scandal 218

Scandal 218: My Boo is Gonna Have to Stay Mad

This was me at the end of Scandal 218, and I’m not joking

I got up off my fainting couch and I spread myself out on the floor. I haven’t had that reaction since 214!!!!

When I finally picked myself up so that I could watch it all over again, I was still feeling like

Then my Boo–who really likes the show and is into it–was all, “It’s not that serious.” I then literally ran around the house in my robe like this


She was all

“Who are you?! For God’s sake, the neighbors!”

But because

I kept going until I had to pee. 

Anyway, Boo Boo’s gonna have to be mad because I have so many feels, questions and mmhmmmms, I’m just gonna spend most of this non-work day Scandaling and shit. 

I know later on she’s gonna be like, 

But all I’ll be able to say is sorry, not sorry because when it comes to Scandal, 

Memes, awards, questions, analysis coming up real soon, ya hear. Laters!

Scandal 2x18: Optics are Everything (Pt. 1)

[NB: We have a long hiatus. This is the first post in a series about issues of ‘performance’ and ‘reality’ that were brought up in Scandal, episode 2x18]

Optics are everything”—Cyrus Beene to the Grants, Scandal 2x18

(H/T to Kid Fury of Youtube for the line in the screen grab)

The American public loves good optics. Who doesn’t?! I found it interesting that the theme of the 218’s episode was framed by the last scene of 217. Jake Ballard and Surreptitious Black Guy (SBG) are sitting on a bench in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial, next to Arlington National Cemetery. You will be familiar with the image depicted in the sculpture: the raising of the US flag at Iwo Jima in World War II. It’s an extremely famous image. What is it that Jake and SBG are discussing? They are congratulating themselves on how everyone, including the press, believes the staging of Osborne’s “suicide”, and that he was the mole. The symbolism of what they are talking about and where they are discussing it is interesting because it frames the entire episode: Optics are everything. Does the actual truth really matter? To whom? Why?

The famous image portraying the raising of the US flag at Iwo Jima was, in fact, a staged, or, rather constructed moment. The photograph that everyone remembers was actually the second raising of the flag, sometime after the first. Here’s the first:

Doesn’t look as amazing as the second one, does it?

Optics. The second photo is so perfect, the photographer, Joe Rosenthal, won a Pulitzer Prize for Photoraphy the year it was published, 1945. The soldiers were actually set to stop at a certain point before reaching the summit on Mount Suribachi to plant the flag. The photographer encouraged them to keep going because he believed they could get a better shot. He was right. The mechanics of the shot were not staged, but the decision to do a second photograph falsely depicting the truth of an historic moment was a staged decision. Optics. Well, plain old propaganda is what they would have called it back then. The point is, the photo that we know so well depicted a better image of a victorious occasion atop Iwo Jima. It connected more emotionally with the American public. It connected with the mythology that America (and Americans) has of itself: look what awesome heroes we are.

Similarly, in Scandal episode 218, there was a tussle between optics and the truth of the matter for several of the characters. Chief—and most obvious—among those was the depiction of Fitz and Mellie’s marriage in front of the American public.

The fairy tale optics vs. the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf reality. The Iwo Jima images constructed a suitable framing that appropriately jibed with the significance of the historical moment. However, the Mellitz marriage is all facade. It’s like a house of cards: easy to tip over if you get too close. The optics the Grants created for television were full of lies, falacies and fairy tales. The actual truth bares little resemblance to what they choose to allow the American public to believe.

I just thought it was interesting that the episode was, at the outset, framed in front of that Iwo Jima image—whether intentionally, or unintentionally. It’s not as simple as lies vs. truth, or pretend vs. reality. Everyone’s lie is somebody’s truth. It’s really about how one frames the narrative. Who’s framing it? And to what ends? And does the framing justify the result?

I’ve got more to say about these issues with regards to Mellitz, Olitz and the Jamus relationships. I’ll be back this week with more on that.

Problems with the Back 9 be damned, "Molly, You in Danger Girl" (2.18) remains a stellar episode

I was flummoxed after it first aired in April. I remember posting that I was on the floor afterwards. After not watching Scandal for most of the summer, I’m watching the last five episodes before the premiere. 218 still stands out for stellar writing that showcases most of the cast. This episode gave us great insight into some relationships, and also set up interesting trajectories for the characters:

• Huck’s beating set up the 7:52 flashback and history

• The real story behind Fitz and Mellie’s marriage. That scene killed me, but put much of the previous episodes into perspective.

