The second half of season three, after taking a two and half month break, puts us right in the middle of Fitz’ re-election campaign. But Fitz is not the only character with his eyes on the Oval House.
“I’ve committed a sin.”
Last week’s episode ended with Sally calling Cyrus and uttering those words – “I’ve committed a sin.” This week’s episode takes us back prior to that call to show us what exactly happened. Sally is fighting with her husband, Daniel. Cyrus has pictures of Daniel having sex with his husband James. Sally tells Daniel, “You have released a snake into our garden,” talking about Cyrus, who she knows will not be able to let this go. Daniel tells her that she knew what she was getting into when she married him – aka, “Sally, you knew I was gay.” Then, Daniel tells her that he is done, and that she cannot win without him. Sally can’t handle it. So, she takes a letter opener to his back. And with blood scattered across her face, she calls Cyrus.
“I’ve Committed a Sin”
This episode was not for the those with a weak stomach. Huck has laid out the tools of his old trade: torture. Huck has Quinn duck taped on the floor, and begins to talk her through his torture process. He wants to know what Quinn has been up to. Quinn begs to be released: “I’ll be good.” Huck begins to pull one of Quinn’s teeth, when his phone rings.
It is Olivia.
An Ethical Roller Coaster
Last week’s episode concluded with Rowan walking into Omar’s cell, revealing to us that Omar is really Olivia’s mom, Maya. This week’s episode picks up right there. Rowan walks into the cell and declares, “Our daughter has been asking about you.”
This week’s episode turns its focus onto Mellie. It starts off with a reporter and camera crew following Mellie around the White House for a tour and interview. Blended through this episode are more flashbacks, but this time of Mellie and when Fitz was beginning his campaign for Governor. The flashbacks take place at Fitz’ father’s house. Larry has gotten Cyrus Beane to come in to run the campaign. “It’s our first step,” Mellie tells Fitz, “to the White House.”
Failure is not final.
Scandal has bought the Monopoly block of townhouses when it comes to effective flashbacks. In the opening flashback scene, we meet Maya, Olivia’s mother. It is a sweet scene where the teenage Olivia, complete with headphones in her ear, tells her mother goodbye before she gets on the plane that will eventually crash. It sets the tone for the rest of the episode.
I was looking forward to the pilot episode of the new drama Madam Secretary. Is it going to be reflective of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, as West Wing was Bill Clinton’s Presidency?
The client-of-the-week in this episode is the Democratic congresswoman Josephine Marcus, played by the always brilliant Lisa Kudrow. Last week, we saw her as the President’s biggest critic who got a huge boost in the polls after Mellie was caught on tape saying not-so-great things about the Congresswoman under her breath. Now, she is running for president.
Do you believe in second chances?
That seems to be the theme of this week’s episode. At one point or another, almost every character tells someone that mistakes happen and that there are second chances.
One of these characters is the wife of the client-of-the-week, Senator Richard Meyers. Meyers, in an Anthony Weiner kind of way, sent explicit text messages of himself to a young woman named Desiree. The only difference here, is that Meyers is on trial for murdering Desiree. Pope and Associates takes the case to defend the senator because they need clients. While the family of the victim would be a better fit for Olivia, they need the cash.
Mary Nesbitt is a grieving mother. She believes with everything in her body and soul that the FBI unjustly killed her son in a raid. She has struggled to have anyone listen to her. So, she goes to Washington and hires Pope and Associates. In a quick background check on her, Quinn learns that the payment Mary Nesbitt made was everything she had left in her bank account. To Olivia, this does not add up.
Shonda Rhimes’ drama took a bit of a breather from the action of the last episode. The show slows down to develop the characters in this hot mess they have found themselves in. And Rhimes does so in a style that has been used in all of her shows, including Scandal. The balancing act of flashbacks and present time story lines. The storyline of the flashback compliments the present storyline. It is not always done well, but in Scandal, it is.
Season three gets started right where season two ended. As we plunge back into the world of Olivia Pope and the scandal that is arising around her, we hope to uncover answers to questions from last season. Like, who leaked Olivia’s name to the press? Mostly, what is going to happen to Olivia now that she’s been outed as the President’s mistress? And, whose going to fix this?
Rowan, who is Olivia’s father, plans to handle the situation by sending Olivia on a private plan to a secure island. Rowan fires off about as much power with his words as Olivia does. Enough to make Olivia stand down and even cry a little. But, after Olivia makes a phone call to Cyrus to tell him that she is leaving town, she gets her Pope mojo back.