Scandal Review, Episode 504, Dog Whistle Politics...
Mark Fish, you did the damned thing. You. Did. The. Damned. Thing.
Guys, guys, we literally went from the ridiculousness of last week, to an episode full of win!
Who knew going in that this episode was going to prove to be one of my top three Scandal episodes of all time. Man it was good. So freaking good.
Anyway, let me get started, I got lots to say!
What I Hated
1. Jake. Of course.
Guys you know the drill. Whenever that character has more than two words to say, imma gonna be pissed.There was way too much Jake and some inane story line that I literally couldn’t give two fucks about. I did however thank The Power of Beyoncé that after the initial first watch, I know I’m good to skip over those parts in the future, and certainly for my second watch. I will be watching this episode over and over and over again y’all. don’t pretend that you aren’t all gonna do the same.
2. Eli Pope/Rowan/Asshole Extraordinaire
I can’t with his irrelevant ass. I need this character to die. If he somehow gets released from prison this season, I will be enraged, because honestly, I hate him as much as I hate Jake, which is fitting, because as @katrinapavela likes to remind us, those two mother fuckers came in together and it led to the derailing of the Olivia Pope that we knew.
3. The Firs scene between the aforementioned assholes.
Jowan (My ship name for them) talked about something called Lazarus One/1? There was something about selling paintings for billions to help Rowan restart B613 again, and that Jake would have to go and kill somebody in Paris.
Let me just go and shoot myself already, because I just didn’t give a fuck about this plot. All this effort to give Scott Foley something to do. I can’t y’all.
In the name of informing my readers who may give a shit about such details, I can tell you that Charlie and The Human Vibrator go to Paris to meet some art dealer person. It turns out to be a woman who Jake married, who he thought was dead after waiting for her at Grand Central Station and she was a no-show. Apparently he waited for her for an hour. THV tells Elise that he grieved for her, blah blah blah, and they start to make out.
Anyway, they set up some sort of sting operation where Jake’s new Domestic Abuse Victim Waiting To Happen is gonna meet some guy to either buy a painting or sell a painting. These are details that I have no interest in confirming, because guess what, I still don’t give a fuck.
The surveillance screens go all snowy and Charlie and Mr Irrelevant lose sight of Future Domestic Abuse Victim. The next thing they know, guns go off, so Charlie and THV go rushing in to try to rescue her, only to find the guy she was trying sell/buy from lying on the floor, dead, while she was bleeding from a gunshot wound. If I gave more of a shit, I’d tell you why I think that FDAV totally set up that scene, and that she probably shot herself, but guess what, I can feel myself boiling with rage because I’ve had to write two whole paragraphs on Jake Ballard’s irrelevant plot line. Shonda, hear me now, I don’t give a fuck about this character. Please put him out of my misery, and kill him. Thanks.
Anyway, that’s the last time I’m going to mention THV in this review, so let’s get on with the rest of the show.
What I Loved
1. The On The Hunt show on BNC News, charting Olivia’s life.
I have to say, I loved that the show took this route. It felt very real, and something that would happen if such a Scandal broke out now. I didn’t appreciate the host, but then I’m not down for irrelevants talking smack about my baby Olivia.
2. Pictures of Baby Kerry Olivia
So darn cute!
3. Francesca Hunter: “Did Olivia Pope’s manufactured sense of privilege make her feel so entitled to that brass ring of power that she simply took it, instead of earning it? Or is she still questing? Is Olivia Pope still seeking to fulfil her father’s dream?”
Ugh, there was so much coded language here, I can’t. Why couldn’t she have been one of the journalists that THV shot on his murderous rampage in season 3?
4. Quinn trying to recruit Marcus the same way that Harrison recruited her.
I so miss Harrison.
I know that OG Gladiators had all the feels, during this scene. The music, Quinn’s Harrison monologue, ugh, tears came to my eyes. Somebody hold me!