• Understanding Mellie’s psychology (pretending is what’s real). I don’t think she’s that delusional. There’s a lot of truth in her statement.

•The Jamus conversation about lies and the pretending that couples do to supposedly protect one another and themselves

• The beginning of Fitz’s turn-around and journey back to emotional honesty.

•Fitz in that white tee of destiny

•The beginning of the turn-around for Olitz

•Quinn starting to come into her own

• That FUCKING HOSPITAL SCENE AT THE END!!!! Kerry Washington’s eyes need an Emmy.

There’s so much, but I’ll stop.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: HELL YES! (Scandal 314)--Random Thoughts

These are just some quick, random (occasionally considered) thoughts that came to mind when I watched the episode, and by no means a formal episode review. There are no extensive quotes and references:

  • Kerry Washington, I hope you never win an Emmy for playing Olivia Pope. She might get gotten (see Dan Bucatinsky (James))
  • Speaking of James, you were (R.I.P.) a problem, and have been since season 2.  I didn’t want you to go out like that—especially after being used by your husband in such a despicable way— but see ya.

  •  As for your monster Boo, Cyrus, I cried real thug tears for his breakdown over your death and for reminiscing about your courtship. I hope you took to heart that the best part of him truly did love you. Ella will now be his only meaningful memory of you.

  • I loved and appreciated seeing some of the transition period between Cyrus dumping his beard (literally and figuratively), and the evolution of him becoming comfortable with his own gayness as a middle aged man.  James was the anchor to that new phase of his life. James did get in his way professionally sometimes, but James also represented the best part of him.  This is a whole other phase for Cyrus,  and though many things about him are unlikely to change, I wonder which parts will.

The Bromance:

  • Before I get serious, let me just shout-out Fitzgerald Grant for continuing to be a sexy beast and an entirely decent man (despite some people’s wish for him to make him out to be a monster). Moving on…
  • I first mentioned the importance of Fitz’s friendship with Cyrus (when glass tumblers  and sex tapes aren’t involved), especially because of Cyrus’s sexuality and because Fitz is a Republican President—arguably the embodiment of American masculinity itself. I first wrote very briefly about this last year, in Bros Before Moles (Scandal 218). The continuity of that aspect of their relationship was beautifully carried over into Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. The most noteworthy thing about the portrayal is the completely normative way in which it comes across. Because it is.

  • While I’m on the subject of men, let me bring up Rowan.  This man has not shown a genuine emotion since he cried when Olivia was 12 and ‘lost’ her mom (among other things). This man has walled off any real connection to his individual self and became a persona—even several personas, including a ‘dad’ persona—that was devoted to the Republic. It’s why Olivia had to ask him to play a ‘real, caring, nice’ dad for a minute, someone who cared about her as a person. I’m  big fan of Jo Morton, but not Rowan’s parenting skills. What he mustered up to say to Olivia was actually important for her to hear, and builds on what Olivia said in the last episode to Fitz: “Grow up…[sic]there is no clean.” Just as she asked Fitz not to punish her when she has to do dirty things to protect him, Rowan had to remind Olivia that wearing the white has is a problematic and binary way of seeing the world that just does not work for real people. Nothing and no one is pure. She should know that better than anyone.
  • I think Olivia’s problem has been that she let herself go down a really slippery slope last season and by the end of it she was trying to re-jigger her own moral compass with this white hat delusion. I think this season has been about her coming to terms with the fact that the whiteness of her hat is relative, her purpose in this world is a good one. Rowan’s speech about Olivia dragging everyone to the light reinforces her ‘white’ knight narrative, but also the tremendous burden placed on her shoulders. He’s made her responsible for a nation. And in doing so, Scandal , has pointed out that it is the people who make up the Republic who persist in making this nation what it is—the good and the bad. We accept the delusions of  democracy,  the upward mobility fallacy of ‘the American dream’, true equality and so many other building blocks of this experiment called the United States. We do it because we are in so deep, what other choices do we actually have but to keep chipping away at dragging people into the light? Ultimately we benefit by dragging others into the light. It is not lost on me that this conversation was being had between the two main black characters on the show.
  • While I’m talking about Olivia: umm, Olivia, isn’t ‘What?!’ the way you greet everybody? I wish Rowan would have greeted her with ‘Hi, hello, how are you…what?’ like she did when Cyrus called her out in Sweet Baby.


