Sunday, March 29, 2015

Scandal Season 4, Ep 17: Put a Ring On It. AKA: Throwback Thursday

This episode should be titled #ThrowbackThursday. In a series of flashbacks, you get more backstory on Olivia and Fitz, and most importantly, Cyrus. 

Staring with Cyrus. After a bunch of phones start ringing at 4 a.m., you realize there is some shizzle going down! OH SHIT. Cryus’ boy toy Michael is caught licking the neck of another boy toy at a club. Of course, Olivia has to come in and handle it. Shut. It. Down. Shotgun wedding, and Cryus is the pregnant bride. Mellie is the host of the wedding, buying into it as it’s her new senate platform! 

As the wedding planning is underway, Michael is freaking out because his parents, whom he hasn’t spoken with in years, are invited to the wedding. At their reunion dinner, his parents spew their disgust over his lifestyle and the impending wedding, and Michael’s anguish over it is heartbreaking. Still playing in on the charade, his parents tell him a lady from the white house is paying them more than they’ve earned in a year. When they return to their home, Michael breaks down and Cyrus can’t help but feel.  

Flashbacks of Cyrus’ past life, first marriage to a woman, from the beginning of their marriage until the sad, lonely end. As Janet, his ex-wife, is slumped on the floor discussing their divorce, he begs her not to leave him. She says “At least let’s be honest with each other. I will admit I am not having an affair if you will admit you aren’t gay.” Next, Cyrus is looking at his bed with his former husband James asking if he’s okay. His thoughts are interrupted by Michael coming out of his closet (heehee) saying there was a dry-cleaning mix-up and he was just getting his shirts. Flashbacks continue with the marriage of Cyrus and James and you realize that with James, he was truly happy. 

Then there’s Liv. You ever have one of those dreams where someone is chasing you and you can’t get away? That’s Liv. Right now.  She’s having nightmares about her past with Fitz – the passion, the fighting, all intermixed with her capture and trying to escape. 

Olivia and Fitz,  Liv and Fitz and their past affairs. As Olivia is getting the Cyrus/James wedding chamber ready, Fitz walks in and asks her why she left the White House. She confesses that she couldn’t stand to be there and see him. Fitz lays down his great grandmother’s ring, called Dubebe (or something like that), that he has never given to his wife. He said it never felt right, and he knows that’s because he was supposed to give it to her.  Dubebe = Sweetbaby. He tells her “I just want you to be happy .” 

This is the ring that she’s always wearing, and that she swept under the rug before her kidnapping. After another nightmare, in the middle of the night, Olivia gets up and is frantically searching for the ring. She finds it in a vase.  When she goes back to Fitz to talk make arrangements for Cyrus, Fitz notices her ring isn’t on her finger. 

Abby goes home and finds that Leo has taken their pillow talks to Sally Langston. When Abby tries to claim ‘church and state’, you know – keep our bedtime secrets out of your work, Leo strikes: “you poked the hole in the condom. I kept it all wrapped up.” Ouch. Harsh Leo. That’s harsh.  She snoops through his phone for secrets that she can use. 

Crazy ex-VP Sally Langston is back! She’s the host of a political talk show and is taking Leo’s pillow talk to the air. She calls out Michael and Cyrus and calls their marriage a sham, and throws down a 10K challenge for proof of fraud. Her first guest is Michael’s secret boyfriend. Olivia goes to Sally to see what she can do to stop it. She offers Sally the Secretary of State position. Sally rejects the offer, and says it’s her television show where her voice can be heard, and she feels more power on the stage than on the hill. 

Later, when Olivia is back at the White House and everyone is freaking about the wedding, she sees Cyrus and knows that she has to save him. As Sally is ready to go to air, Liv shuts her down by showing her Michael’s client list that has Sally’s dead husband on it as a repeat customer. Sally backs down and says her guest had to unexpectedly cancel and his claims could not be validated. 

On their wedding day, Michael is not the blushing bride. He says he believed that someone would love him and care about him, that it’s the day he’s been dreaming of and he has nothing. He wanted someone to love him, to make him happy, and he doesn’t. He’s alone. He knows that  Cyrus would murder him if he could. Trying to lighten the mood, Cyrus tells him he wouldn’t murder him, that’s a rookie move. He’d hire someone to do it. Cyrus doesn’t lie to him – he bares his soul and tells him he’s evil and corrupted, but since Michael already knows that he can’t disappoint him. Makes him a promise: I may not do it well, but I will do my best to be your ‘someone’ so you’re not alone.  

The wedding is beautiful, Cyrus and Michael wed, and might actually be able to pull off the happy.  Abby and Leo are at the wedding where Leo asks if he was really on the list, and Abby laughs while saying “church and state.” Olivia is seen wearing the ring. 

Again, this episode didn’t really address much, expect give more background to the characters. We finally see what we’ve all been waiting for – Olivia having serious issues with her catch and release. 

Next week proves to be waaaay more exciting. Jake going cray-cray? What’s that all about?!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Scandal Season 4: Ep 14. The Testimony of Diego Munoz. AKA: Secret Lovers...

So last night on scandal…

Huck’s wife Kim goes to David Rosen with those missing files and says she wants him to press charges against the B613 dudes and Diego Munoz, her HUSBAND, will testify against them. 

Who in the world is Carmen Santiago? I mean, Diego Munoz? Well, Hucking Huck of course! 

Huck plays dumb with the “I can’t recall” lines, until he started having flashbacks. He remembered his past with his wife and son, and spilled the beans. Huck made everyone cry retelling his experience in the B613 hole. 

David Rosen decides to don his white hat again and go after B613. Jakey freaks the f-out over this, and you can tell he’s wondering what Pappa Pope will do when HE finds out! 

