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.
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.