Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: President (page 1 of 4)

Scandal 3.11: Ride, Sally, Ride

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.

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Scandal 2.22: White Hat’s Back On

Ponderings - Scandal Season 2 recapsWith the knowledge that Billy Chambers, the Vice President’s former chief of staff, is the mole, Huck admits that he “hired out” the killing of Chambers to Charlie.

Huck: If you want someone killed right, you have to do it yourself

In flashbacks, we learn that Chambers made a deal with Charlie, and Charlie has been Chambers’ guy too.

Olivia, Mellie, Cyrus, and Hollis get together in the kitchen of the White House to discuss Defiance and Billy Chambers. Chambers is the new problem. Olivia puts the focus on Defiance as the problem, not Chambers. If they get the Cytron card back, they neuter Billy, case closed. The twist in this scene is that Fitz shows up, taking Verna’s place at the table. Mellie can’t handle being in the same room as Fitz and Olivia. She storms off with Cyrus who attempts to convince her that Fitz will come back. At the same time Fitz is working on convincing Olivia to use her skills as a “fixer” to fix the American public into hating Mellie and loving her. Fixing, after all, is her superpower.

Mystery Man, whom we now know is in charge of B613, meets with Ballard and wants a meeting with Olivia. Ballard asks questions, which apparently is frowned upon, and Mystery Man basically tells him that if Ballard doesn’t produce, he knows where they stand – which I’m guessing isn’t a good place. As Mystery Man leaves, a woman leaves behind him, she was part of the “Take Down Charlie” operation that failed. She is also the person who tries to break into Olivia’s apartment before breaking it down, gun drawn. But, Ballard happens to be in the apartment and kills the woman. After getting Olivia to her office, telling her she should stay there for a while, he tells her about B613. It takes a few moments for Olivia to process that. She knows about B613, mostly from Huck. The next time we see Ballard is at the end of the episode, when he is being shoved into the same dark hole in the ground that Huck was in. And we know what well that turned out for Huck.

James is mad at Cyrus for keeping him in the dark about Mellie and Fitz. Cyrus finally leaks to him that the President is seeing a pastor for counseling and prayer. James goes on television and reports that. Mellie is watching, and hears James report that the President’s approval ratings are up, but the First Lady’s are not.

The Gladiators in Suits figure out that Chambers is going to need someone credible to unleash Defiance on the American public. They soon realize that it is going to be Governor Reston, who lost the election because of Defiance. They have a lot in common, as they both are murderers. Reston goes to the President to demand to be put on his re-election ticket as the “Unity Ticket” or he will reveal Defiance. The President acts like he doesn’t know what Reston is talking about. Olivia, later, in Cyrus’ hospital room (oh yeah, Cyrus has a heart attack) tells Fitz to play along with Reston to see if Reston really has the Cytron card. She meets with Reston and plants the bug. Huck traces Reston’s phone in order to track down Chambers.

White Hat's Back OnSo, when Olivia calls to tell Cyrus about Reston being involved, Cyrus finally has the heart attack we all saw coming. After Mellie watches the news report about her approval ratings, she makes a visit to Cyrus’ hospital room. She hopes to leave hand-in-hand with Fitz, making the 6pm news cycle. Fitz, however, rattles off in Olivia style Olivia’s plan for getting America to love her and hate Mellie. Mellie still cannot believe that Fitz is going through with this. Cyrus, on the other hand, is impressed, but with his visions of Mystery Man he knows he has to do something.

Cyrus and Mystery Man keep meeting (Cyrus has a dream of Mystery Man in his room while at the hospital, or was Mystery Man really there?). Mystery Man wants Cyrus to release the Olivia/Ballard sex tape, but Cyrus doesn’t want to hurt his friend – Olivia.

David Rosen is the one with the Cytron card. During a meeting Chambers tries to convince David to hand it over. David tells him it stays with him until it is needed – maybe he picked up a few things while he was hanging out with Olivia Pope and Associates. Chambers, trying to convince David, tells David that Olivia is not his friend and that he murdered the CIA director Osbourne, Wendy (framing David) and Molly. David goes ahead and slides the card across the table.

Huck and Quinn go to Chambers’ residence. They don’t find the card anywhere. When Chambers comes home, he sees them and runs. Huck catches him, ties him up in duct tape and is preparing to torture to get answers. But he can’t do it. He freezes up. Quinn lives into her nickname of Baby Huck when she takes his drill and uses it on Chambers. She gets the location, calls Abby, Abby gets it and they go to use it only to find out it’s not the card. It’s blank.

It is then that they realize that David is in control of this game. David played them. He used his time in their office to try out every possible combination to Olivia’s safe, until he found the right one. Abby goes through David’s stuff in the office looking for the real deal and finds a box marked, “For Olivia.” When Huck and Quinn return, she is super excited about what happened. Huck, on the other hand, goes to his space, into the corner, and sits as he has done before.

Cyrus gets himself out of the hospital to take care of the Olivia-Fitz problem. He got worried when Olivia didn’t answer her phone, and sent Secret Service to check on her, who found the door broken in and blood on the ground. He is not happy that someone tried to kill Olivia, but knows that B613 won’t stop until they get what they want. He gets more angry when she won’t see that. She still thinks that she and Fitz getting back together is the best thing. In a fit of anger (calm down, Cy, you JUST had a heart attack) he tells her that Fitz killed Verna Thornton. Olivia is in shock.

Cyrus goes to the White House and does the same thing. He does what Mystery Man wanted, kind of, he shows the President the sex tape of Olivia and Jake Ballard. Fitz is in shock.

Now that they know that David Rosen has been pulling all the strings, Hollis, Olivia, Mellie, Cyrus, and now the President meet again in the White House kitchen. David Rosen is now the problem (sound familiar?) Cyrus gets a text that David is in his office. David hands over the real Cytron card in exchange for something else. The something else is fulfilled when the President makes a public announcement thanking David for his work of justice and names him the US Attorney for District of Columbia. Cyrus destroys the card with his little Abe Lincoln bust.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfEBfJnYTh0&w=853&h=480]

Olivia goes to the White House, tells the President she knows about Verna, and he tells her he knows about Jake. She tells him that he is the one who can start fresh. The rest of them are too damaged. They’ve gone to a dark place, and she’s not sure if they can go back. But Fitz can. And he should start his new beginning with Mellie at his side. She can’t leave her team. “They need me. I’m their Gladiator.” Fitz goes back to Mellie, like a dog with his tail between his legs.

And just when you think you can take a sigh of relief in this season finale, there’s more! Olivia wakes up the next morning, gets ready to go for a jog listening to Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” Everything about this is slow – slow for Scandal – which means they really, really want us to catch what is about to happen. Olivia gets into the elevator. She walks through her lobby, smiling at people. She opens the door to go outside, and there is a mob of reporters and cameras asking if it is true that she is having an affair with the president! Shocked, she tries to get back inside the building, but some guys guide her to a limo where Mystery Man is sitting. And Olivia says, “Dad!?!?”

Mystery Man who runs B613 is Daddy Pope?? So many questions, not enough words.

Scandal 2.21: Any Questions?

Ponderings - Scandal Season 2 recapsUsing the backdrop of Cyrus giving a press conference on Mellie’s unveiling of Fitz’ private life, this episode takes us on another wild ride with Fitz and Olivia and learning who the mole is.

The President stayed the night at Olivia’s. Cyrus has to bark his way into Olivia’s apartment, walks in on the two of them, and yells, “Get up!” Cyrus is in fix-it mode. As Olivia and Fitz get dressed, Olivia offers to help fix it. Fitz tells her no, “stand down.” If the relationship is going to work, they have to take out the business part of it.

Olivia comes into the office learning that the good news is that Cyrus is not the mole, but whoever the mole is knows about Defiance. Olivia quickly goes to the safe to make sure the Cytron memory card is still in there. David is present, he claims to be a Gladiator.

Mellie is interviewing a new fixer. He’s not quite Olivia Pope, but he knows how to find things in the trash. He manages to get a copy of the President’s speech for Mellie to look at. Mellie refuses to give up Olivia’s name, even to the fixer. She knows Fitz, and she knows he’ll do the right thing.

Fitz’ solution, which is what his speech will be about, is to not run for reelection. Cyrus sees him throwing away his legacy. “I’m in love with a woman,” Fitz says, “who is not my wife.”

Jake Ballard meets Mystery Man in the park again. Mystery Man is not happy with Ballard. They met the night before and Ballard did not share with Mystery Man that the President was with Olivia Pope. The job is simple, keep an eye on Olivia. Ballard shows Mystery Man a picture of Charlie. We know from the Huck flash backs that Mystery Man knows Charlie. But here, he doesn’t let Ballard know that he knows. Mystery Man tells Ballard to bring him the tape of he and Olivia having sex and to find Charlie and bring him in.