Abby and Leo prep the VP gal Susan and Leo makes her cry. Abby and Leo fight, he walks out, then later walks back in, and the two kiss and make up.

Abby needs Olivia’s fast talking ways to get the new VP gal Susan in line, and back on board. In the process, the light bulb goes on in Liv’s head and she realizes that Fitz is the problem, not Susan. I'm waiting to see what Susan does. She's kinda kooky and me likes it! 

 Olivia tells off the President for the whole West Angola face that started a thousand wars thing. “You made a mockery of democracy,” she screams. And she made a rhyme. He yells back “You know why!” 

Olivia gets back her neighbor Lois back after Rose comes looking for her. We all learn the history and background of Lois and Rose. They've been secretly in love for over 40 years, but that whole being black and lesbian in the south didn't go over too well. They were separated, reunited, and together. Sadly, this is the end of their relationship.  Rose tells Olivia "I've waited over forty years" for Rose, she can wait a bit longer to get her back, even just to bury her. Both Liv and Rose attend Lois’ funeral….so sad. 

In the end, Olivia is alone in her apartment. She tosses out that stained couch cushion, opens a new bottle, and sits down with a huge ol' bowl of popcorn. Dinner of single women everywhere. 

So now we know Huck's real name. I don't care that he's Diego and that's a cool name. He's still Muther-Hucking-HUCK!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Scandal Season 4, Ep 14: The Lawn Chair. AKA #BlackLivesMatter Law and Order Criminal SVU Intent

So, on this week’s episode of Law and Order -  ripped form the headlines #BlackLIvesMatter, Olivia Benson steps into the middle of a police shooting and tries to diffuse the situation. A 17-year old young black man named Brandon has been shot and killed by a white police officer. He’s lying in a pool of his own blood, shown wearing jeans and a grey hoodie. According to the police chief, the young man matched the description of a shoplifting suspect, and when he was approached by one of his officers, he reached for a knife. 

As Olivia Benson is trying to determine what happened, and Brandon is lying in the street, his father comes over with a shot-gun and demands answers. Olivia tries to talk him down, and calm everyone. While she’s trying to talk the man into putting down his gun, Sgt. Benson is suffering some of her own anxiety and is shaking in her designer boots from her recent kidnaping experience. 

When a neighborhood activist gets involved, Olivia tries to get the father to go with her and let the police conduct their investigation. The activist, Marcus, says no way and gives father a lawn chair. The two have some words and Marcus asks why Olivia is there. She says she’s trying to diffuse the situation, and Marcus asks why she thinks that the situation needs to be diffused. Holding the chair, Clarence chooses to sit. He places the chair over the son’s body and the dad sits in vigil, waiting for the police officer that shot his son to show up and provide answers. He sits over him stating “I want him to be protected from the elements.” 

Clarence, is a bank teller trying to be a good parent and raise his son “Get him to eighteen, get him a diploma.” and not dead or in jail. Olivia talks to the investigating officer to discover that they claim Brandon, the young black man, was carrying a knife. Clarence says that Brandon never carried a knife. Marcus finds out the identity of the police officer that shot Brandon, and makes the officer’s identity public knowledge. The officer claims self-defense, and HuckleberryQuinn start to look for local cameras to find footage of what really happened. 

Olivia Benson tries to get the attorney general involved, and tells him “I was captured and lived in fear for an entire week. Those people live in fear every day.” 

Meanwhile, HuckleberryQuinn finds out that there’s a witness to the crime – another suspect that was in the back seat of the police car and saw the whole thing. So where’s the suspect? Seems like officer whitey let him go to cover his ass. Officer whitey goes off on a tirade of his own – “those people” (yes, they went there) disobeyed him. Disrespected him. “What gives “them” the right to question his authority?” He quips. 

Meanwhile, back at the crime scene, Marcus throws out that Olivia Benson’s black card isn’t getting punched, and Olivia Ben….son. Um, whoops. That’s Olivia POPE, not Benson. It’s Scandal, not Law and Order. CRAP!! 

Okay, so let me go there. This episode was ‘ripped from the headlines’. Not something that I would expect from Scandal, but I see why this show did this episode. It’s topical. It’s a show about a black woman, written by a black woman. When something in mainstream society hits close to home, you need to process it and get it out. Shonda Rhimes wrote about it. 

When social constructs are presented in popular television, it can be a way to reach the mainstream populous and highlight social conditions. It can show just what the hell is happening between the police and people of color in many communities. It’s a way to show what happens when a white officer (or anyone for that matter), has misguided impressions and racial stereotypes of others. It’s a way to show those will sit and watch Scandal but not the evening news what happened to Michael Brown, and what happened in Ferguson (and frankly, what happens in communities all across America). It’s a way to get them to pay attention. 

This episode likely made people uncomfortable. GOOD. It should. It comes at the same time that the Department of Justice released their Ferguson investigation report. The best shows on television reflect what is happening in society, and finds a way to present situations that get people talking, and hopefully, thinking. If you were anywhere near social media last night, there was a TON of talk going on! Hopefully, critical conversations about race relations occur. I get it, but I’m waiting for next week for more fast-talking Olivia Pope. 

In the end, Brandon didn’t have a knife. He had a receipt. For the item he was suspected of stealing. Oh, and there was also something about trying to find a replacement for the VP since he’s no longer able to serve, and something about Mellie still maybe trying to run for office in the future. 

Bottom line, this episode didn’t do much to address what happens to Olivia Pope when she gets home from her kidnapping ordeal (other than she’s suffering some major PTSD), strange choices in the VP arena, and no update on Lizzy and gang. 

Until next week folks…