5. Quinn: “Olivia Pope and Associates needs a mouthpiece. You’re good with the press. You won’t just be some corporate spinner. You’ll be one of us. Look, the job is yours if you want it. It’s the best job you’ll ever have. You will change lives. You will slay dragons. You will love the hunt more than you ever have. I am not crazy. I’m a gladiator in a suit. That’s what you are when you work at OPA. You’re a gladiator in a suit. Do you want to be a gladiator in a suit?” Marcus: “No.”
Burn!!!!!! Did y'all peep the look on Quinn’s face, she was all, this shit worked on me. why didn’t it work on him? Quinn honey, you were a baby who knew zip about the world, of course it worked on your gullible ass.
6. Fitz: “Gabby tied our hands.”
Lol, Fitz was pissed, so Abby goes back to being called Gabby again. Sucks for you girl.
7. Fitz: "You’re fired.“
Fitz, honey sit down. He knew even as he said that, that he wouldn’t be firing her, Olivia would never let him do that, and we know how he is when she says jump.
By the way, how much did you laugh when Abby came in, saw Fitz, then tried to run. I nearly died.
7. Olivia: ”Ok, now you’re an idiot.“
Fitz: ”Did you just call me an idiot?“
I love them. I live for them being so at ease with each other, no angst (well apart from the obvious) just two people in love on the phone. My romantic heart is aflutter again!
8. Liv not having her curtains closed despite the fact that she’s the biggest source of Scandal and gossip in the world right now.
Really Olivia Pope? Really? Draw them curtains girl, you are literally the most sought after woman in the world right now.
9. Olivia: ”My dream job? The White House.“
Baby Olivia! Oh ma feels have feels! I love the fact that Kerry is playing a fresh faced college version of Olivia here. Black truly does not crack. Go on with your bad self girl!
10. Olivia: ”Whatever’s going down, you two should be able to handle it.“
Girl have you met either Quinn or Huck?
11. Senate Republican’s Women’s Caucus: ”This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats, it’s about peckers. Too many peckers.“
I can’t lie, I howled at the scene with Senate Republican Women’s Caucus. Mellie totally looked like a fish out of water. As usual. By the way, I was totally digging Mellie’s make-up this episode, they did a great job.
Cyrus: “They want to impeach a man for having an affair?” Mellie: “They want to impeach a man for having an affair that everyone just shrugs about because a man having an affair is a daily occurrence. They want to impeach a man because all we ever hear is how women are controlled by their hormones but what is more hormonal than a man who can’t keep it in his damn pants? They want to impeach a man because he broke his vows and disturbed the office of the Presidency and distracted the country with his libido and the only person who gets raked over the coals is the woman he screwed. That’s why.” Cyrus: “But…he’s a man.”
Cyrus stays being the worst. Nice speech though Mels.
If it had come from somebody who was slightly more pro female than your dry ass.
I did like her little faux feminist speech, even though none of the shit she said was even grounds for impeachment. It sounded good as a feminist rant though.We know how much Shonda loves those fem moments. Such a shame it came from somebody who’s just not that pro women.
13. Mellie: ”I do not want to impeach my husband.“
Will the real Mellie Grant please stand up?
Cyrus trying to get Mellie to agree to impeach Fitz was such a low move. He knows full well that that mess would indeed make her look petty and shrewish. Of course we knew that Mellie The Moron would backtrack by the end of episode, as she surely did. Wounded pride and high emotion made her do it of course, which means that she’s probably gonna regret her actions later. I aint mad about that.
14. Marcus: "Where do you keep the cream?”
Yay Marcus came back!
15. Senator Gibson: "His whole administration, he’s had these bitches lined up like planes on a jetway.“
16. Fitz: ”I wonder where Teddy is, you can’t find him?“
The writers remembered that the Grants have children, and look, he’s an actual boy, rather than the twin girls they were using! I love this episode so darned much!
17. Mellie: ”I don’t want us to fight any more, if you don’t hurt me, I won’t hurt you. Ok?“
Guys this was such a cute moment between Fitz and Mellie. I knew it wouldn’t last because Mellie is such a hot head, but yeah, it was a lovely moment.
18. Marcus: ”I was in line at the grocery store this morning, there was a couple in front of me. White, mid-sixties, the wife’s looking at a picture of Liv, and the husbands going on and on about how angry Liv looks, how he totally believes that she took advantage of the president, because she looks conniving and power hungry. But the wife, God bless her, defended Olivia by saying “she must be pretty sharp if she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and make it out of the ghetto. Olivia went to one of the most expensive boarding schools in Europe”
Quinn: “So you’re not just here for the money then.” Marcus: “I’m here to help a sister out who helped me when I needed it.”
Ugh, I loved this entire conversation. I am so here for Marcus. A normal person who doesn’t get off on having sex around blood. It’s like a new day in the Scandalverse.
19. Senator Gibson: "The next time you decide to go outside your marriage, choose yourself a girl who’s a little more palatable to the base.“
Oh no he didn’t.
Shonda went there. What a fucking asshole.
I’m so mad that the Republicans wanted to kill the Brandon Bill, but equal pay was ok because somebody’s wife was driving him bonkers? Ugh.
20. Francesca Hunter: ”Those hard times faded though when Pope began dating older men. No doubt drawn to her youth and her beauty, these men didn’t just share the fact that they were older, but that they were powerful.“
I’m not gonna lie, I have no idea why a girl dating rich powerful men would be such a problem. But we know all about the double standards when it comes to men and women so there’s that…
21. Olivia: ”Did you know that there’s a porn version of us?“
Wait, was she on Tumblr?
21A. Olivia: “
A lot of people, a lot of Internet people, cowards who won’t use their names apparently want to have me killed. Also raped. How come whenever a woman does something that people don’t like the only way these men on the Internet know how to express themselves is by threatening rape. I have at least a thousand threats of rape, here. Just on this one site. From guys who are mad that I had the audacity to be born female…and black.
Do you think if I told them I own a gun, and that I’ve shot someone they’d threaten to rape me? Do you think if I told them I’ve survived being kidnapped and tortured they would get that their weak little misspellings barely make me blink? That I would welcome the chance to take out a little bit of PTSD on the next man who put his hands on me?”
Fitz: “Turn off your computer now or I will come over there while all the reporters are outside your building and turn it off for you.”
Olivia: “I’m fine. I’m losing it…but only a little bit. I’m fine.”
Oh God, this scene made me cry. I love how much emotion Kerry is able to convey with very few words, just using the inflections in her voice. Ugh. Somebody hold me. My poor baby is going through some things right now. At this point, I needed Fitz to do something. Indeed, I had faith that he would.
22. Cyrus comparing his loss of Fitz with Mellie’s loss of her son.
I hate him so much. This was the same Cyrus talking about not giving in to emotion last week, now he’s all salty and making rash decisions based on his emotions. Ugh. Bastard.
23. Mellie: ”Get out, before I have you thrown out.“
Well that partnership didn’t last long. I think Mellie realized that Cyrus was never gonna be fully about her. Everything was about Fitz, and if he threw him a bone, he’d go chasing after it, returning it to him, wagging his tail, waiting to be petted, and told what a good boy he was.
24. Reporter: ”Just tell us why she won’t defend herself as passionately as she defends her client, she’s usually so well spoken.“ Marcus: ”For a black woman. She’s usually so well spoken for a black woman, isn’t that what you meant? I say that because I’ve been looking at the last 72 hours of your station’s news coverage, and when you’re not suggesting that Olivia Pope is an angry black woman, you’re implying that she’s a home wrecker who slept her way to the top.“
I salute you Marcus.
25. Marcus: This. Is. War. There is no script. You can choose the battle, but if you send me me out, I’m fighting my way. I don’t play, I don’t hide, I don’t hold back or look for exits, and I sure as hell don’t lean on the ropes and take it, I swing, because that’s me, that’s who I am. That is how I Gladiate.
I love him.
26. Marcus: "Olivia Pope doesn’t fit with the slutty mistress stereotype, so instead of representing her as she is, a formidable passionate advocate, you take the easy route, shading her, using all manner of coded language. There’s a name for that Claire. And it’s Dog Whistle politics….