When Ballard asks Mystery Man about Cyrus, Mystery Man replies, “I’ll take care of Cyrus.”

Sally Langston makes an appearance, mostly to make us consider that she might be the mole. She and Cyrus are walking down the hall of the White House together:

Sally: You know what the Bible says, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

Cyrus: That’s not in the Bible. Not everything is from the Bible.

teach_5986cCyrus is right. The line actually comes from a play written by a guy named William Congreve. Go figure. But the quick dialogue does show how quickly tradition regarding what the Bible says overpowers what the Bible actually says. There is no better way to know what the Bible says than to read it. . . . .for yourself. I know a preacher to teaches preachers not to say, “The Bible says,” without citing where it says it in the Bible. I think that is a good practice.

Harrison thinks Olivia should be his client, because he knows that it won’t be long before her name is associated with the President’s affair. Olivia reminds him that she can take care of herself and that he needs to focus on the task at hand. Cyrus and James have a fight over James’ interview with the First Lady. Finally, Cyrus realizes what happened. James was naive and was used by Mellie. Mellie made it happen for James to get that job at BNC, and requested him to do the interview to get back at Cyrus as much as getting back at the President.

Cyrus and Olivia meet in a park outside the White House. Cyrus tries to convince her to talk sense into Fitz, to make this thing go away. But Olivia is standing down, as she said she would. As Olivia walks away, Mystery Man shows up – more and more all of a sudden. He tells Cyrus that he should have shut down the Fitz-Olivia thing a long time ago. It is clear that these two not only know each other, but have an understanding about not messing with each other’s turf. Mystery Man tells him that his boy Charlie was one of his, and that Cyrus will have nothing to do with anymore.

Ballard, following orders from Mystery Man, tries to take down Charlie. But Charlie is too quick and dodges him. He ends up at Olivia’s office. Everyone has taken an hour to clear their ends, but David Rosen who stayed behind. When everyone returns, Charlie has a gun to David’s head. Charlie wants to be a client. He knows that once he is caught they will kill him. He wants what Huck has. Huck asks Olivia to take care of it, “My world. My rules.”

Ballard failed to get Charlie, but he did give Mystery Man a copy of the tape of him and Olivia. When asked how it was going to be used, Mystery Man basically told Ballard it was non of his business. Cyrus reluctantly accepts that the President is not going to seek a second term. When he goes to ask a staff person to retrieve the candidacy papers, the staff person says she cannot because they were never filed. Turns out they are still on Fitz’ desk.

Cyrus goes to Olivia. Olivia goes to the White House. She talks to him, telling him that he doesn’t want to run because of their relationship, then she will support him. But if decided months ago not to quick because of Defiance, that he shouldn’t give up.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVrd8mJbasQ&w=853&h=480]

The actions of others affected Fitz and how he understands himself. This pep talk from Olivia is giving him the empowerment and encouragement he needs. At the press conference, he announces he will be seeking a second term.

Huck has Charlie duck taped to a chair, gets a name from him as to who the mole is, and prepares to kill him. Then Quinn comes in, and convinces him that he shouldn’t kill. They let Charlie go. When they get back to the office, Harrison discovers that the Cytron card is gone. Everyone knows at that moment that the Charlie thing was a set-up. He has the card. And who is the mole? Billy Chambers!

But the one giving him the Cytron card is not Charlie, it is David Rosen!

Scandal 2.19: Seven Fifty-two

Ponderings - Scandal Season 2 recapsThere is one sure way to pull at the emotional strings of the Scandal audience: Make us feel Huck’s pain. This episode is about Huck and how be became who he is. After getting out that storage container, he has been in a state, in the corner of his office. Nobody has been able to help him, and Olivia has been in the hospital. Huck starts chatting, “7 52.”

But first, let’s take a few moments to deal with Fitz and Olivia. The Secret Service will not allow Harrison to go visit Olivia because the President is back there somewhere. Interestingly Harrison only tells the other Gladiators that there was a high profile person on the same hall. Cyrus, who is underused in this episode, especially if we are to believe that is Albratros, shows up to explain to the President that this is not good for him to sit at the hostipal in the middle of the night with his mistress for a “late night booty call.”