  • Did you guys peep that this episode was a Gladiator call to order? That scene where all the Gladiators came in alerting Olivia to the shadery that was going down was a pivot. OPA is coming back strong you guys! Olivia’s purpose is renewed, and this time she is realistic. Her forays into the dark world of B6-13, her father, her mother, all of that….it served a purpose. This is the re-education of Olivia Pope, a woman with a renewed sense of purpose. I am ever the optimist.
  • I’m also curious to see how this new pact between Olivia and David will turn out. It’s a monumental (zing!) task for them to take on dismantling B6-13 and it’s government sanctioned atrocities. I’m cynical about this, but go Olivid!

 David and Abby:

  • Who would have ever thought that you guys would have the model adult relationship on the show? Wow. 


  • Adnan Salif, girl you were NOT ready for Maya Lewis to bust out pro gangsta, Marie Wallace, on you. You and Harrison can go cower and bun up together somewhere warm. Mama Pope is riding into town to protect the interests of her baby girl, and I’m like this while waiting for it:

  • Real talk, Marie/Maya sometimes reminds me of my mother and the phases our relationship has gone through growing up. It’s weird to watch. Marie is a problem, but she’s also awesome.  I can’t quit her.

Mellie & Andrew:

  • Umm, Meldew/Mes/Mendy Project or whatever your ship is? I like your flirting. It’s a little Sweet Valley High, but it’s cute. However  when you guys get sexual, it is so not hot.

  • What’s with the carp kissing? Now, you may not be able to commit like Kerry and Tony (for obvious reasons), but that is no excuse for at least being titillating. Harrison and Adnan set the Scandalverse ablaze. Step. It. Up.
  • Also, Mellie? You are the worst kind of Republican—one who pivots away from a salient issue to bring up straw man shit. Really? Bloody Marys are as dangerous as guns and stringent background checks?

  • Where the fuck do you think ‘black market’ guns come from? People who have legit licenses buying them and selling those shits on for money! JFC, may you never be President.   
  • Even though that scene added a layer of awkwardness to the Huckleberry Quinn relationship, it also strangely paved the way toward repairing their relationship. That kiss though?


  • Jake? What can I say that I haven’t already said? He is a company man. Sob story, schmob story. This man has been doing unethical things in the name of B6-13 and the Republic since season 2 (hello, seduction of Olivia Pope and illegal sex tape). I have been saying for a while that Jake’s face, his sob story and seeming fondness for Olivia is intended to fool (some) people into trusting him. Olivia’s persistence in needing to believe that Jake is a ‘good guy’ is more about her own need to order people into categories of ‘good’ and ‘monster’ just to make it through the world.  But this man cannot be trusted, and I truly hope that she gets that once and for all. That’s one of the few hard lines in the sand that I have drawn over this show.
  • The one thing Jake illuminated for us is that it was Rowan’s job (he wasn’t Command at the time?) to take down that plane with 329 passengers, but his punk ass pulled little Fitzy out of a hole to do it. (Remember, Rowan told Charlie in 309 that he gets no pleasure out of killing; He had Huck kill Pete Tyson in 303). This is why Rowan says he is responsible for the deaths of 183 people. He put the responsibility of the 329 not on Fitz’s shoulders, but likely on Maya’s since she lied to him.

Every season, Scandal has an episode that works pretty tightly , marking a pivot point or illuminating important information on a character or story arc. For season 1 it was The Trail (106), season two it was A Criminal, A Whore, An Idiot, and A Liar (211). The third season isn’t over yet, but *the* episode of the season may end up being Kiss Kiss, Bang, Bang.

anonymous asked:

you black people take scandal way too seriously...go fuck yourselves because we love Scott Foley. And this is from someone who fucking met him with proof of what a sweetheart he is.

Wow, you totally don’t take it seriously at all.

Just for that, here is everything I’ve ever written about how much I do not enjoy Scott Foley’s acting, the Scandal character he plays, and his style of PR. This way we can all laugh at you and your stupidity. 

And because I love to help the kids, you (and your ilk) might also find the following pieces hugely instructive for future efforts in trying to insult me and all black people who watch Scandal:

And when you are done with that, and wish to receive instruction on how to come for me in the future (because I’ve already had a death threat made to me a year ago), if you dare to do so:

Above all, remember this always: