The return to the air on January 10 of the ABC television series Scandal, after a three-week hiatus, did not disappoint me. Shonda Rhimes continued to pound away at the rigging of the election that put President Fitz (R) into the White House.
Episode 1 has the president's chief of staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) saying out loud to fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and Fitz's wife Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), "Steal the White House? Yes, we can. Been done before. Will be done again." And no one rushes to disagree with him. That seems to me to be a promise of more to come.
I am wondering if Cy means these three will steal the White House again now and he and Mellie will run it while Fitz is unconscious or if he is already talking about the next election. What about their two other cohorts, lefty Supreme Court Justice Verna Thornton (Debra Mooney) and the evil and hated Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry)? At this point in the story, Tea Party Vice President Sally Langston (Kate Burton) is in charge and running the White House, with a lot of help from Hollis.
Mellie, in fact, responds, "Because we have to protect Fitz. We have to protect secrets... We don't want to go to federal prison."
And later in the story when journalist James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky) phones his source, assistant U.S. Attorney David Rosen (Joshua Malina), and asks him if he is giving up on the "story of the century," David responds that he is not "giving up on election rigging." Hmm, that last response could be read two ways. But so far, David seems to be a good guy.
I highly recommend watching all the episodes of Seasons 1 and 2, if you have not already done so, so as to understand what is going on about the rigging as the series continues. Rhimes writes with layers and layers and flashbacks galore.
She continues to be accurate about our real-life elections in what she writes in fiction form. So far, she has only gone after the touch-screen electronic voting machines, and tellingly in Defiance, Ohio, which is a real county in Ohio. Watch "Defiance" on your own computer and see especially starting at 2:12 minutes. She must, however, also go after the rigging of the hackable optical scan electronic voting machines if she is to be complete in her story-telling. Again, on your own computer, watch the Emmy-nominated documentary, aired originally on HBO in 2007, Hacking Democracy.
When I was re-watching "Defiance" as I wrote the above paragraph, I thought I saw David slip something into James' pocket, while he was handing him the file that had all about the riggings. I watched and re-watched and I'm still not sure whether he also passed him something or not. I will be looking for clues about that in future episodes.