Cyrus: Markets panic, reporters swarm, Defcon levels change. . . .

Fitz: Cats and dogs will finally get along?

Hmm, that sounds like:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S4cldkdCjE&w=853&h=480]

Fitz is a little too late when it comes to winning Olivia over. Remember that he had asked her to wait for him because he was going to divorce Mellie, but after he found out about Defiance, he changed his mind. Olivia has vowed to give up the President. But then the President makes this little speech in her hospital room:

This past year I have learned only one thing — that I cannot exist without you, that I cannot breathe without you, that the man I am without you … I’m nothing, and you are everything and I need you to give me another chance. I demand another chance. We’re worth another chance.

Olivia falls into his embrace, only to push herself out of it. “I can’t. I can’t,” she says as she slams the door to the bathroom.

The same Secret Service guy that would not let Harrison see Olivia, told Mellie where the President was all night. When Fitz returns to the White House, Mellie has bags packed. She is moving into Blair House for awhile, giving Fitz time to think through everything. She has given him a choice: Olivia or family. If he chooses Olivia, she will go public and start talking to the press.

The episode is filled with flashbacks to Huck’s life, which start 14 years ago when he is a returning Marine. He surprises his girlfriend Kim as she reads a story to her class. He has an interview for some government job. It is CIA related, and Huck doesn’t want anything to do with it. He is told that it is either this job, that pays very well, or another tour as a Marine. Huck doesn’t want to go back overseas, so he takes the job. Charlie becomes his teacher, teaching him how to deal with enemies of the state.

Scandal-Seven-Fifty-Two-7-550x366

Kim ends up pregnant, Huck and her make plans to get married. Huck is beyond happy. Even his attitude at “work” changes. Everything is great, except when he comes home one day and finds Charlie there. Huck has a family. That is breaking one of the rules. He is told by Charlie to take care of it or he will. Before Huck can move his family out of DC, he is taken in and placed in a small, dark, hole. He stays there until he says that he does not have a wife and child.

When put back on the job, Huck freezes and is unable to torture. Charlie tells him that his orders were to kill him if he couldn’t handle it. But instead, Charlie tells Huck to run, and never contact anyone again. Charlie and his boss report to the Big Boss that Huck has been terminated. The Big Boss is the mystery man from the park.

Throughout the episode, the Gladiators take turns talking to Huck. In a way, they open up and share how they truly feel about being a Gladiator. It is very revealing. Abby, for example, tells Huck that after years of abuse made her unable to trust and question if she was ever right about anything, she says, “David might love me but I owe Olivia my life.” There is a strong sense that Olivia saved each of them from their own lives and their own mistakes. The best moment of the episode is Olivia telling Huck that he saved her.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IiLVRDIMmU&w=853&h=480]

Seven fifty-two refers to the time when the subway train carrying Huck’s wife and son arrived. AT 7:52am every morning, Huck is there to watch them.

7:52 - Scandal Season 2

Scandal 2.18: Molly, You in Danger, Girl

Ponderings - Scandal Season 2 recapsEvery episode is another “wow” episode. It keeps us on our toes, wondering what will happen next and trying to figure out who is who in this crazy, scandalous, web that is Washington D. C.

The President makes an official statement that CIA Director Osbourne was the mole. But things start to change when Osbourne’s wife shows up at Pope and Associates. She claims that it was not suicide, but murder. Her clue? The note he left was written to “Susan,” he hasn’t called her that in 30 years. Olivia takes the case.

While the President is making that statement, Jake Ballard breaks into Olivia’s place. He removes all of his spy equipment. Minutes later, Huck and Quinn walk in to make sure the place is clean. Every third Wednesday is sweep day. After they leave, Jake comes back in and places it all back.

The more they dig into things and re-dig, they realize that Osbourne was not the mole. Which means Molly and David are still in danger. Abby rushes over to David’s apartment and tells him he has to return to the office. This leads David to see that Abby still has feelings for him, but he is still feeling the burning of her taking the flash drive (which she still tells him she didn’t, but we know she did.)

Scandal-Season-2-Molly-You-in-Danger-Girl

They learn that Molly was a set up. The real mole set Molly in to lie to Olivia about Osbourne being the guy. They believed her. David uses contacts he has with Homeland security to put her on the no fly list. They find it at an airport and question her. She clearly has had the fear of God placed in her. She didn’t do it for the money, she says, but for her life.

