I wrote the following for Screenfish.net.
“Is he hurting you . . . . on the inside?” -Huck to Olivia
Last week the fifth season of Scandal got under way. After a crazy fourth season of going toe-to-toe with Papa Pope, Olivia is settling in nicely between the White House sheets next to President Fitzgerald Grant. Mellie is the new junior senator from Virginia, Cyrus is unemployed, and Huck is lying on Olivia’s couch.
The fix-of-the-episode centers around the tragic death of Princess Emily of the English-speaking country Caledonia after a state dinner at the White House (that Mellie was not invited to). The whole thing feels a lot like the death of Princess Di. The Queen, the Prince’s mother, even resembles Queen Elizabeth. Olivia is hired to do what she does best: make the problems go away.
Fights, Coffee, and Forgiveness
Olivia and Fitz are fighting behind a door. Jake is outside with secret service, listening. They are fighting because, while they are still lovers, Fitz does not like Liv’s new “fake” boyfriend. “He will try and fight me for you,” he tells Olivia, to which Olivia responds, “I’m not a prize to be won.” This leads to another Fitz loses his temper moment that has me wondering what’s up with Fitz.
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.