A few weeks ago, the two of us looked around and realized that HuffPost didn't have anybody recapping "Scandal." We are here to rectify that horrible error, just as the third season enters its wild and crazy homestretch. Today, we're chatting about last night's super-OMG episode, "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang." Click here to read our thoughts on last week's episode. Also, duh, don't read this if you don't want the plot spoiled!
It has been 12 hours and I'm still reeling. REELING.
I know Shonda always ends the show with a bang, but last night was one of those pop the cork off another bottle of red and light up a cigarette kind of episodes -- and I don't even smoke.
Ok, so from the beginning. Damn to all the people who pointed out the "who got shot" instead of "who got killed" thing last week, because I totally went into this so cocky. I was like, whoever it is -- and I did think it was gonna be James -- isn't gonna die, all of this hullabaloo is for nothing. Then James got shot, and even though I was expecting it, I still jumped off of my couch and screamed in horror.
Here's the thing, it had to be James. Let's be honest, I love David Rosen but watching a full episode of Abby being sad over losing him wouldn't really tug at my heart strings (their love scenes are a bit dry to me). Plus, we already know their love story and we didn't really know Cy and James' -- BY THE WAY, way to stick the knife in deeper and pour salt on the wound with those flashbacks, Shonda!
But despite that, my heart shattered into a million pieces when I found out James was dead. And then watching Cy cope by throwing himself into his work broke my heart even more. Cy might be a monster who's willing to do anything to maintain power, but James was his achilles heel. Cy's love for James is what made him human, and it was so sad watching him unravel slowly.
This episode was so jam packed with drama, it was a bit exhausting. I felt like I couldn't keep up and fully digest everything going on, but here are my main takeaways:
Mama Pope is a GANGSTA. Not a gangster with an "er" but a GANGSTA with an "a." The kind of gangsta who pulls out a gun before anyone can see, shoots some goon twice in the chest and then sends condolences. The kind of gangsta that makes the other notorious criminal sitting next to her terrified enough to go running to Harrison in search of a way out.
Jake is sinking deeper into the depths of what being command of B613 really entails.
And if her relationship with Fitz didn't already make it clear, 'Liv reiterated the fact that she has serious daddy issues -- and don't we all? All the men she loves are evil. And when she runs back to daddy to make sense of it all, she gets served a nice cold, hard dose of reality in the form of the kind of brilliant monologue only Papa Pope can deliver. Finally Olivia realizes that the men she loves aren't being rewarded with the power they possess, they're actually being punished. Because as her dad said: "Being the hand of God is already the worst punishment in the world."
Anyone else feel hollow when Abby told David she knew he was lying to her? Their love scenes don't really do it for me. And Olivia's little plan to go to war against B613 just seems stupid to me. Don't get me wrong B613 is super evil organization that ironically violates the rights of civilians in order to protect the republic. But I feel like the country will fall into chaos and anarchy if B613 doesn't exist.
That Quinn and Huck scene: disgusting. So disgusting I really don't wanna recap it.
And I sobbed like a baby for the last 15 minutes of the show. Between the beautiful scene of Cy coming out at the state dinner, to the Gladys Knight "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" playing in the background, to the way Cy broke down at the news conference. I couldn't take it all. AND THEN that last scene showing how James died, and the humane side of Jake that sat by his side in his last minutes of life... I was sobbing so hard I would've traded that for 10 scenes of Huck and Quinn making out.
After it was all said and done I got another bottle of red wine and didn't even bother pouring it into a glass. I drank straight from the bottle and listened to a little more Gladys.
Yikes! That episode was quite a wallop.
I must admit that I was one of the "James just got shot" people--though I really thought David would get shot, but clearly you should not be listening to me for anything approaching a good guess about this show. Unfortunately for me, it was clear within about 15 seconds that James had met his maker. Poor James! And poor Cyrus. And really, poor everyone in the rotten world of this increasingly bleak show.
It's a testament to the ever-widening moral black hole that has engulfed the "Scandal" crew that, even as I watched Cyrus completely losing himself in front of the press corps, I knew I still had to wonder about his complicity in James's assassination. But this is a show where daughters go to war against their parents, husbands against their spouses and one secret branch of the government against every other branch, so it's a thought I had to contemplate.
Which brings us to the newest war: Olivia's battle against Jake and B613. I agree with you that the mission seems foolish--not necessarily because B613 is so crucial to the country, but because none of these people seems to know how to cover their tracks or conduct themselves with the appropriate levels of caution. Of course, Olivia is just taking her cues from Jake there--in what world would he ever have told her so forthrightly that he murdered all of those people himself? The power and accessibility of B613 seems to fluctuate wildly -- how can Olivia just wander into Jake's office at any time she likes? Is this the world's most opaque and evil secret agency or is it actually just a paper store?
But Olivia clearly feels that she has lost her moral compass. Her scene with the ever-reliable Papa Pope seemed like it was being addressed to those of us in the audience along with the characters onscreen. "What is the point?" she asked, over and over again. Rowan's answer--that the point is, basically, to do the best you can--only went so far for me. At times, "Scandal" can be too claustrophobic for its own good, a toxic warren of people whose only function in life seems to be to stab each other in the back. I hope Olivia's new crusade can allow the show to slightly reset itself, to return to storylines that felt as vital to characters outside its bubble as the Defiance plot did.
Some other things I agree with you about: Abby and David are a deeply snoozeworthy couple. Huck's scene with Quinn was perhaps even more cringeworthy than the last one, and in the last one, he pulled out her tooth. I was also a puddle at the end, especially when the Gladys Knight came on. I love love LOVE how Mama Pope is so insane that even the most hardened criminals are super freaked out by her, and I cannot wait to see what she has up her sleeve.
Oh, and finally, FINALLY, Mellie goes and gets what she deserves. I hope she and Andrew have a long and happy life together.