From her apartment, Olivia calls Cyrus, who is in a hotel room to tell him that Osbourne was not the mole. Cyrus doesn’t want anything to do with it because the President has made it official that Osbourne was. Olivia tells him that she can’t let it go. If Olivia is making the call from her apartment, that means that Jake Ballard is on the other side watching. Sure enough, he is. And he meets with the mystery man in the park again. Olivia knows, he tells the man. The mystery man tells Jake, “I trust you’ll take care of it.”

What?!? Who is this guy?

As a side note, this episode really showed the unique friendship that Olivia and Cyrus have. They call each other often, sometimes just a quick sentence or two. But they care deeply for one another.

Cyrus pleads with Fitz and Mellie to play nice and do an interview together. Fitz says they have had lots of practice at pretending they love each other. The story they tell in the interview of how they met gets a lot of replay. Fitz recalls with Mellie how they really met. His dad happened to come to Boston for business and an old friend happen to bring his young, clerk with him. It wasn’t a blind date, Fitz realizes, it was a merger. Fitz is caught up in this life of lies, doesn’t want to be, but can’t see to figure out how to get out of it.

While Mellie thinks that Cyrus and James have the perfect relationship, Fitz knows (we don’t know how) that Cyrus has been staying at a hotel. He offers Cyrus advice, “Don’t give up on him, if you love him.” Cyrus will move back in, despite James’ protests. Cyrus tells James that he has done some pretty crappy stuff too, and despite the horrible stuff we do, we love each other.

Jake keeps trying to take Olivia out for dinner, but Olivia keeps telling him she has to work. While watching the interview with the President and the First Lady, Olivia can’t handle it. She shows up at Jake’s place with burgers. While she’s not looking, he slips her phone out of her purse and turns it off. He distracts her from her phone by kissing her, and they eventually end up in bed together.

The next morning, Olivia gets up to get a glass of water. She picks up a remote and attempts to turn the television in the kitchen on. We know what a news junkie Olivia is. Instead, the remote reveals the hidden tv screens that are leaked to the cameras in Olivia’s apartment. She freaks out, and while Jake tries to calm her down, she falls, and there is bleeding.

GladiatorsinHelmets_zpsf9827eedHarrison gets a phone call, and we think it is someone calling to tell him about Olivia, but it the ME’s office calling about Molly. The number called most often in her cell phone was Harrison’s. She was killed by a hit and run. The Gladiators don’t believe it. The mole is kicking butt and not worrying about names.

Huck and Quinn tracked the mole making a purchase of a storage unit. They go to look into it. Huck makes Quinn wait in the car and keep watch. While Huck checks the storage out, which just has an empty box in it, someone comes up behind him, knocks him in the head, and shoves him into the box. An hour later, Quinn knows something is wrong. It takes a while, but Quinn finally figures out that someone moved one of the security cameras. She goes through each locker on the floor that Huck was on, until she finds Huck. Huck ends up sitting in the corner of his office shaking. David observes that this is worse than when he was water-boarded.

The President seems to randomly call Cyrus one evening. Randomly because Cyrus isn’t expecting it. “I killed Verna Thornton,” the President says. Cyrus is speechless. The President’s confession shows that he is as dirty as Cyrus. The President then asks if she – Olivia – would forgive him.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeHZ98BfQNE&w=853&h=480]

Quinn reviews the security footage from the storage locker with the other Gladiators. They find a guy in a baseball cap. Quinn is certain that is the guy who stuffed Huck in the box. Baseball cap, Harrison reasons, works for Albatros, the mole.

We next see Baseball cap as Charlie, the B16 spy, making a phone call to . . . Cyrus. Is Cyrus Albatros? Is he the mole? But why??

Olivia is in the hospital. When she wakes up, Jake is there telling her what the story is, and to please stick to it. Seriously, who is this guy? Then the President comes in, thanking Jake for calling him, and sits next to Olivia. As Fitz leans to give Olivia a hug, Jake is outside looking through the glass in the door. As he put it together why Fitz was having him watch Olivia?

Olivia looks lost and uncertain. She is clearly uncomfortable, and not strong. Olivia Pope is always strong. But here, in the hospital bed, with two men she has slept with in arm’s length, she is uncertain, scared, and weak.

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