BNC host: ”Are you accusing me of using offensive language?”
Marcus: “Yes. On this network alone, Olivia Pope has been described as lucky, sassy, ambitious, well spoken, well mannered, articulate, shrill, calculating, overconfident, secretive, urban, hot blooded, known to use thug politics, arrogant, a siren. Words like these mean nothing to the general public, which is why the media, and I’m including you in there Claire, can get away with using them. But when women of color like MS Pope hear that kind of coded language, they know exactly what you’re getting at.”
Damn, I really needed somebody to defend Olivia this diligently. I needed somebody to really Gladiate for her. Marcus, welcome to OPA. We the fans didn’t know how much we needed you.
27. Interviewer: “Would you like to add anything else before you go?”
Huck: "Dog whistle politics.”
Interviewer: “Yes, you’ve said that a few times now.“
28. Marcus: "So, who’s going to tell Olivia that I work here now?”
Huck: ”I will. I’m damaged. She doesn’t like to yell at me.“
It’s almost like the show knows what a monster they’ve been turning Huck into. Such a great moment of levity. We’ve missed that on this show. I feel like OPA is back baby!
29. Fitz: ”In my office, it’s not about doing the smart thing, it’s about doing the right thing.“
I love this scene between Fitz and Abby. I loved the fact that Fitz finally realized that Olivia is not the best judge when it comes to protecting herself, and doing what’s best for her.
30. Fitz going to Olivia’s apartment.
Oh ma God. I just about swooned when it became clear where Fitz was going. Did y'all see the look on Liv’s face? She wanted to be so mad, but how could she be when the love of her life was about to throw deuces at the world and come to her apartment, and claim her as his. There was this look of ”Oh my God, he’s coming for me, he’s really going to do it.“ Ugh. I just. I loved it, loved it, loved it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. As much as I wish Kerry would be given the same types of monologues that have the white main stream media masturbating over Bellamy Young’s acting, the fact is, she’s so expressive, that Kerry the actress never needs all those words to convey how she’s feeling. She hits it out of the park every time. She was brilliant in this ending montage. (Don’t get me wrong, I still need Olivia the character to be given those fucking words.)
31. Olivia: ”What the hell are you doing? What the hell are you doing?“
Fitz: “The right thing. I’m taking my girlfriend on a date.”
I’m not even ashamed to say that a I screamed out loud when Fitz told her he was taking her on a date. Ma feels had feels, and those feels had feels guys.
32. Fitz: "Look away guys, I’m gonna make out with my girlfriend.“
This was such a Pretty Woman moment, but I was totally here for it. Olivia still had that dazed and confused look on her face, but the joy when he kisses her, she has never looked like that with anybody else on this show. Her feelings for Fitz even though she rarely articulates them are there to see in that moment. She’s in love, and for one reckless moment, she’s just going to go with it, and fuck the world at large who disapprove of their relationship.
All Fitz has ever wanted to do is to publicly claim her, and now he has the chance and he’s not backing out, and he’s not giving her the opportunity to run out on their relationship again. He’s determined to be with her, and fuck everybody else. I literally don’t give a fuck how messy and probably selfish that thought process is, I just love it, regardless. Guys, we’ve waited five freaking seasons for this. We deserve this. Let them be messy in public for once. We can go back to doom and gloom and misery next week, when another writer not quite as good as Mark Fish takes the helm. For now, I’m dancing a jig and praising Shonda for finally giving us what we want. Even though she’s bound to take it away from us by the end of the season. Maybe even by the end of this half of the season. Whatevs, I’m going to enjoy this Olitz ride while it lasts.
Reporters: ”An unprecedented sight, as President Grant escorts his reputedmistress Olivia Pope. A bold move, as if he’s daring the world to come between them.“
Mellie is mad as hell of course. I can’t blame her, but this whole impeachment business will not be a good look for her ambitions in the end. She’s so fucking shortsighted. I can’t.
I’m not even going to speculate on next week because I don’t care, so here are some beautiful Olitz gifs to keep you until next week’s mess begins.