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-wild episode, "Mama Said Knock You Out." 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!
To quote Lena Dunham, I had "literally a thousand followup questions" after watching this week's episode. So let me present some of them to you.
Why is everyone on this show such an unbelievable moron? Olivia sends her crew off to hunt down B613's budget and thinks nobody will notice? Mellie goes to fool around with Andrew in a random White House room while her children are in the house and doesn't even lock the door? Harrison and co. haven't been tracking Adnan like a hawk since the second she stepped back into the country? What the hell is Huck for? Come on, people!
Why are we not surprised that Fitz's kids turned out to be as screwed up as him? Let's face it — the president and First Lady are not exactly the world's greatest parents. Between the cheating and the killing and the scheming, it's a blessing that Jerry and Karen aren't around that much to see them in action. Nor is it a shocker that Jerry is busy Photoshopping Hitler mustaches onto his father's face. And, of course, Karen walks right in on Mellie and "Uncle Andrew," since Mellie CAN'T REMEMBER TO LOCK THE DAMN DOOR. I sense about 25-30 years in therapy for these two.
Why oh why did Olivia have to interrupt Mellie and Fitz right when she did??? I was deeply, supremely disappointed when Mellie just crumpled in front of Fitz after he found out about her and Andrew. He really has no right to complain about anything she does, ever, but he got to her by throwing their past in her face. It was the perfect time for her to say, "Hey! Remember that father of yours who you loathed so deeply and who also is dead? He ruined my life, so screw you!" But, of course, Olivia had to enter right then and there, just when it seemed like Mellie might be about to reveal her secret. Which was extremely frustrating to watch.
Why does Jake think he can suddenly go all crazy-Rowan on Fitz? The power appears to have gone to Jake's head rather quickly, it would seem. He was installed by Fitz at the drop of a hat. Fitz clearly has the power to replace him. So what's he doing giving grandiose speeches in the Oval Office about how Fitz controls nothing and how he is the decider? And what is he doing threatening Rowan with murder? In neither instance does he stack up to his predecessor. Now that Rowan has decided to help Olivia, all bets are off.
Why do we have to keep seeing Quinn and Huck making out? Their twisted tongue-play is both uninteresting and revolting. Oh, and while we're at it, Quinn is happily drilling holes into people but she has some big problem with Huck because he took a tooth of hers out? Please.
I didn't even get to what Olivia's mother is up to, or Cyrus's handling of James's death, or Olivia's 100,000th speech to Fitz about how "I AM AT WORK" and "WE ARE NOT TOGETHER" and "I AM NOT YOUR TOY," which, come on Olivia, or any of the other 75 plot strands on this week's episode. I will leave all of that to you.
I am especially curious, though, about your thoughts regarding two big moments: Mama Pope's very resonant line to Olivia about being "the help" (and the fact that a black woman and gay man then had a discussion about being the help), and the human rights violation that is little baby Teddy's haircut.
Over to you!
I've gotta say, I have some of the same exact questions. With that said, this episode may have been one of my favorites — minus the fact that there were way more scenes with Quinn than I had the stomach for.
The thing that I love about this episode is that Shonda added in some teenagers to prove to all the adults in the room that they, in fact, have been acting like a bunch of teenagers. Seriously! The fact that Mellie went into a room less than 10 feet away from her husband and kids to go fool around with a man her children call "Uncle Andrew" was just insanely moronic and ridiculous. Mellie, you're smarter than that! (Although I must say, Mellie and Andrew's onscreen chemistry is red hot!)
I love how Jake is slowly slipping deeper and deeper into evil-dom as the blood of B613 seeps deeper into his veins and the burden of being Command weighs heavier on his shoulders. But I can't help but feel like it's so fabricated. C'mon, Jake! All of a sudden you're a badass who walks into the Oval Office and shuts down the president and stares a man in the face after you just killed his husband? (Not for nothing, that scene where Cy lunged at him was really well placed, because I can't say I didn't have a desire to do the same.) And when he tried to out-Rowan Rowan and Rowan totally shut him down because you can't out-Rowan Rowan because you don't even know how to be Rowan in any real way (you are alone)! But you already know I live for anything that comes out of Papa Pope's mouth.
I was yelling at the screen during the Fitz and Mellie scene, like actually yelling. I just kept begging Mellie to tell him the truth about his father and his possible brother-son. I totally agree that Mellie didn't owe him any explanation, and it still angers me to no end that she melts in his hand and lives for his approval and attention. And then Olivia had to open the door and ruin it all!
Which brings me to the part of the episode that REALLY resonated with me. Olivia is the help. Period. Sure sure, she and Fitz are in love and blah blah blah. But at the end of the day, she's not at home. She's in another family's intimate space and there are times when they need her and times when they don't. Did you see how many times doors closed and she was left outside? Fitz made it quite clear that his relationship with 'Liv never would've happened if Mellie hadn't become so cold. Olivia was there to help fulfill his sexual needs, clean up his messes and keep him happy. But at the end of the day, she's not part of the family. And once again, Shonda Rhimes discussed race and class and hierarchy and position in the most genius way possible. Olivia is the help, she's burdened with being placed in another family's intimate space and witnessing their intimate moments, but she doesn't belong. She's still on the other side of the door, and she always will be.
My final thoughts: Charlie being jealous of the Quinn/Huck thing—I see what you're doing there Shonda, but ew. Harrison getting drugged by Adnan. Hello! Nobody in the Pope & Associates office saw that coming?? Yay to getting to see little Ella play and be happy with her daddy! And Teddy's little gelled back helmet hair was shameful. Just shameful.
"Scandal" airs Thursdays on ABC at 10/9 Central.