence. You do not ask questions that you can’t handle the answer to. You do not make judgements about things you cannot imagine. You don’t know me that way, you don’t ever want to know me that way; but if you push you will know me well and that would break my heart. Because I’m enjoying these Sunday dinners that you make me pay for. Now, you are on my dime, pick up your menu, order your meal, and tell me about your day.”

“How presidential are my balls now, Cy?”

“We are family, sweetie. We are never done.”

Questions

  • What exactly does (Eli? Rowan? Which is his name? I’ve seen cast members say Rowan, but his cover is Eli…?) he do for B6-13? Is he in charge? Or just one leader of others?
  • Some timeline qs: Liv’s mom dies, Papa Pope “grieves” and sends her away. Is it guilt because he had something to do with it? Or he gets deeper involved in B6-13 to exact revenge because of her death? Is his love for his family the softest thing about him?
  • Who were those muggers at Union Station? Could they be more than muggers? Or simply that plot device to show Liv Huck’s nature?

Thoughts

So I guess Liv is over Verna, huh? I thought in the finale, she said she didn’t know if she could continue knowing that he killed Verna. THOUGH, she DID ask, as someone on Twitter put it, “her main squeeze to find and save her side piece.” So maybe she’s just waiting it out until Jake comes back…?

We’re going to get just the pieces of what’s in the file every episode aren’t we? It will probably be an episode 13 reveal. There was so much in this episode but don’t think I’m going to forget that “Remington” detail Cyrus gave us. What’s in the file?! (also, Cyrus and Papa must have known each other 5 years ago, the way Papa Pope threw his name at Liv at dinner the way he did.)

The scenes with Papa Pope from 5 Years Ago. They were amazing. He went from this picture of a loving dad who was trying to make amends (and I am sure that it was true, as the confidence of his lies must have been based in truth to be so genuine) to showing Olivia the man he really is. I’m skipping ahead a bit but I canNOT believe he said “You don’t know me like that…”! When he flipped on her when she confronted him, I nearly died. No really, I couldn’t breath while he was talking and I started tearing up from crying. But he should have KNOWN she could figure it out: he’s paying for her law degree and she has his genes! Of course she’s going to find out! She’s Olivia Pope! But I guess he hadn’t seen her in so long and was trying so hard on the emotional side that he didn’t think about her logical side (which I’m sure she gets from him). But, as my friend said on Twitter, I wouldn’t walk away from my dad if I just found out he’s a killer. Choose life. And now we know why she broke it off with Edison in the past. They hold a lot of power over each other, those Popes.

Focusing on the Popes in the present: He just suddenly shows up at her office! Huck is there, but I guess, considering the ending, that they’ve never met before, even under B6-13. I guess he’s the shadowy figurehead that no one sees? I’m confused about his position. Is he the leader? Just a commander for one section? It’s interesting how easy it was for Olivia to negotiate getting Jake back. All it took was Sunday dinners again. I suppose we must believe that his interest in his daughter is genuine.

The scene in the office between them was great.

*smiling* “You need to leave.”

Those fake smiles between them for her co-workers was a genius move; I didn’t notice in the first few seconds that their smiles were for show, not until they shot from outside the room with no sound. Brilliant. And it’s so both of them. There are so many ways in which you see the similarities between them; because with as little time they spend together, they just know what to do together. Imagine if they were on the same side, the damage they could do; the power they would have.

Wine: Papa Pope introduces Liv to wine! He’s where her wine-only diet comes from! It makes you think, however, what her thoughts might have been in all those previous scenes with wine. Those scenes have deeper meaning now. Could she have been thinking of her father?

Fitz/Liv: I think Fitz has a bigger game for Liv and the public. He had a proud gleam in his eyes when she was fighting for Jeanine at the press conference. And he told her to “go for the jugular,” why?

Olivia wanted two things: The free Jeanine from the scandal and the free Jake. She tried to appeal to both Fitz and her Dad. No matter how she came at it, there was only ever one solution. Jeanine burns. She wanted Jake more than she wanted Jeanine free; she asked about him more.

Harrison: Harrison is coming to his wit’s end, I believe. The side-eye he gave her when she walks into her office when the interview is about to begin was quick but deep. And Black Girl Nerds on Twitter thought that there might have been a connection between Harrison and Papa Pope that they might have been suppressing. I ran with this idea, here it goes: Harrison is overly good to Olivia; what if he is doing so because he is trying to pull a Papa Pope card and make up for a transgression in the past that affected Olivia? (I always go back to the mother theory since we found out but it could be anything I guess). That’s why we haven’t gotten Harrison’s backstory yet, because he’s atoning for something in his past that directly affects Olivia. (I wonder if she knows about whatever it is and that’s why she kind of snubs him the way she does?)

Huck: FIRST OF ALL, I CAN’T BELIEVE HUCK TOUCHED LIV LIKE THAT! We know he’s crazy, but we all thought Liv was his center; his one person he wouldn’t ever mess with. But she lied to him and kept her dad from him. The person who ruined his life and put him in a hole and made him crazy. Poor Huck. (Though upon rewatch, he doesn’t go for her neck. He’s wringing her chin kind of loosely. But the move still did the damage it intended to.) Now Huck and Liv’s relationship is broken. Who knows if it can come back together. However, now that Jake is back, she is exchanging one Huck for another.

This episode has a lot of people playing someone’s weakness against them. Fitz uses Cyrus’ love of White House power in the scene before he does the press conference. Liv uses Fitz insecurities about the election to (try) to get him to choose her side in the Jeanine situation. Fitz uses the VP’s dislike of sexual immorality against her to get her to leave him alone when she confronts him about lying about Jeanine being the one (“I had Jeanine six ways to Sunday all over this White House…”). Papa uses Jake to try to convince Liv to burn Jeanine. Olivia uses Papa’s desire for Sunday dinner to get Jake released. I’m sure I’m missing more, but there were a lot of power plays used in this episode.

Other thoughts:

  • Didn’t Amanda Tanner get kidnapped from Liv’s house and then murdered?! Liv, don’t leave that girl in your house!
  • Olivia is on the phone, Fitz kicks everyone out the room. ON THE PHONE lol
  • David Rosen’s goatee lol.
  • Ohh that’s why she gave the ring back to Edison the first time! But she only accepts his proposal to blackmail her dad… so it wasn’t going to last anyway.
  • Olivia is flawless even in the middle of the night on her way to the morgue.
Only about 100 words shorter than last week! I surely thought I’d go longer! Thanks for reading!